This page contains some of our mailbag of correspondence with those who choose to communicate with us. The items below are our dialogs or responses to various letters and emails on topics which SDA members may disagree with us or just wish to chat about. Hopefully these letters can give you some better understanding on our perspective, and perhaps see what the Scriptures teach on various topics.
If you communicate to us and we elect to use your correspondence in our mailbag, we will not use your full name nor your email address with out your permission first.
May 24, 2015
Discussion with Rick and Bob about the Scape-goat doctrine:
it was joy and delight to meet you and your sweet wife and have such a
fruitful discussion and we thank you for the brownies. My heart is
broken however by many of the basic and historical teachings of the SDA
church. The most distressing doctrine to me personally is that which
assigns the final atonement for sin to be borne by Satan himself and not
the final atonement which took place on the cross by the death of our
beloved Savior.(EGW of course taught in many places that the atonement
was not finished by Jesus on the cross). You of course, are fully aware
of all those Scriptures which tell us in no uncertain terms, that the
entire responsibility for atonement, cleansing, and finality of
forgiveness of sin was entirely and solely upon the Savior himself.
Historically, and beginning with EGW and reiterated by ALL the SDA church leadership and writers right through the present is the teaching that Satan is the final sin bearer of the believer who suffers the burden of the punishment not only for his own sin, but that of the believer as well. The church fathers nor church history nor Scripture knows nothing of such teaching. My heart is broken when others teach that Jesus is not the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world".......and as Peter said....."He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree....." and as Isaiah wrote......"He was wounded for our transgressions and He was wounded for our iniquities......and God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
As you read the history of the SDA, many have tried to avoid, explain away, make excuses for and outright deny such a well established teaching as Satan being the scapegoat and final sin bearer, but it remains as basic Adventist truth. Literally, thousands of SDA members and uncountable hundreds of pastors have left the church because of the many and overt conflicts between the distinctives of SDA doctrines and their direct conflict with Scriptures.
The Great Controversy pg. 422 It was seen, also, that while the sin offering pointed to Christ as a sacrifice, and the high priest represented Christ as a mediator, the scapegoat typified Satan, the author of sin, upon whom the sins of the truly penitent will finally be placed. When the high priest, by virtue of the blood of the sin offering, removed the sins from the sanctuary, he placed them upon the scapegoat. When Christ, by virtue of His own blood, removes the sins of His people from the heavenly sanctuary at the close of his ministration, he will place them upon Satan, who, in the execution of the judgment, must bear the final penalty. The scapegoat was sent away into a land not inhabited, never to come again into the congregation of Israel. So will Satan be forever banished from the presence of God and His people, and he will be blotted from existence in the final destruction of sin and sinners.
In Patriarch and Prophets pg. 358 EGW teaches clearly that Satan bears the "final penalty" for sin. Even Jesus Himself said as He died, "It is finished" (lit. paid in full). And on pg. 485 of The Great Controversy EGW wrote that ..."sins are transferred to Satan....who pays the full penalty of sin."
Do you understand better now why our hearts are broken by what official SDA doctrine teaches. I have quoted only several of the multitude of EGW's writings which teach this awful doctrine over and over and with irrefutable clarity. If what I have said and other Bible believers have said is accurately understood, then somebody is a false teacher. And false teachers are to be repudiated. Brian and I have heard too many excuses made for EGW such as, "well she is only human and can make mistakes." Whenever does the Scripture allow us to excuse false teaching as "just a mistake." This is a woman who called herself "more than a prophet" and whom the SDA church calls "a continuing and authoritative source of truth."
My dear friends, please be a Berean in your thinking as in Acts 17:11 where even the teaching of the Apostle Paul was called into question to determine whether or not it lined up with Scripture.
Looking forward to time together, In His sovereign grip, Bob Koivisto
May 26, 2015
talking to you also. This is not the article that I spoke of that I had
read that explained the scapegoat, ie Azazel, but it's a good one
none-the-less. Regardless of whether you agree with it or not, you will
see that Adventist most definitely believe that Jesus bore our sins to
the cross. The scapegoat serves a different purpose then the one that
you claim Adventist believe (I know no one that believes the way that
you say, I think that's because you misunderstand the Type (ie the
levitical process taking place, which _God_ gave to His people, so while
you have a good idea on the Antitype,
you don't fully understand it because of the misunderstanding of the
Type). We are letting scripture interpret scripture as I know that you
know is the best way of doing things :)
and feel free to read the explanation from the white estate since they a pretty decent authority on EGW ;)
Again, You don't have to agree of course. I do agree with the case that they make, I think they make a very cogent case on the scapegoat, and you yourself, from what you said yesterday, it seems like you also believe that the scapegoat is not representative of Christ as some believe, which is where their sanctuary doctrine breaks down since it doesn't Type very well with the Antitype of what we see that happened in the New Testament. The only way that I can see it all be reconciled (ie the sanctuary ritual that God gave to His people and what it was pointing towards) is what they explain in the above two links.
Rick, Type or Shadow as used in the New Testament must be justified by the text of the New Testament. If it is not, then any wild interpretation is possible and we can say the Scripture becomes a matter of "private interpretation. eg: The bells on the bottom of the priests robe are a type or shadow of the music the believer will hear when he enters into the holy tabernacle of heaven. What nonsense. Scripture interprets Scripture. Not once in either OT or NT is Satan ever equated with the scape goat. Not even once did the writers of the NT ever hint at such a connection, nor the Church Fathers, nor the theologians of the historical Church. Type and shadow is spoken of specifically the NT writers from OT examples usually of Christs work on the cross or of the Tabernacle picturing His work of salvation on our behalf. Never is the scape goat presented as the final bearer of man's sin. We are speaking of a "Faith once and for all delivered to the saints" which was added to in the mid 1850s by EGW. This is a major revelation and reinterpretation of what the Church had always taught and believed. The work of Christ was finished at the cross and Satan was judged there and headed for the lake of fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. This is not a minor doctrine. How do we excuse and explain such a thing? Not once is in the NT is it ever said that Jesus did not make full and final His work of atonement on the cross. Clearly the transaction of the cross is considered final and without probation or condition. Never once is there a mention of the sins of the believer being transferred from the cross to the Sanctuary and then ultimately to Satan who "bears the final penalty."
