How to Answer the Foolish Virgin Question, Are you Perfect? Name One Person Who is Perfect?

Click to go to our Home Page




Dear Reader,


If you are sincerely trying to adhere to all the truth with the aid of the Holy Spirit, the oil of grace, which the Laodicean foolish virgins lack, it is likely that you have been asked the following questions:


·      Are you perfect?

·      Show me one person who is perfect?


So what is a correct response to such questions by the foolish virgins?  I had to answer such questions by Marsha to me this a.m.  Marsha was brought up an Adventist; went trough SDA schools all her life, and then apostatized to Catholicism.  She now rejects Ellen White and the true plan of salvation.  She is immersed in the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans, only believe and you are saved by faith ALONE, as faith relates to mental assent rather than true faith that always works.  I understand why Marsha believes that doctrine.  It is her only hope after leaving the path of truth and going to Rome for her consolation.  Here is Marsha’s post to me and my response below her post.


I am making this instruction available to all for there are many folk who need it.


1Ti 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.


----- Original Message -----

From: Marsha A. Adams


Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2006 4:02 PM

Subject: [SDAIssues] Re: Response to Ron's Open Letter



If the thief on the cross had not died (he was not dead you remember when they took him off the cross, suppose someone slipped into the dump that night and saved him) would he lead a sinless life from the moment he came off the cross?

Do you or anyone you know having died to self lead a sinless life?  After all you say that Christ is doing it all in and through you, is He currently leading your life sinlesslyNever a word in anger no matter how much you are provoked?  Never a selfish thought?  Never a vainglorious deed?  Never the occasional thought that you hope someone or other might notice how good a Christian you are?  Never a judgemental opinion?

Of course you continue to sin, despite your best efforts, because you like all the rest of us need to continually grow in grace.  We are saved by grace, and grace continues to save us as we mature as Christians.  We mature because we were born again, the maturing does not make us alive, the being born does. 


Ron’s response to Marsha:



I believe in the power of Christ's Holy Spirit to indwell and purify the mind and propensities.  The 144,000 will be so purified.  The rest of us will be judged according to our sincerity in trying to make a full surrender and die to self.  Any lack is not in the Holy Spirit's power.  It is in our lack of faith in that power to overcome all sin in the life. 


Regarding the thief on the cross, I believe that Christ knew he was fully sincere in his repentance and was safe to save.  I do believe in progressive sanctification and that one who is abiding in Christ and Christ in him/her will continually progress upward.  What is involved is the means used by Christ to develop character.  He provides the power, but He expects our cooperation.  The following verses of Scripture is proof of whereof I speak.  What is expected of us is clearly delineated in the following verses, as is the means of attaining to what is expected:



2 Peter 1

1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 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. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. 13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;


I emphasize verse 11, as it makes the entire passage CONDITIONAL, REQUISITE to an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ:


11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.


Abraham obviously had a cooperate part to play in obedience to God's command to offer us his beloved son as a sacrifice.  His faith had to be accompanied with cooperative obedience proving his faith.  His faith was thus tried in the fire of an obedience test.  Christ's Holy Spirit provided the empowerment, but Abraham had to exercise his faith.  I believe Christ determined that the thief on the cross had that kind of faith.  He would have obeyed God further had he had the opportunity.  Only God knows that by omniscience, but I go by Christ's conclusion in the matter.


Our bible says that those who have not overcome will not be saved.  The Nicolaitans turn grace into licentiousness by believing that God's grace will overlook such sins because they believe themselves to be saved by legal, forensic justification ONLY--that Christ's robe of righteousness covers their continuum of sinning.  Were that true, then the foolish virgins should be saved and they are not.


Your argument is with Scripture Marsha, because it says that the born again person cannot and will not sin.  Here is the great misunderstood part of salvation.  What I am about to say is the greatest stumbling block in Scripture for those who want to turn grace into lasciviousness:


Ellen White said that those who are blind in regard to the conditions for salvation would not recognize a perfect person if he/she saw one.  Now here comes the clincher that God showed me:  The reason such persons would not recognize perfection in Christ if they saw it is because:

  1. Insincere persons, persons without spiritual discernment expect to see INSTANT PERFECTION.
  2. God mercifully leads in our lives at a speed that would not be discouraging to us, but empowers our characters as we determine to yield to what we have been shown to be truth and a correct response to it.
  3. The entire purpose for the Holy Spirit in the life is to develop character, rather than to do it all for us.  When a person "buys" or accepts the oil that the foolish virgins lack, they accept the Holy Spirit, faith and love for Christ.  Then the Holy Spirit leads them step by step, higher and higher to character perfection.  If one perishes before reaching any pinnacle of perfection, Ellen White said that such an one is then judged by his/her trend.  I agree with Ellen White on this salvific issue.
  4. Only God knows where one is in this character growth process of :  giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  Therefore, only God can judge.  That is why we are cautioned not to judge.  Thus, I have come full circle to your concluding point Marsha.  We must grow in grace.  But, as the above Biblical scenario demonstrates, there is POWER available to insure success in the growth process.  God will be the final deciding judge. 
  5. We can know we are in the process by obedience to all that we know to be truth, and by accepting the available power to obey on a moment by moment basis.  This is how Christ overcame the sins of every person who will ever live.
  6. When we sincerely ensue on the above process of salvation, we are promised that no temptation will befall us that the Holy Spirit's empowerment will not be able to overcome in and through us: 1Cr 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].
  7. I would conclude from the above verse that when we sin it is because we willfully choose to sin and not because empowerment is not available that we not sin.  Willful sin is thus a dangerous course.  It is a direct spurning of the Holy Spirit.
  8. Many conclude that they are saved by mental assent and/or that the empowerment of the Holy Spirit is not meritorious toward their salvation.  That leaves only ONE THING as their basis for salvation--mental assent, the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans--only believe and you will be legally, forensically saved--justified.  God hates that doctrine.  Why? Because that belief totally denigrates the office of the Holy Spirit, whose entire mission is to provide POWER by way of grace for obedience based on one's faith. Rom 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:   
  9. When we act on (exercise) faith and love, the Holy Spirit gives us grace for obedience and that grace is efficacious toward our salvation.  The Nicolaitans say that such grace is not efficacious toward our salvation; that one need only to believe and he/she is saved by FAITH ALONE--forensic justification. Thus, ironically enough, it is such a "believer" who is the forsaken legalist in the end of all things.  The foolish virgins thus believe and they are not saved.
  10. The unfair question the foolish virgins always ask is:  Are you perfect?  Can you show me one perfect person?  They rely on their own foolish virgin answer to this question and will thus end up short of the oil of grace, which Ellen White defines as the Holy Spirit and it's character perfection in and through us in a progressive, onward and upward manner.
  11. The fact is that a person may be perfectly obedient to all the stages of character development God has seen fit to lead him/her through, and yet not appear perfect to those who would ascend the judgment seat.  But, nevertheless, that person stands perfect in the eyes of God and if he/she should die at any moment, he/she would be saved.
  12. Some of the very quests that “we think” should be mastered first by a Christian, may be the last that some persons overcome by the Spirit’s power.  Let’s consider an example of this.  Moses is the perfect example.  One would think that after forty years of shepherding dumb sheep, Moses would have arrived at the epitome of faith and patience.  Yet he struck the rock twice out of a lack of faith and patience.
  13. Then there is the example of Elijah.  He had just witnessed the miracle from heaven of God’s power in destroying the sacrifice of the heathen and accepting his.  Then he loses faith—the very CONDITION that the Nicolaitans base salvation on, and runs from Jezebel?  Did he have faith at that moment?  Did he possess the very condition for salvation according to the Nicolaitans?  Absolutely not!
  14. The reason foolish virgins ask the question and would not recognize a perfect person if he/she saw one is because they do not understand all of the above because they do not possess spiritual discernment, eyesalve.




Ron Beaulieu