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Response to AToday article Ellen White or the Bible


RonCorson
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On 9/23/2021 at 8:34 PM, GHansen said:

Edson thought that Jesus had a work to do in the MHP but he doesn't describe it as an investigation. 

There are a number of beliefs that along the way get titled in a way that doesn't sit well with many people. Perhaps "investigative judgement" could have been titled differently, but in the end, the result is the same. God the Father and Jesus will decide who is worthy of eternal life and who isn't. Jesus did say that when He returns, His reward would be with Him. The IJ is only part of the work done in the MHP.

On 9/23/2021 at 8:34 PM, GHansen said:

Interesting remark you make about LGT being in the Bible. Could you elaborate on that?

The 144,000 are the "Last Generation."

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On 9/23/2021 at 10:34 PM, Gregory Matthews said:

Reference has been made to so-called Last Generation Theology, popularized by Andreason.  As  it developed it became quite legalistic. and is not current thinking of SDAs.

Unfortunately, there are a number of beliefs of the early church pioneers which are not held in very good esteem today, "Last Generation Theology" seems to be one of them. Not sure what you can do about it when people start dismissing what were once considered "pillars" of the Adventist faith. I would say there is a currently a significant following to the LGT concepts, some getting it right and some getting it a bit wrong.

I would take a very strong exception to the idea that LGT is a very legalistic theology. The concepts of LGT are all thru the Bible and the writings of EGW. Someone (Andreason) just summed them up and put a name to the idea. There are pastors who very much taught the principles of LGT while also strongly emphasizing that it was all about Jesus and very much preached the Love of the Father and the Son for humanity while at the same time pointing out the errors of legalism or works.

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1 hour ago, B/W Photodude said:

Perhaps "investigative judgement" could have been titled differently, but in the end, the result is the same.

Personally, the term "investigate  generally has a negative sense. Perhaps the term "pre-advent judgment" would sound better. People who are thought to have done something wrong are "investigated." Believing in Jesus and doing one's best in life are the right thing to do. I like to think of God as comforting, strengthening, forgiving rather than investigating.

E.J. Waggoner, who some have said did a pretty good job of presenting the gospel, didn't even believe in the IJ, according to his "Final Word and Confession."

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13 hours ago, GHansen said:

Personally, the term "investigate  generally has a negative sense. Perhaps the term "pre-advent judgment" would sound better.

I do not think investigate has any negative sense to it unless you are a frightened criminal being investigated (However, are we all in the judgement day?). Sometimes it helps to looks up definitions of words. So, here it is ... two definitions for investigate:

Quote

1. to examine, study, or inquire into systematically; search or examine into the particulars of; examine in detail.
2. to search out and examine the particulars of in an attempt to learn the facts about something hidden, unique, or complex, especially in an attempt to find a motive, cause, or culprit:

I have the general sense that most people think of the judgement as themselves being judged. That may be part of it, But IJ is much more. It is even a judgement on God and His law. Everyone is being judged. Hard to say what individuals on other planets are doing, but I imagine that everyone in the universe has meditated on the issue of God's law and is it right and/or fair.

Judgement is heavily a part of the Three Angels Messages of Rev. 14. God is being judged, Satan is being judged, and humans are being judged. God is judging us. We are judging God. 

This is all part of the Atonement Day services. Sins of God's people will also be buried never to be remembered again. This I find interesting as God who see everything and knows everything is able to forget!

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45 minutes ago, B/W Photodude said:

I do not think investigate has any negative sense to it unless you are a frightened criminal being investigated (However, are we all in the judgement day?). Sometimes it helps to looks up definitions of words. So, here it is ... two definitions for investigate:

I have the general sense that most people think of the judgement as themselves being judged. That may be part of it, But IJ is much more. It is even a judgement on God and His law. Everyone is being judged. Hard to say what individuals on other planets are doing, but I imagine that everyone in the universe has meditated on the issue of God's law and is it right and/or fair.

