The Case for Last Generation Theology, Part 2: The Nature of Sin

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The Case for Last Generation Theology, Part 2: The Nature of Sin

Both camps in the debate over Last Generation Theology agree that the position one takes on the nature of sin is foundational so far as one’s beliefs regarding salvation and perfection are concerned[1].  But it is here where convictions held by the two sides part company.

Supporters of Last Generation Theology believe sin in human lives is the result of choice, not birth.  They hold that humanity’s inherited sinful nature cannot be confused with sin itself.  By contrast, opponents of Last Generation Theology believe sin and the inherited sinful nature are one and the same thing, and that therefore, all since Adam have been born sinners.

Related Article: Addressing Root Issues

This article will endeavor to articulate what Scripture and the writings of Ellen White teach on this point.

 

 

The Centrality of Choice

The voluntary nature of human sin is clear in the pages of the Bible: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.  The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son” (Eze. l8:20; see also Deut. 24:16)[2].  “To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). Elsewhere the book of James is clear that the urges of the fleshly nature do not constitute sin apart from choice:

But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (James 1:14-15).

In other words, only when lust conceives does sin occur, which is what choice is all about.  Merely being drawn away, or tempted, by lustful desire is not sin.  Ellen White agrees:

There are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused by Satan that annoy even the best of men; but if they are not cherished, if they are repulsed as hateful, the soul is not contaminated with guilt and no other is defiled by their influence[3].

Elsewhere she writes:

The sin of evil-speaking begins with the cherishing of evil thoughts.  Guile includes impurity in all its forms.  An impure thought tolerated, an unholy desire cherished, and the soul is contaminated, its integrity compromised[4].

The passage from Ezekiel is especially decisive in the present discussion, since according to the doctrine of original sin, all humans bear the iniquity of their father Adam.  But the above Scriptures are clear that men and women bear their own sins, and acquire their own guilt through choice.  They have no need to borrow either sin or guilt from Adam.

 

Related Article: Historical Considerations of Sin and Human Nature

 

Moreover, the above Ellen White statements are clear that neither the arousal of sinful urges nor the occurrence of sinful thoughts constitute sin itself.  In both cases, an act of the will is necessary in order for sin to occur.  This helps us understand that while, according to Ellen White, “there is in [humanity’s] nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist”[5], this bent toward evil is not identified by the inspired pen with evil itself.  Free choice is necessary in order for sin to become reality in a person’s life.

 

The Message of Romans 5

Perhaps the passage most commonly used, in an attempt to support the doctrine of original sin from Scripture, is Romans 5:12-19.  It is worth quoting in full:

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed where there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come. But not as the offense, so also is the free gift.  For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift be grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one: much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Three points, among others, stand out in these verses:

 

  1. Life and death, as described in this passage, are primarily eternal rather than temporal. This becomes clearest in verse 17, which speaks of how those “which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”  Obviously this refers to the future eternal reign of the saints with Christ (Rev. 5:10).  Elsewhere in Romans Paul, when speaking of life and death in a spiritual sense, refers to eternal rather than temporal reality (Rom. 5:10; 8:13).  Here Paul uses this language in the same way as Jesus, who declared to the rich young ruler, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matt. 19:17; see also Luke 10:28).

 

So when Romans 5:12 speaks of death passing upon all men, temporal death (though certainly real) is not the main focus.  The claim of certain ones that newborn babies must be sinners because they experience physical death[6] is obviously exploded by the fact that animals experience such death as well.

 

  1. The phrases “judgment came” and “the free gift came,” found in verse 18, are supplied, which is why the King James Version places them in italics. This is especially significant because this verse is often the cornerstone of the claim that both Adam’s condemnation and Christ’s justification have been accomplished for all, whether they like it or not.  But without these added phrases, it is easier to harmonize this verse with others in this passage which indicate the decisive role of choice in making real the provisions of both sin and salvation.

 

  1. Three verses in this passage make it clear that whatever the role played by Adam and Christ in the human saga, free choice is what makes humans either condemned sinners or justified saints. Regarding condemnation, Romans 5:12 declares that “death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”  Notice it doesn’t say death (eternal) has passed on all men because Adam sinned, but rather, because all have sinned.

 

The same holds true for justification.  Despite the claims of some, Paul isn’t saying here that all men and women have been involuntarily justified by the events of Calvary.  Rather, he states that the ones justified are those who “receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness” (verse 17, italics supplied).  Verse 19 clarifies the same point, which declares that “as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”  Obviously, just as the many being made sinners has occurred because “all have sinned” (verse 12), so the many being made righteous is here depicted as a future event determined by the choice of individuals, not a past event occurring once for all at the cross.

