A Review of Karl Wagner's Book My Gospel Journey Part 2

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Dear Reader,


The righteousness will not be the bride’s self righteousness—not one whit!  She is merely fully surrendered to the righteousness of Christ.  She is not faulted, no guile in her mouth—again for the same reason.  Rev. 14:1-4.  That is what Christ is waiting for!  A fully surrendered bride.  Can we delay His coming by not receiving the free grace gift of full surrender to Him?  Yes we can and Ellen White established that fact also!


Some Recent Exchanges Between Karl Wagner and Myself


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

From: Karl

To: SDAIssues@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Friday, January 06, 2006 2:12 PM

Subject: [SDAIssues] I am not a perfectionist


Ron writes, "Know this:  Not one true "New Theology" teacher will admit that he is not a perfectionist!  Does that sound odd?!"

Just to be crystal clear, "I am not a perfectionist!"

Karl Wagner

Ron responded:

From: "Ron Beaulieu" <rsbeauli@telusplanet.net

Date: Sun Jan 8, 2006  8:31 am

Subject: Re: [SDAIssues] I am not a perfectionist  omega777ron


 Send Email 




I agree and know that you are not a perfectionist!  Yet you try to say that you believe in perfectionism, you said to wit:.


"Nevertheless know this before you judge me. I believe in perfectionism! Because I believe in my very being that what the Holy Spirit has begun in me, He can complete. You see, I believe in Jesus! I don't believe in me!"


We have differing definitions of perfectionism.  You believe that Christ does it all FOR US.  I believe that Christ does it all IN AND THROUGH US. 


You erringly believe and constantly misrepresent that I believe we do ANYTHING by way of works that merit salvation!  The works are all done by God in and through us.  But your misrepresentation is expected Karl.  I expect no more from Laodicea.  I am not complaining, just reminding you and others of your gross misrepresentation of what I believe.




--- In SDAIssues@yahoogroups.com, "Ron Beaulieu" <rsbeauli@t...


God gave the personal test for KNOWING that one is in relationship with Him. If we receive the gift of full surrender (empowerment) as well as the gift of pardon AT THE SAME TIME, we will KNOW we are doing HIS WILL that is well pleasing in His sight. He will be working in us, so it is not of us lest any man should boast, but any view of
salvation without full surrender to Christ and thereby dying to self daily and letting Him do His Will in us, is nothing more than the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans, who believe as you do, that works of righteousness, even those done by the Holy Spirit working in and through us, have nothing to do with salvation.

Hbr 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the
Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Rev 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

"...The doctrine of the Nicolaitans appears to have been a form of antinomianism (see SDABibleCom 7:957). Nicolaitans of the 2d cent. seem to have continued and extended the views of the 1st-cent. adherents, holding to the freedom of the flesh, and teaching that the deeds of the flesh had no effect upon the health of the soul and consequently no relation to salvation." SDA Bible Dictionary, vol. 8 of the
Commentaries, p. 770, 771.

You have said many times and you do it again in your post below, that the deeds of the flesh eg. behavior etc., have no effect upon the heath of the soul and consequently no relation to salvation. The truth is that if we receive the gift of daily dying to self and surrender to God will, our deeds of the flesh are then His, and they have everything to do with every relation to salvation. He went through the same process with His Father, while on this earth. He had to remain surrendered moment by moment. The Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy teach that we can avail ourselves of the same process.

Your process Karl, says only confess belief, and the rest is a forensic act imputing His righteousness, His obedience, to our account without working His Will in and through us. That is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. Then you say that we do good works because we are saved and not in order to be saved. The former contradicts the latter!

We don't do any of it when we are saved! It is all a gift. You say the gift is legal--forensic only. I say the gifts include forensic pardon, and a subjective working of His Will BY HIM, IN AND THROUGH US at the same time we receive the gift of full surrender and forensic pardoning.

The part you leave out Karl is Hbr 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

His will involves behavior--acts of obedience--as He obeyed His Father's Will by surrendering to His Father's will. Did that process have anything to do with His victory over sin? Yes indeed. The Son's victory WAS NOT forensically imputed to Him, and neither is our victory forensically IMPUTED to us without a daily surrender of the will to Him, and letting Him work His good will in and through us.
We do not do it lest any man should boast. By His empowerment, we permit Him to do it.

You have termed this concept as another language before Karl. You do not understand it. I realize that, so I will just agree to disagree. I will restate this truth at times for others who might be able to discern the truth of it. I am not trying to convince you Karl. I am fully aware that you cannot understand what I am saying.
You rejected the concept years ago, and now your mind is darkened to a correct understanding. It is truly like another language to you. I accept that and merely agree to disagree.
Your theory of the salvation conflicts with Scripture and Ellen White. I see that clearly.



The Substitutionary Death of Christ on the Cross Versus The Greatest Good “Crowning” Sacrifice of the Incarnation


The reason that mainstream Christianity focuses more on the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross, rather than His example in demonstrating how we can overcome as He did, is due to a failure to understand the real purpose and objective of the sacrifices made by the Son of Man.  Why did Christ come in the likeness of sinful flesh if all He wanted to achieve is dying in the stead of us?  The answer is that the purpose of the Incarnation had a far more pervasive and important objective in mind.  That objective involved a cure for sin, for without that cure, Christ could only go on forever pardoning confessed sin, because sin would continue.  With this fact in mind, it becomes readily apparent to the thinking and discerning Christian, that the cure would be at least as important as the penalty of death paid (atoned for) in our behalf.


The fact is, the Holy Spirit gift to the church, as manifested through Ellen G. White, concluded that the measures taken for the cure for sin were even more important than the penalty paid!  For, as stated, without the cure, the atoned for sin would only continue forever.  So what was the sacrifice that availed the cure?


“The Father and the Son each have a personality. Christ declared: "I and My Father are one." Yet it was the Son of God who came to the world in human form. Laying aside His royal robe and kingly crown, He clothed His divinity with humanity, that humanity through His infinite sacrifice might become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (E.G. White, 9T pages 67-68).

"The darkness rolled away from the Saviour and from the Cross. Christ bowed His head and died. In His Incarnation He had reached the prescribed limit as a sacrifice, but not as a redeemer." E.G. White Manuscript Releases Volume Twelve, p. 409.

So How did Christ meet the terms of the Everlasting Covenant as regards redemption—becoming our redeemer?  The everlasting Covenant required the death of the Testator the maker of the Covenant.  Christ died at His Incarnation to become born as a human being sired by deity—the Holy Spirit.  His Father and He both shared the One Eternal Spirit. 

Hbr 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

“The” means ONE.

So the Son of God “reached the prescribed limit as a sacrifice at His Incarnation by dying to His former Being as Spirit ONLY, uncombined with humanity.  That was the only requirement of the Everlasting Covenant—death of the Testator.  I will prove that for you:

Hbr 9:16 For where a testament [is], there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.


Hbr 9:17 For a testament [is] of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

Most Christians do not realize that Christ met the prescribed limits or terms of the Everlasting Covenant when He died to His former Spirit ONLY existence and became born in a human mother in the likeness of human flesh.  But catch something wrong with my last sentence!  Does the Everlasting Covenant prescribe that the Testator be born into the likeness of human flesh?!  Absolutely not!  What does all this mean?  What is my point?  My point is that the Son of man could have preserved the life of the human race by merely dying to His former existence as Spirit.  That would have saved the human race, but the Son would have been dead forever! 

The Son could have willed His SPIRIT ONLY life and soul to man for the purpose of overcoming sin, but no, the Father and the Son conceived of a better plan.  That better plan provided that the Son would be born in the likeness of a human being with all the degradation of 4000 years of humanity, and still prove that it was possible to obey God’s Law, the transcript of His character, even while having the weight of the sins and the propensities of the sins of everyone in the world laid upon Him!

Would you and I ever have to do that?  No!  That is what Christ means when He says that He will not permit us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist by His empowerment.

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].

Would you like to know the full scope of the above promise?  What it really means is that Christ, in the likeness of human flesh resisted temptation and sin EVEN WHEN HAVING ALL THE WORL’S SINS AND PROPENSITIES TO SIN LAID UPON HIM.  That is power!  Where did He get His power?  From His Holy Spirit?  Notice:

Jesus needed the Holy Spirit -- "But Jesus, in His questions about the prophecies of Isaiah that pointed to His first appearing, flashed light into the minds of those who were willing to receive the truth. He Himself had given these prophecies before His INCARNATION in humanity, and as the Holy Spirit brought these things to His mind, and impressed Him with regard to the great work that He was to accomplish, He imparted light and knowledge to those around Him." E.G. White, Lift Him Up, p. 77.

Hbr 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

Hbr 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Jam 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

Jam 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Psa 78:18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.

"The Incarnation of Christ was an act of self-sacrifice; His life was one of continual self-denial. The highest glory of the love of God to man was manifested in the sacrifice of His only-begotten Son, who was the express image of His person. This is the great mystery of godliness. It is the privilege and the duty of every professed follower of Christ to have the mind of Christ. Without self-denial and cross bearing we cannot be His disciples." E.G. White, Selected Messages, Book 2, p. 185.

"While we are to be in harmony with God's law, we are not saved by the works of the law, yet we cannot be saved without obedience. The law is the standard by which character is measured. But we cannot possibly keep the commandments of God without the regenerating grace of Christ. Jesus alone can cleanse us from all sin. He does not save us by law, neither will He save us in disobedience to law." E.G. White, Faith and Works, p. 95.

Do you see why we will not be saved in disobedience to the law?  It is because if we are in disobedience to the law, that means we have not received the regenerating grace of Christ. And what is the regenerating grace of Christ?  His mind, His very life and Soul, Divine Nature, Holy Spirit, living and dwelling in us to work His good pleasure. 

"It is not an easy matter to overcome,....In the name of Christ ALONE can this great victory be gained."  Testimonies, Vol. 4, p. 32.

This is the reason why folk don’t want to strive to receive the free grace gift of the life of Christ dwelling within them—the mind of Christ—His divine nature, BECAUSE IT IS NOT AN EASY MATTER TO DO SO!  Why is it not an easy matter?  Because man loves sin.  Why was it not easy for the rich young ruler to sell all his many possessions and give alms, and then follow Christ?  Because he loved something more than Christ—he love his many possessions more!

But back to our thesis point:  What was the greater sacrifice than the cross?  It may have become evident to some by now—the greater sacrifice than the cross is revealed succinctly in the following statements:

"Christ declared that after his ascension, he would send to his church, as his crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take his place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit,--the soul of his life, the efficacy of his church, the light and life of the world. With his Spirit Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power that takes away sin.

In the gift of the Spirit [HIS LIFE--THE SOUL OF HIS LIFE], Jesus gave to man the highest good that heaven could bestow....

The Spirit was given as a regenerating agency, and without this the sacrifice of Christ  [both the Incarnation and the cross] would have been of no avail....

It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given his Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress his own character upon the church." E.G. White, Review and Herald Articles, May 19, 1904, vol. 5, p. 42.

So we see that there is a “crowning—highest good gift” in addition to the penalty for our sins paid on the cross, and that gift is the Holy Spirit Divine Nature of Christ, that will indwell us and restore us to His character of self-sacrificing love and faith—righteousness by faith, even the righteousness by faith of our Saviour depended upon while being tested on this earth.  This is true righteousness by faith in practicality—in reality!  To deny this scenario is to deny the greatest good and crowning gift Christ gave to man.  And, surprisingly, most, including mainstream Christianity is now and will continue to reject this greatest free gift of all the free gifts of grace.

“Cumbered with humanity Christ could not be in every place personally, therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them to go to His Father and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit.” E.G. White, (Manuscript Releases Volume 14 (No’s 1081-1135) MR No.1084.

All of the above are the reasons why those who focus on and emphasize the substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross, rather than His example and free grace gift of the Holy Spirit indwelling them and working His good pleasure in them, are rejecting the greatest good and crowning of all free grace gifts to man. 

Think of the recent Mel Brooks movie, The Passion of the Christ, that showed him being brutalized so severely nearly the entire length of the movie.  Where was the focus?  On the substitutionary part of what Christ did.

Is there one mention of His greatest good crowning free grace gift to man?  Not one, friend, not one!  Can you see how Satan’s purpose is thus served?  And all who are making the substitutionary death of Christ on the cross the prime focus, are committing the same blasphemic betrayal of the prime objective of the Incarnation of the Son of Man.

The purpose of Satan that is served is the teaching that Christ paid it ALL at the cross, and Christ’s work now in the Sanctuary above to restore His people back into His image does not exist.  Folk are taught that Christ’s substitutionary act saves man in his sins, rather than from his sins by the act of Christ indwelling and working His own character in and through us.  That is classic righteousness by faith!  Does Satan want you to believe that?  Of course not!  He wants you to believe that you are saved in your sins by just mental assent believing (lip service) in Christ.

But there is another subtle belief system and the most subtle I have witnessed to date.  It is the subtle belief taught by Karl Wagner, and I will describe it for you.

Karl teaches that we are saved by the substitutionary act ALONE.  Then he says that we will do good works because we are saved.  He says that no good works contribute to our salvation—EVEN THOSE EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.  That is the clincher!  Don’t you see it!  If Christ died in order that the life that WAS HIS might be ours IN AND THROUGH US, so as to do His good pleasure in and through us, then that life and the works its does in and through us, is the basis of our salvation.

"He (Christ) suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which WAS His."  Desire of Ages, p. 25; 1 Cor. 11:24-265, cf. John 6:53, 54, Titus 3:5, 6.

That life given as a free grace bequeathed life to us, and what it does (as works) in and through us when we are fully surrendered to it’s WILL, is surely righteousness by faith and the basis of our salvation!

1Th 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

2Cr 5:15 And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Karl has said many times:


“I have explained myself regarding works. I have been very
clear. Our works do not in any way merit our salvation, however empowered our works may be.”


----- Original Message -----
   From: Karl
   To: SDAIssues@yahoogroups.com
   Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2005 1:27 PM
   Subject: [SDAIssues] Re: Fw: [Way-of-the-Sojourners] For friends of God and Jesus; from Bob

(First Karl quotes me)

   "But to say that "anything we do from then on is the result of salvation, not the basis or cause of it," is to teach once
saved, always saved,..."
   No Ron, it doesn't teach that. It teaches that the ONLY way we can obey is to die. It is not us, it God alone. This surrender and subsequent obedience at any [point] never merits our salvation. It is because we have been saved that we render obedience. When we are in rebellion, we manifest lawlessness. When in relation, we manifest obedience.



Ron responds:  Friends, the reason surrender and subsequent obedience always merits our salvation is because any obedience subsequent to a full surrender is the obedience of Christ working in and through us His good pleasure.  Is that meritorious of our salvation?  That is as pure as righteousness by faith gets!—the righteousness of Christ in and through us.  That is saving!

So when Karl says that works, even those empowered by the Holy Spirit, have nothing to do with our salvation, we do works only because we are saved, rather than to be saved, that is the most subtle form of error going! Here is his statement verbatim:

Karl Wagner

Date:  1/21/2005

SDAIssues forum

We can obey by the power of the Holy Spirit but it in no way merits our salvation. Not one speck. Christ alone, by himself, without us, while we were yet sinners in full rebellion hating God accomplished for us that which we could not do and credits it to us when we are saved.


What is the danger of this error? 

  1. The implication is that we cannot keep the commandments EVEN BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
  2. The implication is that the works of the Holy Spirit in and through us IN NO WAY MERITS OR SALVATION!
  3. The implication is that the righteousness of Christ working in and through us is of no merit toward our salvation.
  4. The implication is that we can never know that we love Christ and that He is abiding in us by His commandment-keeping in and through us, (1John 5:2), because Christ does not keep His commandment in and through us, but rather He kept them outside of us before and at the cross.  So the 1 John test is invalidated by Karl’s theology and the New Theology in general.
  5. The implication is that Christ kept the commandments for us OUTSIDE OF US, and anything He does inside us; in and through us, has no saving grace!  This is blasphemy and subverts the prime objective of the Incarnation—the bequeathing of the Holy Spirit life and soul of Christ to us as a regenerating agency, whereby we might partake of the Divine Nature Mind of Christ.
  6. The implication to Laodicea is that she does not have to keep the commandments because Christ kept them for her, instead of in and through her!  But then Karl also says that Laodiceans will keep them by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, but only because they are saved rather than to be saved.  He thus negates the efficacy of Christ’s righteousness by faith as exercised in and through us, as having any saving grace.  This is blasphemy.

The ever present and real danger is that one will reject true reality of righteousness by faith---Christ in you the hope of glory, and Christ working in and through you to do His good pleasure, due to our reception of the free grace gift of  full surrender.  The real and ever present danger is that one will thus believe that Christ is in him/her, and that they are in Christ, even though they are still committing known sin. 

Folk like Karl Wagner and Jim Ayers, the past base singer for the King’s Heralds Quartet, have both told me that they are already perfect in Christ!  That is their concept of perfection.  Thus, they believe that the robe of Christ’s righteousness is a cloak for covering sin. 

If Laodiceans thus believe that they are already perfect in Christ—the IN CHRIST MOTIF, without Christ having been formed IN THEM, and doing His works in and through them, can you begin to see why Laodicea feels rich, increased with goods, and in need of NOTHING?!  Why should she buy faith and love (gold tried in the fire), when she already has it by proxy in Christ?  This is the same dilemma incurred by all of mainstream Christianity.  That is why Ellen White says that the message to Laodicea applies to all churches.

Karl and all New Theology advocates, admittedly focus on and emphasize the substitutionary work of Christ.  They NEVER stress the work of the Holy Spirit’s works in and through us, and even say that His work IN US is not efficacious toward salvation—if they admit to that work in us at all.  That is a serious denial of true, bona fide righteousness by faith, the righteousness of Christ IN US, the hope of Glory—glorification!

Also, Karl’s teaching that it was all done at the cross, seems to smack at the teaching of once saved always saved, and that is not the truth.  But he says that he believes in predestination.  Karl says that if we have to do anything, salvation would not be a free gift.  What he fails to comprehend and discern is that the Divine Nature Holy Spirit of the Living Christ is also a gift of the free grace package of salvation and must be received along with the pardon gift of the atonement made on the cross.  Here is another of Karl’s posts to me made on 11/27/2005:


When I say he already accomplished, I mean that His perfect life lived 2,000 years ago is credited to me. We have differences that are not going to find a way to meld. We cannot meld faith alone with works of empowerment. Any work, ANY work we are involved in by any means is still a work and it is not how we get saved. If it were, then grace is no more grace.


Again, what Karl fails to comprehend is that the work of Christ in and through us is precisely how we get saved, and that work of His in and through us is a free gift of grace.  It is the free grace gift of His Divine Nature Holy Spirit indwelling our hearts and minds. 

All Karl seems to want to see is the sacrifice of the cross.  He does not want to see the sacrifice of the Incarnation that made possible the proffering of the Divine Nature Holy Spirit Mind gift of grace that can live and work in and through us if we receive the gift of full surrender to that free grace gift.

But Karl is not the only person who cannot or does not want to see that sacrificial free grace gift.  Most professing Christians do not want that gift.  Mainline professing Christianity does not want that free gift!  Why?  For the same reason the rich young ruler did not want to obey the command of Christ and follow the condition laid down to him to sell his possessions, which he loved more than Christ, give alms, and follow Christ.

There was also an AT-ONE-MENT made possible by the Incarnation itself—the gift of the life and soul of the Son of Man, His Holy Spirit, for the purpose of regeneration.  Without this AT-ONE-MENT gift, the death of the Son of Man on the cross would, in and of itself, not cure the sin problem.  That is why Ellen White could correctly say that without that “crowning, greatest good gift,” the sacrifice on the cross would have been to no avail, MEANING THAT ALL THAT WOULD DO IS PARDON A CONTINUUM OF SINNING by way of Christ paying the penalty for sin which is death. 

Karl Wagner, with most professing Christians, and especially the New Theologists, believe that the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ by way of His death on the cross was the prime sacrifice that He made.



"If you can prove that Christ was not our example as well as our substitute, you would be right, but you cannot prove that.  Therefore, what we do (behavior) as a result of the cross, and the New Covenant of the law being placed in the heart, is BASED ON THE CROSS ACT.  It is all legalism.  The pardon is forensic legalism. The empowerment to keep His law, is based on the legalistic necessity of keeping the law that sin may die.  But Christ and His Holy Spirit do it all by giving us grace as pardon and power."

Karl responded: 12/4/2005 4:54 P.M.

I just don't know how to respond to this. We are clearly speaking another language. You're going to have to give me awhile to untwist this.


