to Answer the Foolish Virgin Question, Are you Perfect? Name One Person Who
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:
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.
Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
----- Original Message -----
From: Marsha A. Adams
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 sinlessly? Never 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
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
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:
- Insincere persons, persons without spiritual
discernment expect to see INSTANT PERFECTION.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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].
- 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
- 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:
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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