One of the “ah-ha” moments in my early professional career occurred when I was introduced to the idea of the “critical path.” The critical path is the set of essential, sequential steps taken to reach a goal. The critical path sheds all optional (even if desirable) steps. It defines only the essential and the related order of the essential.

Over the last several months (and 30 years) Seventh-day Adventists have been debating the role of Ellen White, and, specifically, the traditional Adventist version of the Investigative Judgment vs. the Desmond Ford exegesis of that notion. For some, this has become a point of departure — or, at least, estrangement, from the denomination. For others, the Investigative Judgment is a fundamental teaching and evidence of the status of the SDA Church as THE remnant church. For many others it is an irritant, as it breeds bad blood and separation in the church.

Some don’t care, one wit.

Let’s stipulate that we will not come to any consensus here, regarding whether Mrs. White or Dr. Ford was right. Those teams are set and in no mood to listen, much less concede. There are, literally, hundreds of posts on this site offering support for the interpretations of both views.

I seek to determine whether this issue is either vital or important and interesting, but secondary. So I have two questions:

1. Is the acceptance of a particular version of the Investigative Judgment on the critical path to my acceptance of salvation and leading others to Christ?

2. What role does either version play in the preaching and teaching of the 3rd Angel’s Message?

Let’s define terms, generally. I am no theologian, so bear with me.

The traditionalists, buttressed by the writings of Ellen G. White, believe that after His ascension, Christ returned to heaven. Then, in 1844, in fulfillment of the 2300 day prophecy and, consistent with the sanctuary motifs outlined in Hebrews, Christ moved from the Holy Place, into the Most Holy Place, to begin His judgment of humankind. When Christ finishes that process, He will declare, “Let him that is righteous, be righteous still. Let him that is holy be holy, still.” Then, probation will close and the books are set — meaning the determination of our (individual) salvation has been made. Some time, soon following, Christ will return to claim those (living and dead) who have accepted His sacrifice.

The progressives, supportive of the research of Desmond Ford, believe that, at the time of His ascension, Christ returned to the right hand of His Father, and began advocating for us immediately. At the time of Christ’s death, the sanctuary functions, on earth and in heaven, were rendered moot. In their view, the year, 1844, and the related 2300 day prophecy have nothing to do with when and how Christ will judge us. Significantly, the progressive interpretation holds that those who have accepted Christ should, now, be confident of their salvation.

I am sure that I have missed many details, some deemed to be critical. Perhaps I have done violence to either or both versions. I am also sure that I have not provided enough context to satisfy either side. That is unavoidable.

Though a detailed explanation of either version of the so-called Investigative Judgement is informative and helpful to us as individuals (in understanding the Kingdom and the nature of God), it is not clear to me how belief in either of these scenarios makes a tangible difference in our acceptance of salvation. In short, I understand how the different scenarios affect how we feel about salvation, but, in my view, they have no effect on what we must do to accept and claim it.

As a favorite fictional character said, “What does all of this have to do with me?”

Without question, it is vital to know that God will judge us. To me, it is obvious that He will judge us before His Second Coming. That aside, the particulars of the two dominant Adventist scenarios are interesting, but both are out of our control and, I think, neutral regarding how we should live. In the rancor over who is right, the “So what?” of the issue itself got lost.

Of course, I could be wrong. That’s OK. I wish not only to identify the holes my view of this issue, but also to understand the spiritual risks, if any, either interpretation holds for me, individually, and for others caught in the crossfire of this debate. I am willing to be instructed here, if that instruction includes enlightenment.

Assuming one believes that Jesus died for our sins, offers us salvation by the acceptance of that gift, and understands that rejection of that gift remands you to judgment of your sins, is an understanding (and acceptance) of either version of the Investigative Judgment on the critical path to salvation?

To be sure, there is skin in the game. If the progressives are right, Des Ford would be vindicated. I am sure some will leverage that victory to “take down” Ellen White and all of her writings. From there, some liberals might continue to challenge the Adventist interpretation of the 3rd Angels message, the Sabbath, the Mark of the Beast, and other core beliefs. Part of the exceptionalist branding of the denomination will peel away. From an organizational perspective, it would be, “Houston, we have a problem.” The church could land safely, but not without some heroic improvisation.

If the traditionalists are right, progressives and liberals will lose the pivot point of their 30-year debate and, for some, a great deal of credibility. More significantly, the influence of Ellen White in the church will likely be strengthened.

Then again, by the time we find out, for certain, who really is right, it won’t matter anymore.

So, I am purposefully unburdened by the details of this debate. I believe Jesus will judge as He sees fit, regardless of how I interpret the judgment process. There is nothing I can do to affect His process. The law and the provisions of grace don’t change for me under either interpretation.

It seems to me that the significance of this debate has more to do with how we feel about the process of salvation than it is about the process itself. Of course, the not-so-hidden issue is the role of EGW in the church and the accuracy of some important interpretations of prophecy. The so-called Investigative Judgment issue, as it is presently debated, is a placeholder for the institutional view vs. the scholarly progressive one. It matters most in denominational politics.

Regarding my salvation, I can’t see where buying into “the right” interpretation of the so-called Investigative Judgment fits on the critical path. I’m sure I’ve missed something important.

So what? Seriously.

Comments


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 tcalvert71 says:

Preston, thank you for your article. As a lifelong SDA member who is new to the IJ debate, I also have been left to wonder why this doctrine is so important from a salvation standpoint. What are the spiritual implications of accepting one position versus the other? I also am open to enlightment, and I’m sure there will be no shortage of it offered here.

The only place I would be critical of what you wrote is:
“…..regarding whether Mrs. White or Dr. Ford was right.”

This is undoubtedly the way many people view this issue, however, I think it’s important to point out that Dr. Ford’s thoughts were not revolutionary at PUC in 1979. Many other administrators, educators, scholars, etc., held the same IJ views dating back over 100 years. However, what he DID was revolutionary. Dr. Ford was simply the first to publicly express to church constituents his doubt on the issue. This debate had taken place in the halls of our conference offices and universities for decades.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 Preston says:

Thanks, very much, tcalvert71. The enlightenment begins.

Thanks, again.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 RonCorson says:

Preston writes:

2. What role does either version play in the preaching and teaching of the 3rd Angel’s Message?

Let’s define terms, generally. I am no theologian, so bear with me.

He then does not define the 3rd angel’s message. Why is that. I have submitted elsewhere that Adventists using the term 3rd angel’s message or the 3 angel’s messages use the term as code words for distinctive Adventist doctrines. You can see if that is meant in the 2nd question it takes a whole different meaning. A meaning that really has nothing to do with salvation and everything to do with Adventism as a denomination and their claim to be the remnant with the “truth”

Of course Ellen White becomes critical in all this not only because of her acceptance of 1844 and the Investigative Judgment but because it is her emphasis that sees Adventism encompassed in the so called 3 angel’s messages. If she is wrong in the IJ then she could also be wrong on the 3 angels messages…the Adventist interpretation of them anyway which I showed on another thread can’t be defined without using the IJ.

That the IJ has nothing at all to do with our salvation I think most will admit, we are not there if it is happening or if it is not happening, it matters not at all except to the emphasis the church places on it and places on Ellen White. That is why the second question above is so important and actually a bit deceptive seeing as the term was not even defined.

By the way the IJ was doubted long before Desmond Ford.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

tcalvert is correct: This question did not originate with Ford but at the very beginning of Adventism. Some of the original “founders” did not accept Hiram Edson’s vision, and prominent leaders were excommunicated for questioning the position of the investigative judgment beginning in 1844, accepted by EGW, and based largely on the impossibility of the certainty of activities in heaven and eisegeis of the texts.

The insistence of the SDA administration on making this a fundamental belief, and the recent call of “revival and reformation” have only emphasized this FB. No one has been able to show the relationship to any one’s salvation. The questions raised by Ford brought this again to the SDA public and the need felt by administration to enforce this belief among its employees, under fear of censure and disfellowship–as demonstrated by Rea, Ford, and many SDA pastors both in the U.S. and Australia.

The insistence of leadership in creating the hostile atmosphere, especially among teachers in the schools and other denominational employees has led to fear of academic expression and a “hunkering down” to avoid being on the “mushroom committee”–keep in the dark, keep your heads down, and occasionally some S(# (barnyard manure_ will be shoveled on you.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 Preston says:

The third angel’s message is a direct reference to the biblical account: “The third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment will ascend for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.'” (Revelation 14:9-12 KJV)

The third angel’s message is a warning to the people of the earth, not to worship the beast or his image. (The “beast” and his “image” were introduced in chapter 13 of Revelation).


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 pat travis says:

Preston,

Could I ask you if you think it is important to distinguish if “Justification is by grace” or Justification is by Grace through “faith alone?”

Our “good” theology prevents widening cracks “in belief and thus practice.”

Does it? Why or why not?


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 csricksdds says:

Thankfully we serve a God who knows the end from the beginning. Since He is all knowledge it is doubtful that He needs an investigative process to make decisions. Because He believes in our ultimate freedom He will recognize our ultimate choice and even let us go our way if necessary.

The tenor of the Bible is “choose you this day whom you will serve.” Some believe this is talking about a day while others are sure it is about a God.

In the beginning, with Satan, the issue was about choosing whom he, satan, would serve. In the end, I believe, the choice for each one of us will be the same … not a choice about a day but a choice about a God. God will recognize that choice and honor it.

He didn’t tell the thief on the cross that he would take his request into consideration during the IJ. He merely recognized and accepted the thief’s choice without undue process and/or investigation.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 Preston says:

Pat,

I am happy to respond, but I need a little more information and context. I’m sure that these distinctions are related to the differences in interpretation of the IJ. Could you say a little more as to how they apply — and to which interpretation? Also, I am not familiar with your reference re: widening cracks “in belief and thus practice.”

However, “in the blind,” I believe we are saved by grace through faith. I also believe that faith without (good) works, is dead.

Thanks.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 RonCorson says:

Preston wrote:

The third angel’s message is a warning to the people of the earth, not to worship the beast or his image. (The “beast” and his “image” were introduced in chapter 13 of Revelation).

This is why this is so deceptive. Of what possible reason would you even bring this up. Why not say In light of what psalms 114 says? Or any other Bible passage. I swear sometimes you must think readers are pretty stupid.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 pat travis says:

Preston,

I will help you. If you say that my question is not important “for salvation” then was the Protestant Reformation important to SDA’s regarding salvation?

As to the IJ. Can we be reckoned perfect today by “faith alone” OR is justification “making perfect” through the I.J. process which vindicates both ourselves and God?

I suggest that Gratitude and loving obedience follow repentance, acceptance and assurance “in Christ” by “faith alone”…not an Investigation process according to the “traditional” model.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Preston,

It neither matters what you, or others, or even the church has stated, no one has shown that the acceptance of the IJ has any relationship to one’s salvation. If you or someone else can show why our salvation ultimately rests on acceptance of this, the third angel’s message, or even— Sabbath–as imperative for salvaion, now is the time. So far, it has not been demonstrated. Time is a’waiting.

How were all the people prior to the 1844 doctrine saved? They didn’t know about it; they neither accepted or rejected it, but now it has become a cardinal doctrine of Adventism. Since it now occupies that position, surely it should be given an explanation relating to one’s salvation.

As an aside, on another SDA blog, a former pastor-evangelist in Latin America has written that EGW was never preached in that reiong, nor the IJ, yet it is in Latin America that the growth of Adventism is largest! Explain.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 Preston says:

Pat,

Clearly, we are misunderstanding each other. I did not say that you question was not important. I simply said that I needed more context to provide you with a reasonable answer.

I think we agree in regard to our being justified via faith and that faith is evidenced (or made alive) by good works. Whether that is from the traditional model or not, I don’t know.

Again, my original question was where does either interpretation of the so-called IJ lie on the critical path?

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 Preston says:

Elaine,

My article does not defend or promote either version of the IJ. It asks if an acceptance of either version is vital (e.g., required for salvation) and asks, if so, how? As I am the one who posed the question, I am, by admission, not equipped to answer it. My current stance, as stated in the article is, “So what?”

Clearly, you think the answer is a resounding “No!”

The blog also asks how either version of the IJ applies to the preaching or teaching of the 3rd angel’s message. The 3rd angel’s message is, in my view, directly related to salvation in that those who do not receive the mark of the beast will be saved, per Revelation 20:4.

So, again, my quest is to understand if/how either version of the IJ connects to accepting salvation and, also, to the Adventist core mission (re: the 3rd angel’s message).


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 pat travis says:

Preston,

If one does not understand JBF “alone” one can not have assurance of salvation “today” under the “traditional” I.J. doctrine.

The classical Protestant view…as Des did not start his “basic” shared Protestant beliefs… have Christ seated on the throne at His ascension as king-priest.

By one sacrifice He has reckoned perfect those who are being made holy. No priest wondering about the HP till 1844. No lack of assurance AS OUR CASE IS REVIEWED for forgivenes of every sin.

I am a 5th generation SDA and I have observed the affect of the “traditional IJ” on 3+ generations and it has not fostered the assurance that brings forth the obedience of love…but perfectionism, and merit. You, your parents and grand-parents, if SDA’s, should be able to attest to this history.

Let’s see if our new President would acknowledge to you that the “sanctuary message” has no meaning in the “critical path to salvation.” Good luck! Have a pastor friend deny openly to his congregation that “the sanctuary message” has a “critical role in salvation” and see how they fare Preston.

Blessings and Regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 Preston says:

Thanks, Pat.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 pat travis says:

Preston,

Thank you for your well meaning intentions…but “intentions” and “hopes” are often not in touch with reality as it exists.

Blessings,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 Preston says:

Pat,

I believe reality, as it exists, can be influenced by more listening, and more distillation of issues, and positions. Distilling the issues uncovers strengths and weaknesses in all positions.

By asking anyone to show if and how this issue lies on the critical path, I hope to frame it in perspective. Perhaps from there, we all can have a different conversation.

Keep hope alive. Better to light a candle than curse the darkness. Thanks for being involved.

Peace.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 dicknoel says:

Richard L. Noel, DMD

Preston, may I interject an issue related to the teaching by the SDA church on the IJ?

I have spent years trying to understand the SDA “sanctuary doctrine” and recently discovered to my surprise that We don’t even understand the biblical meaning of the term “The Sanctuary”.

I first noticed that the SDA definition is that “the sanctuary” is either the tabernacle or temple. Then I looked it up the Catholic Encycolpedia. It agreed with the SDA usage. Afterward, I looked it up in the Jewish Encyclopedia and got the same answer. So far they were all in agreement.

The trouble came when I started translating the writings of Moses. I discovered some linguistic questions that I will not discuss here. They led to me read carefully through the book of Numbers. In chapter 10 I was shocked to find out that the traditional answers were completely wrong. If you will diagram the story of moving the camp and focus on verses 17 and 21 you will discover that it is impossible for the traditional definitions to be correct. The sanctuary cannot be either the tabernacle or a room in the tabernacle. This is obvious when you notice that there were all the members of three tribes of Israel between the sanctuary and the tabernacle. Also, the tabernacle was to be set up before the sanctuary arrived.

Anyone who has read DARCOM will recognize that these verses totally destroy the work of these “scholars”. It is impossible to contaminate with blood and then cleanse with the same blood when the area under discussion is not the tabernacle. It is the Ark of the Covenant i.e. the throne of God.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 HgOlaf says:

Interesting questions, Preston. Let me take a couple of shots at answers that have mattered to me.

1) It does matter to me HOW one interprets the IJ. Forgetting for a moment issues of 1844, EGW, etc., I focus on what picture this doctrine has painted of God. As I absorbed the IJ growing up in Adventism, I interpreted it to mean that God did not yet know who belonged to Him or who would be lost. And if God didn’t yet know, we sinners could have even less certainty! The Investigative Judgment ended up being the “antidote” to the assurance of salvation. I believe that for many the rejection of the IJ has hinged on this issue. We have thought we had to choose between assurance and Day-of-Atonement-fear of the IJ. Were there any other options?

2) I know I would no longer believe the IJ unless I had found another option. Thankfully I was hardly the first to see it, and, believe it or not, the alternative view appears in Fundamental Belief #24: “The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection.” Note that the IJ, [or the later “judgments”] reveals nothing to God, only the “heavenly intelligences”. It is He who is revealing what He already knows! “Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness.'” 2 Timothy 2:19. (cf. also 1 Cor. 4:5) Fundamental Belief #10 includes this ending statement, “Abiding in Him we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment.”

Now back to your question: Does it make any difference to our salvation whether we believe the “Ellen White” view or the “Des Ford” view? Well, if the “Ellen White” view robs us of our assurance in God’s great salvation, then Yes. And if the “Des Ford” view compels us to take all our EGW books to the local land-fill, so that we miss any of God’s wisdom through her gift of prophecy, then Yes. But I’m of the opinion that Des Ford’s call to the assurance of salvation did not rob him of EGW’s rich gifts, and that Ellen White’s views on the Investigative Judgment did not rob her of the assurance of salvation.

May we imitate them both.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Now, who is willing to explain who the “heavenly intelligences” are? Is this term from the Bible or only from the SDA Fundamental Beliefs? Rather an ambiguous term.

Is God one of the “heavenly intelligences not already knowing who is saved? Angels?


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 tcalvert71 says:

HgOlaf,

“The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection.”

Where does this FB#24 quote come from? The Bible? I’ve heard this logic before, bought into myself for a while, but I’m not so sure anymore. And I don’t think this is part of the traditional IJ teaching. I’m guessing it’s a revisionist attempt to make sense of traditional doctrine, much like the IJ doctrine was itself.

The heavenly intelligences need more evidence that God is merciful, loving, and just? The IJ will do it for them? The scales will finally tip in favor of them trusting God’s methods? I think the universe has more than enough evidence without the IJ.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 Tom says:

Elaine

You mentioned that a former Latin American minister said that EGW,the IJ, etc. were never preached in that region, yet the church is growing the fastest there.

I believe the answer for why growth of the SDA Church in that region is many times that here in North America, is best explained by this:

!. Affluence tends to lead to spiritual apathy and self-sufficiency. People in Latin America recognize a spiritual need more than most folks do here in the USA.

2. The focus of their message is the pure unadulterated gospel that Paul preached, “Christ and Him crucified.”

3. Those folks down there don’t have as much “stuff” to distract them.

4. They are more interested in sharing the good news of salvation to those around them, while we tend to hammer a way at our keyboards arguing over particulars.

5. They are busy manning the lifeboats trying to get people to step in, while we are rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.

Is that a good enough explanation?

Tom

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 HgOlaf says:

Hi Elaine,

“Heavenly intelligences” is not a biblical term in any translation that I have. It is definitely a phrase EGW used. In fact between her original uses and all the reuses in later pubs, there are 518 occurances.

In context, she uses it in parallel with “ministering spirits, angels.” I suspect it would also include the strange, heavenly animals John attempted to describe in Revelation.

Perhaps it is possible to find contexts where she includes God in the phrase, but I think the following is her core meaning: Heavenly intelligences– “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” (Revelation 5:11)–are sent as messengers to the world, to unite with human agencies for the salvation of souls. {CH 32.2}

Until someone who knows the background for the wording of #24 says differently, I hold out that God is not included in this idiomatic expression.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 HgOlaf says:

Hello tcalvert7,

FB#24 is not quoting the Bible or anyone else, to my knowledge. It is the committee’s concensus statement about how we do (or should) interpret Daniel 7’s judgment scene.

I totally agree with you: “I don’t think this is part of the traditional IJ teaching.” Like I wrote, it certainly wasn’t the way I absorbed it when I was trying to understand my pastors and teachers.

Is it revisionist? I, too, believe it is – and I’m grateful for the revision! I had come to this conclusion before I (delightedly) noticed it in FB#24.

Is revising our understanding of the IJ a waste of time? Well, that’s another question.

Does this reinterpretation do a disservice to the inteligence of the “heavenly intelligences”?

Since you’re honest enough to share your skepticism that the universe needs more evidence to trust God, allow me to try out on you why I’m comfortable with a pre-Advent judgment on behalf of the universe.

First off, I agree that they obviously already trust God. When Satan organized the “legal” lynching of Jesus, I believe Satan lost any lingering sympathy and the Godhead clinched full support from the rest of the universe.

But if, as Jesus said, the angels (heavenly intelligences) are to be the harvesters of the world (Matt 13:39) at the second coming, and if they are not omniscient like God, but know in part as do we, then I like the idea that God doesn’t just order them to “Go get HgOlaf, or Go get TCalvert.” Instead He will in this pre-Advent judgment “bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God”. (1 Cor 4:5) I love the thought that this judgment is when Jesus fulfills His promise: “the Son of Man shall confess him also before the angels of God”. (Luke 12:8) When the angelic reapers come, they won’t be wondering, Are You sure you want me to bring HgOlaf back with me?

None of the judgments are decision-making times for God, but instead are great revealings of what He has always known. I fully expect to be a learner during the Millennium just as the angels are learners now. (This is when I expect 1 Cor 4:5 to be fulfilled to me.) I fully expect the Great White Throne judgment at the end of the Millennium to be a full and final revelation to all who wish they could have eternal life without Him.
I’m very comfortable with the thought that the “Judge of all the earth” is also the Judge of all the universe. He has a purpose for all of us in his great, revealing judgments.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 Adriftfeline says:

Dear Mr. Foster,

Thank you for your insightful article. As I’m not a theologen, I wondered how one might answer your question, “So what?” at the end. I researched Desmond Ford’s view on the issue and stumbled across an amazing article: https://support.amazingdiscoveries.org/index.php?pid=knowledgebase&cmd=vi… Please read it if and when you’ve the time.

This article pointed out some logistical problems with a particular point of Mr. Ford’s view of the Investigative Judgement. I will attempt to explain it so as to give you a basic synapsis of this article’s purpose.

Firstly, Ellen White is quoted as saying that the use of incorrect definitions of original Hebrew words would be the basis for a lot of confusion about the purpose of sharing the Third Angel’s Message as being fundimental -per the 1888 message:

“Then I saw in relation to the ‘daily’ (Daniel 8:12) that the word ‘sacrifice’ was supplied by man’s wisdom, and does not belong to the text, and that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those who gave the judgment hour cry. When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the ‘daily,’ but in the confusion since 1844, other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion have followed,” (Early Writings, 74-75).

In other words, the original pioneers and Ellen White understood the ‘daily’ to mean nothing more than, “the work of Satan, the evil of paganism exalted and absorbed into something worse—papalism.”(Article’s author is unknown)

Secondly, Desmond Ford’s view of the ‘daily’ (Daniel 8:12) followed in the footsteps of what’s known as the “Conradi’s New View.” What’s that, you ask? Basically, the premise that the ‘daily’ is, “the work of Christ; His High Priestly ministry…

“Seen in this light, present antiSanctuary agitation becomes the natural outgrowth of the “new view” adopted 75 years ago. It justifies, in principle, antiAdventism from Miller’s 1844 era. If the Papacy truly “took away” Christ’s high priestly ministry, Antiochus must be the first or primary application of the prophecy. This was Desmond Ford’s position clearly, even boldly, stated in his master’s thesis at Andrews University before the beginning of his meteoric Seventh-day Adventist career.”(Article’s author is unknown)

Finally, let’s look at the Hebrew word and it’s definition which ultimately places the two views further apart.

“A superficial reading of Daniel 8:11-13 appears to lean to the “new view,” largely due to prejudice created by pro-Antiochus translators…the word “sacrifice” does not belong there and that it was put there by the translators. It is a supplied word and is in italics in the KJV Bible…However, careful regard for Hebrew ha tamid in 11:31 and 12:11, 12 raises insurmountable problems with that view.”(Article’s author is unknown)

In conclusion, Mr. Foster, I wish to suggest that having a correct knowledge of the Truth (whether seemingly important for salvation or not) can establish one’s footsteps in the way of our Lord Jesus Christ. To do otherwise, I’m afraid, would place a stumbling block of Biblical proportions, if you please, in front of one’s self; as this small error, placed by the enemies of Truth, could easily cause “The whole 1844 structure [to fall] hopelessly apart.” As one faithful Desmond Ford follower exclaims in her post on this very page, “If you or someone else can show why our salvation ultimately rests on acceptance of this, the third angel’s message, or even— Sabbath–as imperative for salvaion, now is the time.”(Elaine Nelson) Looks to me as though a thorough knowledge of the Truth as a Seventh-day Adventist is of utmost importance to salvation…otherwise, we might as well throw up our hands in exasperation and go out to join a mainstream Sunday observing church. I mean, Seriouly! 😉 ~Adriftfeline

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 29th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Tom

Regarding your comment: “5. They are busy manning the lifeboats trying to get people to step in, while we are rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.

This is indeed one of your trademark classics. I would suggest you write a book, Sir. Point 5 is spot on!

T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 klriley says:

Before dismissing the ‘new view’ of ‘the daily’, it might be worthwhile examining the arguments for that view. It seems to be based on what ‘tamid’ means in Hebrew, and how it is used in the OT. Surely that would be more instructive than jumping to a seemingly unrelated text in the NT? The ‘new view’ may in fact turn out to be no more correct than the ‘old view’, but surely we should be looking in the Bible to find its meaning. The connection with paganism seems less than obvious.

Kevin


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Tom very good points! also i would like to add more reality to answer the comment

” that a former Latin American minister said that EGW,the IJ, etc. were never preached in that region, yet the church is growing the fastest there”

I travel often to Latin to Latin America ( some years close to 30 times) and visited several SDA churches. They are what we call here “Traditional SDA”. They hold and preach all the adventist believes including EGW and IJ. They take seriously the commission to preach the good news, believed or not they use the GC as one most effective books to reach people. They study the Sabbath School Lessons seriously. They have services on Fridays evenings, Saturdays morning and afternoon, Sunday and Wednesdays evenings. The concept of “progressive adventism” is inexistent there and will be anathema. When they hear what happened to the SDA Church in NA and Australia after the all “Des Mess” they pray for them and they don’t want and any part of that.

The SDA church grows were its particular message is presented. The general conference knows that, and that is why they want to share millions of copies of the GC. In the regions were the “progressive SDA church” is practiced it does not grow, why should? nothing different to offer of the Sunday keeping churches.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Regarding Dr Soliz’ comment: In the regions were the “progressive SDA church” is practiced it does not grow, why should? nothing different to offer of the Sunday keeping churches.

This pertinent comment really ‘cuts to the chase’ as you Americans would so aptly say; and reflects the dynamic of our worldwide church. The dichotomy raised in this discussion cannot avoid this fact: that the SDA Church in the ‘Third World’ is growing tremendously and that the Spirit of the Living God is actively engaged in the Plan of Redemption together with those human agencies who have been called to preach and teach the gospel in all its verity. In spite of this, many ‘progressives’ (a term which I personally think is rather pompous) will still try and downplay this significant growth. God in His Love and Mercy is pouring out His Spirit on those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. Let’s face it, Traditionalists are the foot soldiers. They get their hands ‘dirty’ and bring sinners to Christ. (Blisters usually show up after the work is done). Many in the First World underestimate what the Third World knows in terms of Theology but they just cannot underestimate what they know about God: by faith, experience and obedience. Sixteen years ago the Southern Asia Division had 200 000 SDA’s: they now have 1.4 million. These areas don’t preach a watered down gospel; they preach and teach the gospel in all its verity: the ‘whole nine yards’.

Brother In Service

T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Preston says:

Adriftfeline,

Thank you for your thoughtful and responsive post. I will read and digest the sources you’ve provided.

I agree that it is important to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the Bible, in terms of discerning truth from error. But I submit that some things are more important than others. Indeed, this issue (the IJ) may, indeed, be vital. But thus far, no one has said so, definitively.

This has implications for both the progressives and the traditionalists.

If this issue is not vital to salvation, the degree of rancor and resulting estrangement/separation within the church is out of proportion to the issue. Many of those who have no strong feeling about the issue have been adversely affected. Some initial responses to the questions posed indicate that, regardless of the question, if the IJ issue is raised, the responses are locked and loaded. We literally have stopped listening to each other. Many of our brightest lights are directed inwardly, not outwardly — toward the darkness.

As the statistics and others testify (re: the Latino mission field), the church continues to grow. How much more growth would we have reaped if not for the disproportionate distraction of this issue?

I submit that many who have tuned out have done so because we can’t provide a direct answer to a simple question: What does this IJ debate have to do with my acceptance of salvation?

My second question, regarding if /how different interpretations of the IJ affect the preaching and teaching of the 3rd Angel’s Message remains virtually untouched (except by you) in terms of a direct response to it. All of this leads me to believe that neither side wants to address it, as it may be self-indicting — or, worse, unconsidered.

I am pushing this line of questioning hoping that we all will reconsider our perspective on this issue in the context of our mission — and the associated collateral damage inflicted by the tone and proportion of the debate.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

It would appear to be a “critical” task to distill our beliefs down to their essential and insoluble ingredients in order to determine that which can most commonly be agreed upon and/or that which is most important. As far as the IJ/Sanctuary/2300-day prophecy is concerned, Preston raises an important question—and cricksdds, HgOlaf, Adrifteline, have each offered equally important yet varying answers that all resonate with, and make sense to, this Adventist.

As I understand it, Preston’s point is that on some level at least, it can’t be but so important what we believe about the judgment; since, after all, we are not our own judges, and are not involved in the judgment process.

However, if we acknowledge that there is a judge and, at least equally important, an advocate—who is One and the Same—and choose to throw ourselves on the mercy of the former, while enlisting the advocacy services of the latter, we will literally be all right.

I’m thinking it would be good and instructive, though undoubtedly divisive in this space, if someone would address whether SDA’s are to highlight, emphasize and herald the Three Angels’ Messages or the Third Angel’s Message.

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Preston says:

Not to create a distraction, but unless the traditionalists “revise” their position (I’m not yet taking a position as to whether this is, in fact, needed), how else can the demands for change ever be satisfied?


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 RonCorson says:

I am glad even though Preston did not answer me he did finally admit to the use of the third angel’s message as a code word. He wrote:

The blog also asks how either version of the IJ applies to the preaching or teaching of the 3rd angel’s message. The 3rd angel’s message is, in my view, directly related to salvation in that those who do not receive the mark of the beast will be saved, per Revelation 20:4.

So, again, my quest is to understand if/how either version of the IJ connects to accepting salvation and, also, to the Adventist core mission (re: the 3rd angel’s message).

You realize this is the code, not just because he finally admitted in calling it our core mission, but because the focus is so different from what the Christian Gospel really is. For example you want to know what the mark of the Beast is? Why, why not as a Christian think about the seal of God.

Eph 1:13
13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, (NIV)

Now of course how would that one work? How would you say that the Investigative judgment seals you with the Holy Spirit? It makes no sense so they can’t use it.

Or take for example the simple teaching of the parable about salvation if you want to know how the two are separated (saved and unsaved):

Matt 25:33-36
33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
(NIV)

Of course again that does not really work with the Investigative Judgment, they are there to hear the declarations it is simply the rewards judgment.

So Adventism has created a special mission based upon inserted meaning into the rather vague and symbolic book of Revelation. Because going with clear Biblical texts can not support illogical and artificially derived doctrines like the IJ. Even the alternate IJ where the so called other worldly beings must be shown that God is doing the right thing by saving people is more inserted meaning which the Bible does not talk about at all. If there even are other sinless beings why would they be as untrusting of God as human beings. It makes no sense. And then of course if you use God’s books to decide you ultimately must accept the honesty of God so why not just take His word for it in the first place.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 BillCork says:

First, the “investigative judgment” is just one theory of what “the cleansing of the sanctuary” means. And that, I suggest, is the key Adventist teaching–that “the cleansing of the sanctuary” began in 1844. What does that involve? Lots of different ideas have been thrown out, with different emphases. Is it an “investigative judgment,” looking at heavenly books? Back in 1877 Uriah Smith wondered how long that could continue. A process of cleansing the saints and preparing them for translation? A process of vindicating God by judging those who profess his name who have been beastly persecutors of his people? Can we say that any of these are inconsequential, if true? Can we say it is inconsequential for our church if the basis for it, the historicist method, is false?

And that brings us to what is really the fundamental issue — the interpretation of Biblical prophecy. Is the historicist method valid? Is there such a thing as predictive prophecy? Or is Daniel just a forged document from the Hellenistic period writing about things that had already happened, but written “as if” it was predicted?

This is not an issue of “the organization” vs. “scholars.” There are lots of different nuances offered by many scholars. Desmond Ford had some unique theories that are not shared by folks who have other doubts or questions. And there are a lot of disgruntled folks who really don’t know the theology or the history but find this a convenient peg to hang their doubts upon.

Many of today’s doubters doubt the Bible itself. They think it a human document, and despise prophecy. They ridicule anyone who imagines God communicates information to us about human history and destiny, or who reads “the signs of the times” in the events of nature and history. The message of the second coming is but a myth to them. Others, imposing their own philosophical preconceptions on the Bible, no longer believe that God himself knows the future. If he doesn’t, then of course prophecy is meaningless except as moral exhortation.

But if you believe that God knows the future, and that he lets us know ahead of time, and that the Bible has critical information, you are going to approach these issues with seriousness.

If you believe Jesus is coming soon, and that the prophecies of the Bible give signs, this fundamental conviction will influence all you say and do.

If you believe when Jesus comes his reward is with him, then you admit he must have made the decision before he comes. Then you must believe there is a time–a close of probation–at which all have made their decision. For those who accept these points, but reject 1844, how do you deal with these issues?

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Preston says:

In perhaps the one of worst kept “coded” messages of all time, I have openly advocated, on this site, that the mission of the SDA Church, within the larger body of Christ, is the preaching/teaching of the 3rd Angel’s Message:

https://www.atoday.com/have-we-lost-sight-our-mission

Further, the church itself, explicitly refers to these same messages in its mission statement:

“The mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church , as articulated in the church’s mission statement, is to proclaim to all people the everlasting gospel in the context of the Three Angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-12. The commission of Jesus Christ compels us to lead others to accept Jesus as their personal savior and to unite with His church, and nurture them in preparation for His soon return. That’s at the heart of the church’s mission and is accomplished through preaching, teaching and healing ministries.”

The Bible also explicitly says that the punishment of the beast and the false prophet is connected to their deceiving people who received the mark of the beast (Revelation 19:20). In addition, the definition of those who are saved explicitly includes those who did NOT receive the mark of the beast (Revelation 20:4). These are vital issues on the critical path to salvation.

The fact that some arbitrarily or purposefully disregard or minimize these vital biblical facts does nothing to dissuade me from warning others.

My agenda is not hidden. That is my mission. It is why I am here.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

“The Critical Path to Salvation,” should always, (by default), direct the sinner to the Cross. By virtue of God’s Grace, all mankind has this offer or ‘path’ made readily available. The Church has been organised for this purpose: to go into all the World and preach this Good News. In [John 14:5,6] Thomas brings in a seemingly valid theological question which was obviously misunderstood by the disciples. Jesus without criticising their inadequate understanding, redirects this theological position to a position of faith. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life…”

The doctrine on the Sanctuary in conjunction with the Investigative Judgement teaches this Great Plan of Redemption by Faith. Righteousness by Faith, both imputed and imparted are undeniably seen in the symbols, ceremonies and types which always pointed to Christ our Saviour. [Gal 2:20] sums-up this ‘Righteousness by Faith’ quite well for me.

Here are some of the rhetorical fallacies which detractors use, together with their lucid rancour to ‘whip’ traditionalists and falsely accuse them of teaching:

the sinner stands in a perpetual ‘guilty as hell’ condition in a court throughout his miserable life as a Christian
the sinner is always in a doubtful state of insecurity, not knowing when his or her turn comes up for judgement
the sinner desperately clings to a legalistic code of obedience in order to keep a tyrant god happy

But we know this isn’t the case. Progressives (again I must point out that I think this is a rather pompous term – SAP would be more appropriate – Self Appointed Progressives), seem to display an uncanny type of ‘phobia’ towards Trads because of some of these:

1] their fixation on trying very hard not to be labelled as a Trad which in itself can also boil down to a form of legalism

2] they make sin a trifle matter by compromising clear Bible Truths and principles downsizing it to suite the political, social and of course the cultural correctness of the day

3] their picky and choosy Bible positions which are always interpreted in their favour even to the extent of ‘trampling’ on the Holy Seventh-day Sabbath – the Fourth Commandment

4] They lean heavy towards Rome…

The IJ is not all about the proceedings and legalities that must and usually take place in a judicial environment. No! It’s about a sinner, ‘guilty as hell’ walking out of court a free changed man or woman, washed in the Blood, Holy Ghost filled and in Newness of Life; and more abundantly, I might add. It’s about the Risen Saviour, the Lamb that was for sinners slain, Who takes the sinners place and Who received the punishment on the sinners behalf; Who fully covers us with His Righteousness which is freely imputed and imparted to us by Faith through God’s Grace.

In other words the view of the Trad regarding the IJ is not about the ‘furniture’ in court but rather about the Blood that sets the sinner free by Faith. In all of this – Love is the theme!

Similarly I’ve heard many who focus more on the sheep in Psalm 23 rather than who the Shepherd is. But here again it should be all about who the “Shepherd” is and extent of His love for us…

Suppose AToday decides to use this site as a mainline evangelical one for a month at least. Would the Progs come to the ‘party’ and ‘share’ their testimonies and experiences of what God has done and is doing in their lives? Or would they whine: “First get the Trads to stop been Trads!”

Happy Trad In Christ

T

Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Preston says:

Thank you, BillCork and Trevor,

It is clear to me that you accept Christ’s as our Savior and His blood sacrifice for our sins. It is implied, but less clear to me if or why either version of the of the IJ is vital to our acceptance of salvation.

Forgive me for seeming to pick nits, as you have been kind enough to share your beliefs (and you proudly and forcefully represent the more traditional point of view). It would be helpful if you could speak directly to this question.

Thanks much.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 RonCorson says:

Preston as you know it was I who posted the Adventist mission statement on the comment section of the blog you linked to.

I never said the code wording is secret though it is usually used to avoid speaking simply and with straight forward language it is obscurantist. As you did with Question #2 where instead of speaking in straight forward language you used the code wording of third angel’s message.

As for you explicit interpretation of certain texts in Revelation…well there are entirely subjective.I am sure that even you don’t believe “In addition, the definition of those who are saved explicitly includes those who did NOT receive the mark of the beast (Revelation 20:4)” Which of course would mean since the Adventist interpretation of the mark of the beast has not occurred until there is Sunday law legislation that your statement indicates all in history are saved since they did not receive the mark of the beast. No you are merely trying to make you insertion of the use of the third angel’s message seem to be something more Biblically legitimate.

By the way Preston writes:

–In perhaps the one of worst kept “coded” messages of all time, I have openly advocated, on this site, that the mission of the SDA Church, within the larger body of Christ, is the preaching/teaching of the 3rd Angel’s Message:

— Can you show me one place where you have defined the 3rd angel’s message in that article? I defined it in the comment sections you ignored definitions. Now you pretend that you are always up front about it. It just shows how totally obscure traditionally Adventism has become that they use code words without bothering to define their meaning. Because to them the code means “Adventist distinctive doctrines” but they realize that sounds bad to say so they use the code instead. For example here is your question #2 without the code language:

2. What role does either version play in the preaching and teaching of the Adventist distinctive doctrines?

Well obviously it is critical because it is part of the Adventist distinctive doctrines. So it may not matter what version of the IJ one uses you just have to include one and it has to include 1844 so that the historicist 2300 years can be used. Thus the rise of the acceptance of the term “preadvent Judgment”. This even though the Bible says the saved have had their names in the lambs book of life since creation of the world.

Rev 17:8
8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come. (NIV)

See also

Rev 13:8
8 And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, (every one) whose name hath not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that hath been slain. (ASV)

Many Bible’s actually mistranslated this one as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world but the alternate meaning is more likely and consistent with the other use in Revelation.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 pat travis says:

Bill,

A quick response. One does NOT have to believe in 1844 et.al. to believe in a “pre-advent judgment” which is now the post-glacier view “a/the politically acceptable SDA term over I.J.” that includes those that have already died and those that are believers at his coming.

Christ has been a king-priest since His ascension. He makes eternal judgments and offers intercession and forgiveness daily from the throne.

Probation ceases for the living when He “stands up” from His throne and returns… both the living and the dead will have been judged. Everyone’s salvation has been declared and fixed…and Christ knows those that are His.

Much of I.J. traditional thought is also that then all can from the records see why people were lost and see if God was just…as if believers really need Him to prove it. Of course Andreason would point out a perfect people actually vindicate God’s justice before probation can close…the “why Jesus waits” syndrome.

Questions?

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Preston says:

I believe Revelation 20:4, literally, without hesitation.

I believe The Great Controversy narrative (e.g. interpretation of Revelation) of the final days, without hesitation.

As to my so-called lack of specificity in my article (“Have We Lost Sight of Our Mission?”), the article contains this quote and reference (re: your request to “show me the one place” I defined the 3rd angel’s message in the “Mission” article) about our mission:

“Our distraction with institutional issues is not a coincidence. The Church of Laodicea is defined by its lukewarmness (Revelation 3: 14-16). The love of the world and the things in it makes the status quo attractive. Our complacency is predicted in the same book that contains the core message of our mission (Revelation 14: 9-12). “

All of this may not be clear to you, but, as I said to you in an earlier post, we believe different things. So be it.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Frank Allen says:

You are right, I agree, as far my salvation—at the cross or pre-advent judgment—makes no difference. Then why did we have the teaching in the first place if nearly nobody cares, as I guess, with the secular mind, it does not increase or decrease baptisms and few SDA’s can explain it.

However this issue is not optional for the integrity of the church and EGW’s claim of inspiration is at stake. If we change allowing believers to choose assurance mediated from the cross instead of during the investigative judgment—meaning just before the return of Christ when all deeds are atoned for or names are “blotted out of the book of life” (GC 401)—we deny our historical roots. We would need to redefine ourselves in terms of dogma.

(1) The sanctuary message (pre-advent) brings to the view the Law of God as the “standard of character in the judgment…without obedience to His commandments no worship can be pleasing to God.” (GC 435, 436). This is the reason why the “Sabbath” is the “final test,” for the entire world, revealing those who serve God and those who deserve the seven last plagues.

(2) The sanctuary message is the bases of the 1st – 3rd angels’ messages. If atonement and salvation was settled at the cross there is no need for a judgment hour message.

(3) The judgment hour message is designed to prepare the 144,000 “who are to stand without fault before the throne of God” (3T266). Where “only the faultless… will be translated to heaven… Every defect in the moral character must first be remedied, every stain removed by the cleansing blood of Christ, and all the unlovely, unlovable traits of character overcome” (Mar 58). The issue is that as God cleanses the sanctuary from records of sin of the living, he cleanses believers so they can stand on earth with “no mediator” where there is “no more a sacrifice for sin” (forgiveness) and we would “rather die” then sin (Mar 41, 55, 82).

To change our belief, giving assurance on the bases of the completed atonement from the cross instead Judgment day sanctuary mediated benefits; would necessitate a major revision in dogma, and re-interpretation of the disappointment in 1844 as a fanatical confused group as well as create deep divisions within the conservatives of the church.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 HgOlaf says:

Preston,

The mission statement which you have openly (not codedly) advocated is both clarifying and illustrative of a bit of confusion.

Within Adventism, from top to bottom, it is easy to find or hear usage of “The Three Angels’ messages” mingled with “The Third Angel’s Message”. The usage is so variable that it tells me that we do not have a standard usage, or a standard meaning.

If we refer to Revelation 14:6-12 it appears that we have a baseline for our interpretation, but even that turns out to be tricky.

Nowhere is this clearer than when we try to understand EGW’s usage of the terms.

EGW used the term “the three angels’ messages” only a handful of times – literally just five. Most “hits” on that term in the White Estate CD lead to captions that appear to be added by her editors, whereas her own words are usually about “The Third Angel’s Message”.

Others pointed out to me that EGW uses the “Three Angels’ messages” as code words to describe the Millerite Adventist cum Seventh-day Adventist historical, missiological sequence: The “First Angel” in her vocabulary was code for the Millerite movement up to the first disappointment of 1843. The “Second Angel” became code for the “Midnight Cry” that led to the “Great Disappointment” of 1844. The “Third Angel” became code for all the “peculiar” “present truth” messages given to Seventh-day Adventist believers that represent our mission to a world facing the mark of the beast.

“The first and second messages [Revelation 14:6-8] were given in 1843 and 1844, and we are now under the proclamation of the third; but all three of the messages are still to be proclaimed. It is just as essential now as ever before that they shall be repeated to those who are seeking for the truth. By pen and voice we are to sound the proclamation, showing their order and the application of the prophecies that bring us to the third angel’s message. There cannot be a third without the first and second. . . .” {CTr 338.3}

“The power of the proclamation of the first and second angels’ messages is to be concentrated in the third.”–Lt 209, 1899. {VSS 329.1}

A search on “the Third Angel’s message” shows almost 1500 hits.

A search on “the first, the second, and the third angels’ message” has 26 hits.

Very consistently, EGW makes it clear she is refering to the historical movements from the Milerites to 7th-day Adventists.

When our mission statement says “in the context of the Three Angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-12” I still don’t know if it is refering to EGW’s use of these terms, or some other interpretation.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

If you stopped ten people on the street and asked them what is meant by the phrase: “Three Angel’s Message” what sort of response would you expect?

My husband, on first attending an SDA evangelistic meeting heard this phrase “The Third Angel’s Message” and said he wondered what was the messaage of the first two as it was not explained, nor mentioned.

Only those who have been steeped in SDA doctrines can know the meaning of that phrase, but it is not unanimously explained by all members. Ask any 10 SDA members to explain that phrase and report on their answers. I doubt you will hear the same answer from any.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 RonCorson says:

Yes there are indeed a host of code words in Adventism, so when Preston says he believes different things then I do I completely agree. My philosophy however is to explain the reason for my beliefs. That also in one of our differences.

As for the mission statement of Adventism I wrote the following article after posting the mission statement on Preston’s blog. Preston for one thing certainly provides me with lots of fodder. Though it is on issues that I would prefer not to have to keep dredging up.

https://cafesda.blogspot.com/2011/02/adventist-mission-statement-gospel.h…


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 pat travis says:

Preston,

Seems you’ve stirred a nest. From some statements it seems many are just as confused over the issues as were those who were legitimately asking the church questions 55 yrs. ago in “Questions on Doctrine” that was pulled after the first print and then re-published in 2003 by Andrews Press and the annotated version by George Knight…church historian.

Seems there is still confusion in the ranks that could not be swept under the rug by either silence or “new quotes.” :>)

https://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/qod/

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Preston says:

Elaine,

Indeed, we have not focused on the Three Angels Messages or the 3rd Angel’s Message. That was the reason for my first blog (“Have We Lost Sight of Our Mission?”). It is also a reason for focusing on the critical path to salvation.

The fact that the common person is not familiar with those terms is interesting, but not surprising. Many people cannot not name their congressperson, a Supreme Court Justice, or the year of Declaration of Independence. Even so, our government is intact and operating.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Preston says:

Frank,

I appreciate your response.

It seems, in your view, that:

1. The IJ (re: pre-advent or at the cross) bears no difference on salvation, and

2. There are direct implications for the traditional interpretation of the IJ vs. the progressive version, in regard to its affect on how the 3rd Angel’s Message is taught.

That seems logical to me (for what that is worth).

However, to hesitate to revise the interpretation of the IJ (if that is ever determined to be necessary) for any other reason than a search for the truth, invites ever more division and mistrust. The search for (present) truth, I believe, is the motivation that will engage most honest seekers.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

As this thread is titled “Critical Path to Salvation” and Adventism claims to hold that map, the link supplied by Pat above, is a complete (?) list of the SDAA doctrines “Questions on Doctrine.”

One interesting chapter was explaining the “two laws”: moral and ceremonial. The position taken is that the Decalogue in Ex. 20 is the moral law and the many others given the Israelites were only ceremonial.

Yet this interesting quotation:

“We recognize that the Sabbath was not a test in medieval times. And we do not believe that it was a test in the days of the great sixteenth-century Reformation, or even in Wesley’s day. But in these “last days,” when, we believe, all truth is to be restored before Christ’s second coming, and the message with divine import is to come to mankind on the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, there is a moral accountability for obedience on the part of those to whom light and conviction have come. God surely does not hold men accountable for truth that has not yet come to their knowledge and understanding.”

This statement implies that the sabbath was NOT a moral command for anyone in “medieval times.” Was it a test prior to that time? Was it a test during the Reformation? Did they not have access to the Scriptures with this law in their Bibles? The inference is that only when Adventism began preaching Christ’s second coming, the sabbath message with “divine import” demanded a “moral accountability for obedience.”

IOW, not until ca 1844 when the Sabbath was “revealed” to the early SDA believers, did obedience to the Sabbath become a “test.” Although sabbath was first introduced to the Israelites in the Decalogue, there was no responsibility for adherence to obey the moral law until the mid-19th century! In this interpretation, only Sabbath is designated part of the “moral” law, while stealing, lying, murder is not part of the moral law! How can only one part of the “moral” law be a test if all the others are no longer valid parts of the moral law?


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Preston says:

HgOlaf and Pat,

Yes, there seems to be a more than a bit of confusion around the issue of the Three Angels vs. the 3rd Angel’s Message(s), in terms of language and usage. It is here, on the critical path, that I believe that our collective energies are better spent. As part the self-definition of our mission and raison d’etre, it seems we should concentrate on clarifying exactly what those terms mean and communicate that message to the world — in the context of the Adventist interpretation of Bible prophecy. For me, it is simple: start and end with the Bible. The Great Controversy narrative will stand — or fall, based on its alignment with the Bible. I am confident of the outcome.

Our new GC president is passing out free copies of the Great Controversy. Perhaps he is is seeking to lead the faction that another blogger aptly named: DSDA – the “Doing” SDA’s.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 RonCorson says:

Elaine wrote:

— IOW, not until ca 1844 when the Sabbath was “revealed” to the early SDA believers, did obedience to the Sabbath become a “test.”

— Can you say 3 angel’s messages? There is where this bit of knowledge is found once inserted by Adventism. Once you insert your doctrines into some specific area of revelation then you have created a place for your church as the prophetic church as foretold in the book of Revelation. The circular logic is complete and the code word then works in place of actual logic and exegesis. Something that any political spin doctor would be envious of.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 klriley says:

Is it possible that there are different interpretations given to the word ‘salvation’, and therefore to answer the question of whether the IJ or anything else is ‘critical to salvation’ we first need to ask ‘what is salvation?’ I suspect a number of people here are operating with a different understanding to that held by our pioneers who saw the IJ as crucial. This has been alluded to in the post that speaks of assurance as coming from the cross or from the final judgement. My suspicion (growing closer to belief as I read more) is that ‘salvation’ for Ellen White had a similar comprehensive meaning to that which it has for Orthodox Christians, i.e the whole process of restoring man to the image of God. For many modern SDAs ‘salvation’ means ‘justification by faith’, taken from the Reformation. In the first, the IJ plays an important part, in the second it is irrelevant. So who is correct? Personally, I believe that the definition of salvation (although not entirely the means thereto) is one of the things the Orthodox churches have maintained from the Apostolic era. Therefore I would maintain that judgment of some kind occurring before the 2nd Coming is critical to salvation, and if the SDA view [or one of the many views] of the nature of that judgement is correct, then the IJ is indeed vital to salvation. While I may not qualify as a liberal, I will still maintain that on the vast majority of issues (includingn the IJ) I am left of centre.

Kevin


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Preston says:

Thanks Kevin!
This is a very enlightening overview.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 amed soliz says:

We liked or not the 3 angel’s massage is crystal clear who will be condemned in the last days “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand.”

To understand the key words worship and mark we have to look Revelation 13 and 14. The war in these chapters is related to worship. Worship is mentioned 8 times, seven related to the dragon/ beast, and one to God. (Rev 13: 4, 8, 12, 15; Rev 14:7, 9, 11). The attack is on the first 4 commandments (which tell us to who, how, when and why to worship)

1. The beast is replacing God (attacking to the first commandment)

2. The beast has an image (attacking to the second commandment)

3. The beast is blaspheming (attacking to the third commandment)

4. The mark of the beast attacks the four commandment. This commandment has the NAME (YHWH) NUMBER (SEVEN) prohibits commercial activity. The mark of the beast has name, number and also restricts commercial activity. 
https://www.auss.info/auss_publication_file.php?pub_id=1106&journal=1&type=pdf

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 amed soliz says:

The word mark (χάραγμα) is mentioned 8 times in reference to the “mark” of the beast. A similar word is used in Heb 1:3 in reference to Christ who …is the express image (χαρακτήρ) of His (Father). (χαρακτήρ = character).

The ones who will receive the mark of the beast will have character of the beast. The character of the beast is described in revelation 13, opposes to the true worship and this one specifically the forth commandment. This commandment has the mane of GOD, the number, the economical restriction and cover of all kind of people. The mark of the beast has name, a number, economical restriction and universal coverage. Indeed extraordinaire similarities!

The mark of the beast also has a subjective identification to be known only by the ones who have it. “They have no rest (anapausis) day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Revelation 14: 11. The word rest (anapausis) is the same word used in Mat 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest (anapausis) for your souls. When the due time is for sure God will let know everybody exactly what is the mark of the beast. The question is if we have the rest and serenity of Christ today.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 laffal says:

Preston,

Yes there me a bit of confusion about the 3 angels message and the 3rd angels message. Let me share how I’ve come to understand the lot. Each angel proclaims the everlasting gospel in 3 different contexts / issues.

The 1st angel proclaims the everlasting gospel in the hour of God’s judgment, and since He not only the creator of all things, but the author of the everlasting gospel… it’s time to worship Him with the whole heart.

The 2nd angel proclaims the everlasting gospel in terms of the fall of Babylon. (Don’t hear much of this any more for some reason.)

The 3rd angel proclaims the evelasting gospel in terms of the issue of the seal of God / the mark of the beast. It’s God’s last appeal to humanity for whom He gave His Son to redeem, save, and deliver from sin and all of it’s consequences. The bottom line to the 3rd angel is that in the light of the everlasting gospel there is no excuse for anybody to be lost… period. They will only have themselves to blame.

1844 is when the “hour of judgment” began. The rejection of the evelasting gospel in the hour of His judgment has led Babylon to its fall. And the 3rd angel is to go out to the world to announce the good news of a Savior who will not only save you from sin, but you may also have boldness in the day of judgment. Christ’s righteousness stands for all those who believe and trust that He is able to save to the uttermost.

Peace


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Adventists have chosen the sabbath as the “seal of God” yet the seal is clearly identified in Eph. 1:13:

“And you, too, have been stamped with the SEAL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT of the Promise, the pledge of our inheritance, which brings freedom for those whom God has taken for his own, to make his glory praised.”

Where can a more precise definition be found in Scripture? The Sabbath is never referred as the “Seal of God” but the Holy Spirit. Why “invent” one, unless to conform to preconceived choice?

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Ian says:

“Dr. Ford was simply the first to publicly express to church constituents his doubt on the issue. This debate had taken place in the halls of our conference offices and universities for decades.” Posted by tcalvert71

Hi, I was thinking the same thoughts. Why has the church focussed on Dr. Ford when at the time and after the time of Glacier View, Doctors Cottrell, Heppenstahl and Harry Lowe were in perfect agreement with those same questions? Also the surveys conducted by Dr. Cottrell around the time of Glacier View and back in sixties showed that a majority of SDA scholars supported those same questions.

The brethren back in the sixties would not even admit that these were problems worthy of discusion. Same thing happened at Glacier View, even though 12 of Ford’s ideas were incorporated into the Consensus Statement. (Sydney Adventist Forum Mock Court Session – published in Adventist Today.)

The brethren wanted Ford to recant of his so-called errors or else he would be fired. The plan was for his confession to have been published in the Adventist Review for all the church to read. It is sickening when you think about it.

In all fairness to Dr. Ford, I should point out that his thousand page book was not trying to throw out the doctrine entirely, but to let the Bible speak for itself on this subject.

Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 31st, 2011 amed soliz says:

The 3 angel’s message also is clear in who will be saved in the last days the ones who “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” Rev 14:12.

In the “last war” the people of God are mentioned, at the beginning and at the end of the war with the same characteristics (Rev 12:17, 14;12). Also they are identified (Rev !4;1-5) between the attack of the satanic trinity ( Rev 13) and the respond of God (Rev. 14 6-20). These are the ones who had the “seal of God” they follow the Lamb wherever he goes and have the rest of God.

In the new testament the Seal (sphragis) of God is identified as “righteousness by faith” (Rom 14;11) and the Holy Spirit ( Ephe 1;13, 4;30). This seal is given to everybody that accepts his amazing grace. The “seal of living God” in Rev 7 includes what was mentioned before but is a special “end time seal”. This one is put by an angel. The characteristics of the sealed are described in revelation 14; 1-5 and is the same people indentified as the the ones who “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

The last battle is in regard to the proper worship, as I mentioned before the satanic trinity attacks the first 4 commandments (to whom, how, when and why to worship). The response of God is with his special sealed people that keeps the proper worship described in his commandments.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 30th, 2011 Tom says:

I do not believe the Sabbath is yet a test as per the Third Angels message. It most certainly is a test of God to many individuals as they discover the Sabbath truth, and are led under the conviction of the Holy Spirit as to it’s significance.

The bottom line of the third angel message, which climaxes a growing declaration by the previous two, is this, will you trust Christ enough to choose Him, and His righteousness, or the alternative, which is man-made righteousness, and attempt to gain entry into heaven by your own works.

The Sabbath will become a universal test to all when it clearly is the demarcation line between those who serve God without reservation and those who choose the man-made alternative that will be enforced by law.

Too often I think we tend to muddy up the water on this subject with a lot of excess baggage. I have already explained on a previous AT blog, how I see, from scripture, the pre-advent judgement, so I will not revisit it here in detail again. I identify as neither a traditionalist nor a progressive SDA. I will say that too many of the “old time religion” crowd have bastardized this doctrine with a lot of guilt and fear, while too many of the opposite persuasion just want to toss it out altogether as insignificant baggage in the plan of salvation.

As I see it, neither side has it right, or sees the glorious truth, and yes “good news” of Christ’s ministry on our behalf in the pre-advent judgement.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 31st, 2011 Preston says:

Thanks very much, Amed. Enlightenment!


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 31st, 2011 Preston says:

Tom,

I very much agree. Growing up in the church, like many, I was very overly aware of law — and, thus, guilt, and not confident regarding grace.

The Sabbath , in my view (and, I believe, biblically) is not the seal, but a sign of our allegiance to God’s commands over the traditions of men (ironic, huh?) — and the deceptions of the beast and his image. God, in the person of the Holy Spirit will seal our embrace of Him, prior to the Second Coming.

Indeed, there were/are some problems with the “old-time religion.”


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 31st, 2011 Tom says:

Preston

I remember well Clifford Goldstein talking about the judgement in a sermon at campmeeting in the late 1990’s. Unlike his wife,who was raised an SDA and feared the judgement, Cliff converted to Adventism and had no such fear. My wife also converted to Adventism, and does not have a fear and guilt associated with the judgement, like many folks who wear reared on a diet of the old time religion in which the judgement was presented as anything but good news.

Those who want to take us back to “the good old days” of historic Adventism, are probably the greatest factor in so many progressives wanting to trash the IJ altogether. EGW says it will be the conservative class who cling to tradition for its own sake, who will be the greatest obsticles to the finishing of God’s work here on earth.

Try this quote of EGW on for size:”Whenever the people of God are growing in grace, they will be constantly obtaining a clearer understanding of His word. They will discern new light and beauty in its sacred truths. This has been true in the history of the church in all ages, and thus will continue to the end. But as real spiritual life declines, it has ever been the tendency to cease to advance in the knowledge of the truth. Men rest satisfied with the light already received from God’s word, and discourage any further investigation of the Scriptures. They become conservative, and seek to avoid discussion…When no new questions are started by investigation of the Scriptures, when no difference of opinion arises which will set men to searching the Bible for themselves, to make sure that they have the truth, there will be many now, as in ancient times, who will hold to tradition, and worship they know not what.” (5T pp. 706-707).


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 31st, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Preston my able Friend

Prog’s, and some ashamed to be Trad Adventists, say that ‘there is fear’; ‘it is fearful’; ‘they are always scared’; or something to that effect, regarding the Investigative Judgement doctrine. They quietly ‘avoid’ the fact that in parallel God rebukes all those who are ‘lukewarm’ in Rev 3:16, where God rebukes their ‘pompous arrogant position’ and warns them of the consequences of disregarding the remedy He provides. God first shows His disgust at such an ‘aloof’ people who heavily brag about ‘what they got’ in terms their self righteous pompous condition – but are found wanting.

Just like the fig tree, making a big show with lots of leaves: but no fruit. Jesus cursed the tree after Investigating for fruit. He passed Judgement on it. Now isn’t this also ‘scary’ for those complaining how fearful they feel with this Investigation and all. ‘I know thy works’ the True Witness says. So I can basically see that Progs (‘maturists’) use this ‘phobia’ theory to try and discredit a normal Righteous by Faith relationship with God, whose rightful prerogative it is, to audit our lives at his own will, whenever, however.

The ‘fearful of the IJ’ line is just a side effect of the lukewarm condition. Period. The IJ, rightly understood, 1] displays God’s love for the sinner, 2] Shows God’s abhorrence of sin, 3] Reveals the ‘price’ that Jesus paid for the sinner, 4] Proves God’s power to forgive and pardon the sinner, 5] the ‘Power in the Blood’ to change the life of the sinner 6] Declares that the just shall live by faith, 6] and Displays the Atonement Jesus makes on behalf of the sinner by His own merits – by His sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary, etc.

Coming back to your question my friend Preston, I believe that no doctrine can save anyone, not even the IJ which clearly teaches and reveals the very same thing: that no doctrine can save us. In other words, theology in itself can’t save. I’ll even go as far as saying that the very beautiful doctrine which articulates Righteousness by Faith, can’t in itself save us: only through faith in Christ alone by Grace, [Ephesians 2:8] “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—“

To answer your question, I have taken the liberty of answering with a question: “Is there ‘any’ doctrine then for that matter, that is ‘vital’ to our salvation, as none in itself can save?” Teachings about salvation can’t save us at this ‘vital’ (oxygen, water, glucose) level. Only Jesus saves! He is the Saviour; the Lifegiver; the Creator; and Sustainer. The thief on the cross is an example what this ‘vital’ to salvation question is about.

I conclude by saying with Paul [Romans 8:35-39] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Now that is what is vital…

Your Trad Friend in Christ

T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 31st, 2011 Preston says:

Tom,

This quote deserves its own article.

It is amazing how the Bible and EGW are used, not to find truth, rest, or enlightenment, but as battering rams to re-enforce positions. Of course, when we are looking only to justify what we presently think, nothing new can penetrate.

Speakling of old-time religion, I remember (back in the 1980’s) well-meaning traditionalists talking about the book of Romans as if it were some non-biblical, radical, heresy that should be ignored (too much grace!).

At times, people on all sides are afraid of what the Word — (and EGW) actually says. New thoughts (though they have been laying there on the pages for years) are scary things!

Thanks very much for your contributions.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 31st, 2011 Preston says:

Brother Trevor,

Indeed, nothing can save us, but the Blood of Christ, arguably the only thing on the critical path, beside our acceptance of it and the giving up of our will to His.

My point, regarding the IJ, is that we all seem to have lost perspective on its relative importance.

I personally believe that some scholars were mistreated in this process — whether they were “right” or not. I also believe that the reaction to this mistreatment created a powerful dynamic of its own. Candidly, the growth of the work among Caucasians in North America and Australia, in particular, has been halted. That damage, I believe, is directly attributable to the reaction of those who felt the push back to this alternate theory of the IJ and saw something other than a good spirit.

It is possible to be correct and still wrong.

At any rate, the point is that the issue became larger than its relative importance. It became a point of estrangement, work avoidance, and worse. Those who wish to leverage division in the church were given a strong foothold.

If we focus on the critical path — the essential steps — to salvation, we can more easily see distractions for what they are.

Peace.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On March 31st, 2011 David C. Read says:

The sanctuary/Investigative judgment doctrine is important because it allows us to understand more of the Bible. The great advantage of Adventism is that we understand how the sanctuary services of the Old Testament pre-figure Christ and point to Christ, and allow Christianity to flow seamlessly from the Old Testament to the New.

The question should be “what does the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16) prefigure? What does it represent?” The answer to that question is in the investigative judgment doctrine.

After the disappointment of 1844, when the early Adventists realized that the cleansing of the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 did not refer to Christ’s second coming to earth, they learned that there was an earthly sanctuary and a heavenly sanctuary. Moses was instructed to carefully follow the pattern shown him (Ex. 25:9, 40; 26:30; Acts 7:44) because the sanctuary he was building would be a representation of a sanctuary in heaven. (Heb. 8:5; 9:11, 23-24)

Revelation tells us that when “the time had come for judging the dead . . . then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant.” (Rev. 11:18-19) In the earthly sanctuary, the Ark of the Covenant was in the Most Holy Place, which was opened only once a year on the Day of Atonement. (Lev. 16; Heb. 9:7) So in Revelation 11, when the time had come for judging the dead, it must have been the Most Holy Place of the heavenly temple that was opened. And because they knew that the Most Holy Place was opened only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the early Adventists realized that a heavenly judgment of the dead had been typified, pre-figured, or foreshadowed by the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

The Hebrew word Kippur comes from a root that means “to cover or hide”; a secondary meaning is “to obliterate or expiate.” So, in the judgment in Heaven typified by Yom Kippur, the sins of the sinner who has placed his faith in Christ are covered and hidden by Christ’s righteousness (Psalm 32:1-2; 85:2), expiated by Christ’s sacrifice, and will be forever obliterated. The determination of whose sins are covered and expiated by the blood of Christ is a process of investigation and of judgment. (Dan. 7:9-10; Rev. 20:12)

The blessing of the investigative judgment doctrine is in the harmony that it brings out in Scripture. There is precious meaning in the symbology of the earthly sanctuary, and the meaning is brought out by the rest of the Bible. We see how the type pre-figures the anti-type by studying the rest of Scripture, especially including the prophetic books of Daniel and Revelation.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Preston says:

David,

Please allow me to push a little on re: your post. It is thoughtful and enlightening,

The question remains, “Where does either version of the IJ lie on the critical path to my acceptance of salvation?”

The IJ issue is important and instructive. As you say, it helps us to better understand the Bible and (the process of judgment). But the cyclical conversations around both versions have taken on a life of their own — and, I submit, yielding disproportionate adverse effects.

Your outline of the IJ is clear and compelling, to those inclined to accept it. The Des Ford version (for lack of a better term) is also — for those pre-disposed to consider it. Now what? Do we go our separate ways over this? This is, in fact, what has happened in pockets of our church.

I understand that considering the so-called progressive version has serious consequences for the church organization, its dogma, etc. That is a non-trivial matter. But are the consequences we’ve already suffered in terms of lost and estranged members in proportion to the vitality of issue?

That question applies to “both sides” of this debate.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 pat travis says:

Hi Preston,

I understand what you are “attempting” to do by the nomenclature of “progressive” and “traditional.”

Could I offer in terms of theology what I consider a better understanding and it was related to the book I previously suggested to you “Christianity vs. Liberalism.”

Now there is obviously a continuum in this discussion however I would suggest that in general “liberal or progressive theology” has the effect of dismissing the inspiration and final authority of scripture.

Traditionalism has the tendency to accept the “traditions of man” above scripture.

So in Adventism I would suggest you have two poles that in fact rely on something other than scripture for their final authority.

The third pole is “sola scriptura” and that is opposed by both traditionalist and progressives in the SDA church as is “Justification by faith alone.”

Just trying to offer a new nomenclature for you. Classical Protestantism and Des profess/professed to follow the third pole as the goal. “They” are not “liberal or progressive” in the theological sense nor “traditional in the SDA sense” which relies heavily on an external source of authority.

The path that we are to take is sola scriptura then there can be a hope for peace “on the essentials.”
——————
David, may I suggest you have accepted the same exegetical error our founders did in that there is no linguistic linkage between Dan.8:14 and Lev.16 in the Hebrew scriptures…thus the Grand canyon of developed skewed ideas.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 klriley says:

I have no problem with the concept of a pre-Advent judgement. What I have never understood is how we jumped from the Day of Atonement – when Israel as a nation was accepted or rejected – to a process of individual judgement. I can see the parallel is that the church of God is accepted or rejected, but where is the individual judgement in the Day of Atonement?

And none of the traditional answers as to why there has to be an individual-by-individual judgement have ever made sense to me. If I make it into heaven I won’t be going to God to demand that there be accounting for who gets in or is left out. It isn’t a question I will want re-opened. But, being more serious, why would any of the saved question God? And having watched all of this mess unfold, why would any created being have any questions. Maybe there wil be people spending the millennium asking God to justify his decisions, but I intend to make the most of it. There is a universe out there to explore, so why waste time questioning God? And the process we describe is farcical. One by one we come forward (or our name is brought forward) and in each case Satan says we don’t deserve to be there, and Jesus pleads his blood and we get in. That happens for each and every person who has accepted Christ. One by one. Surely God and Satan are both too intelligent to waste 160+ years on this process. Do it in one batch. Satan says no one deserves to be saved, Jesus pleads his blood for all who accepted him, God declares the case closed. Now that has parallels with the Day of Atonement. One sacrifice applied to make us all clean. A long, seemingly endless, process of dealing with each person when the outcome is obvious to everyone has no parallel in the OT anywhere.

Something happened in 1844. Something holy was justified. How we got the beginning of a process from a perfect verb I have never understood. It seems to me like bad grammar and bad theology.

Preston, I believe (by faith) that the pre-advent judgement and the justification that happened in 1844 are important, probably critical, steps in our salvation. I believe it is important we try to understand those events. I am not convinced that anyone has worked it out well enough that their position is worth dying for, or even as a basis for deciding who is in or out of the church.

I suspect it is hard for those who haven’t been through the experience to realise just how bad the fallout from the arguments surrounding Ford’s sacking was in some places. Was it worth emptying churches to get rid of those who did not believe in a physical heavenly sanctuary – complete with furniture – or who were not prepared to swear that Jesus literally got up and changed position on Oct 22, 1844? I guess it depends on which side you were on, but I can’t say ‘yes’ to that question.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Preston says:

Thanks, Pat. This is worthy of serious consideration. Language is important.

Thanks again.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Preston says:

Dear kriley,

It a serious subject, but this is but a great point — and very funny to me:

“Something happened in 1844. Something holy was justified. How we got the beginning of a process from a perfect verb I have never understood. It seems to me like bad grammar and bad theology.”

How refreshing and brave to say, in effect, “I believe, though I can’t prove it.” How hard is that? More importantly, in leaves room for fellowship with those who interpret this issue differently.

On other blogs, other writers and I have sought to find and define the basic, common ground of Adventist fellowship (something short of 28 points). That, I believe, is a substantial, but worthy goal — probably best worked out somewhere beside a blog.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

hey, Brother Preston

RE your comment: “Your outline of the IJ is clear and compelling, to those inclined to accept it. The Des Ford version (for lack of a better term) is also — for those pre-disposed to consider it. Now what? Do we go our separate ways over this?”

When I first came across this website I could clearly see the Dr Ford camp busy firing away their loaded ‘bits and bytes’ ammo from their ‘qwerty’ machine guns at any Traditionalist who dares step on their turf. Their target group: The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Pastor Ted Wilson, Church Administrators, Adventist Theologians, Bible Research Institute, Ellen White Estate, Ellen White Writings – well almost anything and everything that is linked to our Traditional Adventist Bible based faith. (Even the proverbial ‘horse and cart’ comes under fire).

Your point here regarding the matters arising from this dispute, among others of course is noted, however, it doesn’t just stop there. Many other issues are also raised within this context. SDA Theology, Bible interpretation and validity, Prophecy, Ellen White, 1844 and IJ, Church History, etc., all of which have had disparaging remarks hurled at them which has been compounded by the usual presumptuous rhetoric. This is very similar to the many Anti-SDA Websites out there and not much different. It doesn’t stop there either – it gets worse. Some scholars and others have jumped on the Ford ‘bandwagon’ to pursue their own agendas.

Unbelief in the Second Coming of Jesus; discarding of the Holy Sabbath; acceptance of sexual perversion as non-sin; justifying of worldliness in the Church with regard to dress and lifestyle; unbelief in the Bible account of Creation and other accounts. These are just a few of the many spurious tenets that have been posed.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a diverse body of believers which has seen a number of off-shoots over the years that have left for various reasons. Dr Ford has had his say and his day; and I guess it boils down to a case of sour grapes for some in his camp who obviously have been hurt but have reacted in a desperate attempt to get back. The SDA Church in my opinion has not erred in this regard. They did what they did as per Church disciplinary measures which apply to us all. Even AToday has a stringent list of rules and enforces them when necessary although I feel they favour certain individuals and their turf.

Back to your question: Do we go our separate ways over this?” I am not convinced by the many arguments against Traditional Fundamental Beliefs. There are so many arguments to counter these. There are also many disgruntled ex-SDA, non-believers and non-SDA’s who come on board for the ‘Traditionalist Bashing’ ride. I’m not sure if you include non-SDA’s in this question as they weren’t even with us in the first place. So too with many progressives who also don’t believe what Trads believe. Maybe we ‘are’ already on separate ways and just haven’t realised it yet.

Let’s face it – it is the peer pressure of the secular-cultural and socio-political arena in the First World which drives the engine of ‘self appointed progressives’ and that is the bottom line. Dr Ford and many of his sincere supporters are just been used as a springboard for another agenda, namely, to destabilise and weaken the Seventh-day Adventist Church. If they were right, then Christ who is Head of the Church, including ours, should have convicted the world church to place them in charge. So far the world church has said: “How ‘bout no!”

Happy Sabbath

T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Preston says:

Brother Trevor,

I hear you.

As the article says:

“To be sure, there is skin in the game. If the progressives are right, Des Ford would be vindicated. I am sure some will leverage that victory to “take down” Ellen White and all of her writings. From there, some liberals might continue to challenge the Adventist interpretation of the 3rd Angels message, the Sabbath, the Mark of the Beast, and other core beliefs. Part of the exceptionalist branding of the denomination will peel away. From an organizational perspective, it would be, “Houston, we have a problem.” The church could land safely, but not without some heroic improvisation.”

Still, I am not certain that this need be a zero sum game. Very frankly, I believe that there are those who are simply using this issue as a lever to undo Adventism. And there are those who honestly believe the so-called Ford version who are, as Pat has advised, “sola scriptura,” and committed to living by the Word — only.

They are very different groups.

I believe we should be careful that in “defending the faith,” we not exclude that second group, for hopefully obvious reasons. Also, we should be careful not to inadvertently elevate and escalate an issue (the IJ) that is secondary (in my opinion), but useful to those who would do harm to the Adventist message.

I do not have a pithy solution, but I do think we should take care to listen carefully to understand the agenda of those with whom we disagree.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 pat travis says:

Preston,

Thanks for “hearing” what I said regarding, Liberals and Traditionalist vs. “sola scriptura” in your last reply.

Most people seem to not hear…but only reply with their own perceptions and agenda.

I understand this however as very few have the resouces to actually understand the issues…both historically and theologically.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Preston says:

Dear Pat,

Thanks for enlightening me with your observation!

Listening — and hearing are at the root of many solvable problems. Too often, we are rhetorically locked and loaded and just waiting for the other gal/guy to stopped talking so we can fire. Not only is it frustrating, it’s also BORING!

Cheers!

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Hey, Pat

Are you asserting that theologians, or should I rephrase it, Ford aligned theologians and historians and linguists have the knowledge, skills and aptitude to determine what is truth? Are only First World ‘progressive’ scholars the custodians of what is Truth? It is clear to me that Theology has failed to provide a reliable solution to this ‘showdown’ which has been going on for years. Thus a solution will only be found when this issue is escalated to a position of faith. Traditionalists have learned this faith walk with God a long time ago. Maybe some should stop and listen and learn about how to walk with God by Faith? We have been chasing the tail of theology for far too long. This website is a good example of some who ‘chase the tail’ of theology. What’s wrong with the “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it for me” kind of faith? It sure ain’t weakness to have faith and trust in God and rely upon Him to teach us His ways and His precepts.

The Scribes and the Pharisees were the “know it all’s” back in the day who continued to harass and deride Jesus throughout His ministry and eventually these so-called ‘lawyers’ plotted and had Him killed. There were a few like Nicodemus who were believers but even he too initially didn’t understand the simple teachings of our Lord, yet ordinary fishermen and others could grasp these lessons from the Master Theologian Himself. By Faith they took Him at His word: after all Jesus was in essence, the Truth.

I see and ‘listen’ to the snide remarks been passed and justified but yet when others speak words that don’t please one’s ears then they try to silence them by discrediting and mocking either their intellectual capabilities or understanding. The Pharisees and Scribes did exactly that to Jesus. They forget that all true theology needs to be studied and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit. I ask you, which tertiary institution has a lecturer who says a public prayer before starting a theology lesson? Very few if any…

Cheers

T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Each person must find his own “way” or path. There is not one, and only one path to salvation. If that were true, how would anyone except those who had followed a clearly marked path made by someone else? Has God ever told us to submit our will to another human?

Some as children followed the path marked for them by their parents, while others rejected what had worked for them and began to develop their own paths, and no two pathways are identical. If salvation is the ultimate goal, we will concentrate evrything we do in order to make sure that we have chosen the right path, and if we wish to influoence others we may wrongly tell tham of the only path we know which is not at all their path.

Neither is God the exclusive savior for Christians, and Jesus is bigger that any one religion. He didn’t come to start a new religion. He did say in John 12 “And I, when I am listed up from the earth, will draw all to myself.” That includes any Christian cultures, any denomination, any church, any theological system. We cannot claim He is ours anymore than he’s anyone else’s. He did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. Too often Christians are like the elder brother in the story of the prodigal son: the wayward son has no right to his father’s estate, because the elder son has faithfully stood by his father while the younger had wasted his inheritance.

The real question: If God is always loving, always willing to claim his children while we’re alive, does he suddenly change the moment we die and become totally different? Is he loving one second and cruel the next, sending you to destruction at the last moment of your life? Does God’s love depend on something we do, or is it eternal? Is God a loving God while you’re alive, and then raises you up in the second resurrection to exercise his wrath? Does this describe a God of love or a god whose love depends on what you do or believe? Is that the ideal human father?


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 David C. Read says:

Preston, I don’t think the 1844/IJ is necessary to salvation in terms of justification by faith, but I’m not sure how the question is really relevant. The Seventh-day Adventist Church isn’t necessary for justification, either. Nor is reading the Bible, nor is going to church, nor is having any sort of organized religion.

However, the mission of the SDA Church is not just to spread the word of salvation through Christ. Our mission is also to warn the world that Christ is returning very soon, and to call the world back to the true Sabbath, the seal of the Creator God. The Investigative Judgment doctrine is an important part of our message of the soon return of Christ.

Moreover, if the church abandoned the IJ doctrine, it would also be abandoning its founding prophet, because Ellen White was totally committed to the 1844 doctrine, and said that not one pin would be removed from that doctrine.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Hansen says:

David, That’s such a lovely piece. My dear old aunt could have hardly said it better. The actual passage which deals with Christ in the heavenly temple is found in Hebrews 8-10. It explains, in plain language, that Jesus went into the MHP at his ascension to deal with sin in a way that the typical service could not.The blood of Christ actually purges the believer from sin. Participants will never again be confronted by their sin as the Jews were each year. That’s what Hebrews 10 says. Passages in those chapters clearly refer to the DoA.

Instead, you prefer texts of apocalyptic imagery. Why? One, possible, even likely, reason is that the theory you set forth is a fable which can not be supported by responsible interpretation of plain Scriptural declarations; consequently, you must resort to the obscure, the symbolic, the typical and antitypical, the shadow and the substance. Apocalyptic passages must square with what is plainly taught in other places. Can you explain how what you say goes along with what is plainly spelled out in Hebrews?

This is an earmark of every cultic doctrine. Many churches have zombie like individuals who offer obscure passages as proof of some strange doctrine. The Mormons with their broken stick, the JWs with their little flock. Of course, you think Adventism has the truth. So do they.

The main reason Adventists disagree about what Hebrews says is because one element is simply defending EGW under the thinly veiled ruse of scholarship. When Adventists stop trying to disguise apologetics as scholarship, more people may be willing to listen.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 pat travis says:

T,

There is little it seems can be said to the mentality of “traditionalist SDA’s ” it seems on this issue. It is the SDA “scholars” that assume they know more than all other scholars concerning Dan.8:14 and the sanctuary. That is not true.

Hansen has pointed out the problem of the church the church has created that David embraces. It actually is not possible for “our prophet” to be wrong on the issue.

I suggest this is blashemy to sola scriptura but believe as you wish.

It was the Pharisees “tradition” , added hedges and self righteousness that Christ attacked by the way…not their scholarship of “sola Torah.”

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 David C. Read says:

Pat, I think it possible for Ellen White to be wrong, in terms of not being consistent with Scripture, but I’ve never seen it demonstrated where she is wrong. Certainly not on the Investigative Judgment issue.

Hansen, Hebrews does not contradict the Investigative Judgment doctrine; to the contrary, Paul’s plain statements that the earthly sanctuary was a copy of the heavenly sanctuary, and that Christ now ministers in the heavenly sanctuary, are key building blocks of the doctrine. If Heb. 9:12 is translated “Most Holy Place”, then there is an apparent conflict, but it need not be translated that way.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 CherryAshlock says:

Find your wings and soar!

I would rather pick advocate then judgement. If ford is right why does egw have to be wrong? Maybe both are right and could be combined to have a clearer picture. What was wrong was the way Ford was treated by the denom….even if they believed him wrong they did not treat him in a loving restorative manner. It is looking more and more like he had valid points.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

You raise the all-important question Elaine: is there one critical path or many. In my opinion, those who have never heard of Jesus or may have never had the opportunity to accept the salvation that He came to offer, are God’s responsibility. That is to say, what the eternal destiny of those individuals is—or is not—is not determinable by any human understanding. Speculation on their fate is less than fruitless in my view.

For those who have had exposure to the knowledge of Jesus, His Love, and His Will, as revealed through inspiration of God to persons of His choosing in Scripture (otherwise known as the Bible), and who have the intelligence to ask Him for the faith, the personal revelation, and understanding necessary to accept Him and to receive His gift of salvation—through His name and His grace and His Love—THE Critical Path is clear. Accept Him or reject Him, the simple binary choice is ours.

If we accept Him, we have all the power in the universe at our personal disposal at all times. If we reject Him it is because we have chosen not to love a Creator who happens to love us more than we love ourselves, AND not to believe Him. If we reject Him we reject the power to love others as we love ourselves, and the grace—the provision—to fill in the gap between our inability or unwillingness to do what He asks us to do, and His ability to literally live in our minds and actually do that which He asks, for us. In rejecting Him, we also reject His willingness to forgive our lack of faith and our unwillingness to submit to Him.

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Hansen says:

David, If you think the only issue is the translation of Hebrews 9:12, you might want to check something besides the Advent Review after a Sabbath lunch, for your your theology.

Chapter 10, starting with verse 1, is clearly referring to the DoA. The main purpose of the discussion in that context is to explain how the blood of Christ and his ministry is better than the work that the HP did on the typical DoA. At issue is the purging of the conscience of the believer from the recollection of sin. That’s perfection in the context.

The passage which says “He has perfected forever them that are sanctified,” in the context of the DoA, means that believers will never again be confronted by their sin as were the Jews every year on the DoA.

That didn’t begin in 1844.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Preston says:

David C.,

Thanks for your response.

The relevance of the question, if any, is to try to put the IJ in perspective, and, hopefully, to integrate some context into the forward-leaning debate.

If the IJ, is on the critical path to of teaching/preaching the 3rd Angel’s Message (question 2 in the article), then, in my view, the time and energy spent in clarifying the correct interpretation of IJ is well spent. If however, the energy around the IJ is primarily a theological/political debate with no direct impact to accepting salvation or how the TAM is framed, we have, in my opinion, wasted time and misplaced priorities.

Seldom, in recent debates about the IJ, do I hear any connection to salvation or to end-time warnings. The discussion is usually, about EGW, or Ford, or denominational power struggles and factions. As you well know, we all make it difficult for the Jesus or the Holy Spirit to be the central focus of those debates.

I’m not completely naive (though purposefully so). I know some wish not to be convinced of anything and have a negative agenda. But others, far less vocal (and greater in number), are watching and listening, seeking the truth. The fact that the growth of the church among Caucasians in the U.S. and Australia has ceased is no coincidence — or minor matter. And not all (likely not most) who have left had a purposeful anti-Adventist agenda.

I hope, by asking the question, we will be more conscious of the context and real purpose of the debate: to crystalize the vital truths, to bring others to Christ and prepare them for His Coming. When most marginally engaged laypeople listen to the current hyper-charged IJ debate, they do not hear Christians in search of the truth, they hear another version of the circular, vain, rancorous political debate they can get on cable news.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Stephen,

Had you been raised a Muslim in a country with almost 99% Muslim, and that had been your way of life since birth, what are the chances that a Christian could convince you to become a Christian?

Had you been born in many of the nations of thiis world: India, China, Russia, the chances also would be about nil that you would become a Christian.

It is easy for us who have been born and lived in a “Christian nation” even though not everyone is a practicing Christian, to realize and understod that it is accepted by nearly every one here.

Since the Gospel commision is that the Gospel is to be preached to the whole world, what wat the “world” of Jesus’ day? Was there anything at all known about the 7/8ths of the world that was completely unknown? Their world was bounded by a very small area.

God knows each person’s heart and since He alone is the judge, our actions toward our fellow man will be the only indication of our heart; not our beliefs on doctrines, but only the love of others. This is the Christian motto, but also is claimed by all the world’s great religions, and non-religious. Religion is man made; love is universal.

It has been revealing to see the Japanese people’s care and patience for others in this terrible disaster. Now compare it to the people of New Orleans after Katrina! All, police and civilians were likely Christians.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 amed soliz says:

Preston in regards to your 2nd question “what role does either version play in the preaching and teaching of the 3rd Angel’s Message?”

The role of the “progressive view” in the teaching and preaching is restricted to a very small portion of the SDA church and to some web pages like this one were the influence is limited.

The sequel of “Des” of the eighties is shrinking as its followers are aging. The churches that adopted this path are not growing. I can’t not image in this environment teaching o preaching the urgency of the 3rd angel’s message. There are entertained with “higher theological findings”.
In contrast the “traditional view’ still is taught and preached in all SDA schools, seminaries and in the majority of the SDA churches. In this environment the third angel’s message is presented without makeup and unmixed. Wherever is presented this path the church grows.

The perception that we hold has a direct influence and impact.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Preston says:

amed,

I do believe that the lack of growth in the churches that are distracted by this controversy is largely the result of a self-inflicted wound. However, in my opinion, that does not relieve us from any obligation to perform triage and to minimize the collateral damage.

Peace.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

CherryAshlock,

It does appear to be a false choice between Ford and EGW. The Advocacy is on behalf of those who want it; the Judgment is for those who do not. At least that’s the way I process it.

In an aberrant way, this sort of reminds me of the false choice between O.J. and the L.A.P.D. a while back; when it appeared to me that Simpson was being framed for a crime that he certainly committed.

Elaine,

You have pointed out Matthew 25 as the text that reveals what is truly critical to salvation (in your belief that how we treat our fellow human beings is all that matters). May I suggest that Matthew 7:22, 23 indicate that there will be those who have indeed done great things for others—whom Jesus will yet claim never to have known.

As you correctly point out, love is what matters; and 1 Corinthians 13: 3 frames this reality once and for all.

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 cb25 says:

Re the Critical Path

It was a long read to the end of replies to this topic with some fascinating replies.

It seems to me SDA’s and many Christians are like hoarders – they have no idea how many steps need to be thrown out of the path they have so carefully crafted:

If we allow ourselves to be confronted with the possibility that life and this earth are millions of years old, and that God is using an evolutionary process to bring it to be – argument over whether Mrs White or Mr Ford is right shrinks into the shadows of the trivial, as do many other of our well gaurded minutiae .

The steps are minimal:

“God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.

It is argument over detail that has created the multitude of denominations we see today. It is the same principle of “I am right – you are wrong” that fuels the Islamic extremism. Where there is more than one peson present we will never agree on every detail.

Democracy is the enemy of religion, but the friend of spirituality. Look at the Arab world today. The quest for democratic freedom is a massive force shaking the very core of religion enforced by the state.

Democracy (and associated affluence/freedom) is eroding organized relitigion/Christianity, but is it removing spirituality? I don’t think so, but it IS bringing it back to the basics. Spirituality. That’s all that matters…

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Br Preston

RE your comment: “The fact that the growth of the church among Caucasians in the U.S. and Australia has ceased is no coincidence — or minor matter.

Just a quick one, hypothetically of course: “What if Dr Ford was a ‘black’ man in the 70’s and 80’s even with, let’s say, maybe three Doctorates to his name; would he have had the same influence among Caucasians?” Let’s take it a step further and say he was from a Third World country? Would…?

P.S. – I will bow out for now. …Don’t mean to hog your blog ; )

Sabbath Peace

T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Frank Allen says:

Comments received from Preston: The question remains, “Where does either version of the IJ lie on the critical path to my acceptance of salvation?

On the surface it’s easy. I perceive that both sides—conservatives and progressives—could agree that either our pardon was given at the cross or during the investigative process post 1844—it makes no practical difference. I am pardoned on the bases of Christ’s blood as my substitute either way. I can exercise faith—from the cross or 1800 years later from the sanctuary—both offer me pardon due to the merits of Christ. The results are the same, we have assurance and forgiveness.

Agreed? Now why can’t we be at peace?

It is the underlining issues in the Investigative judgment that create division.

First Issue: Is the Sabbath that was brought to view due the judgment hour message, is the final test for 7 billion people? To conservatives this is a critical issue that dams or saves, all at once, the entire world is held responsibility. A time will come when the “harvest is ripe” (Rev 14), it’s the end of the civilization.

Progressives suggest issues found in the Sermon on the Mount, of mercy, peacemaking, faith, love, forgiveness and non-judgmentalism as life saving issues. They see the separation of the “sheep and goats” (Matt 25), as evidence of salvation promised on unconscious kindness such as feeding the hungry, visiting the sick and caring for the lost prisoners.

Second Issue: There are major differences over the process of faith based righteousness, which the 1st angel’s message brings to view. The conservatives assert we are justified by faith but they add that “God requires the entire surrender of the heart, before justification can take place; and in order for man to retain justification, there must be continual obedience” (FW 100). Justification has conditions and the evidence that we possess faith is that “we cease to transgress the holy law of God, and become partakers of the divine nature” (RH 1888).

Liberal SDA’s would support Luther view that we are saved by faith alone. Faith is seen as passive, merely receiving Christ so that the divine verdict and pardon is based not upon anything in the sinner, not even faith itself, but upon Jesus and his righteousness alone, which are received through faith alone.

Third Issue: When USA enforces religious legislation God’s patient mercy is said to be exhausted and the “wrath of God is poured out without mixture” (Rev 14) of mercy, falling with intensity on humanity. Conservatives would emphatically say YES, “national ruin” follows “national apostasy” (LDE 134), and “move to the country” (CL 19) to be safe from impending ruin. Probation is closed, the saved are sealed and the door for the lost is forever closed.

More liberal minded would cite many historical references where nations from antiquity have passed religious legislation including Pilgrim Fathers, and no wrath followed. Can USA “disconnect herself fully from righteousness” (Mar 190)? Was USA ever righteous, considering Thomas Jefferson’s abridged Bible, the nasty early political campaigns, and the witness of the Civil War? Today is USA foreign and domestic policies righteous?

Fourth: The perfectionist conclusions of the Investigative Judgment process—the 144,000 living without Jesus as their mediator because there “is no longer a sacrifice for sin” (GC88 518). Conservatives will quote many EGW references where we are to overcome “as Jesus overcame,” for “God requires perfection of his people” (COL 315). They believe that Jesus came so that we “could live without sin…We can be perfect Christians if we will manifest this power in our lives” (2MPC 527). The Great Controversy must disprove the lie that “Satan declared that human beings could not live without sin” (RH 1905), and that the Law of God can be kept because Christ imparts his righteousness to meet its claims.

Progressive SDA’s cannot accept any perfectionism this side of heaven. They say the history of nations and religious movements disprove any confirmation of perfection. Perfectionism leads to self-loathing, fanaticism, and a critical judgmental attitude. Furthermore the perfect are never faultless enough.

Road blocks to solutions: There is no viable leader for progressives to meet with conservative clergy. The leaders in the conservative movement, Amazing Facts, Stephen Borh, and Three Angels Network, stand to lose the most in dialog with liberal brethren. Don’t look for this to happen, conservatives are certain that last day events portrayed by EGW are immutable.

Possible solutions: Start with the White estates and re-evaluate EGW. Accept her as capable of making mistakes with the possibility of formulating ideas based on the culture of her day. God used her and spoke through her, but like Paul’s command for slaves to submit to their masters, women to be silence in the church, his advice was not intended for the entire Christian era. This opens the door for progressives to remain in good graces of the church, and conservatives to hold their literal interpretations of the Testimonies.

Sure problems remain. Conservatives find it tough to accept compromise. Yet if they could come to love their brethren and embrace theology that differs with their world view, they will witness to the perfection of love they believe is possible.

I suggest publications need to call for a spirit of toleration and love, with openness to discuss the issues, and never practice medieval papal bulls of condemnation toward another. Perhaps this is the purpose of our diverse viewpoints—can we love another whose search for truth differs with the orthodox.

The Pilgrim Fathers could not accept Rodger Williams, an early proponent of religious freedom. Are we at this crossroad? Or should the progressive’s get on board, for the sake of unity, and trust the church’s teaching or leave it.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 pat travis says:

T,

I’m disappointed with that last comment. I did not know that truth had a gender, color or nationality…but maybe that is the way my mother and the Spirit of Christ raised me.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 laffal says:

Preston,

My understanding of the relevance of the IJ and the gospel of our salvation (justification by faith) is the prophetic setting. The critical path is where we are in the time-line of prophecy, and how the everlasting gospel addresses sinful man in the hour of judgment (1st angels message).

But herein lies what is to a large degree at issue and the heart of your questions here. The 2 questions and the attending positions have a different / irreconcilable interpretation of prophecy. (Historicist vs. Apotalismatic methods) They lead to very different conclusions. You have already outlined the evidence / results of the differences have on church members.

People can debate all they want about what the end times scriptural scenarios are / are not all about. But it is clear in the Bible, at the end of the day Christ will say “it is done.” What is done? His work as our High Priest. There is only one logical conclusion therefore, to me, the work the IJ is finished. Because if this were not the case, what criteria do we have to determine when / why Christ’s High Priest ministry will conclude.

The 3 angels, the IJ, and the Day of Atonement teaching / preaching have a special significance when their vital link to the everlasting gospel are united / received / experienced / proclaimed. Christ is at the center of it all. The urgency of the SDA message has apparently been misplaced, if not lost. Why? These all important prophetic markers have been stripped of their gospel significance, and how they give us light on how we are to live before God and the world in the end of time awaiting the return of our
Savior.

Peace

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Preston says:

Dear Frank Allen,

Thank you, so very much, for work unavoided! We may not agree on every point, but, at least, we have a clear idea of those points of difference are — and, also, the related spiritual implications for those differences.

Thankfully, I’ll have to think this through.

God bless!


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Preston says:

Yes laffal! Now we are getting to the meat of all of this. Please stay engaged. This is so very important.

Thanks very much.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Preston says:

Cherry and Stephen,

The false choice dynamic seems like a reasonable possibility. Although I am not at all confident that a critical mass of Adventists are willing to allow their minds to bend enough to consider that possibility. It seems that we tend to enjoy absolute options.

I wonder if something like that happened in October 1844.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 1st, 2011 Hansen says:

Frank, You put a lot of effort into that post above. May I suggest a couple of points that you might like to phrase in a different way?

“Liberal SDA’s would support Luther view that we are saved by faith alone. Faith is seen as passive, merely receiving Christ so that the divine verdict and pardon is based not upon anything in the sinner, not even faith itself, but upon Jesus and his righteousness alone, which are received through faith alone. ”

The idea that faith is passive, merely receiving Christ….” sounds wrong. It reflects a prejudice or lack of information on your part which discredits your analysis.

There is nothing “mere”about receiving Christ. It is a dynamic, life changing experience for many people, including Luther. Luther’s faith alone emphasis was based on careful analysis of Scripture. Iif you read his Genesis commentary on Abraham’s life, you will see that Luther is quite conservative, adhering closely to what Paul said in the NT.

“Progressive SDA’s cannot accept any perfectionism this side of heaven.’

That statement is, on its face, false. I believe deeply in perfectionism, perfectionism as defined by Scripture. I have looked numerous times at the many passages throughout Scripture which discuss perfectionism. Jacob, for instance, is called a perfect man simply because he dwelt in tents. In Job, perfection and justification are dynamic equivalents used together in parallelisms.

The book of Hebrews refers to the perfecting of the conscience in more than one place. The perfecting of the believer’s conscience is of utmost importance in Hebrews. Perfection in Scripture has many dimensions. Sinlessness is not one of them. Augustine said it well, “We become perfect when our imperfections are forgiven.”

The link below will take you to a couple of sermons by Des Ford on Perfectionism. I favor the first one. I especially like the part where he says, Do you want Jesus to be your example? Then don’t get married and raise the dead!

https://www.desford.org.au/home/skypage.php?keyid=81&parentkeyid=79

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 2nd, 2011 pat travis says:

“5 Fundamentals” Vs. “Liberalism/progressive/modernism”

1. The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1; John 20:28; Hebrews 1:8-9).

2. The Virgin Birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27).

3. The Blood Atonement (Acts 20:28; Romans 3:25, 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12-14).

4. The Bodily Resurrection (Luke 24:36-46; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 15:14-15).

5. The inerrancy of the scriptures themselves (Psalms 12:6-7; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20). 1

You will find that “liberals/progressives” in the theological realm will disagree with some if not most of these “conservative positions.”

On the other hand “traditionalist” tend to add to the list things above the biblical directives rather than “sola scriptura” that give them their “particulars/distinction.”

Recognize that a continuum exist and all are not convieniently placed in one small box.

Luther accepted the “blood atonement of Christ” and Justification by Faith “alone.” Elements of Adventist traditionalist and Progressives generally reject one of these at least…some both.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 2nd, 2011 guibox says:

By Trevor Hammond

” If they were right, then Christ who is Head of the Church, including ours, should have convicted the world church to place them in charge. So far the world church has said: “How ‘bout no!”

The same could be said for the Jewish race through the Pharisees and 1000 years of papal supremacy. Your arguments are the same arguments that caused the Pharisees to label Christ as a heretic and kill Him, and the RCC to destroy millions of believers.

Pride, elitism, tight fisted claim to perfection and inerrancy…These are reasons for an organization to neglect change all the while claiming ‘God has not convicted us on the matter’ as the barrier to hide behind. Especially in this (among other things), the SDA church shares their methodology and denominational mindset with both the Pharisees and Catholic Church.

Darrell C


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 2nd, 2011 Tom says:

Elaine

Yes indeed, each person must find his own way or path, as you stated. No person should be captive to someone’s elses mind. EGW even stated that we must be thinkers and not mere reflectors of other men’s thoughts. But the corollary to that is “no man is an island.” God’s way is not a make up your own rules and follow your own intuition. That is the basis for Satin’s counterfeit.

Pauls says in Phillipians 2:13 to work out your own salvation. But that coin also has a flip side found in another passage of scripture “there is a way that seems right unto a man, but in the end leads to death.”

What Jesus looks for is a humble submissive heart that is willing to follow as He leads. Arrogant pride has no place in His kingdom. He is eager to save, but in the end our choices determine our destiny. Those who are lost will not be the victims of some vengeful God who delights in destroying His enemies, but they refused to choose the path to eternal life, opting instead for their own selfish way leading to perdition. Salvation is a free gift, but our choices do have consequences.

I want to also say that I enjoy your contributions here on AT, even though I am often in disagreement with you. You keep us on our toes. Some folks here have not been so tactful in the way they take issue with you. Yes, you are a trouble maker. Ahab said the same thing to Elijah. And there have been countless others who were seen by many as just troublemakers; Peter, Paul, Martin Luther, George Washington, Martin Luther King, to name just a few.

Often times, when one is called a troublemaker it is a good indication that you have hit pay dirt. As they say down on the farm. Throw a brickbat into the barnyard and if you hear a squawk or a squeal you know you’ve hit something.

Have a nice Sabbath or whatever,

Tom


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 2nd, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Thanks, Tom.

I have never intentionally been a trouble-maker, but from childhood I have been either cursed or blesssed (depending on one’s point of view) of always seeing the possible opposing views when expressed as final. So many things that were thought to be absolutely certain and were the last word, have later been shown to be far from the best and final answer.

Which is why when anyone or any group claims to have all the truth and then sets if forth, it becomes rather easy to find all sorts of flaws or unanswered questions. Humility and hubris are not good bedfellows and Adventism has been shown in the past that their “truths” once proclaimed have evapiorated in the light of overwhelming facts to the contrary.

God alone is truth, and men do not own God, although at times they appear to have a close relationship enabling them to know and speak God’s mind. When anyone reads the Bible and arrives at his own understanding that may be contrary to the accepted church belief, he has several choices: go along with the official beliefs; keep his opinions silent; or announce his new understanding. History shows this is an unwise move for those who wish to remain with the group. For those who have no need for beloning just to belong, he may choose to formally sever relationship which gives him more freedom of speech. For me, it was the latter that seemed in keeping with my own intregity–akin to not staying in a marriage where one partner was unconcerned about rules of fidelity. My fideltiy is only to my own conscience, and no other.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 2nd, 2011 Bill Garber says:

Stimulating comments again and again here.

There is an advantage in batching their reading, resulting in a small collection of reactions, rather than lengthening the thread. …

There is very likely no critical path to salvation. Were there, none of us would be saved as our salvation is beyond our comprehension, let alone our capacity, and certainly beyond our choice in light of our limited comprehension and capacity.

Our Faith does not save, God’s Grace saves.

Faith in the Grace of God is about living as a human, not about changing the outcome when we die.

No human escapes judgment by the Almighty.

The outcome of judgment is the same for all humans: Guilty

Grace is not about pardon because the Judgment is only about the past, not about the future.

There is no pardon, there is just grace.

The third angel describes a state, not a path.

The smoke seen by the third angel describes life on earth prior to the Second Coming. The smoke is the result of the inescapable, unending agony of doubt haunting those seeking to save themselves by their choice or their action (those marked in their forehead or in their hand).

Thinkers as well as doers can equally be trapped by critical path theology.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 2nd, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Ellen White’s take on our fundamental teachings. Check this link!

https://www.atoday.com/content/ellen-white-joyless-epiphany-1888#comment-13918
T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 3rd, 2011 Preston says:

Bill,

Thank you for this.

To be sure, the critical path is not a theology, but a paradigm, used to try to understand what is essential for salvation, in the context of the IJ.

You seem to be saying that grace is the only essential element of salvation. However, faith in Christ is required to receive that grace. If all humans are judged guilty, does it matter which version of the IJ is correct?

It is unclear to me what, if any, are the implications of your explanation of the 3rd Angel’s vision on either version of the IJ. If you are so inclined, please say more.

Thanks.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 5th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

There are other contributing factors within this discussion which should be taken into account like the ‘nature of Christ’ and ‘what constitutes Righteousnes by Faith’ which have a direct impact on our belief. Also, here are some points to note, taken mostly from a lecture of Dr Ford:

1] Dr Ford states that he had issues with certain SDA doctrines from even before he was baptised when speaking at a Forum in 1979. He was speaking on The Investigative Judgment: Theological Milestone or Historical Necessity? It is very likely that he wasn’t fully converted on a number of issues although he joined the SDA Church.- “This meeting actually began about 35 years ago in Sydney, Australia.”- “The problem wasn’t solved by the time I was baptized. And what I’m going to try to give you in the next hour is 35 years of thinking on the problem.”

2] Sister Ellen White states: “The theories that Elder Ballenger advocated, which remove the sanctuary truth, are just such as the enemy would bring in as matters of the utmost importance, to shake us from our foundation of faith.” {MR760 21.1} – Although Ford publically declared his high regard for the ministry of Ellen White, it somehow wasn’t altogether so.- Dr Ford: Men like Albion Ballenger, a man of undoubted integrity and spirituality, a man who wrote such books as The Proclamation of Liberty and Powerful Witnessing, a book even recently reprinted. And about 1905 Albion Ballenger was put out of the work because of his views on Hebrews 9.

3] Some of what Ford said he believes:- I believe in a pre-Advent Judgment, with every man’s destiny settled before the coming of Christ.- I believe the Day of Atonement has a special application to Christ’s last work, as prefigured by the work in the second apartment.- I believe the Seventh-day Adventist Movement was raised up in 1844 by God to do a special work and that to it was restored the gift of prophecy in the person of Ellen G. White. There, for the record, they are my true convictions.

4] Dr Ford also refers to the Writings of Ellen White as the ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ and was a believer in her writings.
But the Spirit of Prophecy is very clear that the most holy place was the center of the divine work of atonement.- The greatest rebel we’ve ever had amongst us was Ellen White. Praise God! No Adventist writer would have dared to write some of the things she wrote. I’m so glad she wrote them. They convinced me that she was led of the Spirit of God in the way that you and I have not been led.- And I treasure the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy.- Ellen White’s role, my friends, is pastoral, not canonical. Not canonical.– White’s book The Great Controversy was a key influence on his conversion.

5] Dr Ford posits 3 main problems he has with the SDA Church at this 1979 Forum. These have been very competently articulated and answered in a number of documents by SDA Church Scholars.

i) One of the main problems that faces us is certainly that of the year/day principle.ii) The second problem is this one: In Daniel 8:13 and 14, we have a problem of context.

iii) The third issue, because I have answered that one also in print, has to do with the word “cleanse.” (He refers to Daniel 8:14)

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 5th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

…part Two from my previous post

6] Dr Ford asserts: “Adventists have traditionally jumped from Daniel 8:14 to Leviticus 16 on the basis of the word “cleanse.” “Then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” The point is, the word “cleanse” isn’t there. It’s a mistranslation.”

What Dr Ford doesn’t mention is the KJV Translators’ Notes which state: And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

days: Heb. evening morning cleansed: Heb. justified

7] Normal seminary discussion and debates now were used as argument to support his views.-Now there’s nothing new in bringing these objections to your attention. They have been taught for years in our seminary.

8] Dr Ford had been subtly introducing his views long before 1979.
– I’ve had a few swipes at it in print, but knew if I was very frank, it would never be published. So I said as much as I could, beginning back in the 1950s, and I have had some things published, touching on the problem.

9] Dr Ford’s view on EGW Plagiarism accusations:
– But in a book written years after Great Controversy, the greatest book Ellen White ever wrote, a book where she is more careful to exegete rather than just homiletically apply passages, the Desire of Ages, the greatest book in the world next to Scripture. All this talk about Ellen White’s plagiarism. Sure she used other books in preparing this book. She used Hanna, Dr. Harris, Ed Ashime, Farrer, Daniel Marsh, and a number of other books. Sure she did. But, my friends, those books were open for anyone. I don’t see them coming up with the Desire of Ages. The issue isn’t, Did Ellen White use sources? It’s, What use did she make of them? What did she come up with? The sources are available for everyone, and people don’t come up with a thimble full of quality. The sources are there.

10] Dr Ford accepted 1844 as a significant event:
– What happened in 1844? God brought this church back to apostolic privilege, brought it back to the place where it could see the significance of the cross, brought it back to that place where if it would lay hold of the gospel, symbolized by the sanctuary, if it could lay hold of the blessed truth, represented by the daily, it would spread to the world and Jesus would come.

11] Interesting to note that Dr Ford was held very influential positions within the seminaries, institutions and churches:

– In 1961 he became head of the Religion Department at Avondale College, where he would remain until 1977- He was a member of the Biblical Research Committee in Australia and the United States.- In 1977 the church moved him to the United States, where he taught Religion at Pacific Union College for three years.

12] Dr Ford regarding Antiochus Epiphanies:

Now, those of you that have read my little commentary know that I believe that Antiochus Epiphanies was an apolesmatic fulfillment, a prior anticipatory, typical fulfillment, just like A.D. 70 is the preliminary fulfillment of Matthew 24. But I certainly do not believe Antiochus Epiphanies is a complete of the little horn.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 5th, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor,

>>There are other contributing factors within this discussion which should be taken into account like the ‘nature of Christ’ and ‘what constitutes Righteousnes by Faith’ which have a direct impact on our belief.<<

I suggest that is the often “unspoken” that drives the zealous perfectionistic positions.

This is true and those who embrace IJ as part of a continuum to perfection are in the “Protestant view and scriptural” wrong, I suggest, on both counts.

That is:

1) Christ was conceived of the HS and that “holy one” is not “just like us.” That fleshes out in that Christ as human “example only” and not “substitute” is not adequate.

2) JBF/RBF “alone” means to “reckon righteous” and not “make inwardly perfectly righteous.” One does grow in holiness/sanctification by Faith but not “faith alone.” We are reckoned perfect by one sacrifice accepted through faith while we are “being made” holy.

This issue really does boil down ultimately to two opposing views of the gospel…and how is one Righteous before God? I suggest like Isa.6:4-7 …to be reckoned that way “while yet a sinner.”

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 5th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Hello Pat

1] In the context of your previous post, how would explain Galatians 2:20?

