The Righteosness by Faith That Was Taught in 1888 is Now Turned Upside Down by Desmond Ford and Patrons

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Dear Reader, 

I have said that the message of Righteousness by Faith as delivered in 1888 by Jones and Waggoner, was being turned on its head by Desmond Ford and his followers. In this document I am proving my statement.


Many "professing" SDA's are promoting the following lie about Ellen White which was started by Desmond Ford. The person who posted the statement below desire to remain incognito, so I will oblige him. He believes and defends the gospel taught by Desmond Ford. Here is a post sent to SDAIssues forum and I will enumerate the implications below his statement.


 "In 1888, in Minneapolis, God tried to break into Adventism with the Gospel by sending as speakers Alonzo Jones and E. J.Waggoner. Principal denominational leaders, however, strongly rejected the message and held out for salvation by works. Ellen White accepted the Gospel and accompanied Jones and Waggoner around the country for a couple of years trying to make a breakthrough. It failed. If you read Ellen White before 1888, you will find her espousing legalism and perfectionism. If you read her writings after that time, you will find the Gospel upheld in such books as "Desire of Ages" and "Steps to Christ."  Signed_________


Ron responds: This is blasphemy of the highest order for the following reasons:

·      Ellen White said that the three angel's messages are righteousness by faith in verity. If Ellen White taught a false concept of the three angel's messages for 44 years, she would be a false prophet of the worst type!

·      If Ellen White taught a legalistic version of perfectionism as righteousness by faith, the three angel's messages, for 44 years, she would have to be accursed as a false prophet, for that would have been a false gospel to the church and to the world, and God says to accurse ANYONE, even an angel if he/she should come with another gospel.

·      Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

·      Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

·      The three angel's messages are capstoned by Revelation 14:12, saying that the saints keep the commandments of God. If that is legalistic perfectionism, then God is the legalist in Revelation 14:12.

·      Ellen White said that gold tried in the fire, is faith that works by love. She always taught that version of righteousness by faith. Faith that works by love of Christ is not legalism, for Christ said: If ye love me, keep my commandments. Thus, commandment-keeping is God' personal test of our love for Him. If this is legalism, Jesus is the legalist! There is a true type of legalism based on grace given for obedience, Romans 1:5.

·      The wrong type of legalism is when we try to keep the law on our own merit, without the meritorious empowering of the Holy Spirit and His free grace gift package consisting of FAITH, LOVE, REPENTANCE AND GRACE GIVEN FOR OBEDIENCE, Rom. 1:5.

·      Both Paul and James of Scripture teach that we are saved (justified) by doing the Word as well as believing it.

·      Ellen White said that she had believed and taught the same righteousness by faith that Jones and Waggoner taught but that they made it clearer.

·      Ellen White and the pioneers were the representatives of the modern-day Philadelphian era of the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3. They are not faulted for one thing by God. If Ellen White taught a false gospel for 44 years, she would be greatly false and faulted by God.

·      If the SDA pioneers faulted on the true gospel for 44 years, the Philadelphia era of the church never occurred and the SDA church was ALWAYS Laodicean.

·      The only way to resolve the "apparent" contradiction in the following verses is to interpret that Paul meant that we are not justified by OUR OWN WORKS that are not empowered by the Holy Spirit and ARE NOT motivated by faith and love that works.

o     Rom 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath [whereof] to glory; but not before God.

o     Rom 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

o     Hbr 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

o     Jam 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

o     Jam 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

o     Jam 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

o     Jam 2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent [them] out another way?

·      Ellen White taught the following in 1888:

·           Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel's message, and I have answered, "It is the third angel's message in verity."--1SM 372 (1890). {LDE 199.4}

·           The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders [E.J.] Waggoner and [A. T.] Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. {LDE 200.1}

·      Comment by Ron: Does the above statement sound as though Jones and Waggoner changed Ellen White's mind on righteousness by faith and justification?

·      "Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure."--TM 91, 92 (1895). {LDE 200.2}

·      Comments by Ron: What are the rich free grace gifts of Christ's Holy Spirit empowerment that are freely given to every man who is willing to accept them? Here they are: 

o     "The Power of God in the Third Person.--The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.-- Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, p. 37. (1897).

o     Act 3:26  Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

o     "But through the power of the incarnation of Christ, God manifest in the flesh, the strength of God is revealed in gentleness and beauty. To 'as many as received him, to them gave he POWER to become the sons of God.' By this POWER we may OVERCOME OUR EVIL TENDENCIES and so modify our imperfect dispositions that the will of God may be fulfilled in us."--Letter 79, May 7, 1903, to J.A. Burden and wife. The Upward Look, 141.

o     2Pe 1:4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

o     Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive [pardon] you:

o     Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.


