134. My Vision on the Great Shaking Among Seventh-day Adventists

Part 3


June 23, 2017


http://omega77.tripod.com/myvisionshakingpart3.htm


Rom 1:4   And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 

Rom 1:5   By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 

Jhn 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.


This is the third and final installment of what I was shown in vision to present to God’s people by way of a warning regarding the serious Great Shaking that is now transpiring amongst His people. Many are shaking themselves out of God’s Kingdom by taking a stand on the wrong side of these issues. In fact it would be impossible to exaggerate the importance of the truth connected with these most serious of shaking issues confronting God’s people today.

 

Are we Saved by Grace Without Works Whatsoever?

 

Apostate Adventism along with mainline Christianity, has misinterpreted Paul’s words to the effect that we are saved by grace and not of works lest any man should boast. Yet the very next verse says that we were created in Christ Jesus unto good work. James says that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. What is the resolution to this apparent contradicting in Scripture?

 

Eph 2:9   Not of works, lest any man should boast. 

 

Eph 2:10   For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 

 

Jas 2:24   Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 

Jas 2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 

Jas 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

 

The full truth of the matter is resolved by the interpretation that when we fully die to self and commit to the Lord in full repentance for all known sin, Christ gives us faith and grace for obedience, and when we apply His grace, His Holy Spirit’s empowerment (Romans 1:5), it is accounted unto us for righteousness, as was Abraham’s obedience. But the power is not ours, thus, no man can boast. All the power is from the Holy Ghost, lest any man should boast. This is what James means. This is what Paul means when he says that we are saved by grace alone, lest any man should boast.

 

Mainline Christianity interprets Paul differently. They conclude that all we need do repent one time and we are always saved—ONCE SAVED, ALWAYS SAVED, because to them, it is impossible to overcome by Christ’s grace. Thus, they go a step further and remove the law entirely because if they cannot overcome, they don’t need the law. All they need is the cheap grace they believe in, WHICH IS PARDON ONLY, without POWER (GRACE) given for obedience and apostleship, Romans 1:5.

 

It was men like Geoffrey J. Paxton and Desmond Ford, who misled a large segment of Adventists to the demonic throne of cheap grace. The way Paxton and mainline Christianity resemble Catholicism, is in their sin repent theology—that one cannot overcome as did Christ. One is totally and continually dependent upon cheap grace that pardons, but does not empower by giving grace for obedience, Rom. 1:5. This verse will stop any sincere cheap-gracer in his/her tracks and cause re-thinking of the term grace and all it embraces.

 

Rom 1:5   By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 

 

Once Saved, Always Saved Teaching

http://www.allaboutgod.com/once-saved-always-saved.htm

 

The Bible teaches about a great falling away from the truth, apostasy from the truth at the end-time. This alone proves that one can fall out of a saved state of being. Who could deny that Saul was once saved, but lost out on salvation?

http://www.whiteestate.org/books/pp/pp61.html

 

Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

 

The above verse is interpreted by all Bible commentaries to mean persisted in willful sin after having received the knowledge of the truth. Once one has the pure truth, there is nothing left to woo him/her. On-going sin after knowing the truth is resistance to the Holy Ghost, and a continuum of such resistance can drive away the Holy Spirit forever. But it is usually consented that as long as one has a sincere desire to do what is right, hope still remains.

 

Since the mid 1950’s, many Adventists have subscribed to cheap grace, so they tend to do away with the law as well. This is why they will eventually do away with the Sabbath as well, to wit:


 "The Lord has a controversy with his professed people in these last days. In this controversy men in responsible positions will take a course directly opposite to that pursued by Nehemiah. They will not only ignore and despise the Sabbath themselves, but they will try to keep it from others by burying it beneath the rubbish of custom and tradition. In churches and in large gatherings in the open air, ministers, will urge upon the people the necessity of keeping the first day of the week." E.G. White, Review and Herald, Vol. 1, p. 405, col. 3.

 

'The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless."- Selected Messages, Book 1, pp. 204, 205.

 

Dating back to the mid-1950’s, a very SHAKING crisis developed within Adventism concerning the true gospel, the nature of Christ, and the role of justification and sanctification in the life of a Christian. The Evangelicals Dr.’s Walter Martin and Donald Grey Barnhouse held conversations with Adventist leaders LeRoy Froom and Roy Allen Anderson. Others were involved, but these men were the prime players.


To abbreviate a long story, Walter Martin wanted to test SDA theology before he branded them as a cult in his forthcoming book, Kingdom of the Cults.

http://www.eindtijdinbeeld.nl/EiB-Bibliotheek/Boeken/KingdomOfTheCultsWalterMartin.pdf

 https://www.amazon.ca/Kingdom-Cults-Rev-Updated-Ed/dp/0764228218


When Dr. Martin arrived at Adventist Headquarters in Washington, D.C., he went to the Review and Herald office across the street from where he was meeting with Froom and Anderson, and noticed a book there entitled Bible Reading for the Home Circle. Perusing through that book, Martin noticed a statement on the human nature of Christ, saying that He had our sinful flesh. He was abhorred and when he told Froom and Anderson of this finding, they appeared abhorrent as well. This is strange when the Bible says that Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh. But Martin and the SDA leaders Froom and Anderson believed that Christ did not actually possess our sinful flesh, but only a likeness to it. Ellen White said that Christ actually took our nature with the effects of 4,000 years of sin, while not sinning Himself, of course.


Martin also broached the Adventist notion that the Atonement was still being made in heaven (We are in antitypical Day of Atonement since 1844), while he and the Evangelicals believed that the atonement was entire fulfilled on the cross with nothing further to be fulfilled but Christ’s entering once into the heavenly Sanctuary above.


The upshot to all this was that it sparked the beginning of the Great Shaking in Adventism, the greatest since 1888, and indeed brought forth anew many of the disputes of the 1888 debacle. In 1988, there was a centennial celebration of the 100 years since 1888,

http://www.4eange.com/anglais/LIV/SHO/1888/PDF/1888ReExamined99.pdf

 

Geoffrey J. Paxton, along with Desmond Ford, had an impact on many Adventists. He has been an ordained minister in the Anglican Church of Australia. He is a graduate of Australian College of Theology and the University of Queensland. Wikipedia

 


Good News for Seventh-Day Adventists



The Shaking of Adventism

Geoffrey J. Paxton

Conclusion: The Shaking of Adventism


Part I

Contemporary Adventism—especially in the 1970's—is in conflict over the nature of the gospel of Paul and the Reformers. Two contrasting elements (Protestant and Roman Catholic) have always been present in the Adventist articulation of the gospel. But in the modem period they have emerged as two full-grown, distinct theologies. The Protestant articulation of the gospel stands on the Christological and soteriological gains of the 1950's and 1960's. The Roman Catholic approach, in order to survive and grow, must sweep aside twenty years of theological development, for it looks upon the Christological and soteriological emphases of the 1950's and 1960's as inimical to its theological existence. If this latter approach triumphs within Seventh-day Adventism, then there is no doubt in this writer's mind that the movement should restate its claim. For how can one further the work of the Reformers by taking their gospel and refashioning it according to the gospel of Roman Catholicism?


If Adventism has a distinctive contribution, there is little doubt that it lies in the area of eschatology. Most Reformation scholars would be quick to agree that the Reformation stopped short of a full-blown eschatological perspective consistent with its dogmatic center. However, if the Adventist Church is going to speak seriously of furthering the Reformation, she must elucidate her eschatological contribution in a way that builds upon rather than destroys the foundation laid by the Reformers.


Looking over Adventism's history as a whole, we suspect that the initial claims to furthering the Reformation were made in a fairly general fashion. It is even probable that the Reformation was understood in terms of the theological perspective of the early pioneers. Yet the movement has grown considerably since those times, and it is difficult to see how more informed, sophisticated exponents of the Adventist faith can be as naive in their claim to stand in the Reformation stream. The burden of a more faithful representation of the Reformers rests on the present-day Adventist.


The crux of the problem in modern Adventism lies in understanding the relation of justification and sanctification. It was their proper relationship which stood at the heart of the Reformation. No doubt those Adventists who insist that righteousness by faith means justification and sanctification do so out of a sincere desire to honor the law of God and avoid the antinomian pitfall. But it is equally true that those who have included sanctification in the article of righteousness by faith have done so against the better judgment of Paul and the Reformers. Further, inclusion has resulted in fusion.