Ron responds:  The “another language” I am speaking is the language of Christ’s Righteousness in you, the hope of glory.  Karl

SDAIssues Forum

Sent by Ron to Karl: 12/14/2005  11:45 A.M.

You are only seeing what you want to see.  You do not want to see the subjective free gift of the Divine Nature of Christ indwelling us and doing all the behavior works that qualify us for salvation at the same time we receive the forensic gift of pardon for past sins.  

Folk want it to be ALL FORENSIC--ALL PARDON.  No power Lord, thank you!  No surrender to your will Lord--thanks but no thanks!  Just legal pardon.  No acts of YOUR obedience in my life Lord.  Because acts of your righteous obedience in and through me contribute nothing to my salvation!  All I want is your legal pardon!  Just half of what you proffer Lord!  You keep the other half!  That results in a half-gospel.  The half-gospel of dumb dog watchmen, who believe and teach Isaiah 56:10-12, with emphasis on verse 12:  Eat, drink and be merry,
and tomorrow will be better than today because behavior--even the free gift behavior of surrendering the will daily, dying daily to self, contributes nothing to our salvation.

End part

Karl’s response:


Wrong Ron. I have explained myself regarding works. I have been very clear. Our works do not in any way merit our salvation, however empowered our works may be.

Some of you might be surprised to learn that there was another sacrifice made by Christ, which Ellen White referred to as His Crowning, greatest good gift to the church, without which His death on the cross would have been to no avail.


Karl  Wagner has labeled me many times as being a perfectionist legalist.  I want to help you reader, by suggesting what should be your reply to anyone who should ever call you a perfectionist and/or a legalist.  Here is how your response should be:


Well thank you brother/sister!  Seriously, that is one of the finest complements anyone has ever favored me with and   I would like to share with you the reasons why I feel so blessed by your keen observation:


  1. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is a perfectionist legalist when He tells you and me that the first and second commandments are:


36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.  Matthew 22:36-40.


  1. That is pure legalism in the form of commandments spoken by Jesus Himself.  Oh yes, love is mentioned, but it is commanded.  A command is legal.  The command to Laodicea to buy gold (faith and love) tried in the fire of His obedience in and through us, is another legalistic commandment based on agape love and His character of self-sacrificing love—both, agape and filial love.  And if He is in us, we will have both types of love—filial love for God and agape love for His commandments which were designed for the best welfare of the universe.
  2. Then that same Jesus made a new covenant.  A covenant is a legal agreement.  All God’s covenants with man have been legal in nature. He said that He would place the New Covenant in the heart (mind) of man:


31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.  Jeremiah 31:31-34.


14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  Heb. 10:14-17.


Both Scripture and Ellen White say that the Holy Ghost is the life and soul of the Son of God, Christ.  (click here for the full evidence). 



There are some who believe that the above covenant is made AFTER the millennium.  But proof that it would also apply before that time is the fact that we are invited to partake of the Divine Nature of Jesus Christ.



  1. "While we are to be in harmony with God's law, we are not saved by the works of the law, yet we cannot be saved without obedience. The law is the standard by which character is measured. But we cannot possibly keep the commandments of God without the regenerating grace of Christ. Jesus alone can cleanse us from all sin. He does not save us by law, neither will He save us in disobedience to law." E.G. White, Faith and Works, p. 95.


  1. Jesus and the Holy Spirit both originate in the Son of God, though they are separate persons after the Incarnation.


  1. Here is the gospel in Christ’s own words:



15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.


So be confident in the Lord if anyone calls you a perfectionist and/or a legalist, for the entire gospel is a legalistic combination of agape law involving  principle and filial love.  God’s Covenants are the greatest testament to His character. Therefore, Ellen White could correctly state that the law is a transcript of the character of Christ, and He has proposed to plant that Character in the hearts of man.  That is the PRIME objective of the gospel and was made possible by the Incarnation sacrifice.


New theology advocates will always emphasize the cross, and the death penalty that even paid was so important, but there is something else that is even more important, and that involves the remedy for sin.  Just as the law cannot save in and of itself, so the penalty for violation of the law (death of the Son of Man), cannot save a person from sinning.  The remedy for sin was the proffering of the Son of Man of His very life and soul—His Holy Spirit, for the regenerating of man from sin and back into the image of God.  Karl told me that the Cross was the prime sacrifice of Christ.  Ellen White and reason teach otherwise! 


Talk of 1888 not being rightly understood by the church!  The greatest sacrifice of Christ, His Incarnation and its crowing gift purpose, is understood by few.


THE PURPOSE OF HEAVEN IS FULFILLED BY THE INCARNATION: "From eternal ages it was God's purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator. Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the divine One. But by the INCARNATION of the Son of God, the purpose of heaven is fulfilled. God dwells in humanity, and through saving grace the heart of man becomes again his temple." E.G. White, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 12-31-08, pr. 02.


That was and is the PRIME purpose of the Incarnation of the Son of God—to restore man as part of His temple!



"He (Christ) suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which WAS His."  Desire of Ages, p. 25; 1 Cor. 11:24-265, cf. John 6:53, 54, Titus 3:5, 6.


That we might receive the Divine Nature Being that WAS His before His Incarnation—His Holy Spirit Divine nature:


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.


The Divine Nature is the Nature of Christ before His Incarnation. The Divine Nature is Spirit—the Holy Spirit.


"The sanctification of the soul by the working of the Holy Spirit is the implanting of Christ's nature in humanity."  E.G. White, God's Amazing Grace, p. 244; original source:  Manuscript 34, 1894.


Note:  Some who do not think it through adequately, retort that Ellen White said there were three persons present at the foundation of the world when the plan of salvation was originated. The bible also says that Christ was slain from the foundation of the earth.  Wheat she meant was that the Holy Spirit was sure present because the Son was that Spirit and He laid aside that spirit at His Incarnation as a bequeathed gift to us for the purpose of regenerating us back into His image.




Chapter Two


What Church Are We?

From Philadelphia to Laodicea


We find within the context of the Great Controversy theme God wrapping up the sin problem.  The pre-advent judgment verifies that we belong to Christ and meets out condemnation for the Little Horn power.19  Where are we in the scheme of things?

Adventism primarily concluded the nominal Adventists as Laodicean up until October 1856.  Laodicea had referred to all those Adventists who did not keep the seventh day Sabbath.  After this date, the term was newly applied to those of the Third Angel's message.

James White wrote in the Review, "…If this be our condition as a people, have we any real grounds to hope for the favor of God unless we heed the "counsel" of the True Witness? [Revelation 3:18-21 is quoted.]".20  A young Haskell of 23 wrote, "A theory of the third angel's message never, no never, will save us, without the wedding garment, which is the righteousness of the saints. We must perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord."21

It's interesting to note here that the movement before organization continued to believe that the church of Philadelphia was the church going through to the end.


Ron’s Commentary:  The reason the pioneers believed that the Philadelphia church was the one that would go through to the end, is because it is Philadelphia that does go through at the end time!  A valid question at this point is:  Just how will those who have died since the original Philadelphia church circa A.D. 27 and on, be alive to go through and be translated without seeing death AFTER THEY ARE RESURRECTED.  I have given half the answer already!  The Lord has shown me that they are raised in a special resurrection and will be alive to give the loud cry call.  Desire of Ages, 179, mentions the disciples whom John the Baptist groomed as the bride.  Ellen White makes it clear that the bride is translated without seeing death AFTER SHE HAS BEEN RAISED TO GIVE THE FINAL MESSAGE.  She will be kept through the greatest time of trouble ever known to mankind.


The seventh church (Laodicea) was continuous with the sixth, indicating those who rejected their experience of 1844 by looking for and setting new dates. Now, we see that there was a sixth church and then a seventh. One follows the other, and we are of that church. There are some today in the Adventist church, which still see the last two churches as continuing till the end.  Our hope is to be lead to become once again the church of Philadelphia. This seems to be good historical Adventism, but the connection between Laodicea and the judgment may be lost if we become too literal here in the definition of the churches.  I don't see the seventh church as a church without any hope. For one reason, this church is given a promise. If there were no hope, no promise would be given. Also, Christ chastens those He loves.22  If this church's only option were a dead end, then Christ would not have counseled it.


Ron’s Commentary:  There were many promises proffered to God first “chosen people” the Jews.  But promises are not a guarantee of unconditional finality as the Jewish situation proved.  Ellen White said that all the messages to the seven church eras apply to the end of time.  That means there will be various stages of them all extant to the very end.

"The names of the seven churches are symbolic of the church in different periods of the Christian Era. The number indicates completeness, and is symbolic of the fact that the messages [plural] extend to the end of time, while the symbols used reveal the condition of the church [collectively and generally] at different periods in the history of the world." E.G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, 585.

Philadelphia is Zion, the New Jerusalem.  She has a daughter, Laodicea.  All the fallen churches are her daughter.  Ellen White said that all the churches are Laodicean.  In Isaiah 62:11, the mother, Zion, Philadelphia, is told to say something to her daughter:

11 Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. 12 And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.

This is Zion giving the final loud cry message to her daughters in Laodicea to come out.  Isaiah 62:11, is but a paraphrase of the following call in Matthew 25:

6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.


The door is shut on the foolish virgins whom Ellen White defined as Laodiceans.


Rev 3:7  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;


Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new name.  


I have presented this evidence to Karl Wagner for years, and it is as lost on him as water off a ducks back!  It is all a black hole to him, deep as midnight darkness, because he chose to reject true reformer Adventism years ago and his discernment is not as dark as midnight.  It is clear that it is Zion, New Jerusalem, who is the bride of Christ.  Her daughters will be the guests.


"The people of God, symbolized by a holy woman and her children, were represented as greatly in the minority. In the last days only a remnant still existed. Of these John speaks as they 'which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." E. G. White, Signs of the Times,  Nov. 1, 1899, and Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,  vol. 7, p. 972.

The Bride is not the guests--"The marriage represents the reception by Christ of His kingdom. The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, which is the capital and REPRESENTATIVE of the kingdom, is called 'the bride, the Lamb's wife.' ...Clearly, then, the bride REPRESENTS [speaks on behalf of] the Holy City, and the [ten] virgins that go out to meet the bridegroom are a symbol of the church [militant body consisting of wheat and tares, wise and foolish, while the bride is the representative of the "invisible" church triumphant on earth and the heavenly kingdom church of Hebrews 12:22, 23]. In the Revelation the people of God are said to be the guests at the marriage supper. Revelation 19:9. If guests, they cannot be represented also as the bride. Christ, as stated by the prophet Daniel, will receive from the Ancient of Days in heaven, 'dominion, and glory, and a kingdom' He will receive the NEW JERUSALEM, the capital of His kingdom, 'prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.'" E. G. White, The Great Controversy, 426, 427, the 1911 Edition.

Concerning the connection between the judgment and Laodicea, Arthur White writes in his six-volume work on Ellen White the comments of his grandfather, James White:

    "'It appears that the saints are judged while some are living, and others are dead. . . . The fact that all who have part in that [first] resurrection are "blessed and holy" shows that decision is passed on all the saints before the second coming of Christ.' 

     Tying the judgment in with the message to the Laodicean church, White argued: 


      " It is most reasonable to conclude that there is a special call to the remnant, and a special work to be performed by them, and for them, preparatory to the decisions of the judgment in regard to them, and that their salvation depends upon fully obeying the calls and counsel to them. And we most solemnly believe that this preparatory call and work is brought to view in the testimony to the Laodiceans, and parallel portions of the Word of God.--Review and Herald, Jan. 29, 185723


Naturally, if Adventism were to remain the "good" church of Philadelphia, then the part they play in the judgment could appear to be an oxy-moron.  But what is at the heart of this view is that it's the message and mission of the Adventist people as found in the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans.  Hence, we must be the seventh church if we are to be the ones so commissioned.  It is the seventh church with the mission.  It is the seventh church with the counsel.  It is the seventh church with the promise.  When we see ourselves as Laodicea, we understand our lack of the gospel's living reality in our lives. We understand our need is Jesus…alone!


Ron’s Commentary:  Now Karl Wagner has the word of Arthur White trumping the words of Ellen White!  Who is the prophet?  Arthur or Ellen?!  Laodicea will do anything to justify her course of backsliding.  She will believe anything to make excuses and hold herself forth as the bride of Jesus Christ—even to the point of rejecting Ellen White’s description of Laodicea, to favor that of Arthur White!  I have also experienced individuals believing statements by Willie White over those of Ellen White. Amazing! Positively amazing!  Now Laodicea is feeling rich, increased with goods, in need of nothing because she see’s her unrighteousness!   That’s a real switch!  Karl believes that is righteousness by faith.  Just believe that Christ did it all OUTSIDE OF YOU, and you are the final church!  Wow!  Will the real Laodicea stand up!  Because Ellen White said that all the churches are Laodicea!  No special mission for Seventh-day Adventists there!


The Counsel of the True and Faithful Witness.

In order to have this living experience we need to heed the message of the True Witness.  As we have said earlier, this message will do its work.

When Adventists first began to find people open to receiving the Third Angle's message, most were already Christians.  They understood the gospel, so the emphasis was put on the distinct beliefs of the movement.  These included the state of the dead, the connection between the Third Angel's message, ala' mark of the beast, Sabbath and the work of Christ as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.  These last three areas were essentially one theology tied together before the famous Sabbath conferences of the late 1840's.  These Sabbath conferences were largely ways in which the Third Angel's message could be propagated to the Advent people. 


Ron’s Commentary:  The mainline churches from whence the pioneer Adventists derived, knew the gospel, says Karl.  They believed that salvation was by faith alone—no obedience to commandments by the indwelling Saviour!  No Sabbath keeping!  Ellen White said that the gospel and the law cannot be separated, yet the fallen churches did a fine job of that, and if they fell knowing the true gospel, what does that say about the power of the gospel?!  If they knew the gospel, what about the Everlasting Gospel, with its capstone, Rev. 14:12?  If they knew the gospel, what happened to them that they now believe only believe the partial gospel of the “In-Christ Motif” and not the “Christ in you Motif?!  Fact is, they never believed the full gospel!


Over the years, Adventists found one could be Adventist without necessarily knowing and having a personal relationship with Christ.  It wasn't until the conference at Minneapolis in 1888 that Adventism met itself again coming the other way.  The movement commissioned to give the gospel to the world first had to receive it!  Here, in place and time, the counsel of the True Witness was heralded more then at any other time in the young movement's history. 

This was not new light24 but light most adamantly needed.  Many could not speak on something they themselves have had no experience in.  If ever a people needed the counsel of the True Witness, it was the Adventists in 1888. 25 


Ron’s Commentary:  If any needed the counsel of the True Witness, it was all those virgins—all ten—all churches, for Ellen White said that the Laodicean Message applies to all churches!  Yet, Karl says that they knew the full gospel!  If the ones who came out of the fallen churches (SDAs) forgot the true gospel, and the other churches retained it, what good is the true gospel in keeping a church from falling?!


This counsel found it's medium in the persons of Ellot J. Waggoner and Alonzo T. Jones.  Editor and associate editor (respectively) of the Signs26 in California.  They gave the message of Righteousness by Faith in Jesus.  If only the church could see its need for spiritual discernment (eye salve).  Exercise faith, even in trial (gold, tried in the fire).  Put on the robe of Christ's Righteousness without one thread of human devising (garment to cover nakedness).  She would be fitted to carry the gospel to the end of the world had she done so.  Instead, her leaders pulled back from the message in fear of losing the Sabbath by diminishing the law.  Many eventually accepted, but I fear it was only an intellectual acceptance, and not a living experience of the indwelling Christ.


Ron’s Commentary:  Notice that Karl defines gold tried in the fire as faith and eye salve.  Any faith must be accompanied by obedience to the first commandments which is love.  Ellen White defines the gold tried in the fire as faith AND LOVE.

 It is critical that you, the reader, remember  that Karl stated above that it is possible to have an intellectual acceptance, and not a living experience of the indwelling Christ!  Why is it critical for you to remember this?  Because Karl Wagner confesses the concept of the indwelling of Christ, and that sounds great! 

But then he demonstrates that he does not believe in a living experience of the indwelling Christ, when he says that works done even by the Holy Spirit of the indwelling Christ are not efficacious toward salvation! 

That is the very same thing as saying that the righteousness of Christ worked in and through us, is not the basis of salvation and he says that also, when he says that works—even those done by the Holy Spirit, are not the basis of salvation!

In his statement above, Karl alludes to Ellen White’s statement that the robe of Christ’s Righteousness is without one thread of human devising.  Then Karl defines the experience of the robe of Christ’s Righteousness in the last sentence as a living experience of the indwelling Christ.  Karl gives intellectual assent to the concept, but he denies the practical experience when he says that we are not saved by EVEN THE WORKS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT INDWELLING US. Thus he does despite to the righteousness of Christ that works in and through us. That denies all living experience of the indwelling Christ.  That is intellectual acceptance, while totally denying the actual, practical experience of Christ formed within, the hope of glory.

Let me ask you reader: Is there one thread of our own devising involved when we receive the free grace gift of full surrender and thus permit Christ to work His good pleasure Will in and through us to complete His character of Righteousness by Faith in and through us?  Of course not!  And if you think there is, tell me what it is!  I will publish your findings!

Hbr 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Karl’s mention of “the indwelling Christ, becomes antithetical to his gospel the moment he says that works empowered by the Holy Spirit are not efficacious toward our salvation, but he does not see how that is so.  For some reason, he is blind to the living experience of Christ living and dwelling in us and the works He does through us.  Christ is not going to be indwelling without working His Will in and through us, and that fact Karl has referred to as a black hole. 

Any work Christ does in and through us as a result of indwelling us, is His work of Righteousness by faith, which certainly is the basis of salvation, for without that righteousness He did and does by faith in His Father, there would be no salvation! 

There would be no cross had He failed the “works test” prior to the cross.  And the cross without passing the “works test” priorly, would only have provided for the forgiveness of sin FOREVER, and payment of the death penalty for man so he could continue to sin FOREVER!  But, suffice it to conclude that if the Son of Man had failed the works test concerning sin, it would have been game over, and there would have been no purpose for the cross. 

Christ passed the works test, righteousness by Faith, that He might work the same works in and through us.  That was the purpose of His Incarnation gift of His Holy Spirit.  That was the purpose of His Incarnation gift of His Divine Nature Mind.  That was the purpose of His New Covenant placing the law, the transcript of His character, in the heart (mind) of man.

It is foolish to conclude that Christ kept the law for us, when He says that His New Covenant would be put in the heart (mind) of man!  Since His law is a transcript of His character, that law in our hearts, is His character in our minds!  That character is involved with behaviour—even the righteousness of Christ!  So it is the most foolish conclusions of the foolish virgin Laodiceans, that behavior has nothing to do with salvation!  Righteousness by faith is Christ’s righteousness manifest in and through us.

Notice that Karl mentions only “FAITH” as constituting the gold tried in the fire.  I have called him on that a number of times over the years, but he still chooses to omit “LOVE” as being one of the elements comprising the gold.  Why is that?  Could it be because God’s says we can know we love Him only if we are keeping His commandments because we bought the gold, faith and love, and thereby surrendered to the born again experience, whereby we did daily to self and let Christ’s Holy Spirit obey in and through us daily?

The heart of man is desperately wicked and self-deceptive.  It will go to any end to convince itself that one can be saved in sin by just believing in the so-called benefits of the Atonement, while they do not understand that those benefits are Christ in us, the only hope of glory.

The position today is no different then that of LeRoy Froom in his last book, Movement of Destiny.  Froom assures us that the church did accept the message of 1888. 27 Yet Froom’s mentor, Arthur Daniells28 in his book, "Christ Our Righteousness,"29  tells us that the leaders have rejected the message given at Minneapolis 36 years after the fact. He writes, "How sad, how deeply regrettable, it is that this message of righteousness in Christ should, at the time of its coming, have met with opposition on the part of earnest, well-meaning men in the cause of God!  The message has never been received, nor proclaimed, nor given free course as it should have been in order to convey to the church the measureless blessings that were wrapped within it. "(emphasis mine).30


Ron’s Commentary:  Notice that Karl quotes Daniels reference to righteousness IN CHRIST.   It is true that the “righteousness in Christ” Motif has never been given to the church in any unison teaching by the leadership.  It is just as true that the “righteousness of Christ in us” Motif, mentioned by A.D. Jones, has never been given to the church in any unison teaching by the leadership!

