Defending Last Generation Theology


. . . you asked:

Christ said, “I am the light of the world.”, and also, to His students, “You are the light of the world.” ‘Light’ in this case obviously being more than mere photons, but also a good and true source of information regarding the true God.

No, to make a hero-god of a mere man like Ted Wilson would be idolatry, wouldn’t it ? And yet the mere man, Paul, after telling the Christians of Corinth to “flee from idolatry” (I Corinthians 10:14) also said (I Corinthians 10:27-11:1):

“If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake. But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness.” “Conscience,” I say, not your own, but that of the other.
For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience? But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks? Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

Now, if the ‘sub-heads’ of the SDA church, under Christ – from Ted Wilson to those leaders who have consistently voted to enforce the dictates of their own consciences over those of their peers – would instead imitate Paul just as he imitated Christ in dealing with such tender matters of conscience, then and only then would it be safe to imitate those SDA sub-heads and leaders without being guilty of idolatry, since Christ would be the ultimate Creator of the tender and tolerant model being held before the ‘eyes of the heart’ of all. (Ephesian 1:15-23) :

“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding [fn, “heart”] being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

The ‘eyes of the heart’, then, correspond to the ‘imagination’, and humans can assign worth to either false imag-in-a-tions of God – “idols” – or to true imag-in-a-tions of God, such as those which Paul and Christ chose to assign worth, by imitation, thereby reflecting the image, or “character”, of the true God. (In Genesis 6:5, before the Great Flood, it was said of all mankind that, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imag-in-a-tion of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”) As Ellen described, only Christ, Who is also God, could most correctly ‘Head’, and from that position re-create, the most accurate chain-reaction of the ‘reflection’ of the invisible God’s own heart-character. This ‘chain-reaction’ is always intended by God to consist of ‘light-bearing’ created beings reflecting the true character, or “imag-in-a-tion”, of God before the ‘eyes of the hearts’ of all, until ‘the whole world is full of His glory’. (Now, wouldn’t it have been so very nice if such ‘Glory of God’ had been fully reflected from the 2018 SDA GC annual council, by Ted Wilson and all of those ‘down-chain’ from His own position as president of the GC ? . . . instead of the violation of the tender consciences of others, all-around ?)

Signs of the Times, January 20, 1890, notice all of the ‘eyes of the understanding/heart’ language that I’ve accented in bold print:

“Christ came to save fallen man, and Satan with fiercest wrath met him on the field of conflict; for the enemy knew that when divine strength was added to human weakness, man was armed with power and intelligence, and could break away from the captivity in which he had bound him. Satan sought to intercept every ray of light from the throne of God. He sought to cast his shadow across the earth, that men might lose the true views of God’s character, and that the knowledge of God might become extinct in the earth. He had caused truth of vital importance to be so mingled with error that it had lost its significance. The law of Jehovah was burdened with needless exactions and traditions, and God was represented as severe, exacting, revengeful, and arbitrary. He was pictured as one who could take pleasure in the sufferings of his creatures. The very attributes that belonged to the character of Satan, the evil one represented as belonging to the character of God. Jesus came to teach men of the Father, to correctly represent him before the fallen children of earth. Angels could not fully portray the character of God, but Christ, who was a living impersonation of God, could not fail to accomplish the work. The only way in which he could set and keep men right was to make himself visible and familiar to their eyes. That men might have salvation he came directly to man, and became a partaker of his nature.” (Note that Jesus had 12 close ‘witnesses’ with Him at all times, later sent out as ‘apostles’, who were to be the colorful bright foundation gem-stones of the church, built upon Himself the Chief Cornerstone.)

“The Father was revealed in Christ as altogether a different being from that which Satan had represented him to be. Said Christ, “Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” The love of Jesus, expressed for the fallen race in his life of self-denial and sufferings, is the manifestation of the Father’s love for a sinful, fallen world. Christ endured shame and grief and death for those who despised his love and trampled upon his mercy. He paid the debt of man’s transgression upon the cross of Calvary with his own precious blood. The men of his own nation, the leaders of the people, were so ensnared by the deceptions of Satan that the plan of redemption for a fallen race seemed to their minds indistinct and unexplainable.”

From John 3:

“Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

“Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”. . . .

“Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

“Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?. . . .”

““No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. . . .

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Saved from what ? Healed from what ? . . . if not from all false imag-in-a-tions of God and all of their evil consequences ?

All of the heated and angry debate over ‘LGT’ in the SDA church, today, would evaporate if we would all simply look up at God from the foot of the cross, and say, “Now that is worthy of imitation !”

Being “born again” as a ‘child of the Father’ can not help but result --‘by beholding’ – in ultimately, "perfectly reproducing the character” – the imag-in-a-tion – of that Father’s tender Heart toward us, when we assign the greatest worth to His Heart, in our own hearts.

I did not have to struggle and work to become physically ‘perfect’ a.k.a. ‘mature’ after being born from my mother. That happened merely as a consequence of my physical birth, as long as I chose to go on living. In the ‘new birth’, through the Spirit, we ‘choose life’ as we ‘look and live’ at God from the foot of the cross. And so, Jesus told the ‘Last Generation’ Laodicean church (Revelation 3:18) :

““I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”

Even blind and deaf Helen Keller had ‘eyes of the heart’ – an imag-in-a-tion. And although those ‘eyes’ of hers were fed by the most minimal of outer sensory perceptors, the Spirit of God could still deal directly with the imaginations of her heart, giving her the ‘Spiritual’ ‘eye salve’ necessary in order to ‘see God’, even without functioning ears and eyes.

Helen Keller, from Wikipedia:

“According to those who attended, Helen Keller spoke of the joy that life gave her. She was thankful for the faculties and abilities that she did possess and stated that the most productive pleasures she had were curiosity and imagination. Keller also spoke of the joy of service and the happiness that came from doing things for others … Keller imparted that “helping your fellow men were one’s only excuse for being in this world and in the doing of things to help one’s fellows lay the secret of lasting happiness.” She also told of the joys of loving work and accomplishment and the happiness of achievement. Although the entire lecture lasted only a little over an hour, the lecture had a profound impact on the audience.[26]”

Helen Keller perfectly, maturely, ripely reproduced – ‘reflected’ – the loving, giving, enthusiastic character of the Father, as ‘seen’ through Christ, even while never reading the ‘Helen’ White quote that is now turning the SDA church into a blinding, deafening partisan spiritual battlefield. . . . ‘How can these things be ?’ :

Helen ‘chose life’ for her heart-spirits, and the Holy Spirit from Christ then freely entered through the door left wide open when Helen’s own dim competitive pride was finally, fully extinguished. Only then could she see Spiritual things more clearly than those with ears deafened, eyes blinded and hearts hardened by pride in themselves. Only the spiritually helpless are Spiritually re-born. True ‘LGT’ begins and ‘perfectly’ ripens just as Paul discovered, “I die daily.”

(Linda Nottingham) #22

Mr. Smith…just a small clarification, since it appeared you might have been referencing my earlier post. I am not a biblical scholar, but my understanding of the sacrificial system is that Jesus is represented by the sacrificial lamb as an atonement for our sins. The symbolic placing of all the confessed sins on the scapegoat and its subsequent release into the wilderness was intended to represent God’s final solution to the sin problem.



(jeremy) #23

i don’t believe this…the bible is too plain:

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matt 16:24.

i think the story of the rich young ruler shows us what this means…what we don’t see in this story is jesus assuring the rich young ruler that he can enjoy this world because jesus will usher him into paradise without any sacrifice on his part…jesus doesn’t even urge him to use his riches wisely, or to witness to other rich people…and reading further, we see:

“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Matt 16:26.

even in paul, we read:

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Titus 2:11.

what meaning can there possible be in these and many other similar texts if the only condition for salvation is jesus’ perfection…plain texts in the bible have to mean something…when we get to a point where fanciful theories enable us feel good about failure and very little, if any, progress, we’ve thrown in the towel, whatever it is we think we’re doing…

egw says more than 95% of the church is lost:

“It is a solemn statement that I make to the church, that not one in twenty whose names are registered upon the church books are prepared to close their earthly history, and would be as verily without God and without hope in the world as the common sinner.” ChS:41.

that was 100 yrs ago…i think it’s much worse than this now…

the view that it’s all what jesus did on the cross 2,000 yrs ago, and that we have no self-denying to do, no victories over self to achieve because jesus was perfect, is pie in the sky…under this view no-one could possibly be lost…but i’m convinced most people will be lost…very few will choose the narrow way that leads to life, and stick to it…few were willing to do it in jesus’ day, and i think much fewer are willing to do it in our day…things aren’t getting better…they’re getting worse…

(Drhoads) #24

I’m just grateful that I don’t have to have everything figured out correctly. Don

(Cfowler) #25

Are you part of the less than 5% of people who are saved?

(Thomas J Zwemer) #26

Dr Heppenstall in his book The Man Who is.God states that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit Not Joseph. That book is out of print while Herbert Douglass’s book Why Jesus Waits remains in print. The cultic aspects of Adventism are very much in play. Adventist universities are on tender hooks. truth and survival are in play.

