End-Time Events and the Last Generation: An Interview with Dr. George Knight

(Frank Peacham) #204

“Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives.” 2 Pet 3

I don’t see that living “holy and godly lives” is the same as perfection or the “eradication of sin.” One has to read into the text something that is not there to arrive to this conclusion.

(Frank Peacham) #205

If one can do “all things,” then follow the command of Jesus: Raise the death, cure the sick in the hospitals as you carry no MONEY in your pockets.

“These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions:… As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons…9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff…”

(Frank Peacham) #206

Sure this is true. Yet EGW was opposed to works of fiction on multiple reasons. First, she believed ficion was wrong, even if it taught moral and good lessons. Why, it took time away from the Bible and other serious study pursuits. Fiction was often very emotional, as to the reason she disapproved of the civil war book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” She was opposed to novels of romance, because they unfit one for real life and distracted the mind from the Bible. Lastly, White was opposed to novels (fiction) believing it weakened the mind.

Not every SDA would support these reasons. I dare say the 99% of believers enjoy works of fiction in books and movies (Netflix). Today, church leaders are silent on these issue, no doubt due to their own love of fiction. It is sad the EGW set the church up, as well as other subjects she taught, for massive hypocrisy. This was on thing that Jesus seemed to hate and rebuked the hardest (see Matt 23).

Hypocrisy will always follow in the wake of all serious students of the Spirit of Prophecy. Unless you choose not to take EGW as an infallible unerring guide in all things she ever said or wrote.

(Kevin Paulson) #207

Finish the passage I cited, Frank. Verse 14 says, “Wherefore brethren, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”

Notice we have to be “found” by Him in this condition. We don’t get that way when He comes. And what is that condition? “Without spot.” The same language used by the same author to describe Jesus (I Peter 1:19).

Sounds like sinlessness to me.

(Kevin Paulson) #208

Moses very definitely taught salvation by faith alone. In fact, the apostle Paul quotes directly from Moses when defining righteousness by faith in Romans 10:6-8, which is a quote from Deut. 30:12-14.

Verse 14 clearly teaches righteousness by faith: “The word is nigh unto thee, it is in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.”

You seem to think salvation by faith alone and obedience being the condition of salvation are opposite positions. But in fact it was Jesus Himself who declared, just as clearly as did Moses, that obedience is the condition of salvation (Matt. 4:4; 7:21; 19:16-26; Luke 10:25-28), as did the apostle Paul (Rom. 2:6-10; 8:13; Heb. 5:9).

Too many falsely believe that salvation by faith alone means God does all the work of saving us, while we passively believe. That is not Biblical salvation by faith. Biblical salvation by faith requires confession, the forsaking of sin, and a willingness to forgive others as conditions for receiving divine forgiveness (II Chron. 7:14; Prov. 28:13; Isa. 55:7; Matt. 6:14-15; I John 1:9). What is more, the Bible is clear that both justifying and sanctifying righteousness (Rom. 3:24; Eph. 1:7; II Thess. 2:13), both Christ’s work for us and His work in us (II Cor. 5:21; Titus 3:5), are the means whereby men and women are saved.

What we need to do is to permit the Bible to define these theological constructs, rather than embracing certain constructs before consulting the totality of both Biblical and Spirit of Prophecy evidence. On the issue of salvation by faith alone, Scripture and Ellen White are in total harmony: justification and sanctification both represent the spotless righteousness of Jesus, received entirely by faith, but never without our diligent and proactive cooperation (Phil. 2:12-13l Heb. 11).

(Frank Peacham) #209

You known, it does not sound like sinlessness to me, as you would teach. This “spotless” condition is an act of faith–Justification by faith. We are accounted righteous by Faith Alone without works of the law, as if we never sinned. EGW says it better–

“If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ’s character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned.”

“By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s account. Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son.”

(Kevin Paulson) #210

First of all, Frank, the context of II Peter 3:14 is not about being declared righteous. Rather it is about holy conversation and godliness, and diligence in achieving the spotless condition described. That’s practical holiness, not a legal declaration, that is in focus.

As with the Bible, you take Ellen White out of context. The statement you quote from Steps to Christ, p. 62 continues, and says this:

"More than this, Christ changes the heart. He abides in your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connection with Christ by faith and the continual surrender of your will to Him; and so long as you do this, He will work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. So you may say, “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. So Jesus said to His disciples, “It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” Matthew 10:20. Then with Christ working in you, you may manifest the same spirit and do the same good works—works of righteousness, obedience.
“So we have nothing in ourselves of which to boast. We have no ground for self-exaltation. Our only ground of hope is in the righteousness of Christ Imputed to us, and in that wrought by His Spirit working in and through us” (SC 62-63).

 Notice how Ellen White is clear that the ground of our hope, the answer to legalistic boasting, is not to be saved by justification alone, but rather, to be saved by BOTH justification AND sanctification.  Both of these she clearly states to be the ground of our hope.

 The other passage you quote from Ellen White is clear that declarative righteousness "is accepted in place of man's failure" (1SM 367), not in place of his sanctified success.  Ellen White is s clear as the Bible, as the above statement from Steps to Christ makes clear, that "both our title to heaven and our fitness for it are found in the righteousness of Christ" (DA 300).

Not a particle of support in either Scripture or the writings of Ellen White can be found for the popular claim that the only perfect righteousness believers can have on this earth is a forensic declaration. That applies to past sins only, according to Ellen White:

“Christ bears the penalty of man’s past transgressions; and by imparting to man His righteousness, makes it possible for man to keep God’s holy law” (6BC 1092).

(dale) #211

So what you are saying is that Moses and the Old Testament writers taught that you were saved by works? If that what you are trying to say? Because it’s either you are saved by grace through faith or you can’t be saved. No one can be saved by works. It is impossible. Show me in the bible anywhere that it says that you can do
An action that makes God have to owe you salvation, because that’s what being saved by works claims. The new covenant promise that Paul stated in Hebrews 10:16 and Hebrews 8:10 are a direct quote from Jeremiah 31:33.

When pail states that the just shall live by faith in 1:17 and numerous places he was quoting Habakkuk 2:4.
Specifically Moses when he told the Israelites to look at the bronze serpent to be healed, was it the bronze serpent itself that saved the Israelites or was it faith in the word of God that healed them? Jesus himself made reference to that same serpent to parallel it to himself in John 3:14,15 with the serpent taught in type that the uplifted saviour is the source of salvation.

The New Testament uses heavily quotes from the Old Testament. Jesus the greatest preacher that ever lived, preached the gospel from the Old Testament. Think about it. The New Testament wasn’t even written until much after he went back to heaven.

(George Tichy) #212

This statement is in need of proper substantiation in order to be validated. Can you please add substance to it to prove it correct?

(George Tichy) #213

There are only two options, and everyone has to make their decision:
1 ) To be followers of the Bible, or
2) To be followers of Ellen White.

Cannot have both at the same time.

(le vieux) #214

OK, I was not understanding you, then. However, the two go together. The only reason that they need Mary to be sinless, is because of the false doctrine of Original Sin. In their way of thinking, the only way for Jesus to be sinless, is to have been born from a sinless mother. How Mary supposedly got to be sinless is a mystery, of course.

However, I’m not convinced that the belief that Mary was sinless, was universal for 1500 years. But it’s not worth arguing over.

(dale) #215

If Moses taught salvation through works and the New Testament taught salvation through faith, then 1 the bible contradicts itself and cannot be valid. If it cannot be valid there is no reason for faith in Christ. 2 if Moses teaches anything other than salvation through faith in Christ that must mean that there is another way to be saved outside of Christ. That is the heart of pagan religion that man can save himself. The expanded sacrificial service that Moses brought to the Israelites by God’s instruction taught salvation through faith in Christ alone. Who else was the lamb representing? From genesis 3:15 the world was looking for the promised saviour who was represented in the lamb. The sanctuary service taught faith in the messiah to come to save from sins. If Moses taught anything different then God is lying and we know that it is impossible for God to lie.