 

Related Article: Peter Abelard’s Theology of Atonement  

 

The theme of Romans 5 is really quite simple: Adam led the world into sin, and Christ has offered to lead us out of it.  But just as the choice to sin is ours, so is the choice to accept Christ’s righteousness.  Thus Ellen White observes, using the language of Romans 5:

Human beings have degenerated.  One after another they fall under the curse, because sin has entered into the world, and death by sin. . . . We may choose God’s way and live; we may choose our own way, and know that sin has entered into the world, and death by sin [7].

None Forced to Transgress

 

Because “all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23; 5:l2), Ellen White declares that “the children of Adam share his guilt and its consequences”[8]. But never do we read that Adam’s children share his guilt merely by being born.  Another statement, often quoted to support involuntary sin, declares:

 

Adam was required to render perfect obedience to God, not only in his own behalf, but in behalf of his posterity.  God promised him that if he would stand the test of temptation, preserving his allegiance to the Creator during the great trial to which he would be subjected, his obedience would ensure his acceptance and favor with God.  He would then be forever established in holiness and happiness, and these blessings would extend to all his posterity.  But Adam failed to bear the test.  And because he revolted against God’s law, all his descendants have been sinners [9].

 

But in the very next paragraph, we read the following:

 

God’s law had once been written in the hearts of men and women.  But their cherished sins dimmed and nearly effaced that writing.  The impressions made by sin gradually wore away the impressions of the law[10].

 

What has caused all of Adam’s descendants to become sinners?  Their “cherished sins.”  Choice.  The above statement doesn’t say humanity’s birth-condition erased the writing of God’s law in the human heart.  It is the choice of human beings to disobey God that has done this.

 

Related Article: Ellen White on Sin and Human Nature            

 

Other Ellen White statements, alleged by some to teach the doctrine of involuntary sin, declare:

Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden caused all to sin; but in the Garden of Gethsemane Christ drank the bitter cup of suffering and death, and whosoever believes in Him may not perish, but have everlasting life[11].

As a result of Adam’s disobedience every human being is a transgressor of the law, sold under sin[12].

But these passages must be placed alongside others, which explain exactly how human beings do and do not become sinners:

No man can be forced to transgress.  His own consent must be first gained, the soul must purpose the sinful act, before passion can dominate over reason, or iniquity triumph over conscience[13].

It is not in the power of Satan to force anyone to sin.  Sin is the sinner’s individual act.  Before sin exists in the heart, the consent of the will must be given, and as soon as it is given, sin is triumphant, and hell rejoices[14].

Satan knows that he cannot overcome man unless he can control his will.  He can do this by deceiving man so that he will cooperate with him in transgressing the laws of nature in eating and drinking, which is transgression of the law of God[15].

Although sin was the awful thing that had opened the floodgates of woe upon the world, He (Christ) would become the propitiation of a race that had willed to sin[16].

 

Notice how she writes that the human race had willed to sin.  They weren’t forced to sin because of Adam.  Notice also how she says that before sin can exist in the heart, the will must choose.  How then can it be said that sin exists in every heart from the moment of birth?  And how could it be said that none are forced to transgress if all become transgressors simply by being born?  If in fact, Satan cannot overcome human beings unless he controls their will, which according to the above statement occurs through being deceived into transgression, how then can it be said that all are under Satan’s control by virtue of birth before any are deceived into cooperating with his suggestions?

 

Related Article: Silly Me, I Thought I Was Good

 

Though the above statements are clear that Adam’s sin has resulted in all human beings becoming sinners, we are never told that this has happened apart from their personal choice.  The statement that “Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden caused all to sin”[17] doesn’t say all have been forced to sin.  We can cause one another to sin by our example.  It happens all the time.  And Adam’s example was the first in this regard.  But the choice whether or not to sin remains our own.

 

Two other Ellen White statements speak even more clearly as to how human beings become sinners:

 

The light of life is freely proffered to all.  Every one who will may be guided by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness.  Christ is the great remedy for sin.  None can plead their circumstances, their education, or their temperament as an excuse for living in rebellion against God.  Sinners are such by their own deliberate choice[18].

 

I told [Mary] sin was not man’s misfortune but his guilt.  Man was not a sinner because of circumstances, or his education or his temperament, but from deliberate choice.  “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” John 3:19,20[19].