Judgement is heavily a part of the Three Angels Messages of Rev. 14. God is being judged, Satan is being judged, and humans are being judged. God is judging us. We are judging God. 

This is all part of the Atonement Day services. Sins of God's people will also be buried never to be remembered again. This I find interesting as God who see everything and knows everything is able to forget!

Interestingly enough the Catechism states something very similar:

1040 The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming. Then through his Son Jesus Christ he will pronounce the final word on all history. We shall know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvellous ways by which his Providence led everything towards its final end. the Last Judgment will reveal that God's justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that God's love is stronger than death.

 

 

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3 hours ago, B/W Photodude said:

I do not think investigate has any negative sense to it unless you are a frightened criminal being investigated (However, are we all in the judgement day?)

Well, it probably connotes different things to different people, being investigated, that is. Both definitions have a negative connotation, as evinced by the word "culprit" in #2 and the "systematic examination." in #1. This text from the CEV captures what I'm referencing:

2  I am your servant. Don’t try me in your court, because no one is innocent by your standards (Psalm 143)

As for the criminal part, yes, that's me. I wouldn't stand for a second in God's holy presence apart from the righteousness of Christ. There's one question that needs to be answered. Are we believers in Christ i.e., covered by his righteousness? if the answer to that is yes, then there is nothing more to be investigated. 

"To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."

I like that idea, not having my sins imputed or counted against me ( 2 Co. 5:19). If you are comforted by the idea of God systematically examining your life for every thought or word or deed or neglected duty so he can condemn you, go with it. That kind of "religion" doesn't work for me, a sinner.  

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Gustave said in the quote below:

Gustave is correct.   The person is covered by the righteousness of Christ.  From that standpoint, there is nothing more to be investigated.   The salvation of the person is sure and certain.   It is not in question. 

The SDA understanding of the IJ begins with the idea that long ago, God was charged in heaven with unfairly not giving the angelic beings a choice to either follow God or to not follow God. 

It continues with the idea that Satan alleged that the intelligent life created by God would choose to follow Satan, if that life were actually given choice. To test that proposition, Satan was given limited access to Adam and Eve, who did exercise their choice not to follow God.

In this SDA understanding there is a thought  that God had created intelligent life in other sections of the Universe who were made aware of the charges against God and also of the choice made by Adam and Eve.

In this SDA understanding of the IJ, people are not on trial.  Rather it is God who is on trial.  The IJ demonstrates to all-both humanity and created intelligent life in other sections of the Universe, that God has fairly covered human sinners with the righteousness of Christ.   As a result of the righteousness of Christ, sin and rebellion has been removed from those who will continue in eternity in a relationship with God.

The IJ removes all question about the fairness of God and the charges of Satan are demonstrated to be false.

Whether or not this SDA understanding is true, I will leave that to you to decide.  My major point is:  Humanity is not on rial.   It is God who is on trial in the IJ.

 

 

Quote

As for the criminal part, yes, that's me. I wouldn't stand for a second in God's holy presence apart from the righteousness of Christ. There's one question that needs to be answered. Are we believers in Christ i.e., covered by his righteousness? if the answer to that is yes, then there is nothing more to be investigated. 

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That was GHansen that made that statement Pastor Matthews. While I agree that the General Judgement will be conducted so that everyone both saved and lost as well as the angels will know, at the cellular level - that God's judgement was fair and appropriate. 

I do not agree with the idea of a Great Controversy Theme whereas Lucifer put God into a legal pickle of sorts by leveling the charge that God's law was too hard to follow and that Christ volunteered to come to earth to "vindicate the law" of God to get God out of the awkward situation Lucifer put "Him"  (as in the hominid flesh God the Pioneers believed in) in. 

 

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Correct.

Thank you for correcting it.