The height of this approach to righteousness by faith is found in the theology of H. E. Douglass and the Review and Herald leadership of the church. Here the gospel is equated with the believer. (Rome and much neo-Protestantism—e.g., Schleiermacher— have done the same thing.) This is the inevitable result of mixing justification and sanctification. In this theology the medium (the believer) is the message. The infinite qualitative distance between the God-man Saviour and those whom He saves is qualified so that there is only a quantitative difference. Instead of being the unique Saviour, Jesus becomes the "Model Man." Imitation of Christ swallows up faith in His God-man achievement as well as ethical conduct motivated by that achievement. Anyone with the slightest grasp of the Reformation gospel will not fail to see that Douglas' theology is more consistent with Rome than the Reformers. To speak of it as "furthering the work of the Reformation" is to change the meaning of plain words.


I repeat, we must beware of being wiser than Paul and the Reformers in this matter of righteousness by faith. More than once this author has come across the mentality which says, "Sure, that is how righteousness by faith is used in Paul, but we Adventists have chosen to use it this way [i.e., to include both justification and sanctification]." This type of approach carries great dangers:


1. The chief danger is that the distinctive Adventist use of the expression will drastically alter the Pauline-Reformation use. We believe this has happened.


2. This type of approach encourages the suspicion among evangelicals that Adventists want to stand over the Bible instead of under the Bible.


3. Even if the different use of a biblical expression did not ultimately alter its meaning, such a use should still be questioned— especially when the expression is one that lies at the heart of the biblical message. This author is reminded of all too many sermons on biblical texts. Although they may not be saying something incorrect, they are not saying what the text says. While they may state theological truth, the use of the text confuses people about what the Bible is saying. People are thus encouraged to move away from the biblical message.


Part II


In this section I wish to allow myself more liberty than I have in the course of my presentation up to now The reason is that this project has more than academic interest to me. For one thing, I do not believe that justice is done to the Adventist or his movement if I look at his position from merely a detached academic viewpoint. It is obvious that, in my examination of the central hub of Adventism, the Adventist wishes me to examine myself!


From my own perspective, I cannot help but be deeply interested in the mission of Adventists. I am a churchman who stands in the tradition of the Reformation. Hence, I am more than slightly interested in a movement which unashamedly informs me that it has been raised up by God to carry forward the work of the Reformation in a way that I cannot!


Once I was assured of the fundamental Christian stance of Seventh-day Adventism, I determined to execute my task in the spirit of one who is open to being taught, even if from an unexpected source. Thus, I intend to be honest and frank, for I believe that is what a true Adventist would want me to be.


1. To begin with, the Advent movement has, when all things are considered, done amazingly well. From a small, nondescript, and isolated group of refugees from the Millerite movement, it has grown into a formidable humanitarian establishment in the world. Whatever one's creed or candor, he cannot deny this fact.


2. Further, the Adventist is one who is in utter earnestness about the execution of what he believes is his special commission from God. Irrespective of what one thinks about how well the Adventist has carried out this commission, the fact that he is a highly zealous devotee cannot be gainsaid. Nor is this earnestness mere blind religious enthusiasm in many cases. In the years of my investigation into Adventism, I have encountered a zeal for the doctrine of justification by faith barely matched anywhere else. Many of the rank-and-file Adventists I have met are completely "sold" on the gospel of free justification in Christ.


3. Another aspect of Adventist consciousness deserves commendation. The Adventist is zealous for the law of God. Zeal for God's law and legalism are not synonymous, even though some who are zealous for the law would encourage us to make the equation. However, most Adventists that I have encountered are zealous for God's law as an expression of the reality of justification in the life of the believer. To state it another way, the Adventist is anxious to hold justification by grace and judgment according to works in their proper biblical tension. He believes that so much emphasis on the former has meant a detraction from the latter. This concern to hold justification by grace and judgment according to works in proper tension must be applauded by all who wish to take the biblical perspective seriously. The proper relating of law and gospel in one's daily life is important, especially in an age of flabby sentimentalism and situation ethics.


Having said all this—and in no way intending to detract from it—I wish to express some perplexing aspects of Adventism which relate to the central concern of this book:


1. The Adventist community gives considerable evidence of being isolationist. 1 This was particularly the case in the early decades of the movement; and it is still to be found today, though to a lesser degree. The early pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism tended to believe that the Holy Spirit Dove flew straight from the apostles to their own shoulders—with only occasional stop-overs in the intervening period. They blithely brushed aside virtually the whole history of doctrinal development in the Christian church.


The price the Adventist community has paid for this is that it has had to repeat the mistakes of the past. It is fascinating to observe how Adventism has re-enacted the doctrinal struggles of the church down the ages. The movement has struggled through a period of dry legalism, the Trinitarian and Christological issues, the question of the nature of the atonement, and now it is embroiled in conflict over soteriology. (It should come as a warning to Adventism that when the Christian church arrived at the soteriological issue in the sixteenth century, there was a serious split in her ranks.) Much needless struggle—and much unnecessary suspicion from other Christians—could have been avoided if the early Adventists could have conceded that the Holy Spirit had been at work well before the "remnant" community arrived on the scene.


This isolationism is still in evidence today I have come across it more than once in my research into the movement. When, in the spirit of honest inquiry, I visited the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists at Washington, D.C., I found a reluctance among leaders to be honest about the church's conflict over the nature of the gospel. I met with a real effort to assure me that all was well in the remnant community—when I knew all the while that such was not the case. This publication is a refusal to allow my Adventist brothers the privilege of dealing with the matter in a corner. The reason for my refusal is that I am convinced that the struggle the Adventist Church is undergoing at present is a struggle which concerns all evangelical Christians. And my reason for believing this is what the Adventists themselves have taught me!


Look at it this way: The Adventist has gone to great pains to assure me that God has raised him up to correct my misunderstanding of the Reformation gospel and thereby to stop my slide toward Roman Catholicism. And yet Adventism is in a life-and-death struggle over the real nature of the gospel within its own ranks. Should I not be interested in that conflict? And should not all "apostate Protestants" be interested in it as well? But who is going to listen to a community about the gospel if that community itself cannot agree on what the gospel is?


I suspect that this is why the leaders of the General Conference attempted to "play down" the struggle when I visited Washington, D.C. They were doubtless afraid that knowledge of this conflict would make their stupendous claim less credible in the Protestant world. However, as I have sought to point out, it is only fair that evangelical Protestants be made aware of the shaking that is taking place within Adventism today.


2. Another feature which I have observed within Adventism is triumphalism.2 Let me be quick to say that if anyone would be tempted to triumphalism, it would be the person who sincerely believes that he is God's latter-day special. However, triumphalism is not intrinsic to the movement, and there are enough warnings in Scripture (e.g., Mark 10:42-45) to keep the Adventist (and for that matter, all of us) on guard. Also, there are enough warnings in Ellen G. White to convince the Adventist that arrogant self-infatuation and the tendency to be a law unto oneself are contrary to the Spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10).


A triumphalistic church and a triumphalistic leadership will not be quick to repent and to openly acknowledge mistakes. Unqualified admission that mistakes have been made are rare in Adventism.


Take for example the period of the 1950's to the 1970's. The book, Questions on Doctrine, was a real break with past Adventist teaching on Christology, especially the matter of the sinful human nature of Christ. Yet to my knowledge there was not one open acknowledgment of this to either the rank-and-file members of the Adventist Church or to the evangelical Protestant world. Why? Why was it covered up by saying that only a few on the "lunatic fringe" held and taught what had actually been the Adventist position before that time?


At present there is evidence of a retraction of what was written in Questions on Doctrine. I have heard Adventist leaders speak of it as "damnable heresy" I have seen letters from Washington, D.C., making it plain that the present leadership of the church is much opposed to the book. Once again, there is not one open statement to this effect. Quite apart from evangelical Protestants who were led to believe that Questions on Doctrine represents the official mind of the church, many rank-and-file Adventists are in confusion about its present status among church leaders. Why all the silence? Does the Adventist leadership not wish the evangelical Protestant world to know that it has made some big mistakes?


