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31 Comments

  1. William Noel
    31 March 2016 @ 12:10 pm

    I think Dr. Ninow is making some important and valuable observations when he says we don’t know what “finish the work” means and such talk really is self-centered because it makes our actions the controlling force deciding when Jesus will return. I am glad to see him exposing and wrestling with such concepts that are contrary to the Grace of God and how He gives us the privilege of working with Him while He does what must be done to prepare the way for Jesus to return.

    I think we can learn from Dr. Ninow and I appreciate the video being posted for us to see.

  2. Bill Sorensen
    31 March 2016 @ 2:48 pm

    …..” such talk really is self-centered because it makes our actions the controlling force deciding when Jesus will return. I am glad to see him exposing and wrestling with such concepts that are contrary to the Grace of God …..”

    I am sure that many, if not most, on this forum will rejoice about any concept that undermines human accountability in our relationship with God.

    For most, “The grace of God” means we have no accountability.

    • jimbob
      04 April 2016 @ 7:57 am

      “For most, “The grace of God” means we have no accountability.”
      Bill,
      I wouldn’t doubt that. Until the SDA leadership and pastors get the guts to do some real surveys on who knows the basics of gospel, grace and salvation..we can only guess on numbers? I can only guess/speculate from my experience going to SDA churches. Last Sabbath I heard a sermon on reaching out with the gospel. I asked a women right next to me, ..”Do you know what the gospel is? She said yes… and said it was ..”Jesus died for my sins and rose again.”

      Can anyone be saved,/go to heaven/inherit eternal life by Jesus dying for our sins and then the knowledge that he rose again 2000 years ago?

      How many spins on the gospel are there?
      Good news
      JN 3:16
      God loves us
      Death burial , resurrection of Jesus
      Power of God unto salvation
      God kept His promise
      Good news of grace
      Jesus died 4 our sins

  3. Bugs/Larry Boshell
    31 March 2016 @ 3:12 pm

    Every Judeo/Christian generation (including that of Jesus) going back to about 9000 BC has thought they were in the “end time.” Each expected a divine intervention that would usher in a new day, usually with a dream of permanent, final peace. The worse the suffering, the greater the cry for what is actually a psychological escape hatch from mayhem. It was and is a myth in the worst sense because it is without precedent, it hasn’t and won’t happen. It, as an idyllic eschatological dream, energetically survives first because we need it (deliverance) and second because the Bible is mischaracterized as the “Word of God,” the mother lode of end time predictions. The ore beds of the prophecies have been haplessly reworked by religious miners in the perpetual search for the gold God of deliverance and his time frame. So far, only fool’s gold of disappointment has ever been found.

    I have no clue what Dr. Minow postulates. He is walking through a facsimile of an ore deposit that is actually a mine field. I look forward to learning his condition after his traverse!

    • Jim Hamstra
      31 March 2016 @ 6:14 pm

      Hmmm? Judaeo/Christians in 9,000 BC?

      Who were they and how did you learn about them?

      • Bugs-Larry Boshell
        31 March 2016 @ 7:12 pm

        Alright, Jim, picky picky, at 9000 BC they were pre-Christian, as well as being pre-Jewish. They all periodically thought the sky was falling for the last time, Later, Paul thought so, too. Of course that was in the Christian Era, wasn’t it?

      • Bugs-Larry Boshell
        31 March 2016 @ 7:18 pm

        I recently finished 2 classes on the history of Israel.

        • Bugs-Larry Boshell
          31 March 2016 @ 8:30 pm

          See, Jim too many zeroes? I have serious issues of preacher hood disabilites to repair if I’m going to start my new multi career as an engineer, archeologist, and historian! So 900 BC is the broad net cast sufficiently far back to capture all the possible Chicken Little dramas from yore. 9000 BC? That is before your Superguy big banged the earth. So I see why you quickly funned me. Judaism was still only a gleam in Superguy’s left eye.

  4. Bill
    31 March 2016 @ 5:26 pm

    So, Matthew 24 is not a straight line to a single event, it seems.

    Jesus has to disabuse the disciples of any sense that the tumultuous times associated with the destruction of the temple are a signal of His immanent return. So he says that He will not return until the ‘gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’

    And we do well today to avoid associating political and social and environmental upheaval as verifying the immanence of Jesus’ return.

    We know better.

    John in his Gospel said that Jesus came to save the World. And in the Revelation of Jesus John declares that when an angel makes clear ‘to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people’ the Gospel of Jesus the Creator the whole World will come to worship the Creator.

    However, we do well to remember that we preach the angel, and the angel preaches the Gospel of Jesus.

    The Three Angels’ Message is that the World is made ready, but does not make itself ready, the realization of which causes the collapse of Babylon, the great purveyor of a God+Human Accountability path to eternal life.

    But even the whole World worshiping the Creator is a precursor, not a trigger for the return of Jesus, because Jesus declares unmistakably ‘of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.’

    Jesus said that His return will be a day like any other day.

    • Bugs-Larry Boshell
      31 March 2016 @ 9:00 pm

      Bill, haven’t you figured it out yet, there really is no imminent return? It s only a religious dream perpetrated by countless diviners who for two thousand years have seen the immediate return rescuing them in their time. Don’t invest in white translation garments.

    • EM
      03 April 2016 @ 1:55 am

      I have never been concerned about any “delay” in the second coming–maybe that makes me different from other Adventists. Yet, at the same time I yearn for it to happen in my lifetime for selfish reasons. I want to see the events happening. And I want to think some of today’s events could be a beginning. But more than those are the giant steps building the modern Tower of Babel that humanity is achieving. There has never been a time in history of such communication and technology–and it’s only happened in less than one hundred years! It is also post-halocaust. Humans can kill more people faster than ever before. How many in Syria? How many Armenians in that genocide? If God does not act (as He did in the flood epic), humanity will destroy itself.
      Anyway however long it takes, God will be in control and not some small sect that keeps believing it is only them that is spreading the Gospel. And everyone who dies or has died has already in their time frame experienced the return of Jesus who is not limited by human time.

  5. ROBINVANDERMOLEN
    31 March 2016 @ 7:55 pm

    Jesus say most emphatically and authoritively in the last chapter of Revelation:
    BEHOLD I AM COMING SOON,
    The KJV mucked the text a little, by translating “soon” as “quickly” but my Dutch and French Bibles translate the word as “soon” as do most of the modern English translations.
    QUESTION : Was Christ lying or being disingenuous, more particularly if he KNEW He could not possible come before 1844 at the earliest, almost two millennia later? That is one reason I mistrust the Imvestigative judgement
    dogma!
    Most disturbing, even disorientating, is EGW”s authoritive pronouncement, tha Christ would have returned circa 1900 “had Adventists been more faithful”. Her pronouncement I lies that Christ’s return is a MOVABLE EVENT, If so who is responsible for the Holocaust, Stalin’s gulag, the London Blitz, Pol Pot and Rwanda genocides and other appalling gruesome events of the twentieth century.

    Is the onus on the 100,000 plus Adventists alive circa 1900. Or shall we blame God/Christ Himself, for the delay in His coming that resulted in all theses agonizing egregious ATROCITIES???

    How much more “vindication ” does God need. as he drags out Christ’s return allowing abject human MISERY to perpetuate. This is not the face of a truly loving creator!

    • William Noel
      01 April 2016 @ 5:59 am

      Robin,

      It is easy to become so occupied by wrestling with such questions as you listed that you lose sight of how God wants you to be empowered by the Holy Spirit and actively involved in actually doing the work He wants us doing. If that happens, Satan wins. When you are actively doing the real work God gives us to do, all those issues fade away into insignificance.

  6. Bugs-Larry Boshell
    31 March 2016 @ 8:47 pm

    Robin, Ellen was inadvertently promoting the dubious concept that church members were more powerful than God by standing in the way of His 2nd coming (thereby responsible for the atrocities in the world). It fits my premise of a weiner God we as mankind have created in our own image. Superuy aka Grumpy Grandpa.

  7. DD
    31 March 2016 @ 9:17 pm

    There are many who believe earth’s history culminates at the 7 thousandth year/ millennium. No doubt many take for granted that we are in the 6 thousandth year, and the 7 “thousandth year”, as mentioned in Revelation 20, is upon us. But according to Biblical timeline, we are actually closer to 5500 years rather than 6000 years.

    Therefore, is Christ delaying His return? Having said that, knowing we still have 500 years before His returns, we should keep in mind the words of Jesus, which He spoke concerning the “last days”: “22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” Matt. 24:22.

    And while on the subject: How can humans even attempt to “finish the work” when there are more people born each day? Will the Gospel work ever be finished; will the “end” come? But don’t be deceived, the end will surely come. Evil cannot exist eternally.

    “27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant will be saved. 28 For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness, because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth.” Rom. 9:27, 28.

    • ROBIN VANDERMOLEN
      31 March 2016 @ 11:48 pm

      DD,
      You raise an interesting point when you legitimately ask:
      “How can human’s even “finish the work” when there are more babies born each day”?
      Yes, the demographics are against us:
      A million babies born each WEEK, most to “heathen” mothers in sordid slums or shabby shanty towns, and many dying before the age of five from dysentery or starvation!
      In eighteen weeks we have more new borns than our flaunted eighteen million Adventist membership! As rapidly as we add more converts, “backsliders” and increases in world population make the task of taking “this gospel to all the world” a receding reality!
      Yet, the argument is put forth that Christ delays His coming “lest any should perish”.