(jeremy) #27

once saved always saved isn’t biblical…it isn’t what egw teaches, either…but i feel sure that i’m one of the less than 5% who is being saved while i’m complying with the conditions…

on this and a number of other questions, i think we have to believe that the bible and egw reflect what god has said, and means…we are in no position to prove it, but we make the choice to actively believe it…the bottom line is that if we are taking up our personal cross of self-denial, we can fully believe that christ’s perfection is standing in our stead, and that this means we are in the process of being saved…

(Thomas J Zwemer) #28

I have noticed that Ted Wilson put a squeeze on Scripture to support his agenda. so I have a question for him. if Solomon wrote—Beward Of the wine when it is red in the cup was he telling to drink only white wine, in moderation of course. it must have been red wine that got three faculty in trouble a couple of years back. By the way how did that turn out.?

(Steve Mga) #29

CF –
Has anyone done a study as to ELLEN’s Criteria for making that statement?
Or was it just something she said?
Most of the time the Church and Individuals do not attempt to find what
was behind certain statements of Ellen’s. Just take them as fact.
“complying with the conditions” - is THIS Works?

(Billman) #30

Whole libraries have been devoted to the concept of god, and not just the Christian god. The reality is that we do not comprehend God. Anyone who is adamant that they do is convicted more on the basis of belief than of truth.

(Rusterholz) #31

well said Ray it is all about God and what he does when we beleive and received from him

(Phillip Brantley) #32

What is funny about this screwball theology is that it excludes women as part of the Last Generation. Only men are regarded as capable of overcoming sin and perfecting character. Because only men possess this capability, women cannot be ordained as ministers. There are at present three theories of women that are adhered to by proponents of Last Generation Theology:

  1. The first theory, best exemplified by Doug Batchelor’s infamous sermon, is that women are ontologically inferior to men. Women occupy a sphere that is between the sphere assigned to men and the sphere assigned to the animals. Men are smarter, taller, stronger, braver, etc., than women. Women do not bear the image of God, at least to the extent that men bear His image. A toad or insect bears the image of God to some extent, women to a larger extent, and men to the fullest extent. Women cannot bear the image of God to the fullest extent, because God is a man and men and women are different.

So how are women saved? They are saved, as per this theory of women, vicariously through the salvation of the men they submit to. Jesus can serve as Substitute for men but not for women, because He is a man and not a woman. He is not qualified to serve as Substitute for women, not qualified to pay the penalty of sin for women through His death on the Cross, because He was not incarnated as a woman, was not tempted as a woman has been tempted, did not suffer as a woman has suffered, etc. Accordingly, the only way for women to be saved is vicariously through the salvation of the men they submit to. The great goal of a woman is not to overcome sin, which she is not capable of doing, but to be more submissive, day by day, to her husband. She cannot overcome sin, because she has no Role Model, no Example, no Pattern, to look to for strength, inspiration, and guidance. Jesus serves as Example for men, but He cannot do so for women, because men and women have different roles. Although men can overcome sin, women are saved in their sins by being submissive to their husbands. Accordingly, only men are part of the Last Generation that perfectly embody and represent Christ.

  1. The second theory is the Curse of Eve theory. Although men and women were originally ontologically equal, God placed upon all women a curse because Eve was deceived. Because of Eve’s misconduct, all women thereafter are inclined, as per the Curse, to be submissive to their husbands. And all women thereafter are cursed with Eve’s evil propensities. The Curse never goes away. The blood of Jesus is powerless to remove the Curse. The work of the Holy Spirit is powerless to remove the Curse. Consequently, women can never be sanctified and can never achieve character perfection. Because women bear the curse of God, they cannot be ordained as ministers.

The Curse of Eve theory is similar to the Curse of Ham theory. Interestingly, Ellen White tacitly agrees with the Curse of Ham theory in Patriarchs and Prophets in which she writes that the three great races (obviously the Caucasian, Oriental, and Negroid races) have their origins in Ham’s sin. But she stresses that the Negro, even though cursed by God and even though impressed with the evil propensities of Ham, can still be victorious because of the blood of Jesus. This saving grace Ellen White offers black people is not offered to women by proponents of Last Generation Theology. No matter how qualified, how holy, and how spiritually gifted a woman might be, the argument that she may not be ordained always begins with the words, “But Eve was deceived.” Because women always bear the imprint of the deceived Eve, they are not and cannot be part of the Last Generation that perfectly embodies and represents Christ.

  1. The third theory is tricky, because it attempts to reject the first two theories and assert that men and women are equal. This third theory is neo-subordinationism, which holds that women are eternally subordinate to men in the functional, rather than ontological, sense. Proponents of Last Generation Theology are naturally inclined toward neo-subordinationism because of their low Christology. Neo-subordinationists hierarchically order the immanent Trinity and eternally subordinate the Son to the Father in the functional sense. Of course, the dichotomization into ontology and function is a philosophical parlor trick. Neo-subordinationism also erroneously presumes that there are divided wills in the Triune God. Ultimately, neo-subordinationism is a denial of the divinity of the Son, because if the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father, the Son does not possess all of the attributes of divinity the Father possesses, namely omnipotence and sovereignty. This is a divine model that purportedly explains why women are eternally subordinate to men.