(Kevin H) #216

The Bible teaches the everlasting gospel. It was not Old Testament of Salvation by works, and the New Testament of Salvation by faith. The problem comes from us living in a culture where we read Paul’s words but not his ideas. Over the centuries since he wrote people have made interpretations of his words. The major events are the Church-Synagogue split of 135 AD, the views of St. Augustine, and the events of the 1500s with the rise of Protestantism. Yes, they were built on reading the Bible, especially Paul, but they also read into his words not only the ideas of 135 AD and Augustine, but also the events that they were experiencing. So today you get the typical Christian who reads the words of Paul, but who naturally reads into them the ideas of those other events and we thus miss his message and it’s connection to the gospel in Moses and the Old Testament. May I recommend the series “Acts: New Discoveries of the Ancient Church” by Dr. Jim Fleming: http://www.biblicalresources.net/product.cfm?product=37
Sadly we have read Paul in a vacuum independent from other writers of his time, and read into his words the ideas of other times. Lately a trend has started that is reading Paul in his historical context and taking out all the ideas that have been read into his words over the centuries.

We have a similar problem with Mrs. White. The ideas she wrote say about the novel, we read in a vacuum, we miss the fact that she was just one voice the included literary giants such as Nathaniel Hawthorn and Herman Melville. And these people were not saying “Do not read our books” but not realizing the historical context that is the idea that WE are reading INTO Mrs. White’s words. We also tend to read into her writings ideas of others such as the leaders who’s writings were very influential in say the so called “Historic Adventists” / “Last Generation Theology” who tends to have part of the truth that they tend to use against the rest of the truth.

In 1919 we had the great 1919 Bible conference. Sadly most of the delegates were on their way to Philadelphia for the great Fundamentalist Bible Conference of 1919. Some of the issues leading to this event was that the role of the Trinity was becoming more central to Adventist belief. Mrs. White was fighting against the idea of Fundamentalism, and people were interpreting her attacks on Fundamentalism as her gone into aposticy, no longer believing that she was a prophet. Her testimonies against people such as Elder Washburn (and Willie writing very similar letters to Elder Wilkinson) would get the reply of if Mrs. White’s mind was not polluted from people like Willie and Prescott and Daniels among others that she would not be writing these people testimonies, but instead she would be joining with them in their interpretation. I read letters and pamphlets in the White Estate vault from the early 1900s warning church members against her aposticy, and that if you wanted to know what she wrote that came from God to not read her directly (especially after 1888) but read her through Washburn and the others. While the 1919 Washington D. C. Bible conference looked like it was making progress when it closed, sadly Daniels and Prescott did not collect the tickets from Washington DC to Philadelphia and burn them. The members went up to Philadelphia to the great Babylonian Bible conference of 1919 and sadly returned home with the ideas from the Philadelphia Bible conference leaving behind the ideas from the Washington D. C. Bible conference.

This lead to the 1922 General Conference where there was a great coup d’état and the ideas that we are reading into Mrs. White took over.

Therefore despite having the writings of both Paul and Mrs. White, the actual ideas behind those writings have been forgotten as we read these later historical events into the words of both writers, leaving what Paul and Mrs. White meant way back in the dust.

(George Tichy) #217

I must assume that you never lived in other countries where Adventism taught SALVATION BY WORKS for decades.
Have you ever been to South America, for example?

(b l d) #218

George T
If so, have you ever known of anyone to actually achieve such a state?
The question that make the LGTarians jump out of any conversation!!! If they tried to answer, it would be self-incriminating. Therefore, they just run away!