–> “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

–> Romans 8:3 “For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,”

–> Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

2] In your reference to “those who embrace IJ as part of a continuum to perfection” – where do you get the assumption that the SDA Church teaches such a ‘continuum to perfection’ doctrine? (if I’m reading you right, that is)

3] Do you not see Righteousness by Faith in type within the Earthly Sanctuary and then in the antitypical Heavenly Sanctuary?

4] Lastly, are we saved – in our sin; from our sin; or both? Or does the proverbial ‘once saved always saved’ idiom hold?

Justification cannot be called Perfectionism as it is 1] received by God’s Grace 2] Christ’s Righteousness is imputed to the sinner who is reckoned as Righteous 3] Produces the New Birth/Title for heaven 4] By Faith 5] an instantaneous experience which takes place in conjunction with Sanctification 6] Through the Blood of Christ.

Sanctification cannot be called Perfectionism as it is: 1] received by God’s Grace 2] Christ’s Righteousness is imparted to the sinner who is reckoned as Righteous 3] Produces Obedience/Fitness for heaven 4] By Faith 5] A lifetime experience in conjunction with Justification 6] Through the Blood of Christ.

In other words why is it not posible for Righteousness by Faith to ‘produce’ Righteousness by Faith. You must take into consideration too that the indwelling Christ does have the power to change the sinner. Christ and sin cannot coexist in the human heart. [Rev 3:20]

Have a great day…

T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 5th, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor,

I will ask you what the SDA church fails to confront concerning the positions of both Calvin and Luther and the Protestant Reformation on “Righteousness by Faith alone” and such discussion was discouraged by Neal Wilson.

What does Justification/Righteouness by Faith “alone” in Christ mean?

What would it mean to say that Sanctification/growth in holiness is by “faith and works” but not “faith alone?”

What does simul justus et peccator mean?

With the proper answers to the above your ready for Chrisitan growth through the HS in the Protestant view without embracing the RCC’s view of “Salvation by Grace”…which amusingly many SDA’s do while saying the RCC is a “religion of works.”

If these things are not important the book GC was merely a facade for respectability only to then do the “bait and switch” back to our sanctification having a part in our justification rather than merely being evidential.

regards,

pat

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 5th, 2011 pat travis says:

The next post I anticipate is that EGW says we are not to discuss the “finer points” of salvation…which to most ignores the “basic points” of Reformation history.

Then, by these same “officials” and 2300 year believers, I am presented with the “finer points” of trying to show by astronomical charts that 457B.C and 31 AD are precise parts of the 2300 “days.” Go figure! :>)

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Pat, Hey – Sorry to disappoint your ‘next post’ expectations you mention in your post above.

RE your comment: “What does Justification/Righteouness by Faith “alone” in Christ mean?”

I have answered this in my previous comment. You must remember that the Reformation refers to Five Pillars of Faith. Each one is indeed significant and together they sum-up Protestantism quite pricisely.

Sola Scriptura – By Scripture Alone
Sola Gratia – By Grace Alone
Solo Christo – By Christ Alone
Sola Fide – By Faith Alone
Soli Deo Gloria – Glory To God Alone

Seventh-day Adventists subscribe to ALL of these and therefore qualify as Protestants in the truest sense.

Maranatha

T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Pat

To me as SDA, justification by faith alone means that Christ died for me i believed and accepted and have the assurance that only the Holy Spirit can give us.

Sanctification means that every single day the Lord is in my life, I invited him every single morning to be in my life He is the first the last and the best thought. He change my life started with my desires.

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God”.

Several year ago I learned a key question “In who i like to think” no to much in “what i like to think”. That key question i Found in Steps to Christ. That little book has so much insights !

Have a bless day and lets share the good news.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor and Amed,

Perhaps, if you choose, read this article by Neal Wilson, pp.10,11 in Ministry.

https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archives/1979/MIN1979-06.pdf

Then, if you choose, tell me what the Protestant Reformers meant by “JBF/RBF alone.”…and why the RCC at the Council of Trent oppose that view. The RCC does expouse “Salvation by Grace” and only the Protestant meaning of JBF can expose their meaning as it relates to Justification and sanctification…as also the SDA meaning expoused by Neal Wilson.

These views carry over to the I.J. as understood by many SDA’s.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 Bill Garber says:

Preston,

Thanks for laying this subject out on the table and inviting review. As a 16-year Seventh-day Adventist education graduate in the ’60’s, I too sought, if you will, the critical path to salvation. This was not because I was looking for something different, but because the subject had been overlooked to date.

In any event, I was caught up in the penny is a dollar, and a dollar is a penny evaluation paradigm of an anticipated 50 or so years versus eternity.

I had a look at Strong’s for the word ‘Saved,’ believing the portal to eternity was opened exclusively to those who were saved. I was looking for how to define and then follow the critical path to my own salvation.

What became clear to me over the years, my whose etewrnal life is on the line if you will, is that I am assured of salvation when it counts, I will be saved if you will, by Grace, and until then I live by faith.

Now to your more specific questions.

Faith is not required for salvation, or we would not be saved by Grace. Faith is how we life today, not how we open the gates to eternity.

You do see the conundrum here. The IJ may be an attempt to bring the future to the present in reality rather than by Faith. The Great Disappointment was undeniably real. The IJ may well be the resulting attempt to preserve as reality what was proven at the time to be ephemeral.

That the IJ is unique to less than 1% of Christianity calls into question the intent of the Almighty with regard to salvation of the World. The larger question goes beyond whether God’s critical path to salvation depends on the IJ in any way, to whether it depends on a knowledge, let alone right understanding of, Christianity itself.

Grace is not so dependent.

There seems to be more to learn here, by Faith.

Faith feels risky, of course.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 klriley says:

This probably seems like a stupid question, but why should we be bound by what the Reformers taught any more than by what the Church Fathers taught? I am not persuaded that we have ever believed what the Lutheran theologians came to believe, nor that it should be accepted simply to be ‘Protestant’. It’s all very well to cite the ‘solas’, but are they really Biblical? To make justification by faith alone the sum of salvation seems to me to be unbiblical. There is no reason to privilege it over all other metaphors, just as there is no reason to privilege substitutionary atonement over all other understandings of Christ’s death. There is a difference between believing something is true, and believing that that alone is true. I believe it is of much greater importance to understand what the Bible means by all its metaphors and illustrations of salvation than to worry about whether what we believe lines up with Luther or Calvin.

Kevin


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 Preston says:

Bill,

Thanks again. I like it, if, for many reasons, including I value simplicity. My personal feelings (to the extent that they matter) on salvation have been liberated by the message of grace. For me, the bridge from works to grace is faith.

I’m a fairly well read guy and “4th generation” SDA (though that gets me no additional points!) and, still, after reading the thoughtful contributions of many well-versed writers here — and elsewhere, it is clear to me that accepting a version or the other (probably a false choice) of the IJ is not on the critical path.

To be sure, it has import for other reasons. But really, what else counts?


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 Tom says:

While I do not think that ones salvation is dependent on accepting the doctrine of the IJ, I do believe a proper understanding of it does help in seeing the big picture of the plan of salvation. It has been Satan’s design to obscure this glorious truth with misunderstanding, guilt and fear that leads to insecurity of ones standing with God. This in turn leads to a rejection by many of a truth based on a faulty understanding.

Yes Preston, grace is liberating!!! It frees us from the heavy burden of condemnation, lifts our soul heavenward, and provides everything that makes the nuts and bolts of practical christian living a reality. The means by which we obtain it is faith. “The just shall live by faith”, as Paul states in Romans, was the clarion call of Martin Luther and the Reformationists.

The faith chapter (Eleven) in Hebrews describes faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” God never removes all possibility for doubt, but He has given us enough evidence of Himself, and calls on us to trust Him to advance down a path with Him. He will reveal to us truth in His time and way that will lead us ever deeper into paths of understanding and trust, love and reconciliation with Him. That is just about as simple as I am able to state it.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 RonCorson says:

Bill G wrote
— Faith is not required for salvation, or we would not be saved by Grace. Faith is how we life today, not how we open the gates to eternity.

— Try this one:
Faith is the acceptance of Grace.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Pat

My emphasis is not what the reformers or others had thought in regard to JBF. I learned to go the source, and get my conclusions from there. Really works for me.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 pat travis says:

Amed,

Sounds Interesting and good. Can you tell me where Calvin and Luther were wrong biblically concerning JBF “alone.”

To me the problem is this. The GC claims as it’s premise to be the continuation of the Protestant Reformers. Yet, it seems that “officialdom of SDA’s” historically avoids the core teaching of the Reformers like the plague, which was “Justification by faith alone” that broke the RCC system of professed “salvation by grace.”

Inquiring minds want to know why? Could it be “that doctrine” condemns all additional traditional add on’s and laws and commands of man that are essential for salvation…i.e. IJ, Foods and Drink etc., etc.?

Thanks and Regards,

pat

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor and Amed,

For your consideration—
Belgic Confession-Article 22: The Righteousness of Faith

We believe that for us to acquire the true knowledge of this great mystery
the Holy Spirit kindles in our hearts a true faith
that embraces Jesus Christ,
with all his merits,
and makes him its own,
and no longer looks for anything
apart from him.

For it must necessarily follow
that either all that is required for our salvation
is not in Christ or,
if all is in him,
then those who have Christ by faith
have his salvation entirely.

Therefore,
to say that Christ is not enough
but that something else is needed as well
is a most enormous blasphemy against God–
for it then would follow
that Jesus Christ is only half a Savior.
And therefore we justly say with Saint Paul
that we are justified “by faith alone”
or “by faith apart from works.”^53

However,
we do not mean,
properly speaking,
that it is faith itself that justifies us–
for faith is only the instrument
by which we embrace Christ,
our righteousness.

But Jesus Christ is our righteousness
in making available to us all his merits
and all the holy works he has done
for us and in our place.
And faith is the instrument
that keeps us in communion with him
and with all his benefits.

When those benefits are made ours
they are more than enough to absolve us
of our sins.^53 Rom. 3:28
Article 23: The Justification of Sinners

We believe that our blessedness lies in the forgiveness of our sins because of Jesus Christ,
and that in it our righteousness before God is contained,
as David and Saint Paul teach us
when they declare that man blessed
to whom God grants righteousness
apart from works.^54

And the same apostle says
that we are” justified by God’s grace as a gift,
through redemption that is in Jesus Christ.”^55
And therefore we cling to this foundation,
which is firm forever,
giving all glory to God,
humbling ourselves,
and recognizing ourselves as we are;
not claiming a thing for ourselves or our merits
and leaning and resting on the sole obedience of Christ crucified,
which is ours when we believe in him.

That is enough to cover all our sins
and to make us confident,
freeing the conscience from the fear, dread, and terror
of God’s approach,
without doing what our first parents did,
who trembled as they tried to cover themselves
with fig leaves.

In fact,
if we had to appear before God relying–
no matter how little–
on ourselves or some other creature,
then we would be swallowed up.

Therefore everyone must say with David:
“Lord, do not enter into judgment with your servants,
for no one living is righteous before you.”^56

^54 Ps. 32:1; Rom. 4:6
^55 Rom. 3:24
^56 Ps. 143:2
I would suggest that “apostate protestantism” denies this!

Regards,

pat

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 Seminarystudent1 says:

Seminary Student,

There is a lot of confusion in the doctrine of Salvation . Probably one of the best books from an Adventist author is Dr. Hans K . Larondelle ” Christ our salvation “. Pat , I think that we as Adventists get nervous when we hear that Justication is something that takes place without us doing Nothing . Because of the legalism issue in the church , we would like to say that we do something to deserve to be justified . One of the problems is that we like to go to Ellen white so she can “confirm ” what we believe . But I don’t think she understood justification by faith . she was more concerned about works of obedience , some say that she got it after 1888 but you can still read that chapter from great controversy that speaks of the people of God ” standing in the sight of a Holy God wihtout a mediator ” . we continue to have ” fear ” I believe that if Adventists want to get serious about understanding the gospel of Paul , they need to back to Paul and not try to study paul with the glasses of Ellen white .


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 pat travis says:

Seminary Student,

Spot on!

JBF does not eliminate the response of growth in holiness/ Sanctification…it just does not see sanctification/our works in cooperation with the HS as contributing to our Justification.

Our justification is accepting all of Christ’s personal works/obedience/deeds “as ours as if personally done”…by “faith alone” the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen so that “we are reckoned righteous in Christ while yet sinners in ourselves.”

That, I suggest, is the foolishness and offense of the cross to human self righteousness!

Blessings in your studies.

pat

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Pat

I never stated the Luther, Calvin and other reformers were wrong (JBF). My definition of JBF I posted before. Only in Christ we are save, my faith is in HIM.

My conversion was like Paul’s, dramatic! Literally demons attacked me and I saw angels defended me. I had that privilege, I accepted by faith Jesus as my savior and lord

Before I knew the LORD, I had many gods, literally idols, his name was used in vain, I did not have any time for him. With the exception of killing somebody I committed all the sins. I remember crystal clear the day I ask Him for forgives. I felt his presence, a joy and peace that never experienced before. I felt clean, pure and the Bible had living words. This was a miracle! The amazing thing is that this only happen because in my mind I say ‘God forgive me”. By experience I know I have to do nothing except to believe in HIM.

Well from that moment my life was change he created a new heart and mind in me. As I read the Bible with joy a destroyed my idols, his name became Holy, the Sabbath what a Blessing. I started to love and respect my family, friends, and neighbors. Surprisingly even I learned to forgive and love my enemies. May sound funny but I change my education from nuclear physics to medicine in hope to help people.

I know by experience what is to be justified by faith and know how that faith changed my life.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 amed soliz says:

To me justification is not just an intellectual exercise or theme of debate is a reality, 100% I can identified with the blind who stated “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 Bill Garber says:

Ron … Faith may very well be the acceptance of Grace. It certainly is so for Paul. That said, Grace by definition cannot be conditional in any way on any aspect of anyone who is the object of Grace, including that soul’s faith.

Tom … Thanks for reminding us that indeed we live by Faith in anticipation of Grace carrying us beyond death.

Preston … I sense alighment with you in terms of the IJ being outside the critical path of salvation. With that in mind, I’m interested in your thoughts on the critical path for Seventh-day Adventism … a topic for perhaps another thought piece for Adventist Today.

And thank you again, Preston, for opening the conversation to the larger context in which to review the significance of the IJ and by inference so much more. You have brought us to a world without proof texts, a world where Faith surpasses knowledge but not reason, a world where the future is not conditional on the past.

It is not, however, a world without risk. Indeed, it is a world where risk is stared down by Faith, perhaps Faith in a Gracious God who saves to the uttermost, a God who identifies himself as a Shepherd who declares that securing 99/100 is an unacceptable level of failure when we are the sheep and Jesus is the shepherd.

I am reminded that Jesus declares himself the Son of God, sent by God to save the World, not God’s reputation. Jesus became a human thereby endorsing and embracing the human experience as worthy of God himself. He makes no claim that his human sojourn earned him the right to destroy humanity for failure to rise above the human plight.

Jesus also declared that at a time known only to his Father … not to Daniel or John or any other Biblical writer, let alone Jesus himself … that he would personally return to us and just as he lived with us, we would live with him in his Father’s house to which he will take us.

That, I sense, describes the critical path to salvation as Jesus saw, indeed sees it.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dr Amed

RE your comment: To me justification is not just an intellectual exercise or theme of debate is a reality, 100% I can identified with the blind who stated “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

I would just like to say Amen. Praise the Lord! I can identify with this ‘experiential’ faith too like many throughout the ages.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

John Newton (1725-1807)


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Trevor

Every time that I hear that song tears of joy comes to my eyes. I hope someday I have the opportunity to sing with you before this planet ends

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

How sad that it is insufficient in Adventism to accept Christ and by faith accept His grace. Added to that are a multitude of requirements to be adopted into Adventism that supercede simple conversion. Unless all the stiipulations in the FBs he is still an “outsider” and not fit for adoption or even salvation, at least within Adventism. As has been said, such a person will have to be saved outside Adventism. How sad!


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

“Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” [John 14:5]

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” [John 14:6,7]

The Critical Path to Salvation has to be seen in this context. It is an experiential walk with God in Christ Jesus by His Grace through Faith. It cannot be a theological or intellectual position/teaching/concept. It is the indwelling Christ (“the Word”) that is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path [Psalm 119:105].

There is a chorus I learnt when I was a kid which may still be sung in some parts of the globe. It goes like this:

How big is God? How big and wide His vast domain?
To begin to tell, these lips can only start;
He’s big enough, to rule this mighty Universe,
Yet small enough to reign within my heart!

It is within this context that the Critical Path can really be understood. “The furthest distance God can ever be from mankind is just outside the human heart.” If we invite Him in, that’s were the Critical Path to Salvation starts!

While I’m at it, there is another old chorus that comes to mind which points to the Path:

He made the stars to shine, He made the rolling sea,
He made the mountains high, and He made me;
And this is why I love Him, for me He bled and died,
The Lord of all Creation, became the Crucified!

Have a great day in Christ!

T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

I know that I may not be the most popular guy on AToday after all, I have had the Traditionalist tag been thrust upon me by some progressive enthusiasts who have ‘tagged’ me faster than a ‘bit meets byte’. A kind of nano-tagging which I must admit have no qualms about.

So without digressing from the crux of this blog I humbly ask the following as this may also be pertinent to the question asked by Preston and related to another of his blogs.

Here it is:

Can this ‘Critical Path to Salvation’ question be used by some [please note, I said some] as part of the ‘work avoidence’ scenario? Perhaps?
Have a great day in Christ!

T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 6th, 2011 Preston says:

Brother Trevor,

In terms of popularity, there’s only One vote that counts (thank God), so you should feel confident in that.

The dots that I seek to connect are: “mission – work avoidance – critical path.”

Some seek to insert important, but not vital issues onto critical path, to avoid the real work. It may be purposeful or not. Work avoidance occurs when we seek to avoid a vital issue by continuing to work on something less important. It may be connected to our personal comfort, fear of change, what currency we view as having value, or (gasp!) our egos.

Blame is, also, an effective work avoidance tactic. Pointing fingers creates a circular work avoidance dynamic, as the new work becomes identifying and indicting who is at fault and, also, establishing your own innocence. Inevitably, unprovable issues will compound the confusion: intent, motive, agenda. Work avoidance on steroids!

The point is to be aware of the sinister nature of work avoidance. It is an enticing trap that can exhaust you (and those who might have been ready to work on the real issue) and prevent real progress. You can’t stop people from avoiding work (particularly when it is intentional). You can only raise their level of consciousness, so that if they (or you, or those observing) allow the work avoidance to continue, all will know that it is purposeful.

That is, in my opinion, the case with the IJ, and other issues that distract us from accomplishing what we (Adventists) have defined as our mission.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 David C. Read says:

Preston, to tell the world about the investigative judgment is our mission.

We call ourselves Adventists because we believe the second advent is very near. The anti-typical day of atonement has begun, and that day includes the second coming, the millennium in Heaven, the descent of the New Jerusalem to earth, the execution of judgment on Satan and the unsaved, and the Earth made new. All these events are part of the anti-typical Yom Kippur, which has already started!

The First Angel’s Message is that the hour of His judgment, the investigative judgment, is come (and that we are to worship the Creator on the day that He made holy as a memorial to His creation). Do you think the Lutherans need the Seventh-day Adventists to come along and take up the banner of justification by faith because Luther got it wrong? No, Luther got it right, and the Lutherans correctly understand justification by faith alone. What they don’t correctly understand are things like the Sabbath, the state of the dead, the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, the investigative judgment and the nearness of Christ’s return, etc. These things that Ellen White called “present truth” absolutely are our mission; we don’t have another mission.

Many cultural Adventists are uncomfortable with anything distinctively Adventist in our message, and they would like us to retreat to a generic evangelical protestantism. Those people should go find a generic evangelical church and join it, and quit trying to prevent the Adventist Church from carrying out its vital mission.

Furthermore, it is foolish to think that if we quit defending the investigative judgment, everyone will settle down and start carrying out some less distinctive, more generic Christian mission. Elaine will argue with you about things like the inspiration of Scripture, miracles, the Resurrection of Christ, etc. If you don’t believe me, ask her. It’s just plain silly to imagine that there is some level of dumbing down of Adventism that will satisfy our critics. There isn’t. Dr. Taylor wants us to make peace with Darwinism.

Defending the distinctive doctrines of Adventism is not “work avoidance.” It is work that we might wish weren’t necessary–I certainly get very weary of defending basic Adventist doctrine from attack by people who claim to be Adventists–but it is necessary.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Brother Preston my able friend

The critical path is the set of essential, sequential steps taken to reach a goal. The critical path sheds all optional (even if desirable) steps.

The key to answering this critical question your blog raises is the “goal” in all of this: Salvation.

1] Critical – The following needs to be considered in the Salvation context. Jesus died on the Cross to Save the Sinner and Cleanse the Sinner from Sin. That too is critical in all of this. I looked at 17 different Bible translations and they all say that Jesus will save His people “from” their sins (Matt 1:21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”). Jesus = Saviour. Therefore without Jesus there can be no Salvation.

2] Critical – Our knowledge and understanding of Jesus through communion, prayer and study of His word. We need to acknowledge Him as the Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of our Universe: the Sovereign Ruler.

3] Critical – His Life; His Earthly Ministry; His Death, His Resurrection, His Ascension; His High Priestly Ministry; His Advocate Role; His Sacrifice; His Blood; all have to be considered as critical to Salvation. In fact everything about Jesus is critical and relevant to Salvation.

I think David C Read brings up a valid point in this discussion: ‘Generic’ Christianity. Will that do the trick? Stripping away teachings, doctrines, prophetic understanding and interpretation and how far can we go without undermining Salvation itself which is our ‘Goal’? Jesus is in essence the very Word of God. The Scriptures reveal Him to us. Even in the prophecies we see a Revelation of Himself.

In this context of Salvation as our Goal, we may need to rethink our position or reposition our thinking and ask whether we are the primary focus in our search for this path; or whether Jesus has a path of love that searches for us even when we have our backs turned on Him. I’d rather go with the latter. It is Jesus who reveals our path to Salvation and whatever is germane to that. I’d rather let Him call the “what is critical to Salvation shots”. In other words why shouldn’t I trust Him for what is critical to Salvation? What alternatives to I have? Theologians? Intellectuals? No Thanks! I’ll take my chances with Jesus and His Word anytime, anyday!

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word;

Just to rest upon His promise, just to know thus saith the Lord.

Smile God Loves you…

T

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 pat travis says:

The “critical and essential mission and message” of the Christian church to deliver.

He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. Lk.24:46-48..

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 Preston says:

David C and Trevor,

We disagree, perhaps less than you think.

I believe that the Adventist mission is to deliver the message of the Advent (Second Coming) in the context of the Three Angels Message, with particular emphasis on the 3rd angel’s message (my personal view).

“The mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is to make disciples of all people, communicating the everlasting gospel in the context of the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-12, leading them to accept Jesus as personal Savior and unite with His remnant Church, discipling them to serve Him as Lord and preparing them for His soon return.”

Defending the teachings of the church is important. But in my view, this defense has become the work itself. The distraction has become the locus of the work (particularly among Caucasians in North America and Australia). The atrophy of the churches in that part of the vineyard is the evidence.

My primary point (re:the mission, work avoidance, and the critical path) is that when issues like the IJ are discussed without the context (al la carte, if you will) of the three angels messages, they easily become distractions, as they, for the typical layperson, seem relatively unimportant. Connection to the larger context of the three angels messages is what makes any of these important issues matter to those focused on “what must I do to be saved?”

So I disagree that the IJ is our mission. It is not in the mission statement. I do believe that it is important — in the context of our mission. But if the defense of individual doctrines like the IJ distracts us from “communicating the everlasting gospel in the context of the tree angels messages . . .” to people who will hear and receive it, I believe it is work avoidance.

There will always be challenges to the teaching and doctrines of the church. Some of those presenting these challenges are sincere. Others seek to distract and create confusion: they will not be convinced. Engaging that second group in rancorous, redundant debate is, in my view, a waste of time — and, effectively, empowers the distraction.

If we focus on the primary work, we will reach those who seek to hear His voice. The Holy Spirit will do the convincing.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 Preston says:

Pat,

I agree, re: the “critical mission and essential message” of the Christian church. My focus, per an earlier blog re: the mission of the Adventist church, is to distill the unique mission of the Adventist church, within the larger body of Christ:

“I’m not saying that our message isn’t Jesus Christ, and him crucified. It is. I’m not saying that the most important thing that anyone could ever discover isn’t the love of Christ and the gift of salvation thru His sacrifice. It is.

But those fundamental truths are not our mission. They are not why the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination exists. Other Christian churches, along with ours, preach the gospel of Christ. Preaching that gospel is the collective mission of the body of Christ — the Christian Church.

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church exists to deliver a very specific message at a very specific time.”


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 Hansen says:

David Read, You make it sound very simple; however, the problem is that the Adventist Investigative judgment doctrine does not square with justification by faith as taught by Luther or the NT, upon whom Luther so heavily depended.

Luther and Melanchthon decried the insecurity caused by the doctrines of the Papacy. Actually, Luther was quite a caring pastor. Even his critics said he was a remarkable preacher, able to identify with his hearers and speak to their hearts. He comforted them, assuring them that Jesus had dealt with their sins and provided ongoing forgiveness for the sins which they would continue to commit because of their weakened nature. He offered rest in Christ, security, somehting which the papacy took fropm the people, like a mendicant snatching a cheese from a widow.

Adventists don’t like to hear that. Perfectionism permeates the denomination. I mean the heretical type of perfectionism which is really legalism, kind of a golden ring in the snout of a pig.

Melanchthon and Luther had no problem simply saying that we are weak and are going to sin until Jesus transforms our sinful flesh. Rarely is that heard in Adventism, although it is certainly obvious that is the case. Divorces, broken homes, twice married pastors, fornicators, liars and thieves. Even violence is breaking out in the churches now. Sound like anyone is becoming sinless?

The lip service paid to Luther by traditional Adventists is a joke, a farce, a sham. Luther and legalistic Adventism are light years apart on the question of justification. Luther was, essentially an antinomian in his justification theology. Christian Liberty makes that very plain. Adventism is not antinomian at all, but rather teaches the binding nature of the Decalogue upon Christians.

Certainly Luther can be made out to be a legalist, just as EGW can be construed as an evangelical Christian. At times, both exhibited characteristics of either side. In the end, however, the cross of Christ was what mattered to Luther. In the context of the Great Controversy scheme, the Decalogue is what was important to EGW.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 laffal says:

Hansen has put his finger on a key issue that SDA’s have struggled with when it comes to the IJ. It appears, and it can be easily documented, that our teaching on the IJ does contradict Justifcation by Faith. But does it? Here’s the problem.

The Bible teaches that we are saved by grace thru faith… period.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24 ESV)

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, (Titus 3:4-5 ESV)

But the Bible also teaches that we all will be judged, bar none. The basis of that judgment? Works!

For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. (Matthew 16:27 ESV)

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV)

For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17 ESV)

Here is where the issue takes form. SDA’s have tended to emphasize the judgment according to works texts at the exclusion of the saved by grace texts. While those who say the IJ contradicts JxF tend to emphsize our being saved by grace at the expense of the being judged by our works texts. Sounds like a fight to me. But there is a 3rd group of texts that reconciles the issue.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)

who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:14 ESV)

The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. (Titus 3:8 ESV)

Those who are genuinely saved by grace, justified by faith are motivated to do good works. James speaks clearly to this point.

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead… You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. (James 2:17.24 ESV)

The Bible is clear, good works will never save anybody. But for those who are justified by faith, saved by grace, their good works are the fruits / evidence of that salvation. It is these works of faith… the fruits / evidence of JxF that Christ will use to vindicate His followers against the accusations of the adversary in the hour of judgment.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence [boldness] for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4:16-18 ESV)

Peace

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 David C. Read says:

Preston, I keep trying to point out that the investigative judgment is part of the three angels messages, so it is included in the church’s “mission statement.” I will try again.

Adventists have always interpreted the first angel’s message, “the hour of his judgment is come,” as referring to 1844, originally believed to be the second coming of Christ, but later understood to be the beginning of the investigative judgment in Heaven.

“…the sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 years was not the earth but the tabernacle in heaven, with Christ ministering in our behalf in the most holy place. This mediatorial work of Christ answered to the ‘hour of God’s judgment’ Call sounded in the message of the first angel (Revelation 14:6, 7).” Early Writings, p. 18.

So the 1844 doctrine is not something different from the Three Angels Messages; it is part of those messages and thus included within the Church’s mission statement.

Moreover, the intercession of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary is part of the plan of salvation:

“The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in Heaven.” GC p. 489.

Paul wrote that if Christ was not resurrected from the dead, then the Christian faith is useless and we cannot be saved. 1 Cor. 15:12-18. But if Christ’s death was all that was necessary for salvation, then why should that be the case? Because it is necessary for Christ to intercede on behalf of sinners in the heavenly santuary, and plead His blood on our behalf there, without which we cannot be saved, and cleanse the heavenly sanctuary with His blood. Heb. 9:22-24

Thus, the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary is part of the everlasting Gospel we are commissioned to spread. It is not surplusage, or some peculiar Adventist doctrine that is extraneous to our mission. It is our mission.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 pat travis says:

Preston,

I’m sorry but I don’t see the “SDA message” as being critical for salvation and biblically “very specific” and “biblically for a specific denomination at a specific time.”

The “critical message” was/is Lk.24: 45-48 ; Rom.10:1-17 ; Acts 4:12.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 Preston says:

Pat, the “Mission” article framed to my view of the unique mission (in contrast to the message) of the SDA Chruch within the body of Christ: the teaching and preaching of the 3rd Angel’s Message in the context of the last day events.

That mission is quite different from the critical path to salvation, which is, I agreee, as you have outlined.

The notion of the critical path comes into play in the context of my second question in the “Critical Path” article: ” What role does either version (of the IJ) play in the preaching and teaching of the 3rd Angel’s Message?

More later!


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 pat travis says:

Hansen,
I agree as taught over the years and “even now with the more loving, kinder, more accepting pre-advent judgment of the last 30 yrs.” that the IJ doctrine is out of sync with the doctrine of JBF “alone” of Luther and Calvin…and scripture.

How, come screams from the Choir? Because inherent in the teaching has been more than “just growth in holiness” BUT the arrival at a conceived state of inward perfection if one is a true believer. The “traditionalist/SDA position of Q.O.D times” were not without basis/quotes for pushing the human nature of Christ and Him as an example for achievable results through the HS in the writings of EGW…one could like Christ through the HS “live like before the fall.” Likewise these persuasions were pushed to “why Jesus waits” and the Last Generation that by their obedience would actually vindicate God in the GC theme…as seen by some. So, in fact, ones obedience not only would justify one as being the perfected remnant but also justify/vindicate God.

Now Calvin and Luther would always ask the question, “How can one be Righteous/Just before God?” The answer, by JBF “alone” trusting in Christ’s obedience and works OUTSIDE of themselves and not by the working of the HS working “in the believer” unto good works.

So, I suggest, the historic teaching of the IJ is out of sync with JBF and offered virtually no assurance of salvation this side of complete obedience. Works were more than “evidential” they were part of what made us safe to save and acceptable.

That Christ’s obedience was ours “by faith alone” apart from works was often “merely but intellectual assent and legal fiction.”

I would like to refine, in my view (since I am on the same wavelength with Paul, Luther, and Calvin on this issue of JBF :>) ) that Paul, Luther, and Calvin were NOT antinomian. WHAT THEY WOULD NOT ACCEPT WAS that obedience to the law could in any way justify/declare righteous the believer before God. ONLY Christ who justifies the “ungodly” by faith alone could/can do that!

The law remains as the means to “convict of sin”, a guide for growth in holiness, and as a guide for civil authorities in the realm of the “last 6 commands.”

Calvin more clearly states these issues but Luther certainly does in his 1535 Galatians commentary and elsewhere.

May the vexed souls of the IJ doctrine of “former years” rest in peace if they loved their savior and believed with their heart Christ was raised from the dead.

PARDON, the long post that hopefully will be read by David, Trevor, laffal, Preston and others and might in someway allow the “good news” to be comprehended more fully.

Regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 pat travis says:

Preston,

Part of the problem is that the “third angels message” in SDA understanding is related to “SDA understanding of the first and ‘hour of judgment'” …well actually Krino/judgment does not have the necessity of an IJ/pre-advent judgment. God’s judments have been thoughout scripture as evidenced in Egypt, Sodom and against His own people.

In the case of Rev.14:8,9 the judgments contextually come on Babylon and those who worship the beast in Rev.18:1-10.

So…what 3 angels message do you preach? An IJ. of the saints and others OR a literal Judgment of Symbolic world spiritual- state Babylon and her followers.

I suggest all Christian churches are to give the “latter warning.”

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Pat, I’m sure you are familiar with an alternate interpretaion of the IJ. It is believed that humans won’t be judged by that it is an investigation of God. I believe Maxwell taught this, but it is certainly not the traditional position. What is your “take” on this alternate view?


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Pat and Preston

Literally the word in rev 14:6 judgment (krisis) means separation. hora Krisis = time of separation. What or whom is been separated ? the context is clear the separation is between the ones who had the mark of the beast and seal of God.

The new testament is very clear at lest in three different times of judgment

1. the first time judgment occurred at the time of Jesus. Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Jhn 9:39.

2. the second time of judgment is mentioned in rev. 14:6 which occurs before the second coming.

3. the third time of judgment at the time of his second coming. Rev 14:15.

Looking closely 14;6 this text identified the ones who are the “people of the Lord, as the ones ones who accepted the eternal gospel, they are aware of the pre adveniment judgment, and as the ones worship HIM as the creator. “who made the heavens, the earth, the sea” (this sentence is the longest reference in revelation word by world of all OT and its found in 4th commandment.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

How sad, an unredemptive to believe that all the millions of Chrisians who have not accepted the third angels messge exclusively held by Adventists as meaning everyone except Adventists will eventually be recipients of the mark of the beast. “Keeping the commandments” doesn’t include all, but only the fourth, as Adventists claim to be the only group who keeps them all; ignoring that coveting, and bearing false witnesses could never be found in their ranks. “Bearing false witness” about other denominations is certainly breaking a commandment.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 Hansen says:

Pat, We could have a match, tossing Luther at each other for a long time. The quotes which either of us offer would have to be considered by context and audience. Anyone who cares, should read carefully, “Christian Liberty.”

https://www.projectwittenberg.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/web/cclib-2.html

If, after reading the work, which scholars describe as the closest thing to a manifesto on justification penned by Luther, people believe that Luther was not antinomian, that’s OK with me.

Among Adventists, antinomianism is feared because the denomination is so legalistic. Anyone who touches the ark, figuratively, is slain.

The third use has been turned into just another legalistic approach to salvation . In this context, I reject it.

Adventism has been let down by its scholars regarding the significance of Luther. Maxwell, of LLU, for instance, who wrote the Bible commentary on Romans for SDAs, was no friend of Luther. He was actually one source for the anti Lutheran sentiment which permeates the denomination.

HMS Richards, made a deal with Kregel publishers to have Luther’s Commentary on Romans with the Preface to Romans published. It was sold in SDA bookstores in the 70s. While the Preface to Romans blessed Wesley, the Romans Commentary is a bit dry. Few people want to wade throught two volumes of Luther on Galatians, which at times, even I find cumbersome.

Of course there is no way on knowing now, but it may be that Elder Richards knew that the antinominan bent of Christian Liberty wouldn’t fly, so he went to the Romans Commentary, with the real intent of having the Preface to Romans made available.

There are numerous quotes from Luther and Melanchton to be found at the link below, obviously selected to suit my own preferences. Luther wrote pages on the Decalogue in his catechism; however, I believe that he was interested in maintaining social order as well as evangelical piety, so he drifted, at times, into what might be construed as legalism. His explication of the Decalogue in his catechism hardly represents him at his best. Perhaps his most concise and carefully crafted article on justificationis in his Genesis Commentary on Abraham.

This was especially true after the Saxon Visitation, when he observed that the people were living like swine and dogs, having been released from the structured life of the Papacy. So legalism is not without merit. It does constrain people; however, that constraint is not unto salvation.

Avoidance of alcohol. nicotine, caffeine, and heroin, whether for legalistic reasons or not, is a good thing. Same migh be said for avoidance of thievery, lying, and adultery. Whatever the reason these things are avoided, avoidance is usually a positive for society.

Peace

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 pat travis says:

Amed,

Have you had Greek?

You are correct that satan was Judged guilty and judged so at the cross by Christ’s death. Jn.16:11. At the cross God showed Himself to be Just/justified in judgment and the jusstifier of those that trust in Christ. Rom.3:26.

The gr. κρίσεως is a genitive noun in 14:7 with the meaning of “judgment or decision” and the judgment does not infer any separation context other than justice being done to vindicate right from wrong in Rev.14:7.

Babylon was being judged “as fallen” as a result in Rev.18:10.

That Rev.14:7 can be stated as referring to our understanding of the beginning of an I.J. from 1844 can not be proven or shown to be fact linguistically or otherwise other than inferences made the SOP.

Sorry,

Pat

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 pat travis says:

Hansen,

Have you understood what I mean? He was antinominan only in the sense the law “could not justify” as regards the article of Justification.

He warned against elements of the church which said God’s law was no more needed to describe sin and the “3 uses of the law.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_and_Gospel#Lutheran_view

See article VI. In the formula of Concord, it would counter theories such as Agricola who said regenerate Christians do not need the law for the above purposes.

regards,

pat

———————————–

Elaine,

I do not share some of GM sentiments. It is what he does not say that I consider deficient perhaps as much as what he somestimes does….i.e. In Servants or Friends, p.152 where he diminishes the Protestant meaning of justification. He essentially denies “forensic justification.”

God justiifed himself and vindicated Himself at the cross. To have the creature judge or vindicate God other than by affirming God’s own revealed acts vindicating Himself is, I suggest, alien to scripture. God is Love includes both His Mercy and Justice and cannot, I suggest, be understood any other way.

It would seem that “mankind and angels” vindicating God turns the concept of Grace upside down and God is beholding to the creature. Think about it! ;>)

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Pat, I agree that the idea that God is being investigated exhibits hubris to even suggest that God is being judged by lower beings, whether angels or humans. Where did such an idea originate? Is it unique to Adventism, or was it invented to counter the traditional 1844 IJ?

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 pat travis says:

Elaine,

I think it is but another of those issues of “which EGW statement” and the readers interpretaion of it’s meaning in the “Great Controversy theme.” Maxwell was but one of many readers and had legitimate quotes to help support one view while avoiding those quotes that hindered his understanding.

That part of his purposes may have been to focus on God’s love rather than the SDA perfectionism of the day may be a possibility…however the “ends do not justify the means.”

Thus one is often led to say as “I understand’ (perhaps my misunderstanding) SDA Knight asked or posed, EGW…blessing or curse?”

Another reason for Protestants to embrace “sola scriptura” OR don’t claim the title!

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

David, Trevor, Pat, Hansen,

How does my understanding of the pre-advent judgment, wherein Jesus is both Advocate/Priest and Judge/King—and those who, by faith, claim Him as their Savior, and His blood and righteousness as the means of their salvation and the currency which pays for His advocacy on their behalf, cannot be found guilty in any proceeding of any Court—either coincide or does violence to the JBF doctrine, the IJ, or the Three Angels Messages?

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 Hansen says:

Pat, You an I, agree on many essentials, which, frankly, is unusual. It may be that we disagree on this point, i.e., Luther’s antinominaism. Luther was pushed into many corners during his career, by Rome, by people from within his own circle; consequently, much of what he wrote was a response to elements which he feared would harm what had become a continent changing social movement

As a pastor, he had to go softly at times lest the sheep be trampled. As a sheriff, he had to restrain unruly forces which would upset social order.

He was wrong at times, strictly speaking. His conflict with Karlstadt over images, from a strictly doctrinal standpoint was wrong. His conflict with Zwingle, perhaps his most serious error, over the Lord’s Supper, Luther was wrong. Polemics lead people to take extreme positions. I sometimes think that EGW was a polemicist, battling with the Campbellites over antinominaism, which is why she came across as a legalist. But we are in different times.

Adventism is a legalistic cult, a cult which has never clearly proclaimed the doctrine of justification, apart from the law.

Luther, quoting Psalms 32:8,9 said that many people are like the horse and mule which require a bridle. He referred to the bridle as law, any and all laws. He was speaking of Biblical law. He then referred to verse 8, the verse which says it is God’s ideal to personally instruct us, to guide us with the Spirit.

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.”

That, to me, is Luther at his best. And it is decidedly antinomian.

Missing link from above:

www.luthermelanchthon.blogspot.com


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Pat

Yes i took greek for a full year, my professor was a catholic jesuits priest, an erudite in greek. Even to this day still i have my new testament and I can read the essentials, also occasionally I have a basic conversation with some of our medical residents from Greece.

John 9: 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Is clear that his judgment produces separation between the ones who will see and the ones that will not and brings consequences.

In the second coming his judgment also refers to the separation and its consequences Mat 25 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left

In Revelation 14 also the judgment is related to separation and its consequences. There is call for the true worship to the Creator vs the ones who worship the beast. Revelation 18 even makes more clear the separation before the consequences ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues.

Don’t fell sorry I know in Whom i trusted my Life.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 pat travis says:

Amed,

I don’t question who you have trusted. I question that you don’t see God’s judgments and plagues are pronounced on Babylon…and not a traditional I.J. of the saints and others beginning in 1844 being taught in Rev.14:7.

Blessings,

pat

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 pat travis says:

Stephen,

First of all there is no “temporal aspect” that would have us believe Rev.14:7 pertains to 1844 and the I.J as the 1st angel’s message.

Secondly Rom.5:1 says that having been JBF we have peace with God through Jesus Christ.

Ask anyone above 50 if they were taught that the “traditional” I.J was determining if all sins were forgiven and one would be saved…hardly the basis for peace and the fact that those trusting in Christ have passed from death to life and will not “enter into judgment” of the wicked. Jn.5:24.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 7th, 2011 amed soliz says:

HANSEN SAY Adventism is a legalistic cult, a cult which has never clearly proclaimed the doctrine of justification, apart from the law.

What is essential for life the heart o the lung? obviously both! each organ has it specific function. One to introduce oxygen to the blood and the other to pump the oxygenated blood to the organs.

How could you proclaim justification without the law?

I’ll use the concepts and words of the champion of justification by Faith. Paul. He proclaimed the doctrine of justification together with law in the right perspective.

1. To be justified implies that we were/are sinner. Paul says “through the law we become conscious of our sin” So the law is essential to be aware of our sinful condition.

2.Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

3 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

As stated before to me JBF is not just a intellectual exercise or theme of debate is a reality.

I will never forget the day of my conversion. It was a friday night when that missionary student from Andrews University told that God loved me. i answer her i din’t believe you… she boldly replayed “if I cut my veins to show you that i love you because of Jesus would you believe me?” I looked at her and I say to my self ” if this woman is saying this in presence of people taking the risk to be ridiculous … may be God loves me. That moment i felt all my live passing in front of me and I felt for the first time that I was great sinner. A horrible feeling and desperation possessed me, In my mind i just said “God forgive me” That moment was the most precious moment of my life I felt His presence, I felt i was clean and pure and immense joy and peace invaded my heart and mind. Nothing compares to that. The Lord forgotten my sins. What i did? just ask and accepted by faith, not good work! I really can say I was justified by faith alone in Jesus. The Bible became my favorite book, words of live came from its pages. Changed my life. I realized that his law is good the bad one was my self. His law is about relationship the first 4 commandments is all about the worship to the wonderful God, the others six is in regards to relationship of respect and love to other humans. I experienced the 3 points that Paul stated. I learned from a true SDA. Later on i found out EWG described in detail in her book steps to Christ.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 pat travis says:

Hansen,

This quote is taken from the preface of Luther’s 1535 Galatians commentary.

” But Satan, the god of all dissension, stirreth up daily new sects, and last of all (which of all other I should never have foreseen or once suspected), he hath raised up a sect of such as teach that the Ten Commandments ought to be taken out of the church, and that men should not be terrified by the law, but gently exhorted by the preaching of the grace of Christ. Preface to Luther’s “Commentary on Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians” ”

Luther did insist that the law or the deeds/works of the law could never justify even in the regenerate and it must be “slayed” in that respect but saw the need of the “three uses” of the law.

regards,

pat

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 Preston says:

David C (and all), Please pardon the formatting problems on this post (the lack of paragraph separation). I tried something new — that did not work! David, I appreciate your patience with me. I can be a little slow on the uptake. We are getting to the meat of the issue.
It seems that the consensus answer to my first question, “Is the acceptance of a particular version of the Investigative Judgment on the critical path to my acceptance of salvation and leading others to Christ?” is “No, it is not.” You may disagree, and, if so, I respect that. Also, I understand that a consensus does not, by itself, bestow correctness. You have made a strong case and clear case, explaining how the historic Adventist interpretation affects what is implied in the second question, “What role does either version play in the preaching and teaching of the 3rd Angel’s Message?” I think you are right: the interpretation of IJ does affect how the Three Angel’s Messages are taught. In fact, it does have direct implications for our mission. I sincerely thank you for that. However, my specific question remains: “What role does either version play in the preaching and teaching of the 3rd Angel’s Message?” I understand how the traditional Adventist narrative on the Investigative Judgment is vital to the Church’s eschatology and theology including its connection to 1st angel’s message. I understand the concern regarding the adverse affect that yielding to another interpretation IJ may have on the purposeful deconstruction of the Adventist faith, by some. So, now, the question is, from the historic Adventist point of view, can those who mutually accept all other tenants/interpretations of the SDA Church, yet differ on the interpretation of the IJ — as it affects the preaching of the Three Angels Messages, have fellowship? Do those differences in interpretation of the IJ disallow the two groups to deliver a theologically consistent warning re: the 3rd Angel’s Message? Would fellowship between those who differ on that one point (interpretation of the IJ) do damage to the message and the faith? Need that fellowship do damage to those who differ?

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 Hansen says:

Pat,

“A Christian man has no need of any work or any law in order to be saved, since through faith he is free from every law and does all that he does out of pure liberty and freely, seeking neither benefit nor salvation.” Luther, “Freedom of a Christian Man”

A bit later, Luther says “We must bring forth the voice of the law that men may be made to fear and to acknowledge their sins, and so be converted to repentance and a better life.” “Freedom of a Christian Man”

So here, in Christian Liberty, Luther considered the law useful in bringing men to repentance [2nd use].

Luther divided Scripture into the laws and the promises. The law was useful for bringing people to the promises which then rendered the law useless:

“It is clear then that a Christian man has in his faith all that he needs. He needs no works to justify him. If he has no need of works, he does not need the law. If he has no need of the law, surely he is free from the law, and it is true, “the law was not made for the righteous man.” And this is that Christian liberty, even our faith, which does not indeed cause us to live in idleness or in wickedness, but makes the law and works unnecessary for any man’s righteousness and salvation.” Luther, “Freedom of a Christian Man”

These quotes are why I described Luther as antinomian.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 guibox says:

by Preston

But those fundamental truths are not our mission. They are not why the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination exists. Other Christian churches, along with ours, preach the gospel of Christ. Preaching that gospel is the collective mission of the body of Christ — the Christian Church.

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church exists to deliver a very specific message at a very specific time.”

The problem lies in how our church has made this message THE gospel and of salvific importance. No longer is it the blood of Christ that saves us, or RBF, but an adherence to the Sabbath commandment in the last days and in some circles standing as the last generation complete sinless and without a mediator thanks to a rigorous life of self-denial through sanctification by abstaining from caffeine, meats, jewelry and dancing…with a healthy dose of ‘deny at the peril of your salvation’ slavish devotion to Sister White.

If we want to get down to the brass tacks of the matter, it is this emphasis based on our interpretation of Revelation 14, and not the RBF emphasised in Romans and Galatians, that we as the church have claimed as our own, so we can prove we are a ‘peculiar’ people separate from ‘Babylon’.

Darrell C

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 pat travis says:

Hansen,

Peace………
———–
Darrell C,

Your observations, I suggest, are historically very true.

regards,

pat

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

Pat,

Thanks for your response. I am over the age of 50; however, insofar as my question is concerned, what I’d been taught is irrelevant. All that matters now is whether my current understanding is correct, and if it is consistent with—or at odds with—the Bible. Because if it is consistent with the Bible, and yet not inconsistent with the Adventist doctrine—which I believe to be the case—then the Adventist doctrine, whether you call it the IJ or whatever, is essentially correct; no matter any previous misunderstanding.

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 pat travis says:

Stephen,

I consider your answer partially true and “for you” perhaps totally true.

I am one on those old guys who is not willing to say “let’s just move on, that’s history” till the problem has been discovered, realized for what it is and viable solutions offerred. Otherwise as the IJ doctrine shows it merely recurrs over and over again in SDA history.

I think the basis of the doctrine is flawed and that continually will have a fallout in it’s “fleshed out applications.” I feel that I have addressed those areas over the last several weeks on AToday.

What may appear to be peace in the church actually holds turmoil just beneath the surface between those who make this doctrine everything and those who would play it’s significance down like Preston.

regards,

pat

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 Preston says:

Darrell C,

Yes, that is why we are trying to distill these issues. It seems we have conflated a few things: mission with message, teachings with doctrine, important with vital.

Hopefully, we can sharpen our linguistic, theological, and intellectual scalpels to, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, dig out the truth.

It is much healthier than merely saying, “That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.”


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 Preston says:

Pat,

My honest purpose is not to “play” the significance of the IJ down — or up. What I am trying to do here is to understand it — in context, and to frame questions in a way that allows advocates for all points of view to can make their case — in the context of our both our mission and salvation.

In my opinion, context is what has been missing from this discussion (over the last 30+ years), enabling it to circle and strangle those who have an interest in understanding it.

If I seek to influence the direction of this conversation, it is in the direction of clarity. It is my hope thst the compelling nature of the contributors input, along with the unction of the Holy Spirt, will nudge those who read this toward the truth.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Pat says… I question that you don’t see God’s judgments and plagues are pronounced on Babylon…and not a traditional I.J. of the saints and others beginning in 1844 being taught in Rev.14:7.

Pat in revelation In Revelation 14, I see clearly the judgment related to separation and this has serious consequences.

The separation is between the true worshipers of the Creator vs the ones who worship the beast. Revelation 18 echoing the 2 angel’s massage… and even makes more clear the separation ‘Come out of her(Babylon) , my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues.

The consequences follow to each group respectively.

a. The true worshipers are the target of fury of the beast (Rev 13) but have the rest of God

b. The worshipers of the Beast, “will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. All the systems that rejected the last call of God will receive the plagues. Rev 15 to 18


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 pat travis says:

Well said…so to whom was “judgment and wrath” given?

The saints? No…

“5 Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: “You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged; 6 for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.” 7 And I heard the altar respond: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.”

Rev.16:5-7

One must eisegete 1844 and the I.J. into the text out of pre-suppositions and conditioning….

That’s the point.

regards,

pat

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Pat

The context of Rev 14:7 is crystal clear: the judgment applies to both groups the sealed and the marked. The wrath of God applies only to the marked and all the associated system.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 pat travis says:

Well,

It may be to you Amed…but as “part of that 1844 is NOT crystal clear” and that is the premise you are working from and not a “short pre-advent judgment.” God is merely offering the “gospel” and warning non-believers to worship their redeemer creator (that which many sabbath keeping jews did not) and protecting and vindicating his own by His judgments.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 Con says:

Who do you see facing Judgement in Revelation 20 amed?


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 Hansen says:

Amed, Romans 3, is one of my favorite chapters in Scripture. When Paul says through the law comes the knowledege of sin (vs 20), he is referring to the OT in its entirety. He makes the statement after rehearsisng several passages from texts in the OT, none of which are found in the torah. For Paul, in this passage, the law refers to the OT writings.

Later, Paul asks what kind of law are we talking about? Is it a law which requires faith or works (vs 27)? For the Jews, the law was about works; however, Paul’s burden here is to convince tham that faith in Christ is what the law requires; consequently, when he says, that faith establishes the law (vs 31), what he means is that faith is the proper response to the requirements of the OT.

Then, in chapter 4, he provides illustrations from the life of Abraham to prove that the law was always about faith.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Hansen let’s put in the context that you wrote: Adventism is a legalistic cult, a cult which has never clearly proclaimed the doctrine of justification, apart from the law.

How you proclaim the doctrine of justification apart from the law (the 10 commandants)?

What is your definition of legalistic?

What is your understanding of a cult?


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Well, well, well …
Pat you stated “It may be to you Amed…but as “part of that 1844 is NOT crystal clear” and that is the premise you are working from and not a “short pre-advent judgment.” God is merely offering the “gospel” and warning non-believers to worship their redeemer creator…”

1. How do you know what premise I was working? Did you ever saw me writing 1844? All I wrote was in the context of revelation. Look all what I posted.

2. Could you support your comment with the text and context the part non-believers “”God is merely offering the “gospel” and warning non-believers to worship their redeemer creator…”


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 8th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Control freel 111.

i see was is writting there, and you what do you see?


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 9th, 2011 pat travis says:

Amed,

I assumed you held the traditional view that the first angel and those following was initiated by the 1844 event. Do you not?

This was what I felt drove your viewing “judgment” as only a separating Investigation rather than carrying with it God’s judgment on Babylons false system and adherants.

Secondly,

If sabbath is the “only issue” of Babylon why did the majority of Jews reject Christ, the gospel fulfilling all promises.

One can be a believer and not hold the 7th day sabbath and believe God is creator of heaven and earth and all that is in it. This is a coming judgment hour message for the unbelieving and a call to repentance to accept the creator-redeemer God who reigns.

Consider Paul’s call to unbelievers in Athens who were very spiritual but did not worship Christ…Acts 17:22-31

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 9th, 2011 RonCorson says:

Hallalujah David has finally shown Preston the truth of what I said in the opening comments section of this thread (article) Remember when I said:

–Preston writes:–

2. What role does either version play in the preaching and teaching of the 3rd Angel’s Message?

Let’s define terms, generally. I am no theologian, so bear with me. —

He then does not define the 3rd angel’s message. Why is that. I have submitted elsewhere that Adventists using the term 3rd angel’s message or the 3 angel’s messages use the term as code words for distinctive Adventist doctrines. You can see if that is meant in the 2nd question it takes a whole different meaning. A meaning that really has nothing to do with salvation and everything to do with Adventism as a denomination and their claim to be the remnant with the “truth”

Of course Ellen White becomes critical in all this not only because of her acceptance of 1844 and the Investigative Judgment but because it is her emphasis that sees Adventism encompassed in the so called 3 angel’s messages. If she is wrong in the IJ then she could also be wrong on the 3 angels messages…the Adventist interpretation of them anyway which I showed on another thread can’t be defined without using the IJ.

—Finally Preston agrees with what I said long ago here:

“…You have made a strong case and clear case, explaining how the historic Adventist interpretation affects what is implied in the second question, “What role does either version play in the preaching and teaching of the 3rd Angel’s Message?” I think you are right: the interpretation of IJ does affect how the Three Angel’s Messages are taught. In fact, it does have direct implications for our mission”

I guess it just had to come from another traditional Adventist for Preston to accept it. Because as he has said Preston and I believe different things. To bad he does not realize that facts and beliefs are different things and what I wrote was not a belief but a fact of Adventist beliefs. But if you recall I did say the 2nd question was deceptive and now at last Preston has shown what he really meant behind the second question. it is a question addressed to the traditionalists can they accept Adventists who don’t accept the IJ and insert all the special beliefs into the 3 angels messages as the mission of the Adventist church.

Preston wrote:

“…So, now, the question is, from the historic Adventist point of view, can those who mutually accept all other tenants/interpretations of the SDA Church, yet differ on the interpretation of the IJ — as it affects the preaching of the Three Angels Messages, have fellowship? Do those differences in interpretation of the IJ disallow the two groups to deliver a theologically consistent warning re: the 3rd Angel’s Message? Would fellowship between those who differ on that one point (interpretation of the IJ) do damage to the message and the faith? Need that fellowship do damage to those who differ?”

Do any of us really wonder what the result fro mthe historic Adventist view point will be on all of this?

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 9th, 2011 Bill Garber says:

Ron,

Preston has made yeoman effort, using the thinest of shims, to find a crack into which to insert doubt into deeply entrenched belief … to no obvious avail here, which gives rise to your ability to make a an equally serious question rhetorical.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 9th, 2011 Hansen says:

Amed, I have heard, from time to time, Adventist preachers use Acts 5:32 to urge churchmembers toward greater zeal in keeping the Sabbath, and Decalogue in general:

Acts 5:32 “and we are witnesses of these things; and so is the holy spirit, whom god has given to those who obey <3980> him.”

They interpret the term “obey” with reference to the Decalogue, as if obeying the Decalogue will bring the Holy Spirit to us.

That is an absolute lie. The context does not reference the Decalogue but rather preaching the gospel in the face of opposition. Galatians is quite clear that the HS does not come by works but by the faith of Abraham. Paul specifically addresses this question when he asks, “Did you receive the HS by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?”

A doctrine which misapplies passages to whip up zeal to obey the Decalogue is characteristic of legalistic cultism, the gathering of people around a paradigm which makes obeying the Decalogue as important or more important than Christian faith and charity towards our fellow man.

The gospel should be preached in a context of belief or doubt in the death and resurrection of Christ rather than obedience to the Decalogue or disobedience. The Jews of today are very zealous in observing the Decalogue, in their own strength, doing a better job than many Adventists appear to do assisted by divine power.

Adventist perfectionism exists in the milieu of obedience to the Decalogue, as if I can obey the 10 commandments perfectly through the indwelling Christ. I don’t believe it. I’ve yet to see it or even get lose to it. Sure I can dissemble and shuffle around the point but the truth is that I seem to be getting worse, not better, as I grow older. So the perfectionistic emphasis of some with reference to the Decalogue is also a form of cultish legalism, cultish because it is a heretical teaching not suported by Scripture.

Legalistic perfectionism is the Adventist Kool Aid.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 9th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Hansen

I don’t know what SDA church you went to but obviously is not the one I know. If you are sincere to know my perspective i’ll happy to present it

I don’t drink no body’s Kool Aid neither i “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit”

Have a blessed week


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 10th, 2011 pat travis says:

I would suggest that “legalism” is relying on ones obedience to the law (through whatever means including the HS) to pronounce one just/righteous before God. That is a deadly “Kool aid” that is the fly in the ointment of grace wherever it appears…including the SDA church.

Torah/divine instruction(law) as a guide and “partial reflection” of who God is and how He thinks IS good and profitable and does not “speak” contrary to the Spirit of God…but the letter/perfectionism killeth while the Spirit gives life.

regards,

pat

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 10th, 2011 Hansen says:

Amed, Below are three random selections gleaned from a Google search. One is from a Seminary class outline at Andrews, one from SDAnet and one from a private source. In the context of contemporary Adventism, obedience usually refers to the Decalogue rather than to faith in Christ.

Probably a large number of Adventists would agree that commandment keeping is related to the gift of the Spirit in a way which is rightly described as legalistic. The first quote below is problematic because of the preexisting climate in Adventism. It can be understood in different ways, depending on one’s point of view.

The passage is often not explained contextually but used as a prooftext to whip up legalistic sentiments.

His Mission for Believers. The majority of texts concerning the Holy Spirit pertain to His relationship with God’s people. His sanctifying influence leads to obedience (1 Peter 1:2), but no one continues to experience His abiding presence without meeting certain conditions. Peter said God has given the Spirit to those who continuously obey Him (Acts 5:32).1 Thus, believers are warned about resisting, grieving, and quenching the Spirit (Acts 7:51; Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:19).”

https://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-05.htm

“His mercy lays out before us conditions for receiving the promised blessing of His Spirit. Obedience is one of these conditions. (See Acts 4:31-35).

And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him. Acts 5:32

The Bible clearly teaches that the keeping of the Sabbath, as well as the rest of the commandments, and maintaining reverence for God’s sanctuary are specific conditions for receiving the latter rain.

Ye shall keep My sabbaths, and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord. If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Leviticus 26:2–4 ”

https://sermonsforsda.com/content/view/9/14/
“b. Biblical assurance is the conviction, brought to our hearts by the Holy Spirit through the Scripture, “that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs . . .” (Rom 8:16-17). It is conditioned on repentance (1 Jn 1:9) and obedience (Acts 5:32).”

https://www.andrews.edu/~jmoon/Documents/CHIS_674/CHIS_674%20Lecture_Outline%20EN.pdf

Incidentally, the term legalistic cult, upon reflection, is probably a hurtful one which is unnecessarily harsh. Although the SDA church may be that to me, I realize that the church is much more than that to most of its members, so I apologize for using that term to describe something important to you.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 10th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Hansen

1. There are plenty of web sides that not necessarily reflex the proper biblical interpretation or official position of the Church. Careful examination with the context has to be mandatory.

2. “Goods works” don’t save sinners. We may call obedience of the 10 commandments or charitable actions such take care of widows, orphans or helping people in great need or “fruit of the Spirit” (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). These actions they don’t have power to save.

3. We are save by faith in Jesus because the grace of God.

4. The person who is born again will produce fruits no to be save but because is save.

5. What I found ironical is that nobody not calls “legalist” to a person who worships only the Lord , doesn’t have idols , doesn’t use His name in vain, honor his/her parents, doesn’t kill, still, lie fornicate or covet. But the contrary when we noticed in a person such qualities we may say that person is a person of GOD. Why we don’t called legalist… their living the commandments.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 10th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Pat

I’m SDA, I believe what the church teaches, if a see something that contradicts to the Bible my alliance is to the Bible, so far that is not the case.

Whenever I study a text, two thinks are important: the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the original intent of the writer with the context. An honest study has to avoid preconceived ideas.

In my view, to properly understand Rev 14:7 has to be in the context of revelation 12; 17- 14; 13. The final battle is in regards of worship. 8 times this word is mention, 7 in reference to the beast and one to GOD. His call of worship is emphasized as the Creator “to every nation, tribe, language and people”. This includes believers and unbelievers (in the 2nd angel’s message is included his call “Come out of her, my people”).

The beast in Rev 13 is attacking the true worship specifically the entire four commandments.

1. The beast is replacing God (attacking to the first commandment)

2. The beast has an image (attacking to the second commandment)

3. The beast is blaspheming (attacking to the third commandment)

4. The mark of the beast attacks the four commandment. This commandment has the NAME (YHWH) NUMBER (SEVEN) prohibits commercial activity. The mark of the beast has name, number and also restricts commercial activity. https://www.auss.info/auss_publication_file.php?pub_id=1106&journal=1&type=pdf

Certainty God new in the last days will be a specific attach to him as a Creator. He was/is right, this attack is all over the planet even among the ones who call themselves believers. What honor makes to the Creator to keep holy any day or none at all? From the beginning he specified the worship that He approves (Cain thought he had a better one). He was very specific to keep Holy his Sabbath because He is the Creator.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 10th, 2011 pat travis says:

Amed,

I still personally worship on Saturday as my practice..but I don’t see that as the final test. I do see worshiping Christ, the “Lord of the Sabbath and creator Redeemer” who gave himself as an atonement for sins as the final test…rather than the created/humanities alternatives to Christ which have yet to be fully realized…for “you shall be hated of all the gentiles/nations on account of His name.”

If we remain focused on Christ and the cross and Him as our justifying savior…acceptable worship will take care of itself. If that is not our primary focus no day “of worship” is an acceptable worship because days don’t save..nor food and drink…Jesus does!

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 10th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Pat

I know by first hand experience WHO saves, look my previous comments. If you and I are still alive will be see what will be the final test. What is important today is to “know” God and his Christ. “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent”.

“Blessed are those who wash (present time in the original the idea is of constant washing ) their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 10th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

The first evidence of the Holy Spirit extended to non-Jews was at Pentecost. Surely, not all were observant Jews or sabbath keepers as there were pagans, and those from many areas.

The quotations above, citing obedience as a condition of the Holy Spirit, is quoted alongside one from Leviticus emphasizing obedience: “Ye shall keep My sabbaths, and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord. If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them.”

No where in the NT is the Holy Spirit given only to those who “keep my sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary” as there was no longer a sanctuary or “place” for worship, as Jesus told the woman from Samaria. Nor was “commandment keeping” other than the one Jesus gave “love thy God with all thy heart and they neighbor as theyself” says nothing about the Decalogue. Christ replaced the law which had been a guardian until He came, and now He is our model, not dead letters written on stone.

To the Jews, their law was their yardstick, amplified by hundreds of explanations covering every possible situation. Christ said love fulfilled the law; something completely unmentioned in the Decalogue. Love cannot be commanded, but must be lived and without commands but from the heart. Only an open heart can receive the Holy Spirit; obedience never will.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 10th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Juxtaposed to the FB 1844 IJ debate regarding the ‘critical path to Salvation’ one could then also ask this: “Is Dr Ford and Daniel 8:14 critical to the path to Salvation?”

The two camps have been mentioned but the focus of the locus is very one-sided and only Traditionalist views have been strutinized. The ‘cry babies’ get away lightly.

It is quite clear to me that Dr Ford’s attempt over a few decades to destabilize the Fundamental Beliefs of our Church was based on his take on Daniel 8:14 which is the ‘locus’ that drives the progressive engine. It is also very clear that many anti-SDA theologians, scholars and their ilk also jumped onto the Ford Bandwagon. I don’t think we should continually be in a state of denial regarding this. The damage to the SDA Church work in the First World as a result of all this fuss about Dan 8:14 1844 IJ is significant and without excuse. Complaining how Ford and his supporters were treated is side-tracking from the main damage done by his unbelief regarding certain fundamental teachings which he carried with him from before he was even baptised. Trying to ‘spin-doctor’ the dichotomy created, will not be solved by human ‘effort’: major Divine intervention is needed.

One must realise and accept the fact that the ‘progressive’ camp carries a lot of baggage with them and their effort to ‘spin-doctor’ sin only makes matters worse. Dr Ford is wrong and what he did was even worse. The result of his work is what we see today. We have to be cognisant of the fact that it is NOT the Seventh-day Adventist Church that initiated this antagonism but the Ford camp who through a few decades worked from within the SDA Church sowing what was sown until it boiled over. The scary 1844 IJ vibe many have alluded to came as a result of not what traditionalists were teaching but as a result of what Ford and his camp were doing and saying all this while.

Many that post on this blog are the result of Dr Ford’s teachings. The First World faced the brunt of the onslaught as a result of the seminaries and institutions been infiltrated by stealth, hence the bold claim that many that came out of these said institutions sympathised or secretly supported Ford. The SDA Church had to bear the brunt of Dr Ford’s work and that is why they took a tough stance with the mischief made, to put it mildly. This Ford debacle has to be addressed and Divine intervention desperately needed to bring healing. Denying the damage caused by Dr Ford will never bring closure and healing as many have lost faith in Salvation and left the church as a result. This saga gave many ‘worldly’ SDA’s an excuse to rebel against Traditional Fundamental Beliefs, hence giving birth to the overstated name ‘Progressives’ who hijacked Dr Ford’s work and used it as license to attack the Traditional views in order to compromise with First World worldliness and sin.

Who treated who badly, in all of this, should not be the determining factor as damage will always be what it is – damage! What about the many souls that have not joined the SDA church as a result of this issue? If it was not in the critical path to salvation then why is it such a big issue in certain pockets of the SDA church? Why are ‘progressives’ (self appointed ones, not the anointed ones) making such a critical issue of this? There must be more on their ‘agenda’! The ‘Critical Path to Salvation’ answer has to also deal with this in order to bring closure. A can of worms maybe; but nevertheless a can of worms that needs to be dealt with as it has, over the years, caused a lot of ‘stink’.

Trevor

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Preston says:

Brother Trevor and others,

Thank you, all, for the time and effort put into this issue.

The critical path question, in this context, is asked to distill the issue, to provide context, and to find common ground, if any. To that end, perhaps you might care to take a swipe at a set of questions posed to David C, but is intended for those who defend the historical Adventist position on the IJ (though it applies to so-called traditionalists who prefer the “progressive” version of the IJ, as well):

…So, now, the question is, from the historical Adventist point of view:

A. Can those who mutually accept all other tenants/interpretations of the SDA Church, yet differ on the interpretation of the IJ — as it affects the preaching of the Three Angels Messages, have fellowship?

B. Do those differences in interpretation of the IJ disallow the two groups to deliver a theologically consistent warning re: the 3rd Angel’s Message?

C. Would fellowship between those who differ on that one point (interpretation of the IJ) do damage to the message and the faith?

D. Need that fellowship do damage to those who differ?

To those who cannot address these questions without understanding the agenda of the questioner, again, I turn my cards over:

1) I believe that that, for those alive in the last days before Christ’s Second Coming, not receiving the mark of the beast is on the critical path to salvation, per Revelation 20:4.

2) As the 1st and 2nd angel’s messages have already been delivered, arguments about their theological and historical context are, now, important, but secondary (in terms of salvation). We, who remain, are to draw the attention of the world to the 3rd angel’s message (per “Have We Lost Sight of Our Mission?”).

3) I believe the IJ controversy is a distraction that both sides continue to feed into. Yes, the IJ debate has important implications for the theology of our church. Yes, (from the historical Adventist perspective) it risks providing to those who would do damage to the scaffold of Adventism a seemingly dangerous concession. It is, rightly, the job and mission of some to “defend the faith” — as long as they honestly believe that are defending the truth as revealed by the Holy Spirit (in contrast to a corporate stance). However, for the rest of us, who believe the Adventist interpretation of the last days before Christ’s coming, our mission is to deliver the 3rd angel’s message to the world. We are to clarify the deception referenced in Revelation 19:20. I believe the God can protect His church and its message from those who would, purposefully, seek to do violence to it. It has been predicted that some will be given the Word and, still, be deceived.

4) To the extent that we (particularly in North America and Australia) continue this circular IJ debate, without either a) separating from each other and focusing on the work, as we see it, or b) finding common ground and focusing, together, on the accomplishing the work we’ve been given, we avoid the work of our mission.

5) In the meantime, the way we carry ourselves while debating, the way we refer to those we differ with, the tone of the debate itself, adversely affects those who are passively observing. Many times, the fruits of the Spirit are totally absent from the debate, leaving many (in North America and Australia?) to seek another, less rancorous fellowship.

I implore you to be mindful of the primary questions (A-D). My personal agenda (1-4) has no importance except to inform those who need to understand the motives of the writer.

Peace.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor,

What you seem to be unaware of is that Des Ford was merely one additional vehicle of “more exposure” to sound Conservative Protestant theology into the SDA church. These issues were ongoing before Des and were alluded to in “seed form” in QOD in the 50’s…and before.

That you would seemingly desire to avoid these problems for a false peace in the SDA church is no more valid than SDA’s questioning other churches on the “state of the dead, the pre-mlliennial return of Christ and the heavenly millennium.” This is simply how questioning and turmoil to tradition potentially brings better understanding.

Did Sam B. by stealth enter the Pontifical Seminary in Rome and by “stealth” with the regrets of SDA’s or was he in fact a poster child at first who later showed our Commentary “error/problem” concerning Col.2:16 concerning the weekly Sabbath “day”?

Learning and questionings are the “painful” path to growth. Christ came not to bring “peace but a sword.” Tradition rejected and crucufied Christ…for His “new” biblical positions were uncomfortable to the status quo “lest the whole nation perish.”

You must look deeper into historical Protestantism regarding the classifications of liberal/progressive vs. conservative for you will discover Des is conservative theologically…and SDA’s have fallen into the trap of “something else” while professing to be “sola scriptura” and until that is resolved I am, as a 5th generation SDA, hesitant to expose good conservative Protestant Chrisitans to the SDA church other than pointing out a few good valid questions in some areas they pose.

There is no perfect denomination by the way. I seek to bring people to Christ…not a denomination…meditate.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

For some, Ford has become the emblem or target for attacking the IJ for those unfamiliar with the long history of the SDA church with its questionable doctrines. There are a host of other Adventists since its very beginning who could not make “heads or tails” of this contrived doctrine, and Ford was only the most recent and most logical which made it far more difficult to defend.

Making the IJ the central focus of Adventism only adds to the burden of convincing the better educated to dismiss their logical reasoning ability and accept this as one of the tenets of a religion that skirts the edges of Christianity much as JWs and the Mormons. In reality, it is neither Jewish or Christian but a hybrid of both: adopting many of the Old Covenant principles and laws of Judaism while, unlike Judaism, accepting Christ as the Messiah, but refusing to accept his messengers, Peter, James and Paul, as given the authority to convert the Gentiles without burdening them with the Jewish law.

The IJ doctrine is no different than Joseph Smith’s famous “Golden Tablets” no one else saw them or read them. With Edson’s cornfield vision no one saw it, or interpreted it, yet millions believe, just as millions believe Smith’s story. Religious gullibility still survives.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

There is a failure to put religion in perspective. A recent letter in the Economist offers this:

“We should be wary of appointing Mormons to positions of high public office. Mormonism is a strange religion. Its adherents fail to understand that the only authentic way to receive divine revelations is on stone (not gold), up a mountain (not in a wood) and during a period of history when the reliability of eyewitnesess accounts was so much greater than it is today.”


