A Summary of the Memorial Service of Dr. Desmond Ford

(Cfowler) #21

Wow…I’m getting a whole new (and better) understanding of “sanctification”. It makes so much more sense than my previous view.

Thank you! :slightly_smiling_face:

(Frankmer7) #22

Hi Gill…

I would add that they are both conferred at the same time. They are gifted to us and cannot be separated temporally, because they cannot be separated from receiving the giver and his Spirit. The gift can never be separated from the giver.

The gift also comes in the form of power. If growth/fruitful life doesn’t occur it can be because the giver and his powerful gifts are not vitally present in the life of individuals and even church communities. The Spirit isn’t there.

With what we often witness in Adventism, it makes one wonder.



(Gillian Ford) #23

I agree. The gifts of washing (regeneration), sanctification (interestingly put before justification here), and justification are all given at the same time. There is no merit in faith. It also is a gift. It’s all from God, all of Christ and all of grace. It’s ours to ‘take and eat’. Hence we can have assurance of salvation, so lacking for most Adventists because many see righteousness by faith as a mix of justification and sanctification—a lot of Christ but a bit of me (a pinch of works).

What I am presenting is not once saved always saved. The issue of ‘can you turn back and leave Christ?’ is a separate issue. Of course you can. See Hebrews 10:19–27f: A Call to Persevere in Faith

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the FULL ASSURANCE THAT FAITH BRINGS, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

(Wolfgang Streich ) #24

I have had the pleasure of speaking lately with Gill Ford and with Eliezer, the GNU Coordinator. I am sorry that I can not understand spoken English fluently since my first language is Spanish.
We have created pages on Facebook and Twitter where we place short texts of Des in Spanish. We hope your understanding of the gospel continues to produce profound changes in the Adventist churches in Latin America and especially in Paraguay.
My email is wsparaguay@gmail.com

(George Tichy) #25

Olá Wolfgang, Bienvenido al Spectrum…
En Facebook, ¿cuál es el nombre de la página donde se encuentran los textos a los que Usted hace referencia?

(milton hook) #26

Just a postscript from me.
The very first use of “sanctified” in Scripture is Genesis 2:3. The Sabbath was sanctified. That is, that period of time was set apart from ordinary or secular time for a sacred use. The word does not suggest the Sabbath started off as an imperfect institution and gradually acquired moral qualities that led to some sort of perfection hundreds of years later. Like the sanctuary, the Sabbath is not an animate being that possesses moral or immoral qualities.
The biblical word “sanctified” does not carry any hint of a process, or the process of a lifetime, even when used in relation to humans. From the viewpoint of exegesis and context Ellen White was patently wrong when she said sanctification was the work of a lifetime. That cliche has, sadly, sent millions down the wrong path. A simple word study of “sanctify,” “sanctified,” “sanctification” could have saved all the controversy about perfectionism.

(Gillian Ford) #27

Ellen White was using sanctification as just about everyone else did at the time and pretty much since. Des was preaching righteousness by faith in the 1940s when I was about two years old. But it took someone steeped in Ellen White who then planned to oppose a priest and so read Luther to clarify the issues. Edward Heppenstall, Des Ford, and others told us what justification was, but Bob Brinsmead told us what sanctification was not. It was not part of the term righteousness by faith. Des said that Edward Heppenstall, giant as he was, taught that the term righteousness by faith included both justification and sanctification until the day he died. In practice you can make a case that it does. But when you are looking at how we are saved, the distinction must be made, or you cannot have assurance. How much sanctification (Christian growth) do you need to have to know you are right with God? Three percent, as Elder Maxwell taught (I think tongue-in-cheek, basically saying it has to be present to some degree). But it confounds the issue of what must I do to be saved. The answer is we must trust in the finished work of Christ. The idea that it’s his works plus my works and he makes up the difference is a heresy. It’s Christ’s works plus nothing.