Take also the matter of the leadership's conflict with Robert Brinsmead in the 1960's. It opposed Brinsmead and made use of Dr. Heppenstall and Dr. Ford in the process. Then, in the 1970's Brinsmead was converted to Heppenstall and Ford's position. One would expect the leaders to be overjoyed. Yet the well-nigh inexplicable fact is that the church leaders—via the Review and Herald in particular—have embraced Brinsmead's old position and, in the case of Dr. Ford at least, have brought their previous powerful instruments under pressure. The point I wish to make is this: Not one word of public acknowledgment concerning this about-face has come from the leadership of the church. There is only astounding silence about the fact that what was opposed in the 1960's is now embraced. Why the lack of candor? Is this leadership able to truly repent?


In reviewing the central thrust of Adventism, I have been intrigued to observe the striking parallels between the leadership's behavior at the time of the 1888 revival and the role of the leadership today in the current conflict. Is the present shaking 1888 redivivus? Let me cite a few examples of what I speak about.


In discussing issues with some of the church's leaders in Washington, D.C., I met with the assurance that there "isn't an Adventist in the land who doesn't know what justification by faith alone is." Did not Uriah Smith, then editor of the Review and Herald, say exactly the same thing in response to the revival that Waggoner and Jones were bringing? 3


Likewise, the great fear of Uriah Smith was that the new emphasis of Waggoner and Jones was similar to the doctrine of Protestant "Babylonians." Has not this same response been forthcoming in the present shaking? Have there not been fears expressed that the new emphasis on justification within Adventism is an adoption of "Babylonian" Protestant religion?


Furthermore, both in the 1888 crisis and in the present struggle, I have observed the call back to "Historic" Adventism by those in opposition to the revival of justification by faith.


How can the Seventh-day Adventist Church call the evangelical Protestant churches to repentance when she gives little evidence —particularly among her leadership —of knowing what real repentance actually is? Perhaps, in light of some references to repentance in recent issues of the Review and Herald, I should make clear that I am referring to repentance on central theological matters and not to window-dressing repentance on side issues. Of course, what I say to my brethren in the Adventist community I say to my own denomination and to Christians everywhere. Let us pray that we shall not be like Esau, who sought repentance and did not find it.


3. There is the Adventist fear of antinomianism. No one who wishes to take the Bible seriously should quibble at this fear. We mention it here not to criticize it as such, but rather to draw attention to the unhealthy office that it frequently holds in Adventism.


The fear of antinomianism often drives the Adventist into the opposite error of legalism. Both legalism and antinomianism are to be avoided. Both errors seek to rob God of His glory. But the Adventist must beware of thinking that legalism is the lesser of the two evils.


The attempt within Adventism to place sanctification in the article of righteousness by faith is an effort to avoid antinomianism. There is the fear that, if justification is stressed, sanctification will be given lesser stress. But this fear is not biblical. Not only is it not biblical, but excluding sanctification from the article of righteousness by faith actually ends antinomianism. The law is only honored when there is an unqualified acknowledgment that all of its demands, in their severest dimension, are met in the doing and dying of Jesus, the God-man. This is the good news! However, when it is suggested that the believer's keeping of the law constitutes a part of the good news (or the whole!), as in the theology of Douglass, then the law is dishonored. For all the efforts of the believer in this life never reach the standard of God Himself in the God-man, Jesus of Nazareth. The Adventist community must overcome the type of reaction to antinomianism that results in legalism if it is to show the Protestant world the proper relation between the law and the gospel.

Note by Ron: The above statement is where Paxton makes his real belief plain as day! Jesus met all the requirements of the law on the cross. How does this square with Jesus’ admonition?

Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Obviously, a CONDITION for entering into life, eternal life, is keeping the commandments. That is impossible for humans, but not for Christ to do within us, if we surrender our wills to Him. He puts His commandments in our hearts to do them under the New Covenant. But according to the gospel of Paxton and mainline Christianity, all this was met in the doing and dying of Jesus ON THE CROSS, the God-man. So Matthew 19:17 becomes meaningless garble according to Paxton’s gospel which is that of mainline Christianity. End note by Ron.


4. Finally, I wish to comment on the use of Ellen G. White in the present shaking within Adventism. When I interpret Mrs. White at her best, I hear her calling the Adventist community back to the Bible as the final norm in all matters of controversy:

"The Bible is to be presented as the word of the infinite God, as the end of all controversy and the foundation of all faith." 4

Yet in the present shaking within Adventism, I have observed a frantic rushing to the voluminous writings of Ellen White to find statements that will score a point against the opponent. This is to say nothing of the dreaded "compilations" which wrench this saying and that saying out of context and then place them side by side to form the authoritative last word in the struggle. This type of action neither honors the Bible nor Mrs. White. It is a sad sign of a people who take another human being—however gifted and used of God— and place her above the Bible and herself.


Note by Ron: Matt. 19:17 IS BIBLE!. End note.


That is not all. I mentioned that Mrs. White wrote voluminously Those writings took place over a considerable period of time. They took place in specific contexts, and they stood in a definite relationship to each other. To use those writings correctly (so as not to misrepresent them) requires a great deal more skill than is generally being exhibited. I know for a fact that some scholars within Adventism are very concerned over the superficial and childish use made of Ellen White's writings. She has a wax nose. She is turned this way, and then that way, and then this way again. If Adventists wish to bring Mrs. White to the place where she has no authority at all in their movement, let them keep using her writings as a source for point-scoring in their intra-church squabbles. The final end of being made to take all positions is to take no position at all!


I fear very deeply that the use made of Mrs. White in Seventh-day Adventism is testimony to an un-Protestant attitude toward the Bible. I fear that many Adventists have a Roman Catholic (can we even say that any more?) belief that the Bible is too difficult for rank-and-file Christians to understand. In place of the Bible, they turn to Mrs. White to tell them what God says. The leaders, theologians, and pastors of the church must accept the blame for this state of affairs. Who else has taught the laity to behave this way? Let me say clearly that, so long as this situation exists, Adventism has no hope of influencing evangelical Protestants who claim the Reformers—with their Sola Scriptura (the Bible alone) —as their forefathers.


Note by Ron: Is Matthew 19:17 too difficult for Paxton and the rank and file of mainline Christians to understand? The BASIC main reason for the apostasy existing in the leadership and ranks of Seventh-day Adventism, is because of their adoption of Babylon’s false gospel that we cannot overcome, and don’t need to because Christ did it all for us on the Cross! Thus, they believe that they cannot commit any apostasy, and that it is only natural to do what they do—OPENLY SIN. End note by Ron.


I conclude with a charge to the church's leaders, theologians, and pastors:

The Bible, and the Bible alone, is to be our creed, the sole bond of union; all who bow to this Holy Word will be in harmony. Our own views and ideas must not control our efforts. Man is fallible, but God's Word is infallible. Instead of wrangling with one another, let men exalt the Lord. Let us meet all opposition as did our Master, saying, "It is written." Let us lift up the banner on which is inscribed, The Bible our rule of faith and discipline.5

———————————————————

1.  Isolationist does not mean being a distinctive denomination but behaving as though no other denomination exists.

2. Consider the following as an example of triumphalism. At a General Conference worship, Jan. 9, 1976, Robert H. Pierson said: "When you and I joined the General Conference family something special happened to us. When we begin work in the General Conference office we become part of what inspiration describes as God's highest authority on earth. ... All of us are something special in God's sight. Our relationship to our church, to the world field, to one another, and to the work entrusted to us is unique. We are part of 'the highest authority that God has on earth.'... These three buildings are not ordinary buildings.... These buildings constitute a consecrated place where God, through His appointed servants —you, me — directs His worldwide work. ... As those of us here on the General Conference staff continue our unique service for Him, let us remember that we are daily, hourly, momentarily a part of a group of leaders that constitute the highest authority of God upon earth..." (Robert H. Pierson, The Ministry, June 1976). Pope Paul, please take note! (A thoughtful observer could not but see that this Rome-like ecclesiology springs from a soteriology of the same character.)

3. Uriah Smith, "Our Righteousness," Review and Herald, 11 June 1889; idem, "Our Righteousness Again," ibid., 2 July 1889.

