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A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church

by Bob Pickle

Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and

Discern Fact from Fiction

The Investigative Judgment and Shut Door, and Their Ramifications

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#69, #70, #71, #72, & #73: "This doctrine teaches at some point in time between 1844 and the second coming of Christ, every believer's name will come up in judgment. At that point in time, if one has any unconfessed sins, even forgotten sins, or if one does not demonstrate perfect obedience to the Ten Commandments, especially the fourth, he will be lost. This teaching is diametrically opposed to the New Testament gospel of grace."—Dale Ratzlaff.

#69: It teaches that believers will be lost if they have unconfessed sins. How can an individual be forgiven if he has not confessed his sins? The Bible declares: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 Jn. 1:9). How can an individual be taken to heaven who has not confessed his sins, and has therefore not been forgiven? Does not the idea that people can be saved without confessing their sins strike at the very heart of the New Testament gospel of grace? [p. 57]

#70: And that includes even forgotten sins. One will fail to find the phrase "forgotten sins" either in Mrs. White's published and released writings or in the writings of early Adventists found on the Words of the Pioneers CD. The one exception is a single reference to the theology of another denomination, not of Seventh-day Adventists.

The documentation package lists this point as "Point 37." Under "Point 37" is only a single paragraph from volume 4 of Spirit of Prophecy, page 312. This paragraph contains the phrase "forgetfulness of the Saviour's claims," a far cry from "forgotten sins."

If there are forgotten sins that the sincere believer needs to confess, surely God will bring these sins back to his or her remembrance. But again, neither Mrs. White nor the pioneers of the Adventist Church ever said that sincere believers who had never confessed forgotten sins would be lost.

#71: It teaches that you have to have perfect obedience to the Ten Commandments. That the Ten Commandments are the standard in the judgment is clear. Equally clear is that God requires obedience to all His commandments:

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. (James 2:10-12)

Since the word "perfect" is a bit scary because of its present-day connotations, a better word to use might be "complete." That's what we're talking about anyway, the necessity of complete obedience.

If this concept bothers you, just ask yourself which commandment you plan to break today. Are you going to hate or kill? Are you going to covet or steal? Are you going to lust or run around on your spouse? Which commandment do you plan on not "completely" keeping, on breaking just a little bit?

When people say that we cannot keep the Ten Commandments even if God helps us, they are dishonoring the Lord and calling the Bible a lie:

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

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Mat. 11:30)

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1 Jn. 2:3, 4)

Under "Point 38" in the documentation package, the substantiation for this charge is the fourth paragraph from the October 26, 1897, issue of the Review and Herald. Of the 193 words of this paragraph, 112 words are New Testament Bible verses!

#72: Especially the fourth. This is not true.

While James says that if we break one commandment we are "guilty of all" (2:10), he also says, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (4:17). Clearly, if we do not know what God has said about the Sabbath, we are not held accountable for it. Other Scriptures on this include:

Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. (John 9:41)

For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (Rom. 5:13)

This is what Seventh-day Adventism has always taught. Regarding the beneficiaries of Christ's final intercession, Mrs. White herself testified: "It includes all who died trusting in Christ, but who, not having received the light upon God's commandments, had sinned ignorantly in transgressing its precepts."—Early Writings, p. 254.

Many believers in ages past did not know of the claims of the fourth commandment. Adventists agree with the Bible on this one. Such will not be held accountable for their violations of this commandment. In fact, it isn't hard to imagine that most believers who will be vindicated in the investigative judgment will be those who knew nothing about the true claims of the fourth commandment.

#73: This teaching is diametrically opposed to the gospel of grace. The reader may judge for himself from the points under this section, as well as the Scriptures given under #67, whether this statement is true or not.

Let us remember what the gospel of grace and the New Covenant really are:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. (Rom. 1:16)

And thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Mat. 1:21)

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 Jn. 3:4)

The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 Jn. 1:7)

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them. (Heb. 10:16) [p. 58]

Did you notice how John defined sin? He said that sin is breaking God's commandments. So Jesus came to save us from our breaking of the commandments. He shed His blood to cleanse us from all sin, to bring us back into obedience to God's holy law.

The gospel of grace is a beautiful message about the power of God which both forgives sin and transforms the life. As Jesus said, "Sin no more" (John 5:14; 8:11). Simply put, this means, "Break the commandments no more."

To say that a person may continue to knowingly practice sin and still go to heaven, or to say that a person may still go to heaven even though he has never had the law written in his heart and mind, this is what is diametrically opposed to the gospel of grace.

A Response to the Video

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