However, my teaching of the Investigative  Judgment (IJ) is in agreement with your statement in the first paragraph:

{quote]While I agree that the General Judgement will be conducted so that everyone both saved and lost as well as the angels will know, at the cellular level - that God's judgement was fair and appropriate. [/quote]

I do not teach the IJ in the manner that you have suggested in your 2nd paragraph:

I do not agree with the idea of a Great Controversy Theme whereas Lucifer put God into a legal pickle of sorts by leveling the charge that God's law was too hard to follow and that Christ volunteered to come to earth to "vindicate the law" of God to get God out of the awkward situation Lucifer put "Him"  (as in the hominid flesh God the Pioneers believed in) in. 

As I understand you, I will suggest that you and I have considerable agreement.

The so-called "Great Controversy Theme" is related to the idea that if given totally free choice, God's creation would choose to reject God and follow Satan.  I acknowledge that may seem to involve the idea that God's law was too hard to follow.  But I place the emphasis on the freedom of choice.

 

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On 9/22/2021 at 11:23 AM, B/W Photodude said:

1. Entering the Most Holy Place. What does that mean?

2. What part of Hebrews indicates that Jesus entered the Most Holy Place almost immediately on His return to heaven (as opposed to 1844)?

3. What exactly did Daniel mean by saying after 2300 days the sanctuary would be cleansed. What does that mean?

1. The Most Holy Place was the behind the "second curtain"; which I take to be the veil between the first compartment (The Holy Place), and the second compartment (The Most Holy Place or Holy of Holies).

2. Hebrews 9; explicitly Hebrews 9:12.

3. The word "days" in your question is literally translated "morning-evenings" from the Hebrew.  This could arguably mean the daily morning-evening sacrifices. 2300 morning-evening sacrifices works out to 1150 days; which fits well inside the 1260 days mentioned many times elsewhere in Daniel and Revelation.

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On 9/26/2021 at 11:58 AM, JoeMo said:

1. The Most Holy Place was ...

When Jesus told the parable of the sower, He taught the disciples that He spoke in parables because the people would not understand and then taught the disciples what His parables meant. I tend to believe that anyone searching Scripture and meditating on these parables would be able to arrive at their meaning. Of course, today, we have the book Christ Object Lessons to consider when studying what Jesus taught.

However, IMHO, the desert sanctuary and the Jerusalem temple were also parables. The desert sanctuary was one huge physical parable with its services and it summed up the entire plan of salvation. Central throughout the sanctuary message was Jesus and His various roles in the whole plan of salvation. God does not waste words or symbols and there was very little in the sanctuary or its services which does not have symbolic meaning related to the plan of Salvation.

Entering into the Most Holy Place on His return to heaven would have been inconsistent with the temple services and holidays. The earthly sanctuary and the heavenly sanctuary are very consistent with each other. The day of Atonement was one day of a year. If Jesus entered the Most Holy Place immediately on His return to Heaven, then the Day of Atonement would have lasted most of a year in the temple calendar. 

Of interest I find that everything outside of the Sanctuary itself  (in the courtyard) were parts of the plan of salvation that happened on earth. This would have been the sacrifice of the animals and the sacrifice of Jesus. This roughly corresponds to justification and/or reconciliation. The Holy Place has it part in the daily life of a Christian and is largely a heaven supported activity and corresponds to sanctification, hence the symbolism of the Holy Place has much to do with the Christian life. The Most Holy Place is an end time event in the plan of salvation and has much to do with glorification which is not completed until the return of Jesus.

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. Romans 5:10 

On 9/26/2021 at 11:58 AM, JoeMo said:

3. The word "days" in your question is literally translated "morning-evenings" from the Hebrew.  This could arguably mean the daily morning-evening sacrifices. 2300 morning-evening sacrifices works out to 1150 days; which fits well inside the 1260 days mentioned many times elsewhere in Daniel and Revelation.