Froom did not teach it!  Daniels tried to but he was involved in a half-gospel also by terming it “righteousness in Christ”!  Everything Froom did was against the true gospel.  Froom returned to the iniquities of his forefathers, Jeremiah 11:9-15, and conspired with the church’s enemies.  Karl has followed the same course.  He was not born into Adventism, and he is a half-baked, half gospel convert who is making others twice the child of hell by his errant gospel. 


Daniells shows his understanding of this very important message when he writes, "The major portion of our membership today has been raised up since these experiences came to us.  They are unacquainted with them; but they need the message; also the lessons which those experiences were designed to teach. Hence the necessity of reproducing a portion, at least, of the instruction then given, and accompanying the same with a brief explanation of what took place."31

This is a big difference from Froom's glowing reports of those that attended the conference and later accepted the message. Many were entrenched in legalism and would find it hard to have a real experience in the gospel of grace. As Froom so aptly stated, Westphal, a conservative ally, "…stressed the point that the concept was held by not a few that by fully obeying the moral law we could obtain salvation."32  I think it safe to say that still today, Adventism has a lot to learn and to unlearn.  But the counsel of the True Witness will do its work.33  God will have a people. 


Ron’s Commentary:  There is VALID LEGALISM, and FALSE LEGALISM.  Valid legalism is Christ’s law in the heart and mind of man; His very life and soul Holy Spirit indwelling the mind and heart.  His law in the heart is pure, unadulterated legalism of the valid type.

Then there is invalid, false legalism, like that manifested by the Jews—the belief that one’s own works may earn salvation and have any merit whatsoever!  The rich young ruler felt that he had obeyed the law—kept the commandments, but he was guilty of legalism of the worst kind.


The Gospel as Related by Christ to the Rich Young Ruler and the Lawyer


Why does man listen to man when Jesus Himself spoke the gospel to the rich young ruler.  Here is the gospel in microcosm:


Mat 19:16-29  16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. 23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. 27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.


Ellen White says that being last means one is not saved!


What does Jesus say we must do to be saved?  What commandments did the rich young ruler break?  To answer these questions, let’s look at the two commandments the ten hang upon:


Mat 22:36-40  Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets


Now, what did Jesus say we must do to be saved?


  1. If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.  Was Jesus a legalist?  What commandments was the rich young ruler breaking?
  2. Thou shalt not covet.  The rich young ruler coveted possessions more than a relationship with and following Christ.
  3. He broke the first and second commandments that the ten hang on.  He loved possessions more than loving God with all his heart, soul and mind.  He loved himself more than his neighbor who was in need.  He thus made an idol out of possessions.   So he was an idolater.  He did not possess agape love—self sacrificing love for God or for his brothers.  He did not have filial love for God or his brethren.
  4. Christ, very God, the owner of all, was totally self-sacrificing, as were His disciples.  The principle of His character is self-sacrificing love.  He gave His all for us.
  5. Christ’s answer to the rich young ruler was a command.  He broke that command also.
  6. The command of Christ involved behavior on the part of the rich young ruler.
  7. The command of Christ tested the faith and love of the man.
  8. Had the rich young ruler “bought” (accepted the free grace gift) of love and faith, he would have died to self, surrendered to Christ’s commands, and been saved.  Christ would have obeyed His own commands in and through the young man.  That is how He imputes His righteousness.
  9. Does Matthew 19:29 apply to us today?  Or was that condition abrogated by the cross?


The commands to the rich young man apply to us as well if we value any possession more than we love Christ and the brethren:  And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.


  1. Did Christ have one standard for the rich young ruler and another for us?  Did the cross change that standard?  Did the rich young ruler lose out on salvation because Christ’s instruction to him was before the cross?  Would Christ’s instruction be different after the cross


According to mainline Christianity’s rendition of the gospel, Christ should have said to the rich young ruler:  Just follow me, for before long, I will overcome all sin and die on the cross for your sins, your disobedience to my commands, and will obey my commands to you for you, instead of through you.  Either Jesus gave the rich young ruler a false gospel, or mainline Christianity is teaching a false gospel.  Take your choice!  But choose ye today whom ye will serve.


Consider folk that if, as Karl states, the fallen churches prior to 1884, had the true gospel, and it did not work for them in that they are still Laodicean, what hope is there for Adventists if they embrace the same gospel! 


Fact is, the churches prior to 1844 did not have the true gospel!  They were as wrong then as they are today in believing that we are saved by faith ALONE!  What?!  Does not the Bible say that we are saved by faith alone?  Yes it does, but the first commandment says that we must love God with all the heart, soul and mind.  True faith alone will embrace all the commands of God, including the one to buy faith and love; including the one to die daily; including the one to partake of the Divine Nature of Christ by which we conquer the lust of the world; including the one to serve the Spirit and not the flesh; including the one to let God work His good Will and pleasure in us.


The first and greatest command of all is to love God with all the heart, soul and mind.  This is nothing more than surrender of the will to Jesus Christ, so He can indwell the heart and develop character that will be in those chosen by the Father to be the bride of His Son.  For that is what the Bible teaches in all the “Christ in us” portions of Scripture of which there are many.   

The church has the gospel, intellectually.  There are many who have it as a living experience in a relationship with the Master. They not only call Jesus Saviour, but also call Him Lord.  When we will have this as a people, we will see a power attend the Third Angel's message like we've never seen before.  Nobody will have to tell you because it will be apparent.


Ron’s Commentary:  The church DOES NOT have the gospel intellectually.  It is being taught the erroneous gospel of the fallen churches--that righteousness by faith is merely “us in Christ,” meaning that He did and does it all outside of us.   True righteousness by faith is just as Scripture defines it:  Christ in you, the hope of glory.

I happen to know from Karl’s dialogues with me, that he expects that the church would experience huge growth and prosperity in all its borders if the church would just accept his half-gospel version of the gospel of Christ in us, while intellectually admitting to the other half of the gospel—“Christ in us,” but denying it in reality.  Well that is just not so!  The charismatic SDA churches believe and teach Karl’s gospel, yet they are divided and many of them have left the fellowship of church organization and unity to form their church on their own cognizance.


There can be one reason and one reason only for Karl’s concept that the church would grow bigger and faster if it would teach his gospel!  There is only one type of gospel that grows churches fast and big!  It is the cheap grace gospel of only believe—only believe that Christ obeyed for you instead of by indwelling you and obeying in and through you.  That is the only gospel that grows the mega and giga churches!  That gospel denies the works of righteousness by faith worked in us and through us as the basis of salvation.  It teaches that the cross is the basis of salvation, and all the cross does is pay our penalty of death.  The cross does not recover us from sin.  The Holy Spirit gift to the church does that.


Why All This Shaking?


Have you ever tried to get a message or point across to someone? No matter how hard you try, they just don't seem to get it? It's not different with the gospel.  Even while Jesus was walking around with His disciples, they never seemed to be able to wrap themselves around the message He was preaching.  When He died, they scattered due to their ignorance.  When He arose from the grave, a new fire was rekindled in their hearts.  What fire do we need rekindled in our heart?


Ron’s Commentary:  Yes Karl, for over three years now, I have been trying to get you to see the practical experience of Christ indwelling presence and it’s purpose in the salvific act.  But either you just don’t get it or don’t want to get it.  Maybe you don’t want to get it for the same reason many others on the broad way don’t want to get it!  But that does not negate the living experience of Christ’s indwelling and what that indwelling does by way of works effecting and affecting behavior.

When we heed the gospel of Jesus Christ34 we will be empowered to fulfill the great commission of sharing the grace of Jesus with others. But sad to say, there will be those who will not accept it.  They will call it cheap grace, or new theology.  They will ask you about the law and it's place in the gospel.  To them, the gospel is the faith of Jesus, which means more obedience to God.  More rules!  They will rise up against the counsel of the True Witness35.  They will not accept it.  I find this so hard to believe!  Can you imagine it?  They won't accept the Gospel; instead they will be shocked when Jesus tells them that He doesn’t know them.  From their coldness we are to gather our warmth36, for where else are we to go? 


Ron’s Commentary:  Sooner or later the New Theologists give themselves away and let you know what they are “really” saying!  Karl does that in the above paragraph.  He puts down the law and its rules.  He intimates that the gospel is not the faith of Jesus working obedience in and through us.  I find that hard to believe!  Can you imagine it. 


They won’t accept Jesus’ own answer to the rich young ruler concerning the way to be saved.  Did Jesus mention the rules of the first and second commandment?  Did he imply that the man was breaking the commandment against coveting?  Did Jesus say just believe—I did it all for you?!  Or to the rich young ruler, did He say just believe and follow me for I am “about to do it all for you?”  Did the rich young ruler miss out on salvation by a few weeks, months, or years?


 Dear reader, it is Christ, not me, who says:  Mat 19:16-29  16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.


The New Theologists say that we cannot keep the commandments.  I agree!  That is why Christ laid aside His life and soul Holy Spirit to indwell us and keep them in and through us in order to save us FROM SIN, rather than IN SIN.


I'm not speaking of Law or Grace.  I'm talking of Law and Grace.  They are not in contrast, but are a continuum.37 Will we be able to keep the proper tension between them, or will we abandon one in favor of the other?  It's not a matter of equal balance.  They are not in a balance to be weighed out evenly. These two points are in tension.  Much like a clothesline is held up between two poles. If one pole falls, the whole thing comes down.


Ron’s Commentary:  Make no mistake about it, Karl is indeed speaking of ONLY GRACE when he says that works done by the Holy Spirit in and through us have no part in our salvation.  That is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans!  He says that if any works were involved, it would not be a free gift of grace.  He does not view the works (the righteousness by faith works) of Christ within us as acts of free gifts of His grace.  That is blasphemy.  Beware! 


Karl’s theology is contradicted by Scripture and Ellen White.  Isaiah 8:20, was never more apropos!  Below, you are about to encounter some more of his theory that countermands Scripture.

I have a feeling that the battle has already begun.  It's time we hold ourselves suspect enough to examine the word to be sure that we are looking to the master and not our own efforts.  When our eyes are on what we do, or don't do, they are off track and we put ourselves in danger and because of our example, those around us.


Ron's Commentary:  The above statement is not entirely true.  Our eyes are to be on what Christ is doing in and through us, but that involves seeing what He does in and through us--His Will fulfilled in and through us.  That involves a certain examining of self:  Notice: 


 2Cr 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?


1Jo 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.


Does the admonition of the above scriptures contradict Karl’s words below?


“When our eyes are on what we do, or don't do, they are off track and we put ourselves in danger and because of our example, those around us.”


 There are far too many leaving our denomination in search of the gospel. I get very mad at this situation.  Why do we, who are "suppose" to have the gospel, have to go outside the denomination to find it? 


Ron’s Commentary:  If the church continues with the gospel it has borrowed from Babylon, then one may as well leave its borders.  The only chance of finding the gospel in the SDA church is that one might happen upon some independent ministry leader who is teaching it and/or study as we are supposed to—searching the Scriptures, for in them is eternal life.  Karl presupposes that one must be a member of some church to find the true gospel.  That is not true.  The Holy Spirit has not lost His power to woo and instruct sincere seekers of truth.  Notice this greatly encouraging evidence of that fact:


A Firmament of Chosen Ones Who Have Never Heard the Name Seventh-day Adventist.--"Among earth's inhabitants, scattered in every land, there are those who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Like the stars of heaven, which appear only at night, these faithful ones will shine forth when darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people. In heathen Africa, in the Catholic lands of Europe and of South America, in China, in India, in the islands of the sea, and in all the dark corners of the earth, God has in reserve a firmament of chosen ones that will yet shine forth amidst the darkness, revealing clearly to an apostate world the transforming power of obedience to His law. Even now they are appearing in every nation, among every tongue and people and in the hour of deepest apostasy, when Satan's supreme effort is made to cause 'all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,' to receive, under penalty of death, the sign of allegiance to a false rest day, these faithful ones, 'blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke,' will 'shine as lights in the world.' The darker the night, the more brilliantly will they shine." E.G. White, Evangelism, 706, 707, and Prophets and Kings, pp. 188, 189.

The transforming power of obedience to His law is a gift of His free grace:


Rom 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

If Christ obeyed for us, instead of through us, we would not receive grace (power) for obedience to the faith and apostleship.

Rom 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Rom 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all [men]. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

Rom 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:


Very typical of the average member is this quote from a letter posted on a former Adventist forum regarding their resignation from the church. This young lady says, "So thank you for removing my name….I'm going out as a babe again in the faith to learn what true salvation is, and what the Bible and the Bible alone teaches." and she finishes up with, "You may not understand or agree with my reasons. I don't expect you to. But I must go…".38 She expects no understanding?  Because those she was leaving was [were] blind, miserable and naked. They thought they were rich!  After all, they had the "truth" and knew that she was losing her salvation by leaving.  How could they understand?!  Have we made it so easy for people to give up on Adventism?


Ron’s Commentary:  I am familiar with the person Karl alludes to, and I can assure you that she had not been taught the first rudiments of the gospel and said she was returning to a Sunday-keeping church, and why not, if the SDA church is going to teach the same gospel—that the commandments of God were either kept FOR US AND OUTSIDE US by Christ, AND/OR EVEN IF EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, THEY HAVE NO BEARING ON OUR SALVATION.  In either case, it does not matter whether or not one keeps the Sabbath!  Think it through friend, think it through to its logical conclusion in either case!  Were I ever convinced that Karl Wagner is right, I would do the same thing as the young lade he refers to!  The entertainment is better in Babylon’s brothels!


Lets pray for these people who feel they had to leave in order to find the gospel.  Lets pray for each other, that maybe we'll be there to help others before they leave. Pray for our church leaders instead of pointing out their faults. I read just recently that if you want a better pastor, pray for the one you have.  How about a better church? 


Ron's Commentary:  Karl has expressed many times that the church would have more members if its gospel was—Christ did it all for you 2000 years ago.  Just believe and relax!  He will finish what He started in you!  The sad truth is that He  never started in you if you believe Karl’s gospel!


On a broader note, there comes a point in apostasy at which God instructs us not to pray for a people.  That point is when His people conspire with His enemies and come into liaison with them and return to their iniquities.  Jeremiah 11:9-15.  It is a total lack of spiritual discernment to refer to gross apostasy as mere faults.


We are not supposed to lower the standard to meet those who do not desire the indwelling life and soul of Jesus Christ via His Holy Spirit, in the quest for numbers and/or money!  Christ made it plain that He is not in the numbers racket when He said that the gate is narrow and few there be who enter.  Karl and many other half-baked Adventists are merely trying to widen the gates.




Chapter Three

The Final Atonement

Was the Sin Problem Wrapped Up At the Cross?

We finished up the first chapter dealing with this question a little.  In fact, this question seems to be the real question, rather then [than] a question of final atonement. Was there nothing more that God needed to do concerning the sin problem? Even a small matter of his resurrection still needed to be accounted for. This is clearly a post-Calvary event. Without the resurrection, we would be without hope, a most pitied lot.39 And even then, Jesus tells Mary Magdalene not to "cling" to him, for he is yet to go to his Father. I make these points to show that the sacrifice was enough, but that there still had to be some things done after the cross that pertains to our salvation, and without them, we are left hopeless. Granted, these events are just mere days after the cross.  One can say that the whole period between the Garden to the time Jesus appears before the Father counts as the one event,…the Passion! My point is that we have to be careful not to be short sighted.  We must open our mind to the idea that there is a work yet to be done on mans behalf in heaven by Christ our High Priest without at the same time diminishing the blood of Jesus on Calvary.


Ron’s Commentary:  From hence forth, watch to see if you find anything in Karl’s teaching that smacks of character development as one of the benefits of the Atonement process.  Watch closely!


We can find statements that appear to do that very thing, that is, to remove our eyes from Calvary, or to diminish the power of the blood. Take for example the Ellen White statement from Patriarchs and Prophets. We read, "The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement..."40 As far back as 1853, we see the words "final atonement" together in a letter from an Adventist brother. He writes, "DEAR BRO. WHITE:- …At the expiration of the 2300 days, commenced the cleansing of the sanctuary, by opening the door of, and entering, the Most Holy Place; around which door the little remnant will cluster, and with deep contrition of heart watch every event, keeping all the commandments of God, that through faith in the final atonement, the blessing of the Great High Priest may rest upon them,…"41

It is here that we tend to be at odds with Protestant theology born of the Reformation a'la Martin Luther and John Calvin.  How are we to measure up? Should we even care what we appear to be in the eyes of other Christians? We are after all called to be a unique and peculiar people. It seems that all God's people are to be such way back to Israel.42 So here we are, a part of a long line of "peculiar" people, right?  I contemplated this for some time. Due to the impact of the evangelical conferences held in the 1950s with Walter Martin and leaders of the General Conference.43 How I often wished that we would have left the Walter Martin alone to do whatever he wanted to do.  But alas, Walter Martin wasn't the problem.  Walter Martin wasn't the first one to ask the question.  But he was the one who brought some of those very important questions about Adventism to front in recent times with the event still making an impact in Adventism today concerning the ongoing debates over the question of final atonement and the nature of Christ.


Ron’s Commentary:  If Christ’s nature was not in our likeness, then He was no example for us in any wise!  The key point is that Christ overcame sin by the same process we are to overcome—by surrender to His Will, as He moment by moment surrendered to His Father’s Will. Christ made that surrender as a human in our likeness.  If Christ could make that surrender, so can we.  If he could not, then we cannot!  Herein is the importance of Christ’s human nature, for Ellen White said that He availed Himself of no aid that we are not privy to.


Walter Martin in his 1956 article, Seventh-Day(sic) Adventism Today, lists "the four leading charges commonly brought against Adventism."44 The charges read, "(1) that the atonement of Christ was not completed upon the cross; (2) that salvation is the result of grace plus the works of the law; (3) that the Lord Jesus Christ was a created being, not from all eternity; (4) and that He partook of man's sinful fallen nature at the incarnation."45  He finishes his article in reference to these points saying that after the year and a half meetings with top leaders of the General Conference, and a total of seven years of research he can now say that Adventists have "totally" repudiated these previously held heretical positions.   To charge these against the majority of Adventists would be "inaccurate" and "decidedly unchristian!"46


Ron's Commentary:  Regarding Martin's point #2, "that salvation is the result of grace plus the works of the law," there is no such thing as grace that does not provide for Christ keeping His Will, His Law, the transcript of His character in and through us if He indwells us. He does all the works--all the commandment-keeping in and through us, lest any man should boast.  This is the result of receiving the free grace gift of full surrender of our will to His Will which He then manifests in and through us by the indwelling of His Divine Nature Holy Spirit.  This is legalism!  The legalism of Christ being obedient to His own character.  This is another work of AT-ONE-MENT which Christ is doing after the cross, which Karl Wagner fails to observe.  This is the restoration of man back to the image of God, which must precede the following words at Christ's coming:


Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.


1Ti 5:24 Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some [men] they follow after.


Some forty years later, three of the four issues remain with us. The issues concerning the final atonement, and the "sinful" nature of Christ are the major ones, while many, especially among those who once walked with us still accuse Adventism of teaching a form of works oriented salvation. The doctrine over Christ's deity has been trying to make inroads back into mainline Adventist discussions, with hopes of reinstitution of the old Arian views.  It was only fully expunged from Adventism by about 1930 by the efforts of men like LeRoy Froom.47   This new trend has so far not been successful in gaining any significant audience or following.  Our focus now is on how we handled the question of final atonement to the satisfaction of evangelical Christians.  Did we compromise our doctrine in order to find acceptance with those outside Adventism, or were we finally able to explain our understanding of the atonement without being accused of making the blood of Christ of non-effect?



Ron's Commentary:  Oh how we must satisfy the evangelical Christians!  Froom was not correct on his view of the human nature of Jesus Christ.  He said flat out that it was the nature of Adam before the fall.  That is not correct.  Adam did not have the degradation results of 4000 years of sin.  Christ did.  Adam was not tempted by every temptation known to man.  Christ was!  Adam did not have many propensities to sin incurred by committing many sins.  Neither did Christ have ANY propensities to sin, but just as our sins were laid upon Him and He that knew no sin was made to be sin for us, so were all our propensities to sin laid upon Him for to test and temp Him.  Otherwise, He could not have been tempted in ALL things as we are!


Just because the issue of Christ’s human nature has faded a bit, that is no sign that it is a dead issue, for it is not.  The current Fundamental belief on the human nature of Christ is a falsehood. To say that Christ was not like Adam before the fall, but neither was He like us after the fall, is nothing but double speaking deception in an effort to satisfy both sides of the issue and it does neither!  However, it serves the cause of error.


The facts are that if Christ was not in our likeness, he was not our example in any wise!  Satan could thus justly cry foul!  The example of Christ’s resistance of sin was to prove that Adam need not have sinned.  If Christ was superior to Adam in any way, He would not have been able to prove that.


There is a position on the human nature of Christ, apart from the issue of His deity, that is involved with His humanity being tested as was Adam's--IN OUR LIKENESS.  If Christ failed in any part of that likeness, then He was not tempted as we are and the Scriptures saying that He was tempted like as we are become false.  New Movement Laodicean Apostate Adventism tries to skew this point by saying that Christ was neither fully like Adam before the fall nor fully like Adam after the fall.  To the extent that He did not participate in Adam's likeness after the fall, He could in no wise have been tempted as we are.  True, He had no propensities to sin because He NEVER ONCE SINNED.  However, as He took ALL our sins upon Himself and crucified them in the flesh, in the very same manner He took our propensities to sin upon Himself and crucified them in the flesh also, lest anything resembling sin was left uncrucified.  He had no propensities to sin personally, but He experienced the temptation of our propensities when they were laid upon Him, just as He was tempted by all our sins.


In response to the conferences with Martin, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist produced a book with designs of not just going to Adventists, but to be made available to the whole of Christendom as a form of a semi-official statement concerning our beliefs, or at best,…"representative of the faith and beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church."48 Question 29 from this book answers this charge in the section, "A Wider Concept of the Atonement."49   Here its affirmed that…"the work on Calvary involves also the application of the atoning sacrifice of Christ to the seeking soul.  This is provided for in the priestly ministry of our blessed Lord, our great High Priest in the sanctuary above."50 


Ron’s Commentary:  Is there a work before Calvary when the Son of God “emptied Himself,” and laid aside His Holy Spirit Being as a bequeathed gift—even the crowning, greatest good gift that heaven could bestow on mankind? Is Christ administering His Holy Spirit, as one of the benefits of the AT-ONE-MENT, to bring man into AT-ONE-MENT with His character—the transcript of His law and vice versa? 

Who could honestly deny the effort that was to be put forth by the people on the typical Day of Atonement?  The counterpart to that effort today is the striving to remain dead to self and to behold our Lord and Saviour, for by beholding Him, we are changed into His likeness character wise.  The gift of His Holy Spirit is for that purpose.  Ellen White makes it clear that we have a cooperative part in the salvific effort.  It is not as the fallen churches teach:  “Let go and let God,” with no effort of any cooperation on our part.


But what about earlier Adventism? Where did they put their emphasis? We continue in the same chapter. "Some of our earlier Seventh-day Adventist writers, believing that the word 'atonement' had a wider meaning than many of their fellow Christians attached to it, expressed themselves as indicating that the atonement was not made on the cross of Calvary, but was made rather by Christ after He entered upon His priestly ministry in heaven.  They believed fully in the efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of men, and they believed most assuredly that this sacrifice was made once for all and forever, but they preferred not to use the word 'atonement' as relating only to the sacrificial work of Christ as Calvary.  We repeat they believed as fully as we do that the sacrificial work of our blessed Lord on Golgotha's hill was full and complete, never again to be offered, and that it was done once and for all. Their concept was that the sacrifice of Jesus provided the means of the atonement, and that the atonement itself was made only when the priests ministered the sacrificial offering on behalf of the sinner.  Viewed in this light, it will be seen that the question after all is a matter of definition of terms. Today, not meeting the same issues that our earlier writers had to meet, we believe that the sacrificial atonement was made on the cross and was provided for all men, but that in the heavenly atonement is applied to the seeking soul."51 (italic emphasis supplied). 


Ron’s Commentary:  Notice the emboldened emphasis above.  That emphasis is mine.  What is applied to the seeking soul?  The indwelling work of the Holy Spirit is applied to the seeking soul to aid it in remaining dead to self, and that Spirit works the works of Christ in and through us when we are dead to self!  Ellen White considered that work just as essential as Christ’s death on the cross:

"The intercession of Christ in man's behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven. We must by faith enter within the veil, 'whither the forerunner is for us entered.' Hebrews 6:20:" E.G. White, The Great Controversy, 1911 edition, p. 489.

The next question of the book answers the charges that Adventism has reduced the atoning sacrifice to a partial atonement.  When Adventist writings refer to Christ making atonement, it should be understood that it means Christ is applying the benefits of the atonement made on the cross.52

The sin problem is a problem involving the Cosmos, not just this little planet.  The atonement at the cross and the work of Christ also as our High Priest must not only remove sin from the universe, but also remove the conditions that cause sin to continue.  The cross has reconciled all men back to God53, that is, taken out of the way that which stood between God and us. The very thing that has made God our enemy and we, His. And now, Christ must apply it on our behalf to destroy sin forever.  As I have said before, "Is the atonement completed? No. Is the atonement complete?  Yes."  If God was finished dealing with the sin problem, then we would already be home!


Ron's Commentary:  I have asked Karl twice now what the reason is for Christ’s delay.  He accused me of blaming it on us, but would not tell me what he believes the delay is due to .

The only way by which Christ can remove sin from the universe, and the conditions that cause sin to continue, WITHOUT FORCE, is to woo a people who are willing to receive the free grace gift of being made willing to surrender their wills (dying daily to self) to Christ's Will for them, and who will receive the free grace gift of His Divine Nature indwelling within them--keeping His commandments in and through them, lest any man should boast.  This is a benefit of His At-One-Ment with us.  This was the prime purpose of His Incarnation--the restoration of man into the image of God, without which, His death on the cross would have only been efficacious toward pardoning sin forever! 

All of the above is how and why Ellen White could say that we are not saved by commandment-keeping (because we cannot keep them), but neither are we saved without keeping them because if we are in relationship with Christ by His indwelling presence, He will keep them in and through us.  Karl Wagner has referred to this concept as "a dark hole."  That would make Ellen White and Scripture a dark hole!


What's Good About the Judgment?

In Adventist theology, we find the reason for the continuing application of the atonement in heaven.  This movement, coming out of the Millerite movement in October of 1844 understood shortly after the passing of time that Christ had a work yet to do in the true Sanctuary of heaven. The tent God pitched, and not man.54  It is here, that we refer to Christ as our High Priest, while He administers the benefits of Calvary during the great anti-typical Day of Atonement.55


Ron's Commentary:  I’m trying to get Karl to tell me what benefits he refers to.

The crowning, greatest good benefit of the Incarnation and AT-ONE-MENT of Jesus Christ, was as follows:

"Christ declared that after his ascension, he would send to his church, as his crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take his place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit,--the soul of his life, the efficacy of his church, the light and life of the world. With his Spirit Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power that takes away sin.
In the gift of the Spirit [HIS LIFE--THE SOUL OF HIS LIFE], Jesus gave to man the highest good that heaven could bestow....
The Spirit was given as a regenerating agency, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail....
It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given his Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress his own character upon the church." E.G. White, Review and Herald Articles, May 19, 1904, vol. 5, p. 42.


While not understood at first by Adventists56, they began to understand that the work of the High Priest entailed among other things a work of judgment.57  By 1857, we referred to this work of judgment as the Investigative Judgment.58 Understanding this work of judgment is based on Daniel, chapter 7 and the first angel in Revelation 14:6.  Many of our teachers however, showing a lack of understanding about this doctrine, begin to teach erroneous concepts about it. These concepts were in conflict with the gospel of salvation, primarily because these people didn't understand grace while over emphasizing the law.59


Ron's Commentary:  Among “what other things,” is the High Priest involved in?

Another concept in conflict with the FULL gospel of salvation, was the truth that the work of the High Priest, Jesus Christ, was to disseminate His Divine Nature, His Holy Spirit life and soul, to every willing partaker for the purpose of regeneration back into the image of God, and in order to overcome the world's lust by Christ's Holy Spirit indwelling of the heart and soul of man:


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.


Somehow, this prospect does not make the grade in Karl's Wagner's concept of the benefits of the AT-ONE-MENT administered by Christ as the Heavenly Priest.


Ellen White makes a wonderful connection between the work of the Investigative Judgment and Zech. 3. Here we know that it is the robe of Christ that will give us a positive verdict. She writes, "While Jesus is pleading for the subjects of his grace, Satan accuses them before God as transgressors. …Now he (Satan) points to the record of their lives, to the defects of character, the unlikeness to Christ, which has dishonored their Redeemer, to all the sins that he has tempted them to commit, and because of these he claims them as his subjects."

    "Jesus does not excuse their sins, but shows their penitence and faith, and, claiming for them forgiveness, he lifts his wounded hands before the Father and the holy angels, saying, "I know them by name. I have graven them on the palms of my hands. 'The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." [PS. 51:17.] And to the accuser of his people he declares, "The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee. Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?' [ZECH. 3:2.] Christ will clothe his faithful ones with his own righteousness, that he may present them to his Father "a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing." [EPH. 5:27.]"60

The judgment is good news!  We win!61  The judgment is not about our works, but about what garment we have on. Our works give evidence of who we belong to, they do not give us the right to claim heaven. Like Joshua the High Priest, we are to have our filthy garments removed before we can wear the robe of Christ's righteousness. He will not cover our sin, or our self-righteous acts. We must be bare before God, with not one iota of self. No thread of human devising can be part of the garment of Christ's robe of righteousness extended to us at a cost above anything in the Cosmos.


Ron's Commentary:  True, the judgment is not about our works, but rather the works that Christ works in and through us if we accept His free grace gift of surrender to His Will, by accepting the free grace gift of daily dying to self.


There are no "our works!"  The works are those of Christ's Holy Spirit done in and through us, lest any man should boast!  And to claim that the works of the Holy Spirit, which constitute the righteousness and righteous robe of Christ, "do not give us the right to claim heaven" and thus have nothing to do with our salvation, is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit who performs said works in and through us.  It is claimed by Karl Wagner, the author of this book, that we do not do works to earn salvation, we do them because we are saved. This is a totally flawed falsity!  We do not do the works in the first place!  Christ's Holy Spirit does them in all who surrender their will to Him.  Thus, the benefits of His AT-ONE-MENT, do indeed earn our salvation.  This is what James of Scripture means when he says that we are justified (saved) by faith and works--meaning by the faith and works of Christ--whose works are the personification of His righteousness by faith, or works of righteousness by faith.  Everything is done by Him--even to the empowering of us to receive the free gift of being willing to be made willing to surrender all to His Will.


"Could they look into the censer of the angel that stands at the golden altar before the rainbow-circled throne, they would see that the merit of Jesus must be mingled with our prayers and efforts, or they are as worthless as was the offering of Cain. Could we see all the activity of human instrumentality, as it appears before God, we would see that only the work accomplished by much prayer, which is sanctified by the merit of Christ, will stand the test of the judgment. When the grand review shall take place, then shall ye return and discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not."62


Ron's Commentary:  Karl mentions the merit of Jesus being mingled with our prayers and efforts.  I thought there was not one thread of man’s efforts (devisings) involved with salvation and Christ’s robe of righteousness.


The only acceptable way that we can serve God is by receiving the full free package of gifts called:  FAITH, LOVE, SURRENDER OF THE WILL, HIS DIVINE NATURE DWELLING WITHIN, THE HOLY SPIRIT that does all things according to His good pleasure in and through us.


Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Phl 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

2Th 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power:


"But are good works of no real value? Is the sinner who commits sin every day with impunity, regarded of God with the same favor as the one who through faith in Christ tries to work in his integrity? The Scripture answers, "We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." In His divine arrangement, through His unmerited favor, the Lord has ordained that good works shall be rewarded. We are accepted through Christ's merit alone; and the acts of mercy, the deeds of charity, which we perform, are the fruits of faith; and they become a blessing to us; for men are to be rewarded according to their works. It is the fragrance of the merit of Christ that makes our good works acceptable to God, and it is grace that enables us to do the works for which He rewards us. Our works in and of themselves have no merit. When we have done all that it is possible for us to do, we are to count ourselves as unprofitable servants. We deserve no thanks from God. We have only done what it was our duty to do, and our works could not have been performed in the strength of our own sinful natures."63


Ron's Commentary:  If our works could not have been performed in the strength of our own sinful natures, who then performs them lest any man should boast.  It is Christ’s Holy Spirit that performs them in and through us when we are fully surrendered to Him.  That is why we deserve no thanks.  That is why anything He does through us is not of our works lest any man should boast.

What you have just read by Karl is blasphemy and a wrong conception of the true gospel.  Why?  Because we do no works period!  A man who had died daily to his own will does not do any works. Christ's Divine Nature does the works in and through us, just as He did them in and through Abraham and then imputed them unto him as righteousness because Abraham received the free grace gift of surrendering to the will of God.  We are rewarded for receiving the free grace gift of full surrender to Christ so that He can do the works.  That is how we are rewarded, and it worked exactly that way with Abraham.  His works which were done by the free grace gifts of faith in and love for God, were imputed (accounted) to Him for righteousness, but the righteousness was God’s lest any man should boast! Scripture says that it is God who does the works in us:


Phl 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.


Again, for emphasis:  how and why are we rewarded according to our works?  Just as Abraham was rewarded according to His works.  He received all the free grace gifts of the Spirit, and God accounted (IMPUTED) Abraham's faith (belief) unto him as righteousness.  The example of Abraham's surrender to God's will is the FULL GOSPEL in microcosm.  Righteousness is imputed the same way to all who will receive the free grace gifts offered to all men.  Proof you ask:  Surely:


Rom 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which [he had yet] being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:


Rom 4:22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.


Rom 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;


Rom 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;


Jam 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.


The judgment, instead of giving you salvation, only verifies what already is. It verifies that you are a child of God, that you are "saved". It is a call for the true Christians to stand in contrast to the false system of the little horn power that claims our heritage for itself.64 The little horn receives the condemnation, the saints, though discerned (judged) are not condemned.  "[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."  Romans 8:1.


Ron's Commentary:  The true child of Christ walks after the Spirit because he/she is dead to the flesh and fully surrendered to the Will of Christ and His Holy Spirit.  They are in Christ and He is in them because they have fully surrendered to the Divine Nature of Jesus Christ's indwelling them.


Chapter Four


Where are we going?


Born Saved?

We are all born in a state of being. What this state of being is, is hotly debated. Some say you are born in a state of sin (rebellion).  Others say that you are not a sinner until you commit a sin (an act). And then there is a group that states that you are born in a state of "saved." That is, you are saved only until you reject this already present condition. This universal legal justification is considered to be new light.


Ron’s Commentary:  If all would accept the prophetic gift of the Holy Spirit to the church as manifest through Ellen White, this would solve the problem. There would not be so many differences of personal opinion theology.  For example, take the so-called NEW LIGHT emanating from the 1888 Message Study Committee and its leader Robert J. Wieland, that we are born in a state of “saved.”  That is proven errant by Ellen G. White, when she said that the fate of babies will be determined by the fate of their parents!  That proves that “New Light” and its advocates as false.  Notice:

"I know that some questioned whether the little children of even believing parents should be saved, because they have had no test of character and all must be tested and their character determined by trial. The question is asked, "How can little children have this test and trial?" I answer that the faith of the believing parents covers the children, as when God sent His judgments upon the first-born of the Egyptians." {3SM 313.4}

 If you're in Adventism, you well know that the Gospel has been presented from a variety of mindsets.65 Because of their search for the truth, and in their urgency to shun legalism, they may have overstated certain aspects of the Gospel. This influence within Adventism finds its beginnings also in the 1950's. The 1888 Message Study Committee, founded by Robert J. Wieland and Donald K. Short.66

The key Biblical text for this approach is found in Romans 5:18,19.67 The Administrative committee of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists addressed the teaching of "The 1888 Message Study Committee" through a series of meetings held since 1994.  A summary of the findings of The Primacy of the Gospel Committee of the GC of Seventh-day Adventist listed several areas of disagreement. Under number 6 of the list we read:

Universal Legal Justification. It is confusing to state that everyone is legally saved until they have "chosen to resist the saving grace of God," and then turn around and say that one needs faith in order to have saving (rather than legal) justification. For example, 1888 Re-examined claims that "Christ's sacrifice is not merely provisional but effective for the whole world, so that the only reason anybody can be lost is that he has chosen to resist the saving grace of God" (p vi). Interestingly, Ellen White is quite content to say that "the provisions of redemption are free to all; [but] the results of redemption will be enjoyed by those who have complied with the conditions" (PP 208).68

This tends to be the main area of theology that stands apart. The other areas deal more with methodologies then [than] theology.  Along with the nature of Christ and the in-Christ motif addressed in the report; universal legal justification seems to be the most objectionable. 

I can understand the position of the church to declare in the report, "The charges raised by the 1888 Study Committee against the leadership of the Church are very serious. If the Church is proclaiming a false gospel, it has no right to exist."  Aside from the fact that many former Adventists who read this are giving themselves whiplash nodding their heads in agreement to this statement, we must remember that while Israel failed to live up to their "destiny," they were still God's people.  The same holds true for the church.  Our right to exist is due more to our calling then [than] to our "rightness" of doctrine.  We "are" because God declares it so, even though we are feeble and wretched.


Ron’s Commentary:  The Jews felt and still fell exactly as Karl’s sentiments concerning the right of the church to exist.  They still feel even today that their right to exist as a religion is more due to their being the chosen people of God, than their beliefs or practices, even while rejecting the Messiah who was prophesied in Isaiah and met all the specifications of his prophesies.


It is true that spiritual Jerusalem exists and will continue to exist to fulfill another Ezekiel 9 debacle after the close of probation.  But it is nothing to brag about.  There is a certain arrogance to Laodicea’s contention to her “right to exist” no matter what she does!  But God can no longer use an apostate church.


"The Lord Jesus will always have a chosen people to serve Him. When the Jewish people rejected Christ, the Prince of life. He took from them the kingdom of God and gave it unto the Gentiles. God will continue to work on this principle with every branch of His work. When a church proves unfaithful to the work of the Lord, whatever their position may be, however high and sacred their calling, the Lord can no longer work with them. Others are then chosen to bear important responsibilities. But, if these in turn do not purify their lives from every wrong action, if they do not establish pure and holy principles in all their borders, then the Lord will grievously afflict and humble them and, unless they repent, will remove them from their place and make them a reproach.

God is not 'worshipped with men's hands, as tough he needed any thing' (Acts 17:25). E. G. White, The Upward Look, 131.

Laodicea seems to exude the arrogant air as do the Jews, that God is stuck with them and needs them no matter what they do!

In today's Adventism, we seem to be reaching for a deeper and better understanding of the Gospel, aside from the GC leader’s insistence that we already have it. What we need to do is better articulate it in light of our understanding of God's law, putting it into proper relationship.  When we have the Gospel in right relationship to God's law, then I think we will see the outpouring of God's spirit to finish the work. We will truly be able to carry the "everlasting gospel" to the world crying with a loud voice, fear God and give glory for the hour of His judgment is come (see Rev. 14:6,7).


Ron’s Commentary:  Karl’s concept of the proper relationship of the law to the gospel, is that Christ kept the law for us 2000 years ago, and may still aid us by His Holy Spirit to obey, but that such obedience has nothing to do with what Christ already did for us 2000 years ago.  Thus, the law and obedience to it nowadays, has no relevance as far as being the basis for salvation. 


The entire salvific process clusters around the law and a propitiation of the law, and is a legal process based on self-sacrificing love that does not negate the law, but rather fulfills the requirement of the law, not only in the life of Christ in the likeness of a human being, but in the life of all who profess to surrender to His Will and thus follow His leading in their lives.  Thus, any attempt to discount the  law by grace has to fall flat, because grace is the fulfilling (establishing) of the law in and through Christ and in the hearts (minds) of all who surrender to Him.  In other words, Christ’s obedience to His law in and through us, is proof that man could have surrendered to God’s Will, just as Christ, as a human man, surrendered to His Father’s Will.  He gives us the same aid He had—His Holy Spirit.  But he does it all just as His Father did it all in and through Him.


Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.


The law is as essential to the plan of salvation as is the life of Christ, because the law is a transcript of His character.  His character is fully essential to salvation.  Thus, the law is said to be perfect, converting the soul.  The Holy Spirit character of Christ, converts the soul.  Can Christ’s obedience to the law save us?  Is that what saves us?  Yes it is! 


Salvation is not of the law as far as man’s works are concerned, but salvation is the grace of the works of the law in and through us as far as the Son of God is concerned, and without His obedience to His Father’s commandments, there would be no salvation!  And without our surrender to His works in and through us, the justness and power of the plan of salvation is not vindicated in its ability to regenerate man back into the image of God. 