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 RonCorson says:

Preston wrote:

— However, for the rest of us, who believe the Adventist interpretation of the last days before Christ’s coming, our mission is to deliver the 3rd angel’s message to the world.

— So that we can all be clear please tell us what the 3rd angel’s message to the world is. (don’t go quoting a bible text because that is not what you would say to the world) You believe it is our mission so surely you can give us the specifics of that message so that we can understand what you are talking about with your multiple uses of the 3 angel’s message phrase.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

Elaine,

As far as you are concerned, the IJ doctrine is also no different than the doctrine grace; or that of sin for that matter. As some of us have previously pointed out, when any doctrine is defended by use of the Bible, then the Bible is criticized as unreliable. When other exegesis, research, commentary and/or inspiration have been cited, you have occasionally taken refuge in that it may not have been (necessarily) biblical.

This approach is, of course, blatantly unfair.

What is perhaps more blatant is your double-speak insistence that “the better educated” are resistant (because of “their logical reasoning ability”) to accept certain “tenants of a religion that [skirt] the edges of Christianity,” and your implication that the SDA pre-advent judgment doctrine is among these, on the one hand—and your conjecture, on the other hand (and another blog thread) that Adventists are, on average (or as a whole), better educated than others; despite the fact that Adventists hold beliefs that “the better educated” hardly accept.

What’s wrong with “[skirting] the edges of Christianity”? How is that different than, say… accepting the principle of the Golden Rule, yet rejecting the belief in Jesus’ resurrection?

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 tcalvert71 says:

Reading through the last few posts has brought great discouragement. Sometimes I feel like all of this arguing distracts from what is really important.

I understand Dr. Ford has become a lightening rod in any discussion concerning IJ in SDA circles. This is inevitable, but unfortunate. In my personal experience, his lifetime of ministering has been about much more. I will only speak of my personal experience, but I have been greatly blessed by his talks on justification by faith. And yes, Pat, JBF alone (to be clear). I honestly don’t know who is right on IJ, and I’m tired of trying to figure it out. But I will not allow it to affect my efforts for Christ, or my commitment to Him. We are all fallen imperfect human beings who do nothing entirely right. And if you listen at all to Dr. Ford, you will hear him regulary say this about himself.

Yes, Trevor, I have been able to listen to Dr. Ford and NOT develop deep seated animosity toward the SDA church. I still sit in the pew every week, and help in my kids SS classes when I can. Though I suppose you might refer to me as an enemy in the pew, since I haven’t blindly signed off on 28 FB’s. We should not be sheep who follow people, we should follow Christ. God looks upon the heart; he knows those who are his. I’m grateful He will be judging me.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Stephen, when you say:

“the IJ doctrine is also no different than the doctrine grace; or that of sin for that matter”

is to overlook the particular and peculiar interpretation of this given by Adventism. Of course, there is an investigative judgment; it’s clearly written in the Bible. BUT, it is the contrived date of its beginning and describing the actions in heaven that have described this event cannot be validated by the Bible. There is no date that can possibly be specifically identified when an investigative judgment wil begin or when it will end. If you deny the SDA prescribed IJ, please clarify. Otherwise, while nearly all Christians can accept an investigative judgment, it is only the SDA interpretation, adopted on the basis of one man’s visionary explanation is what is being accepted, not the Bible’s description.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

Tcalvert71,

You are right; it is certainly to our advantage that God, in the Person of Jesus, will be judging us. In fact, since He is also our Advocate, it is especially good and advantageous. Furthermore, to my way of thinking, it makes exactly when this judgment takes place a moot point insofar as salvation is concerned.

Could this have been Preston’s point?

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 RonCorson says:

Stephen wrote:

— You are right; it is certainly to our advantage that God, in the Person of Jesus, will be judging us. In fact, since He is also our Advocate, it is especially good and advantageous. Furthermore, to my way of thinking, it makes exactly when this judgment takes place a moot point insofar as salvation is concerned.

— I always get a kick out of the way some folks express themselves. They always assume that what they say is agreed upon by all. Preston uses the 3 angels message without real definition and now Stephen says that Jesus is judging us and is our advocate. So let’s use an extreme example. Hitler gets to the judgment whenever that may be and Jesus says hello Hitler let me introduce myself I am your judge and I am your advocate. You can’t lose buddy because I am on your side and nobody wins against me. So Stephen has just given us Universalism, not that I am arguing against universalism it is just I very much doubt that Stephen understood what he was saying. Because he uses the unspecific “our”. It is no wonder he is so confused about other peoples beliefs such as Elaine’s. He is in the habit of making vast assumptions.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Preston says:

The 3rd angel’s message cannot and should not be discussed without directly referencing the Bible, as it is the Bible that contains the message itself.

The Adventist interpretation of third angel’s message, to which I have referred, is based on Revelation 13: 11-18, Revelation 14: 9-11, Revelation 16 – 18, Revelation 19:19-20, and Revelation 20:4 and 10. These texts warn against worshipping the beast or his image, and against receiving the mark of the beast in their forehead or in their hands, and describe the penalties associated with doing so.

These texts refer to those who, in the last days before Christ’s coming, choose to worship either a false god or choose the traditions of men over the worship of God . The description of those who will not receive the mark is Revelation 14:12, those who “keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.”

Adventists historically believe that, in the last days, a primary point of differentiation between those who follow the commandments of God over the traditions of men will be holding to God’s Sabbath (along with all of the commandments — Old and New Testament). The Sabbath is a memorial of the Creation. Keeping it is a sign of worshipping the Creator, and none other. The commandments do not save you, but they do reflect where your loyalties lie.

The mark of the beast (and his image) is signified by choosing man’s ways over God’s, including the substitution of Sunday over the 7th day Sabbath, which, in the last days, Adventists believe, will become a point of political and religious controversy. The Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday as part of a political/religious compromise (the Council of Nicea) in the marriage of the eastern Christian church with the church of Rome (incorporating the both pagan and Christian traditions of Rome. Since then, the Vatican has taken credit for changing the Sabbath to Sunday, claiming it has the authority to do so. Adventists believe this was an act of biblical blasphemy.

In the time of the end, that dynamic will be mirrored in the U.S., as the wall of separation between church and state falls. Apostate Protestant churches and ministers will partner with the Vatican to act, they will claim, on behalf of God. Liberty of conscience will be threatened. Sunday worship will be coerced. Blue laws will be enforced. People will be forced to choose (likely by the government and by employers) where there loyalties lie. The Sabbath will be a major point of contention as to whose laws (commandments) have the ultimate authority in one’s life (Daniel 7:25).

At the time of the end, those who express their loyalty by choosing to keep the commandments of God the Creator, and have the faith and love of Jesus will not receive the mark of the beast. Those who choose or are deceived to worship the beast or his image and receive, preferring the traditions of men over the word of God the mark will receive the mark of the beast, along with the associated biblical penalty of eternal death and separation from God.

Adventists are to warn people of this coming conflict, so, when the time comes, they are not deceived or do not allow themselves to coerced into following the traditions of men, and thus receive the mark of the beast..

As you know, an extended narrative of the historical Adventist interpretation can be found in the book, The Great Controversy, by Ellen White.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Preston followed the Adventist line:

“The Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday as part of a political/religious compromise (the Council of Nicea) in the marriage of the eastern Christian church with the church of Rome (incorporating the both pagan and Christian traditions of Rome. Since then, the Vatican has taken credit for changing the Sabbath to Sunday, claiming it has the authority to do so. Adventists believe this was an act of biblical blasphemy.”

Interesting, but entirely historically inaccurate. There was no Christian sabbath observed to the fourth century. Where is the historical record? The Christians began meeting on the first day in celebration of Chirist’s resurrection before the end of the first century and before the Nicean council, Constantine first issued the edict of Milan (315 A.D.) giving freedom of religion to all Roman citizens whether pagans or Christians. This was the first record of religious liberty in recorded history.

At the Council of Nicea, the most important discussion was regarding the nature of Christ and they adopted the doctrine of the Trinity–only temporarily–as Constantine wavered back and forth for a number of years. It was at this time that he gave all citizens the first day as free from work–never a command to worship. Furthermore, there were no longer Christians observing the seventh day so it was not “changed” as is so often an SDA accusation. No entity can “change” worship as worship is in one’s heart, not in an external action. Constantine was a temporal, not religious ruler, so it is patently wrong to say the the Catholic church changed Sabbath to Sunday.

Too often, Adventists gain their only knowledge of Christian history through Great Controversy, which is faulty and does not accurately record early Christian history. Having read many scholarly books on this particular period of history, it continues to be amazing that such inaccurate history is still believed by many Adventists. Christian belief does not negate true history, but welcomes truth wherever it is found.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Consider the biblical context of the mark of the beast

The word mark (χάραγμα) is mentioned 8 times in reference to the “mark” of the beast. A similar word is used in Heb 1:3 in reference to Christ who …is the express image (χαρακτήρ) of His (Father). (χαρακτήρ = character).

The ones who will receive the mark of the beast will have the character of the beast. The character of the beast is described in revelation 13, opposes to the true worship and the mark of the beast specifically counterfeit the forth commandment. This commandment has the mane of GOD, the number, the economical restriction and cover of all kind of people. The mark of the beast has a name, a number, economical restrictions and universal coverage. Indeed extraordinaire similarities!

The mark of the beast also has a subjective identification to be known only by the ones who have it. “They have no rest (anapausis) day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”Revelation 14: 11. The word rest (anapausis) is the same word used in Mat 11:29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest (anapausis) for your souls. When the due time is for sure God will let know everybody exactly what is the mark of the beast. The question is if we have the rest and serenity of Christ today.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 RonCorson says:

That is good Preston. What you describe as the 3 angel’s message is summed up with your quote. “Adventists historically believe that,”. The Bible texts references are a nice touch but they don’t really say much of what the rest of your comments say, they are rather summed up as Adventists believe. Or equally as you summed them up “an extended narrative of the historical Adventist interpretation can be found in the book, The Great Controversy, by Ellen White.”

Now that we are clear what you mean by 3 angels message is what the Adventist traditionals believe let us ask when is this end time supposed to be? Do you get to that end time somehow. Could it be through 1844 and the Investigative Judgment beginning in 1844? You did not mention that but surely you are going to tell the world somehow that you think we are in the endtime it being the requisite for much of your comment in regards to the 3 angels.

For the second question we have to wonder why if the 3 angels messages are summed up in Ellen White’s book the Great Controversy and it has a whole chapter called the Investigative Judgment (at least in the 1888 version) can you submit the question of how any other version of the IJ or Pre-advent judgment can fit into what you describe as the 3 angels message being it is laid out in the extended Adventist interpretation found in the Great Controversy.

Oh I see! this is all merely trying to say that the IJ as Adventist tradition teaches is a part of the 3 angels message and therefore it must be part of how the Adventists teach the 3 angels message which is the mission of the Adventist church. Finally the circle is complete.

Thank you for finally acknowledging what I said weeks ago. The real question is why did it take so long, why the obfuscation. Why not just say you have to be a traditional Adventist because that is all there is if you are going to define the churches mission by traditional Adventism. Something Progressive Adventists believe is incorrect. See how easy that is?

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Hansen says:

Amed,You might want to consider the contribution Adolf Deissman, in his book, Bible Studies, makes to better understanding the meaning and significance of charagma. There is actually a picture of the charagma in the book, page 243.

The book is a small lexicon to Biblical words whose meaning is illuminated in secular documents written in koine. Moulton and Milligan issued a similar volume; however, Deissman’s treatment of charagma is exceptional.

https://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hildebrandt/New_Testament_Greek/Text/Deissmann-BibleStudies.pdf

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 pat travis says:

Amed,

The 666 in Rev.13:18 refers to the anarthous use of man in Gk which can simply mean mankind…in other words the created.

Humanity can be hailed as God in opposition to the creator God-Christ. Mankinds works are exalted in place of Christ works for us for forgiveness of sin. This is the attitude of humanity that holds the cross as a stumblingblock and foolishness and is the image of their “father Satan’s view” who despises Christ.

You shall be hated of all “mankind” for His name sake.

The sabbath may act as a “warning” but the real issue is not the sabbath which the Jews of Christ day “worshiped” BUT “the atoning sacrifice of Christ” for forgiveness of sin which self righteous humanity despises as “exclusive” in a world that needs “inclusiveness” for it’s peaceful coexistence.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Preston says:

Just to clarify the record, so my questions in this strand are not mis-stated, the questions, original questions were:

1. Is the acceptance of a particular version of the Investigative Judgment on the critical path to my acceptance of salvation and leading others to Christ?

2. What role does either version play in the preaching and teaching of the 3rd Angel’s Message?

The focus of the search for common ground, if any, that I seek, is in regard to finding any collective interest in teaching and preaching the 3rd Angel’s Message. I have been consistent on that point. Again, in my article, “Have We Lost Sight of Our Mission?” I specifically reference the 3rd Angel’s Message as the core of our mission”

“Our complacency is predicted in the same book that contains the core message of our mission (Revelation 14: 9-12).”

You seem to insist on focusing on the Three Angel’s Messages. It is clear to me and most others that the historical Adventist teaching of the IJ and the progressive version of that teaching are at odds, as it affects the timing of the first angel’s message. Clearly, the two camps will not come to agreement on that point. I respect that difference.

Regarding timing, I have no idea when the last days are, for certain. The Bible says, no man knows when He is returning (Matthew 24:36), so it seems to me to be a fools errand to speculate when Jesus will return. As a believing Adventist and an observer of the times, I personally believe that time is soon.

I do not insist that anyone accept or believe anything. I am simply am searching for the largest possible group of professed Adventists that have common beliefs on “critical path” issues. From there, we can go to work.

I believe it is fruitless to try to convince others who have studied the issues and believe differently, or don’t believe at all. All should act on their beliefs.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Preston says:

Elaine,

In the year 321 A.D., Constantine decreed, “On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed” (Codex Justinianus lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; trans. in Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 3, p. 380, note 1).

But don’t take it from me, Elaine, ask them:

Vatican Admits that Sunday is NOT the Biblical Sabbath

In a recent Catholic church newsletter it stated, “Perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary change the Church ever did, happened in the first century. The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday. ‘The Day of the Lord’ [dies domini] was chosen, not from any direction noted in the Scriptures, but from the Church’s sense of its own power….. People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become [Seventh-Day] Adventists, and keep Saturday holy.” Saint Catherine Catholic Church Sentinel, Algonac, Michigan, May 21, 1995.

No Scriptural Support

“Sunday is a Catholic institution and its claim to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles….. From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first.” Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, August 1900.

The Vatican’s Mark of Authority

“Sunday is our mark of authority….. The church is above the Bible, and this transference of sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” The Catholic Record, London, Ontario, September 1, 1923.

Catholic Catechism
“Question: Which is the Sabbath day?”
“Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath.”

“Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?”
“Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 336) transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, by Peter Geiermann, 50.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 pat travis says:

Preston,

What many SDA’s fail to realize is that many of the “gentile converts” were worshipping in honor of the resurrection of Christ prior to the “bishop of Romes” ascendency as a “spokesperson” for the Christian church.

The issue is complex and not originally controlled by “Rome.”

The main issue is not about a day but the “lord of sabbath rest.”

Having been justified by faith we have peace and “rest” in the “now and not yet” in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 klriley says:

Preston

You asked if people who believe in the traditional (however defined) understanding of the IJ could be part of the same church as those who don’t so believe. As that has been the case since the IJ doctrine was first proposed, obviously the answer is ‘yes’. Can we then all present a coherent message to the world? Obviously, that depends on how much we disagree. Many SDAs see the IJ doctrine as saying no more – but certainly no less – than that a pre-advent judgement is both logical and Biblical, and must occur if destinies are settled by the time Christ returns. To have rewards and punishments in place for 1,000 years and then hold the judgement is illogical. If we restrict ourselves to that, then of course we (or most of us) can present a coherent and united message.

But, the IJ is more than that. It demands we see salvation as more than each individual being reconciled to God. It denies that all that is necessary to salvation was finished at the cross. It insists that justification by faith is part – but only a part – of salvation. Can we present a coherent and unified message about the end of time and the judgement if we disagree on what salvation entails? Somehow, unifying ‘you are justified by faith alone’ and at that time all that is needed for salvation is accomplished, with the traditional understanding of the IJ just doesn’t seem possible. The common Protestant understanding of justification by faith makes the IJ not only redundant, but heretical. Can we teach two (or more) views of salvation, requiring quite different responses, and not be seen as hypocritical at best, crazy at worst? I doubt it.

Kevin


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

There is nothing in the edict given by Constantine that the first day was to be observed as the sabbath, only a day of rest. We in the U.S. have a two-day rest each weekend, worship is allowed on either one. But nothing in that rule required a worship day.

Catholicism’s claims are just that. There is no power that can “change” a day of worship; this comes straight from an individual’s heart. Long before Catholicism became powerful (and not in Constantine’s day as it was the catholic (universal) Christian church–there was no other–the first day of the week was observed by Christians in honor of the resurrection. There is, nor never will be a “Christian sabbath.” Even the Catholic church recognizes that. Sabbath was given to the Jews and it is their day, never given to or commanded by Gentile Christians. Sunday is not a replacement for sabbath, but a day to celebrate Christianity. The sabbath of the Jews does not recognize Christ’s resurrection; in fact, Judaism doesn’t recognize Christ, period.

You would not be a Christian today were it not for the resurrection. You could be a practicing Jew worshiping on Sabbath but not unless you first had been circumcised. The Jews who were trying to force the Gentile Christians to become like them and observe their laws were first demanding circumcision as there was a death threat on any non-Jew who attempted to observe Jewish laws; thus the circumcision controversy. Peter and James squelched that idea and from then on, the Jews continued to observe their customs and ceremonies but they were not mandated upon the Gentiles.

Saturday is a rest day for all Jews; Sunday is obsreved by Christians; not because of the Catholic church which was not even in existence right after the resurrection. It was their rejoicing in the resurrection, giving them hope for eternal life that gave them reason to rejoice. For the Jews, sabbath was a time of rest, not necessarily rejoicing, but abstaining from work plus many other weekday activities.

For a religion that claims to form their doctrines from “Thus Saith the Lord” the is complete paucity of any instruction to the Christian believers to observe the seventh day as sabbath.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Preston says:

Dear Elaine,

It is here that we disagree.

As a Christian, I do what Christ did: Luke 4:16.

Regarding the change of the Sabbath, let’s not ignore the obvious: the Vatican claims the change of the Sabbath (you asked for historical evidence, but don’t seem to like it). You can’t unclaim it for them. Their claims of authority over the Sabbath and the Bible are evidence of their confidence in standing in the place of God.

Thus, Protestantism.

To paraphrase your question to me, if you asked the average Christian on the street, “What day is the Sabbath?” what would they say Revelation 13:3)? Why is that?

The change of the Sabbath is historically traced to Constantine’s Decree as the pivot point in Christian history. Though he did not declare Sunday to be the Sabbath, he declared it to be the official day of rest.

Sound familiar?


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Preston says:

Thanks Kevin.

I am very afraid you might be right.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Preston says:

Pat,

I believe we are justified by faith in Jesus.

However, the prophecy regarding the mark of the beast is biblical, with eternal implications for those who receive that mark. The sabbath does not save you; Jesus does. But, in the time of the end, it may well signify where your ultimate faith lies.

Under pressure.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 11th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

RonCorson,

Perhaps you are right…I should have again specified “our,” as in “our Advocate.” My understanding is that Jesus is the Advocate of all who believe on Him and claim Him by faith to be their Savior and their Lord. On numerous previous occasions on this thread I had specified who Jesus represents as Advocate and how His advocacy services are retained. In fact on Thursday, April 7, on this thread I asked the following question to specific fellow participants—which I will now re-ask to all others: how does my understanding of the pre-advent judgment, wherein Jesus is both Advocate/Priest and Judge/King—and those who, by faith, claim Him as their Savior, and His blood and righteousness as the means of their salvation and the currency which pays for His advocacy on their behalf, cannot be found guilty in any proceeding of any Court—either coincide or does violence to the JBF doctrine, the IJ, or the Three Angels Messages?

I have asked this question, and ask it again, because—as I have also stated previously on this thread—if this understanding of the pre-advent judgment is in alignment with Scripture, the historical Protestant doctrine of justification by faith, and the historical Adventist understanding and teaching of the investigative judgment and/or the Three Angels’ Messages, then our historical Adventist understanding is essentially correct—although to Preston’s point, an internal/irrelevant distraction.

Stephen Foster


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Pat & Hansen

It is hard to keep up with the writings in AT, i’ll look the references you posted this weekend. My full time job ( seen patients, teaching residents, producing research, administrative duties, traveling given lectures) family responsibilities ( 4 kids; 9 y/o twins 6 and the youngest 5) church participation( SS, small group bible studies, and out reach) and directing the nonprofit foundation “Babies Without Borders” limits my time.

If you are interested in the mark of the beast and the seal of God, i’ll recommend some of the good SDA scholar’s writings.

H. K LaRondelle, Chariots of Salvation, 160 -173
Jon Paulien, What the Bibles say about the end time, 121-129
Ranko Stefanovic, Revelation of Jesus Christ , 402-433
Anthony MacPherson T H E MARK OF T H E BEAST AS A “SIGN COMMANDMENT” AND”ANTI-SABBATH”INTHEWORSHIPCRISIS OF REVELATION 12-14 https://www.auss.info/auss_publication_file.php?pub_id=1106&journal=1&type=pdf
H K LaRondelle How to Understand the End-Time Prophecies of the Bible: The Biblical-Contextual Approach.

Have a great week!

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 pat travis says:

Preston and Amed,

In Daniel 3, which I suggest is the same imagery/image of Rev.13, is the 7th day sabbath the issue? Now not worshiping another “god” of mankinds making instead of the Creator Redeemer was/is. That the 4th commandment reminds of this is true but that knowledge was also held by those that rejected Christ.

We are “sealed” by the Spirit of promise…not Saturday.

Kevin,

To say our justification and our atoning sacrifice was completed at the cross simply means the work of God/Christ was completed there and we can not add to it by our works. We still must be prompted of the HS to confess and receive the gift…then the saying is true for individuals that by “one sacrifice He has perfected those who are “being made holy.” (literal gk.) Heb.10:14.

regards,

pat

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Pat

No question that we are selled by the Sipirt, but the seal of God for the last generation includes that, but also is a special seal given by an angel. Look the work of H LaRondenlle in Chariots of Salvation that i posted before

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 pat travis says:

Amed,

I have the book and I have read it. That the sabbath is the “seal of the saints” is not explicit from scripture.

That we are to worship the risen Lord and Creator Redeemer is. I suggest that the “gentiles” can do so acceptably on Saturday or Sunday and there must be other issues that are associated to either worship day to qualify or disqualify worshiping our risen justifying creator savior as being appropriate.

One’s worship is to God so why should any judge His servants acceptable worship? Rom.14:3-6.

—————————–

Preston,

Just because the Roman pontiff claims to be successor to Peter, do you likewise accept that assertion? Resurrection day worship existed before the Bishop of Rome…as I said it is complex and also was a matter of disassociation with the hatred of the Roman empire for the Jews.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 Preston says:

Pat,

I don’t accept the assertion, but the world does. Catholicism is the largest denomination in the world. I love Catholic people and know that many will be saved, as they know Christ. He will judge.

However, I take the Vatican at their word. They say that their church is above the Bible and has the power to change the sanctity of the Sabbath, which God, the Creator, sanctified Himself.

The Vatican has made claims that I know to be false. That does nothing to dilute the fact that they make and believe those claims — and deceive the majority of the Christian world. As predicted.

Revelation 13:3-6. Daniel 7:25.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

“However, I take the Vatican at their word.”

Do you also believe that the rooster’s crowing makes the sun rise in the morning?

You can choose to believe the Catholic claim, or non-biased history. As Pat and I have repeatedly said, Sunday was being observed as a celebration by Christians long before there was a Catholic church; that is, unless you believe that Peter established the first catholic church; and Paul was the first catholic missionary. There is an abundance of recorded data showing that the first day was celebrated by the end of the first century. Now, date the beginning of the Roman Catholic church which is making such grandiose statements. You are choosing to believe a source that you would not consider if it did not serve a particular purpose. Why not believe all of Catholic teachings and not one that “proves” what you were taught by some errant Adventist. I, too, have heard this one nearly all my long life; that is, until I began seriously studying the subject–for graduate school credits–did I discover that Adventism had long taught this erroneous belief.

Question: Do you REALLY believe that any insitution can change a day of worship? Can the U.S. change a day of the month–declaring that Sunday will no be Monday?

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 Preston says:

Elaine,

To your first question: Yes, emphatically, so. Daniel 7:25. They changed the 10 commandments, (eliminating one and truncating another: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images,” and “Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy . . . “). Just a coincidence, I suppose?

“Alterations in times and law . . . ”

Given the above, I consider your second question to be rhetorical.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 amed soliz says:

In Revelation 14:7 the call is very specific “Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea.

1. Although we worship the Lord as the Redeemer, the call in revelation 14;7 is very specifically to worship HIM as a Creator.

2. He uses word by word the sentence of “made the heavens and the earth, the sea”, from Exo 20:11.

3. This is a response to a specific the attack of the beast with his mark (war of worship with a counterfeit )

                                        4th C              the Mark

Name:                             GOD               Beast

Number:                          7(God)            666 (human)

Restriction of activities:   Yes                 Yes

Cover                               people           Human

The certainty what really means is for the future I’m sure the Lord will let everybody know what it is.

I think the SDA church has a biblical credible explanation of this mystery


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 pat travis says:

Amed,

>> I’m sure the Lord will let everybody know what it is. <<

I am sure also Amed. I am sure also that God’s commands inform us of harmful consequences when their core principles are violated.

That said, I suggest, the last conflict is greater than a day…it is about what humanity/individuals personally do wih the “Lord of the day” and the Lord over the other “9.”

I and others have previously noted that German SDA’s readily followed Hitler for peripheral issues (health i.e.) rather than Christ…this is my meaning for the last conflict is not merely about a day but one’s love and dedication to the person of Christ.

My hope is in Rom.8:30 because “He called me.”

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

There may be certain parallels with Daniel 3 & Revelation 13, but I cannot see how they are equal as you present them. According to Preston’s detailing of the papacy’s establishment of Sunday as the Christian day of worship, Revelation 13 outlines more then just a conflict over worship. Taking history into account, the policies of the 1st beast will be replicated by the 2nd beast with it’s image to the 1st beast. Sabbath and Sunday in this context represent the issues presented in the proclamation of the 3rd angels message.

To come out of Babylon, to miss receiving the mark of the beast, includes forsaking the day established as a sign of their power. Not only is it clear in the documentation of the counter-reformation, but the papacy itself states that the greatest sign of their authority for changing the day of rest is that Protestantism for the most part honors it.

While on the other hand, the Sabbath will be kept / honored by those who are resting in Christ for everything needed for their salvation. They will be in experience justified by faith in the righteousness of Christ, and their Sabbath keeping is the sign of their faith in all things Christ. The Sabbath as a seal is not the anointing / establishing of the Spirit of God in the life of believer as you constantly quote. It is the confirmation of the fact that Christ is their righteousness alone by faith…

You can differ all you want, but there is only one thing left for us to do… watch and pray… because time alone will tell.

Peace

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 pat travis says:

Lafal,

The sabbath will not be “a one man band” for then it would be the leader of the band rather than our savior. :>)

peace,

pat

PS. Interesting that in the 1st GC, EGW said Babylon could not refer to the Roman Church.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Pat,

RE your statement: PS. Interesting that in the 1st GC, EGW said Babylon could not refer to the Roman Church.

Whereabouts in this 1st GC did Ellen White say this? Thanks…

T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

To your P.S… fyi… she does not use the Roman Church, she uses the papacy…

In the thirteenth century was established that most terrible of all the engines of the papacy,—the Inquisition. The prince of darkness wrought with the leaders of the papal hierarchy. In their secret councils, Satan and his angels controlled the minds of evil men, while unseen in the midst stood an angel of God, taking the fearful record of their iniquitous decrees, and writing the history of deeds too horrible to appear to human eyes. “Babylon the great” was “drunken with the blood of the saints.” The mangled forms of millions of martyrs cried to God for vengeance upon that apostate power. {GC88 59.3}

Barnes and Frith, the faithful friends of Tyndale, arose to defend the truth. The Ridleys and Cranmer followed. These leaders in the English Reformation were men of learning, and most of them had been highly esteemed for zeal or piety in the Romish communion. Their opposition to the papacy was the result of their knowledge of the errors of the “holy see.” Their acquaintance with the mysteries of Babylon, gave greater power to their testimonies against her. {GC88 248.2}

These quotes are also found in vol 4 of SP.

Peace

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

The sabbath will not be “a one man band” for then it would be the leader of the band rather than our savior.

Christ is the leader, for He Himself declares that He is the Lord of the Sabbath. Sunday has always been a pagan feast day in the worship of the sun, at least since Nimrod. Whose resurrection is being honored in history in Sunday sacradness… Chirst or Tammuz? The genuine or the counterfeit? Each has their day to symbolize their spiritual tenents.

One qualifier, I believe there are many honest hearted followers of Christ in many of the other communions. With that being said… Say what you will… it’s still a wait and see proposition…

Peace


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Pat,

This day you call the Sabbath, is it an important Day? Did Jesus say he was Lord of the Sabbath?

T

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Hey, Brother Preston my able Friend.

Can you see what’s happening? I don’t want to add to any additional ‘distraction’ as you already have a handful of it. IJ; Sabbath; FB. Progs as we can see have no real basis for much of what they argue; just usual pockets of rhetoric. Oops, hmm, Progressive pockets of rhetoric. That is why I smell a rat!

I’m not saying I’m innocent of any Trad rhetoric but their whole theology is based on negating what Trads hold as fundamental. Again I say, it’s not only about the IJ. It’s much more and that. Ask Progs to draw up their own Prog Fundamental Beliefs and see what they come up with. The only theological position Progs can safely hold on to is a *wildcard one.

Progs make Ford’s Daniel 8:14 interpretation bigger than the SDA Church and even God for that matter. Progressive’s make sin a trifle matter as long as it fits in with the cultural compromise of the day. First World Adventism got itself into a mess in the first place because of entertaining and trying to please the crowd – the progressive crowd that is!

The ‘critical’ path to them therefore has to be only the progressive path: one which is a form of legalism in my opinion.

Have a great day

T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 pat travis says:

T,

“Babylon is said to be “the mother of harlots.” By her

daughters must be symbolized churches that cling to her

doctrines and traditions, and follow her example of sacrificing

the truth and the approval of God, in order to

form an unlawful alliance with the world. The message of

Revelation 14 announcing the fall of Babylon, must apply

to religious bodies that were once pure and have become

corrupt. Since this message follows the warning of the

Judgment, it must be given in the last days, therefore it cannot

refer to the Romish Church, for that church has been in a

fallen condition for many centuries.” GC, p.403, 1888 ed.

Prescott had been out of harmony with EGW over this statement as he had said Babylon was the RCC. He was again made in favor when in the 1912 ed. it was changed to say “Romish church alone” and all was well.

The reason I pointed this out was the emphasis being placed above on “coming out of Babylon” by laffal…which one?

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

Babylon is Satan’s counterfeit religion to conflict, combat, and if achieveable, the knowledge / worship of the true God, or Creator, Redeember, Restorer, and Friend. It has it’s roots in the offering of Cain, and has developed in and thru all of prominent nations in Biblical history… Nimrod started / established the foundations of Babylonian theology… the mysteries… which was carried on thru Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Pagan Rome, and Papal Rome.

“In this situation a wise mind is needed. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is sitting. They are also seven kings. Five of them have fallen, one is ruling now, and the other has not yet come. When he comes, he must remain for a little while. The beast that was and is no longer is the eighth king. It belongs with the seven kings and goes to its destruction. (Revelation 17:9-11 GW)

The RCC / Papacy is the counterfeit fine tuned, who will receive the necessary assistance from the 8th king… he who is declared to build the image to the beast. The priciples of Babylon are still actively in force for it’s originally intended purpose… “steal, kill, and destroy” as Satan’s counterfeit, look alike, sound alike religion.

Peace


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 pat travis says:

But laffal, is that what Ellen said in 1888? No she was refering to what she would in other areas call “apostate Protestantism.”

May I suggest that “apostate Protestantism” foremost denies the doctrine of JBF “alone” which the Reformers taught!

Anywhere that appears…even among SDA’s is “apostate P..”

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

Agreed… the 8th king of Revelation 17.

Apostate Protestantism is just a further development of the same system… Babylon.

Peace.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

Elaine,

I don’t want to appear to be picking on your arguments, but perhaps I relish the challenge of a moving target.

Obviously you are right in that the claim of the Roman church—that they have shifted the sacredness of the Sabbath hours to that of the first day of the week—does not really validate or make manifest the change in reality.

However most Christians now consider the change to have been actual and authentic. Additionally, of course, there is no denying that the words of the Decalogue in the Roman church’s version have been altered accordingly; nor that they have claimed the authority to have made what may be considered a de facto change into a change de jure.

Almost invariably if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, lo and behold, it is a duck; the real thing—with its counterfeit day.

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 RonCorson says:

Stephen wrote:

–However most Christians now consider the change to have been actual and authentic. Additionally, of course, there is no denying that the words of the Decalogue in the Roman church’s version have been altered accordingly; nor that they have claimed the authority to have made what may be considered a de facto change into a change de jure.

— Read any Catholic Bible and you see the whole thing there, The Roman Catholics did not altered. Yes it is shorted in Catholic catechisms. But then I think I have seen it shortened in Adventist writing as well. It is a shame that you don’t know better by the age you are now!


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

The choice of the name for Adventism is very informative: the seventh day is the most important doctrine to Adventists. Despite all the other doctrines, this is where the rubber hits the road: either accept the seventh-day as the day to worship, or be eternally lost in the last days. Ergo, this is the most important of all Adventist beliefs, and all the rest are subordinate to that. While there is no prioritzation shown in the list of 28, if this one is overlooked or not believed, none of the rest really matters.

Questioning this belief is the beginning of heresy, all the rest are subordinate to the sabbath doctrine. In the SDA interpretation it is the worship of the beast and receiving his mark which has been interpreted as the papacy, and that worship on the “false” day is effectively to receive the deadly mark.

History has shown that since Revelation was written, many and various individuals and beliefs have been interpreted as Babylon and an individual as the no. 666 often depending on the particular era. Adventism has long decoded the 666 as the current pope. Of course, this number can identify Hitler as well as EGW!

All the honest Christians, and Jews and other religious believers throughout history will not be judged by this most unusual interpretation. To believe this, Adventism has the most unique ability in biblical interpretation not seen since the Bible was written.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 Preston says:

Trevor,

As you know, I am not the most traditional historic Adventist. I question many so-called traditional positions (at least I am willing to try to honestly consider the questions). But I am truly astounded at the defense of Rome by some folks on AT, in regard to the change of the Sabbath . Even when provided with Rome’s own claims of biblical superiority and authority to change what has been sanctified, some AT contributors find a way to minimize it.

If these things had not been prophesied, I would find it very difficult to digest them. It makes you wonder.

The most basic — and vital things are questioned among SDA Christians: the Creation, the authority of the Bible, the deity of Christ, the Second Coming, the Mark of the Beast. This is why I feel the IJ, though important, is secondary. If these basic matters are in question, what isn’t? What would the IJ matter if these fundamental things are in doubt?

Those who share common ground is a much smaller set than I’d imagined. So be it.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

” I am truly astounded at the defense of Rome.”

It is only inevitable when from the beginnings of Adventism it has seen the “Romish” church as the home of all religious antichrists. EGW was the main exponent of this belief but she only reflected the American anti-Catholic sentiment that was quite virulent in the late 19th century. Isolation was in nearly all areas of society as well as anti-semitism.

Only with the gradual mingling of so many religions and races into the “melting pot” of the U.S. has most racial and religious antipathy faded. Not true with Adventism that still clings to its original teachings that all other religions: Catholic as well as “apostate protestantism” is Adventism’s worst enemy. If it looked within it would find that some of its most active spokemen are those fanning the flames of religious hatred of all other beliefs.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 pat travis says:

Preston,

I for one am not defending Rome and her doctrine of salvation which does not recognize JBF “alone” as do some SDA officials historically.

The historic point is that while Rome may take credit for a “change in the decalogue” in their version the fact remains that some early gentile Christians worshiped on sunday not in veneration of the sun but in worship of the “risen Lord.”

Now one may question if that worship is acceptable but I would suggest that is up to the master of that servant.

Conservative Protestants are “orthodox” and the example was the book I offerred you by Machen…”Chistianity and Liberalism.”