(Harry Aveling) #28

I admired Pastor Ford when I was a member of the youth group in the late 1950s. I was saddened by his disagreement withe the denomination and admired Avondale for its big heartedness in sponsoring this final act of appreciation for an old friend. The decision of the SPD dismays me. Surely there is forgiveness and love in these last days, for the living and the dead.

(Frankmer7) #29

The NT does give ideas about growth in grace, fruit bearing, adding to ones faith virtue, knowledge, self-control, etc. It speaks of being continually transformed by the renewing of our minds. It speaks of being transformed from glory to glory as we behold the Lord’s glory. Ephesians describes the church as being God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, right after saying that we are saved by grace, and not by works. Galatians speaks of sowing to the Spirit, right after describing the fruit of the Spirit.

All of this gives the picture of an active, relational engagement with God, and one another, on the part of human beings in the experience of living as his people in this world. In fact, it really is impossible to divorce being saved from that experience, and what it means to be a part of the saved and sanctified/set apart people of God. It is why God has saved us. To serve, to grow, to extend his rule of love in this world.

If one is picked to join a baseball team, the idea is that you were picked to play baseball. You agree to team policies regarding practices, uniforms, etc. If you go to the manager and say you don’t want to play, or wear the team uniform at games, there’s a problem. This is an illustration of what it means to join up with Christ and the people of God. There are expectations. There is a mission. There is a way of living and being that is taught and hopefully caught, (and I don’t mean EGW and Methodist holiness lists) that is part of the deal.

With all this said, this is not what sanctification/being set apart means. This is what we were set apart for. Nor is this how people are saved or receive belonging in the covenant people of God. They are set free by the work of Christ, and the powerful move of his Spirit to bring them to faith, and make them part of his body, his kingdom, and his mission to restore his creation to rights.

We all have a part to play, big or small…it doesn’t matter. We can go forward, knowing that God has reserved a place for us at his table, that we didn’t do anything to earn it, and with the assurance of his presence, power, and love to the end, as we attempt to fulfill our purpose.

As Jesus said, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age."



(George Tichy) #30

I am perplexed with how much discussion has been generated about the Justification/Sanctification issue. Until recently I was not even aware that there was so much controversy about it. The issue was always so clear to me that I can’t believe some people may not understand it correctly.

I am so glad for one of my teachers in the School of Theology, the late Pastor Jerome Justesen. He got his Masters at Andrews and went to Brazil as a theology teacher. The man was just brilliant. He changed the theological landscape in Brazil by teaching Justification by Faith to the new pastors who graduated between 1967 and 1972. I was his student secretary during the last two years (I graduated in 1972 and he returned to the US) but we became friends for life. He taught exactly what Des taught on this issue. I cannot believe that there is still any controversy in this area in 2019! :open_mouth: .

Some controversies running in the SDAC are so absurd that I sometimes wonder if it is even worth the time spent in discussing them… :roll_eyes: :innocent:

(Frankmer7) #31

I hear you, George, but I don’t think it’s so absurd if people are still by and large confused on these issues. It’s worth discussion if it clears up the issues. Carol said that it give her new insight in her posts above.



(Lincoln Dunstan) #32

Any clues as to what that 7th period of time actually is, Milton, but then I digress?!

The SDAC has just cast itself as a total irrelivancy from this time forward, for mine!!

(George Tichy) #33

Oh, sure Frank, I didn’t mean that discussion should stop. Martin Luther started it, so we just have to continue it, teaching people who say they are Protestants what Protestantism means and what is the theological foundation of this approach. It’s the never-ending task of teaching justification by faith in opposition to salvation by works. It’s mind boggling that there are still so many (“remnant”) SDAs who do not understand this issue. :thinking:

(Gillian Ford) #34

George, it’s being explained here, because Milton noted a problem in the piece above. He was AGAINST Wesleyan sanctification in his talk, and Gerhard Pfandl was expressing support FOR the Weslyan view of sanctification. And though they were saying the opposite, it appeared as presented that they agreed. It is a subtle but vital difference, which is why it’s being explained here again. The church’s official position seems to be that RbF includes both justification and sanctification (expressed so by Ted Wilson). Neal Wilson said they had no argument with Des on RbF at Glacier View, but the denomination officially was not teaching RbF = justification only. At Palmdale, that latter was agreed, but it was changed again by Kenneth Wood (I think) in the Review about a month later. Wood, or whoever wrote the article, said that justification was an experience, mixing up J and S again. This is why Russell Standish in The Gathering Storm could say Des came home and boasted that Palmdale went his direction, while the Review published a different opinion (had it right at first, then after a month they altered it from the original position), So Des told me. If Dr. Heppenstall didn’t clearly see that point (that RbF technically = justification) and said the phrase RbF meant J + S (though he taught justification accurately)—then probably others don’t see it. That’s the reason for going over it again. Not many commenting here anyway, so it’s a small group.

(Cfowler) #35

The sanctification discussion has been a learning experience for me. I never thought that sanctification was a part of being saved, but my view of it was about growth, not about being set apart for a sacred use.

I’m sure that others on here had the same thought that I had. Hopefully, we are all willing to learn and grow in our understanding of Scripture.

(Gillian Ford) #36

Des and I went over this a lot in the last months because I retyped Des’s verbal response to Russell Standish and John Clifford’s Conflicting Concepts of Righteousness by Faith and put it up on Des’s Facebook. There was a Q & A Session at the end of Des’s talk where Russell Standish was given a long period to ask questions first. You can see how much of a bald works righteousness he and his brother and John Clifford believed. I had not realised that, according to Russell, this book (Conflicting Concepts) was written as a direct response to my article ‘The Soteriological Implications of the Sinless Nature of Christ’ (1975), which was in turn written to counter Herb Douglass’s book Jesus: The Benchmark of Humanity. Standish and Clifford wrote C.C. specifically to send it to Palmdale (copies to Duncan Eva, R. H. Pierson, and Kenneth Woods), so Russell states. He tells this story in the Gathering Storm. Pierson and Woods responded positively. Des did not know this happened until I told him recently. When you read Elder Pierson’s eight-page letter (?some of which was) read to the full assembly at Glacier View on the Thursday afternoon, his arguments are against Des’s views on RbF and reflect the Standish and Clifford view presented in Conflicting Concepts. Pierson used the exact same phrasing. And this means that RbF WAS an item at Glacier View, even if Neal Wilson said they agreed with Des on RbF and that it wasn’t an issue there. The letter of Pierson turned the tide of bias against Des. It was a big deal. Norman has said elsewhere that RbF was not an issue at Glacier View. I disagree on that, because of the above, whatever Neal Wilson said. The fight against Des on RbF was in full fight in those years. His enemies couldn’t get him on that. But when he spoke at the Oct 27 1979 Forum, the right-wing traditionalists had him over 1844.

(milton hook) #37

Lincoln, thoughtful question but, yes, off topic. Nevertheless, my short answer is that I was dealing with the basic meaning of the word “sanctification.” No matter how an individual interprets the big picture of the Genesis accounts they must understand the intent of the words themselves. In other words I was dealing with a single tree in the forest. Dealing with the whole forest is a different ball game.
What is the literary genre of the Genesis accounts? I will respect your view as I respect everyone’s view. During my eighty years on this planet my view has shifted from a very literal view to one less literal. I’m not a scientist. I can only make personal deductions from a literary viewpoint.

(Elroy Norman) #38

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Rev 19:10 explains that the testimony of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of Prophesy.

Here are the two identifying marks of the remnant (SDA) church. You cannot just keeps the commandments still believe that you an a part of the remnant. It has to be both. Not believing 100 percent is the writings of Ellen White disqualifies an SDA as being a part of the remnant.

(Lincoln Dunstan) #39

Milton, at this point I’m with John Lennox. But I’m still to reconcile that with New Covenant theology. I’ve spent too long in conventional SDA theology…damit!

(edward laconi ) #40

Desmond Ford - the voice of many voices calling people to the gentle, forgiving, compassionate, gracious, loving and redemptive power of the Cross. Truely, commmendale! Rest in peace my friend until Jesus returns.