God is on trial.  His character of self-sacrificing love is on trial.  His power is on trial.  The hour for God’s judgment is come.  Will the bride make herself ready by surrendering to His Will?  Will true faith, the righteousness of Christ’s faith be found in the earth? Yes!  God will have a people who will count it not a burden or grievous to submit themselves to His Will for them.  They will see the absolute necessity of His law eternally in the hearts of man where it once was.  They will see the result of Satan’s militancy against the law—the chaos of sin, and will love God too dearly to sin.


Some view the cross as the basis for man’s salvation.  The cross paid our penalty, eternal death, but it made no provision for saving us in sin.  Grace is Christ in us.  Grace is Christ fulfilling His law, His character in us.  Grace is Christ taking our penalty—eternal death.  Both are fully essential to salvation.  One does not accrue neither can accrue without the other.  They are inseparable and common sense and Ellen White attest to that fact.


The Assurance of the Gospel

The assurance of our salvation seems to lie at the center of the dilemma.  Our former brothers and sisters who walk no longer with us stress the lack of this assurance in our salvation theology as the basis for rejecting Adventism.69 Can we teach assurance without a cry of "New Theology" being raised?  When we stress Romans 3:21ff and Galatians 3:11, that salvation is outside and apart from the law, we often hear a cry that we are teaching heresy.  The problem may well rest with the law itself.  The problem is not in the existence of the law; rather on how Adventism views and defines the law.


Ron’s Commentary:  Karl says:  “The assurance of our salvation seems to lie at the center of the dilemma.”   The center of our dilemma is that we do not want to submit and surrender to the Will of God.  The real source of peace that passes all understanding is dying to self.  What Karl is really asking is:  “Can we teach assurance apart from a full surrender to the Will of Christ living and dwelling in the dead to self human being?  The answer is no!  Any which way you slice it or dice it, the only honest answer is NO!


The Implications of God’s Character, His Integrity, His Love, His Grace, His Atonement, His Propitiation, His Law

If God or Christ could have atoned for or propitiated the law  by grace alone, Christ need not have died.  He would merely have extended the gift of grace—His unmerited favor to us without any conditions whatsoever. It might be well at this point to review the meanings of grace, atone, and propitiate.  Click here for the meanings


I find it positively fascinating that the dictionary has a better and more accurate definition of grace that does mainstream Christianity and the New Theology advocates.  Here is Webster’s Online Dictionary definition of grace:


1 a : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification b : a virtue coming from God c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace


That is the definition of grace applied by pioneer Seventh-day Adventists!  However, the New (Old lie) Theology of Satan and allies, is that grace is merely unmerited favor—a free gift of salvation with no other intended purpose involved!  That, in and of itself is quite blasphemy! 


Let’s explore the real purpose of grace further as it relates to:

a : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification b : a virtue coming from God.

c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace.


New theologists work from the premise that God was merely offering man His grace or unmerited favor in forgiving sin, saving in sin, and dying in our stead.  That is the sum and substance of their argument.  Is there more to it?  Much more to it?  Infinitely more to it all?  Oh yes dear brother and sister, there is far more to it all and here are the reasons why:

The very character of God was challenged by Lucifer.  He questioned the necessity of rules and regulations.  He questioned whether or not God was subject to His own laws, which was foolish in light of the fact that His laws sprang from an agape love based on self-sacrificing love and principle—principle involving the best interest of all created beings in the Universe.  God says that He is a loving and just God.  That was challenged by Lucifer.


Lucifer did not have the presence of mind to realize that where there are two or more beings with the power of choice, laws, rules and regulations will always be required to protect the rights of all persons.  That is why God’s law will always exist.  Also, since it is a transcript of His self-sacrificing character of love, that is another reason it will always live, while the New Theologists, as Satan’s agents, speculate on its need eternally.


So, God’s character was in question.  His methodology of governing was challenged.  He must prove that His character, His laws, are integrally connected with the best welfare of all his creatures, especially man.  Since the law is as eternal in nature as God Himself, being a transcript of His character, there can absolutely be no separation between His propitiation of the law, atonement for its violation, and grace as it relates to unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification.


Indeed, to abrogate His law, would be to abrogate Himself and jeopardize the existence of His creation since all would become chaos without His ultimate control of law and order in the universe, and that relates to law and order among his created beings.  I pray that you will being to see the very serious and deep implications of God’s law as it relates to the good news of the gospel and the regeneration of man back into the image of God that he was created in.


Again, if grace would dispense with law, then grace could dispense with God Himself.  But grace is given far from only the purpose of giving man a second chance and substituting for his death.  It is given to prove that God’s laws—the transcript of His character, were and are just, noble, and absolutely necessary to the best welfare of all His creatures.  In dying to vindicate His law, God through Christ, proved that He is subject to His own laws—His own character, and that they could not just be laid aside while dispensing grace without the law.


Satan questioned the need of God’s laws involving the principle of self-sacrificing love.  He set out to prove that they were unreasonable and that man could not obey them.  Christ’s coming in the likeness of even sinful man, proved that God’s laws were just and were not grievous.  They are not a yoke of bondage unless one challenges and disobeys them living according to the flesh instead of the Spirit.


You may now get a clearer view of God’s proclamation that grace does not make void the law—the transcript of God’s character, but rather establishes the self-sacrificing justness and absolute necessity of the law.  You might now have a better basis for loving the law as David did, for to love the law is to love Christ who is the embodiment of the law:


Psa 119:97 MEM. O how love I thy law! it [is] my meditation all the day.


Psa 119:113 SAMECH. I hate [vain] thoughts: but thy law do I love.


Psa 119:163 I hate and abhor lying: [but] thy law do I love.


Psa 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.


Those who love God’s law, love Him and His character of agape, self-sacrificing love.  Those who dislike rules and regulations really hate God.  They want a gospel without such hindrances to their selfish self-willed nature.  They, like Satan, desire salvation without restraints.


So what is the only real, genuine source of peace, security and assurance?  Let’s ask God:


Isa 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.


Psa 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.


1Th 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.


Hbr 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:


Hbr 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.


Instead of loving the law, the transcript of Christ’s character and the protector of our every vital interest and the interests of God, we look for ways to feel secure without surrendering the will to God’s standard of character.


Luk 19:42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things [which belong] unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.


Rom 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:


Rom 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:


Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:


Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.


Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.


Rom 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.


Rom 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.


Rom 15:33 Now the God of peace [be] with you all. Amen.


2Cr 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.


1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


2Ti 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 


When we buy gold tried in the fire (faith in and love for Christ), He indwells the heart of man and he is the fount of peace and assurance.


In defining the law as eternal, we tend to view it as a static command carved in stone upon our hearts.  We view the law as something we must "do".  We tend to associate the keeping of the law then with our salvation even though we may still deny meritorious works.  Since we do such a poor job at keeping the commandments of God, it results in us having very little assurance of our salvation.  Our salvation is left to hope, that maybe before we die we may have it, as long as we have remembered every act and confessed every deed.


Ron’s Commentary:  The Law is as eternal as Christ’s character!  Yes, we do a poor job at keeping the commandments of God!  Why?  Because we refuse to yield to His Will and let Him rule in and through our lives.  We love sin more than God.  We love our own devices more than Him.  We have been well tutored by Satan by freely imbibing his lifestyle.


Our salvation is not left to hope!  Our hope is Christ in you, the hope of glory!  That is our only hope!  Every other device is sinking quicksand!  Karl is attempting to hold out another hope, another gospel!  Jesus did not make it easy for the rich young ruler.  I am not trying to make it easier than it is.  It is a battle and a march and should not be made to appear as anything else. 


But Satan and his principalities in high places, our arch enemy, would convince us that it is easy—just believe!  Just accept the fact that Jesus did is all FOR YOU, 2000 years ago!  No striving!  No sweat!  No tears!  No trials!  No character building for eternity by yielding to Christ’s indwelling work He is willing and able to do in and through us.


When Jesus sought to teach us the larger principles of the law70 which go well beyond the letter, we learn that that which was carved on stone cannot compare to what is to be carved on the fleshy tables of our heart.  How can we apply the commandment not to commit adultery to angels as an eternal command?Or to humans, who when past translation and are in heaven or in the new earth?  Is it the words on stone that are eternal, or the principles which give us a glimpse of God and who He is?  It is to the love to which we are to succumb.  We are to love God and to love each other.  We are to show the world that we really are His disciples. "If ye love me, keep my commandments."71


Ron’s Commentary:  You know something brother and sister, we are not to ask foolish questions concerning the law:


Tts 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.


2Ti 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

“How can we apply the commandment not to commit adultery to angels as an eternal command?”  Did Satan and His angel’s commit adultery?  The question “How can we apply the commandment not to commit adultery to angels as an eternal command?” is like asking if angel’s can disobey God and violate the transcript of God’s character. 

If any part of the law can pass away, then the character of God would pass with it.  The Law will stand as an eternal reminder of sin and its results.  The law is as eternal as God Himself and as necessary as law and order wherein two or more individuals accrue.  Also, Satan and the angels who mutinied with him committed adultery by worshipping their own will rather than the Will of God.


When we realize that God has already begun to write His laws upon our "new" hearts the moment of our conversion and will finish what He started, then we can be sure that God has saved us in the here and now.   This very minute!  We can be sure that He is saving us daily, and will save us when He comes to claim that which is already His.72 We are to have the assurance in Gods salvation, and not His law.  We have assurance in His person and not a theology!73


Ron’s Commentary:  The above statement is very seriously flawed and should be qualified.  Can we conclude that God has already begun to write His laws upon our “new” hearts and we are converted, if we commit known sin?  Can we thus conclude that we love God and the brethren?  Absolutely not!  For there is only one test in Scripture for whether or not we love God and the brethren and that is whether or not we find God keeping His commandments in and through us.  Any other test is man’s and is not reliable!


Karl is voicing a theology—the New “Old lie” theology, that one can be saved in sin, rather than from sin.  How do I know that for sure?  Because He says that the works of the Holy Spirit in and through us are not efficacious toward our salvation!  That is a heinous, blasphemic lie.  Also, there is no salvation that is careless of God’s law and separates it from the gospel, and Karl has attempted that serious surgery in his statement that:  “We are to have the assurance in God’s salvation, and not His law.”   A paraphrase of this sentence would read:  “We are to have the assurance in God’s salvation, and not His character as planted in our minds.”  Better do a lot of praying before you conclude I am wrong on this friend!  There is no assurance in God’s salvation apart from His law, His New Covenant, His character, planted in our minds.


Great peace have they who love thy law and nothing shall offend them.  Peace is assurance.  We cannot separate the law and the gospel says Ellen White!  Karl Wagner is clearly preaching another gospel!  When we see God’s commandments being kept in and through us by His indwelling Spirit, then and then only may we have assurance that we are in proper relationship with Him.  All else is presumptuous folly.


Saved -- "Never can we safely put confidence in self or feel, this side of heaven, that we are secure against temptation. Those who accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or to feel that they are saved. This is misleading. Every one would be taught to cherish hope and faith but even when we give ourselves to Christ and know that He accepts us, we are not beyond the reach of temptation. God's word declares, 'Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried.' Dan. 12:10. Only he who endures the trial will receive the crown of life. (James 1:12.).


Those who accept Christ, and in their first confidence say, I am saved, are in danger of trusting to themselves. They lose sight of their own weakness and their constant need of divine strength. They are unprepared for Satan's devices, and under temptation many, like Peter, fall into the very depths of sin. We are admonished, 'Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.' 1 Cor. 10:12. Our only safety is in constant distrust of self, and dependence on Christ." Christ's Object Lessons, 155.


Karl’s theories and personal opinion based gospel are in contradiction to the Word of God and Ellen White’s counsel.  If they speak not according to this, there is no light in them, Isaiah 8:20.


The Person of the Gospel


Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:3,"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;". He points us to a person of the event, not just the event.  He tells us what he first delivered, the message of a crucified saviour for our sins.  He gives us the reason to believe everything else about the word of God.  What good are doctrines without the person behind them?


Ron’s Commentary:  What good is the New Theology without Christ in the heart, mind and soul?


Christ came to seek and save that which is lost74.  If you are lost, He is seeking you. He's not asking you to take a test on how well you know your doctrine.  He's only asking you to come to Him.  " Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."75 Will you invite Him in today?  Will you let Him be the Lord and master of your life and give you His life today in exchange?  For the person who accepts Him, passes from death to life76.   It's only after you do this will the doctrines have purpose.


Ron’s Commentary:  God asks you to take the following tests:


2Cr 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?


1Jo 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.


1Jo 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 


Tell you what friend, God says that His people perish for a lack of knowledge! The foolish virgins neglect to obtain oil—the oil of grace, which Ellen White defines as character development—the character of Christ, the law of Christ, planted in the heart (mind) of man.


Hsa 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.


Job 11:4 For thou hast said, My doctrine [is] pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.


Pro 4:2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.


Isa 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? [them that are] weaned from the milk, [and] drawn from the breasts.


Isa 29:24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.


Luk 4:32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.


Jhn 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.


Jhn 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.


Eph 4:14 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;


1Ti 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.


2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;


Tts 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.


Tts 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

If there is one thing that the 1888 Message Study Committee has done, it's this. They have tried to uplift the person of Jesus to the people.  This I commend them for.  A friend to the 1888 MSC is the now retired pastor,  E.H. “Jack” Sequeira.  Jack Sequeira has written on the problem in Adventism over the issues of Righteousness by Faith.  "The unsettled debate over righteousness by faith is without question the single greatest factor impacting the current crisis. And unless Church leaders face this fact honestly, there can be little hope of unity or peace."77


Ron’s Commentary:  The questions surrounding the subject of righteousness by faith are needless.  All should be united on Christ’s own delivery of the subject which I have presented in this document more than a few times.  We don’t need Jack Sequeira.  We don’t need anyone but Christ’s own declarations concerning the conditions for salvation.

Pastor Sequeira appears to have understood the real issue of the debate when he elegantly expressed the reason why people continue to resist grace. He wrote, "The flesh does not want to give up its own righteousness without a fight.  It happened in the church in 1888, and continues to happen.  The flesh says, 'I worked hard for this righteousness.  Why should I give it up?' But there is no room for a mixture of self in the pure gospel of Christ our righteousness.  Our attitude must continually be, 'Not I, but Christ'."78


Ron’s Commentary:  Pastor Sequeira’s description of the problem is totally off base.  God says that His watchmen cannot understand, Isaiah 56:10-12.  It is not that folk want to give up their own righteousness, for they know they are not righteous.  They do not want to give up sin and any of the inconveniences associated with denying their own will.  Any attempt at considering oneself as righteous, is just a feeble attempt to keep from surrendering the entire will to Christ and His Holy Spirit.  This is the real crux of the problem.  Any attempt at law keeping is a mere attempt at self-justification to avoid a full surrender of the mind to Christ.


I believe as Ellen White put it that we do not hate sin sufficiently and do not want the inconvenience of the righteousness of Christ indwelling us.  But it is easier to feel self-righteous over a few things we might choose to do than to surrender all to Christ.


We are the problem!  When we are willing to be laid in the dust, then the Holy Spirit can accomplish in us that which is impossible for us to do.  When we have died to the flesh, we will have possession of the true grace of Christ without any "thread of human devising".79  "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."80 The hope we have is wrapped up in the person of the Gospel.  When we have Him, we have life!  When we have only doctrine without the substance, we become like whitewashed tombs.  Pretty to look at, but inside, filled with dead men's bones.


Ron’s Commentary:  The above words by Karl are true, but they are also a total contradiction to his view that the works of the Holy Spirit in and through us are not efficacious toward our salvation.  New Theology advocates always throw in a few truths to add credence to their errors.  If you had worked with Karl for three years, trying to explain the true gospel, only to have him reject the truth of the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us as contributing to our salvation, you would understand my words.  I am not being arbitrary!  I am not being unfair!  God knows this.


When the above words by Karl are understood, believed and accepted as a free gift of the Spirit, then we will be in relationship with Christ and He will then work His will in and through us.  When I said this, Karl said it was a dark hole.  Maybe now that he has said it, he will accept it and strive toward that end.  I pray that this will be the case.  We are to strive you know!


Luk 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.


Phl 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.


Our cooperative work is to pray unceasingly for the impartation of the Holy Spirit and its empowerment to effect a full surrender to the will of Christ.  That and beholding Christ by selling all, buying the field and searching His Word as for hidden treasure whether you “feel” like it or not.  That is our part in working out our own salvation with fear and trembling.


Where we are going as a church and a people will be determined by how we internalize the master of our salvation.  One will tend towards legalism, the other, to freedom in Christ and death to self.  The grace of God is something that is searching after us.  It is persistent and will run us down wherever we go. We resist it at our own peril.


Ron’s Commentary:   Rightly understood, the last few paragraphs above would have been sufficient to relate the true gospel!  But by freedom in Christ and death to self, Karl means freedom from God working His works in and through us as a CONDITION to salvation.  Karl is totally against that CONDITION, and refers to it as a black hole.  What you must fully understand is that the New Theologists say some things that sound totally true, by their meaning is much different than it might appear on the surface.  For example,  I can promise you before the Lord, that by the words “freedom in Christ and death to self,” Karl means freedom in the belief that Christ did it all for us and we must be dead to any self works.  That is half right.  We must be dead to self works of self righteousness. But Christ did not do it all FOR US!  He wants to do it all IN US.  By “internalizing the Master of our salvation,” Karl means accepting His substitutionary work for us at the cross 2000 years ago.  If you have ever dealt with a New Theology person, you will know whereof I speak.  Here is an example.  I mentioned to Karl his incessant harping on the substitutionary act of Christ.  He retorted:

"His {Karl's] incessant harping on the substitution element...]

Thanks Ron, Great compliment!  And I mean it!


When I interpret Karl’s meanings, I can assure you that I know whereof I speak, because I have gone back and forth with him since 2005.


If we internalize the Master of our salvation in the right sense of the word, we will make a full surrender to His will being done in and through us.  This is what we resist at our own peril. There is no short cut easy road to salvation, and many will bolt from this course.  That is what rising up against the Straight Testimony of God’s Word is really about. 


Our trip through the 1950's with Walter Martin, and Weiland and Short are just a couple of the important events that has moved Adventism down a path of discovery over the past fifty plus years. Both have caused us to look at our understanding of the gospel and how it fits in with our mission and message of the three angles of Revelation.  However we may try to simplify the gospel in its pure essence of grace, it always turns out to be more complicated then we thought.  But it is none-the-less, the core issue of Adventism's struggle. Have we learned anything on the way?  Or have we simply been tripping since the 50's, trying to shore up the old mindset?


Ron’s Commentary:  The church militant at large, has indeed by “tripping” since 1888, and is now returning to the errors of Babylon as regards true righteousness by faith.  The church, for the most part, is being converted to the false gospel of Desmond Ford and Geoffrey Paxton.  That false gospel led Robert Brinsmead into infidelity!  That false gospel led Dr. Earl Hilgert into Babylon.  That false gospel is leading mainstream Christianity to perdition.

I hope each of us will continue to grapple with the issues, for they have eternal consequences. It is well worth our time and effort to study these things, and imperative to the completion of our mission as a people in time and place as we continue to rush towards a certain destiny of a returning Saviour.



Chapter Five

The Covenant Keeper

Whose Move?

As I contemplated the Gospel of Grace, my thoughts began to drift to the concepts of how we move toward God.  All too often we see God as a Tyrant King, sitting on a Throne with a stern eye on our waywardness, waiting for us to do the seeking, to which He then responds.  How did we ever get it backwards?  I perceive that this was the influence of the Greek concept of God.  Here we have man always trying to please the gods in order not to upset him or at least to appease him in order for god not to interfere with our life, which was always, seemingly, in a negative way.  If this isn't the way, what is the correct way to picture God?  Who moves first?


God came to Abraham

It was God who came to Abraham first. He first called him out of Ur, (Gen. 15:7), and then sent him to the land between the seas.  It was God who came to Abraham that day with two angels and ate with him and then brought Abraham into the judgment process concerning Sodom and Gomorrah.  It was God who signed the contract, and not man. In Genesis 15, we have the story.


Abraham is given a promise of an heir, and the promise of inheriting the land. He asks a question, "…Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?", (Gen. 15:8). And God tells him what to do. Abraham makes a sacrifice and lays the pieces out on the ground.  Keeping the birds from eating it, he waits all day and then is put into a trance, or deep sleep. In this sleep we are told that, "… it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.", (Gen. 15:17). It was on this day that God made a covenant with Abraham saying, "…Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:", (Gen. 15:18).


Ron’s Commentary:  God also told the rich young ruler what to do, but the sacrifice of full surrender to the command of Christ was too much against his self-will.  Many will thus sell their souls for materials that will rust and waste away.


The picture that scripture paints of passing between the parts was a custom in the days of Abraham. Both parties would pass through. This was much like signing an agreement, or shaking hands to close a deal. But here, in Genesis, we see only God, ("…a smoking furnace,…") passing between the parts.  Genesis tells us nothing about Abraham, (then Abram) passing through the parts, that is, "signing" the contract. God is the covenant keeper. We are covenant breakers. God's covenants are not based on our ability to keep them, but based on His own desire to have a relationship with His creation.  It's not "man" centered, but God centered.


Ron’s Commentary:  God’s covenants are based on what is best to every vital interest of the Universe!  They are centered on God and man for they are a transcript of the character of God; the same character (image) He wishes to restore in man, which is why He desires to place His New Covenant law in the heart of man.  There is no relationship that negates His laws—His law and the gospel are inseparable.


It is a sacrilege to say that God’s covenants are not based on our ability to keep them, when His very Incarnation into a human being come in our likeness, was to prove that His expectations by way of commands to man, were reasonable and possible.  I can see Satan contending that God’s covenants are not based on our ability to keep them, as though He was just trifling with us.  There can be no relationship between God and man without God’s covenant being planted in the heart (mind) of man.


When we see God going outside of man's actions or desire, we see a God who moves first. While we were yet sinners, He died for us.  While we were yet His enemies, He reconciled himself to us.81 He didn't ask us to do something first. He didn't say, "Try your best, and show me that you want to be saved; and then maybe I'll come and die for you."  He didn't wait for us.  While we were still helpless, he provided the remedy for our condition.  God moved first towards Abraham. God moves first towards you. He is not far off, He is already near you, behold, he is already "in your mouth." 82 God is a lot closer then we think!


Ron’s Commentary:  God is always seeking first place entrance into our hearts and souls.  He would have died for any one of us!  The only remedy is Christ IN YOU, the hope of Glory.  Karl’s remedy is Christ doing it all FOR YOU 2000 years ago.  It is all substitutionary with him.  But that negates the office and ministry of the Holy Spirit and the establishment of the covenant law in the heart of man—INSIDE MAN and not external to him. 


Abraham enters God's judgment process

In Genesis 18 we read the story of the three visitors.  After the visit, as they begin to leave and walk towards the valley, Abraham follows along, as was the custom. This was kind of like seeing your guests to the front door. Walking several miles was very common and soon, Abraham finds himself confronted by a statement from the Angel of the Lord, whom we know to be none other than the pre-incarnated Jesus. Jesus says, "…Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know." (Gen.18"20,21). The two angles then turn and walk away and Abraham is left alone with Jesus.

Why would Jesus make such a statement of investigative judgment concerning these cities to Abraham? Could it be that He knows Abraham's nephew Lot lives in Sodom with his wife and daughters? If so, Abraham makes no mention of his name during his plea for the preservation of these cities. He seems more concerned for all of them, not just for one man and his family. Its here that we seem to get a glimpse of what's going on, the real dynamics, if you will. As tedious as his pleas appear to us, first for fifty righteous souls, then for forty-five, then forty then thirty all the way to ten; Jesus does not seem upset at him. As one would bargain for a good price on merchandise, Abraham bargains here for souls!  As Abraham apologizes each time so as not to anger Jesus, He instead responds in favorable terms leaving Abraham with the promise of "even ten".

What we are witnessing here is God drawing man into the judgment process.  Abraham reveals that he has the heart of God in his concern for the people.  How could Jesus be "angry" with that?  It must have thrilled his heart to see Abraham "bargain" for those lives.  Though all judgment finally rests with God and God alone, He none-the-less shows his interest in man by bringing him into the process so we can understand how He operates in these matters. As Jesus was going to "investigate", we understand that God's judgments are not arbitrary.  His judgments are a matter of record, and He wants us to understand that. God sits on no Throne waiting to cast lightening bolts at you like the Greek god Thor; but rather, he is a God of compassion and love that hands out honest and just judgments.  And as here, even for the sake of a few He would spare the many.  This intercession of Abraham I believe is the only reason Lot's life was spared.  If you recall the story, the angels took Lot and his family by the hand!…and lead them out of the city before the judgments fell.


Ron’s Commentary:  Moses also bargained for the souls under his leadership, but how many entered the land of Canaan?  Two souls.  We cannot presume upon the mercy of God.  God is not going to spare the many for any few at the end-time.

God moves in judgment, but He would always rather move to save. If we would only know what He feels towards us.  His words to his people just before the Babylonian captivity ring true for us today. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil,…", (Jer. 29:11).


Ron’s Commentary:  God said similar words to the Jews prior to their destruction in A.D. 70, but His entreaties fell on deaf ears:

"If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." Luke 19:42-44.

From the crest of Olivet, Jesus looked upon Jerusalem. Fair and peaceful was the scene spread out before Him. It was the season of the Passover, and from all lands the children of Jacob had gathered there to celebrate the great national festival. In the midst of gardens and vineyards, and green slopes studded with pilgrims' tents, rose the terraced hills, the stately palaces, and massive bulwarks of Israel's capital. The daughter of Zion seemed in her pride to say, I sit a queen and shall see no sorrow; as lovely then, and deeming herself as secure in Heaven's favor, as when, ages before, the royal minstrel sang: "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, . . . the city of the great King." Psalm 48:2. In full view were the magnificent buildings of the temple. The rays of the setting sun lighted up the snowy whiteness of its marble walls and gleamed from golden gate and tower and pinnacle. "The perfection of


beauty" it stood, the pride of the Jewish nation. What child of Israel could gaze upon the scene without a thrill of joy and admiration! But far other thoughts occupied the mind of Jesus. "When He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it." Luke 19:41. Amid the universal rejoicing of the triumphal entry, while palm branches waved, while glad hosannas awoke the echoes of the hills, and thousands of voices declared Him king, the world's Redeemer was overwhelmed with a sudden and mysterious sorrow. He, the Son of God, the Promised One of Israel, whose power had conquered death and called its captives from the grave, was in tears, not of ordinary grief, but of intense, irrepressible agony.

His tears were not for Himself, though He well knew whither His feet were tending. Before Him lay Gethsemane, the scene of His approaching agony. The sheepgate also was in sight, through which for centuries the victims for sacrifice had been led, and which was to open for Him when He should be "brought as a lamb to the slaughter." Isaiah 53:7. Not far distant was Calvary, the place of crucifixion. Upon the path which Christ was soon to tread must fall the horror of great darkness as He should make His soul an offering for sin. Yet it was not the contemplation of these scenes that cast the shadow upon Him in this hour of gladness. No foreboding of His own superhuman anguish clouded that unselfish spirit. He wept for the doomed thousands of Jerusalem--because of the blindness and impenitence of those whom He came to bless and to save.

The history of more than a thousand years of God's special favor and guardian care, manifested to the chosen people, was open to the eye of Jesus. There was Mount Moriah, where the son of promise, an unresisting victim, had been bound to the altar--emblem of the offering of the Son of God. There the covenant of blessing, the glorious Messianic promise, had been confirmed to the father of the faithful. Genesis 22:9, 16-18. There the flames of the sacrifice ascending to heaven from the threshing floor of Ornan had turned


aside the sword of the destroying angel (1 Chronicles 21)--fitting symbol of the Saviour's sacrifice and mediation for guilty men. Jerusalem had been honored of God above all the earth. The Lord had "chosen Zion," He had "desired it for His habitation." Psalm 132:13. There, for ages, holy prophets had uttered their messages of warning. There priests had waved their censers, and the cloud of incense, with the prayers of the worshipers, had ascended before God. There daily the blood of slain lambs had been offered, pointing forward to the Lamb of God. There Jehovah had revealed His presence in the cloud of glory above the mercy seat. There rested the base of that mystic ladder connecting earth with heaven (Genesis 28:12; John 1:51)--that ladder upon which angels of God descended and ascended, and which opened to the world the way into the holiest of all. Had Israel as a nation preserved her allegiance to Heaven, Jerusalem would have stood forever, the elect of God. Jeremiah 17:21-25. But the history of that favored people was a record of backsliding and rebellion. They had resisted Heaven's grace, abused their privileges, and slighted their opportunities.

Although Israel had "mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets" (2 Chronicles 36:16), He had still manifested Himself to them, as "the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth" (Exodus 34:6); notwithstanding repeated rejections, His mercy had continued its pleadings. With more than a father's pitying love for the son of his care, God had "sent to them by His messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling place." 2 Chronicles 36:15. When remonstrance, entreaty, and rebuke had failed, He sent to them the best gift of heaven; nay, He poured out all heaven in that one Gift.

The Son of God Himself was sent to plead with the impenitent city. It was Christ that had brought Israel as a goodly vine out of Egypt. Psalm 80:8. His own hand had cast


out the heathen before it. He had planted it "in a very fruitful hill." His guardian care had hedged it about. His servants had been sent to nurture it. "What could have been done more to My vineyard," He exclaims, "that I have not done in it?" Isaiah 5:1-4. Though when He looked that it should bring forth grapes, it brought forth wild grapes, yet with a still yearning hope of fruitfulness He came in person to His vineyard, if haply it might be saved from destruction. He digged about His vine; He pruned and cherished it. He was unwearied in His efforts to save this vine of His own planting.

For three years the Lord of light and glory had gone in and out among His people. He "went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil," binding up the brokenhearted, setting at liberty them that were bound, restoring sight to the blind, causing the lame to walk and the deaf to hear, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, and preaching the gospel to the poor. Acts 10:38; Luke 4:18; Matthew 11:5. To all classes alike was addressed the gracious call: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28.

Though rewarded with evil for good, and hatred for His love (Psalm 109:5), He had steadfastly pursued His mission of mercy. Never were those repelled that sought His grace. A homeless wanderer, reproach and penury His daily lot, He lived to minister to the needs and lighten the woes of men, to plead with them to accept the gift of life. The waves of mercy, beaten back by those stubborn hearts, returned in a stronger tide of pitying, inexpressible love. But Israel had turned from her best Friend and only Helper. The pleadings of His love had been despised, His counsels spurned, His warnings ridiculed.

The hour of hope and pardon was fast passing; the cup of God's long-deferred wrath was almost full. The cloud that had been gathering through ages of apostasy and rebellion, now black with woe, was about to burst upon a guilty people;


and He who alone could save them from their impending fate had been slighted, abused, rejected, and was soon to be crucified. When Christ should hang upon the cross of Calvary, Israel's day as a nation favored and blessed of God would be ended. The loss of even one soul is a calamity infinitely outweighing the gains and treasures of a world; but as Christ looked upon Jerusalem, the doom of a whole city, a whole nation, was before Him--that city, that nation, which had once been the chosen of God, His peculiar treasure.

Prophets had wept over the apostasy of Israel and the terrible desolations by which their sins were visited. Jeremiah wished that his eyes were a fountain of tears, that he might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of his people, for the Lord's flock that was carried away captive. Jeremiah 9:1; 13:17. What, then, was the grief of Him whose prophetic glance took in, not years, but ages! He beheld the destroying angel with sword uplifted against the city which had so long been Jehovah's dwelling place. From the ridge of Olivet, the very spot afterward occupied by Titus and his army, He looked across the valley upon the sacred courts and porticoes, and with tear-dimmed eyes He saw, in awful perspective, the walls surrounded by alien hosts. He heard the tread of armies marshaling for war. He heard the voice of mothers and children crying for bread in the besieged city. He saw her holy and beautiful house, her palaces and towers, given to the flames, and where once they stood, only a heap of smoldering ruins.

Looking down the ages, He saw the covenant people scattered in every land, "like wrecks on a desert shore." In the temporal retribution about to fall upon her children, He saw but the first draft from that cup of wrath which at the final judgment she must drain to its dregs. Divine pity, yearning love, found utterance in the mournful words: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I


have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" O that thou, a nation favored above every other, hadst known the time of thy visitation, and the things that belong unto thy peace! I have stayed the angel of justice, I have called thee to repentance, but in vain. It is not merely servants, delegates, and prophets, whom thou hast refused and rejected, but the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer. If thou art destroyed, thou alone art responsible. "Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life." Matthew 23:37; John 5:40.

Christ saw in Jerusalem a symbol of the world hardened in unbelief and rebellion, and hastening on to meet the retributive judgments of God. The woes of a fallen race, pressing upon His soul, forced from His lips that exceeding bitter cry. He saw the record of sin traced in human misery, tears, and blood; His heart was moved with infinite pity for the afflicted and suffering ones of earth; He yearned to relieve them all. But even His hand might not turn back the tide of human woe; few would seek their only Source of help. He was willing to pour out His soul unto death, to bring salvation within their reach; but few would come to Him that they might have life.

The Majesty of heaven in tears! the Son of the infinite God troubled in spirit, bowed down with anguish! The scene filled all heaven with wonder. That scene reveals to us the exceeding sinfulness of sin; it shows how hard a task it is, even for Infinite Power, to save the guilty from the consequences of transgressing the law of God. Jesus, looking down to the last generation, saw the world involved in a deception similar to that which caused the destruction of Jerusalem. The great sin of the Jews was their rejection of Christ; the great sin of the Christian world would be their rejection of the law of God, the foundation of His government in heaven and earth. The precepts of Jehovah would be despised and set at nought. Millions in bondage to sin, slaves of Satan, doomed to suffer the second death, would


refuse to listen to the words of truth in their day of visitation. Terrible blindness! strange infatuation!

Two days before the Passover, when Christ had for the last time departed from the temple, after denouncing the hypocrisy of the Jewish rulers, He again went out with His disciples to the Mount of Olives and seated Himself with them upon the grassy slope overlooking the city. Once more He gazed upon its walls, its towers, and its palaces. Once more He beheld the temple in its dazzling splendor, a diadem of beauty crowning the sacred mount.

A thousand years before, the psalmist had magnified God's favor to Israel in making her holy house His dwelling place: "In Salem also is His tabernacle, and His dwelling place in Zion." He "chose the tribe of Judah, the Mount Zion which He loved. And He built His sanctuary like high palaces." Psalms 76:2; 78:68, 69. The first temple had been erected during the most prosperous period of Israel's history. Vast stores of treasure for this purpose had been collected by King David, and the plans for its construction were made by divine inspiration. 1 Chronicles 28:12, 19. Solomon, the wisest of Israel's monarchs, had completed the work. This temple was the most magnificent building which the world ever saw. Yet the Lord had declared by the prophet Haggai, concerning the second temple: "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former." "I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts." Haggai 2:9, 7.

After the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar it was rebuilt about five hundred years before the birth of Christ by a people who from a lifelong captivity had returned to a wasted and almost deserted country. There were then among them aged men who had seen the glory of Solomon's temple, and who wept at the foundation of the new building, that it must be so inferior to the former. The feeling that prevailed is forcibly described by the prophet: "Who is


left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?" Haggai 2:3; Ezra 3:12. Then was given the promise that the glory of this latter house should be greater than that of the former.

But the second temple had not equaled the first in magnificence; nor was it hallowed by those visible tokens of the divine presence which pertained to the first temple. There was no manifestation of supernatural power to mark its dedication. No cloud of glory was seen to fill the newly erected sanctuary. No fire from heaven descended to consume the sacrifice upon its altar. The Shekinah no longer abode between the cherubim in the most holy place; the ark, the mercy seat, and the tables of the testimony were not to be found therein. No voice sounded from heaven to make known to the inquiring priest the will of Jehovah.

For centuries the Jews had vainly endeavored to show wherein the promise of God given by Haggai had been fulfilled; yet pride and unbelief blinded their minds to the true meaning of the prophet's words. The second temple was not honored with the cloud of Jehovah's glory, but with the living presence of One in whom dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily--who was God Himself manifest in the flesh. The "Desire of all nations" had indeed come to His temple when the Man of Nazareth taught and healed in the sacred courts. In the presence of Christ, and in this only, did the second temple exceed the first in glory. But Israel had put from her the proffered Gift of heaven. With the humble Teacher who had that day passed out from its golden gate, the glory had forever departed from the temple. Already were the Saviour's words fulfilled: "Your house is left unto you desolate." Matthew 23:38.

The disciples had been filled with awe and wonder at Christ's prediction of the overthrow of the temple, and they desired to understand more fully the meaning of His words. Wealth, labor, and architectural skill had for more than forty years been freely expended to enhance its splendors. Herod


the Great had lavished upon it both Roman wealth and Jewish treasure, and even the emperor of the world had enriched it with his gifts. Massive blocks of white marble, of almost fabulous size, forwarded from Rome for this purpose, formed a part of its structure; and to these the disciples had called the attention of their Master, saying: "See what manner of stones and what buildings are here!" Mark 13:1.

To these words, Jesus made the solemn and startling reply: "Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Matthew 24:2.

With the overthrow of Jerusalem the disciples associated the events of Christ's personal coming in temporal glory to take the throne of universal empire, to punish the impenitent Jews, and to break from off the nation the Roman yoke. The Lord had told them that He would come the second time. Hence at the mention of judgments upon Jerusalem, their minds reverted to that coming; and as they were gathered about the Saviour upon the Mount of Olives, they asked: "When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?" Verse 3.

The future was mercifully veiled from the disciples. Had they at that time fully comprehend the two awful facts--the Redeemer's sufferings and death, and the destruction of their city and temple--they would have been overwhelmed with horror. Christ presented before them an outline of the prominent events to take place before the close of time. His words were not then fully understood; but their meaning was to be unfolded as His people should need the instruction therein given. The prophecy which He uttered was twofold in its meaning; while foreshadowing the destruction of Jerusalem, it prefigured also the terrors of the last great day.

Jesus declared to the listening disciples the judgments that were to fall upon apostate Israel, and especially the retributive vengeance that would come upon them for their rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah. Unmistakable signs would precede the awful climax. The dreaded hour would come


suddenly and swiftly. And the Saviour warned His followers: "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains." Matthew 24:15, 16; Luke 21:20, 21. When the idolatrous standards of the Romans should be set up in the holy ground, which extended some furlongs outside the city walls, then the followers of Christ were to find safety in flight. When the warning sign should be seen, those who would escape must make no delay. Throughout the land of Judea, as well as in Jerusalem itself, the signal for flight must be immediately obeyed. He who chanced to be upon the housetop must not go down into his house, even to save his most valued treasures. Those who were working in the fields or vineyards must not take time to return for the outer garment laid aside while they should be toiling in the heat of the day. They must not hesitate a moment, lest they be involved in the general destruction.



God chases Elijah

What a mighty prophet of God Elijah was that day on the side of Mount Carmel when he as the Lord's servant fought the grand showdown against the priests of Baal.  Fearless as he cried out the words to God, "37   Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou [art] the LORD God, and [that] thou hast turned their heart back again. 38   Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that [was] in the trench. 39   And when all the people saw [it], they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he [is] the God; the LORD, he [is] the God." (1 Kings 18:37-39). But what happens next dampens one's respect for God's man, when in he flees in fear of the threats of Ahab's wife, Jezebel.

The scripture says that, "he arose, and went for his life,…" and came to Beersheba83.  What a nice way of saying, "he ran for his life." From there, he leaves his servant behind and continues running into the wilderness, and under a juniper tree, like Jonah while  sitting under the gourd, he wishes that he may die.84  But even here, while Elijah evades God, God ministers to his needs, by giving him rest and food under the juniper tree to sustain him for the upcoming 40 day fast. God continues to provide for us even in our darkest hour. Let alone seeking God, He continues to pursue us even when we knowingly flee from Him. From there you can read the story of Elijah's time in a cave for 40 days in Mount Horeb. This is another name for Mount Siani [Sinai].  Here, in the same mountain that Moses fasted on for 40 days while on the top receiving the law of God. Then in God's own time, he asks the question. The question we all must answer at one time or anther. "What doest thou here Elijah?"85 What God pursues, he finds!


God calls Elijah to mission and purpose

Elijah, in the same mountain that Moses met with God now seeks to hide form him.  Instead, God asks him what he is doing there. Elijah gives his reasons. He alone is a follower of God. Those who seek to kill him, seek to kill the last true believer. Elijah is telling God that if he is dead, then God is out of believers, for his is the last. God isn't buying Elijah's story. Instead, he tells Elijah to stand upon the mount. A strong wind passes and breaks the rocks to pieces. After that, God produces an earthquake. Then after the quake, a fire. But God is not found in any of these grand and mighty things. Instead, he is found in the still small voice that asks again, "What doest thou here, Elijah?"86  Elijah repeats the same story.

God then prepares Elijah for his last work by telling him to return to the wilderness of Damascus.  He also informs him that He has 7000 in Israel who have bowed their knee to Baal, nor kissed him.87 Elijah is faithful and returns to do what the Lord bids. He prepares Elisha to take over for him.

Did Elijah fail and God now seeks to replace him?  Elijah certainly showed his weakness by running away to the mountain.  I think God showed His love by going after him. Instead of punishing him, God reclaims him and gives him purpose to finish his work. Elijah, the Lord's hero and warrior is battle worn and tired. God directs him to his last mission to prepare his replacement so he can be taken to his rest.

If you find yourself running from God, realize that He is not running after you to punish you. He is coming after you to reclaim you. Like the parable of the prodigal son, we are not prepared for just such a reception. We are greatly loved, and greatly sought after. It was while we were yet sinners that Christ died for us.88 He didn't set up any conditions that had to be met before he died upon that cross. His love cuts right through our humanness to reclaim our heart and to restore us back into relationship with him.  We run. He pursues.


Ron’s Comment:  Good encouragement for the sincere seekers of the true gospel, but it does not apply to those who persist in a false gospel, for Paul says to accurse them!  Scripture says that the gate is narrow and few there be that enter.  Rejection of the true gospel because of its crosses and sacrifices will not result in being finally sought out and saved by God.   Let’s be aware of the fact that we can ultimately grieve the Holy Spirit if we run too fast for too long!  The bible does not teach once saved always saved.  Where you come up short Karl, is in teaching what the relationship with Christ fully involves.


Luk 8:13 They on the rock [are they], which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.


Jam 1:12 Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.


Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. God makes the covenant


The Bible is the story of God's covenant with His people.  It's a story about reconciliation, healing and finally restoration.  The scriptures tell of God's search for man. It is not a story of man's search for God. Here in Genesis 15 we see this demonstrated as well an anywhere.


Ron’s Commentary:  Careful Karl!  Apostate Israel was divorced and how many entered the land of Canaan?  Encouragement is a good thing, but any notion that God is going to reconcile, heal and restore all He has called is not true. 


The idea of God making a covenant with His creation is central to our understanding of theology. Because of sin, we have become hostile parties.  That's right, the hostility is on both sides.  Paul writes in Romans, "While we were yet enemies, Christ died for us…"88 The Greek is both active and passive.  That is, while we hated God, and while we were hated of God.  Of course, God hates differently then [than] we do. His hatred for us because of our sin led him to die on the cross to save us instead of destroying us, as we rightfully deserve.  This verse may well be one of the greatest verses in scripture that tells of God's love for us. In that while He was our enemy, He died for us.  This is a most extraordinary statement for Paul to make concerning the cross and the reasons for it.

Now that the problem of sin, which kept us separated from God had been moved out of the way, He is now able to come directly to us to bring us back into relationship with Him. This is at the heart of covenant.


Ron’s Commentary:  God never hates us.  He hates sin.  The heart of the covenant is His placing of His covenant in the hearts of all who will receive it—those who make a full surrender to Him by dying to self.


Covenant is a contract between two or more parties. As we have seen earlier, God alone ratifies His covenant. Though He does so, there are still conditions to the covenant that He asks to be met. Jeremiah recalls the words of God to Israel concerning His covenant. He said, "But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you."89 These were not the conditions which brought the covenant into existence.  God had already done that. Rather, these were the conditions that made the covenant dynamic and alive in us subjectively.

God is a covenant keeper. We are covenant breakers. I thank God that His covenant is not based on what I do, but based completely on his love for us. God moves toward us. He has found us and only asks, "How will you respond?" 

Ron’s Commentary: As evinced at the beginning of his book, Karl is impressed that the other churches have the gospel rightly discerned—except for the Catholic church.  The Covenant is based on what we do as far as seeking the empowerment to die to self is concerned.  The Jews rejected God’s Covenant with them.  It is possible for man to still reject God’s Covenant being placed in the heart. 


“When Adventists first began to find people open to receiving the Third Angle's message, most were already Christians.  They understood the gospel, so the emphasis was put on the distinct beliefs of the movement.  These included the state of the dead, the connection between the Third Angel's message, ala' mark of the beast, Sabbath and the work of Christ as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.  These last three areas were essentially one theology tied together before the famous Sabbath conferences of the late 1840's.  These Sabbath conferences were largely ways in which the Third Angel's message could be propagated to the Advent people.”


Ron’s Commentary:  The implication is that the early pioneer Adventists knew the true gospel because they were from Babylon where the true gospel was understood!  This is not true.  They did not see the true relationship between the Everlasting Gospel of Revelation 14.  Mainstream Christianity believed and still believes the doctrine of the Nocolaitans—only believe—mental assent.

Let’s see what Ellen White thinks of their gospel and its fruits.  She also say that Satan leads those churches as a body!  So Satan’s leadership is paving the way for the true gospel!  Very interesting! Sounds like Karl is speaking NOT according to the Testimonies again! What does work out your own salvation mean? 

Phl 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Let’s examine our role regarding salvation in the following straight testimony of Ellen White in The Great Controversy.  I will interject some notes after some paragraphs, but will continue with Ellen White’s treatise until you see the reference at the end.  However, I will write the word end at the end of each of my commentaries to prevent confusion.  Now Ellen White’s statement:

In many of the revivals which have occurred during the last half century, the same influences have been at work, to a greater or less degree, that will be manifest in the more extensive movements of the future. There is an emotional excitement, a mingling of the true with the false, that is well adapted to mislead. Yet none need be deceived. In the light of God's word it is not difficult to determine the nature of these movements. Wherever men neglect the testimony of the Bible, turning away from those plain, soul-testing truths which require self-denial and renunciation of the world, there we may be sure that God's blessing is not bestowed.
And by the rule which Christ Himself has given, "Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16), it is evident that these movements are not the work of the Spirit of God. {GC 464.2}

     In the truths of His word, God has given to men a revelation of Himself; and to all who accept them they are a shield against the deceptions of Satan. It is a neglect of these truths that has opened the door to the evils which are now becoming so widespread in the religious world. The nature and the importance of the law of God have been, to a great extent, lost sight of. A wrong conception of the character, the perpetuity, and the obligation of the divine law has led to errors in relation to conversion and sanctification, and has resulted in lowering the standard of piety in the church. Here is to be found the secret of the lack of the Spirit and power of God in the revivals of our time. {GC 465.1}

Ron’s commentary:  Might this same “secret” be the explanation for Laodicea’s problem?

     There are, in the various denominations, men eminent for their piety, by whom this fact is acknowledged and deplored. Professor Edwards A. Park, in setting forth the current religious perils, ably says: "One source of danger is the neglect of the pulpit to enforce the divine law. In former days the pulpit was an echo of the voice of conscience. . . . Our most illustrious preachers gave a wonderful majesty to their discourses by following the example of the Master, and giving prominence to the law, its precepts, and its threatenings. They repeated the two great maxims, that the law is a transcript of the divine perfections, and that a man who does not love the law does not love the gospel; for the law, as well as the gospel, is a mirror reflecting the true character of God. This peril leads to another, that of underrating the evil of sin, the extent of it, the demerit of it. In proportion to the rightfulness of the commandment is the wrongfulness of disobeying it. . . . {GC 465.2}


Ron’s Commentary:  Has Karl Wagner underrated the evil of sin by implying that Holy Spirit empowered works ARE NOT the basis of righteousness by faith?

     "Affiliated to the dangers already named is the danger of underestimating the justice of God. The tendency of the modern pulpit is to strain out the divine justice from the divine benevolence, to sink benevolence into a sentiment rather
than exalt it into a principle. The new theological prism puts asunder what God has joined together. Is the divine law a good or an evil? It is a good. Then justice is good; for it is a disposition to execute the law. From the habit of underrating the divine law and justice, the extent and demerit of human disobedience, men easily slide into the habit of underestimating the grace which has provided an atonement for sin." Thus the gospel loses its value and importance in the minds of men, and soon they are ready practically to cast aside the Bible itself
. {GC 465.3}


Ron’s Commentary:  Men like Karl, cast aside the Bible itself, by ignoring very plain testimony contained therein.  When Scripture says that God does the works in and through us, and Karl says that even those done by the Holy Spirit contribute nothing to our salvation and that salvation is not based on such works of Christ through His Holy Spirit, then he practically casts aside the Bible itself wittingly or not.  Salvation is based on EVERYTHING Christ has done for us that He might work His works in and through us. End.


     Many religious teachers assert that Christ by His death abolished the law, and men are henceforth free from its requirements. There are some who represent it as a grievous yoke, and in contrast to the bondage of the law they present the liberty to be enjoyed under the gospel. {GC 466.1}

     But not so did prophets and apostles regard the holy law of God. Said David: "I will walk at liberty: for I seek Thy precepts." Psalm 119:45. The apostle James, who wrote after the death of Christ, refers to the Decalogue as "the royal law" and "the perfect law of liberty." James 2:8; 1:25. And the revelator, half a century after the crucifixion, pronounces a blessing upon them "that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14. {GC 466.2}

     The claim that Christ by His death abolished His Father's law is without foundation. Had it been possible for the law to be changed or set aside, then Christ need not have died to save man from the penalty of sin. The death of Christ, so far from abolishing the law, proves that it is immutable. The Son of God came to "magnify the law, and make it honorable." Isaiah 42:21. He said: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law;" "till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law." Matthew 5;17, 18. And concerning Himself He declares: "I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy law is within My heart." Psalm 40:8.
{GC 466.3}

     The law of God, from its very nature, is unchangeable. It is a revelation of the will and the character of its Author. God is love, and His law is love. Its two great principles are love to God and love to man. "Love is the fulfilling of the law." Romans 13:10. The character of God is righteousness and truth; such is the nature of His law. Says the psalmist: "Thy law is the truth:" "all Thy commandments are righteousness." Psalm 119:142, 172. And the apostle Paul declares: "The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." Romans 7:12. Such a law, being an expression of the mind and will of God, must be as enduring as its Author. {GC 467.1}

     It is the work of conversion and sanctification to reconcile men to God by bringing them into accord with the principles of His law. In the beginning, man was created in the image of God. He was in perfect harmony with the nature and the law of God; the principles of righteousness were written upon his heart. But sin alienated him from his Maker. He no longer reflected the divine image. His heart was at war with the principles of God's law. "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Romans 8:7. But "God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son," that man might be reconciled to God. Through the merits of Christ he can be restored to harmony with his Maker. His heart must be renewed by divine grace; he must have a new life from above. This change is the new birth, without which, says Jesus, "he cannot see the kingdom of God." {GC 467.2}

     The first step in reconciliation to God is the conviction of sin. "Sin is the transgression of the law." By the law is the knowledge of sin." 1 John 3:4; Romans 3:20. In order to see his guilt, the sinner must test his character by God's great standard of righteousness. It is a mirror which shows the perfection of a righteous character and enables him to discern the defects in his own. {GC 467.3}

     The law reveals to man his sins, but it provides no remedy.
While it promises life to the obedient, it declares that death is the portion of the transgressor. The gospel of Christ alone can free him from the condemnation or the defilement of sin. He must exercise repentance toward God, whose law has been transgressed; and faith in Christ, his atoning sacrifice. Thus he obtains "remission of sins that are past" and becomes a partaker of the divine nature. He is a child of God, having received the spirit of adoption, whereby he cries: "Abba, Father!" {GC 467.4}

     Is he now free to transgress God's law? Says Paul: "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." "How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" And John declares: "This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous." Romans 3:31; 6:2; 1 John 5:3. In the new birth the heart is brought into harmony with God, as it is brought into accord with His law. When this mighty change has taken place in the sinner, he has passed from death unto life, from sin unto holiness, from transgression and rebellion to obedience and loyalty. The old life of alienation from God has ended; the new life of reconciliation, of faith and love, has begun. Then "the righteousness of the law" will "be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:4. And the language of the soul will be: "O how love I Thy law! it is my meditation all the day." Psalm 119:97. {GC 468.1}

     "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." Psalm 19:7. Without the law, men have no just conception of the purity and holiness of God or of their own guilt and uncleanness. They have no true conviction of sin and feel no need of repentance. Not seeing their lost condition as violators of God's law, they do not realize their need of the atoning blood of Christ. The hope of salvation is accepted without a radical change of heart or reformation of life. Thus superficial conversions abound, and multitudes are joined to the church who have never been united to Christ.
{GC 468.2}

     Erroneous theories of sanctification, also, springing from neglect or rejection of the divine law, have a prominent place in the religious movements of the day. These theories are both false in doctrine and dangerous in practical results; and the fact that they are so generally finding favor, renders it doubly essential that all have a clear understanding of what the Scriptures teach upon this point. {GC 469.1}

     True sanctification is a Bible doctrine. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonian church, declares: "This is the will of God, even your sanctification." And he prays: "The very God of peace sanctify you wholly." 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 5:23. The Bible clearly teaches what sanctification is and how it is to be attained. The Saviour prayed for His disciples: "Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth." John 17:17. And Paul teaches that believers are to be "sanctified by the Holy Ghost." Romans 15:16. What is the work of the Holy Spirit? Jesus told His disciples: "When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth." John 16:13. And the psalmist says: "Thy law is the truth." By the word and the Spirit of God are opened to men the great principles of righteousness embodied in His law. And since the law of God is "holy, and just, and good," a transcript of the divine perfection, it follows that a character formed by obedience to that law will be holy. Christ is a perfect example of such a character. He says: "I have kept My Father's commandments." "I do always those things that please Him." John 15:10; 8:29. The followers of Christ are to become like Him--by the grace of God to form characters in harmony with the principles of His holy law. This is Bible sanctification. {GC 469.2}

     This work can be accomplished only through faith in Christ, by the power of the indwelling Spirit of God. Paul admonishes believers: "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." Philippians 2:12, 13. The Christian will feel the promptings of sin, but he will
maintain a constant warfare against it. Here is where Christ's help is needed. Human weakness becomes united to divine strength, and faith exclaims: "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57. {GC 469.3}

     The Scriptures plainly show that the work of sanctification is progressive. When in conversion the sinner finds peace with God through the blood of the atonement, the Christian life has but just begun. Now he is to "go on unto perfection;" to grow up "unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Says the apostle Paul: "This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13, 14. And Peter sets before us the steps by which Bible sanctification is to be attained: "Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. . . . If ye do these things, ye shall never fall." 2 Peter 1:5-10. {GC 470.1}

     Those who experience the sanctification of the Bible will manifest a spirit of humility. Like Moses, they have had a view of the awful majesty of holiness, and they see their own unworthiness in contrast with the purity and exalted perfection of the Infinite One. {GC 470.2}

     The prophet Daniel was an example of true sanctification. His long life was filled up with noble service for his Master. He was a man "greatly beloved" (Daniel 10:11) of Heaven. Yet instead of claiming to be pure and holy, this honored prophet identified himself with the really sinful of Israel as he pleaded before God in behalf of his people: "We do not present our supplications before Thee for our righteousness, but for Thy great mercies." "We have sinned, we have done wickedly." He declares: "I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people." And when at a later time the Son of God appeared, to give
him instruction, Daniel says: "My comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength." Daniel 9:18, 15,20; 10:8. {GC 470.3}

     When Job heard the voice of the Lord out of the whirlwind, he exclaimed: "I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Job 42:6. It was when Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord, and heard the cherubim crying, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts," that he cried out, "Woe is me! for I am undone." Isaiah 6:3, 5. Paul, after he was caught up into the third heaven and heard things which it was not possible for a man to utter, speaks of himself as "less than the least of all saints." 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, margin; Ephesians 3:8. It was the beloved John, who leaned on Jesus' breast and beheld His glory, that fell as one dead before the feet of the angel. Revelation 1:17. {GC 471.1}

     There can be no self-exaltation, no boastful claim to freedom from sin, on the part of those who walk in the shadow of Calvary's cross. They feel that it was their sin which caused the agony that broke the heart of the Son of God, and this thought will lead them to self-abasement. Those who live nearest to Jesus discern most clearly the frailty and sinfulness of humanity, and their only hope is in the merit of a crucified and risen Saviour. {GC 471.2}

     The sanctification now gaining prominence in the religious world carries with it a spirit of self-exaltation and a disregard for the law of God that mark it as foreign to the religion of the Bible. Its advocates teach that sanctification is an instantaneous work, by which, through faith alone, they attain to perfect holiness. "Only believe," say they, "and the blessing is yours." No further effort on the part of the receiver is supposed to be required. At the same time they deny the authority of the law of God, urging that they are released from obligation to keep the commandments. But is it possible for men to be holy, in accord with the will and character of God, without coming into harmony with the principles which are an expression of His nature and will, and which show what is well pleasing to Him?
{GC 471.3}

     The desire for an easy religion that requires no striving, no self-denial, no divorce from the follies of the world, has made the doctrine of faith, and faith only, a popular doctrine; but what saith the word of God? Says the apostle James: "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? . . . Wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? . . . Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." James 2:14-24. {GC 472.1}

     The testimony of the word of God is against this ensnaring doctrine of faith without works. It is not faith that claims the favor of Heaven without complying with the conditions upon which mercy is to be granted, it is presumption; for genuine faith has its foundation in the promises and provisions of the Scriptures. {GC 472.2}

     Let none deceive themselves with the belief that they can become holy while willfully violating one of God's requirements. The commission of a known sin silences the witnessing voice of the Spirit and separates the soul from God. "Sin is the transgression of the law." And "whosoever sinneth [transgresseth the law] hath not seen Him, neither known Him." 1 John 3:6. Though John in his epistles dwells so fully upon love, yet he does not hesitate to reveal the true character of that class who claim to be sanctified while living in transgression of the law of God. "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected." 1 John 2:4, 5. Here is the test of every man's profession. We cannot accord holiness to any man without bringing him to the measurement of God's only standard of holiness in heaven and in earth. If men feel no weight of the moral law, if they belittle and make light of God's precepts, if they break one of the least of
these commandments, and teach men so, they shall be of no esteem in the sight of Heaven, and we may know that their claims are without foundation. {GC 472.3}

     And the claim to be without sin is, in itself, evidence that he who makes this claim is far from holy. It is because he has no true conception of the infinite purity and holiness of God or of what they must become who shall be in harmony with His character; because he has no true conception of the purity and exalted loveliness of Jesus, and the malignity and evil of sin, that man can regard himself as holy. The greater the distance between himself and Christ, and the more inadequate his conceptions of the divine character and requirements, the more righteous he appears in his own eyes. {GC 473.1}

     The sanctification set forth in the Scriptures embraces the entire being--spirit, soul, and body. Paul prayed for the Thessalonians that their "whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Again he writes to believers: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God." Romans 12:1. In the time of ancient Israel every offering brought as a sacrifice to God was carefully examined. If any defect was discovered in the animal presented, it was refused; for God had commanded that the offering be "without blemish." So Christians are bidden to present their bodies, "a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God." In order to do this, all their powers must be preserved in the best possible condition. Every practice that weakens physical or mental strength unfits man for the service of his Creator. And will God be pleased with anything less than the best we can offer? Said Christ: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart." Those who do love God with all the heart will desire to give Him the best service of their life, and they will be constantly seeking to bring every power of their being into harmony with the laws that will promote their ability to do His will. They will not, by the indulgence of
appetite or passion, enfeeble or defile the offering which they present to their heavenly Father. {GC 473.2}

     Peter says: "Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul." 1 Peter 2:11. Every sinful gratification tends to benumb the faculties and deaden the mental and spiritual perceptions, and the word or the Spirit of God can make but a feeble impression upon the heart. Paul writes to the Corinthians: "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." 2 Corinthians 7:1. And with the fruits of the Spirit--"love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness"--he classes "temperance." Galatians 5:22, 23. {GC 474.1}

     Notwithstanding these inspired declarations, how many professed Christians are enfeebling their powers in the pursuit of gain or the worship of fashion; how many are debasing their godlike manhood by gluttony, by wine drinking, by forbidden pleasure. And the church, instead of rebuking, too often encourages the evil by appealing to appetite, to desire for gain or love of pleasure, to replenish her treasury, which love for Christ is too feeble to supply. Were Jesus to enter the churches of today and behold the feasting and unholy traffic there conducted in the name of religion, would He not drive out those desecrators, as He banished the money-changers from the temple? {GC 474.2}

     The apostle James declares that the wisdom from above is "first pure." Had he encountered those who take the precious name of Jesus upon lips defiled by tobacco, those whose breath and person are contaminated by its foul odor, and who pollute the air of heaven and force all about them to inhale the poison--had the apostle come in contact with a practice so opposed to the purity of the gospel, would he not have denounced it as "earthly, sensual, devilish"? Slaves of tobacco, claiming the blessing of entire sanctification, talk of their hope of heaven; but God's word plainly declares that "there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth." Revelation 21:27.
{GC 474.3}