Unfortunately in the doctrine of salvation large segments of the SDA church have been “unorthodox” preferring a soteriology similar to Rome’s that denies JBF “alone” for varying reasons. Some on the basis of objecting to the necessity of a “blood atonement” while others considering JBF “alone” to be but “legal fiction.”

The gospel has indeed been the “lost coin” in the SDA tent.

Take that as you will in your journey to understand “the critical path to salvation.”

Regards Preston, well meaning but growing in information friend regarding theological issues…

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 amed soliz says:

Preston your point is well taken. The core of the critical path for salvation is summarized in John 17;3 “Now this is eternal life: that they know (present time) you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent”. This is even more import for the people who will be sealed with the end time seal by the angel (Rev:7). These people follow the Lamb wherever he goes (Rev 14) and are indentified in the 3 angel’s message as “the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus”. The ones who refuse the final message will “drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath”. So for the last generation this message is crucial.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

It is rather revealing that many Adventists adopt the verses in John’s Revelation to identify those who will be saved.

Yet in Jesus’ own words found in Matt. 25, there is nothing about a day of worship, or even who is worshiped, but those welcomed into eternal life will be those who cared for others’ needs. Neither Jesus or the apostles emphasized the importance of a day for worship, but WHO should be worshiped. This goes entirely unmentioned in Revelation and focuses only on the beliefs and worship that says nothing about their concern for others. Self-centered salvation is only concerned with “me.”

Those in need who are helped care nothing about what particular day one chooses to worship, but they will care very much that someone helpd in their time of need. Jesus summed this up in his commands (not the Decalogue which most assume is being referred to in Revelation) to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

RonCorson,

I will defer to your knowledge of the Catholic bible, however my admittedly anecdotal observation is that many Catholics are much more familiar with the catechism than with the Bible; and, of course, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the prohibition against making and worshipping graven images is deleted altogether.

This then makes the fourth commandment the third, and it has been altered and shortened to “Remember to keep holy the LORD’S Day.” The tenth commandment against coveting is split in two in order to come up with ten.

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Brother Preston

RE your coment: The most basic — and vital things are questioned among SDA Christians: the Creation, the authority of the Bible, the deity of Christ, the Second Coming, the Mark of the Beast. This is why I feel the IJ, though important, is secondary. If these basic matters are in question, what isn’t? What would the IJ matter if these fundamental things are in doubt? Those who share common ground is a much smaller set than I’d imagined. So be it.

I agree with you on this one. How far is too far? I remember in another blog of yours I suggested bagging the IJ (tongue in cheek of course) and looking for common ground; but then on yet another blog the Second Coming of Jesus is even questioned, then the Bible, obedience to God, the Sabbath? Come on, AT stalewarts, the Sabbath? That’s a no brainer. Many SDA detractors also hang around this website as well…

My sojourn on the AT Blogoshpere has been a real eye-opener which has made me realize that the road ahead before Jesus Comes is going to be hard as the Controversy between Christ and Satan unfolds further. I seriously think that the World Church needs to pray for you guys in the First World and plead for Revival and Reformation and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in a fuller measure. A call for Repentance should also be made. The Church will be shaken badly – it will get ugly I know, but many more souls searching for truth will come into the position God is calling them to.

I must admit that have stirred the waters a bit but I am observing much more than I say here on this platform. I am past the ‘shock’ stage though and I have determined to be even more resolute in my trust in God and His Remnant Church (whatever you understand this to mean).

In Jesus name! (I hope that many will at still at least believe in Jesus)

T

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 12th, 2011 klriley says:

Trevor

Do you really believe that the few on the fringes of the left wing of the SDA church here at AToday are representative of most SDAs in the first world? You seem to be lacking in information, and, if I might be blunt, looking for it in the wrong place. The vast majority – even those left of centre – do not question the Sabbath, or obedience to God. Nor is there any real loss in the belief in the 2nd Coming, just a problem with wondering how long ‘soon’ can be stretched out to. The traditional view of the IJ has been doubted by many SDAs for many years, but as most see it as irrelevant that isn’t a big deal. I have not yet met anyone who does not believe in a pre-advent judgement. These beliefs may be viewed a little differently, even expressed in different words, but that is very different to rejecting them.

It is the SDA tradition to question all things. That is how we started, and IMO it is a good tradition to continue. Ellen White encouraged questioning, and saw not doing so as a sign we were not following God. She seemed to think the truth had nothing to fear from prolonged and close scrutiny. Was she wrong?

Kevin


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 pat travis says:

The sabbath has not been abrogated or changed. Those so convicted should keep it. Those choosing to worship honoring not only the creator but also the Lord’s resurrection without which there would be no forgiveness of sin should be able to do so without sabbatarians judging them…and “Lords day/Ressurection” worshippers should not judge sabbatarians as necessarily legalist.

Col. 2:16; Rom.14:4,5.

The final issue is about what one has done with Christ as our creator-redeemer for forgiveness of sin and not “days and foods.”

If one has the Son they are given the assurance of life. If they do not have the Son they remain in their sins…The same warning Christ gave the sabbatarian Jews…”If you believe not I am He you will die in your sins.” Jn.8:24

The issue is…Worship the Son our creator redeemer and atonement for sin…”and you will be hated of all nations on account of me/my name.” Mt.24:9

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 amed soliz says:

In regards to the last generation it is well known the gospels and revelation are complementary to each other and not contradictory like someone understands. Matthew 25 emphasizes the responsibility to other humans; Revelation 14 does to the true worship to God. The sealed last generation “follow the Lamb wherever he goes” in both aspects. They follow the Lamb!

The last war is in regard to worship, (Rev 13-14) a careful study shows the true worship involves WHO, HOW, WHEN and WHY like is described in the ten commandants and beast attach each one of them. Could this help? Who knows, but at least we tried. “Keep the commands of God and remain faithful to Jesus” also emphasis both aspects!


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 pat travis says:

The “critical/essential path”—

But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11 As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be save.” Rom.10:6-13.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

Where do we have Biblical warrant to worship on Sunday in honor of the resurrection?

Peace

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 Preston says:

Pat,

Thanks very much for your kind words. I’m not quite done, yet (persistence runs in my family).

Indeed, I am no theologian. However, I don’t believe one has to have extensive theological bonafides to be useful in His mission. Yes, we must rightly divide the word of truth. But first, one must believe that God is who he says He is (Hebrews 11:6). Some on this site question that (I am not referring to you). I believe it is fruitless to debate other biblical issues with those folks.

I agree with you in regard to the critical path to salvation (Romans 10: 6-13). The issue re:the Adventist mission is, that in the last days, many will call on the name of the Lord. Some will call on the Creator, some to a counterfeit brand (Matthew 7:21).

The mark of the beast will be bestowed on those who are deceived (Revelation 19:20). It would seem that atheists are the least likely to be deceived by a false version of God, as they do not believe in God at all. The deletion of a commandment and the change of the the Sabbath are no minor issues. It directly defies the authority of God.

Those who are deceived will likely be those “churched” people who are not grounded in the Word, but who seek a contemporary version of God that comports with their desire for ease.

I believe there is rest and peace with Jesus and the acceptance of salvation via His death for our sins. No where does He say that the way of those who do will be easy.

Peace.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Pat can certainly answer for himself, but your question:

“Where do we have Biblical warrant to worship on Sunday in honor of the resurrection?”

There is neither a Bible warrant to worship Saturday, Sunday, or any day in the Christian era. Pick a day: Is worhiping God limited to any specific day?: If someone believes otherwise, it is incumbent upon him to show where any day was ever commanded for Christians to observe. (Hint: if anyone can find such a text in the NT after Pentecost, there will be a genuine awakening.)

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 laffal says:

Elaine,

First of all, you will not find where the Sabbath is stating as being “a day of worhip.” Yes, God is to be worshiped everyday. The Sabbath is a day of rest. Rest from what? All things of this world. This is the key feature of the NT Sabbath question you continue to bring up. The Apostles used the OT in their preaching and teaching. No there may not be an mandate as it were for Sabbath keeping, but there is recorded their personal Sabbath keeping, and of those who did so along with them.

Just because you don’t have a NT text to warrant any day of worship, does not mean that God has given us the prerogative to choose what’s convenient for us. The Bible is clear, it is God’s Holy Day… And Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath, so the Sabbath belongs to Christ, and it is His rest that we enter into / experience on the Sabbath.

Peace

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 pat travis says:

laffal,

I have stated that the 4th commandment has not been done away with and as my practice fellowship on “the 7th day.” It is also true that Christ lived in perfect obedience to covenant and became the blood of the covenant so that He could be just and the justiifer of those trusting in Christ.

By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified…before or after regeneration and the indwelling HS.

I would suggest that neither 7th day nor 1st day worship is “commanded” as the only acceptable worship in the NT and neither are the OT “food laws” commanded to the gentiles. These were obstacles in the spreading of the gospel which commands first of all… repentance and the acceptance of Christ for the forgiveness of sins.

You perhaps overlooked my references to Col.2:16 and Rom.14:1-10. God will judge the motives and acceptaility of the day,foods, and worship and none is to make these things a part of the gospel message “for justification/righteouness” before God.

I am not saying sabbath is not important BUT By insisting that the “7th day” is the final test one is saying that one needs to be “justified by law and the keeping of sabbath”…OR for that matter Sunday…both are incorrect.

Humanities biggest problem is self-righteouness and autonomy from God…period. They reject the Son as an atoning sacrifice but they will accept him as “merely” a good example for them to follow so as to become even more self-righteous in their goodness deeds.

The test is what has one done with the risen Christ , the creator redeemer as atonement for forgiveness of sins. Will one remain faithful to Him with the threat of death for those trusting alone in His merits rather than “societies and religions ethics.”

SDA’s have made the focus “Sabbath and foods” RATHER than FIRST OF ALL the atoning Christ who has died and been raised for forgiveness of sins “for the ungodly, who repent and receive Him.” This my friends IS being justified before God by Torah/law if placed as the essential.

This is the most difficult thing for mankind to do…acknowlege their ungodliness and receive Christ for their justification and himas Lord. Give mankind something they can do to prove their goodness and they are happy. Tell them they are ungodly and undeserving except in the blood of the crucified Christ and they are offended.

The offense of the cross is the test and stumblingblock of humanity and “the beast” is humanity and the kingdoms of this world in opposition to those who have entered the kingdom of God “without works” in the merits of the Risen Savior and trust in Him alone and His Grace.

But, but, but…God will judge the motives of one’s worship and deeds and acquit/justify those trusting in the Son by “faith alone.” Those who do not love Christ in this way will leave him in trouble just like the sabbatarian Peter did in trial…with no test being done over sabbath but because of the shame of the suffering servant who was about to die.

The now and future holds the same shame for true beleivers who are “unloving and ungodly” except in Christ’s merits.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 Preston says:

Pat,

In your note to laffal, you mention food. I don’t believe that food is on the critical path (though I’m sure we’ve both met extremists who would argue that).

The Sabbath issue, in the context of the mark of the beast, is important in that, one sign of accepting the deception is the adoption of the traditions of man over God’s commandments.

In Matthew 7:26 Jesus says that “he who does the will of my Father will enter.” Jesus specifically references His Father’s will, which, I believe, was expressed in The 10 Commandments.

It could be that, as a “last day” church, 7th Day Adventists are seeming obsessed by the sabbath issue (although our name tips-off where we are coming from), because our role in the body of Christ is to make it clear, to those who are confused at the time immediately before His Advent, that the 7th day Sabbath will, in fact, be a sign identifying whom they worship — the real or the counterfeit.

If the mark of the beast has the repercussions Adventists historically believe, obsession is rather appropriate.

BTW, what is the theology that buttresses the notion of, “‘the beast’ is humanity and the kingdoms of this world in opposition to those who have entered the kingdom of God ‘without works’ in the merits of the Risen Savior and trust in Him alone and His Grace”?

Just curious.

Thanks.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

“recorded their personal Sabbath keeping”

That is not under dispute. All the apostles were Jews and they continued in their sabbath observance. What is being questioned is where is there a record of the Gentiles (pagans) ever given a day of worship or that they began observing any day as the Jews had formerly? There is much evidence that the new Gentile Christians were never given the Jewish laws that they must now being observing. Meeting at the synagogue was not always a symbol of observing a day but it was the common meeting place in most towns and villages where there was a synagoge and the only place where both Jews and Gentiles could meet as they were forbidden to enter the temple. Too many assumptions are necessary to accept that the Gentile Christians begain observing sabbath.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 pat travis says:

Thanks Preston,

All of the beast in the statue “ultimately” represent the kingdoms of this world in opposition to the kingdom of God. I suggest that is what Daniel and Rev. and the “beasts” are about. The “harlot”/all false religions which indeed do hate the Christ as the only savior rides “on the beast” or kingdoms of this world. The statue in Dan.3 was not a irreligious group as in fact it represented the “inclusive whole of religion” with the “state/beast.”

This is not to say all nations are at all time bad because God uses them to accomplish His purposes but invariably the “prince of this world” though judged already opposes the “kingdom of God made up of His people.”

As to humanity and Rev.13:18. The Greek without the article/anarthous for man is used. The exact same situation exist in Rev.16:18 and can be translated man/mankind in both…with only the Pope eisegeted into either.

The “obsession” as you say with the sabbath is, I suggest is more than some “mere evidence” of true believers. It is in fact saying it is necessary for sabbath keeping for justification before God and some “perfectionist SDA’s” would say this obedience is actually needful to vindicate/justify God’s ability to say He is just…thus Andreason’s “final generation.”

In any event God jugdges the thoughts and intents of sincere worship to Him. If one feels the sabbath is evidential obedience for them…go for it. If one chooses to honor Christ who was “raised for our justification” as evidential of one’s love and faithfulness to the gospel…let God decide.

One thing is for sure. Our best and heartfelt obedience may be “evidential” but “by the deeds of the law shall no man be justifed” and to insist upon 7th day worship is to say one is justified/righteous before God based on one’s obedience. There is no other way to “cut it.”

The foolishness of the cross and Christ as an atonemnt for sin is the “essential” message…and by the way JBF is the 3rd angels message “in verity” is it not?

The beast is humanity and the “collective nations” hailing themselves as God in conflict with Christ the “true Israel” and the kingdom of God.

If you must have a SDA uniqueness in it’s name…there will be no “eternal sabbath rest till Christ comes!”

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 RonCorson says:

preston wrote:

— It could be that, as a “last day” church, 7th Day Adventists are seeming obsessed by the sabbath issue (although our name tips-off where we are coming from), because our role in the body of Christ is to make it clear, to those who are confused at the time immediately before His Advent, that the 7th day Sabbath will, in fact, be a sign identifying whom they worship — the real or the counterfeit.

— The fatal flaw in all this is Adventist Eschatology. There is no right or wrong eschatology it cannot be determined what the future events will be and there is no way to test or verify predictions before there terminus. So the whole thing becomes speculative based upon all kinds of presuppositions and assumptions. The history of eschatological speculation in Adventism and in the larger Christian community has been pretty much zero. Abundant failed predictions. But as with most problems in Adventism we can trace it back to a particular source and that is Ellen White. If it is believed that Ellen White is a prophet they assume that they have a leg up in the eschatology business and that they will have better luck in the prediction department, even though EGW did not do too well in the prediction department the assumption is that if she said it then it will happen.

So again the fatal flaw is that to declare to the world this supposed Adventist last days message we have to convince the world of the truth of Ellen White. That puts the Adventist focus in the completely wrong place and it is leading to the loss of over half of current and likely future Adventists as they realize what is really going on in the denomination. And it sets the Adventist church against the gospel. Because the gospel was never about keeping one day over another let each be convinced in his own mind, perhaps we should pay a little more attention to Paul and a bit less to assumptions about the correct predictions of Ellen White. Unfortunately too many people fail to use simple logic when they deal in religion topics.

When your critical path takes you away from the good news of the love of God and places it on man’s obedience you have lost the gospel, and that is the position of the current Adventist church.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 laffal says:

Elaine,

It’s simtple… never given because it was never changed… It stands to reason that, if there is no Biblical text for a change for the Gentiles, then there was no change… at least from heaven’s prespective. The Apostles were Jews yes, but they were the forerunners of the Christian church… their example was the mark / standard.

Peace


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

This completely ignores the many instances in which Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, wrote:

“For he is the peace between us, and has made the two into one and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart, actually destroying in his own person the hostillity caused byt the RULES AND DECREES OF THE LAW. (What were those rules and laws that had previously separated them?)

“But now the Law has come to an end with Christ, and everyone who has faith may be justified.” (What Law was Paul referencing?)

“Yet even today, whenever Moses is read, the veil is over their minds, since Christ alone can remove it.” (“Moses” is used many times in referring to the law he received at Sinai).

“What makes a man righteous is not obedience to the Law, but faith in Jesus Christ….Faith in Christ rather than fidelity to the Law is what justifies us.”

“The Law was added UNTIL the posterity came to whom the promise was addressed. Now that tha time has come WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER GUARDIAN AND ALL OF YOU ARE SONS OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN Christ Jesus.”

” From now on never let anyone decide what you should eat or drink, or whether you are to observe ANNUAL festivals, New Moons of a sabbath day. These were only pale reflections of whart was coming: the reality is Christ.” This same sequence os found in every Bible text listing them in either forward or reverse order. To read otherwise would be: “Never let anyone decide whether to observe annual, monthly or annual sabbaths! Sabbath is one of the solemn feasts given to the Israelites: seven in all, and sabbath is among those listed as “solemn festivals.” A festival has a specific time in which to be observed, IOW a ceremony, of which sabbath is one, and never is it referred to as a “moral” law.

“The whole of the Law is summarized in a simple command: LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

tThe absolute total paucity of a single text informing former pagans (who had never observed Sabbath as they were not allowed to without circumcision) that they now, on becoming Christians, must obey the Jewish Law, and specifically Sabbath. If one, and only one single NT text can show that the Gentiles were EVER told that Sabbath was important and must be observed, why has no one in 2000 years been able to find it?


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 laffal says:

Elaine,

What were those rules and laws that had previously separated them?

The temple in Jerusalem had 3 porches. The inner most porch was for the Jewish men, the next porch moving to the entrance of the temple was for the women, and then there was the porch for the Gentiles. There has been a plaque discovered on the temple site that said something to the effect of, if any Gentile is found beyond this point, he has himself to blame for his death. In Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, all are one in Him. But that does not do away with, or abrogate the law of God. Ephesians 2:15 is focusig on the “ordinances”, not the commandment law.

As far as the schoolmaster is concerned, Paul is talking about the 1st function of the law, which is to lead sinners to Christ. The context is clear, the law is God’s tool of convicting sinners of His broken law, which, puts the sinner under the penalty of death. Once the sinner, by faith, accepts Christ and His righteousenss in place of their sin, this function of the law is not longer needed as it pertains to bringing the sinner to Christ for relief from the fear of death. But nowhere in the passage, nor anyother for that matter, is Paul saying that the law of God (the 10 Commandments) was done away with. To the sinner walking by faith in the Christ, the law is the means by which God thru His Spirit teaches the sinnerhow to love Him supremely, and to love His neighbor unselfishly.

Again Elaine, your making mud pies. The weekly /7th day Sabbath is not identical to, or the same thing as the Feast Days that were designated as Sabbath. The distinction is made clear by the fact that when a Feast Day fell on the weekly Sabbath it was called a “high Sabbath.”

Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath [Passover] was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. (John 19:31 ESV)

All Paul is saying in Colossins 2 is, Christ is the fulfillment of all of the Feast Days in earthly / heavenly ministries. But if you want to, as a Christian keep them, no one should judge you, that’s your right, they have no merit, but it’s your preogative. This is an issue in some sectors of the SDA church, there are those who are saying that the keeping Feast Days are required to be saved. Paul says… NO.

If one, and only one single NT text can show that the Gentiles were EVER told that Sabbath was important and must be observed, why has no one in 2000 years been able to find it?

When was the NT canonized? Approx 367 A.D.. As I have noted previously, the OT was the Bible the Genitles had, and up until the canonization of the 27 books of the NT, the letters that are now known as the NT were supplemental docutmentation. The NT does not distinguish itself from the OT, much rather, it ratifies the importance of the NT.

Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. (2 Corinthians 3:12-16 ESV)

Yet, as much as you like to insist on finding a text for the support of Sabbath observance for the Gentiles, you’ve yet to provide support for your position. But Preston has given the facts about the RCC’s arrogance in “officially” changing the day.

Peace


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Elaine,

RE your comment: All the apostles were Jews and they continued in their sabbath observance.

You seem to have missed out that Jesus kept the Sabbath as did God when He rested on the Seventh Day. What better example of Sabbath Keeping than this!

The Sabbath or Seventh Day rest was observed long before the Jews entered the scene. God rested at Creation and asked the Jews to ‘remember’ to rest and keep it holy. Sunday observance/keeping is a counterfeit and sign of allegiance to ‘doctrines or commandments of men’.

I found this note somewhere:

If the early Church really had changed to Sunday worship, the Apostles would have been instructed to do so by God and yet no such instruction exists. And absolutely all scriptures relating to worship in the Church would be on Sunday in the book of Acts if this were true, which would be many scriptures. So how many verses are there in the book of Acts showing Christians worshipping in the Synagogue (Church) on the first day of the week? Zero! There is not one single scripture! How many scriptures are there that show both Jew and Gentile worshipping in the synagogue on the Sabbath? Every single one of them and more than you can count on both hands! Not just those two or three scriptures that say “first day of the week” that do not even occur in a Church and are bad assumptions and deliberate attempts to bury a Commandment of God. Here are just a few examples of scriptures that are not assumptions unlike those trying to prove a fallacy: Mark 1:21, Mark 6:2, Luke 4:16, Luke 6:6, Luke 13:10, Acts 13:14, Acts 13:27, Acts 13:42, 44, Acts 15:21, Acts 17:1-2 and Acts 18:4.

T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

The retention of the old pagan name of dies Solis, or ‘Sunday,’ for the weekly Christian festival, is in great measure owing to the union of pagan and Christian sentiment with which the first day of the week was recommended by Constantine to his subjects, pagan and Christian alike, as the ‘venerable day of the Sun.’” – Stanley’s History of the Eastern Church, p. 184.

Church historian Socrates Scholasticus (5th century) wrote: “For although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries [of the Lord’s Supper] on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this.” – Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, Book 5, ch. 22.

“The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria.” – Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History, Book 7, ch. 19.

In 330 A.D., Constantine moved his capital from Rome to Constantinople (modern Istanbul), thus preparing the way for the Roman Catholic Popes to reign in Rome as the successors of Constantine. As the Papal Church grew in power, it opposed Sabbath observance in favour of Sunday sacredness and made the day change official in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 363-364). Constantine’s law had now been fully integrated into the Papal Church and the final step of the Sabbath to Sunday change was complete.

So around the year A.D. 364, the Catholic Church outlawed Sabbath keeping in the Council of Laodicea when they decreed 59 Canon laws. The following is the relevant Canon law: Canon XXIX: “Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.” (Percival Translation).

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

While the Jewish Christians continued in their practices, the Gentiles were not instructed to do so, because circumcision was a requisite to observe these laws. Absence of evidence becomes assumption.

After 70 A.D. Christian literature contains no record of the fate of its Mother Church (the Jewish believers in Jerusalem), following the calamity of 70 A.D. The original Jewish Church is suffered to pass away into completge oblivion until its pathetic remnants are noted with orthodox scorn some three centuries later by Epiphanius and Jerome.

(From The Fall of JErusalem and the Christian Church S.G.F. Brandon)

There are many pages of early church fathers recording the usual practice of Christians (not Jews) to meet and break bread on the first day of the week and celebrate the resurrecdtion. To asssume, without any record, that the Gentile Christians began, and continued worshiping on the seventh day is totally withou biblical or historical evidenice.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Check this out (part1)!
Roman Catholic Confessions

James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers, 88th ed., pp. 89.

“But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.”

Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism 3rd ed., p. 174.

“Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?

“Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her-she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.”

John Laux, A Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and Academies (1 936), vol. 1, P. 51.

“Some theologians have held that God likewise directly determined the Sunday as the day of worship in the New Law, that He Himself has explicitly substituted the Sunday for the Sabbath. But this theory is now entirely abandoned. It is now commonly held that God simply gave His Church the power to set aside whatever day or days she would deem suitable as Holy Days. The Church chose Sunday, the first day of the week, and in the course of time added other days as holy days.”

Daniel Ferres, ed., Manual of Christian Doctrine (1916), p.67.

“Question: How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holy days?

“Answer. By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of, and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same Church.’

James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore (1877-1921), in a signed letter.

“Is Saturday the seventh day according to the Bible and the Ten Commandments? I answer yes. Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the seventh day -Saturday – for Sunday, the first day? I answer yes . Did Christ change the day’? I answer no!

“Faithfully yours, J. Card. Gibbons”

The Catholic Mirror, official publication of James Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 23, 1893.

“The Catholic Church, . . . by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday.”

Catholic Virginian Oct. 3, 1947, p. 9, art. “To Tell You the Truth.”

“For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the[Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible.”

Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., The Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1957), p. 50.

“Question: Which is the Sabbath day?

“Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.

“Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?

“Answer. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.”

Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics Are Asked About (1927),p. 136.

“Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that worship should be changed from Saturday to Sunday …. Now the Church … instituted, by God’s authority, Sunday as the day of worship. This same Church, by the same divine authority, taught the doctrine of Purgatory long before the Bible was made. We have, therefore, the same authority for Purgatory as we have for Sunday.”

Peter R. Kraemer, Catholic Church Extension Society (1975),Chicago, Illinois.

“Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts:

“1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.

“2) We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws.

“It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in their Bible.”

T. Enright, C.S.S.R., in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, Feb. 18,1884.

“I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says: ‘No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.’ And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church.”


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Check this out (Part 2) https://www.biblesabbath.org/confessions.html
Protestant Confessions

Protestant theologians and preachers from a wide spectrum of denominations have been quite candid in admitting that there is no Biblical authority for observing Sunday as a sabbath.

Anglican/Episcopal

Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism , vol. 1, pp.334, 336.

“And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day …. The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the church has enjoined it.”

Canon Eyton, The Ten Commandments , pp. 52, 63, 65.

“There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday …. into the rest of Sunday no divine law enters…. The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday.”

Bishop Seymour, Why We Keep Sunday .

We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of the one holy Catholic Church.”

Baptist

Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, a paper read before a New York ministers’ conference, Nov. 13, 1893, reported in New York Examiner , Nov.16, 1893.

“There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week …. Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament absolutely not.

“To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years’ intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question . . . never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated.

“Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history . . . . But what a pity it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!”

William Owen Carver, The Lord’s Day in Our Day , p. 49.

“There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath to the Christian first-day observance.”

Congregationalist

Dr. R. W. Dale, The Ten Commandments (New York: Eaton &Mains), p. 127-129.

” . . . it is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath – . . ‘Me Sabbath was founded on a specific Divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday …. There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday.”

Timothy Dwight, Theology: Explained and Defended (1823), Ser. 107, vol. 3, p. 258.

” . . . the Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive Church called the Sabbath.”

Disciples of Christ

Alexander Campbell, The Christian Baptist, Feb. 2, 1824,vol. 1. no. 7, p. 164.

“‘But,’ say some, ‘it was changed from the seventh to the first day.’ Where? when? and by whom? No man can tell. No; it never was changed, nor could it be, unless creation was to be gone through again: for the reason assigned must be changed before the observance, or respect to the reason, can be changed! It is all old wives’ fables to talk of the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day. If it be changed, it was that august personage changed it who changes times and laws ex officio – I think his name is Doctor Antichrist.’

First Day Observance , pp. 17, 19.

“The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change.”

Lutheran

The Sunday Problem , a study book of the United Lutheran Church (1923), p. 36.

“We have seen how gradually the impression of the Jewish sabbath faded from the mind of the Christian Church, and how completely the newer thought underlying the observance of the first day took possession of the church. We have seen that the Christians of the first three centuries never confused one with the other, but for a time celebrated both.”

Augsburg Confession of Faith art. 28; written by Melanchthon, approved by Martin Luther, 1530; as published in The Book of Concord of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Henry Jacobs, ed. (1 91 1), p. 63.

“They [Roman Catholics] refer to the Sabbath Day, a shaving been changed into the Lord’s Day, contrary to the Decalogue, as it seems. Neither is there any example whereof they make more than concerning the changing of the Sabbath Day. Great, say they, is the power of the Church, since it has dispensed with one of the Ten Commandments!”

Dr. Augustus Neander, The History of the Christian Religion and Church Henry John Rose, tr. (1843), p. 186.

“The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a Divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic Church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday.”

John Theodore Mueller, Sabbath or Sunday , pp. 15, 16.

“But they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old Testament Sabbath and therefore must be kept as the seventh day had to be kept by the children of Israel …. These churches err in their teaching, for Scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the Sabbath. There is simply no law in the New Testament to that effect.”

Methodist

Harris Franklin Rall, Christian Advocate, July 2, 1942, p.26.

“Take the matter of Sunday. There are indications in the New Testament as to how the church came to keep the first day of the week as its day of worship, but there is no passage telling Christians to keep that day, or to transfer the Jewish Sabbath to that day.”

John Wesley, The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., John Emory, ed. (New York: Eaton & Mains), Sermon 25,vol. 1, p. 221.

“But, the moral law contained in the ten commandments, and enforced by the prophets, he [Christ] did not take away. It was not the design of his coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken …. Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other.”

Dwight L. Moody

D. L. Moody, Weighed and Wanting (Fleming H. Revell Co.: New York), pp. 47, 48.

The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word ‘remember,’ showing that the Sabbath already existed when God Wrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?”

Presbyterian

T. C. Blake, D.D., Theology Condensed, pp.474, 475.

“The Sabbath is a part of the decalogue – the Ten Commandments. This alone forever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution . . . . Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand . . . . The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath.”

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 13th, 2011 laffal says:

Elaine,

You keep missing the point… they had the Bible… the Old Testament…

But if you want to insist on Biblical evidence for Sabbath keeping after the Apostiles, where is the Biblical evidence for the worship on Sunday in honor of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Again, Sunday had it’s resurrection ceremonies… for Tammuz, the pagan christ… which goes way back.

Peace


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 14th, 2011 pat travis says:

Trevor and Laffal,

You both “seem” to go on autopilot with previously learned answers and responses with this topic.

By all means worship on the 7th day sabbath if that is your choice…nothing wrong with it and it remains the 4th commandment. That the sabbath has not been abrogated is not the issue…the issue is what Paul implies is allowed in the NT church and Christians were observing the Resurrection by Sunday worship and in places both Sat.& Sunday prior to the Bishop of Rome.

But, Please address Col.2:16 and Rom.14:3-6. The fact is the Greek plural is used for the weekly sabbath day in several NT texts in Acts and Mt.28:1 just as it is in Col.2:16.

Sam B. pointed out our exegesis of Col.2:16 was, in His view, incorrect in the SDABC and this is describing the annual, monthly and weekly sabbaths… and they always mean this in scripture presented in that order…but it could be a Jesuit plot!

It seems one can not allow God to judge worship to Himself as adequate without “mankind” condemning those who worship on another day…and that goes for sabbatarians and resurrection day observers. Both are wrong when they do so.

It was the Judaizers role to go to the Christian church as in Galatia and command that they be circumcised–bound thusly to keep the “yoke” of covenant law- in order to be saved. Paul says…not so as did James and Peter. Acts 15:1-3;8-11;29.

Is it possible today “some” are telling “sunday keepers” you must keep the law…specifically the 7th day and if preparing for translation avoid meat… and become SDA’s to be saved in the final conflict? Is the question really so wild and unrelated? I think not.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 14th, 2011 BillCork says:

Let me belatedly respond to this post by Stephen Foster:

I will defer to your knowledge of the Catholic bible, however my admittedly anecdotal observation is that many Catholics are much more familiar with the catechism than with the Bible; and, of course, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the prohibition against making and worshipping graven images is deleted altogether.

This then makes the fourth commandment the third, and it has been altered and shortened to “Remember to keep holy the LORD’S Day.” The tenth commandment against coveting is split in two in order to come up with ten.

Stephen Foster

Adventist Today blogger

Stephen, that is a misrepresentation of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says. The very link you gives side by side the Ten Commandments as we find them in Deuteronomy 5 and Exodus 20 (there are differences) and then lists “A traditional catechetical formula” (which was developed to make it easier for kids to remember). Yes, Adventists like to cite that abbreviated version.

First I might ask, where does Scripture say there are ten commandments or how we are to divide them?

Then, I would ask, Did you bother to read the explanation of the Ten Commandments that followed? https://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c1a1.htm

III. “YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME”

2110
The first commandment forbids honoring gods other than the one Lord who has revealed himself to his people. It proscribes superstition and irreligion. Superstition in some sense represents a perverse excess of religion; irreligion is the vice contrary by defect to the virtue of religion.

Superstition

2111
Superstition is the deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g., when one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition.41

Idolatry

2112
The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of “idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.” These empty idols make their worshippers empty: “Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them.”42 God, however, is the “living God”43 who gives life and intervenes in history.

2113
Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, “You cannot serve God and mammon.”44 Many martyrs died for not adoring “the Beast”45 refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.46

2114
Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man’s innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who “transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God.”47

Divination and magic

2115
God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.

2116
All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

2117
All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.

Irreligion

2118
God’s first commandment condemns the main sins of irreligion: tempting God, in words or deeds, sacrilege, and simony.

2119
Tempting God consists in putting his goodness and almighty power to the test by word or deed. Thus Satan tried to induce Jesus to throw himself down from the Temple and, by this gesture, force God to act.49 Jesus opposed Satan with the word of God: “You shall not put the LORD your God to the test.”50 The challenge contained in such tempting of God wounds the respect and trust we owe our Creator and Lord. It always harbors doubt about his love, his providence, and his power.51

2120
Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist, for in this sacrament the true Body of Christ is made substantially present for us.52

2121
Simony is defined as the buying or selling of spiritual things.53 To Simon the magician, who wanted to buy the spiritual power he saw at work in the apostles, St. Peter responded: “Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with money!”54 Peter thus held to the words of Jesus: “You received without pay, give without pay.”55 It is impossible to appropriate to oneself spiritual goods and behave toward them as their owner or master, for they have their source in God. One can receive them only from him, without payment.

2122
The minister should ask nothing for the administration of the sacraments beyond the offerings defined by the competent authority, always being careful that the needy are not deprived of the help of the sacraments because of their poverty.”56 The competent authority determines these “offerings” in accordance with the principle that the Christian people ought to contribute to the support of the Church’s ministers. “The laborer deserves his food.”57

Atheism

2123
“Many . . . of our contemporaries either do not at all perceive, or explicitly reject, this intimate and vital bond of man to God. Atheism must therefore be regarded as one of the most serious problems of our time.”58

2124
The name “atheism” covers many very different phenomena. One common form is the practical materialism which restricts its needs and aspirations to space and time. Atheistic humanism falsely considers man to be “an end to himself, and the sole maker, with supreme control, of his own history.”59 Another form of contemporary atheism looks for the liberation of man through economic and social liberation. “It holds that religion, of its very nature, thwarts such emancipation by raising man’s hopes in a future life, thus both deceiving him and discouraging him from working for a better form of life on earth.”60

2125
Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin against the virtue of religion.61 The imputability of this offense can be significantly diminished in virtue of the intentions and the circumstances. “Believers can have more than a little to do with the rise of atheism. To the extent that they are careless about their instruction in the faith, or present its teaching falsely, or even fail in their religious, moral, or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than to reveal the true nature of God and of religion.”62

2126
Atheism is often based on a false conception of human autonomy, exaggerated to the point of refusing any dependence on God.63 Yet, “to acknowledge God is in no way to oppose the dignity of man, since such dignity is grounded and brought to perfection in God. . . . “64 “For the Church knows full well that her message is in harmony with the most secret desires of the human heart.”65

Agnosticism

2127
Agnosticism assumes a number of forms. In certain cases the agnostic refrains from denying God; instead he postulates the existence of a transcendent being which is incapable of revealing itself, and about which nothing can be said. In other cases, the agnostic makes no judgment about God’s existence, declaring it impossible to prove, or even to affirm or deny.

2128
Agnosticism can sometimes include a certain search for God, but it can equally express indifferentism, a flight from the ultimate question of existence, and a sluggish moral conscience. Agnosticism is all too often equivalent to practical atheism.

*
IV. “YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FOR YOURSELF A GRAVEN IMAGE . . .”