4. Ellen G. White, Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 39-40.

5. E.G. White, Selected Messages, 1:416.

The End


The following article is by Dr. Erwin Gane

http://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1429&context=auss commenting on an article by Geoffrey J. Paxton:

 

While the author, an Anglican clergyman, regards the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a genuinely Christian body and rejects the charge that it is a mere sect, he raises questions concerning the claim that the Adventist movement is a perpetuation, extension, and final completion of the sixteenth-century Reformation. He argues that the heart of Reformation faith was the doctrine of justification which Luther, Calvin, and other Reformers defined as God's forensic act of pronouncing the believer righteous on the basis of Christ's merits. Any concept of justification as making righteous is relegated by Paxton to the category of medieval and Tridentine Roman Catholicism. Here is the basis of his major critique of Seventh-day Adventism. He feels that to a greater or lesser extent most Adventist authors, with the exception of a few contemporaries, have regressed to Roman Catholicism either by defining justification as the act by which God makes righteous, or by incorporating sanctification into the sola fide doctrine, regarding it as a vital aspect of God's saving work for man. "For the Reformers, Christ alone meant Jesus Christ the God-man, and not Christ's indwelling the believer by the Holy Spirit" (p. 42).

 

It should be pointed out that although Ellen G. White and other Adventist authors have depicted Adventism as an extension of the Reformation, they have consistently maintained the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Scripture, not Reformation theology, is stated to be the sole authoritative source of their faith. Insofar as the Reformers are regarded as Scripturally sound, their teachings are accepted; otherwise they are rejected. Paxton's critique would have been far more pertinent if it had stemmed from an exegetical study resulting in evaluation of Adventist biblical exegesis. Never once does he attempt to exegete any Bible passage, even though he invokes Paul's authority for his theology of justification.


Not only has Paxton failed to apprehend that the Scriptures, not the Reformers, are the ultimate authority for Adventists; he has also failed to grasp a true understanding of the Reformers' view of justification. In ignoring the inner work of the Holy Spirit as an integral part of God's justifying act, Paxton overlooks a major Reformation motif. Luther contradicted Faxton's thesis in The Disputation Concerning Justification (1536) by asserting that "this movement of justification is the work of God in us, to which our propositions refer" (Luther's Works, .4m. ed., 34: 177; hereinafter cited LW). In the same work he explained his teaching that God's righteousness is outside of us. "To be outside of us means not to be out of our powers.

 

Righteousness is our possession, to be sure, since it was given to us out of mercy. Nevertheless, it is foreign to us, because we have not merited it" (LW, 34: 178). Luther insisted that the righteousness of Christ is "in us but is entirely outside of us in Christ and yet becomes our very own, as though we ourselves had achieved and earned it" (LW, 24: 347; cf. 26: 26, 130, 151). This righteousness is bestowed by the Holy Spirit (LW, 27: 172, 238, 332; 13:5; WA 39/1: 435, 483, 383, 388). It is both complete and partial; complete since it is participation in Christ's righteousness, partial since man in his human nature remains a sinful being (LW, 32: 227-228, 232).

 Despite his opposition to Osiancler, John Calvin taught as did Luther on this issue, Paxton notwithstanding. Calvin rejected the Scholastic notion of a habitus created in the soul of man by the Holy Spirit (Institutes, iii.ll.5).

 

Nevertheless, he understood justification (imputation) as involving a "mystical union" with Christ, by which he meant "the residence of Christ in our hearts" (ibicl. iii. 11.10). "Hence we do not view him as at a distance and without us, but as we have put him on, and been ingrafted into his body, he designs to make us one with himself, and, therefore, we glory in having a fellowship of righteousness with him" (ihid.; cf. iii. 1.1, 3; iv. 17.10; i. 1.1; Comm. on John 17:21). Paxton seems unable to distinguish between righteousness bestowed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life and the Scholastic and Tridentine doctrine of essential righteousness. It is the former view, thoroughly germane to Reformation theology, which many Adventist authors (including Ellen G. White) have consistently maintained.

 

There is a veritable plethora of recent scholarly literature, not discussed  by Paxton, which soundly contradicts his interpretation of the Reformation from either an exegetical or an historical point of view. After a lifetime of study, Paul Althaus in his Theology of Martin Luther (Philadelphia, 1966), p. 231, is able to outline Luther's concept of justification as definitely as this:

 

"Christ is the righteousness of men and to this extent this righteousness is outside of us. But Christ is my righteousness only if I appropriate him and make him my own. Only the Christ who is appropriated in faith, that is, the Christ who lives in my heart through faith is my righteousness. Christ is not only the 'object' of faith but is himself present in faith. Through faith Christ is present with and in a man." Althus discovers both a forensic and an experiential element in justification as defined by the early and the later Luther (ibid., pp. 226, 235). Hence, he contradicts Paxton's distinction between Luther's early and later works dealing with justification (Paxton, p. 37). According to Althaus, Luther argued that in justification a man becomes "righteous in himself" because "God's Holy Spirit is poured into the heart" (pp. 234-235). Significantly, Paxton incorporates Althaus's book into his bibliography but nowhere discusses his interpretation of Luther.

 

Many other Luther specialists agree with Althaus. (See Robin Leaver, Luther on Justification [St. Louis, 19751, p. 62); Heinrich Bornkamm, 422 SEMINARY STUDIES Luther's World of Thought [St. Louis, 19581, p. 170; Regin Prenter, Spiritus Creator [Copenhagen, 19761; Gordon Rupp, Luther's Progress to the Diet of Worms, 1521 [London, 19511, pp. 35, 40-41; Rupp, The Righteousness of God, Luther Studies [London, 19531, pp. 171-184; Franz Hilderbrandt, From Luther to Wesley [London, 19511, pp. 19-24; Jared Wicks, Man Yearning for Grace [Wiesbaden, 19691, pp. 104-108.)

 

Earl F. Gossett, The Doctrine of Justification in the Theology of John Calvin, Albrecht Ritschl, and Reinhold Niebuhr (Ann Arbor, Mich., 1961),pp. 70-89, convincingly demonstrates that which Paxton denies regarding Calvin's understanding of justification as involving unto mystica. Walter E. Stuermann, Critical Study of Calvin's Concept of Faith (Tulsa, 1952), pp. 181-196, interprets Calvin's concept of justification very much as Gossett does. So also do Wilhelm Niesel, The Theology of Calvin (Philadelphia, 1956), pp. 122-138,and Franqois Wendel, Caluin: The Origins and Development of His Religious Thought (New York, 1950, 1963), pp. 233-263. One could have expected that a thesis such as Paxton's, purporting to criticize Adventist theology on the basis of Reformation teaching, would at least have taken adequate cognizance of well-known works dealing with the thought of Luther and Calvin.

 

From the exegetical point of view, the whole tenor of Gottlob Schrenk's discussion of dikaios and dikaiosund theou in TDNT, 2: 182-225 (see esp. pp. 205-206), provides very competent validation of the contention that Rom 1:17 and other passages in which Paul uses these words have reference not merely to a divine forensic declaration, but also to a subjective work of the Spirit of God as part of the act by which the believer is justified. Schrenk represents justification as involving an impartation of righteousness to the believer. (For corroboration see Hans Conzelmann, A n Outline of the Theology of the Nezu Te~tanzent[New York, 19681, pp. 213-220, and Giinther Bornkamm, Paul [New York, 1969, 19711, pp. 136-141). Significantly, H. W. Heidland in his article on logizomai (TDNT, vol. 4 ) recognizes in the Pauline use of the term the allotment of righteousness to the believer (p. 291) SO that "he becomes a new creature through God's logizesthai. Hence Gal 3:2-6 can equate justification with the receiving of the Spirit and quote Gen 15:6 in support of justification" (p. 292).

 

Finally, Paxton would do well to heed Gordon Rupp's warning that, not only is Luther "the least typical of Protestants," but also he is incomprehensible to those "who pick out" from his works "elements of Protestant or Catholic orthodoxy and dismiss the rest as muddle" (The Righteousless of God, pp. 81, 256). Such a partisan approach to the Reformation is hardly a valid basis for criticizing the theology of Seventh-day Adventism.

 

Erwin  R. Gane

Pacific Union College

*Angwin, California

 

A Response by Omega Countdown Ministries to The Shaking of Adventism by Geoffrey J. Paxton


My response will be specifically to the following statement by Geoffrey Paxton:

The law is only honored when there is an unqualified acknowledgment that all of its demands, in their severest dimension, are met in the doing and dying of Jesus, the God-man. This is the good news! However, when it is suggested that the believer's keeping of the law constitutes a part of the good news (or the whole!), as in the theology of Douglass, then the law is dishonored. For all the efforts of the believer in this life never reach the standard of God Himself in the God-man, Jesus of Nazareth. The Adventist community must overcome the type of reaction to antinomianism that results in legalism if it is to show the Protestant world the proper relation between the law and the gospel.”