     "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. He whose body is the temple of the Holy Spirit will not be enslaved by a pernicious habit. His powers belong to Christ, who has bought him with the price of blood. His property is the Lord's. How could he be guiltless in squandering this entrusted capital? Professed Christians yearly expend an immense sum upon useless and pernicious indulgences, while souls are perishing for the word of life. God is robbed in tithes and offerings, while they consume upon the altar of destroying lust more than they give to relieve the poor or for the support of the gospel. If all who profess to be followers of Christ were truly sanctified, their means, instead of being spent for needless and even hurtful indulgences, would be turned into the Lord's treasury, and Christians would set an example of temperance, self-denial, and self-sacrifice. Then they would be the light of the world. {GC 475.1}

     The world is given up to self-indulgence. "The lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" control the masses of the people. But Christ's followers have a holier calling. "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean." In the light of God's word we are justified in declaring that sanctification cannot be genuine which does not work this utter renunciation of the sinful pursuits and gratifications of the world. {GC 475.2}

     To those who comply with the conditions, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, . . . and touch not the unclean," God's promise is, "I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18. It is the privilege and the duty of every Christian to have a rich and abundant experience in the things of God. "I am the light of
the world," said Jesus. "He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12. "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." Proverbs 4:18. Every step of faith and obedience brings the soul into closer connection with the Light of the world, in whom there "is no darkness at all." The bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shine upon the servants of God, and they are to reflect His rays. As the stars tell us that there is a great light in heaven with whose glory they are made bright, so Christians are to make it manifest that there is a God on the throne of the universe whose character is worthy of praise and imitation. The graces of His Spirit, the purity and holiness of His character, will be manifest in His witnesses. {GC 475.3}

     Paul in his letter to the Colossians sets forth the rich blessings granted to the children of God. He says: We "do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness." Colossians 1:9-11. {GC 476.1}

     Again he writes of his desire that the brethren at Ephesus might come to understand the height of the Christian's privilege. He opens before them, in the most comprehensive language, the marvelous power and knowledge that they might possess as sons and daughters of the Most High. It was theirs "to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man," to be "rooted and grounded in love," to "comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." But the prayer of the apostle reaches the climax of privilege when he prays that "ye might be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:16-19.
{GC 476.2}

     Here are revealed the heights of attainment that we may reach through faith in the promises of our heavenly Father, when we fulfill His requirements. Through the merits of Christ we have access to the throne of Infinite Power. "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" Romans 8:32. The Father gave His Spirit without measure to His Son, and we also may partake of its fullness. Jesus says, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" Luke 11:13. "If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it." "Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." John 14:14, 16:24. {GC 477.1}

     While the Christian's life will be characterized by humility, it should not be marked with sadness and self-depreciation. It is the privilege of everyone so to live that God will approve and bless him. It is not the will of our heavenly Father that we should be ever under condemnation and darkness. There is no evidence of true humility in going with the head bowed down and the heart filled with thoughts of self. We may go to Jesus and be cleansed, and stand before the law without shame and remorse. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1. {GC 477.2}

     Through Jesus the fallen sons of Adam become "sons of God." "Both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren." Hebrews 2:11. The Christian's life should be one of faith, of victory, and joy in God. "Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." I John 5:4. Truly spoke God's servant Nehemiah: "The joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10. And Paul says: "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice." "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this
is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." Philippians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. {GC 477.3}

     Such are the fruits of Bible conversion and sanctification; and it is because the great principles of righteousness set forth in the law of God are so indifferently regarded by the Christian world that these fruits are so rarely witnessed. This is why there is manifest so little of that deep, abiding work of the Spirit of God which marked revivals in former years. {GC 478.1}

     It is by beholding that we become changed. And as those sacred precepts in which God has opened to men the perfection and holiness of His character are neglected, and the minds of the people are attracted to human teachings and theories, what marvel that there has followed a decline of living piety in the church. Saith the Lord: "They have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." Jeremiah 2:13. {GC 478.2}

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly. . . . But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Psalm 1:1-3. It is only as the law of God is restored to its rightful position that there can be a revival of primitive faith and godliness among His professed people. "Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16. {GC 478.3}




Chapter Six

The Need to Abide

Martha and Mary

It is a Sabbath day and Jesus is visiting the home of his friends, Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary.  Luke gives us the story in his gospel.  He writes, "Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."90

This story is a story we Christians need to understand more then [than] we have.  Many it seems, live lives of defeat and depression trying to serve and obey the Lord in hope that we may be found acceptable.  All along however, we have already received the victory and need only to abide at His feet.  Like Martha, one tends to sometimes get caught up in the doing that he fails to consider abiding.  The risk of being distracted draws us away from Christ.  Martha is so absorbed with her work that when she complains to Jesus it seems more to do about working alone rather then the fact that she too could be at Jesus' feet. 


Ron’s Commentary:  Karl states above:  Many it seems, live lives of defeat and depression trying to serve and obey the Lord in hope that we may be found acceptable.  All along however, we have already received the victory and need only to abide at His feet. 

If we find that we are not serving and obeying the Lord by His obedience in and through us, that is the very God given test whereby we may know that we are not in relationship with Him!  Karl’s New Theology, would negate the only test given in Scripture whereby we may know whether or not we love God and the brethren.  I speak of 1 John 5:2.

This is a classic example of Morris Venden New Theology.  All HAVE NOT received the victory.  The victory is available to all, but all have not RECEIVED it.  What does receiving it consist of?  Receiving the victory of Christ’s Righteousness by Faith involves receiving the free grace gift of being born again and dying to self, in full surrender to the will of Christ worked in and through us.  Have all already received that victory; that only source of victory?  I answer no for every person who has ever been lost or ever will be lost!

Our lives need to be balanced between worship and abiding in regards to the relationship of doing the Lord's service. If Jesus had asked Mary to do something, do you think she would have done it? Of course she would do it. Mary would have done the service, done it quickly and as well as she could so she could be back to abide at the feet of Jesus. And so the words of Jesus to Martha are appropriate in that He calls her to abide as well. He says that Mary has chosen the good part, which Martha must now consider.

 In Jesus' day, a women wouldn't normally have been accepted as a disciple. Luke, the author of our gospel, was a student under Gamaliel91 [lit., "at his feet"]. In the story, it is Mary who takes the place of a disciple by sitting at the feet of the teacher. Here, Jesus is called "Lord" [kyrie] a number of times. This relationship idea then is something we all must consider as important, regardless of sexuality.


Christ is the Vine

On his way across the Kedron valley and up the side of the Mount of Olives, Jesus takes the time to teach his disciples. This is the night before the Passover. Jerusalem is full of pilgrims camped around outside the city. It is a full moon, because it is the eve of the 14th; the middle of the lunar month which begins at new moon. We can assume a number of camp fires from the out of town campers, and a good amount of activity. Jesus has just completed the foot washing, and the presentation of the first communion. Judas has made his way to fetch the priests and their guards to arrest Jesus and Jesus is now heading towards the garden of Gethsemane atop the Mount of Olives.

Here on its slopes, Jesus may have seen the grape vines that have been pruned and the piles of cut branches waiting for the fire. He stops and makes note, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman."92  He tells his disciples that if they continue to abide in Him, that He will abide with them and that they will bear much fruit. For those who choose not to remain with Him he says are, "…cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned."93

Jesus gives us the proper tension between fitness for discipleship and work. It is abiding. While we abide, or stay with Him, we bare much fruit. Abiding is not idleness, though the fruit baring is due to the husbandman and the vine. Cut the branch from the vine and it bares no more fruit.


Ron’s Commentary:  As I have stated before, there is no such thing as abiding in Christ without our surrender of the will to permit Christ to abide IN US.  We are to abide in Him and He in us.  That is the full gospel.  Karl specializes in giving a partial truth gospel admixed with a part that is false as do all New Theology advocates.

 The fruit that Jesus speaks of here is the next generation of disciples. This is the only fruit that is of interest to heaven, and so should be for us as well.  In this activity Jesus tells His disciples that they are to love one another as he has loved them. He then tells them, "Greater love has no man than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends…"94 He tells them that they are his friends if they obey him, and then describes the relationship we are to have with him. He says He no longer calls you servants, because servants don't know their master's business. Instead, he says, "I have called you friends."95…because what the Father tells me, I tell you. We are not excluded, but included in relationship with the Master and the Father, and here we abide.

Treasure of Heaven is Abiding Fruit

"Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me."96


Ron’s Commentary:  Having treasure in heaven is conditional to the man obeying the words of Christ:  “…sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor.”  This is the part of “ABIDING” that Karl and New Theology Advocates always scurry over!  Selling all may be compared with the full surrender experience. 


Like the rich young ruler, many go away from an abiding in Christ experience because they do not accept the terms of His abiding in them—full surrender to His Will.  In this case, it involved selling all the man had and distributing to the poor.  It was the same with the rich young ruler.  But he did not accept the terms of abiding in Christ’s Word, and Christ’s Word abiding in him.  As previously stated, this often involves a sacrifice and an inconvenience that will be spurned by all who are lost.

What is treasure in heaven? Can I really put valuable stuff there to preserve for the day when I will be there? What thing on earth could possibly have such value that I could preserve it in heaven?  The things we are asked to store in heaven are not gold, silver, jewels, real-estate or other material gain. There is only one kind of treasure worth storing.  That treasure is each other. We are to be each other's treasure.

As Jesus told his disciples to bare much fruit, we too lay hold of that command by faith and yield ourselves to the service of the master by simply abiding in the vine. The vine, Jesus, produces the fruit of the branch. Without him, we are dried kindling worthy only of the fire. So, in the most basic way, the fruit we produce is not fruit we produce. It is the fruit Jesus produces through us. Let us abide in Him, and let Him work without us getting caught up in all the busyness of church work which distracts and hinders us from producing much fruit.

Ron’s Commentary:  Again, Karl has it part right.  We do not simply abide in the vine, but if the Vine abides in us and we in Him, that is the winning, true combination, that produces the fruit. And Karl is correct—the works (fruit) is produced by Jesus in and through us. 

Now Karl has engendered a huge problem by admitting that the fruit (works) is not produced by us, lest any man should boast, but by Jesus in and through us.  Karl teaches that those works are not the basis of salvation!  That is the huge problem! Christ’s righteousness is the basis of our salvation because we would have no salvation without His triumph of righteousness over sin. 

So Christ’s works of righteousness by faith in and through us ARE THE BASIS OF OUR SALVATION, rather than His death on the cross.  That death paid our death penalty, and is thus very essential, but His righteousness made it possible for Him to pay that debt.  In other words, if Christ had failed the tests of righteous obedience to His Father’s Will, He could not have qualified to die for our sins, for he would have been a sinner Himself, in need of salvation.

I am so thankful that Karl, in essence, has inadvertently admitted his past erroneous false gospel when he says that the truth that Christ does the works in (through) us.  He said that without realizing that the works of righteousness that Christ does in and through us are the basis of the gospel, because there would be no gospel if Christ had not triumphed in righteousness, but now maybe he will see the light that works of righteousness done by Christ in and through us are the Father’s Will. The Father’s Will is the FULL BASIS for salvation!  The fruit is man transformed into the image of Christ and the Father once again!  That is the basis of salvation—the very objective and subjective purpose for salvation and the Everlasting Covenant with man. 

The basis of the gospel is the Son of God triumphing in obedience where man failed but could have obeyed.  Then Christ repeats that triumph in and through man.  That restores man to the image of the Vine, and that was the basis, the purpose, the objective, of the Everlasting Gospel.  The fruit of Christ's triumph over sin is reproduced in the heart (mind) of men.  The fruit is the same as the triumph of Christ. The fruit is the righteousness (works--Will) of Christ worked in and through man.  The basis of salvation is thus Christ in you the hope of Glory.

Friends, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."97  Indeed, the treasure of heaven is the abiding fruit of the next generation. If our heart tends towards that fruit, we abide in heaven even now.98


Ron’s Commentary:  Now we better understand Jesus’ counsel to the rich young ruler and the other man whom He told to sell all and give alms and lay out treasure up in heaven—the treasure being won souls for the Kingdom.  But heaven’s treasure (the righteousness of Christ) must first abide in our heart, and then there (in heaven) will your heart be also!  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

The rich young’s ruler’s treasure was in his many possessions.  What is your treasure? Whatever keeps us from a full surrender to the righteousness of Christ living, dwelling and working in and through us daily, moment by moment, is our first love, our treasure, over and above Christ and His gift of eternal life.

This is why there is no abiding in Christ without a full surrender to His abiding IN US.  Any teaching that we can abide in Christ, while disobeying His commands, is false, because Christ must also be in us—obeying His commands—enabling His commands.  This is the only biblical test that we are in relationship with Christ—Christ in us the Hope of Glory, and we in Him.  That is the full gospel!  It does involve a sacrifice that most will not be willing to make.  And that sacrifice is made too simple by Karl’s instruction that all we have to do is just abide in Him!  That is a misleading oversimplification of our responsibility and is thus a partial, false gospel.

P.S. Karl has not finished the book.  Will comment more when he finishes.


                                                Chapter Seven

Faith to Eat the Crumbs.

V-Working the Works of God.


Chapter Eight

What Shall We Do?

Believe in God (John 6)

Our walk of faith

Enduring to the end

  Chapter Nine

The Gospel Proclaimed

Carrying the Gospel to the World (Remnant)

The Joint Declaration of the Advent Cause

Getting Home From Here


Bottom of Form




19 see Daniel, chapter 7.











21 ibid.











23 Arthur White, Op Cited, page 354.











24 "Brethren, God has most precious light for His people. I call it not new light; but O, it is strangely new to many. Jesus said to His disciples, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you." This was really an old commandment, which had been given in the Old Testament scriptures, but it had been lost. It had not been practiced. The command that they should love one another as Christ had loved them was indeed new to the disciples. But the revealing of this love would give to the world an unmistakable evidence that they were God's children." (1888 Materials, page 139, 140)











25 "There are many who have not taxed their mental powers, and who have no experience in putting to the stretch their utmost ability to find out what is truth. It is not possible that the Holy Spirit shall fall upon you unless you feel your need, and are more desirous for its descent than you now are…. If ever there was a people that needed to heed the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodicean church to be zealous and to repent before God, it is the people who have had opened up before them the stupendous truths for this time, and who have not lived up to their high privileges and responsibilities. We have lost much in not living up to the light of the solemn truths which we profess to believe." (RH, June 4, 1889)











27 "The charges raised by the 1888 Study Committee against the leadership of the Church are very serious. If the Church is proclaiming a false gospel, it has no right to exist. A partial understanding of the gospel, as they claim the Church to have, is not a true understanding of the gospel. If they are the only ones who have a clear and complete understanding of the gospel, then everyone else is proclaiming a false gospel. They are implicitly accusing the Church, or at least the leaders of the Church, of apostasy. We have found such accusations to be groundless as evidenced in the official statements of beliefs of the Church.

Therefore, we firmly believe that the 1888 Study Committee should discontinue its claims that the true message of righteousness by faith was rejected by the leaders of the Church, that they never genuinely accepted it, and that they have intentionally kept it away from the Church and the world." http://biblicalresearch.gc.adventist.org/Independent%20Ministries/PrimacyoftheGospel.htm.

And from LeRoy Edwin Froom, "Movement of Destiny", (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald-1971) page 242, "While it took decades for the resistance of some to pass, nevertheless acceptance and unity came at last, opening the way for the final triumph." Also read pages 237-268.











29 The Ministerial Association Advisory Council of Oct. 22, 1924 voted to have Elder Daniells arrange for a compilation from the writings of Ellen White on the subject of Justification by Faith. Arthur Daniells, "Christ Our Righteousness", (Takoma Park, MD: Review and Herald-1941), see Foreword, page 5.











30 ibid, page 47.











31 ibid, page 7.











32 LeRoy Froom, Opt Cited, page 244.











33 Ellen G. White, 17MR, page 18.











34 The essential gospel is found in Ephesians 2:8,9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast." See also 1 John 5:12, "He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."











35 see Ellen White, CET, page 176.











36 "At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason." (RH, January 11, 1887)











37 see Daniel Fuller, "Gospel & Law: Contrast or Continuum?", (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans-1980) .  Daniel Fuller, a covenant theologian changed to accept the continuing Law of God.  He gave up much for his discovery by taking criticism from his own brethren.











39  1 Cor. 15:13ff











42 Exodus 19:5 ,"Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine:" and Deut. 14:2,"For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that [are] upon the earth."











43 Its been suggested that the best source for the story of these conferences can be found in LeRoy Froom's book, Movement of Destiny already cited. Refer to pages 465ff.  LeRoy Froom was the lead man at these conferences, hence; first hand knowledge of a significant  event.











44 Froom, Opt Cited, page 473











46 ibid











47 see LeRoy Froom, The Coming of the Comforter, Review and Herald, 1928.











48 page 9, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Seventh-Day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine: An Explanation of Certain Major Aspects of Seventh-day Adventist Belief, 1957. Better known simply as, "Qustions on Doctrine" or "QD".











49 ibid, page 341ff.











50 ibid, page 347











51 ibid, page 347-348











52 ibid, see pages 354-355











53 Romans 5:18,19; "Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even     so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life. 

19, For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."











54 Hebrews  8:2, "A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man."


























58 "At the close of the 2300 days of chapter 8, in 1844, Judgment of another kind began to sit, namely, the investigative Judgment, in the heavenly sanctuary, preparatory to the coming of Christ." James White, The Judgment: Or, The Waymarks of Daniel to the Holy City, nd,











59 see Ellen White, Signs of The Times article, August 6, 1885, "The Power of the Truth". She writes among other things concerning the Investigative Judgment, " The promise is, 'Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.' There is power in the blood of Christ to remove sin. Poor, trembling sinner, today you are the prisoner of hope. Jesus lives, and because he lives you may live also." Compare this to the likes of Dale Ratzlaff, a former Seventh-day Adventist Bible teacher who left Adventism over his erroneous concepts of the judgment as accounted for in his book, Cultic Doctrine of Seventh-day Adventists. Life Assurance Ministries 1996. page 236 where he says the fatal flaw is in trusting one's works in relation to the sanctuary.













64 Daniel 7 and the Little Horn power.











65 Martin Weber, "Who's Got the Truth", Calvary Connections-1994.  As needful as this book was, the sad truth is that it was needed at all.  If we are to be the pointmen of  the Gospel in these last days, it would be helpful to have "it".











67 Romans 5:18; "therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life. 

5:19   For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (KJV)











69The main text used to establish the truth that we can have assurance is 1 John 5:12, "He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 

5:13   These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 

5:14   And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:" (KJV)











70 Matthew 5:17ff











71 John 14:15











72 That which is His is "Us"!  When Job declared, "Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands." Job 14:15, he gave the reason to the  value of a human soul.  God desires that which He has made.  We have value to God, not because of who we are or what we do, but simply because He wants us.











73 John 7:16ff, "…he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself."













75 Matthew 11:28











76 John 5:24, the text reads, "passed" as a completed act.  Eternal life begins here and now.  It's not a future promise. See 1 John 5:12, " He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."











77 "Adventism in Crisis" or A Review And Further Analysis of, "Will the Real Seventh-day Adventist Church Please Stand Up," Written by Ralph W. Martin. Tom Norris, P. O. Box 317, Ashton, Maryland 20861.          E-mail: tlgroup@erols.com.  May, 1998. http://www.fountain.btinternet.co.uk/sda/adventism_in_crisis.html











78 Jack Sequeira, "Laodicea", Pacific Press, 1995. Page 66.  See also, Ellen White, "Testimonies to Ministers", page 65.











79 reference Ellen White, "Christ Object Lessons", page 312.











80 Galatians 5:24











81 Romans 5:8, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." and 5: 10, "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."











82 Romans 10:6 -9, "But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down [from above]:)  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."











83 1 Kings 19:3  ,"And when he saw [that], he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which [belongeth] to Judah, and left his servant there."











84 1 Kings 19:4ff and Jonah 4:7,8











85 1 Kings 19: 8,9











86 1 Kings 19: 13











87 1 Kings 19:18











88 Romans 5:8











88 Romans 5:10











89 Jeremiah 7:23











90 Luke 10:38-42, KJV











91 see Acts 22:3











92 John 15:1, KJV











93 John 15:6, KJV











94 John 15:13,14, NIV











95 John 15:15











96 Luke 18:22, KJV











97 Matthew 6:1-21, KJV











98 And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: [Eph 2:6, KJV]