Based on this theory of women, women can not and do not vindicate the character of God in the Last Generation, because that is not their role. That role is reserved for men. Leadership is a character trait of God. Leadership may not be exercised by women even if they were to possess such character trait. Consequently, women cannot ever embody and represent the character perfection of God, because that is not their role.

(Cfowler) #33

It is in the 3rd chapter of Christ’s Object Lessons, titled “First the Blade, Then the Ear”. It’s based on Mark 4:26-29.

26Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. 27Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. 28The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. 29And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”

At the end of the chapter she states this:

“When the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own."

So, she seems to conclude the parable with the idea that the fulfillment of the seed that was sown will produce people that perfectly reproduce Christ’s character and then (and only then apparently) will He come.

I see this as a huge addition to God’s word.

(Steve Mga) #34

Phil –
Did you ever see the Doug Batchelor sermon in his church about the 28
DEFECTS in women? And WHY they were LESS than men.
If he hadn’t been so serious, and all the women in the audience just
EATING IT UP, it would have been a JOKE. It was awful. And a slap
in the face to our Creator.

(Cfowler) #35

Mormons also believe that Christ adds his righteousness to our works, or best efforts, as you say. They say “after all that we can do”, then Jesus adds His righteousness.

Salvation isn’t a process…sanctification is.

Justification is an instantaneous work of God based solely on Jesus sacrifice. We are justified by our faith in what Jesus did.

(Elmer Cupino) #36

There are only two ways of achieving spiritual “perfection.” One is keeping a checklist (a moral conscience) of what to do to attain perfection while the other is to be born without the carnal drive to sin (requires no conscience). The former is limited to created beings, the later only to God. To proclaim that we can achieve a level spiritual perfection without the need of a conscience as Christ did is downright a lie that will equal the serpent’s original lie in the Garden fo Eden.

(Kim Green) #37

Thank-you for this psychological gem. Explains a lot.

(Carolyn Wesner) #38

I also noted that the 144,000 are virgin men, unsullied by contamination with women. Full disclosure here (as to my SS class before I stopping going at Revelation 14 week), I am not a man and I am not a virgin. Heavy sigh… it’s kind of hard to be SO left out, so second class, so un-savable as a female individual, just sayin’.

(Ray Smith) #39

Jeremy, “It’s Christ plus nothing” is a one-liner that can easily be misunderstood when taken out of context. I have no problem fitting all the texts you quoted into this statement.

One that jumps out at me is Titus 2:11. Of course our actions matter. We deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. My question is, do we do this by our own efforts to the best of our ability and let the righteousness of Christ fill in the short-fall? That’s not what Paul said. It’s the grace of God that brings us salvation and teaches us to deny all these things. It’s also done in His power. This grace has appeared to all people. Those who accept it live by grace. I live, I make decisions, I struggle with sin. I am crucified with Christ. I live, but it is Christ living in me that is the key.

I think we have to come to terms with the reality of the new birth. If Ephesians 4 and Romans 6 mean anything, our old self was crucified with Christ. Our old sinful carnal human nature is dead - gone by God’s power. There’s been a spiritual DNA transplant if you like. We rose with Christ to walk in newness of life. There’s something new, a new creation when we were born again. It’s a new heart created in the likeness of God in holiness and righteousness of the truth. I don’t know how else to understand Ephesians 4:23,24. Once I saw this new birth miracle, there were so many other passages that at last make sense. It’s like when we discovered justification by faith. It was everywhere.

I’m with Paul, once he discovered the reality of all this in his own life he worked harder for God than anyone. The only way to produce fruit in the Christian life is to let God do His complete work in our hearts. Our cross-bearing and all our good works and victories flow from Christ’s finished work on the cross and His work in our born again hearts. It’s all of grace. He lives in us which surely says something about the state of our new heart and the source of the power to live the Christian life.

There is more but I strongly recommend the books by Andrew Farley on this subject. Change is not easy, especially change of lifelong beliefs. None of us have all the answers, not even Ellen White. But I do believe that the Holy Spirit has so much more yet to teach us about the amazing gift of God’s grace that permeates every aspect of our Christian walk.

It’s Christ plus nothing. The love of Christ controls us is how Paul put it…

(reliquum) #40

In other words, works of the hand, and the head.
Sounds alot “mark of the beastish”, doesn’t it?

But the seal upon hearts is not mere deeds and doctrines, behavior and belief.

It is deeper. Analagous to the sanctuary-what is in your most holy place?

It is upon this that Jesus was judged, and we likewise.
Is there a seat for Love (aka God) on your mercy seat?