The above statement is where Paxton makes his real belief plain as day! Jesus met all the requirements of the law on the cross. How does this square with Jesus’ admonition?:

Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

One simple verse is all it takes to expose Geoffrey Paxton and the free, cheap gracers. One could go into many more texts like the law being planted in the heart under the New Covenant, and the fact that the New Testament restates all of the ten commandments.

https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/10-commandments/the-ten-commandments/10-commandments-new-testament/


Why would the New Testament restate all ten of the commandments if they were all dealt with at the Cross, and thus nailed to the Cross?


Obviously, a CONDITION for entering into life, eternal life, is keeping the commandments. That is impossible for humans, but not for Christ to do within us, if we surrender our wills to Him. He puts His commandments in our hearts to do them under the New Covenant. But according to the gospel of Paxton and mainline Christianity, all this was met in the doing and dying of Jesus ON THE CROSS, the God-man. So Matthew 19:17 becomes meaningless garble according to Paxton’s gospel which is that of mainline Christianity.


The following admonitions of Scripture are foolish and superfluous if the law was entirely dealt with at the Cross and then nailed to it. The Bible says that the law is perfect, converting the soul.


Psalms 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.


The reason that the law is perfect is because it is a transcript of the character of Christ. So if it is perfect and converts the soul by convincing one of sin, why would it be abolished by nailing it to the cross?

Deu 18:13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.

1Ki 8:61 Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.

Mat 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

2Co 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

Phl 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Jas 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Gen 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

1Ch 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

Job 36:4 For truly my words shall not be false: he that is perfect in knowledge is with thee.

Psa 101:6 Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.

Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Luk 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

Jhn 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Heb 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Rev 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

 

The reason men like Paxton and the Evangelicals don’t believe that Jesus took our sinful flesh is because they don’t want to overcome sin as He did.

 

Jesus tells us that if we love Him we will keep His commandments. That is a test of our love for Him. If that test had been nailed to the cross, we would have no test for knowing that we love Him.


When Jesus says, "Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect," does that mean we can attain perfection, and should we?

http://www.ligonier.org/learn/qas/when-jesus-says-be-ye-perfect-your-father-heaven-p/

 

https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/4900/what-did-jesus-mean-by-be-perfect-in-the-sermon-on-the-mount

 

Son’s and Daughter’s of God To Confess Christ,

July 1

 

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 1 John 4:15. {SD 189.1}

 

The confession of which John here speaks, is not the result of a nominal faith, but is the result of an abiding faith in the living Saviour,—the result of believing that the blessings of salvation are brought within our reach through the sufferings and death of Christ, who was raised from the dead, and ever liveth to make intercession for us. We should feel assured that Jesus is our Saviour, and that life would not be enjoyable, nor afford us peace or hope, if He had not loved us and given Himself for us.1{SD 189.2}

 

Our claim to Christ’s righteousness is without a flaw, if we meet the conditions upon which it is promised. God has bestowed upon us all heaven in one rich gift, and whatever the gift includes is ours, if we accept Christ as our personal Saviour.... Speak of Jesus, educate the tongue to speak of His mercy, to tell of His power, showing forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 2{SD 189.3}

 

Christian youth, you are a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. Be brave in God. Put on the whole armor of God, and let unbelievers about you see that your life is not spoiled because you stand loyal and true to all the commandments of God. You can be, and God requires you to be, a decided witness for Him. 3{SD 189.4}

 

We need to dwell on the words of courage that Christ spoke to His disciples toward the close of His earthly ministry.... Though a cruel death was just before Him, Christ’s words to His followers were full of hope. He desired to bring all the comfort possible to their hearts. Let us be strong in Him. 4 {SD 189.5}


Bible Readings for the Home Circle

Chapter 39

A Sinless Life

Ellen G. White Chapter 22—Emphasis on Salvation Theme—1890-1908

 

The Provision for Salvation—Penances, mortifications of the flesh, constant confession of sin, without sincere repentance; fasts, festivals, and outward observances, unaccompanied by true devotion—all these are of no value whatever. The sacrifice of Christ is sufficient; He made a whole, efficacious offering to God; and human effort without the merit of Christ, is worthless. We not only dishonor God by taking this course but we destroy our present and future usefulness. A failure to appreciate the value of the offering of Christ, has a debasing influence; it blights our expectations, and makes us fall short of our privileges; it leads us to receive unsound and perilous theories concerning the salvation that has been purchased for us at infinite cost. The plan of salvation is not understood to be that through which divine power is brought to man in order that his human effort may be wholly successful. {3SM 190.1}

 

To be pardoned in the way that Christ pardons, is not only to be forgiven, but to be renewed in the spirit of our mind. The Lord says, “A new heart will I give unto thee.” The image of Christ is to be stamped upon the very mind, heart, and soul. The apostle says, “But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Without the transforming process which can come alone through divine power, the original propensities to sin are left in the heart in all their strength, to forge new chains, to impose a slavery that can never be broken by human power. But men can never enter heaven with their old tastes, inclinations, idols, ideas, and theories. Heaven would be no place of joy to them; for everything would be in collision with their tastes, appetites, and inclinations, and painfully opposed to their natural and cultivated traits of character. {3SM 190.2}

 

Happiness is the result of holiness and conformity to the will of God. Those who would be saints in heaven must first be saints upon the earth; for when we leave this earth, we shall take our character with us, and this will be simply taking with us some of the elements of heaven imparted to us through the righteousness of Christ.—The Review and Herald, August 19, 1890. {3SM 191.1}

 

Justification and Sanctification Accomplished Through Faith—1890—When through repentance and faith we accept Christ as our Saviour, the Lord pardons our sins, and remits the penalty prescribed for the transgression of the law. The sinner then stands before God as a just person; he is taken into favor with Heaven, and through the Spirit has fellowship with the Father and the Son. {3SM 191.2}

 

Then there is yet another work to be accomplished, and this is of a progressive nature. The soul is to be sanctified through the truth. And this also is accomplished through faith. For it is only by the grace of Christ, which we receive through faith, that the character can be transformed. {3SM 191.3}

 

It is important that we understand clearly the nature of faith. There are many who believe that Christ is the Saviour of the world, that the gospel is true and reveals the plan of salvation, yet they do not possess saving faith. They are intellectually convinced of the truth, but this is not enough; in order to be justified, the sinner must have that faith that appropriates the merits of Christ to his own soul. We read that the devils “believe, and tremble,” but their belief does not bring them justification, neither will the belief of those who give a merely intellectual assent to the truths of the Bible bring them the benefits of salvation. This belief fails of reaching the vital point, for the truth does not engage the heart or transform the character. {3SM 191.4}

 

In genuine, saving faith, there is trust in God, through the belief in the great atoning sacrifice made by the Son of God on Calvary. In Christ, the justified believer beholds his only hope and deliverer. Belief may exist without trust, but confidence born of trust cannot exist without faith. Every sinner brought to a knowledge of the saving power of Christ, will make manifest this trust in greater degree as he advances in experience.—The Signs of the Times, November 3, 1890. {3SM 192.1}

 

Resisting Temptation—1891—Many seem to think that it is impossible not to fall under temptation, that they have no power to overcome, and they sin against God with their lips, talking discouragement and doubt, instead of faith and courage. Christ was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. He said, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” What does this mean? It means that the prince of evil could find no vantage ground in Christ for his temptation; and so it may be with us.—The Review and Herald, May 19, 1891. {3SM 192.2}

 

Perfection Not Reached by One Bound—1891—We are looking beyond time; we are looking to eternity. We are trying to live in such a way that Christ can say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Let us live, every one of us, in that way. We may make mistakes; we may err; but God will not leave us in error. “If we sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” There is hope for us; we are prisoners of hope. {3SM 192.3}

 

Let us grasp the rich promises of God. The garden of God is full of rich promises. Oh, let us gather them; let us take them home; let us show that we believe in God. Let us take Him at His word; let not one of us be found distrusting God or doubting Him. {3SM 192.4}

 

Let us be growing Christians. We are not to stand still. We are to be in advance today of what we were yesterday; every day learning to be more trustful, more fully relying upon Jesus. Thus we are to grow up. You do not at one bound reach perfection; sanctification is the work of a lifetime.... {3SM 193.1}

 