What did A.T. Jones teach on righteousness by Faith in 1888?


"The power working within us. And what is this? Our faith. Well, then, that is all the limit put upon God--the power of God being limited only according to the measure of our faith. Then, brethren, let us have faith. God is able to do all he promises. Romans 1:16-17. Many do not know what this expression "from faith to faith" means.

We begin with faith, and the exercise of that faith will develop the capacity to exercise faith tomorrow--so that we grow from faith to faith, from today's to tomorrow's --therefore we grow in faith, and from grace, favor, power with God, to grace, and in knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord. Let us exercise our faith then, and it will develop power--the power of God unto eternal salvation. Why, then, should we not rejoice? Now faith works, Galatians 5:6. Here is where the work comes in, and is the only work acceptable to God, for it is of God, but works without faith are our own. James 2:18. Well let it do this for it is true, the man who has the most faith will do the most acceptable work to God. Work is of no value except it have faith, and faith without works is valueless. Works will tell the amount of faith we possess, 1 Thessalonians 1:3 2 Thessalonians, 1:11.

Now comes obedience. Where? Romans 16:25-26, all made manifest for the obedience of faith--then all short of this faith is sin, that is, "comes short" of the perfection of the law of God, according to the view of God--not intentional sin, perhaps, but short of the glory of God, and is not obedience--for without faith it is impossible to please God. So, then, our obedience comes in after we have faith, and God's spirit is dwelling within us. Do you not see now that we have to be made good before we can do good? If then you want to do better get more of Jesus Christ in your heart. It is all well enough to want to do better, but gofirst to Jesus to be made better. Romans 1:5, margin, also Timothy 6:12." Alonzo T. Jones.


What was A.T. Jones teaching in 1893 at the General Conference Session?


A.T. Jones on Righteousness by Faith—1893 General Conference Bulletin:


I have The Third Angel's message--Reprints of all 26 sermons given by A.T. Jones at the General Conference of 1896, as recorded in the General Conference Bulletin. I have another book of 24 sermons given by A.T. Jones at the General Conference of 1893, as recorded in the General Conference Bulletin. If you would like to obtain this General Conference Bulletin, write to :

Leaves of Autumn Books, P.O. Box 440, Payson, AZ. 85547, Phone: (520) 474-3654. Garth Baybrook, the owner is 90 years old now, so you better get it while you can!


If you have the 1893 book by Jones, go to page 91 and read his definition of justifying faith. I'll go ahead and quote if for you:


"When we speak of faith,--there is a distinction that should be borne in mind. There is a kind of belief that is wholly distinct from faith. The existence and power of God, the truth of his word, are facts that even Satan and his hosts cannot at heart deny.


Did not the evil spirits tell Jesus that he was Christ? [Congregation: "Yes"] Then the devils, Satan and his hosts, do believe in the existence and power of God, that his word is true, and that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God. Satan and his hosts believe all that. But that is not faith. How much power is there in their belief to work good in their lives? -- None at all. They have no faith. But just this is the Catholic faith, isn't it? What kind of faith is that then? That is satanic faith. That is all it is, satanic belief, as this puts it; but yet the papacy passes it for faith. And whoever passes that for faith is a papist even though he profess to be a Seventh-day Adventist. But I read on from 'Steps to Christ:'--
"The Bible says that 'the devils also believe, and tremble;' but this is not faith. Where there is not only a belief in God's word, but a submission of the will to him; where the heart is yielded to him, the affections fixed upon him, THERE is FAITH.'


That is the truth of justifying faith; that is righteousness by faith; that is a faith that works, thank the Lord,--not a faith that believes something away off, that keeps the truth of God in the outer court, and then seeks by his own efforts to make up the lack. Not that. No, but faith that works. It itself is working; it has a divine power in it to manifest God's will in man before the world. That is righteousness by faith,--the righteousness which faith obtains, which it receives, and which it holds,--the righteousness of God.


I continue reading from "Steps to Christ:"--"Faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. Through this faith the heart is renewed in the image of God."


