Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Settled into the truth; the views

This Saturday Oct. 03, I attended a meeting put on by Jonathan Gallagher here in Olympia. It was a stimulating dialog which covered a wide range of ideas centered upon the character of God. What was striking to me was the use of the term “settled into the truth so that we cannot be moved.” I did mention that I thought the statement was rather nebulous and Gallagher agreed that it all depends on what we mean by truth.

As I can’t adequately express the context the phrase was used in the meeting I will give a couple of examples from followers of the Larger View so you can get an idea of the usage as it is not unique and seemed to be readily accepted by the others at the meeting. Something they have heard and agree with before it appeared. I have, when thinking about it been a lot more skeptical about its usage since it seems to describe the same attitude that a fundamentalist would have. The truth being those 5 fundamentals and they won’t be shaken out of those fundamentals and those fundamentals define their Christian religion. As we will see of the two sides I will quote, neither side is using it as some fundamental belief rather it is a perception of what is to happen in the future.

First some examples:

Brad Cole A Phone Call From God :

God wants us to mature, to grow up, and to become settled into the truth predominantly about one thing: what he is like in character. And for this high ideal he sends the Holy Spirit who is with us and within us and with no less intensity that Jesus’ presence with his disciples! (Also found on

Tim Jenning’s comment on

The HS brings only what Chirst directs Him to bring according to Christ. Thus Christ's intercessions are in the believer and He stops His intercessions once all are either so settled into the truth they cannot be moved or so settled into the lie they cannot be moved. The reason intercession ceases is because we are fully healed and don't need it any more.

Gene Autonomous People article:

God wants us to be so settled into the truth that we cannot be moved. (Romans 14:5; Eph. 1:13) This means we must be able to think through all situations as if we had the mind of Christ in us. (1 Cor. 2:16)

Facebook discussion of the lesson quarterly:

God’s friends settle into the truth that God really is just like Jesus The mind is healed of rebellion and distrust The character is re-shaped in the image of Jesus Union and selfless love among those settled into the truth about God’s character and principles The lies about God’s character are fully and forever exposed and defeated Peace, love, freedom, and an eternity of face-to-face companionship with God

I suppose there is a theme there, but really it does look to me a bit nebulous as people are attempting to interpret Ellen White from the Larger View perspective which is that we will see God as worthy to be trusted and we can’t be moved from trusting God. Why that attitude of trust is expected and not the Christian reality since the time of the New Testament I don’t really know other than to make it fit in with a prediction of a future sealing by God. A sealing act which is the Holy Spirit who has been sealing Christians for generations now.

These quotes (both Larger view and Traditional) are all found from a simple Google search of the term "settled into the truth". They are all related to Adventists it seems this is a somewhat unique Adventist view. I chose that phrase because it is most similar to the actual Ellen White quote. A quote you will not find in any Ellen White book published in her lifetime, we find a section of the quote in the Adventist Bible Commentary vol. 4 but I will give you the most complete quote I can find:

From Manuscript Release No. 56 - Compilation on Objectives of Our Medical Work and the College of Medical Evangelists

The leaders in the sanitarium have mingled with unbelievers, admitting them to their councils, more or less; but it is like going to work with their eyes shut. They lack the discernment to see what is going to break upon us at any time. There is a spirit of desperation, of war and bloodshed, and that spirit will increase until the very close of time. 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, [250] 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, pp. 3-6. ("Medical Missionary Work in Southern California," November 20, 1911.) {1MR 249.2}

As used in the Bible Commentary:

(Rev. 7:2.) Seal Is a Settling Into Truth.--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). {4BC 1161.6}

The traditional Adventist has a different view of the quote. You can see from some by context where they use the term “settled into the truth” they generally have the view that this is talking about last generation perfection though I can’t show that for all the quotes I am giving. A few quotes:

From Herbert Douglas The Jesus Difference

This is why Jesus remains in the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary today! He is still working with the willing, He want them so settled into the truth that they will never be moved to say “No’ to God ever again. They will be so settled into the truth that their habits of mind and body will be as predictable, as natural, as habitual as blinking their eyes3. Habitants of unfallen worlds can trust them! Angels can trust them! The whole universe will endorse God’s judgments—that these willing loyalists from Earth are safe to be given eternal life.

Russell Williams Enmity part 2 etc

The latter rain seals the grain..intellectually and spiritually settled into the truth so that you cannot be moved...every position of truth that we now hold we will be tested. knowledge = your patience possess ye your soul (Luke 21:19).

Last Generation Theology

Cleansing in Heaven Connected to Cleansing on earth Neither Luther nor the Millerite Adventists living in 1844 finished the Reformation or understood the angel messages of Revelation 14 and 18. The cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary is connected to the cleansing and purifying of lives on earth. The sanctuary is cleansed when God has a people who have become so settled into the truth that they will never again be moved to doubt Him or to disobey known duty. The torrent of sin that has needed forgiveness is dried up. Christ’s presence remains with those who have chosen Him. The Holy Spirit empowers obedience even after the ministry of forgiveness is closed. (also found on

Robert W. Olson and Ellen White, The Crisis ahead:

Before the sealing of God’s people is finished, what glorious event will take place?

“Before the work is closed up and the sealing of God’s people is finished, we shall receive the outpouring of the Spirit of God” (1SM 111)

“Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost.” (5T 214)

[I will note here that the above book actually lists Ellen White first but I suspect she really had no say in where her quotes were placed, thus I give her second billing]

Abreast of Truth Advent Perspective

PRESENT TRUTH TODAY REVEALS for us a new and higher experience than has ever before been comprehended. It has often been called the "sealing truth," because those who enter into the experience of the taking away of sin are "settled into the truth so that they can never be moved." 30 "When Christ comes He takes those who have purified their souls by obeying the truth...." "But before that time shall come, everything that is imperfect in us will have been seen and put away." 31

Moreover, the eternal security of all those who have gone before, the faithful of all ages, is dependent upon the victory of this last generation; for "...these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." Hebrews 11:39,40. This is the truth that unites the whole church of God from the beginning of time ~ "the church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven." 32

There are still a few more on the Last generation perfection side but you get the idea and the last one is pretty clear. I have to reject the last generation perfectionists, they teach a doctrine that the Bible no where teaches and I have to reject the Larger View’s idea as well because there is no need for some future settling into the truth when it has been going on for generations. I also have to reject the idea of some future sealing by the Holy Spirit distinct from God’s actions of sealing us from the New Testament times.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Cor 1:21-22 NIV)

Am I so settled into the truth that I can’t be moved? No, because I am not certain of the truth, there are very few things I know about any theology that I can verify as “true.” There are things I believe but I expect I am open to believing something else should facts or reason or evidence takes me there. I do believe that God has to be trusted if He is really God, if He is really love; because any other kind of God is too capricious too arbitrary to be worshiped freely. If that is the truth I am settled into then I can accept the idea of being settled into truth. If God is not good than to me He is not God. But I still battle with doubt, with faith, with what I should or should not do and what I do and do not do and behind all of that is the why. What do I believe and why do I believe it, how do I explain the things that make us sometimes declare God a tyrant because of ancient stories told by well meaning God loving people.

Ultimately there are a lot of Christians who feel settled into their particular truth about God which I will never be able to accept. They won’t be moved by reason or facts, I don’t doubt their salvation but I do doubt their commitment to truth and their ability to present a real God of love to the world. It does make an interesting question however, what are you settled into? Maybe my favorite Bible verse will express what I am settled into better than my own words:

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:2-3 NIV)

Click to read more on the latter rain

No comments: