Salvation and the End Time

A weak soteriology is inextricably linked to a low Christology. Whenever you see in Seventh-day Adventism uncertainty regarding the truth about justification solely by grace through faith alone, the underlying problem is anti-Trinitarianism. Those who believe in Last Generation Theology also believe that Jesus possessed a sinful human nature and that the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father. All three heresies are linked together. To claim that our sins can delay Christ’s coming undermines His omnipotence and sovereignty. To claim that we must be sanctified to the level of perfection in order to be saved undermines and marginalizes the efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross.

For many years, I thought that Seventh-day Adventist pleas for perfectionism were merely extreme but prophylactic attempts to combat antinomianism. We do not want to entertain the notion that we who are justified solely by grace through faith alone are free to commit sin. But appropriate ways to teach obedience are different than extreme ways to teach obedience. I also thought that Seventh-day Adventist pleas for perfectionism were merely appropriate exhortations, which recognize by their very nature that we will not always succeed. For example, as we appropriately exhort students to get every answer correct on the test, we do not suggest by such exhortations that the students have failed if they get a few answers incorrect. To recognize that sanctification is the work of a lifetime does not negate the need for sanctification of those who paradoxically have been declared by God to be righteous.

Only recently have I understood that Seventh-day Adventist pleas for perfectionism are manifestations of anti-Trinitarianism expressed by those who possess a perverted notion of who God is. Arius was not only an anti-Trinitarian but an exponent of the weak soteriology we often find in Seventh-day Adventism. And anti-Trinitarianism has been surging in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, particularly during Ted Wilson’s presidency. He is fundamentally an anti-Trinitarian, as evidenced by his Neo-Restorationist tendencies, his fondness for “historic Adventism,” and his opposition to women’s ordination, which is undergirded by the anti-Trinitarian theory of male headship.

After the Council of Ariminum, Jerome writes that the whole world groaned and was astonished to find itself Arian. We can similarly observe after San Antonio that the Seventh-day Adventist Church groaned and was astonished to find itself anti-Trinitarian. Until we come to an understanding of the biblical doctrine of the Trinity, we will continue to be confused and uncertain about our salvation.


Colleen took the time and effort to point out why the guideline was misguided from a biblical perspective. Indoctrination under those terms I will accept.

1 Like

Colleen Tinker is indeed confused, and her comments on the lesson reflect that mindset. Perhaps the pic they have reflects that confusion. But her one valid point in the article reveals the problems the lesson editor and author have with trying to appear orthodox Adventist, and yet still introduce his/their own particular brand of “it was all done at the cross salvation” “and there is nothing we can do kind of salvation.” There is a fine line between truth and error and the lesson editor has been walking that line for years.

While there is nothing we can do to merit salvation or save ourselves, whatever term you are comfortable with; but there is much more to salvation that our past being forgiven and accepting Jesus in place of our past. Salvation depends also on our willingness to give control of our life over to Jesus. This means we must be willing to walk as Jesus walked in every situation in life. And like John said in 1 JOHN 1:7 - 2:3 and 1 JOHN 3:6, 8 if we really abide in Jesus (and I do not mean in the modern wishy washy version of it where it is all talk), then these verses ring true.

John here explicitly tells us that we can abide in Jesus so that we will hate sin enough that we “sin not,” but the apostle also recognizes that so many times we let go of that relationship and then we sin, thereby needing “the one and only Advocate” with the Father afresh. Far too many Adventists read articles and modern Bible versions that tell them they were saved (past tense - the modern versions I refer to use the wording “have been saved”), all the while we are losing the long established truth that salvation is an ongoing process, a moment by moment process until our probation, or the probation spoken of in Revelation, closes.

“There is nothing you can do to earn your salvation” is the common catch cry. And even in its right setting, this is a half truth. But like all half-truths, it is often said to convey an error. How I wish as a church we understood as we did decades ago, that our salvation was won through the life and death of our dear Savior at the cross. And I do mean both life and death. That salvation He now offers freely: but in His own words, there is a cross to bear (MARK 8:34), and a battle to be fought against self (1COR 15:31) and the promise of power beyond our imagination (ROM 8:1-4; EPH 3:20; 2 COR 5:17. This was the true gospel Paul preached and read about in ROM 1:16.

I want that gospel don’t you. All other “gospels” will deceive and in many cases lead to eternal loss. Jude sums the entire gospel plan in his final thoughts in his epistle:

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Vs 24)

But lest we get the sense that Jude has his wires crossed, he gives the cause, the means, the source of power, the ultimate aim of a spirit-filled life in his verse 24 in the focus of verse 25.

“To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Keep our eye focused on Jesus and His promised power to overcome in His name, and we are on a sure foundation.

While Tinker points out some flaws in the lesson author’s reasoning, I discovered through her comments she has lost the true gospel, and now clings to a form of gospel so common among Pentecostal and Evangelical brethren. This is sad.

“But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds” - James 2:18

1 Like

She has also shown her contempt for the SDA Church by her comments over the years. So, she will grasp at any straw to try and discredit the church–sort of like many of those who post here. I quit reading Proclamation a long time ago. Their only purpose is to disparage the SDA Church and attack its doctrines. Each magazine is variation on a theme. They are the blind leading the blind.

I went to a church years ago where unbeknownst to me Walter Veith was the preacher. I did not have a good impression of him, I thought what he said was very strange. But recently, I looked online to see what he says about the Reformation. The readers here may be surprised that he has (I think) a correct view of justification. Though he teaches elsewhere things that are rightwing Adventism and quite conspiratorial (in my thinking), he does not believe what Jimmy and George Davidovich say on R by F (similar to the Catholic Tridentine view). I suggest you watch at least his first two videos on the Reformation. I don’t expect to agree with him on everything, but I do so far (into video three).

I’ve watched his entire series on the Reformation, and thought it was excellent, as are most of his lectures. But don’t expect any agreement with his views from most denizens of Spectrum

I was not familiar with Tinker at all, and as directed went through her spiel hoping for elements of truth. They were there, but so overshadowed by the not-so-truth that the whole was disappointing in the least. Like I gather from what you have written, I will not be spending much time there at all, if ever again.

1 Like

Absolutely! Christianity with its sleeves rolled up. As EGW says, we need to have a faith THAT works, so there is no confusion about faith and works.

Couldn’t agree more.

My cousin gets Proclamation magazine, and pawns them off to me when she’s done with them. When I first left the church I thought they were okay, but frankly I think it focus too much on the negative, and I quit reading them. I have moved on from that phase. I see little redeeming value in all that continual spleen venting.

1 Like

That was the title of Morris Venden’s 1981 morning watch book “Faith that works”. I found it to be a very timely book in my new found journey on righteousness by faith when I came back to the church in late 1980. Venden had it right. The Old Guard of perfectionists never did like Venden. @kevindpaulson even wrote a book that did a hatchet job on Morris Venden.

In as few words as any here can think…how does one present assurance of salvation?

I don’t perceive that as the case at all. There are so many SDA people who are hostile to any perfectionism /LGT/sinlessness all over the place.
Fertile ground? I find that there is Bermuda and crab grass choking out any sprout of perfectionism at churches.

The hatchet job was on Claudia Burrow.


Belief and confession that Jesus is Lord and Savior, that He was raised from the dead, then we have salvation.

What would you say?

Can’t have our “star” pastor getting tarnished. Disgusting!

Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one womb-man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

1 Like

Ken, I read your missive and concluded its length doesn’t compensate for its apparent presumption that God’s law is the ten commandments. Is Paul including you when he writes to “you who want to be under the law”?


Still listening to Walter Veith on the Reformation. I find I agree with him, and I did not expect it. And out of fairness you all might listen to him. Because here, the right wing who push perfectionism state that justification means make righteous, but Walter gives what I think is the Reformation position. And he is different in this to Kevin Paulson, the Standish brothers, Elder Pierson and a number of others who post here.

I also think that those who are interested in the gospel would find it interesting to hear Walter on the article of justification. I think you would be a surprised as I am.

It is also amazing to me that the right wing who insist that justification means make righteous and (to me) thus espouse the Tridentine (Catholic) view don’t seem to recognise that Walter is (in my opinion) giving a contrary opinion to theirs.

Walter also says we should differ on ideas and not attack each other, and this also is a good idea.

I occasionally come onto Spectrum and dislike intensely the arguing that goes on, often unChristian. I noticed that some who attack are Walter fans, and so I thought I should go back and listen to him. I chose his videos on the Reformation and I was surprised to hear what he said.

I expect when it comes to the investigative judgment we would be poles apart, and that Walter like some others in good and regular standing may believe in the gospel and the IJ (which to some of us seems an impossible mix).

I would like comments if anyone has the time.

They start at 970.