I remember in 1843 a man and his wife ... who expected the Lord to come in 1844, and they were waiting and watching. And every day they would pray to God; before they would bid each other goodnight, they would say, “It may be the Lord will come when we are asleep, and we want to be ready.” The husband would ask his wife if he had said a word during the day that she had thought was not in accordance with the truth and the faith which they professed, and then she would ask him the same question. Then they would bow before the Lord and ask Him if they had sinned in thought or word or action, and if so that He would forgive that transgression. Now we want just such simplicity as this. {3SM 193.2}

 

You want to be like little children, hanging upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour, and then you will be fortified. How? The angels of God will be around you as a wall of fire. The righteousness of Christ, which you claim, goes before you, and the glory of God is your rearward. God sanctify the tongues; God sanctify the thoughts; God sanctify our minds, that we may dwell upon heavenly themes, and then that we may impart that knowledge and light to others. There is great advancement for us, and do not stop here. May God help you to make the most of your responsibilities.—Manuscript 9, 1891. {3SM 193.3}

 

Justification Explained—1891—Justification by faith is to many a mystery. A sinner is justified by God when he repents of his sins. He sees Jesus upon the cross of Calvary. Why all this suffering? The law of Jehovah has been broken. The law of God’s government in heaven and earth has been transgressed, and the penalty of sin is pronounced to be death. But “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Oh, what love, what matchless love! Christ, the Son of God, dying for guilty man! {3SM 193.4}

 

The sinner views the spirituality of the law of God and its eternal obligations. He sees the love of God in providing a substitute and surety for guilty man, and that substitute is One equal with God. This display of grace in the gift of salvation to the world fills the sinner with amazement. This love of God to man breaks every barrier down. He comes to the cross, which has been placed midway between divinity and humanity, and repents of his sins of transgression, because Christ has been drawing him to Himself. He does not expect the law to cleanse him from sin, for there is no pardoning quality in the law to save the transgressors of the law. He looks to the atoning Sacrifice as his only hope, through repentance toward God—because the laws of His government have been broken—and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ as the One who can save and cleanse the sinner from every transgression. {3SM 194.1}

 

The mediatorial work of Christ commenced with the commencement of human guilt and suffering and misery, as soon as man became a transgressor. The law was not abolished to save man and bring him into union with God. But Christ assumed the office of his surety and deliverer in becoming sin for man, that man might become the righteousness of God in and through Him who was one with the Father. Sinners can be justified by God only when He pardons their sins, remits the punishment they deserve, and treats them as though they were really just and had not sinned, receiving them into divine favor and treating them as if they were righteous. They are justified alone through the imputed righteousness of Christ. The Father accepts the Son, and through the atoning sacrifice of His Son accepts the sinner. {3SM 194.2}

 

A General Faith Is Not Enough—A general faith is entertained by many, and their assent is given that Christianity is the only hope for perishing souls. But to believe this intellectually is not sufficient to the saving of the soul.... {3SM 194.3}

 

There will be need not only of faith but of a trust in God. This is the true faith of Abraham, a faith which produced fruits. “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness” (James 2:23). When God told him to offer his son as a sacrifice it was the same voice that had spoken telling him to leave his country and go into a land which God would show him. Abraham was saved by faith in Christ as verily as the sinner is saved by faith in Christ today. {3SM 195.1}

 

The faith that justifies always produces first true repentance, and then good works, which are the fruit of that faith. There is no saving faith that does not produce good fruit. God gave Christ to our world to become the sinner’s substitute. The moment true faith in the merits of the costly atoning sacrifice is exercised, claiming Christ as a personal Saviour, that moment the sinner is justified before God, because he is pardoned.—MS 46, 1891 {3SM 195.2}

 

How to Overcome—1891—John pointed the people to the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. He said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” There is a great deal in that “taketh away.” The question is, Shall we keep on sinning as though it were an impossibility for us to overcome? How are we to overcome? As Christ overcame, and that is the only way. He prayed to His heavenly Father. We can do the same.... When tempted to speak wrong and do wrong resist Satan and say, I will not surrender my will to your control. I will cooperate with divine power and through grace be conqueror.—Manuscript 83, 1891. {3SM 195.3}

 

Christ Makes Up for Our Unavoidable Deficiencies—1891—Jesus loves His children, even if they err. They belong to Jesus and we are to treat them as the purchase of the blood of Jesus Christ. Any unreasonable course pursued toward them is written in the books as against Jesus Christ. He keeps His eye upon them, and when they do their best, calling upon God for His help, be assured the service will be accepted, although imperfect. {3SM 195.4}

 

Jesus is perfect. Christ’s righteousness is imputed unto them, and He will say, “Take away the filthy garments from him and clothe him with change of raiment.” Jesus makes up for our unavoidable deficiencies. Where Christians are faithful to each other, true and loyal to the Captain of the Lord’s host, never betraying trusts into the enemy’s hands, they will be transformed into Christ’s character. Jesus will abide in their hearts by faith.—Letter 17a, 1891 (See also a similar statement made in 1885 in Faith and Works, 50.) {3SM 196.1}

 

Flee to Christ as Soon as Sin Is Committed—1892—Many do not pray. They feel under condemnation for sin, and they think they must not come to God until they have done something to merit His favor or until God has forgotten about their transgressions. They say, “I cannot hold up holy hands before God without wrath or doubting, and therefore I cannot come.” So they remain away from Christ, and are committing sin all the time in so doing, for without Him you can do nothing but evil. {3SM 196.2}

 

Just as soon as you commit sin, you should flee to the throne of grace, and tell Jesus all about it. You should be filled with sorrow for sin, because through sin you have weakened your own spirituality, grieved the heavenly angels, and wounded and bruised the loving heart of your Redeemer. When you have asked Jesus in contrition of soul for His forgiveness, believe that He has forgiven you. Do not doubt His divine mercy or refuse the comfort of His infinite love.—The Bible Echo, February 1, 1892 (Discourse at Melbourne, Australia, December 19, 1891.) {3SM 196.3}

 

What If We Sin After We Have Been Forgiven?—1892—It is the Holy Spirit that imparts repentance to us. Jesus draws us to Himself through the agency of His divine Spirit; and through faith in His blood we are cleansed from sin: “for the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (Verse 9). {3SM 196.4}

 

But suppose that we sin after we have been forgiven, after we have become the children of God, then need we despair?—No: for John writes: “My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (chap. 2:1). Jesus is in the heavenly courts, pleading with the Father in our behalf. He presents our prayers, mingling with them the precious incense of His own merit, that our prayers may be acceptable to the Father. He puts the fragrance into our prayers, and the Father hears us because we ask for the very things which we need, and we become to others a savor of life unto life. {3SM 197.1}

 

Jesus came to suffer in our behalf, that He might impart to us His righteousness. There is but one way of escape for us, and that is found only in becoming partakers of the divine nature. {3SM 197.2}

 

But many say that Jesus was not like us, that He was not as we are in the world, that He was divine, and that we cannot overcome as He overcame. But Paul writes, “Verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:16-18). “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (chap. 4:15, 16). Jesus says, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my father in his throne” (Revelation 3:21). {3SM 197.3}

 

Jesus encircled the race with His humanity, and united divinity with humanity; thus moral power is brought to man through the merits of Jesus. Those who profess His name through His grace are to sanctify themselves that they may exert a sanctifying influence on all with whom they associate.—The Review and Herald, March 1, 1892. {3SM 198.1}

 

No Time to Fold Our Hands—1892—As we come to feel our utter reliance upon Christ for salvation, are we to fold our hands, and say, “I have nothing to do; I am saved; Jesus has done it all”?—No, we are to put forth every energy that we may become partakers of the divine nature. We are to be continually watching, waiting, praying, and working. {3SM 198.2}


But do all that we may, we cannot pay a ransom for our souls. We can do nothing to originate faith, for faith is the gift of God; neither can we perfect it, for Christ is the finisher of our faith. It is all of Christ. All the longing after a better life is from Christ, and is an evidence that He is drawing you to Himself and that you are responding to His drawing power.—The Bible Echo, May 15, 1892. {3SM 198.3}

 

Christ’s Nature Implanted in Us—1894—Truth, precious truth, is sanctifying in its influence. The sanctification of the soul by the operation of the Holy Spirit is the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity. It is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ revealed in character, and the grace of Christ brought into active exercise in good works. Thus the character is transformed more and more perfectly after the image of Christ in righteousness and true holiness. There are broad requirements in divine truth stretching out into one line after another of good works. The truths of the gospel are not unconnected; uniting they form one string of heavenly jewels, as in the personal work of Christ, and like threads of gold they run through the whole of Christian work and experience. {3SM 198.4}