I already answered that question, go back a few days and see…

(George Tichy) #219

“IFs” don’t substantiate your statement that Moses taught salvation by faith and not by works. I was asking for specific teachings delivered by Moses to the crowd he was leading. Where can we read it in a way that is clear that the Israelites were taught that salvation is by faith, in a way that we can understand it clearly as well, from Moses’ writings?

If you have the specifics I am asking for, please go ahead. If not, please just ignore the question in order to save your time.

(Frankmer7) #220

The whole idea of reaching a state of moral perfection that can change at any moment, means that one hasn’t reached a real state of moral perfection. You either are or you aren’t. Noah, described as perfect amongst his generation, is the same man that got drunk later on. Elijah lost faith and ran before he was translated. Moses missed out on the promised land because of his rage, but was then resurrected. To thus speak of arriving at a static state of perfection is something that no one on this thread has and can support. The bible doesn’t support it.

The emphasis needs to be placed where the majority of the NT places it… on a real faith that expresses itself in love. On a faith that causes us to look away from ourselves and how we’re doing, and to look up to Christ and out to others and their well being as well as our own. A faith that is truly outward and relational… the meaning implied by covenant in the first place. If we are occupied in such positive, practical and relational living, we will examine our lives appropriately, not through morbid introspection, but through how we can better express the love that’s been shown to us. That’s no easy, soft out. It’s God’s highest calling.

But, this can all be done in the context and assurance that we already belong to Christ, that the victory he won is already sufficient to secure our belonging to him and to the family of God. He has exhausted the power of sin, evil, and death, by his own death and resurrection from the dead. He is Lord. We can have faith in him and this royal good news, as we seek to follow him, and live as he continues to show us.



(Frank Peacham) #221

That’s the big issue about EGW. We all can read her differently. We sure can. It is easy to arrange EGW passages to line up with our theological vision. You can list supporting quotes about a need for a change of heart before Justification, claiming to be correct in your intrepartion. And God bless you in your efforts. I can list quotes that teach how we can be justified by faith alone without works, an area that Luther would agree. God will bless me in my understanding.

My point is: all who have faith are justified, perfect victory over sin is not required for this process to be intact. There is no no reason that Jesus should delay his coming waiting for us to be perfect. Why? For Christ Righteousness covers us as if we have not sinned (EGW says).

(Frank Peacham) #222

It is wise to remember that Paul is the prime source, not for Hebrew/Torah revival, but for a bold new faith. Paul shook the foundations of Judaism, forever altering it. He repudiated circumcision, in spite of the clear fact that God demanded it, holding a knife to Moses throat. He removed food restrictions saying “nothing is unclean of itself.” He failed to enforce Sabbath by saying “let everyman be persuaded” (as an Adventist I wish he had been specific in stressing the importance of the 7th day). His ultimate conclusion was that there no long a distinct Hebrew or Gentile, now we are all one in Christ. Hebrew faith is merged into an entirely new faith. Paul was a radical Jewish revisionist. Neither Peter, James nor John made any effort to reform Judaism.

To Paul’s credit, from SDA perspective, he does declare that the law is good, its not the problem—we are. Yet Paul’s works of the flesh, list of sins, are mostly ethetical , not ceremonial.

I chose to employ the plain reading of Scripture. It is so evident that Moses saw theology as black and white. If you obey…and If you rebel or disobey… It is hard, very difficult to find Pauline Justification by faith in Deuteronomy. In his opening chapter Moses makes it clear that rebellion can make God very angry, so as not even to listen to your prayers for forgiveness.

"Instead, you again rebelled against the LORD’s command and arrogantly went into the hill country to fight. 44 But the Amorites who lived there came out against you like a swarm of bees. They chased and battered you all the way from Seir to Hormah. 45 Then you returned and wept before the LORD, but he refused to listen" Dt 1

(Frank Peacham) #223

Read Moses for yourself. If you can find Judtification by faith, without works, in many places I commend you.

“And now, Israel, listen carefully to these decrees and regulations that I am about to teach you. Obey them so that you may live, so you may enter and occupy the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you. Just obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you.’ DT 4