You have a bit of a problem here. If 2300 morning-evening works out to 1150 days, then 1260 days works out to 630 days! I think you are mixing in the morning and evening sacrifices and according to Paul, those evening morning sacrifices ended  at the death of Jesus and would not be part of a 2300 day prophecy. 

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On 9/23/2021 at 10:34 PM, Gregory Matthews said:

Reference has been made to so-called Last Generation Theology, popularized by Andreason.  As  it developed it became quite legalistic. and is not current thinking of SDAs.  Although one can probably find some who accept it. For some information on this see:

https://www.adventistreview.org/2013-1528-p42

 

 

The difference between Mrs. White's Last Generation Theology and Andresen's Last Generation Theology, is Mrs. White saw people of every generation having had people who came to completely trust in Jesus that nothing could shake their faith. Mrs. White saw the last generation as having a higher quantity of people having this complete and total trust and love for Jesus. 

 

Andresen, building on the ideas of people such as Washburn and Wilkinson et. el. only adding the trinity to their views (but he gave the trinity a hierarchy that Mrs. White did not have) saw the last generation as having a different quality of a relationship than any other generation in history, and it has been interpreted as a perfect following of Adventist traditions.  

This difference between Mrs. White's view of quantity and Andresen's view of quality is where the problems come from. Too often the Investigative Judgment has been interpreted to support the different quality view. 

What the Investigative Judgment does for me is simply allows me to live in an exciting time of history, where I get to investigate the pages of scripture like never before. As we learn more about Abraham and Paul etc. I get to learn more about their God and my God and thus get to love him more. It has lead away from a picture of God eternally punishing someone like a parent who punishes their children by putting them in scalding water, etc. It has taught me of places where I may be misapplying the words I'm reading in the Bible to a different situation. 

For my guardian angel, and Gabriel, and  others who have not sinned, as they review the lives of Abraham, Paul, and me etc. they first see if we really accepted Jesus or just gave an empty claim, and if we did, then did Jesus really make a difference in our lives or not? They did not sin, but they are still a part of the sin problem. They are just as dependent upon the grace of Jesus as Abraham, Paul and I are. They come to a better understanding of how Jesus saves them and come to love him better. 

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On 9/26/2021 at 11:58 AM, JoeMo said:

3. The word "days" in your question is literally translated "morning-evenings" from the Hebrew.  This could arguably mean the daily morning-evening sacrifices. 2300 morning-evening sacrifices works out to 1150 days; which fits well inside the 1260 days mentioned many times elsewhere in Daniel and Revelation.

The problem is that the morning and evening sacrifices are always written in the specific "Morning and Evening". I have read in commentaries where the commentator said that Daniel meant to write "Morning and Evening" but must have suffered from dyslexia and switched the words around and forgot to include the word "and".

Also, an interesting test is by looking at the immediate setting. Prophecies tend to be first written to a fairly local situation, just as Isaiah 7:14 was first written for the specific threat in Isaiah's day, not an event about 700 years later. But a second level is that issues cycle around, and the Bible passage can be reapplied through analogy to a similar situation.  In Ancient near eastern cycles, day-year was a common one. Ford was only aware of popular and reformation theology, not the history and culture of the ancient near east when he announced "There is no day-year in the Bible". Not only does the Bible have day-year, they also have other possibilities as well. 

When the different theories of Daniel 8:14 were developed, history had lost track of Belshazzar, much less when his third year was. He was rediscovered in the 20th century as well as when his third year was. 

Now, if we start with Belshazzar's third year, and add 1150 literal days to it, granted we don't know what day of the year it fell on, but we come to a year of business as usual for Babylon. And if we start with Belshazzar's third year and add 2300 literal days to it, again we don't know which day of the year it was, but events that year included the Persians being a threat to Babylon, Belshazzar's feast, and the early days of the Persian empire.  MMMMM I wonder which application makes more sense?

Deuteronomy 4, and other Old Testament passages saw the possibility of the exile ending in a second great exodus lead by the Messiah. Daniel 8:14 talks about things that could have happened around the time and after the exile. Daniel 9 reapplies the 2300 days to the 70 weeks of years. From David to the end of the exile was about 70 weeks of years. The Hebrews were to go home, but not in the second great exodus lead by the messiah. They were given another cycle to fulfill how God wanted to use the Hebrews in the land to spread the gospel. 

Ezekiel also gives applications on how the world could have ended had Jesus been accepted. The time to find and burry the bones of the lost comes out to a 2310 day prophecy. If we remove the 10 days from the New Year to Yom Kippur, we end up with another 2300 day prophecy. Ezekiel tells us how the 2300 days could have been fulfilled had Jesus been accepted. Again, we have a 2300 day theme, not a 1150 day theme. It could have been the last 2300 literal days of the 70 weeks of years. 

The phrase evening-morning is a cyclic term. Leviticus 23 and here and there in Deuteronomy, we find the Hebrew weekly cycle. A Hebrew week was 6 literal days and the Sabbath, 6 literal months and either Passover or Yom Kippur, 6 literal years and the Sabbatical year, and in Leviticus, 6 literal Sabbatical years and the Jubilee. Deuteronomy does not include the Jubilee as part of it's cycles. Thus 2300 evening-morning to an ancient Hebrew could mean 2300 literal days, 2300 literal months, 2300 literal years.  (If it wasn't for Deuteronomy, we could also include 2300 literal Sabbatical years.) 1844 was not the one and only time Daniel could have had on his mind, but it is the longest of the possibilities. 

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On 9/26/2021 at 9:23 AM, Gustave said:

I do not agree with the idea of a Great Controversy Theme whereas Lucifer put God into a legal pickle of sorts by leveling the charge that God's law was too hard to follow and that Christ volunteered to come to earth to "vindicate the law" of God to get God out of the awkward situation Lucifer put "Him"  (as in the hominid flesh God the Pioneers believed in) in. 

 

This is NOT the Great Controversy theme. 

What the Great Controversy theme IS starts with an infinite God, outside of time and space, who wanted to create, and those who he creates would naturally be limited to time and space. 

Life depends on our connection with the life giver. If the infinite God only created beings, they naturally would have been unable to comprehend the infinite God, so life and death would come like popcorn popping. They would come to life, need the connection to a God they can't even begin to comprehend, thus unable to have the relationship with him, so they suddenly die. 

the infinite God needed to reveal himself inside of time and space. Finite beings needed to know that he is indeed God and they are creatures, so they needed to see God as power and authority and glory. If this was all God did, life would again come and go like pop corn popping. They come to life, see this awesome being and are suddenly scared to death. 

God also needed to reveal himself as an approachable and loving friend. Now if God only revealed himself as the approachable and loving friend, life would get a start and death would not follow like popping corn, but eventually someone would come up with an unwise idea, and as God tried to warn them, they might accept, or they might say "You're a good buddy, but what makes your view better than mine?" they make a wrong choice and die. 

God needed a tension between himself as the great power and the personal friend united in the mind of creatures to be able to live. But these two revelations of God are both objective revelations. God is both objective and subjective, and he made us the same way. So God also needed to reveal himself in connection to our subjective, existential experience. (A problem with arguments against the Holy Spirit is that people are complaining that they can't find him doing an objective revelation. That is NOT his job)

But even with this, creatures needed to know is God all he says he is, and to come to trust him. Creatures started out loving God, but in an immature "my daddy can beat up your daddy" type of love. They needed to mature, and the Holy Spirit would guide the universe. When time came for the next level of growth the Holy Spirit began to impress on the minds of creatures. They could have well have been billions of years old. They needed to decide based on evidence and their experience as to whether God is indeed God and if he is what about his law? How will God treat those who break this law.  

Lucifer was the first to notice the issues. Sadly, instead of looking for answers, Lucifer just patted himself on the back for being so intelligent to come up with such clever questions. Had he searched for answers, he could have loved God more, and help others with these questions and the chances of sin arising would have decreased and, while unlikely, could possibly not have arise at all. 

But Lucifer turned these issues into 3 lies or deceptions against the 3 revelations of God. He pictured God as having a natural beginning, and just evolved into the great and powerful being. That God did not want us to evolve to that great level, so he decided to keep us below him by imposing the law of Self Sacrificing Love, where we are too busy caring for each other that we can't evolve into the same kind of great being as that powerful being. But if God was God, then God still has trouble because of his law. God claims to be just and merciful. Lucifer says he can't be both. He either has to be just and sinners would have to die (and he pictures this death as an imposed penalty), an attack on God as our approachable friend,  or he would have to be merciful and forget about the law, just let everyone live forever doing what they wish, an attack on God working with our subjective, existential experience to bring us into relationship with God.  

Some of the terms we see in the Bible, such as the Hebrew words translated "Without form and void" and the idea of the waters, and other phrases indicate that God put something here where the angels and other creatures could experiment and look for evidence.  God was not going to strong arm us into believing him. We don't know how long this lasted. We are told that God bore long with Lucifer. But how ever long it was, we know that this earth reached a point where it's role in dealing with the great controversy hit a mile stone. Everyone decided which side of the great controversy they wanted to be on. Not necessarly a final choice, but a choice, and what ever was here had just become total chaos. 

In the International Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary on Genesis, Dr. Doukhan pointed out that while focused on a special 7 days at this point in history, that Genesis 1, that the idea of creation covers at least three different creations: The creation of the universe, the creation of the Great Controversy, and the special creation week where God finally went beyond evidence and turned to a little proof. And the phrase "Let there be light" was not only the brightness showing up, but also a transition into let's go beyond evidence and enter into a new time period of shedding light on who God is. In creation week, God showed that he was indeed the creator. 

When God made humans, Lucifer and those on his side could have let us alone and let them play a little more with sin and some or all of them may have repented. They did not yet close their probation. (There are some ideas that come from Milton's "Paradise Lost" great poem as it was, but not found in the Bible, but because of the influence of Milton, we insist these ideas are in the Bible). But they decided to attack the newly created life. They had lived probably billions of years, to attack us was quite literally child abuse. To go from being loving angels with questions and developing a rebellious streak, into child abusers required them to do a major fight against their conscience and hardening their hearts, making it even harder for the Holy Spirit to reach them.  They just hardened more and more and kicked against their conscience until they could no longer hear their conscience and ended up killing Jesus. 

Those who decided to side with God in the Great controversy, have still been looking and studying, and as they saw what their friends did to themselves, to us, and finally to Jesus, at the cross they closed their probation. But they could still grow. 

The investigative Judgment is the growing in this experience. 

The 3 creatures in Revelation 12 and 13 are based on the 3 deceptions of Satan. The Dragon is a counterfeit Holy Spirit, where the final authority is our subjective, existential experience. (the philosophy of existentialism/spiritualism). The beast is a counterfeit God the Father, an external law that does not care about our subjective/existential experience, "Just obey". giving final authority to an organization. The false prophet is a compromise. In the last days, to go along with the system, we will have to either surrender something in our conscience, and this compromise says "Go a head and compromise with what you think is right to fit in." a counterfeit friendship with God.  

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On 10/6/2021 at 9:10 PM, Kevin H said:

This is NOT the Great Controversy theme. 

What the Great Controversy theme IS starts with an infinite God, outside of time and space, who wanted to create, and those who he creates would naturally be limited to time and space. 

Life depends on our connection with the life giver. If the infinite God only created beings, they naturally would have been unable to comprehend the infinite God, so life and death would come like popcorn popping. They would come to life, need the connection to a God they can't even begin to comprehend, thus unable to have the relationship with him, so they suddenly die. 

the infinite God needed to reveal himself inside of time and space. Finite beings needed to know that he is indeed God and they are creatures, so they needed to see God as power and authority and glory. If this was all God did, life would again come and go like pop corn popping. They come to life, see this awesome being and are suddenly scared to death. 

God also needed to reveal himself as an approachable and loving friend. Now if God only revealed himself as the approachable and loving friend, life would get a start and death would not follow like popping corn, but eventually someone would come up with an unwise idea, and as God tried to warn them, they might accept, or they might say "You're a good buddy, but what makes your view better than mine?" they make a wrong choice and die. 

God needed a tension between himself as the great power and the personal friend united in the mind of creatures to be able to live. But these two revelations of God are both objective revelations. God is both objective and subjective, and he made us the same way. So God also needed to reveal himself in connection to our subjective, existential experience. (A problem with arguments against the Holy Spirit is that people are complaining that they can't find him doing an objective revelation. That is NOT his job)

But even with this, creatures needed to know is God all he says he is, and to come to trust him. Creatures started out loving God, but in an immature "my daddy can beat up your daddy" type of love. They needed to mature, and the Holy Spirit would guide the universe. When time came for the next level of growth the Holy Spirit began to impress on the minds of creatures. They could have well have been billions of years old. They needed to decide based on evidence and their experience as to whether God is indeed God and if he is what about his law? How will God treat those who break this law.  

Lucifer was the first to notice the issues. Sadly, instead of looking for answers, Lucifer just patted himself on the back for being so intelligent to come up with such clever questions. Had he searched for answers, he could have loved God more, and help others with these questions and the chances of sin arising would have decreased and, while unlikely, could possibly not have arise at all. 

But Lucifer turned these issues into 3 lies or deceptions against the 3 revelations of God. He pictured God as having a natural beginning, and just evolved into the great and powerful being. That God did not want us to evolve to that great level, so he decided to keep us below him by imposing the law of Self Sacrificing Love, where we are too busy caring for each other that we can't evolve into the same kind of great being as that powerful being. But if God was God, then God still has trouble because of his law. God claims to be just and merciful. Lucifer says he can't be both. He either has to be just and sinners would have to die (and he pictures this death as an imposed penalty), an attack on God as our approachable friend,  or he would have to be merciful and forget about the law, just let everyone live forever doing what they wish, an attack on God working with our subjective, existential experience to bring us into relationship with God.  

Some of the terms we see in the Bible, such as the Hebrew words translated "Without form and void" and the idea of the waters, and other phrases indicate that God put something here where the angels and other creatures could experiment and look for evidence.  God was not going to strong arm us into believing him. We don't know how long this lasted. We are told that God bore long with Lucifer. But how ever long it was, we know that this earth reached a point where it's role in dealing with the great controversy hit a mile stone. Everyone decided which side of the great controversy they wanted to be on. Not necessarly a final choice, but a choice, and what ever was here had just become total chaos. 

In the International Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary on Genesis, Dr. Doukhan pointed out that while focused on a special 7 days at this point in history, that Genesis 1, that the idea of creation covers at least three different creations: The creation of the universe, the creation of the Great Controversy, and the special creation week where God finally went beyond evidence and turned to a little proof. And the phrase "Let there be light" was not only the brightness showing up, but also a transition into let's go beyond evidence and enter into a new time period of shedding light on who God is. In creation week, God showed that he was indeed the creator. 

When God made humans, Lucifer and those on his side could have let us alone and let them play a little more with sin and some or all of them may have repented. They did not yet close their probation. (There are some ideas that come from Milton's "Paradise Lost" great poem as it was, but not found in the Bible, but because of the influence of Milton, we insist these ideas are in the Bible). But they decided to attack the newly created life. They had lived probably billions of years, to attack us was quite literally child abuse. To go from being loving angels with questions and developing a rebellious streak, into child abusers required them to do a major fight against their conscience and hardening their hearts, making it even harder for the Holy Spirit to reach them.  They just hardened more and more and kicked against their conscience until they could no longer hear their conscience and ended up killing Jesus. 