The argument for Satan as Scapegoat and sinbearer as taught by EGW said clearly in the GC that "Satan bears the final penalty for sin," Am I confused about the clear meaning of language especially as written by EGW and repeated literally thousands of times in that exact context by Church writers? Rick, this is what the Bible calls the doctrine of demons.
I dare you and challenge you , just this once, to listen to Dale Ratzlaff, a 4th generation Adventist and pastor. He has known and spoken personally with the entire SDA leadership and many theological professors. Since the SDA church considers him a rebellious loon, this surely is the guy to listen to. He tells quite clearly, and from personal experience why he left the Church and why he considered the central doctrines as no longer acceptable. You owe it to yourself to try and understand why thousands of members leave and why multiple hundreds of Pastors are leaving. When they began to read the Bible, their SDA views were swept aside. When you understand why people have left and why guys like Brian and I are so concerned, you can then better "protect the flock" and communicate more clearly with guys like us. I dare you to listen and then explain to me why what he says is unbiblical and untrue. In His secure grip, Bob Koivisto Titus 3:5
Apr 13, 2015
Letter to Marilyn, a multi-generational Seventh Day Adventist
Dear Marilyn, I have been thinking very carefully about what you wrote in your last email and praying about how to answer you.
We have all read to our children and grandchildren the Dr. Seuss Book about Horton The Elephant. I remember my own children repeating over and over, long before they could read on their own: “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An Elephant is faithful One hundred percent.”
Here is the question: “Can God be trusted even more so than Horton to say what He means, and mean what He says?” I think the answer is obvious; absolutely! Can God also make it possible by the leading of His Holy Spirit, that we can clearly read and understand His Guidebook To The Supernatural, The Scriptures? Absolutely! Jesus of course said that the Holy Spirit, as God’s faithful librarian, “He will take of mine and will show it unto you….He will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13-15)
In a careful reading of your letter, I see many statements and phrases which lead me to think that you have a measure of uncertainty and insecurity in what the Scripture says when taken at face value. Can we afford to reject or question those things which are plainly and repeatedly presented and by careful consideration, those teachings which Christians have believed and accepted for 2,000 years? If we decide to do so, the burden is really on us, isn’t it, to decide why a certain view is not acceptable or that God has been unclear. May I suggest that the fault is not in the text itself. The Hebrew of the Old Testament and the Greek of the New Testament, are essentially as they were during the life and ministry of Jesus and the Apostles. God has truly preserved His Word to us and for us. The following are some of my concerns about where you might be in your thinking about the message of the Scriptures. After we have looked at some of those statements of yours, we will take one particular doctrine which seems to be giving you some difficulty, and look at that in more detail.
The following are some excerpts I gleaned from a careful reading of your letter.
1……..but the feeling is….
2……..it defies all logic…
3……..so many ideas I feel open minded about…
4……..I allow for many possibilities…
5…….I don’t have a need to hold to the letter as much as some…
6…….The Bible says many things we have had to overlook somewhat and find the message behind the text…
7…….reincarnation (is a) more logical possibility..than the lake of fire…
8…….when that was taken out of the Bible…
9…….the freshness and newness of Christ’s teachings..not the letter…
10…..would God want His followers to worship Him out of fear…
11…..translation errors around the concept of Hell…
Absolutely God wants us to question what He means by what He says, and as Paul says, “to make our calling and election sure.” Even Acts 17:11 shows clearly that the Berean Christians put Paul’s preaching to the test to see if it was in line with what God had already recorded in the Scriptures.
However, my feelings, my opinions, my thoughts, my ideas, my doubts and even my certainties, as the Bible clearly says, are to be subject to message of God’s love letter, the Bible. I admire your willingness to question and to seek for the real meaning of what God has said. For the most part, you can be certain, if you decide to decide that God meant what He said, and said what He meant. My feelings, my opinions, my interpretations and my like or dislike of what the Bible plainly says should never be the measure of what God means by what He says. The plain message of Scripture, from beginning to end, as all believers agree, is that God is Holy, Righteous, and Just and that He is far greater than the sum of all His attributes. So to understand the God of the Bible we must understand that He is absolutely sovereign in His universe and nothing is outside of His care, custody, or control. He is all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere. Nothing happens or may happen without His sovereign permission or determination in advance.
Since God alone is God, He does in His sovereignty, what He wishes. He asks the permission of no one, needs no approval, does not need to be vindicated, and owes no one anything, even eternal life. God need not even be fair as some say He must, because He is accountable to no one else. There is none greater than He. The following are some of the very clear passages which speak of His absolute control of all people , places and things. Dan 4:35
35 "All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
But He does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, 'What have You done?'
God puts nothing to a vote, nor does He ask the permission of anyone nor does He seek approval after He is finished. There can be no greater comfort than knowing nothing is outside his sphere of influence and control.
God does with men as He wishes. None deserve neither life nor love or forgiveness. So whatever God does to benefit man is because He has chosen to do so out of His mercy. God alone, in His sovereign grace decided in eternity past, the destiny and the destination off all the inhabitants of the earth. He owes man nothing in the first place, so He can do as He pleases. Rom 9:14-24
14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION." 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH." 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
We may not like, approve, nor willingly accept that God is free to do, as He in His sovereignty chooses to do. That changes nothing. As Paul says, “He is the only God with whom we have to do.” Some people get very angry or distressed that the Bible speaks of a totally sovereign creator God. Some people decide to endorse a caricature of God and view Him in a distorted way emphasizing one of His attributes over another. For example, “how can a God of love send anyone to an eternal Hell, or even to Hell at all.” God’s holiness and justice recognizes the rebellious and polluted nature of man, and God cannot stand sin in His presence, nor will He tolerate it. Paul wrote that the wages of sin is death. And the prophet said that without holiness, no man shall see God. The gentle Lamb of God who takes away the world’s sin, will also judge the nations with a rod of iron. Some would object to God’s total and absolute authority over His own creation by claiming that such a view would violate man’s freewill. They would say that man is free to choose or un-choose to participate in God’s salvation . As far as can be determined, that concept of “freewill” is not found in Scripture. God’s calling of His own sheep is irresistible, as Jesus says in John 6:44:
"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws (literally drags) him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” And in the same passage Jesus also says that “all that the Father has given me will come to me.”
In Jude 4 and in 2Peter 2:1, Jesus is called in the original Greek of the New Testament, (despotes) or a despot. Absolute sovereign ruler and in control, with no patience for disobedience to His will. On careful reading, the Scripture presents the Lord Jesus as a benevolent dictator. He always does what is right and for His own good, praise, and glory, and not necessarily for ours. Yet in Romans 8:28 it also says, “He works all things for the good of those who are called, and called according to His purpose.” Many disapprove of this picture of God in Scripture, but the Bible presents this picture of God without apology. And He does take care of His own sheep absolutely.
I realize that you are struggling in the acceptance of how or whether God can and does send people to eternal punishment in “hell” forever and without end. Many struggle with the same idea, especially those with your own background in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. But such a view comes from an incomplete picture of who God is, what He is like, and what He is doing. Many don’t fully understand God’s justice and just how lost and undeserving man is in his total depravity.
The “loving Lamb of God” said in Matthew 25:46 the following, when describing the eternal destiny of men:
46 "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
The same adjective used to describe punishment and life is identical;eternal meaning w ithout end and without termination either in quality and quantity. If the condition of men in both states is not the same, why didn’t Jesus say so. He should have said that one really is forever and the other is simply temporary and in the end God will obliterate the lost and put them out of their misery, but He didn’t do so and neither do writers of Scripture.
John wrote of the gentle and loving Jesus in Revelation 14:9-11 where He and the holy angels are the audience at the Judgment:
9 Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
The judgment of the lost is interminable, as so the heavenly reward of the righteous. The same word again used to speak of the unending torment, is the same word use in the rest of the New Testament to describe the unending state of eternity with God.
God pours out His wrath on the unrighteousness of lost men and women. Wrath means anger, in fact, boiling over anger. God is angry about sin. Even Paul describes the second advent of Jesus as “rest for us and wrath for them.” The destruction on the lost is eternal in 2 Thess. 1:6-10, it is written:
“ For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed — for our testimony to you was believed.
The Lord Jesus is angry about and intolerant of sin:
14 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
In Mark 9:43-45 Jesus describes the condition of the lost for all eternity:
42 "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea. 43 "If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, 44 [where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.] 45 "If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, 46 [where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.]
Ironically, the Greek word for unquenchable is asbestos. That gives us a picture of being in the middle of the conflagration and yet not consumed.
Does this picture “scare the Hell out of us?” Yes, I am sure it does. It should serve as a warning to sinners who might fall into the hands of an angry God, and to motivate believers to rescue those who are lost in their sins. Paul said in 2 Corinthians that “knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade people.” In Hebrews 10:30-31 , it is written:
30 For we know Him who said, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY." And again, "THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE." 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
8 "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
These words are serious and well as unpopular, but they are God’s words to us through His prophets. May we take them at face value and be motivated and changed and challenged by them to take God seriously. For if you can’t take God seriously, whom can you take seriously?
I pray you may be motivated to fall down on your face before such an awesome and merciful God and reach out to those who are lost for all eternity and then obey the words of Jesus to Paul: Acts 26:16-18
16 'But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.'
I am praying for you that the eyes of your understanding may be opened to the fact that God said what He meant and meant what He said. Marilyn, Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice” and you seem to be having trouble hearing “His voice”. That is a very big warning flag that you need to bow down before Jesus as the all sufficient Savior and turn from you sin and recognize and confess Jesus as Lord, or you yourself are in danger of Hell fire.
In His gracious and secure grip, Bob
Bob's Letter to Brian on his indifference of sharing the Gospel.
Brian, I haven't heard from you in a long time. Wondering how you are
doing and what you are thinking. I still wish that you would show me
from God's Word why I am wrong about what the Lord Jesus has done for us
and how I can assurance of Eternal Life and sins forgiven.
But actually your refusal and at the least , neglect, to dialogue with me about salvation is completely typical of the hundreds of Adventist leaders and members to whom I have appealed. 100% will not discuss the doctrinal distinctives of the Church nor how I could personally know that my sins are forgiven and I am safe in the arms of Jesus forever, as Jesus says. Recently, a committee of the top theologians of the SDA Church finished meeting and discussing for over 5 years without being able to agree upon and settle the issue Biblically, the Investigative Judgment. So if the top men of the Church can't figure out the basis for the central doctrine, I probably should not expect more from a mere laymen.
According to the Church website, over 300,000 per year are leaving the Church. Of the dozens of Churches we have visited and the scores of events, there are virtually no young people seen in attendance. All of our surveys conducted at college campuses tell us that these students can hardly wait to graduate and leave the Church. In fact at Walla Walla, there is an entire alternative to the Church on Campus which is more open and Biblical and the administration must tolerate it or the students said they would leave school. Why are most of the congregations filled with people who have either blue hair or no hair? Most churches, just to exist, must rent to or from mark of the beast churches , just to survive financially. Most churches must share their pastor with at least one other church. Why is this happening to the only true remnant Church of the last days?
Hundreds of pastors leave the Church every year. Most who move on in the faith to the Biblical view say they can no longer justify that the central doctrine of the Church finds any place in Scripture and in fact they found it to be anti-Biblical. Of course we speak of the Investigative Judgment.
Others say they struggled for years because of financial concerns long after they came to understand the grace of God in the Gospel. They would lose their pension for which they worked their whole life and they would be shunned, like others they knew. Praise God that so many have had the courage to trust God through faith alone, by grace alone, in Christ alone and in the Scriptures alone. Are you afraid of the consequences or is God greater than all our fears and doubts?
Perhaps I am not worth speaking to and delivering from the kingdom of darkness, because the worst that can happen to me by SDA standards is obliteration and to be annihilated. So in reality, there is no pressing need to present the Gospel to others because there are no real eternal consequences in not believing and fact, no absolute assurances in believing because Jesus will not reveal the results of His Investigative Judgment until it is too late to do anything about being wrong or lost. As strange as it seems, every single technical term Jesus used to speak of Eternal life, He use to speak of Eternal death. But if I were an Adventist who believed in conditional life rather than eternal life, I wouldn't be highly motivated to share my faith either. So perhaps I do understand after all. Maybe I should believe in Horton the Elephant instead. "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful 100%". Perhaps Jesus was using double speak or hyperbole , when He said in John 10, that "you will not ever perish" and in John 5 that "you will never come into Judgment". And at least I can believe in Horton. He was clear.
Is there is nothing I can say or do that would make me worthy of your time or concern? If a man such as yourself, who makes his living working for the Church, won't help me escape from error and the kingdom of darkness, perhaps it is too much to expect from the average church member.
"My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins." (James 5:19-20)
In His secure grip, Bob Koivisto
Bob has a request to Brian.
Brian my friend, I have noted that you have stopped corresponding or responding to my emails. Again, I politely ask you to help me to know the Truth as you do, especially if my soul is in danger of eternal separation from God. It must have become obvious by now that believing Christians who have only the Bible And not the 1000,000 pages of EGW) have a different Jesus than the Jesus of Adventism. Both of us would agree that if we have the "wrong Jesus", we also have "another Gospel". Jesus cannot be both created and uncreated; a Savior who has finished His work on the cross, and a Savior who has not finished His work on the cross; He cannot be both an Angel and not an Angel; He cannot both keep His children safe in salvation and unsafe in salvation; He cannot be both God from all eternity, and an angel whom "God raised to equality with Himself."
I think that both of us believe that two opposite and contradictory theological statement cannot be true at the same time. So which do I take? My eternity depends on my understanding and decision.Ellen White (whom the Church says is a continuing and authoritative source of truth) that......"when the judgment of the General Conference, which is the highest authority that God has upon the earth, is exercised, private independence and private judgment must not be maintained, but surrendered." Testimonies For The Church, vol. 3 p. 492 This appears that the thinking has been done for me by the organization. Does this sound a bit cultic to you? It does to me. Even the Bereans questioned the Apostle Paul to confirm that what he said compared to the Biblical standard which God had previously revealed. Acts 17:11 "These were more noble minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they searched the Scriptures daily, to see if those things (Paul's teachings) were so." They never hung their brains by the door when they became Christians.
I beg you again, if you have not decided to trust the message of Scripture only, please help me see the error of my ways so that you may help "save a soul from sin.'
Your faithful friend, Bob Koivisto
June 7, 2014 -- The Inner Veil in the Sanctuary. A dialog between Brian and Bob K. on the Greek terms found in Hebrews and the LXX
I read your first email, but got stuck at an early point where you quote Hebrews 10:19-20 and then comment: “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh” (Heb 10:19-20 NASU). The same word in the original language for “veil” is used in both passages and is a technical term referring to the inner veil of the temple separating the two compartments.
Something didn't sound quite right, so I went back to the LXX (and discovered that the versification in the LXX and our English version which are based on the Hebrew are different in parts of Exodus. Not important, but it was confusing and took some time to sort out.) I also read the following article—http://www.auss.info/auss_publication_file.php?pub_id=747&journal=1&type=pdf which confirmed my initial study of καταπέτασμα (that it is not a technical term referring to only the inner veil.) A few of the Lexicons I have that are not Adventist also confirm this.
Not much to show for 3 hours. Company is coming soon. Hopefully this evening I can look at Hebrews 10:19-20.
BrianPS Looking like another beautiful day. Hope you are some place where you can enjoy the nice weather.
Brian, I can see you are doing some thinking.
Katapatasmatos when used in the New Testament refers only to the inner veil of the temple or tabernacle.and is the primary word used in the LXX for the same. In fact, as far as I can discover, there is no mention directly of the outer veil in the New Testament nor a word for it. Of course, the issue in Hebrews is that Jesus went immediately into the Heavenly Holy of Holies to be at the Father's right hand at His ascension to heaven. And because the veil in the earthly temple was torn from top to bottom at his death, there was no longer a barrier between a holy God and a sinful man because Jesus dealt permanently with the sin problem. As a result, the Biblical argument says that believers can safely go into and remain in God's holy presence because they have a personal representative in Jesus who is a priest forever, after the order of Melchisadek. His very flesh is spoken of as the "torn veil" allowing us and Him to be forever in God's holy presence.
As far as I can determine in the LXX, the only word used to describe the inner veil is Katapatasmatos though it is used to speak of other applications. The issue really is of course, how is it used in context in the New Testament and in Hebrews. Several instances I have found in the LXX where it is abundantly clear that the word is used of the inner veil is Ex. 26:31 and Lev. 21:23. Regardless of whether one believes and accepts that is a technical term or not, it is always used to speak of the inner veil in the New Testament and it is the word mostly used (as admitted by Dr. Rice) to speak of the inner veil in the LXX. I cannot find a single use of a term or reference to the "outer" veil in the New Testament.
As you are fully aware, the lexicon is not the final authority of determining the meaning of a word, but context is king in this case. The lexicon gives us the syntactical and etymological basis and all the possible options. The overwhelming conclusion for the use of our word in Hebrews is that which refers to the inner curtain. In Heb. 6:19-20, we have a "hope that reaches within (or inside and behind the curtain). This is the place of ministry of our great High Priest Jesus. If He is not the one who is now there permanently at His ascension, the New Covenant has no meaning and there is not a "better way" replacing the failed Old Covenant. As it says, He now has a "better" ministry that the O.T. priesthood.
The writer from Andrews University Geo. E. Rice to whom you referred agrees fully with this view as well as with all the Greek lexical experts he cites. He then contradicts his own conclusions by turning certainly into contingency because the prima facia view is that Jesus went to the Father's right hand at His ascension. This view is then thrown into doubt because it doesn't agree with the SDAtheology that Jesus never made it to the Holy Place until October 22, 1844 and most certainly did not take believers with Him because those who are dead have ceased to exist and won't be reconstructed until the resurrection. I think he is saying that there must be another view, because this one does not agree with my theology.
Could it really be such bad news after all that Jesus really did go immediately to the Father's right hand at His ascension? Is it really bad news that He takes believers with Him into the safety and security of God's eternal presence before the Father and "seats us together with Him?"
Every lexical scholar cited by your Adventist author agrees with the Biblical view that the veil spoken of in Hebrews is the inner curtain, otherwise, even the context of the passages makes no sense whatsoever. Otto Michel, BF Westcott, James Moffatt, L enski, Ellinsworth and Nida, GW Buchanan and including all the lexical works in my own library support the view which I am supporting. All the writings of the early fathers and theologians never mentioned a two compartment ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ who moved from one place to another. How did the SDAs come up with this view which is not even mentioned until 1844 and not ever mentioned on the pages of the New Testament. I thought that "the faith was once and for all delivered unto the saints".
I am trying to be radically Biblical in my view of who God is, determining what He is like, and understanding what He is doing. I don't want to be wrong and be lost forever. Please help me get unconfused if I have seriously misunderstood the message of Scripture. Your friend, Bob Koivisto
May 28, 2014 -- Sabbath Issues: a three way discussion on the Sabbath between Bob Koivisto, Rolph and Fred S. Hosillos.
>You still not getting the main purpose of the Sabbath and the infinite God
>who made it. Do not place God on the same level as man. God is infinite.
>When God wrote on stone the ten commandments, when God brought these ten
>commandments together it is of eternal value as I brought to your
>attention in Ecclesiastes 3: 14. You cannot add to it neither take any
>thing away from it. Jesus said the same thing (Matthew 5: 17 - 20).
>Daniel mentioned the acts of God are righteous (Daniel 9: 14). Let me make
>a bold statement to you. I am taking a verse from 2 Corinthians 3: 3 and I
>am telling you that you know what I am saying is true because it is written
>on the fleshy tables of your heart. You can say what you want but if you
>go on your knees with a sincere heart and ask God to reveal the truth to
>you, you will know it as I am telling you now. Jesus touch Bob. Let the
>Holy Spirit reveal the truth to him as it is written on stone with your
>finger and on his heart with your love. Bob you cannot fight the truth.
>God is not a little boy. You know, if Adam and Eve did not disobey God and
>you were alive in a state of righteousness you will be keeping the Sabbath
>as God so desire you to keep it. The Sabbath is a perpetual covenant
>(Exodus 31: 15 - 17). You are accepting the fact that the law cannot save
>man and abolish it for this reason. You are not seeing the law as a mirror
>to make the necessary corrections controlled by God. If there is no law
>then there is no sin. You are not seeing this fact. All the law does is
>point out sin. I am sure you have laws in your home. You do not say -
>"since I am in charge, what ever you do I will forgive you, because I have
>taken your sins, your wrongs as if I did the wrong. So you are free in
>your actions". You will correct when a wrong is done because you love your
>family. We must have laws in the land or there will be chaos. If you put
>the Our Father prayer and compare it to the ten commandments you will see
>similarities. The first four is to God and the next six is towards our
>neighbor as well as to ourselves. Bob, those ten commandments are written
>in your heart and you know that because the Spirit of God is telling you
>so. Bob, your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. Your body is not
>yours. God wrote the law. God spoke the law and with the support of the
>Holy Spirit, God lived and is living the law. God wants to bring your life
>in conformity to the law he wrote on your heart. You know it. You must
>know it because it is there. Any thing else is the commandment of man.
>Rolph, I cannot answer your 18 questions without parsing every single
>sentence and phrase. Historical Adventism has redefined every single
>Orthodox Biblical and theological term and phrase so that it has a meaning
>which the Scripture never intended it to have. We cannot have a meaningful
>conversation without taking care and examining every single word or phrase.
>You have figured out clearly by now and through my careful use of Scripture
>in context, that I believe that classical Adventism has absolutely no place
>in the classical Biblical view.
>I don't really care what you believe or practice concerning the Sabbath as
>a weekly celebration. Paul said the same thing that each man should be
>fully persuaded in his own mind. There is absolutely zero link between the
>New Covenant Church and Sabbath keeping. There are no rules, regulations,
>examples, penalties or benefits spoken to the Church about Sabbath keeping.
>The Sabbath day as an institution is not mentioned nor celebrated until it
>was given by God to the Jewish people as a memorial of deliverance of the
>Jewish people and was part of the Old Covenant. It is never mentioned as
>part of a New Covenant standard. The NT says the Sabbath was a shadow of
>the final rest of salvation in Christ and that He is our Rest.
>There are no examples either in the OT or NT of the Sabbath as a day of
>worship.It was rather a day to stay home, not a day to travel to Synagogue
>or Church. I don't really care what you want to do on the "Sabbath". It is
>not the seal of God and there is no special benefit or punishment mentioned
>in the NT for the person who keeps it or doesn't keep it.
>I am not being disrespectful here. Just letting you know that I don't care
>and God doesn't care what you do about the Sabbath celebration. What makes
>things wrong is an out of context explanation of Scripture which places an
>unnecessary burden of artificial spirituality on people. As you know, this
>is known as legalism.
>Adventist literature makes clear the issue that you cannot be saved by
>keeping the Sabbath, but you can be lost by not keeping it. There is no
>Biblical basis for this view and it twists the basic meaning of the New
>Covenant and the Grace of God in the Gospel.
>Resting in the One who is the Rest, BK
>Dear Brother Rolph,
>From 1948 to 2010, I knew no other church as the true one, except the
>Seventh-day Adventist Church. How could it not be, when it kept the "only
>right" day to worship God, and has the "last- day prophet"?!
>Then, I discovered the New Covenant Gospel, first by reading again the
>exchange between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well in John 4:
>Then, reading on the Pauline Epistles, I discovered that the Old Covenant
>(Laws of Moses) "engraved in letters of stone", brought a ministry of
>death, while the New Covenant is a ministry that brings righteousness. ( 2
>Cor. 3:6- 17 NIV).
>Furthermore, the writer of Hebrews states, "But the ministry Jesus has
>received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator
>is superior to the OLD ONE, and is founded on better promises: For if there
>had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been
>sought for another....By calling this covenant "new", he has made the first
>one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.-- Heb. 8:
>6- 13 (NIV)
>Regarding the Sabbath as a day of rest, the writer of Hebrews clearly
>states that "It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who
>formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in because of their
>disobedience. Therefore, God again set a certain day calling it
>TODAY,...There remains then a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; anyone
>who enters God's rest also rests from his own work,..." --Heb. 4: 6- 10
>(NIV). Please notice the context of rest here: it is resting in Jesus from
>our efforts to save our selves by our own imperfect obedience to the Old
>This is why "The law (of Moses) is only a shadow of the good things that
>are coming-- not the realities themselves." (Heb. 10: 1 NIV). To emphasize
>this truth, Paul repeats it in Rom. 14: 5,6 (NIV), and Col. 2: 16,17(NIV) :
>the Sabbath days are only a shadow of the reality who is Jesus, the perfect
>Sabbath, because in Him alone we find PERFECT REST from sin!
>Therefore, I don't have to struggle from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday to
>keep a perfect sabbath every week, because Jesus confirmed that He came to
>fulfill all of Moses' Laws, including the sabbath. If He did not, all
>self-proclaimed Sabbatarians could have died a long time ago-- from
>Thank God, I am alive, because by faith in Christ, I am resting in the only
>Sabbath who really matter.
>Sincerely yours in Jesus,
>Fred S. Hosillos
March 27, 2014 -- A response from Brian to Bob K.
Thank you for your email. Please review the context again. I think it is safe to say that First Corinthians 3:10-15 is not the context for Second Corinthians 5:10.
The comment that "Our works during this lifetime have no effect on the quality or condition of our salvation" is fatally dangerous and of all the things you have ever said to me is the most scary. I humbly urge you to re-read the Bible again and not cling to Calvinistic notions for salvation.
1 Peter 3:15 And
account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our
beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath
written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of
these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they
that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other
scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing
ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with
the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18 But grow in
grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To
him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear me:
Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer shall be abomination.
New Covenant is when God writes His commandments in the hearts of
believers. How can you claim to believe in the new covenant and yet
worship on a day of Papal origin?
So much could be said.... Yet a willingness to explore what the Bible teaches and surrender any pet theories as necessary seems to be a good first step in understanding.
Proverbs 28:5 Evil men understand not judgment: But they that seek the LORD understand all things.
Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
1 Corinthians 2:14 Spiritual things are spiritually discerned
Understanding is not based on cognitive ability,
Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Since what you have said in the past about the Sabbath goes against the commandment "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy" and since your statement "Our works during this lifetime have no effect on the quality or condition of our salvation" goes against the testimony of Christ and the apostles, I must conclude that there is no light in you.
Again, I humbly urge you to re-read the Bible again without Calvin's glasses on. I think you will find many wonderful things, and a fuller picture of the glorious salvation that is found in Jesus Christ,
who is coming soon
Mar.25,2014 -- Context is King
My friend Brian,
you have once again painted yourself into a corner because you have ignored all the rules of Biblical interpretation called hermanutics. Context is king and in all the references you have cited, you have ignored the grammatical, literal and historical context. Since you are now in the corner with wet paint waiting to dry, I hope you brought your chair and a lunch. What you have done makes as much sense a me trying to quote Scripture and develop a doctrine out of context. “Judas went out and hanged himself……….go thou and do likewise.” Now I have a Biblical teaching which justifies suicide . 2 Cor 5:10-11 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. There is no mention here of eternal status with God being addressed as you have suggested, but one of reward or lack of reward based on the quality of one’s work or behavior during this life. I am sure you know as well that behavior during this life does not effect on bit our salvation status. “ He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5-6 Our works during this lifetime have no effect on the quality or condition of our salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 says: 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. If you read the clear statement of what takes place at the Judgment Seat of Christ as described in I Cor. 3:10-15, you will clearly read in CONTEXT that this is the place of rewards or lack thereof for the quality of a believers’s life while alive on earth. 1 Cor 3:10-15 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. 14 If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. I am sure you can understand, if you check the context, that nobody looses salvation because that has already been secured by the finished work of Christ. Salvation is never a question nor or is it in Jeopardy. Remember what Ellen G. White said in one form or another on many different occasions. “When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God’s remembrance.” 1888 GC. Pg. 483 And also……..”Our acts, our words, even our most secret motives, all have their weight in deciding our destiny for weal or woe……” Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, pg. 311 According to Scripture in context, neither our works, whether good or bad, can affect our salvation. There is no Investigative Judgment because Jesus said in John 5:24 that believers would never come into Judgment and Paul in Romans 8:1 that no sentence from the court will ever be pronounced in God’s court against the believer. Since the one offering of Christ has made us “perfect forever”, no judgment is needed for the believer, because “He was wounded for our transgressions, and He was bruised for our iniquities… ……and the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.” Isaiah 53:5-6 Since the New Covenant declares that “our sins and iniquities, I will remember no more” Jeremiah 31, Hebrews 8 and 10) , how can Jesus pretend to go through such a charade of remembering a “lifetime of sins….” EGW when they are forgotten and covered “once and for all”, by the blood of the sacrifice of the Savior. Brian, you are in danger of eternal loss and condemnation because what you suggest is really “another gospel” and not the Gospel of the Grace of God in the finished work of Christ. I say to you as Jesus said to another religious guy like yourself, “Except a man be born again, he can’t see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 Have you been born again? In His grip, Bob Koivisto
Mar.2,2014 -- Judgement and Salvation Issues
Brian, I have looked carefully at the Dr. Hasel's paper on judgment. I have come to several conclusions.
1. He is completely ignorant of the promises and conditions of the New Covenant. (Jer. 31, Heb. 8,10) 2. He thoroughly misrepresents the context of John 5 and what Jesus said about judgment.3. He confuses temporal judgment with the final judgment. 4. He does not look at the context of 1st John 1:9 as a way for believer's to maintain fellowship with God, and not as a way to be re-saved.5. He does not see clearly that no believers' are disqualified or condemned at the "judgment seat of Christ" and the description of the "bema seat" judgment in I Cor. 3 says that in spite of the fire which will test a believers' works, he may suffer loss as useless works are burned up but he himself will be saved, "so as through fire." 6. He ignores the plain teaching of Scripture that Salvation is described as a present possession and that it is "once for all". This Greek word for finality and an event not to be repeated either by the Savior or by us is used over and over in Scripture without condition or hedging. 7. How many of our sins were future when Christ died on the cross? All of them, not just the sins we have committed up until we are saved as EGW teaches.
1 Jn. 5:11-12 cannot be true that one KNOWS he has eternal life if he has the Son of God if this professor is correct. How can one know anything about salvation personally or otherwise. Nothing of what Jesus or Apostles said about eternal life can be true, especially that it is ETERNAL. if Jesus Himself may not know because we may have not as yet undergone "the searching scrutiny of His Investigative Judgment to see if we are worthy of eternal life", how can we possibly speak about our personal salvation and forgiveness with any confidence or assurance whatsoever? EGW used the word PROBATION over a thousand times in her writings when speaking of believers, and the writers of Scripture never used it once. Why do you suppose that is? Did she know something about which they were being both deceitful and neglectful? I think not.
This kind of religion is a hope without substance, assurance, and reality. The reason these simple Biblical truths are not clear to you is found in the words of Jesus in John 3: "Unless a man is born again, he can't see the kingdom of God", Again in I Cor. 2:14, "The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." And one more :But to this very day, whenever Moses is read, a veil remains over their minds, but when they turn to the Lord, the veil is removed."
2 Cor 4:3-4
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. KJV
I am writing these things because I love you and don't intend to be harsh nor insensitive, and care deeply about your eternal destiny and desire your eyes to be open to the genuine Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot both be right about the Lord Jesus and His work on our behalf and the nature of our salvation. If I am wrong, prove it to me. It is very dangerous to be wrong about God, and it is not possible that we can both be right with such facts in obvious contradiction.
In His grip, Bob Koivisto
Feb.27, 2014 -- Investigative Judgement Issue.
>>> Rom 8:28-31
>>> 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to
>>> those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29
>>> For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to
>>> the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many
>>> brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these
>>> whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He alsoglorified
>>> Brian, I could wish that you really loved me enough to help me see how
>>> wrong I am.
>>> Why has the Father kept the Son in such ignorance of what He has done on
>>> my behalf (according to the Greek New Testament accomplished once and for
>>> all in the past)? Jesus is still struggling at the Investigative Judgement
>>> by putting us through His "searching scrutiny" and trying to figure out if
>>> we are "worthy of eternal life". What has kept the the Father and the Son
>>> from clearly communicating with each other? Which of them should I
>>> believe? Should I believe the Father who says my salvation and security is
>>> done, or the Son who is still trying to figure it out?
>>> If you really love me as Jesus says we are love the sheep, why are you
>>> seemingly refusing to help me find the true path go God and get my serious
>>> questions answered? Help me man. Bob Koivisto
>> Hi Bob,
>> The problem with little time and a large subject is where to begin...
>> 1. The Day-Year principle used in interpreting the time prophecies of
>> Daniel and Revelation. While this article doesn't explain the nature of the
>> Adventist understanding of the investigative judgement, it does lay one of
>> the primary foundational principles to our understanding.
>> "Three times and a half, that is, for 1260 solar years, reckoning as time
>> for a calendar year of 360 days, and a day for a solar year." (Sir Isaac
>> Newton, Observations upon the prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St
>> God bless,
>Two or three major problems: You very best
>Hebrew scholar, Dr. Cotrell says that the standard interpretation of Daniel
>in support of cleansing the heavenly sanctuary cannot be supported from the
>Hebrew text. THE CONTEXT HAS NOTHING to do with cleansing of the heavenly
>sanctuary. The context from a linguistic and historical perspective cannot
>support the SDA view. None of the Church Fathers who were close to the
>action can support the view. It was never envisioned by anyone through all
>of Church History and it completely contradicts the New Testament view of
>the FINISHED WORK of Christ. The Investigative Judgment never appears on
>the pages of the New Testament. Time to stop listening to the propaganda
>and deal ONLY with the Word of God. And please answer me why the Scripture
>says "Your sins and iniquities I will remember no more." Is that why the
>Investigative Judgement has taken so long because Jesus (Who instituted the
>New Covenant of promising not to remember) did not listen to the words of
>His own promise? Why is He still trying to dig up what is forgotten and
>buried in the depths of the sea covered by the blood of Jesus? The message
>of the book of Hebrews is that forgiveness and covering of sin is ONCE AND
>FOR ALL. And above all, how can you claim to be saved and cleansed from sin
>when Jesus Himself may not even be finished with judging you for your past?
>What about future sin, if you have already been through the Investigative
>Judgment? Are you on your own? "For by ONE offering , He has made us
>perfect FOREVER." Perfect tense in the Greek speaking of a past event with
>continuing results into the present.
>I beg you to submit to the truth of Scripture and stop insisting that your
>behavior has any merit or benefit for Salvation." Not by works of
>righteousness, which we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved
>us." I beg you to trust only in the finished work of the Savior, because it
>is finished and His grace is enough. The Father has approved the work of
>the Son as complete, why don't you do the same? Anything added to grace is
>no longer grace.
>In His Grip, Bob Koivisto
Jan.29, 2014 -- EGW and the Trinity
In a letter to Brian, Bob Koivisto states:
The Scriptures clearly indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as clearly the personality and individuality of each." "God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son." (Testimonies for the Church, Volume Eight, page 268, paragraphs 1 & 3.)
Made equal with the Father? How can He who is the “Father of eternity” be given an exalted position who is already “Mighty God” especially to Him who “never changes?” Is. 9:6)
How can something be given to the Son such as “an exalted position” if He indeed was always fully equal with the Father in His deity? A literal translation of John 1:1 shows that Jesus always was deity.
"The highest of all angels, (Michael) He girded Himself with a towel, and washed the feet of His disciples." (Manuscript Releases, Volume Twelve, page 400, paragraph 1.) Do we not read clearly in Scripture that angels are created beings? “And to which of the angels has He said, ‘thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee?’ Heb. 1:5
man Christ Jesus was not the Lord God Almighty." -Ellen
G. White (1903,
ms 150, SDA
Commentary V, p. 1129)
"The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that he might in the presence of all the angels confer special honor upon his Son…The Father then made known that it was ordained by himself that Christ, his Son, should be equal with himself." (Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, pp. 17,18,
“ Trinity Among Seventh-day Adventists" in the Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 17/1, 2006, pages 163, 164. The following is extracted from it. I highlighted some points which I wish to draw special attention to:
Position of Ellen G. White During the early decades of our church,
Ellen White made statements
that could be interpreted as anti-Trinitarian. She at times referred to the Holy Spirit as "it,"10 and in the context of her description of the fall of Satan, she wrote,
A special light beamed in his [Satan's] countenance, and shone around him brighter and more beautiful than around the other angels; yet Jesus, God's dear Son, had the pre-eminence over all the angelic host. He was one with the Father before the angels were created. Satan was envious of Christ, and gradually assumed command which devolved on Christ alone. The great Creator assembled the heavenly host, that he
might in the presence of all the angels confer special honor upon his Son .... The Father then made known that it was ordained by himself that Christ, his Son, should be equal with himself; so that wherever was the presence of his Son, it was his own presence. . . . His Son would carry out His will and
His purposes, but would do nothing of himself alone.
This seems to imply that after the angels were created, they did not know or recognize that Christ was equal with the Father and it took a special "heavenly council" to inform them of this.
On the other hand, if Christ's equality was a "special honor" which was conferred upon him, the implication is that he was not equal to the Father before that time. In the book Patriarchs and Prophets (1890)
she wrote, "He [Satan] was beloved and reverenced by the heavenly host, angels delighted to execute his commands, and he was clothed with wisdom and glory above them. Yet the Son of God was exalted above him, as one in power and authority with the Father." Two paragraphs further on
There had been no change in the position or authority of Christ. Lucifer's envy and misrepresentation and his claims to equality with Christ had made necessary a statement of the true position of the Son of God; but this had been the same from the beginning. Many of the angels were, however, blinded by Lucifer's deceptions.
Nevertheless, these kinds of statements are used today to support the semi-Arian position that some Adventists have recently begun to advocate. Could it be that these passages express Ellen White's understanding of Christ's position in heaven at that time and that as time progressed, she received more light, which eventually led to her very clear Trinitarian statements in the late 1890s?"
The early Ellen G. White seems to have been in harmony with her associates who did not believe in the Trinity. The Anti-Trinitarian Adventists today try to carry her early concepts through to the end of her life. I see a clear reversal in her thinking so that later in life she moved from being a non-Trinitarian to being a true Trinitarian. The dissidents try to marry the old Ellen G. White concepts with her later ones as though there was development but no real change. However, as we shall yet see there was considerable change many of her old concepts were left far behind.
Even the leading Adventist theologian (I have listened to hours of his lectures), says that Ellen White grew in her understanding of the Trinity over the years and later recognized the full deity of The Lord Jesus Christ. Since the bulk of her writings were composed during the first 50 years when she was wrong about who the LJC was, how can she be trusted about anything she says? If you are wrong about the nature of God and the true identity of His Son, why are you not mislead, uniformed, and false? This really is a big issue. All of the apostles wrote that those who are wrong about who God are to be considered liars and false teachers. When did any of the prophets in Scripture need to grow in their understanding between and true and false view of who God is? Of course they grew in their deeper understanding of God as do we, but never did they grow from a false view to a true view. It is often ascribed to EGW that she had progressive revelation, but progressive revelations never anywhere in Scripture grows from truth to error nor from error to truth.
Dec.13--2013 "Christmas Display and www.ellenlied.com"
Kaleb's Comments (Received from 'Contact Us' form)
Tonight my family went to the Walk Through Bethlehem presentation hosted by Baker View Christian School. On our way into the parking lot, we saw some people holding a brightly lit LED sign proclaiming "EllenLied.com". I had no idea what this referred to, so I immediately pulled out my smart phone to view the website. Until seeing the site and making the connection, I didn't realize it was a SDA school we were at. We had visited the Walk Through Bethlehem last year, and during the event I noticed no serious doctrinal issues- though the Christmas story is fairly easy to get right. Paying closer attention this year, I still noted no doctrinal issues. I will likely continue going, just because it offers another fun addition to telling my 3-year-old son about Jesus. All that said, I want to offer my utmost respect to the folks out there holding the sign. It was extremely cold, and that took some dedication. I admit, I am fairly uneducated about the SDA, but I am no stranger to evangelizing mega cults. The reason the sign caught my eye so much is because I held a very similar sign earlier this year- mine proclaiming "JosephLied.com". We took turns holding this and similar signs after the Miracle Pageant in Manti, Utah. Being on the sign-holding side, I know how valued encouragement is. Please extend props to those willing to brave the cold to offer some truth to those with open minds to receive it. God bless you, and keep up the great work. Merry Christmas, ~Kaleb
Aug.13 --2013 "Not Every one likes us"!
Fred from UK? (Received from 'Contact Us' form)
Why is it when I asked for a flyer your member refused to give me one? So I went to your web site to ask a question. Looking at your info does nothing but inflict conflict. Your members are so unhappy that they try to bring others into your misery, The saying misery likes company. Must go along way with the likes of you folk. BY picketing camp meeting this past weekend is nothing less then revolting. The Sabbath is suppose to be a day a rest, a blessing, a day to enjoy our Creators hand work. Instead we have to push our way past a group of mindless folk protesting our belief. If your unhappy with yourself and our belief why shove your discontent in our faces. I said to your member when he refused to give me your info I asked him if he was an unhappy camper? His reply shouting at me your an unhappy camper. To say I was pretty fed up with protesting signs and mindless morons would be the truth. I hope you have a miserable time holding useless signs.