A Critique of Faith and Works
(Continued--Page3)



Faith & Works by Ellen G. White:  A critique of Her Position.

Ellen G. White, as founder of the Seventh Day Adventism, has written a number of volumes on a variety of subjects.  Here she has written on the issues of Faith and Works.  Our comments are in Blue, while her writings are in "Black".



What Man Cannot Do

Man can achieve no praiseworthy exploits that give him any glory. Men are in the habit of glorifying men and exalting men. It makes me shudder to see or hear of it, for there have been revealed to me not a few cases where the homelife and inner work of the hearts of those very men are full of selfishness. They are corrupt, polluted, vile; and nothing that comes from all their doings can elevate them with God, for all that [BEGIN P.25] they do is an abomination in His sight. There can be no true conversion without the giving up of sin, and the aggravating character of sin is not discerned. With an acuteness of perception never reached by mortal sight, angels of God discern that beings hampered with corrupting influences, with unclean souls and hands, are deciding their destiny for eternity; and yet many have little sense of what constitutes sin and the remedy. {FW 24.3}

We hear so many things preached in regard to the conversion of the soul that are not the truth. Men are educated to think that if a man repents he shall be pardoned, supposing that repentance is the way, the door, into heaven; that there is a certain assured value in repentance to buy for him forgiveness. Can man repent of himself? No more than he can pardon himself. Tears, sighs, resolutions--all these are but the proper exercise of the faculties God has given to man, and the turning from sin in the amendment of a life which is God’s. Where is the merit in the man to earn his salvation, or to place before God something that is valuable and excellent? Can an offering of money, houses, lands, place yourself on the deserving list? Impossible! {FW 25.1}

There is danger in regarding justification by faith as placing merit on faith. When you take the righteousness of Christ as a free gift you are justified freely through the redemption of Christ. What is faith? "The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). It is an assent of the understanding to God’s words which binds the heart in willing consecration and service to God, Who gave the understanding, Who moved on the heart, Who first drew the mind to view Christ on the cross of Calvary. Faith is rendering to God the intellectual powers, abandonment of the mind and will to God, and making Christ the only door to enter into the kingdom of heaven. {FW 25.2}

When men learn they cannot earn righteousness by their own merit of works, and they look with firm and entire reliance upon Jesus Christ as their only hope, there will not be so much [BEGIN P.26] of self and so little of Jesus. Souls and bodies are defiled and polluted by sin, the heart is estranged from God, yet many are struggling in their own finite strength to win salvation by good works. Jesus, they think, will do some of the saving; they must do the rest. They need to see by faith the righteousness of Christ as their only hope for time and for eternity. {FW 25.3}

God Works, and Man Works

God has given men faculties and capabilities. God works and cooperates with the gifts He has imparted to man, and man, by being a partaker of the divine nature and doing the work of Christ, may be an overcomer and win eternal life. The Lord does not propose to do the work He has given man powers to do. Man’s part must be done. He must be a laborer together with God, yoking up with Christ, learning His meekness, His lowliness. God is the all-controlling power. He bestows the gifts; man receives them and acts with the power of the grace of Christ as a living agent. {FW 26.1}

"Ye are God’s husbandry" (1 Corinthians 3:9). The heart is to be worked, subdued, plowed, harrowed, seeded, to bring forth its harvest to God in good works. "Ye are God’s building." You cannot build yourself. There is a Power outside of yourself that must do the building of the church, putting brick upon brick, always cooperating with the faculties and powers given of God to man. The Redeemer must find a home in His building. God works and man works. There needs to be a continual taking in of the gifts of God, in order that there may be as free a giving out of these gifts. It is a continual receiving and then restoring. The Lord has provided that the soul shall receive nourishment from Him, to be given out again in the working out of His purposes. In order that there be an outflowing, there must be an income of divinity to humanity. "I will dwell in them, and walk in them" (2 Corinthians 6:16). {FW 26.2}

The soul temple is to be sacred, holy, pure, and undefiled. There must be a copartnership in which all the power is of God [BEGIN P.27] and all the glory belongs to God. The responsibility rests with us. We must receive in thoughts and in feelings, to give in expression. The law of the human and the divine action makes the receiver a laborer together with God. It brings man where he can, united with divinity, work the works of God. Humanity touches humanity. Divine power and the human agency combined will be a complete success, for Christ’s righteousness accomplishes everything. {FW 26.3}

[1]

 

 

Supernatural Power for Supernatural Works

The reason so many fail to be successful laborers is that they act as though God depended on them, and they are to suggest to God what He chooses to do with them, in the place of their depending on God. They lay aside the supernatural power and fail to do the supernatural work. They are all the time depending on their own and their brethren’s human powers. They are narrow in themselves and are always judging after their finite human comprehension. They need uplifting, for they have no power from on high. God gives us bodies, strength of brain, time and opportunity in which to work. It is required that all be put to the tax. With humanity and divinity combined you can accomplish a work as enduring as eternity. When men think the Lord has made a mistake in their individual cases, and they appoint their own work, they will meet with disappointment. {FW 27.1}