 

Christ is the complete system of truth. He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” All true believers center in Christ, their character is irradiated by Christ; all meet in Christ, and circulate about Christ. Truth comes from Heaven to purify and cleanse the human agent from every moral defilement. It leads to benevolent action, to kind, tender, thoughtful love toward the needy, the distressed, the suffering. This is practical obedience to the words of Christ.—Manuscript 34, 1894. {3SM 198.5}

 

Satan Claimed to Be Sanctified—1894—Satan claimed to be sanctified, and exalted himself above God even in the courts of heaven. So great was his deceptive power that he corrupted a large number of angels, and enlisted their sympathy in his selfish interest. When he tempted Christ in the wilderness he claimed that he was sanctified, that he was a pure angel from the heavenly courts; but Jesus was not deceived by his pretensions and neither will those be deceived who live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. {3SM 199.1}


God will not accept a willful, imperfect obedience. Those who claim to be sanctified, and yet turn away their ears from hearing the law prove themselves to be the children of disobedience, whose carnal hearts are not subject to the law of God, and neither indeed can be.—Manuscript 40, 1894. {3SM 199.2}

 

Faith and Good Works—1895—Our acceptance with God is sure only through His beloved Son, and good works are but the result of the working of His sin-pardoning love. They are no credit to us, and we have nothing accorded to us for our good works by which we may claim a part in the salvation of our souls. Salvation is God’s free gift to the believer, given to him for Christ’s sake alone. The troubled soul may find peace through faith in Christ, and his peace will be in proportion to his faith and trust. He cannot present his good works as a plea for the salvation of his soul. {3SM 199.3}

 

But are good works of no real value? Is the sinner who commits sin every day with impunity, regarded of God with the same favor as the one who through faith in Christ tries to work in his integrity? The Scripture answers, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” {3SM 199.4}


In His divine arrangement, through His unmerited favor, the Lord has ordained that good works shall be rewarded. We are accepted through Christ’s merit alone; and the acts of mercy, the deeds of charity, which we perform, are the fruits of faith; and they become a blessing to us; for men are to be rewarded according to their works. {3SM 200.1}


It is the fragrance of the merit of Christ that makes our good works acceptable to God, and it is grace that enables us to do the works for which He rewards us. Our works in and of themselves have no merit. When we have done all that it is possible for us to do, we are to count ourselves as unprofitable servants. We deserve no thanks from God. We have only done what it was our duty to do, and our works could not have been performed in the strength of our own sinful natures. {3SM 200.2}

 

The Lord has bidden us to draw nigh to Him and He will draw nigh to us; and drawing nigh to Him, we receive the grace by which to do those works which will be rewarded at His hands.—The Review and Herald, January 29, 1895. {3SM 200.3}

 

Surrounded With Heaven’s Atmosphere—1898—“We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). True conversion, true sanctification, will be the cause of the change in our views and our feelings toward one another and toward God. “We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him” (Verse 16). We must increase in faith. We must know the sanctification of the Spirit. In earnest prayer we must seek God, that the divine Spirit may work in us. God then will be glorified by the example of the human agent. We shall be workers together with God. {3SM 200.4}

 

Sanctification of soul, body, and spirit will surround us with the atmosphere of heaven. If God has chosen us from eternity, it is that we might be holy, our conscience purged from dead works to serve the living God. We must not in any way make self our god. God has given Himself to die for us, that He might purify us from all iniquity. The Lord will carry on this work of perfection for us if we will allow ourselves to be controlled by Him. He carries on this work for our good and His own name’s glory. {3SM 200.5}

 

The Importance of Simple, Implicit Faith—We must bear a living testimony to the people, presenting before them the simplicity of faith. We must take God at His word, and believe that He will do just as He has said. If He chastises us, it is that we may be partakers of His divine nature. It runs through all His designs and plans to carry on a daily sanctification in us. Shall we not see our work? Shall we not present to others their duty, the privilege they have of growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ? {3SM 201.1}

 

This is the will of God, even your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). We have not pressed forward to the mark of the prize of our high calling. Self has found too much room. Oh, let the work be done under the special direction of the Holy Spirit. The Lord demands all the powers of the mind and being. It is His will that we should be conformed to Him in will, in temper, in spirit, in our meditations. The work of righteousness cannot be carried forward unless we exercise implicit faith. {3SM 201.2}

 

Move every day under God’s mighty working power. The fruit of righteousness is quietness and assurance forever. If we had exercised more faith in God and had trusted less to our own ideas and wisdom, God would have manifested His power in a marked manner on human hearts. By a union with Him, by living faith, we are privileged to enjoy the virtue and efficacy of His mediation. Hence we are crucified with Christ, dead with Christ, risen with Christ, to walk in newness of life with Him.—Letter 105, 1898. {3SM 201.3}

 

True Sanctification Needed—1902—Two nights ago, I awoke at ten o’clock, heavily burdened in regard to the lack of the Holy Spirit’s working among our people. I rose and walked the room, pleading with the Lord to come closer, very much closer, to His people, endowing them with such power that they may work His work so mightily that through them may be revealed the abundant grace of Christ.... {3SM 201.4}

 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ has given a definition of true sanctification. He lived a life of holiness. He was an object lesson of what His followers are to be. We are to be crucified with Christ, buried with Him, and then quickened by His Spirit. Then we are filled with His life. {3SM 202.1}

 

The Work of a Lifetime—Our sanctification is God’s object in all His dealing with us. He has chosen us from eternity that we may be holy. Christ gave Himself for our redemption, that through our faith in His power to save from sin, we might be made complete in Him. In giving us His Word, He has given us bread from heaven. He declares that if we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we shall receive eternal life. {3SM 202.2}

 

Why do we not dwell more upon this? Why do we not strive to make it easily understood, when it means so much? Why do not Christians open their eyes to see the work God requires them to do. Sanctification is the progressive work of a lifetime. The Lord declares, “This is the will of God, even your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Is it your will that your desires and inclinations shall be brought into conformity to the divine will? {3SM 202.3}

 

As Christians, we have pledged ourselves to realize and fulfill our responsibilities and to show to the world that we have a close connection with God. Thus, through the godly words and works of His disciples, Christ is to be represented. {3SM 202.4}

 

God demands of us perfect obedience to His law—the expression of His character. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law” (Romans 3:31). This law is the echo of God’s voice, saying to us, Holier, yes, holier still. Desire the fullness of the grace of Christ; yea, long—hunger and thirst—after righteousness. The promise is, “Ye shall be filled.” Let your heart be filled with an intense longing for this righteousness, the work of which God’s Word declares is peace, and its effect quietness and assurance forever. {3SM 202.5}

 

Partakers of the Divine Nature—It is our privilege to be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. God has plainly stated that He requires us to be perfect; and because He requires this, He has made provision that we may be partakers of the divine nature. Only thus can we gain success in our striving for eternal life. The power is given by Christ. “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12). {3SM 203.1}

 

God requires of us conformity to His image. Holiness is the reflection from His people of the bright rays of His glory. But in order to reflect this glory, man must work with God. The heart and mind must be emptied of all that leads to wrong. The Word of God must be read and studied with an earnest desire to gain from it spiritual power. The bread of heaven must be eaten and digested, that it may become a part of the life. Thus we gain eternal life. Then is answered the prayer of the Saviour, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”—Letter 153, 1902. {3SM 203.2}

 

Opinions and Practices to Be Conformed to God’s Word—There are many who claim that they have been sanctified to God, and yet when the great standard of righteousness is presented to them they become greatly excited and manifest a spirit which proves that they know nothing of what it means to be sanctified. They have not the mind of Christ; for those who are truly sanctified will reverence and obey the Word of God as fast as it is opened to them, and they will express a strong desire to know what is truth on every point of doctrine. An exultant feeling is no evidence of sanctification. The assertion, “I am saved, I am saved,” does not prove that the soul is saved or sanctified. {3SM 203.3}

 

Many who are greatly excited are told that they are sanctified, when they have no intelligent idea of what the term means, for they know not the Scriptures or the power of God. They flatter themselves that they are in conformity to the will of God because they feel happy; but when they are tested, when the Word of God is brought to bear upon their experience, they stop their ears from hearing the truth, saying, “I am sanctified,” and that puts an end to the controversy. They will have nothing to do with searching the Scriptures to know what is truth, and prove that they are fearfully self-deceived. Sanctification means very much more than a flight of feeling. {3SM 204.1}

 

Excitement is not sanctification. Entire conformity to the will of our Father which is in heaven is alone sanctification, and the will of God is expressed in His holy law. The keeping of all the commandments of God is sanctification. Proving yourselves obedient children to God’s Word is sanctification. The Word of God is to be our guide, not the opinions or ideas of men.The Review and Herald, March 25, 1902. {3SM 204.2}

 

Sanctification, An Experience in Continued Growth—1908—If we keep our minds stayed upon Christ, He will come unto us as the rain, as the former and latter rain upon the earth. As the Sun of Righteousness, He will arise with healing in His wings. We may grow as the lily, revive as the corn, and grow as the vine. {3SM 204.3}

 

By constantly looking to and patterning after Christ as our personal Saviour, we shall grow up into Him in all things. Our faith will grow, our conscience will be sanctified. We will more and more become like Christ in all our works and words. Thank God, we shall believe His Word. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”—Letter 106, 1908. {3SM 204.4}

 

Let the subject be made distinct and plain that it is not possible to effect anything in our standing before God or in the gift of God to us through creature merit. Should faith and works purchase the gift of salvation for anyone, then the Creator is under obligation to the creature. Here is an opportunity for falsehood to be accepted as truth. If any man can merit salvation by anything he may do, then he is in the same position as the Catholic to do penance for his sins. Salvation, then, is partly of debt, that may be earned as wages. If man cannot, by any of his good works, merit salvation, then it must be wholly of grace, received by man as a sinner because he receives and believes in Jesus. It is wholly a free gift. Justification by faith is placed beyond controversy. And all this controversy is ended, as soon as the matter is settled that the merits of fallen man in his good works can never procure eternal life for him. {FW 19.3}


Wholly of Grace

The light given me of God places this important subject above any question in my mind. Justification is wholly of grace and not procured by any works that fallen man can do. The matter has been presented before me in clear lines that if the rich man has money and possessions, and he makes an offering of the same to the Lord, false ideas come in to spoil the offering by the thought he has merited the favor of God, that the Lord is under obligation to him to regard him with special favor because of this gift.” {FW 20.1}


There has been too little educating in clear lines upon this point. The Lord has lent man His own goods in trust—means which He requires be handed back to Him when His providence signifies and the upbuilding of His cause demands it. The Lord gave the intellect. He gave the health and the ability to gather earthly gain. He created the things of earth. He manifests His divine power to develop all its riches. They are His fruits from His own husbandry. He gave the sun, the clouds, the showers of rain, to cause vegetation to flourish. As God’s employed servants you gathered in His harvest to use what your wants required in an economical way and hold the balance for the call of God. You can say with David, “For all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee” (1 Chronicles 29:14). So the satisfaction of creature merit cannot be in returning to the Lord His own, for it was always His own property to be used as He in His providence should direct.” {FW 20.2}


Why Most Adventists Will Rise up Against and Reject the Great Shaking Truths

 

COUNTERPART: "The Lord commanded one of his ancient servants, 'Pray not thou for this people [Jer. 7:16 and 11:9-15], neither lift up cry nor prayer for them neither make intercession to me for I will not hear thee.' The prophet thus describes the sins which had called forth this fearful denunciation: 'The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means and my people love to have it so and what will ye do in the end thereof?' 'From the least of them even unto the greatest of them, every one is given to covetousness and from the prophet even unto the priest, every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.' The apostles declare that this state of things will find its COUNTERPART in the last days. Many have a form of godliness, but in their daily life deny the power thereof. They have ceased to be convicted of their sins or alarmed at their state. They say in their hearts, 'The church is flourishing. Peace and spiritual prosperity are within her borders.' The words of the prophet may well apply to these self-deceivers, 'They have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them." E. G. White, Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 11-07-82.

 

COUNTERPART: "The members of our churches are not incorrigible; the fault is not so much to be charged upon them as upon their teachers. Their ministers do not feed them." Special Testimonies, Series A, No.1, p.46.

·       The command not to pray for this people means the church corporately. It does not mean individuals who may come out of the apostate system.

·       God says that “my people love to have it so. So it is not only the leaders who are at fault. The people love peace and safety sermons, rather than any warning connected with the Great Shaking issues.

·       The apostles declare that this state of things will have a counterpart in the last days. The context refers to God’s first chosen people, so the counterpart refers to His second chosen people, professing Seventh-day Adventists.

·       The members of the church have chosen their own ways and their souls delight in their abominations.

·       Since the members delight in their abominations, they don’t regard them as apostasy from the truth.

·       Ezekiel 9 says that only those who sigh and cry for all the abominations done in the church will receive the MARK, SEAL of the man in linen. But the reason most will not sigh and cry for all the abominations is because they delight in their abominations.

·       All of the above is why the True Reformer message is not popular and few will respond. But the lack of popularity is no sign of the lack of truth concerning the abominations, and the lack of response concerning the Great Shaking message against the abominations.

·       Agape love is based on principle. The love is in the warning, caring enough to warn. The love is determined by what one is willing to encounter when giving the warning—the hate, the rejection, the lies told in an attempt to ruin the character of those who love God’s people enough to suffer these results of trying to warn them.

·       Strangely, one of Satan’s most frequently used epithets against the True Reformers, is that they lack love, peace and joy! Truth is, their souls are vexed day and night over the sins of the members of the church, so that they don’t often express the same joy as those who delight in the abominations. So such condemnations and accusing of the brethren, the True Reformers, comes straight from the pits of hell where Satan now resides.

·       Our message of warning would save God’s people from the same ruinous destruction the Jews experience at the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70, which Ellen White prophesied will be LITERALLY FULFILLED beginning at His Church, His Sanctuary, those privileged with great light, the House of Jacob, Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211. Not only would it save men, maidens and little children from the great slaughter, but it would provide eternal life. But what thanks do we get? You are too critical! You don’t display any love and real joy! You don’t delight in our abominations! You call our abominations apostasy! That is the irony of attempting to warn God’s people. But we must do it if we love the brethren and if we would be saved. It is a CONDITION of being sealed, for the MARK is placed only on those who sigh and cry for all the abominations which the members delight in.

In the prophecy of Jerusalem's destruction Christ said, "Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." This prophecy will again be fulfilled. The abounding iniquity of that day finds its counterpart in this generation. So with the prediction in regard to the preaching of the gospel. Before the fall of Jerusalem, Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit, declared that the gospel was preached to "every creature which is under heaven." Col. 1:23. So now, before the coming of the Son of man, the everlasting gospel is to be preached "to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." Rev. 14:6, 14. God "hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world." Acts 17:31. Christ tells us when that day shall be ushered in. He does not say that all the world will be converted, but that "this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord's return. We are not only to look for but to hasten the coming of the day of God. 2 Peter 3:12, margin. Had the church of Christ done her appointed work as the Lord ordained, the whole world would before this have been warned, and the Lord Jesus would have come to our earth in power and great glory.” {Mar 19.1}


The Human Nature of Christ and Our Overcoming

Many of the “Books of a new order” written by professing Seventh-day Adventists after the formation of a New Movement/Organization (1SM 204-205), depict how different Christ was from us, the objective being to point out how we cannot overcome as Christ did. What all those books fail to relate is that we are invited to partake of the Divine Nature of Christ, for aid in overcoming the lusts of the world.

2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Christ has promised to come to us and abide in us and we in Him. When we permit this to occur, we are at no disadvantage in overcoming as Christ did. But none of the books of a new order teach this fact of Scripture which speaks of the highest good, crowing gift that heaven can bestow, the gift of the Holy Spirit Divine Nature of Christ in our souls.

This gift also proves that overcoming sin is an ongoing striving. We are to die daily. Christ is doing something more than His death on the cross. He is giving us His Spirit as empowerment to overcome sin as He did. This is why God raised up His Son Jesus and sent Him to bless us in turning away every one of us from his iniquities. Does this sound like it all ended at the Cross as Geoffrey Paxton and Desmond Ford teach? Rather, does this sound like we have a cooperative role in submitting the will to Christ every day, so that He can work in us His good will?

Act 3:26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

Heb 13:20  Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 

Heb 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


http://omega77.tripod.com/myvisiononshaking.htm


http://omega77.tripod.com/myvisionshakingpart2.htm


In the Name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,


Ronald William Beaulieu

 

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