Both churches are what they call "Sabbath keepers". What are the main differences in doctrine between the Seventh Day Adventist Church and the Worldwide Church of God, now known as Grace Communion International?

  • 2
    Do you want a comparison of the doctrines of Worldwide Church of God (WCG) before Herbert Armstrong's death, or do you want to compare against the current Tkach led Grace Communion International (GCI)? Frankly, they really aren't even the same church. GCI has repudiated effectively all of the doctrine taught by WCG and become a mainstream, Sunday-keeping church, little different than any random non-denominational church and nothing at all like the SDA church.
    – Rob K
    Jan 12, 2018 at 19:10
  • Thank you for that. I was wondering about it because I have friends that still follow the old WWCofG and there seems to be two kinds of those. Jan 13, 2018 at 6:14
  • The Wikipedia article is badly named. It is about the Worldwide Church of God, but that organization ended when it was legally taken over, given new doctrines, and renamed to Grace Communion. Grace Communion should have its own Wikipedia page, not simply steal the title of what is really the WWCG page. Jan 5, 2019 at 22:05

1 Answer 1


It is true that both of these churches observe the seventh-day Sabbath, Saturday. Some of the distinctions beyond this, however, include some key doctrinal points. Note that this is not a full list, and I am answering with respect to the "Seventh-day Church of God" (as it seems to translate best from the local language where I am--I presume this to be the local equivalent of the Worldwide Church of God of this question) with considerable input from the "Church of God: A Worldwide Association, Inc." website.

Seventh-day Adventists Church of God: A Worldwide Association
Officially believe in a Trinity consisting of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit--three co-equal, co-eternal beings; many members do not accept this, some have been disfellowshipped over disagreements on the Godhead Do not believe in a Trinity, but believe in a "Family" of God consisting of the Father and the Son, both of whom have eternally existed, but the spirit is not a separate entity, or being (Binitarian)
Follow a health message, including the avoidance of unclean meats like pork, seafoods, etc. in accordance with Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 Officially follow the dietary guidelines of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14; Some congregations do not teach any dietary restrictions
Do not drink or smoke Social drinking is allowed
Observe a "communion service" including footwashing and the partaking of the emblems of "wine" (non-alcoholic grape juice) and unleavened bread (crackers) once quarterly Observe a "Passover"—foot-washing, unleavened bread and wine—are part of this service, once annually to commemorate Jesus' death
Sabbath is the seventh-day of the week, Saturday, and is observed from Friday evening at sunset to Saturday evening at sunset Sabbath is the seventh-day of the week, Saturday, and is observed from Friday evening at sunset to Saturday evening at sunset
The feasts of the Old Testament are part of the "ordinances" that were nailed to the cross, and should no longer be followed (to follow them would indicate disbelief in Christ's atonement having fulfilled these types); the feasts are replaced by the communion service (last supper ceremony) and by campmeetings and other general assemblies of the church The feasts are still binding and should be observed today, they contain lessons of salvation and will be observed even through the Millennium
Tithing is practiced in which 10% of increase is given to the church, to be used for the support of the ministry; Adventists have a stable system in which these tithes are centralized and ministers/pastors receive a steady monthly salary from the local conference; other expenses, such as church operating budget, maintenance, etc. are supported by freewill offerings, not tithes Tithing is practiced and the funds go to assist in preaching the gospel, church maintenance, and care for needy members; a special tithe is collected at feast observances
Military service is at the discretion of individual members, but a status of non-combatant ("conscientious objector") is encouraged; as such, many join the medical corps to assist with healing services for those injured in battle; Desmond Doss, a congressional medal-of-honor recipient in the U.S. and the inspiration for the movie "Hacksaw Ridge," was Seventh-day Adventist Christians should not serve in the military; even hating one's brother is tantamount to murder, and soldiers will have Sabbath problems, etc.; we should obey God rather than man--difficult to do when one must obey one's commanding officer
At the end of about 6000 years Jesus will return and take his people to heaven for 1000 years (the millennium), after which they will return to earth, with the New Jerusalem, to establish Jesus' kingdom on the earth made new (following the final destruction of the resurrected wicked) At the end of "this present evil age," Jesus will return and establish his kingdom forever, beginning with a 1000-year period commonly known as the millennium; following this the second resurrection takes place and people have one last opportunity to become converted; the incorrigible will be raised in the third resurrection to receive their part in the lake of fire for a brief existence--and no further resurrection is to take place
Seventh-day Adventists study carefully and teach the great prophecies of the Bible, including those of Daniel and Revelation Do not emphasize prophetic fulfillments

Again, this list does not propose to be complete--a complete comparison might require vastly more space (a book?). This highlights some of the more noticeable features from my perspective. Further, there seems to be a great consistency, worldwide, to Seventh-day Adventist beliefs and practices, whereas the "Worldwide" (Seventh-day) Church of God seems to have more regional variation, and the stated beliefs per the website may not accurately reflect the experience of a given member in an individual congregation.

Disclaimer: I do not presume to be fully accurate with this, particularly with the lesser understood (for me) second column in the table. If you have points to add, please share them in the comments and I may be able to update the information in the table. I am considerably more confident of the factual accuracy of the first column (left side of table).


Church of God website
Adventist Beliefs website

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .