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How Adventism Ended the Gospel Wars — 13 Comments

  1. Thanks for this, Mike. I wish someone had shared this with me 30 (or so) years ago. I was doing the classic "now I'm saved, now I'm not" Arminianism with a heavy dose of perfectionism thrown in. My SdA life looked excellent on paper but I could not have been more miserable. Thinking I had to be perfect and finding myself to be woefully ill-equipped to perform this (even with the help of Christ), I eventually walked away and, quite logically I believed, became atheistic in my view of the world.

    Years later, Jesus introduced himself to me and then... I got it. I somehow knew immediately that if I kept my eyes fixed on Him, I had nothing to fear... except not keeping my eyes fixed on Him. A short time after that, I studied the sanctuary and investigation judgment and found myself nodding my head enthusiastically as I read. This was the God I know and love.

    So many blessings in this article... here is one that especially resonated with me.

    "The way God is balancing these three elements is by showering every grace imaginable on each person while they are alive, no matter what they do or how many times they take His grace for granted."

    We all know that it is by grace that we are saved (Eph. 2:8). The imagery of God showering us with the very thing by which we are saved... I don't have the vocabulary to describe the joy.

    Thanks again, Mike. Praise God.

    • Thanks Jeffrey, I'm glad the article was helpful. Yes, we've all been there. It's too bad that sometimes the very doctrine that is suppose to help us ends up hurting us.

    • If there is one verse that could be used to identify the most important
      features, or aspects, about the Kingdom of God. What verse might that be?

      • Rom 14:17,18
        For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by man.

  2. Where exactly does the Day of Atonement service of Lev 16 speak of Investigative Judgment? Is it the *affflicting* of the soul and resting?. But those seem to testify of the ministry of Jesus, of the Spirit, the New Covenant. Jesus and His apostles came preaching *Repent*(affliction) for the kingdom of Heaven is come. This ministry called the people into *rest* as Christ had himself entered into rest in His ministry on earth. The Day of Atonement is a Sabbath, it is the entire ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the ministry of reconciliation, Christ being High Priest and King (Zech 6:12,13) - from His baptism by John to the end. Is this concept according to Scripture?

    • Hi, Kenny. I think that we may here be looking at an example of the difference between evidence and demonstration (i.e. proof positive). Personally, I see lots of evidence in Leviticus 16 to connect it with both the judgment scene of Daniel 7 and the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8, as well as its involving a work of investigation.

      First of all, there is the symbolism of the ceremony itself. To my mind, a yearly Day of Atonement for Israel would certainly suggest as an anti-type a one-time final blotting out of the sins of God's people. It stands to reason that each individual must first be examined in order to determine whether or not he has indeed put his faith in the blood of the atonement (and the person of Christ) before his sins can be permanently erased -- which then means that he is now saved once and for all (the "subjects" in the covenant agreement have all been removed, in real estate parlance). And yes, I do believe that the call for afflicting one's soul is evidence that such a scrutiny of one's case is indeed taking place. This does not take away from the ongoing repentance that characterizes the Christian's life, but it does suggest an especially solemn time.

      I find the role of the two goats rather fascinating in this context. The Lord's goat is slain, and its blood is used to make final atonement for the sins of God's people. It takes no deep insight for me to see the application of this. Finally, once our forgiveness has thus been obtained, our sins are placed on the head of the scapegoat which is then banished to die in the wilderness. In the fate of Satan during and following the thousand years, as prophesied in the book of Revelation, I can see a fulfillment of this.

      We could never have excused our own sins by saying, "The devil made me do it." Neither does God excuse our sins, but He forgives them through the blood of the atonement. With the guilt and blame thus removed from over our heads, the devil who worked so hard in order to get us to commit those sins is now rightly assigned all of the remaining blame for them, and he meets his well-deserved fate, while God's people are delivered from his accusations.

      Thinking of the Day of Atonement in this way, I find it to be a beautiful ceremony depicting an even more beautiful reality to come.

    • Repent is a positive word in my mind. In greek it is metanoia, to change the mind, have a new perspective.

      John the Baptist was calling for the people to believe God again, and not trust themselves. Repentance happens when the Holy Spirit calls to our heart and gives us another way of escape from our stubborn mindset, another excuse to believe.

      As far as judgement, entering into the most holy place shows an act of decision is about to happen. This must be preceded by evidence acted upon by the priest who brings the blood. The blood on the horns of the altar of incense which sat there all year gets moved into the MHP on that one day of the year, Yom Kippur. Thus IJ happens in that process, since the actual penitent sinner remains in the courtyard or even outside the Court. His life (blood) moves to judgement before the throne. Follow the blood in Lev 16, that is the ministry of Jesus in your behalf. Trust him to do all he can in your favor. Dan 7:22, Rev 20:6

  3. To believers there is Life only in God’s word; there is no life in a denomination’s creed or doctrines.
    I, too, believed that Christ’s dual title role were separated by time until I read for myself God’s word on the matter.
    “Righteousness and judgment are the foundation of your throne...” (Ps 89:14; 97:2; 99:4)
    “The Lord abides forever; He has established His throne for *judgment*, and He will judge the world in righteousness ...”(Ps 9:7-9)
    “Give the king your judgments, O God and your righteousness to the king’s son. May He judge your people with righteousness and your afflicted with justice.”(Ps 72:1-4) Israel had perverted justice against the poor and widows etc.
    God had first introduced *Judgement* to Israel with Moses who was advised by his father-in-law under inspiration.(Dt 18:13-16,19-26) Then the people asked for a king: “Appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.”1Sam 8:5-9.
    “So give Your servant(Solomon) an understanding heart to *judge* Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours.”(1Kg 3:9) “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with uprightness and guide the nations on the earth.”Ps 67:4-7
    God says, “But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My Holy Mountain... Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations(Gentiles) as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession.”Ps 2:6-8 This is the investiture or inauguration that Daniel and Revelation describe.
    Ps 110: “The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for your feet. The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying “*Rule* in the midst of Your *enemies*... You are a *priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek ... He will *judge* among the nations...”
    So we see the rule and administration of the king-priest is *Judgment*.
    Zech 6:12,13 “...Behold a man whose name is Branch... and He will *build the temple of the Lord*. Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus He will be a *priest on His throne*, and the counsel of Peace will be between the the two of them.” That is between priesthood and kingship. Peace is accomplished by the combination of both, judgment to righteousness and mercy - Melchizedek order.
    An Investigative part of Christ Judgment or Administration has to be treated in the light that God does not treat Christ’s Offices as *distinct* as we consider it and the administration of the offices are not separate in time.

    • Kenny, we're not here talking about judgment in general but about a specific type of judgment that differentiates between two types of people who have experienced a genuine salvation. Some of them abide in Christ while others don't and end up lost in the end. It's something you have to believe in once you realize Once Saved Always Saved is not Biblical. The article provides better grounds for the assurance of salvation than what either Calvinists or OSAS supporters have.

  4. Many recent articles reflecting the Adventist position show that we are neither Arminian nor Calvinist. Yes we ascribe more to Arminian theology but differ on Sanctuary and Nature of Christ, which steer us closer to the middle. We have security in Christ's work in Heaven as our perfection not OSAS. We claim his works of righteousness as our own (lamb of God offered in courtyard) but understand it must be moved into the temple not built with hands. There in Heaven we accumulate evidence but not to prove our good deeds exceed our evil ones (Roman Catholic theology) nor to justify our position as worthy of being in Heaven. The books only prove to the lost what we chose. Our works were sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit in us, we were dead (Gal 2:16, Romans 6:7) and claimed no part of those works as our justification. Our sanctification is evidence of our saved condition, and is put upon books in Heaven. The book of life is not a book of works, it is the cross-check of our justified life, that we died to let Jesus live in us. My acceptance puts my name in the book of life, not the accumulation of a set of good works found in another book.

    The limitation of the Arminian position is that we have a see-saw experience of saved/lost as we choose things other than a perfect God would want. We have no assurance. But the Adventist solution gives assurance in Christ, while still allowing growth in character. It's a torus bubble.

      • Other articles, now I need to find them! Some historical like Waggoner's Glad tidings set the background, more recent from current theologians.

  5. god bless you.this is an amazing article and it makes me very strong in my belief (Adventists beliefs).it's good to hear such an awesome word.keep in touch with god.
    From hawassa Adventist international church, Ethiopia.


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