OOOOh I remember this from that quirky program HeeHaw.
Have you read Madeleine L’engle’s book, A Wrinkle in Time? A world of many dimensions…Mind-stretching.
I will get a copy and read it, sounds like a fun book.
In my opinion, we need to stop focusing on the word “perfection.” The book of Psalms reminds us that God’s way is in the sanctuary.
Our responsibility is to cease practicing sin, confess all known sins and keep our eyes focus on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. It is God’s responsibility to have us achieve the level of Christian maturity necessary to live through the time when Jesus ceases His meditorial work in the sanctuary. Additionally, it is God who declares one perfect, not us, because He is the only one that can judge accurately.
The Bible and SOP are clear that those Christians alive when Jesus comes will be spotless. Of course, the devil’s job is to deceive us into believing that this is not possible and that we will keep sinning until Jesus comes.
The people of the antediluvian world never saw rain and refused to believe that there would be a flood. We know the outcome. So it is with us today. Since we are not aware of any perfect person, except the ones mentioned in the Bible, we refuse to believe that according to the Bible and the SOP that this will be the state of the saints alive at Jesus’ second coming.
The sanctuary message as illustrated in the Old Testament clearly shows that if you did not confess your sins on the day of atonement you would be "cut off " from the people. The same applies to us living during the antitypical day of atonement; if we have any unconfessed sins left in the book of heaven when Jesus ceases His meditorial work, our names will be blotted out of the book of life. According to Revelation at that time, let him that is holy remain holy and he that is filthy remain filthy. This implies that the saved will have all their sins confessed and will no longer continue to sin; that is they will be sealed for eternity. (See the chapter in the "Great Controversy " on facing one’s life record.)
This state of being will be necessary to go through the time of trouble such as the world has never seen. The elect will have to remain faithful and loving when their faith and patience are tried such as never before.
Sadly, because of our confusion over the doctrine of salvation or righteousness by faith and rejection of the sanctuary message there is rejection of the state of maturity the last generation of Christians should achieve according to Bible and SOP.
Hopefully, rejection of this truth will not prevent anyone, as they keep their eyes focus on Jesus, from being numbered with the 144,000 or causes anyone to be unprepared to meet Jesus.
Our assurance for salvation is by grace through faith. As Marvin Moore so clearly stated, the solution on the confusion on perfection is “understanding that there are two kinds of perfection. One qualifies us to receive the assurance of salvation, and the other qualifies us to receive the seal of God. One happens at the beginning of the Christian life and the other at its end.”
At the time of justification, Christ’s character stands in place of ours and we are accepted by God as if we have never sinned. That’s perfection at the beginning of the Christian life. Character perfection is attained through the process of santification. As Moore puts it, during the process of santification, Christ’s character covers the imperfections in our characters as we overcome and continue to ask for forgiveness of those imperfections. As long as we continue to abide in Christ, we have nothing to fear.
I reject your brand of perfectionism also! I see circular reasoning in your post.
I would love to be introduced to someone who took “responsibility” and ceased practicing sin. Maybe the problem resides with the definition of “sin.”
What is your definition of “sin?”
Good question George. The nearest thing I have been able to figure out about sin from these perfectionists is this. If you and I do it, it’s a sin. If they do it, it’s only a mistake.
This description is something you would hear from someone who knows the rules of soccer (football), the uniforms, field and other aspects of the game but has never witnessed a game or played it themselves. Do you know what a stadium smells like, what the crowd sounds like, what the feel of the turf is like under your feet, the blood pumping through you as you run down the field, etc. We have to know what we are talking actually talking about in practical life terms not as an intellectual exercise or concept.
I am not sure what your point is other than stating a technical description and interpretation.
Perhaps our confession should be “Father forgive me for I am about to sin” in this way future failure is addressed (I am joking). The problem as I see it is that interpretations of this as you have done is 2 dimensional in nature. The conclusion you express is that anyone living post meditorial will have already reached a level of enlightenment where they no longer sin in thought, word or deed thus the blood of Christ is not needed any longer as a result. Given this conclusion however a paradox occurs that being the actual character will have already been perfected by some group of people prior to the end of Christ’s intercessory role. There are no examples of people achieving this except for Christ Himself. Additionally there is no specific promise of this or actionable instructions enabling the believer to achieve this. Indeed the definition of sanctification includes that it is the work of a lifetime and is where the paradox lies. In other words one cannot reasonably conclude that sanctification is both the work of a lifetime and is also attainable prior to that at the same time.
The problem isn’t that what the Bible says isn’t true it is that the way people have interpreted it is incorrect. There are other ways to view this that do not create a paradox or require extra-Biblical details.
That is one way of viewing this however your interpretation should not create a paradox, nor should it include magical thinking i.e. suddenly one is perfect without any objective method to having achieved it.
What leads up to this sinless state or state where the believer no longer requires the blood of Jesus?
Where is the promise that we will achieve a sinless (per LGT) state of existence prior to the second coming? (no circular references please)
What are the objective steps to achieve this which are both actionable and understandable in the Bible that allow one to achieve this? (no magical thinking or assumptions i.e. our responsibility is to cease practicing sin)
Please provide examples of sinless individuals that have practical steps included to confirm the conclusions you have drawn and how they achieved this? ( do not use cliches)
For a long time I believed in the Sanctuary doctrine and the IJ. It was Morris Venden who put a good spin on it for me, and made more it easy to accept. He talked about character perfection, but he did not embrace LGT.
But as time went on I couldn’t square it with scripture. I understand the OT sanctuary system and the Day of Atonement. The entire sanctuary system and it’s types of the ministry of Christ was OVER when Jesus cried out “It is finished” and died on the cross. At that moment the vail of the temple was torn from top to bottom and that system was done.
But Adventism comes up with atypical Day of Atonement starting in 1844 and ending when Christ finishes His work of judgement of those who claim him. I was sitting in a SS class the day before Easter, about 7 or 8 years ago, and the teacher was explaining that those who celebrate passover are refusing to accept that Christ did away with the sanctuary system. It suddenly dawned on me that Adventism doesn’t completely accept it either, because it promotes this Day of Atonement/IJ. When I said this I was immediately challenged, with he and I going back and forth for a few minutes. He finally said that EGW supported it, and to him that was enough. I got the last word, saying that those people who took so much stock in October 22, 1844, felt a need to save face, so some came up with this, with EGW’s blessing. So much for scripture, huh.
Hmm, the person who said this doesn’t understand what Passover is LOL. Easter as we know it today wasn’t practiced by the disciples or early church nor is it mentioned in the Bible as a holiday or commemoration at all. Conflating Passover as anti sanctuary is absurd and betrays a deep level of ignorance.
Obviously the DA/IJ should be examined with more scrutiny I think to avoid misunderstandings of the past that have become apparent. We have to grow in our understanding of such things and not assume that every detail is already defined with nothing new to learn.
I have no personal definition of sin. I use the definitions reflected in the Bible: sin is the transgression of the law and anything that is not of faith is sin. As a born again Christian, name one of the ten commandments that you can knowningly choose to continue violating and still expect to maintain a saved relationship with Christ and to be ushered into heaven at His second coming. I know of none.
If the sanctuary service was finished at the cross, why does the Bible say that Jesus is now our High Priest in heaven? That is because Jesus entered into the other phases of His ministry in the sanctuary, the one not built by man.
There are two phases to the atonement: what took place on earth and what is taking place in heaven. When Jesus said, “It is finished.” He was talking about His work on earth, or what happened in the courtyard of the sanctuary: dying for the sins of the world after living a perfect life.
According to Paul, if Christ had not risen from the dead, we would experience no forgiveness of sin. (I Cor. 15:17 says, "If Christ is not raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”) It should be noted that the resurrection occurred after Jesus uttered the words “It is finished.”
In response to your soccer analogy, as Christians we are saved by faith and we live by faith. I don’t have to experience everything in the Bible to believe that they occurred or will occur as stated. I have never seen Jesus and what He experienced on the cross but I believe that He exists and that everything at the cross occured as mentioned in the Bible.
I am not sure why you or anyone would conclude that after Christ ceases His meditorial work that we no longer need His blood or His robe of righteousness. Without this we are all lost regardless of any phase of the Christian journey or experience. We need His blood at all times.
Regarding biblical examples of people achieving the level of Christian maturity necessary for the last generation, what about Enoch? As a matter of fact, the SOP notes that the same level of holiness achieved by Enoch, will be the same achieved by the last generation.
As I stated earlier, God is the only one who can declare someone to be perfect. So I am not able to comply with your request.
Your response appears to be obtuse in nature.
So you are able to quote this, so what. Everyone in the forum knows this and can quote it as well. Like the soccer analogy you can quote the rules but are lacking a description of the actually experience. You are missing the point entirely of the questions. The devil himself can quote this and believes it is true as well. So what is the essential experience and actions the must be had to make this a practical reality?
That was my point.
It simply says that he walked with God and was taken. We have absolutely no other information about this and no means to understand what the exact circumstances were surrounding his situation. It simply states what happened, so what. That tells us nothing at all beyond the most basic event but nothing about the experience and thought process or anything else. Another example would be the rich young ruler man who other than his issue with wealth was evidently perfect in the eyes of God. Unfortunately he rejected the call of Jesus at that time and we have no other information about him. So none of these provide us anything useful and are merely anecdotal in nature.
It is as if asked the question “what time is it?” and you answered “daytime”. Your answer while true is completely useless and really wastes everyone’s time and at least to me says you don’t understand this in a practical sense and are just as clueless as the rest of us. What does this actually mean in practice?
No one here is denying what the Bible says, rather they are questioning the interpretation and the meaning of certain terms. Surely this won’t be a magical event as implied by LGT and that occurs outside the ability to recognize? If so why and how does that benefit anyone? Does God save people at the end like a chef cooks a meal with a secret ingredient? Do you think he is telling folks that “sorry it’s a secret and will ruin the surprise at the end if I tell you beforehand how to overcome”. That would be mocking everyone and would contradict his established method of dealing with people.
Seriously we need to understand this on a level deeper than a trite quotation or intellectual exercise that requires magical thinking. You can’t just tell people ‘well you just have to avoid sinning’ and then pat yourself on the back. There is no transformative power or enablement in this. You might as well tell them it is magic that will do the job if that is the level of thinking being applied.
I am going to try my best to respond to your comments and request by borrowing from the book “The Crisis of the End Time: Keeping Your Relationship with Jesus in Earth’s Darkness Hour” by Marvin Moore (former editor of Pacific Press).
We don’t know exactly what character perfection is and God has not told us. (But this I can safely say that it does not include cherishing and practicing known sin.)
According to The Great Controversy, p. 425, “While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of the penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth.”
To achieve this we have to do our part and God will do His part. God’s part is to convict us of our sins, to change our desires for those sins and to give us power to resist those sins. Our part is to say No to those sins by not committing them.
Abraham got to the promised land by putting one foot ahead of the other. We should do the same towards perfection. We put one foot ahead of the other by asking and allowing God to do His part and we cooperate by asking God for strength to change our behavior and by telling ourselves No to those behaviors. Once we have done our part, getting us to the great unknown called perfection is God’s responsibility. We should not worry about whether or not we are good enough. God will take care of that. God will not close probation until He has completed His work of cleansing us from all unrighteousness.
Our problem is that we are focusing on perfection that we can not claim for ourselves or for others.
And that happened because at that momento Jesus became our HIGH PRIEST. Technically He entered the Most Holy compartment of the temple. Basically He “occupied” the whole place, and there was no longer division (vail) between Him and us. He took us with Him into that most holy place.
And that happened at that very moment, not some 1,800 years later. The Book of Hebrews is clear about it. Adventists have trouble with this issue, most of them being completely confused about it because of what EGW wrote. She wrote a different story, one that can’t be supported biblically. It’s a blatant contradiction to the book of Hebrews. It’s baffling that they still keep defending that absurd idea, a true heresy.
This statement reveals a flaw in the understanding this issue. It’s not about “choosing.” It’s about “being able to.” Yes, some people certainly choose to sin (transgression of the law) but nobody can say that they no longer break the law. We may not want to break the law, but we still do it anyway because the inability to keep it perfectly is embedded in our human nature. Jesus said that even “thinking of it” is breaking the law.
Oh…, the “thinking”… This is when we get in trouble. Those perfectionists may think they can fool people with this issue of perfection. If thinking is part of sinning, as Jesus said it is, then that’s the end of the conversation: LGT is a heresy. This why it can’t be accepted by those who believe in the Bible.
It’s time for people to declare full allegiance to the Sola Scriptura principle. All this confusion has been generated because they make doctrine out of EGW’s writings. As if the Bible, the very Word of God, were not sufficient as a source of correct information about the great plan of salvation, the Gospel.
It is simply astonishing saying how much time Adventists waste with extra-biblical issues. Time being consumed discussing unbiblical “doctrines” (aka heresies). Just imagine walking into a church where the conversation spins only around the Bible; then compare it with the conversation in a typical SDA church. Been there, done that… It’s just
Covid may certainly “disappear miraculously” on one certain day , sure…, but not our sinful nature. Of course we can be pardoned on a certain moment (instant justification by faith) and we start a new journey of sanctification (that will be the work of our entire life). But sinlessness (Glorification) cannot happen before Jesus’ return - when He will dispense us His GRACE to complement whatever we were not able to achieve in our effort to be perfectly faithful.
I don’t understand why the LGTarians have difficulty understanding and accepting this process. Why do they undermine it? Don’t they see that they are deceiving others? What do they have to gain by spreading a heresy? Go figure!
Well, my Bible says that we all will be TRANSFORMED when the parousia takes place. Not before that. I am still to be shown a biblical declaration that,. “… those Christians alive when Jesus comes will be spotless.”
If at any moment I become “spotless,” when Christ returns I will have the right to be saved - because I am perfect! Why should a “perfect” human being be refused redemption and entrance into eternity? But this is not the case. We will be transformed by Christ, at the time of His return, when He takes us on a ride with Him into eternity.
Regarding the SOP…, yes, I may remember that it says something different. This is why I stick with what the BIBLE says. I’ve been Sola Scriptura for over 40 years now, after being Bible + SOP since my childhood until I was 30 years old.
You are once again quoting the rules of soccer and as a result are simply reciting LGT which is essentially magical thinking in nature.
The Bible is filled with examples of the people putting one foot in front of the other on a daily basis starting in Genesis with varying levels of success. There is nothing new about your description that people since Adam who have followed God haven’t done as part of their life’s work with only Enoch evidently achieving.
Based on analysis what you are saying is that since 1844 every follower of Christ must, with some secret sauce that enables them to, overcome all sin whether in thought, word or deed with no clue as to what it is. You have no real idea what the secret sauce is or life examples that would be instructive other than just say ‘NO’ to sin. What you are unable to describe is what is different about post 1844 that enables people to overcome in a way not heretofore possible. I believe however their must be something more to this than meets the eye and LGT is simply a misunderstanding of what God has intended. I don’t think God would have us ignorant or believe in magic, so we really need to rethink this. Seriously we need to rethink this and not just regurgitate the LGT level of thinking.
I can only surmise that you don’t have any better understanding and thank you for your replies.
This discussion is getting heavier, aka more interesting. Let’s take a break and see Donald Duck meeting his new Brazilian friend in Rio; by Walt Disney:
(Just click on “Watch on Facebook”)
Well said, George! You are a good bible student.
I am not sure who has claimed that character perfection applies to all those born-again Christians since 1844. This applies to those alive when probation closes, when all that is filthy let him be filthy still and all that is holy let him be holy still is pronounced in heaven.
Jude verse 24 says, “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.” Revelation 14:5 says about the 144,000 saints alive when Jesus comes, “And in their mouth was no guile; for they were without fault before the throne of God.
It’s very apparent to me that Christian perfection is not accepted because of confusion in people’s minds on the nature of sin and God’s plan on dealing with sin. God’s plan is made plain by the understanding of what took place in the sanctuary on earth and by what is taking place in the sanctuary in heaven. Unfortunately, this doctrine has been rejected by many.