I do not need to read any more, as this is enough to show the contrast, and the time is far gone. This is enough to show that the papal doctrine of justification by faith is Satan's doctrine; it is simply the natural mind depending upon itself, working through itself, exalting itself; and then covering it all up with a profession of belief in this, that, and the other, but having no power of God. Then, brethren, let it be rooted up forever." A.G. Jones, General Conference Daily Bulletin, p. 91, Published by Leaves of Autumns Books.


Did Ellen White Change Her Mind on the Law and the Gospel After 1888?


Desmond Ford and his followers are trying to teach that Ellen White changed her mind on the law and the gospel after 1888. Read this 1897 statement by Ellen White and see if you think she changed her mind:


February 8, 1897 The Law and the Gospel by Ellen White

     The law and the gospel cannot be separated. In Christ mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. The gospel has not ignored the obligations due to God by man. The gospel is the law unfolded, nothing more nor less. It gives no more latitude to sin than does the law. The law points to Christ; Christ points to the law. The gospel calls men to repentance. Repentance of what?--Of sin. And what is sin?-It is the transgression of the law. Therefore the gospel calls men from their transgression back to obedience to the law of God. Jesus, in His life and death, taught the strictest obedience. He died, the just for the unjust, the innocent for the guilty, that the honour of God's law might be preserved, and yet man not utterly perish. {BEcho, February 8, 1897 par. 1}

     The work of salvation in both the Old and the New Testament dispensation is the same. Christ was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. The types and shadows under which the Jews worshipped all pointed forward to the world's Redeemer. It was by faith in a coming Saviour that sinners were saved then. It is through faith in Christ that they are justified today. {BEcho, February 8, 1897 par. 2}

     In giving His Son, God gave Himself that man might have another trial. If God could have changed this law to meet man in his fallen condition, would He not have done this, and retained His only begotten Son in heaven?--He certainly would. But because His law was as changeless as His character, He gave His beloved Son, who was above law, and one with Himself, to meet the penalty which His justice demanded. {BEcho, February 8, 1897 par. 3}

     Satan is working with all his deceptive power to ensnare the world. He would have them believe that this great sacrifice was made in order to abolish God's law. He represents Christ as opposed to the law of God's government in heaven and in earth. But the Sovereign of the world has a law by which to govern His heavenly intelligences and His human family, and the death of His Son fixes the immutability of that law beyond any question. God has no intention of doing away with His great standard of righteousness. By this standard He can define what a correct character is. {BEcho, February 8, 1897 par. 4}

     Christ consented to die in the sinner's stead, that man, by a life of obedience, might escape the penalty of the law of God. His death did not make the law of God of none effect; it did not slay the law, lessen its claims, or detract from its sacred dignity. The death of Christ proclaimed the justice of His Father's law in punishing the transgressor, in that He consented to suffer the penalty of the law transgressed Himself, in order to save fallen man from its curse. The death of God's beloved Son on the cross shows the immutability of the law of God. His death magnifies the law and makes it honourable, and gives evidence to man of its changeless character. From His own divine lips are heard the words, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law and the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." The death of Christ justified the claims of the law. {BEcho, February 8, 1897 par. 5}

     But the doctrine is now largely taught that the gospel of Christ has made the law of God of none effect; that by "believing" we are released from the necessity of being doers of the word. But this is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which Christ so unsparingly condemned. To the church of Ephesus He says, "I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars; and hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember then from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate." {BEcho, February 8, 1897 par. 6}

     Those who are teaching this doctrine today have much to say in regard to faith and the righteousness of Christ; but they pervert the truth, and make it serve the cause of error. They declare that we have only to believe on Jesus Christ, and that faith is all-sufficient: that the righteousness of Christ is to be the sinner's credentials; that this imputed righteousness fulfills the law for us, and that we are under no obligation to obey the law of God. This class claim that Christ came to save sinners, and that He has saved them. "I am saved," they will repeat over and over again. But are they saved while transgressing the law of Jehovah?--No; for the garments of Christ's righteousness are not a cloak for iniquity. Such teaching is a gross deception, and Christ becomes to these persons a stumbling block as He did to the Jews,--to the Jews, because they would not receive Him as their personal Saviour, to these professed believers in Christ, because they separate Christ and the law, and regard faith as a substitute for obedience. They separate the Father and the Son, the Saviour of the world. Virtually they teach, both by precept and example, that Christ, by His death, saves men in their transgressions. {BEcho, February 8, 1897 par. 7}

     It is necessary that every intelligent being shall understand the principles of the law of God. Christ through the apostle James declares, "Whoso shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." These words were spoken this side of the death of Christ; therefore the law was binding upon all at that time. {BEcho, February 8, 1897 par. 8}

     The Saviour raised His voice in protest against those who regard the divine commandments with indifference and carelessness. He said, "Whosoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." And He also declared, "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled." {BEcho, February 8, 1897 par. 9}

     Men may talk of freedom, of gospel liberty. They may assert that they are not in bondage to the law. But the influence of a gospel hope will not lead the sinner to look upon the salvation of Christ as a matter of free grace, while he continues to live in transgression of the law of God. When the light of truth dawns upon his mind, and he fully understands the requirements of God, and realizes the extent of his transgressions, he will reform his ways, become loyal to God through the strength obtained from his Saviour, and lead a new and purer life. "Whosoever abideth in Him," says John, "sinneth not; whosoever sinneth, hath not seen Him, neither known Him." Mrs. E. G. White. {BEcho, February 8, 1897 par. 10}


"God requires of his blood-bought heritage the sanctification of the whole being,--purity like the purity of Christ, PERFECT conformity to the will of God. 'Be ye therefore perfect,' is God's word to us; and in order that we might obey this word, he sent his only begotten Son to this earth to live in our behalf a perfect life. We have before us his example; and the strength by which he lived this life we also may have. Out duty, our safety, our happiness and usefulness, and our salvation cal upon us each to use the greatest diligence to secure the grace of Christ; to be so closely connected with God that we may discern spiritual things, and not be ignorant of Satan's devices. The mighty surges of temptation will break upon all; and unless we are riveted to the eternal Rock, we shall be borne away, to become the helpless prey of the enemy. By diligent searching of the Scriptures, and earnest prayer for divine help, the soul must be prepared to resist temptation. The transforming POWER OF CHRIST'S GRACE will mold the one who gives himself to God's service; for God is bound by an eternal pledge to supply POWER AND GRACE to every one who yields himself to be sanctified by obedience to the truth." E.G. White, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, November 12, 1914.


Notice the date--1914, one year before she died. Did she change her mind about perfection after 1888, as Jim Ayars, Desmond Ford and Karl Wagner imply or say outright? Nay!


"Our churches are in need of a spiritual revival. Now is the time for the WORK OF REPENTANCE AND CONFESSION OF SIN TO EXTEND DEEPER. Now is the tie for God's people to allow the Holy Spirit to make clean and thorough WORK, in order that all selfishness, all wrong (Sin), may be uprooted from their hearts. May the Lord help you and the whole church, is my prayer." E.G. White, Atlantic Union Gleaner, 09-09-1903.


Note the date, 1903.


More Ellen White statements:


"God has raised one Man from the dead, the Lord Jesus Christ, that he might destroy death, expiate sin, and shut the gates of hell. This is the work of salvation. Christ has vanquished! This is the joyful news! And we are saved by his work, and not by our own. . . . Our Lord Jesus Christ said, 'Peace be unto you! behold my hands'--that is to say, Behold, O man! it is I, I alone, who have taken away thy sins, and ransomed thee; and now thou hast peace, saith the Lord." E.G. White,  {GC88 152.2}

We cannot purchase anything from God. It is only by grace, the free gift of God in Christ, that we are saved.  {TMK 83.5}


Grace and power imputed -- "His imputed grace and power He gives (Imparts) to all who receive Him by faith."  E.G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 929 col. 2 (MS 1, 1892).  Notice the date--1892, four years after the 1888 Message.


Power to obey: By faith you became Christ's, and by faith you are to grow up in Him-by giving and taking. You are to give all,-your heart, your will, your service,-give yourself to Him to obey all His requirements and you must take all,-Christ, the fullness of all blessing, to abide in your heart, to be your strength, your righteousness, your everlasting helper,-to give you power to obey (SC 70).


Conclusion: Satan is doing everything he can to render the people of God unprepared for the Kingdom. God has made every proviso that His people will not come up short in character development. The foolish virgins will refuse His supply of power to overcome all known sin in the life. They will look down and see black on judgment day. Let us accept all the free gifts of God’s grace for that it the only way He doles them out. We must buy gold tried in the fire, faith that works by love. That is not legalism. It is obedience because we love Jesus and what He did for us.


God bless,




Note: Friends, from time to time I am not able to proof-read articles before I put them on my Website. However, I do get them corrected usually within a week or so. I do not have editorial help, so please bear with me.