      But BILLIONS MORE ARE ALIVE TODAY THAN IN EGW’s ERA,
      Billions MORE to “perish” eternally as most newborns are in non Christian lands.
      The despair is palpable, as the daunting prospect unfolds!

      • EM
        03 April 2016 @ 2:13 am

        Robin, God is more wonderful and merciful that we can imagine. My belief is that you are right in saying: Christ delays His coming “lest any should perish”. While believing in the inspiration of EGW, I don’t think she was infallible; no one is infallible but God himself for we see things “darkly” as Paul said. Prophecy is only in part and limited and does not answer every question and neither can we. But we do know our God is Love. I tend to believe in the idea of objective legal justification and that Christ died for all at the “foundation of the world.” It is a retroactive salvation, and there is no other way to be saved than through Him. He does not limit His salvation to only Christians. He loved the little children, and always will. Only adults have the freedom to “reject” Christ and the Holy Spirit making it the only unforgivable sin. They reject the Holy Spirit each in his or her own way. Many are tottering on the brink of this decision, and God’s people must give them more light to make the right choice. The Gospel will make the difference. But they must see that Christ has already saved them unless they reject Him. You never hear of anyone being put into the Book of Life only being blotted out because they reject Him. There are a significant number of Adventists and other Christians who hold this belief.

  8. Bugs/Larry Boshell
    01 April 2016 @ 7:15 am

    “Finishing the work” is a 145 year April Fool Joke Seventh-day Adventists have and are playing on themselves. It is based on the self-aggrandizement myth of being selected by God as special actors in a manufactured end time drama. It was a face saving device to rescue Adventism from the Great Disappointment.

    There has never been intervention by the divine for the purpose of restoring perfection and ending suffering in all of history. Heaven is a wonderful creation of the mind to ease the reality of earthly life. It has a million imagined versions but remains a fantasy nevertheless.

    Every indicator, every prophecy, every narrative concocted by Adventism to predict it and act as participant has failed, been relegated to the cheap cop-out of “soon.”

    In the collected works on, for, and about Christ, there isn’t one where he proclaimed an eventual salvation of the world through a grand intervention in history. He lived and participated in a hotbed of limited expectation of God reviving Israel and the ridding of the Romans. Instead, he seemed to want to help people cope well with daily life while awaiting restoration.

    Adventists have to harbor a hope of Christ returning, it’s part of its logo. Promoting hope is a legitimate role of religious discourse. But, Adventism, stop fooling yourself, you have nothing to do with it should it happen. The work you have to finish is that you aren’t Special. Never have been. Get over it.

    • Nathan Schilt
      01 April 2016 @ 8:07 am

      You need to get someone to cut that umbilical cord, Bugs. There is so much emotional overlay in your rhetoric that it is difficult to grasp any meaningful, conceptual content in what you say. I might even agree with some of your conclusions if you were able to express them in a manner that did not insult folks who have found rich meaning and purpose in SDA eschatology. Without parents and grandparents who believed with all their hearts in what you ridicule I wouldn’t be me, and my kids wouldn’t be who they are, and I probably wouldn’t have the spectacularly wonderful wife I am married to.

      So even if I don’t see eye to eye with what others find and have found to be sacred, I am loathe to treat with contempt and disrespect that to which others have dedicated their lives and fortunes – with good fruits. And I certainly don’t understand why the beliefs of others that you have rejected hold such fascination for you, or why they exert so much emotional power over you.

      • EM
        03 April 2016 @ 2:17 am

        I agree. Unfortunately this sort of intolerance or insulting or bullying is gaining a foothold in our society. Just look at Donald Trump!

        • Wisdom
          03 April 2016 @ 2:40 am

          Was CHRIS bullying in Matthew 7?
          14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
          15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
          16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
          17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
          18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
          19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
          20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
          21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
          22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
          23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

          The world makes us wish HE would come today. We are tired of the fight, don’t want to die and a multitude of other impatient reasons. Should we not be comfortable in the fact that HIS will be done? We will create the time that none will be saved soon enough, by our own failures; but should we not wish all to be, will be saved? Are we to selfish to give them that chance?

      • sufferingsunfish
        04 April 2016 @ 12:35 pm

        “So even if I don’t see eye to eye with what others find and have found to be sacred, I am loathe to treat with contempt and disrespect that to which others have dedicated their lives and fortunes – with good fruits.”

        The disrespect too often shown to others who post here demonstrates a need, IMO, for strict guidelines and moderation. Discussion here should not resemble a free for all.

      • Serge Agafonoff
        04 April 2016 @ 6:46 pm

        And yet, Nathan, Adventists have absolutely no reluctance to trash that which believers in other churches ‘hold sacred.’ RCs being the most obvious case. Fact is, SDAism must be willing and able ‘to give a reason for the hope that is in them,’ and frankly, your church can no longer give a credible reason for its 1844 IJ heresy and all that goes with it. ‘Emotional overlay’ is all that SDAs have left, now that their ‘raison d’etre’ has been found wanting.

  9. Lawrence Downing
    01 April 2016 @ 10:35 am

    Some suggest there is evidence that certain segments of the Adventist church have interpreted “Finish the work” to mean “Do In.”

  10. jimbob
    04 April 2016 @ 6:44 am

    I watched the video yesterday and got more SDA fanatic cult aftertaste in my mouth. Ninow’s comment about defining “Finishing the work” is valid. YET…the comment on LGT is simplistic and unfair. Do most think that LGT people = self righteous fanatic Pharisees? The more I associate with the SDA world , the more pathetic it seems.
    The pastors and leadership are like a bunch of plumbers trying to build a rocket that will go to Mars. I decided to go listen to the sermon at the local SDA church and the service started 7 minutes late and ran 12 minutes late at the end ..into the Sabbath school program. Same thing happened the last time I attended. This is usually the case, not an exception. The sermon was on outreach, but as usual no mention as to what the gospel was , and that is what is supposed to be shared. How can the work be finished without tools and training?
    SDA church just started book study on Matthew…….what % of members will not look at the SS lesson or read the book of Matthew? I think God will do to the SDA church what He did to Gideon’s original army.

    • William Noel
      04 April 2016 @ 1:41 pm

      Jimbob,

      The “winnowing-down” of Gideon’s army didn’t reduce the population of the nation whom God loved and still called His people, it just reduced the number of soldiers to those most capable of performing the mission so the victory would be an even more dramatic demonstration of God’s power. Yes, we need spiritual leaders who are endowed by the Holy Spirit with spiritual leadership skills. Far more than that we need members who will embrace the power of the Holy Spirit and start doing the things they’re supposed to be doing and demonstrate that they actually are believers instead of pew-warming pretenders.

      • jimbob
        04 April 2016 @ 4:14 pm

        ” Yes, we need spiritual leaders who are endowed by the Holy Spirit with spiritual leadership skills.”

        They are not endowed already?
        Why not?
        Specifically, what leadership skills?
        ” Far more than that we need members who will embrace the power of the Holy Spirit and start doing the things they’re supposed to be doing and demonstrate that they actually are believers instead of pew-warming pretenders.

        What are the obstacles to this? What are they supposed to be doing? Why isn’t it happening?

        • DD
          04 April 2016 @ 5:03 pm

          Good questions, Jimbob.

          Could it be their focus isn’t on Christ, but on themselves?
          Exalting humans above Jesus Christ?

          • jimbob
            09 April 2016 @ 8:25 am

            DD,
            “Could it be their focus isn’t on Christ, but on themselves?
            Exalting humans above Jesus Christ?”
            I can’t read hearts yet, I learned in the early 1970’s about how much ego is involved in the pastoral profession. Some pastors will admit that when they get together, they discuss membership size and church budget levels.
            Would be nice if pastors reviewed EPH 4:12 & 13 to get a clue about their job descriptions.

    • Loren Seibold
      12 April 2016 @ 11:56 am

      Jimbob, it is unclear to me what all your complaints are. However, since I made the statement on Last Generation Theology, I will defend that. You may call it unfair if you like, but it is accurate. The relevant passage is this:

      “‘When the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.’ Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own. It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, (2 Peter 3:12, margin). Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.” Christ’s Object Lessons, page 69.

      Also, you will find it expressed in the same way on the Wikipedia page for LGT. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Generation_Theology

  11. Roger Metzger
    05 April 2016 @ 4:18 am

    I don’t remember my dad every using the phrase, “Question everything.” He instilled that ideal nonetheless. We need a forum where people are free to question everything.

    There is a difference, however, between questioning and opposing. The “problem” with attempting to “moderate” a forum such as this is the question of where, exactly, that distinction is.

    It is true that the end will come when the gospel of the kingdom has been preached in all the world but which gospel? I don’t know whether LdS (Mormons) quote that verse but their “gospel” is that a particular religious organization is vested with spiritual authority and, unless you get it from that source, you don’t have any.

    I don’t have any difficulty comprehending the concept that the doctrine of an heavenly kingdom during the millennium should be included in the proclamation of the gospel but neither do I have any difficulty believing that the gospel is being preached by other Christians than adventists.

    My suggestion is that we (Christians) continue to encourage each other to include in our presentations of the gospel those aspects of truth the Lord has specifically called us to emphasize but that Christians of every denomination not think of ourselves more highly than we ought.