Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Saturday, September 16, 2006

One of the distinctions of living in this area of Washington state is that we are in close proximity with some of the ultra traditionalist. The folks who subscribe to “Our Firm Foundation”.
Occasionally some of them wander off the reservation and meet with regular SDA’s as happened to our Sabbath School class once again today. Now I have no idea how many Davidian’s Have associated themselves with Hope International I merely use Hope International as a link to the most prominent of these ultra traditional Adventists.

Today we heard from the Davidian’s how important it is since we are living in the time of the Investigative Judgment to complete our sanctification so that we can stand without an Intercessor. What is disturbing to me is that in today’s Adventist church it is not only the ultra traditional Adventist who accept and promote this last generation complete sanctification more commonly referred to as last generation perfection. We find it equally in the more Progressive side of Adventism in those who teach the Larger View atonement model. In the notes for Kenneth Hart’s lesson on the Pre-advent Judgment he writes:

20. “Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads–it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved–just as soon as God’s people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already; the judgments of God are now upon the land, to give us warning, that we may know what is coming” (MS 173, 1902). S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 4, p. 1161; LDE 219; Maranatha 200; FLB 287; 1MR 249,250; 10MR 252. What is it that we need to be fully convinced about? Could we, before the second advent, be so convinced of the truth about God and about the devil that we would never be tempted to rebel again? Would that prepare us for the second coming?

In his lesson study he went farther then the mere posing of the questions above.

At minute 105.38 in his lesson study Kenneth Hart says:

“When we get to the place where we fully trust God we’ve looked at all the evidence we trust Him completely then presumably we will have reached the place where it will be possible for us to live without sinning and certainly that should be the goal…”

You will hear the same idea at Tim Jenning's Sabbath School Class for the lesson on the Pre-Advent Judgment and you can read the same ideas at

What is this last generation sinless perfection based? We see it in the Larger View Adventist, and we see it in the ultra Traditionalist Davidian Adventists and on the Atoday Website we can read the Traditional Adventist Kevin Paulsen defend this eschatological view.

Paulsen writes:

The same is true with the issue of character perfection. Dr. Ford, and all readers of this website who have read my article, will note that I didn’t use a single Ellen White statement—much less quotes from M.L. Andreasen or any other source—in defense of the belief that Christians, especially in the final generation, will perfectly reflect the image of their Lord. All I have used, in my article and in this reply, are texts from the Bible, and have cited COL 69 only as corroborating evidence. I encourage all readers of this site to look up every text I have quoted in support of Christian perfection, and all those Ford has quoted in denial of it. See for yourselves who, in fact, has distorted the Biblical evidence.

Desmond Ford in his response said:

None of the Bible passages Kevin quotes teach that "God is waiting for the perfecting of Christian character by the final generation of believers."

Ford continues later by saying:

Kevin has called his teaching on 1844 " a fundamental teaching of the Advent faith." But it was not "discovered" until 1857, and was never numbered among the "landmarks" of the early Sabbath Conferences (1848-50). While you have not quoted M.L. Andreasen , Kevin, your theology does come from him. It was he who invented the heresy that only when SDA's were perfect would Christ return. That heresy our church long ago rejected. I recommend you read The Sanctuary Doctrine, pp. 218-219 authored by Roy Adams.

As we can see from the quotes from Kenneth Hart, his Larger View of character perfection is not primarily drawn from Andreasen. I would doubt that Andreasen developed it on his own but just like Hart and others it is a view produced from the pen of Ellen White. I can also tell Dr. Ford from my own experience and my own research the SDA church has not rejected this type of Character perfection, it is taught commonly throughout the SDA church. True you don’t find it in Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions On Doctrine or in the Seventh-day Adventists Believe ... A Biblical Exposition of 27 Fundamental Doctrines but it remains ever present.

It is produced by those who have instituted a view of Ellen White which incorporates the idea of a generation living sin-less prior to the Second coming, those who are able to stand without an Intercessor after the Investigative Judgment has closed (close of Probation in SDA parlance). It is that presupposition which enables Paulsen to quote Bible verses which have no relation to last generation perfection as if they are proof of such last generation perfection. The verses Paulsen uses have never in the history of Christianity been thought of as speaking of last day perfection prior to 18th century Holiness Movement. Yes take the time to look up the verses Paulsen uses don’t believe his application, test it yourself read the context around those verses and you will see just how distorted his view is. Those of you who think that this quarter's lessons are not important do not realize the massive implications that are associated with it. Goldstein has said how the Investigative Judgment stands as important to the doctrines of the SDA church and in that he is 100% correct. However it is a web of confusion as we have seen so far and we are not done yet.

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