"By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8). Here is truth that will unfold the subject to your mind if you do not close it to the rays of light. Eternal life is an infinite gift. This places it outside the possibility of our earning it, because it is infinite. It must necessarily be a gift. As a gift it must be received by faith, and gratitude and praise be offered to God. Solid faith will not lead anyone away into fanaticism or into acting the slothful servant. It is the bewitching power of Satan that leads men to look to themselves in the place of looking to Jesus. The [BEGIN P.28] righteousness of Christ must go before us if the glory of the Lord becomes our rereward. If we do God’s will, we may accept large blessings as God’s free gift, but not because of any merit in us; this is of no value. Do the work of Christ, and you will honor God and come off more than conquerors through Him that has loved us and given His life for us, that we should have life and salvation in Jesus Christ. {FW 27.2}


[1]White, Ellen Gould: Faith and Works. Southern Publishing Association, 1979; 2002, S. 15  

Chap. 2 - The Standard of True Sanctification

Review and Herald article, published March 8, 1881.

"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" (1 Thessalonians 5:23). {FW 29.1}

Sanctification is obtained only in obedience to the will of God. Many who are willfully trampling upon the law of Jehovah claim holiness of heart and sanctification of life. But they have not a saving knowledge of God or of His law. They are standing in the ranks of the great rebel. He is at war with the law of God, which is the foundation of the divine government in heaven and in the earth. These men are doing the same work as their master has done in seeking to make of none effect God’s holy law. No commandment-breaker can be permitted to enter heaven; for he who was once a pure and exalted covering cherub was thrust out for rebelling against the government of God. {FW 29.2}

With many, sanctification is only self-righteousness. And yet these persons boldly claim Jesus as their Saviour and Sanctifier. What a delusion! Will the Son of God sanctify the transgressor of the Father’s law--that law which Christ came to exalt and make honorable? He testifies, "I have kept My Father’s commandments." God will not bring His law down to meet the imperfect standard of man; and man cannot meet the demands of that holy law without exercising repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. [BEGIN P.30] {FW 29.3}

"If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1). But God has not given His Son to a life of suffering and ignominy and a shameful death to release man from obedience to the divine law. So great is the deceptive power of Satan that many have been led to regard the atonement of Christ as of no real value. Christ died because there was no other hope for the transgressor. He might try to keep God’s law in the future; but the debt which he had incurred in the past remained, and the law must condemn him to death. Christ came to pay that debt for the sinner which it was impossible for him to pay for himself. Thus, through the atoning sacrifice of Christ, sinful man was granted another trial. {FW 30.1}

[1]

These are just code words for saying that the believer is on probation. Being granted another trial (...and this is taught where in Scripture?), is most likely a reference to the "Investigative Judgment" which is clearly not taught in Scripture (John 5:24, Rom 8:1, Rom.8:33)

 

Satan’s Sophistry

It is the sophistry of Satan that the death of Christ brought in grace to take the place of the law. The death of Jesus did not change or annul or lessen in the slightest degree the law of Ten Commandments. That precious grace offered to men through a Saviour’s blood establishes the law of God. Since the fall of man, God’s moral government and His grace are inseparable. They go hand in hand through all dispensations. "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other" (Psalm 85:10). {FW 30.2}

Jesus, our Substitute, consented to bear for man the penalty of the law transgressed. He clothed His divinity with humanity and thus became the Son of man, a Saviour and Redeemer. The very fact of the death of God’s dear Son to redeem man shows the immutability of the divine law. How easily, from the transgressor’s standpoint, could God have abolished His law, thus providing a way whereby men could be saved and Christ remain in heaven! The doctrine which teaches freedom, through grace, to break the law is a fatal delusion. Every transgressor of God’s law is a sinner, and none can be sanctified while living in known sin. [BEGIN P.31] {FW 30.3}

The condescension and agony of God’s dear Son were not endured to purchase for man liberty to transgress the Father’s law and yet sit down with Christ in His throne. It was that through His merits and the exercise of repentance and faith the most guilty sinner might receive pardon and obtain strength to live a life of obedience. The sinner is not saved in his sins, but from his sins. {FW 31.1}

[2] ...


These words are almost the same ones that we find in the Book of Mormon.  If Jesus does not save us in our sins, we cannot be saved at all.  Ephesians 2:5 tells us that when we "were dead in our trangression, he made us alive together with Him".  How can a dead man, jump out of his sins, if he is truly dead?  How can a sinner do anything other than sin?  But this is the problem for her, Ellen is a Pelegian...one who believes that man can do good on his own and make the right choice(s) toward God.  This is not what Jesus taught nor did the apostles.






An examination of the "Investigative Judgment" doctrine by Dale Ratzlaff

Investigative Judgment Doctrine



Dr. Talbot--An Evangelical Theologian evaluates Adventism from a Biblical Perspective.

Is Adventism Evangelical?



The struggle of a life-long Adventist Pastor --Greg Taylor-- as he decides to leave Adventism.

The New Covenant



If I am saved by God, how can I lose eternal life?

What must I do to be lost?



1844 Probation and Satan as Scape Goat Doctrine -- Cultic Doctrine (Video Link)

Watch the Video Now!