2129
The divine injunction included the prohibition of every representation of God by the hand of man. Deuteronomy explains: “Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a graven image for yourselves, in the form of any figure. . . . “66 It is the absolutely transcendent God who revealed himself to Israel. “He is the all,” but at the same time “he is greater than all his works.”67 He is “the author of beauty.”68

2130
Nevertheless, already in the Old Testament, God ordained or permitted the making of images that pointed symbolically toward salvation by the incarnate Word: so it was with the bronze serpent, the ark of the covenant, and the cherubim.69

2131
Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate Word, the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787) justified against the iconoclasts the veneration of icons – of Christ, but also of the Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints. By becoming incarnate, the Son of God introduced a new “economy” of images.

2132
The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, “the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype,” and “whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it.”70 The honor paid to sacred images is a “respectful veneration,” not the adoration due to God alone:

Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is.71

Disagree with it, sure. But quote it accurately and don’t misrepresent it. Remember, one of the other commandments is, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 14th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Maybe I am the only one who finds it strange that those who call the Roman church the “harlot of Babylon” and that will persecute the saints in the last day. is quoted extensively as being an authority on a day of worship. Evidently, the RCC is “used” when it fits the purpose of the defenders of Adventism.

If they were only as diligent in searching through SDA theologians, they would find that C. Mervyn Maxwell, P. Gerhard Damsteegt and Kenneth Strand have written rather extensively on the worship days of the early Christian chuch:’

“Many Christians were already honoring Sunday near the beginning of the second century….Evidence is very strong that many if not most Christians had given up the Sabbath as early as A.D. 130….Just as Sunday observance came into practice by early in the second century, so among Gentile Christians Sabbath observance went out of practice by early in the second century.”

“Sunday was observed only as a day for worship, not as a Sabbath on which to refrain from work….Sunday was not at first celebrated as a ‘Sabbath.’ It was not observed in obedience to the fourth commandment….Sunday was regarded by Christians generally not as a day of rest or holineses but as a day of joy.”

“The extraordinary impact of the Resurrection, is the commonost reason given by the Christians themselves. The Christian desire to honor Christ in a special way; the insistence of Gospel writers, including John in the later part of the century, of stating the day of the week when the Resurrection occurred.”

These Christian writers (early second century) taught that the new covenant had put an end to the old law–and that new the new spiritual Israel, with its new covenant and its new spiritual law, no longer needed the literal circumcision. literal sacrifices, and literal Sabbath…..This supplanting of the old law with the new, of the literal Sabbath with the spiritual, was a very Christ-centered concept for these writers….It was only because Christ gave the law that He could no also be ‘the end of it’….To sum up: the early rejection of the literal Sabbath appears to be traceable to a common hermeneutic of Old and New Testament scriptures.”

These are direct quotations from SDA theologians, exclusively.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 14th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Adventists accuse the RCC of making two commands out of the 10th, but the first two logically should be considered one:

Thou shalt not make images, and shall not worship them. They are artifically separated when the second is only describing the first, just as the fourth describes the day and how it is to be observed, and all who are affected by it.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

BillCork

Sir,

1] The link Stephen Foster provided is a good credible reference and does reflect the teachings and views of the Catholic Church [Catechism of the Catholic]There is no misrepresentation. It is what they believe.

2] I searched through this link and a few pages on both sides and couldn’t find the ‘kiddies corner’ you speak of. After all, the Roman Catholic Church admits to changing the Sabbath commandment at least. This isn’t a ‘just for kids’ page!

3] The catechism version reflects the revised Ten Commandments as per their change of it. The catechism is placed in higher authority than the Holy Bible. They claim that their ‘church’ authority supercedes that of the authority of the Holy Bible. This unscriptural claim is a fact!

4] It’s the first time I have heard someone use the line: “How do we know where the Ten Commandments are divided?” in order to defend the tampering of God’s Holy Word.

5] First you question whether there are Ten Commandments then you ask if the explanation of the ‘Ten Commandments’ was read. Please enlighten us on how many Commandments there are.

6] Did the Catholic Church not change the Times and Laws or Seventh Day Sabbath as they claim? Then who did?

7] Perhaps you should maybe post your comments on that ‘kiddies page’ you refer to so that others can get to know what Catholics really believe as per your comments. So far the RC Church is quite clear on her position. Her teachings are well articulated including their ‘change’ of the Sabbath. Sunday Church Protestants have accepted this Sabbath change as the de facto day of worship for Christians on the authority of the RC Church.

T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

I’m sure that we are very careful to not practice “isogetics” when it comes to understanding texts. Romans 14:3-8, and Colossians 2:16 have the same issue in mind… judging. Sabbath vs. Sunday worship was not an issue Paul had to contend with. He very well knew that Sunday was the pagan feast day in honor / worship of the sun. Never do you have him addressing said issue with a full treatment in any of his letters. But on the other hand, Paul’s letters are full of warning against the Judaizers who were dogging him / the Christian church with all things law, including, and specifically in the referred to texts, the feast days.

Romans 14:3-8 is dealing with weak Christians verses strong Christians. The weak Christian would promote / insist that you do not eat food offered to idols, that’s not an issue with the strong Christian. Like wise with the feast days, the weak Christian would inisist on their observance, while the strong Christian knew that they could be considered as commemorative, but not necessary.

Colossians 2:16 is dealing with the context of God’s completed work for our salvation thru His Son. And just because somebody wants to keep the feast days, it’s a matter of prerogative, not necessity, therefore judging in not in order. At the end of the day, it is the righteousness of God IN Christ alone that saves sinful man, which is the central theme of Paul’s gospel.

Peace

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 BillCork says:

Now, now, Trevor, why the hostility?

The Catechism is clear–Catholics do not omit any of the the commandments. They use a different numbering and a different division. That is all. Adventists are fond of pointing out that there are no verse divisions in the original–so with no verse divisions, how would you know where to divide? And if you were going to abbreviate the commandments for children to memorize, how would you do it?

Lutherans use the same numbering as Catholics, so it isn’t a Catholic v. Protestant thing. Orthodox Christians use the same numbering as Reformed Protestants. Why should it be a matter to get upset about? The Catechism of the Catholic Church, as linked above, includes the full Biblical text of both the Exodus version and the Deuteronmy version. This is plainly evident.

Oh, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church also says this about the Ten Commandments: https://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2.htm

The Decalogue in the Church’s Tradition

2064 In fidelity to Scripture and in conformity with the example of Jesus, the tradition of the Church has acknowledged the primordial importance and significance of the Decalogue.

2065 Ever since St. Augustine, the Ten Commandments have occupied a predominant place in the catechesis of baptismal candidates and the faithful. In the fifteenth century, the custom arose of expressing the commandments of the Decalogue in rhymed formulae, easy to memorize and in positive form. They are still in use today. The catechisms of the Church have often expounded Christian morality by following the order of the Ten Commandments.

2066 The division and numbering of the Commandments have varied in the course of history. The present catechism follows the division of the Commandments established by St. Augustine, which has become traditional in the Catholic Church. It is also that of the Lutheran confessions. The Greek Fathers worked out a slightly different division, which is found in the Orthodox Churches and Reformed communities. [Please note!]

2067 The Ten Commandments state what is required in the love of God and love of neighbor. The first three concern love of God, and the other seven love of neighbor.

As charity comprises the two commandments to which the Lord related the whole Law and the prophets . . . so the Ten Commandments were themselves given on two tablets. Three were written on one tablet and seven on the other.27

2068 The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them;28 the Second Vatican Council confirms: “The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments.”29 …

The obligation of the Decalogue

2072 Since they express man’s fundamental duties towards God and towards his neighbor, the Ten Commandments reveal, in their primordial content, grave obligations. They are fundamentally immutable, and they oblige always and everywhere. No one can dispense from them. The Ten Commandments are engraved by God in the human heart.

2073 Obedience to the Commandments also implies obligations in matter which is, in itself, light. Thus abusive language is forbidden by the fifth commandment, but would be a grave offense only as a result of circumstances or the offender’s intention.

Oh, and you might also like to see what the Catholic Church says about the Sabbath: https://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c1a3.htm

Here’s how the Catholic Church speaks of the difference between Sabbath and Sunday:

Sunday – fulfillment of the sabbath

2175 Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ’s Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man’s eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:107

Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord’s Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.108

2176 The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship “as a sign of his universal beneficence to all.”109 Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people.

One of the commandments says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbor.” Why is that so hard? Why distort?

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

Laffal,

Col.2:16 is not dealing with a “feast day” it is dealing with a weekly sabbath.

I am not suggesting the sabbath should not be kept. Nor am I of the opinion that clelebrating the Resurrection of Christ on Sunday is unacceptable to God. I do believe worshiping saturn or the sun is wrong…but that is not the issue. Let each be convinced fully in one’s own conscience without condemning or being condemed by others on the matters of foods, drink and “worship days.”

I believe the sabbath is a reminder of the Creator God who is also the Redeemer. I believe Resurrection Sunday is a continual reminder of the Lord who was raised for our justification…that which is not possible by law.

——————

Bill, I appreciate your comments. Sometimes anothers hostility and desire to prove a/their point removes objectivity. I know you do not approve of many aspects of the RCC including her soteriology.

As you know in research quality papers integrity demands one represent the meaning of ones “opponent” in making an argument for a different position. Often the lack of integrity causes one to misrepresent another position therby creating a strawman which is easier to contradict.

Your points properly represent while not agreeing with the total RCC position…that takes information knowledge and integrity! Regards to such qualities in a SDA pastor.

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

I respectfully disagree about Colossians 2:16. Again, it was not an issue in Paul’s day.

As for “Resurrection Sunday” – I understand the history fairly well, and I believe God judges us by the motives for which we do, and what we do. There is no Biblical warrant for honoring the resurrection, muchless a day to do so. Yes, the disciples preached the resurrection of Christ with power, and Paul wanted to experience the resurrection power in his life. But be that what may, Sunday and the resurrection has always had its roots in paganism. Yes, there will many in heaven that honored the Lord on Sunday, but the Lord has no honor / repect for the day. He winks at our ignorance until… The Sabbath will have global significance when we get the true understanding / experience of JBF alone in the Day of Atonement setting. At that time Sabbath and Sunday will represent the two camps, those who are resting in Christ’s righteousness alone / Sabbath, and those who are resting in their own righteousness / Sunday.

Peace


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

The principles of separation between the gentiles and Jews were at issue regarding the Covenant obligations and when one claims these issues are needful…including the 7th day for justification… they are relevant.

Many issues are not present problems to Paul that are covered by the principle. Take for example 1 Tim.4:1-5. Not a present problemin Pauls day but one in part covered by Col.2:16.

As to the sabbath separating who is a true believer…would that not mean one is justified by sabbath observance. There simply have to be more issues involved in who is a believer than the 7th day…which I have stated before those who crucified Christ observed. I realize this is our scenario…just feel it is inadequate for the big picture.

One thing IS for sure. None should by civil law enforce any worship day or so intermingle it with civil purposes that it blurrs the issue of proper worship and on that I trust we could agree.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

Never did I say that we are justified by Sabbath keeping. True Sabbath keeping is resting in Christ our Righteousness.

As far as applying the principle, Many issues are not present problems to Paul that are covered by the principle. How can we apply a principle to a problem that was not a problem at the the statement was written? Broadening the statement to include what was never intended is problematic to me. That opens the door to any number of ugly possibllities.

Peace

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

Laffal,

You may say the “sabbath” does not justify but what happens in your scenario to those “belevers” if they worship on Resurrection day…ergo…they are not justified by faith “alone” but by perfect sabbath/law keeping.

1 Pt.1:10-12 problematic?

I must go out for awhile…thanks for the conversation.

regards,

pat


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 Preston says:

Pat,

Regarding your statement,

“As to the sabbath separating who is a true believer…would that not mean one is justified by sabbath observance?”

This issue regarding the mark of the beast in not who is a true believer. The question is, a true believer in what and whom? The issue will be, are they worshiping the true God (the Creator vs. the God of tradition)? Thus, the deception (Revelation 19:20).

It is God who justifies us, not the Sabbath. One can only be justified by worshipping the true God, not His counterfeit. At the time of the end, when confusion around this point will be high, the Sabbath will be a sign of fealty to the Creator God, and His will ) Revelation 14:12).

Peace.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Pat,

I have no problem with the concept that people keep the wrong day for the right reason, resting in Christ. Neither do I have a problem with the concept that people keep the right day for the wrong reason, as a requrement for salvation.

One day this will all be straightend out, and when it does happen, Sabbath keeping will be the sign of those resting in Christ as their righteousenss, and Sunday will become the Mark of the Beast to those who are resting in their works for their salvation.

Peace.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 pat travis says:

May I suggest the deception and delusion is over “who is our only savior as an atonement for sins…Jesus Christ” and not all other substitutes.

That delusion and deception exist, I suggest, even among sabbath keepers mush less the world at large who consider the “gate wide” and enter another way.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

“Sunday and the resurrection has always had its roots in paganism.”

Christimas and Easter have also had roots in paganism. Because two celebrations coincide does not mean that one causes the other. The first day of the week was Resurrection Sunday, and since the earliest Christians, they have recognized it as such, as recorded numerous times in the NT. The Christians were not meeting on the first day to honor a pagan god, but the Christ. Just as someone’s birthday may fall on a pagan holiday does not remove the claim for one’s birthday.

Such reasoning is only accepted by those who do not know Christian history. As has been written many times here, Christians began meeting to sing, celebrate and break bread on the first day of the week to honor their Lord. No one has suggested that it was a substitute for sabbath, nor that the sabbath had been changed, which is an impossibility. One can no more change the day from seventh to first than change his birthday. The first day of the week was a gradual and evolving tradition which became the Christian’s response to the Resurrection; just as we celebrate a child’s birthday, graduation, and other special events, the special event for all Christians is not the seventh day, but Christ’s resurrection: a day no Jew can celebrate–it is exclusively a Christian’s entire reason for being a Christian. Without the Resurrection no one would be a Christian. Please answer: What is the most significant fact that all Christians have in common? Anything but the Resurrection denies Christianity.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 BillCork says:

“Sunday and the resurrection has always had its roots in paganism.”

The resurrection has its roots in paganism????

So, you are saying Jesus didn’t rise from the dead? And if you believe that, you’re a pagan??? That’s the only logical inference.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Bill,

Just as an example, here is a blog post on the subject:

The cult of Tammuz can be traced back to around 3000 B.C, and has a Babylonian-Sumerian origination.[1] Tammuz was allegedly resurrected by the goddess Inanna-Ishtar. Tammuz’s resurrection is “alleged” because the end of both the Sumerian and the Akkadian texts of the myth of “The Descent of Inanna (Ishtar)” had not been preserved. The story actually states that Dumuzi (Tammuz) did not return from death to an earthly life, but was placed in the underworld as a substitution for Inanna.[2] Apparently, there is only fragmentary evidence that Dumuzi had his sister take his place in the underworld for half of the year. Even so, the story of Tammuz is not like the resurrection story of Jesus.

1 Weston, Jessie. From Ritual to Romance. Chapter IV: Tammuz and Adonis. Available from: >https://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/frr/frr07.htm#fn_39. The Internet Sacred Text Archive. Accessed May 22, 2007.

[2] Yamauchi, Edwin M. Easter: Myth, Hallucination, or History. Available from: >https://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/yama.html. Accessed January 22, 2007.

https://www.google.com/search?q=pagan+christ&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=o…

The point of my statement was / is based on the point that there was a counterfeit gospel story, including a resurrection of the pagan Christ, of which Sunday was a holiday in which to feast and revel in their pagan gospel.

Peace


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

For additional pagan stories where Christianity is similar:

https://www.pocm.info/

The most complete source is found in Freke and Gandy’s Jesus Mysteries.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Hello Elaine,

I must state that I can in no way agree with the notion that the concept of Jesus Christ has its source in paganism. Paganism is the counterfeit of the real Christ portrayed to the Jews / Israel (of whom they were to witness to the nations) thru the sacrificial system / sanctuary services. It is the confluence / merging of the two diametrically opposed systems that has the world thourghly confused on who God the Father / Jesus the Son / the Holy Spirit is. Yes, the 2 systems may look / sound alike, but they are no way / shape / form identical. One will lead to worship / honor the true God of heaven, while the other will lead you to worship man.

Peace


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 BillCork says:

Laffal,

Regarding Tammuz, etc.–do you have any evidence that anyone in Jesus day or the next three centuries knew–or cared–about that?

The Christian gospel is simple: Christ is risen! It is the center of our faith.

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For “He has put all things under His feet.”[a] But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
29 Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? 30 And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? 31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

ANd no, the word “Easter” isn’t used. But that’s no big deal. Only English speakers and German speakers have ever used that word. In Spanish it’s known as Pascua, in French, Pâques– cognates of Pesach, or Passover. So the origins of both Pascua and the resurrection are thoroughly Biblical. We better not be fighting them, n’est pas?


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

The claim was never made by me that paganism was the source of Christianity. However, there are many things that all religions have in common, and that commonality is interesting to those who study world religions which reveals that there is “nothing new under the sun.”

The claim that Christianity is “unique” is disproved by history: The Jews, long before Christianity, had certain beliefs that were incorporated into Christianity (Adventists borrowed even more). Before and during Judaism, pagans also had similar practices: sacrifices, slaughtering animals that were little different from Judaism. Archealogical findings show that there are very litttle differences between pagan and Jewish places of worship. If Christianity adopts practices similar to other religions, it becomes “blessed” and is no longer considered “pagan.”

Even the Hebrew prophet, Amos, said the Lord “will also put an end to all her gaiety, Her feasts, her new moons, her sabbaths.” (note how often the new moons and sabbath are mentioned together). All the Lord requires of us is “to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God -which is not limited to Christian hearts.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 laffal says:

Bill,

I have no issue whatsoever about the gospel and it’s simplicityl. The issue here is the counterfeit. Presently I’m not up to speed on who exactly understood what as it pertains to Tammuz in the time of Christ and the next 3 centuries. But I do know that the counterfeit trinity is at the heart of all culteral pagan religion theology. It goes back to Babel and the confusing of the languages. Their theology might not be identical, but the principles are.

All I’m trying to get at in the last few posts is that all though I believe many people who have honored the Lord Jesus and His resurrection on Sunday will be saved. But that does not change the facts about the history of Sunday and worship on it as a day of divine significance. At some point, each day, Sabbath and Sunday, will be clearly seen for what it has always represented. It’s ours to choose.

Peace

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 15th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

BillCork,

Let’s see now, the catechism says “Remember to keep holy the LORD’s day;” and the explanation regarding the Sabbath is: “Sunday is expressly distinguished from the Sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath…Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord’s Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.

So, this “expressly” teaches that they (the Roman church) have changed weekly observance of the “holy” Sabbath—to Sunday.

I should be totally satisfied to leave it to others to evaluate if—and by whom—this has been misrepresented.

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 16th, 2011 BillCork says:

Stephen, in fact it teaches the opposite. Sunday is not the Sabbath. Sunday is distinct from the Sabbath. The Catholic church says the observance of Sunday replaces the observance of Sabbath–but in a different way. So, this does present a problem, in that mainstream Catholic sources that are of universal validity to Catholics just don’t present the matter as our evangelists sometimes like to make out. Catholics who know their faith are going to see that … and won’t be persuaded.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 16th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

These old and trite Catholic statements have been used for nearly 100 years to “prove” that the Catholic church changed the sabbath from saturday to sunday.

This is a blatant falsehood as Bill has pointed out. THERE IS NO CHRISTIAN SABBATH! The first day was called the “Lord’s Day” in John’s Revelation, the first and only usage of that Greek term in the NT, signifiying the practice which had already begun of celebrating the Resurrection.

It is baffling for those who claim to be Christians to almost ignore the Resurrection, as it has for most of its history, when without the Resurrection, there would be no Christians and Adventists!

The day one selects to worship is of little concern to God as he accepts our worship always and no particular day has been appointed for Christians as is stated numerous times in the NT. Clinging to the Jewish Sabbath is a recognition that Judaism is superior, at least in some of its rules of which Sabbath is one, to Christianity.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 16th, 2011 Tom says:

I have to hand it to you Elaine, you sure know how to toss the read meat, or should I say vegeburger, on the barbeque and keep the party going. I will give you an A for debating skills, however don’t let that go to your head. Your statement THERE IS NO CHRISTIAN SABBATH is certain to bait some responder, or at the very least illicit another tirade by someone who would write you off as “just a troublemaker”. Been there done that, huh?

You have been around since Hector was a pup so I’m sure you have seen it all. Yes, one needs to exercise their mental faculties to keep them. May you live to be at least 100 and remain of sound mind. I would like to have the opportunity of meeting you personally sometime. What part of California do you live?

By the way, do you enjoy a good game of cards. No gambling mind you, just something like pinochle that test ones skill, luck and memory all at once. I love to play pinochle at the senior center once inawhile. Several of those old folks are in their late 80’s like you, a few in their nineties and one old gal of 102 just died recently, still as sharp as a tack. It’s never too late to learn. Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until her late 70’s and she lived to be 101.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 16th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

Nice try there Bill, but I didn’t say that they claim (or teach) that Sunday is the Sabbath. I said that they have changed the “weekly observance” of the Sabbath to Sunday. In other words, instead of keeping the Sabbath holy, they are taught not to do this, but to keep Sunday holy. The operative phrase is “weekly observance.” They are taught that keeping the Sabbath holy is “no longer” to be done, and that keeping Sunday holy is what has replaced Sabbath observance. Put yet another way, for the sake of clarification, the Sabbath is “no longer” observed as holy, but Sunday should be.

This, by the way, is precisely how this “difference” has been explained in the evangelistic efforts to which I have been exposed in my 50-something years around Adventists.

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 16th, 2011 BillCork says:

Elaine: “Clinging to the Jewish Sabbath is a recognition that Judaism is superior, at least in some of its rules of which Sabbath is one, to Christianity.”

Well, now here we get to what the issue of the change of the Sabbath was really about. You can’t blame the pope, because the bishop of Rome wasn’t seen as having universal authority early on. You can’t blame Constantine, because it was pretty settled by then. The deciding issue was that Gentile Christians, starting in Rome, wanted to make sure the Romans didn’t confuse them with Jews. I think Sam Bacchiocchi has pretty well demonstrated the origins of Sunday observance in anti-Judaism.From the time of Hadrian it spread over the next century or so.

With it came a lot of other expressions of anti-Jewish hostility. Forbidding them to marry Christians, live near Christians, dress like Christians. Moving the celebration of the Resurrection from Nisan 14 to Sunday (Nicea–read Constantine’s nasty comments about Jews in his letter to the bishops who weren’t able to make it).Even eating ham on Easter can be seen as an anti-Jewish swipe. Later carvings on the fronts of churches depicting Synagoga as a blindfolded poor homely girl with broken staff, next to radiantly beautiful triumphant Ecclesia. The general disparaging of the Old Testament as depicting an inferior god was part and parcel of this anti-Jewish sentiment, too (Marcion a nice example who went a little too far).

Does Rev 1;10 refer to Sunday? There’s no evidence that it does. That the “Lords’ day” will be used to refer to Sunday a century or more later does not mean that it means that in this first and isolated use of the expression.

Oh, and Stephen, have you read the full Catechism of the Catholic Church? Ever been in a Catholic Church? Ever sit and talk with a real Catholic who is knowledgable about their faith?

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 16th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

Tom, thanks for the nice compliment.

No, I don’t play cards except “Hearts” on the computer, and Scrabble which sorta keeps me mentally alert — I hope. Just began a new book club discussing the classics with two dozen retired teachers, who love the humanities. These blogs do help in keeping the neurons active, and as for “trouble-maker” I consider it a compliment. I live in Fresno, CA and have for 50 years.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 16th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

BillCork,

I am not at all sure what a reading of the full Catechism or whether one has been in a Roman church, or has talked to “a real Catholic who is knowledgeable about their faith” has to do with an ability to read or understand the English language.

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 16th, 2011 BillCork says:

It does have something to do with whether you understand Catholicism and can represent what Catholics believe accurately. Otherwise, you risk being guilty of breaking the 9th commandment.

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 16th, 2011 Stephen Foster says:

If someone wants to know what an institution or an organization believes about something, reading what they officially have to say about it certainly seems to be a good place to start.

As for risking being guilty of breaking the 9th commandment, to which 9th commandment are you referring? Besides, why can’t I just change a particular commandment—whichever one it is—to suit my purposes; whatever they may be? Since they did it, why can’t I?

Stephen Foster
Adventist Today blogger


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 16th, 2011 Tom says:

Elaine

I have camped at Millerton Lake, near Friant which is close to Fresno. Haven’t been there in a long time so I may just pack up the camping gear and head that way sometime this summer or early fall. I live about 5 hours away. do you have a listed phone number? I may look you up. I’ll bring my scrabble board. I used to play it regularly with an old lady in the church before she died about 15 years ago. We can swap stories and chew the fat.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 17th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

BillCork and others… I’ve posted a few excerpts below which confirm that the ‘observance’ of the weekly Seventh Day Sabbath as seen in the Decalogue was clearly changed. Bill, this article too wasn’t for kids either! (I hope I won’t be unfairly accused of hostility…again!) The change of ‘times and laws’ is clearly fulfulled – Dan 7:25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.

https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_05071998_dies-domini_en.html

APOSTOLIC LETTER DIES DOMINI OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
TO THE BISHOPS, CLERGY AND FAITHFUL OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
ON KEEPING THE LORD’S DAY HOLY

In fact, in the weekly reckoning of time Sunday recalls the day of Christ’s Resurrection. It is Easter which returns week by week, celebrating Christ’s victory over sin and death, the fulfilment in him of the first creation and the dawn of “the new creation”

It is the day which recalls in grateful adoration the world’s first day and looks forward in active hope to “the last day”, when Christ will come in glory…

Rightly, then, the Psalmist’s cry is applied to Sunday: “This is the day which the Lord has made: let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps 118:24).

In fact, “all time belongs to [Christ] and all the ages”, as the evocative liturgy of the Easter Vigil recalls in preparing the Paschal Candle. Therefore, in commemorating the day of Christ’s Resurrection not just once a year but every Sunday, the Church seeks to indicate to every generation the true fulcrum of history, to which the mystery of the world’s origin and its final destiny leads.

The fundamental importance of Sunday has been recognized through two thousand years of history and was emphatically restated by the Second Vatican Council: “Every seven days, the Church celebrates the Easter mystery. This is a tradition going back to the Apostles, taking its origin from the actual day of Christ’s Resurrection — a day thus appropriately designated ‘the Lord’s Day’.”

4. Until quite recently, it was easier in traditionally Christian countries to keep Sunday holy because it was an almost universal practice and because, even in the organization of civil society, Sunday rest was considered a fixed part of the work schedule.

The duty to keep Sunday holy, especially by sharing in the Eucharist and by relaxing in a spirit of Christian joy and fraternity, is easily understood if we consider the many different aspects of this day upon which the present Letter will focus our attention.

Sunday is a day which is at the very heart of the Christian life. From the beginning of my Pontificate, I have not ceased to repeat: “Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!”.(9) In the same way, today I would strongly urge everyone to rediscover Sunday: Do not be afraid to give your time to Christ!

For the Christian, Sunday is above all an Easter celebration, wholly illumined by the glory of the Risen Christ.

In order to grasp fully the meaning of Sunday, therefore, we must re-read the great story of creation and deepen our understanding of the theology of the “Sabbath”.

13. The Sabbath precept, which in the first Covenant prepares for the Sunday of the new and eternal Covenant, is therefore rooted in the depths of God’s plan. This is why, unlike many other precepts, it is set not within the context of strictly cultic stipulations but within the Decalogue, the “ten words” which represent the very pillars of the moral life inscribed on the human heart.

14. In the first place, therefore, Sunday is the day of rest because it is the day “blessed” by God and “made holy” by him, set apart from the other days to be, among all of them, “the Lord’s Day”.

The Lord’s Day returns again and again to declare this principle within the weekly reckoning of time. The “Sabbath” has therefore been interpreted evocatively as a determining element in the kind of “sacred architecture” of time which marks biblical revelation.

We move from the “Sabbath” to the “first day after the Sabbath”, from the seventh day to the first day: the dies Domini becomes the dies Christi!

This is what the Christian Sunday does, leading the faithful each week to ponder and live the event of Easter, true source of the world’s salvation.

The Apostles, and in particular Saint Paul, continued initially to attend the synagogue so that there they might proclaim Jesus Christ, commenting upon “the words of the prophets which are read every Sabbath” (Acts 13:27).

25. In effect, Sunday is the day above all other days which summons Christians to remember the salvation which was given to them in baptism and which has made them new in Christ.

Sunday is not only the first day, it is also “the eighth day”, set within the sevenfold succession of days in a unique and transcendent position which evokes not only the beginning of time but also its end in “the age to come”.

In celebrating Sunday, both the “first” and the “eighth” day, the Christian is led towards the goal of eternal life.

30. It is clear then why, even in our own difficult times, the identity of this day must be protected and above all must be lived in all its depth. An Eastern writer of the beginning of the third century recounts that as early as then the faithful in every region were keeping Sunday holy on a regular basis.(36) What began as a spontaneous practice later became a juridically sanctioned norm.

The Code of Canon Law of 1917 for the first time gathered this tradition into a universal law.(81) The present Code reiterates this, saying that “on Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to attend Mass”.(82) This legislation has normally been understood as entailing a grave obligation: this is the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church,(83) and it is easy to understand why if we keep in mind how vital Sunday is for the Christian life.

It is the special responsibility of the Bishops, therefore, “to ensure that Sunday is appreciated by all the faithful, kept holy and celebrated as truly ‘the Lord’s Day’, on which the Church comes together to renew the remembrance of the Easter mystery in hearing the word of God, in offering the sacrifice of the Lord, in keeping the day holy by means of prayer, works of charity and abstention from work”.(84)

“Blessed be he who has raised the great day of Sunday above all other days. The heavens and the earth, angels and of men give themselves over to joy”.(99) This cry of the Maronite liturgy captures well the intense acclamations of joy which have always characterized Sunday in the liturgy of both East and West.

In honouring God’s “rest”, man fully discovers himself, and thus the Lord’s Day bears the profound imprint of God’s blessing (cf. Gn 2:3), by virtue of which, we might say, it is endowed in a way similar to the animals and to man himself, with a kind of “fruitfulness” (cf. Gn 1:22, 28).

It is the duty of Christians therefore to remember that, although the practices of the Jewish Sabbath are gone, surpassed as they are by the “fulfilment” which Sunday brings, the underlying reasons for keeping “the Lord’s Day” holy — inscribed solemnly in the Ten Commandments — remain valid, though they need to be reinterpreted in the light of the theology and spirituality of Sunday: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you.

Only in the fourth century did the civil law of the Roman Empire recognize the weekly recurrence, determining that on “the day of the sun” the judges, the people of the cities and the various trade corporations would not work.

Therefore, also in the particular circumstances of our own time, Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy.

In short, the Lord’s Day thus becomes in the truest sense the day of man as well. Likewise, “in celebrating this annual cycle of the mysteries of Christ, the holy Church venerates with special love the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, united forever with the saving work of her Son”.

86. I entrust this Apostolic Letter to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, that it may be received and put into practice by the Christian community. Without in any way detracting from the centrality of Christ and his Spirit, Mary is always present in the Church’s Sunday. It is the mystery of Christ itself which demands this: indeed, how could she who is Mater Domini and Mater Ecclesiae fail to be uniquely present on the day which is both dies Domini and dies Ecclesiae?

As they listen to the word proclaimed in the Sunday assembly, the faithful look to the Virgin Mary, learning from her to keep it and ponder it in their hearts (cf. Lk 2:19). With Mary, they learn to stand at the foot of the Cross, offering to the Father the sacrifice of Christ and joining to it the offering of their own lives. With Mary, they experience the joy of the Resurrection, making their own the words of the Magnificat which extol the inexhaustible gift of divine mercy in the inexorable flow of time: “His mercy is from age to age upon those who fear him” (Lk 1:50). From Sunday to Sunday, the pilgrim people follow in the footsteps of Mary, and her maternal intercession gives special power and fervour to the prayer which rises from the Church to the Most Holy Trinity.

Hope you guys had a great joyful 7th day Sabbath!
T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 17th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

BillCork

RE your comment: >>It does have something to do with whether you understand Catholicism and can represent what Catholics believe accurately. Otherwise, you risk being guilty of breaking the 9th commandment.<<

What about the Catholic Church misrepresenting God and God’s Law? Huh! Don’t they ‘bear false witness’???

T


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 18th, 2011 pat travis says:

But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. Gal.4:9,10.

Luther said this, continuing his thoughts on vs.9,10, concerning ceremonies and worship days in his commentary on Gal.4:27 : “Neither do the ordinances of Moses or those of the Pope concern us. But because life cannot go on without some ordinances, the Gospel permits regulations to be made in the Church in regard to special days, times, places, etc., in order that the people may know upon what day, at what hour, and in what place to assemble for the Word of God. Such directions are desirable that “all things be done decently and in order.” (I Cor. 14:40.) These directions may be changed or omitted altogether, as long as no offense is given to the weak.”

You see, Rom.14:1-6 “cuts both ways” and it applies as much to man made days of worship by the pope or others in tradition as to those given by Moses regarding covenant. Neither sabbatarians or resurrection day observers are to judge the other regarding these things. In this way the gospel is magnified rather than “justification by “law” by a day, days or foods.” Faith “alone” in Christ justifies and not observance to law.

It seems the above is exactly the arguments that were being experienced in the New Testament church as it developed and regarding Jewish practices and those “musts” for gentiles.

The “uncomfortable truth” for those wanting precise structure for all concerning “must” days and foods…for gentile believers is that they are secondary matters and let each be fully convinced in his own mind through the HS.
Regards,pat

 


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 18th, 2011 Preston says:

“Let no man therefore judge you . . .” Col. 2:16.

It is clear. Man is not the judge. God is. But judgment will occur (Eccl. 3:17).

Those who do not receive the mark of the beast are described clearly, as well, Revelation 14:12. They will persevere in keeping the commandments of God.

And this is the point of the mark of the beast: who is God, that His commandments are designated as “secondary matters?” Which God is it that we are serving? Is it the God of man’s preference and convenience or the God of Creation, whose changes not? Malachi 3:6. At the time of the end,The Sabbath — along with all of God’s law, will be a sign of whom we serve.

Jesus, Himself stated that those who are saved will be those who do the will of The Father (Matthew 7:22-26). The operative word in that verse 26 is “do.” It is on the critical path, at least as Jesus defined it. And the commandments of God are not burdensome (1 John 5:3).

Where in the Bible does The Father express His will? “And God spake all these words, saying . . . ” Exodus 20:1 -17.

No, we are not saved by works, but by grace (however, all who are lost, will be lost because of their works). That grace is granted by Jesus, who paid the price for our sins with His innocent blood. Sin is defined as the transgression of the law. So, again, it seems that Christ believed that the law of God was in the upper tier of importance. The blood of Christ covers our sins — which are defined by the law. I would think that He would be in the best position to establish what is primary and what is secondary.

Is the law void? Is the Sabbath secondary? If so, are murder, adultery, stealing, and lying secondary also (or is caring about these matters, also, “legalistic”)? Who makes that call? To whom did God the Father grant authority to nullify His law? Who is the Holy Father? Is changing the law a minor matter? Is stating that Rome’s authority is superior to that of the Bible a trivial matter?

I do not wish to argue this as we all have Bibles. Pat is right: we must be convinced in our own minds, with the aid of the Holy Spirit. To that end, I wish to find those who believe that we, as Seventh Day Adventists, were given this particular (3rd angel’s) message to tell the world, so that others are not deceived by the beast nor his image.

Those who do not believe that these issues will be of vital importance are free to let us who do make fools of ourselves (1 Cor. 4:10). Rome will be defended by those who feel the need to do so. It would seem that if we are wrong, they would be happy to allow time to reveal that.


Re: The Critical Path to Salvation
On April 18th, 2011 pat travis says:

Preston,

If you would read all my post you would notice that I have “carefully” never said the sabbath was unimportant or that it necessarily represents legalism.

I am of the view that while not abrogating sabbath worship God allows “resurrection sunday” as acceptable to God for worship and He will judge. He will also judge the motives.

“Days” are secondary to these texts:

Jn.3:16;Jn.6:29 and Jn 8:24

And I suggest “He alone” is the CRITICAL path to salvation…”everything” else IS secondary…including sabbath,”sunday”, foods and drink.

The beast always serves the created or a substitute rather than Christ, our creator-redeemer.

I just think that to many SDA’s the sabbath is of equal importance/priority to the biblical acceptance of our savior who was an atonement for forgiveness of sins.

It is for this reason that you often hear SDA’s share we have many things in common with Jews and Muslims( i.e. Sabbath & Diet)…SO WHAT…what about Jesus as our only savior who is God?

Let everyone be fully convinced of the proper “critical” focus…and what is often preached as “our unique message.”

The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” e that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. for,… “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” g

Rom.10:8-10, 13.

I see no mention of Sabbath in that message….

regards,

pat