Those who decided to side with God in the Great controversy, have still been looking and studying, and as they saw what their friends did to themselves, to us, and finally to Jesus, at the cross they closed their probation. But they could still grow. 

The investigative Judgment is the growing in this experience. 

The 3 creatures in Revelation 12 and 13 are based on the 3 deceptions of Satan. The Dragon is a counterfeit Holy Spirit, where the final authority is our subjective, existential experience. (the philosophy of existentialism/spiritualism). The beast is a counterfeit God the Father, an external law that does not care about our subjective/existential experience, "Just obey". giving final authority to an organization. The false prophet is a compromise. In the last days, to go along with the system, we will have to either surrender something in our conscience, and this compromise says "Go a head and compromise with what you think is right to fit in." a counterfeit friendship with God.  

 

I'd understood early SDA teaching to affirm that only The Father was "infinite God"?  This infinite God invited Michael the archangel to participate in some councils pertaining to the "formation of mankind", councils that Lucifer the archangel was NOT invited to. 

This perceived slight really set Lucifer off & initiated the "controversy" between Michael the archangel and Lucifer the archangel. I have a 1911 copy of the Great Controversy and on the cover it depicts Christ with flapping angel wings. Additionally, the statements Ellen White made about Christ coming to "vindicate" God's Holy Law would seem to stand in favor of what I understood Herb Douglas to say about it. I'll go back and look at my notes again.   

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On 10/10/2021 at 11:31 AM, Gustave said:

 

I'd understood early SDA teaching to affirm that only The Father was "infinite God"?  This infinite God invited Michael the archangel to participate in some councils pertaining to the "formation of mankind", councils that Lucifer the archangel was NOT invited to. 

This perceived slight really set Lucifer off & initiated the "controversy" between Michael the archangel and Lucifer the archangel. I have a 1911 copy of the Great Controversy and on the cover it depicts Christ with flapping angel wings. Additionally, the statements Ellen White made about Christ coming to "vindicate" God's Holy Law would seem to stand in favor of what I understood Herb Douglas to say about it. I'll go back and look at my notes again.   

A point of clarification: many, probably most of our pioneers accepted that only the Father was the infinite God; however, unlike some other churches that held that same view, our pioneers decided NOT to make this a test of fellowship. Now our pastors were encouraged to preach this view, and articles would appear in the Review holding this view; but membership was open for both those against the trinity as well as for trinitarians. Elder Spicer, who became General Conference President in 1922, his family were trinitarian. His dad had been a pastor, but faced peer pressure to preach against the trinity, which of course he could not do. So he left the regular ministry and became a lay preacher where he was free to be trinitarian. 

In our church records, the times that James White was editor of the review, there was a notable drop in the anti-trinitarian articles. People who knew him, pointed out that while younger he was vocally anti-trinitarian, as he got older he would simply become quiet on the topic and only listen without comment until the topic changed. When working on his biography Elder Wheeler came across one of James' last letters where he wrote "I'm starting to find arguments for the trinity are starting to sound more convincing than the arguments against the trinity."

After 1888 when Mrs. White was in Australia, she asked Elder Daniels to do a study on Jesus and she asked Elder Prescott to do a similar study on the Holy Spirit. They were both anti-trinitarian when they started their study. Well, Daniels' study convinced him that Jesus was God, and Prescott's study convinced him that the Holy Spirit was God. When they came to report their findings to Mrs. White, listening to each other, they found themselves trinitarians. Also, during this time, the trinity moved into a more central position in the church and in Mrs. White's great controversy theme. And the understanding of Michael as "archangel" came to see this as a Theophany. Also, the Bible never called anyone else "archangel" than Michael. 

We have been a growing church. 

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