 

Let us bear in mind that if in fact all human beings become sinners—rebels against God—simply by being born, that would certainly qualify as a circumstantial reason for our rebellion.  Yet the above statements are clear that sinners are such because of deliberate choice.  Not Adam’s choice, but their own.

 

 

“The Only Definition of Sin”

Despite the effort of certain ones to make the definition of sin nuanced and complicated, the following Ellen White statements are clear that the definition found in First John 3:4, which declares that “sin is the transgression of the law,” is in fact the only definition of sin found in the written counsel of God:

 

“Sin is the transgression of the law.”  This is the only definition of sin[20].

The only definition we find in the Bible for sin is that “sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4)[21].

Our only definition of sin is that given in the word of God: it is “the transgression of the law;” it is the outworking of a principle at war with the great law of love which is the foundation of the divine government[22].

Now we want to understand what sin is, that it is the transgression of God’s law.  This is the only definition given in the Scriptures[23].

What is to bring the sinner to the knowledge of his sins, unless he knows what sin is?  The only definition of sin in the Word of God is given us in I John 3:4: “Sin is the transgression of the law”[24].

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.”  This is the only definition of sin given in the Holy Scriptures, and we should seek to understand what sin is, lest any of us be found in opposition to the God of heaven[25].

The only definition of sin, given in God’s Word, is the transgression of the law.  It is not excusable, and has no defense or justification[26].

It is the privilege of every sinner to ask his teacher what sin really is.  Give me a definition of sin.  We have one in I John 3.  “Sin is the transgression of the law.”  Now this is the only definition of sin in the whole Bible[27].

If we have not the faith that works by love, and purifies the soul from every stain of sin, then we have a spurious faith.  Christ is not the minister of sin.  And what is sin?  The only definition given in God’s word is, “Sin is the transgression of the law”[28].

In order to let Jesus into our hearts, we must stop sinning.  The only definition for sin that we have in the Bible is that it is the transgression of the law[29].

One will search the Ellen G. White writings in vain for any passage which declares men and women to be transgressors of God’s law simply by being born.

Related Article: The Unbearable Failure of Last Generation Theology Part 2 –The Law

Some might wonder if perhaps Ellen White had overlooked what some hold to be another definition of sin in Scripture, this one found in Romans 14:23: “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”  But since, according to Scripture, “without faith it is impossible to please [God]” (Heb. 11:6), it becomes clear that unless one has faith, the transgression of God’s law is inevitable, since the only power available to resist temptation would be absent.  Which means, in sum, that First John 3:4 and Romans 14:23 are simply two ways of saying the same thing.  According to Scripture, as well as Ellen White, sin is a voluntary act.

 

 

“Involuntary Corruption”

 

Those who speak of “involuntary corruption” as synonymous not only with our inherited fallen natures but with sin itself[30], cannot harmonize this definition either with Scripture or the Ellen White consensus.  We have seen already the Biblical distinction between the urge to sin and the choice to yield to that urge (James 1:14-15).  And Ellen White is clear that these urges to sin must be subdued by the Christian till Jesus comes:

 

So long as Satan reigns, we shall have self to subdue, besetting sins to overcome; so long as life shall last, there will be no stopping place, no point which we can reach and say, I have fully attained[31].

So long as life shall last, there will be need of guarding the affections and the passions with a firm purpose.  Not one moment can we be secure except as we rely upon God, the life hidden with Christ.  Watchfulness and prayer are the safeguards of purity[32].

Appetite and passion must be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit.  There is no end to the warfare this side of eternity[33].

Just as long as Satan urges his temptations upon us, the battle for self-conquest will have to be fought over and over again; but by obedience, the truth will sanctify the soul[34].

 

But to label the above forces—against which the Christian must be on guard till Jesus comes—as sin or “involuntary corruption,” flies against the following admonition by the same author, who declares regarding the preparation needed for Christ’s return:

 

The Refiner does not then sit to pursue His refining process and remove their sins and their corruption.  This is all to be done in these hours of probation[35].

 

Thus, when one considers the whole of the Bible’s and Ellen White’s teachings regarding sin and the inherited sinful nature, it becomes clear that the two are not one and the same thing.

 

 

Separation from God

Speaking of sin as an involuntary condition from which sinful actions arise, one has described this allegedly involuntary state as a “broken relationship with God.  Thus, sin is both a state and the behavior generated from that state”[36].  We could all agree with this statement if this “state” of sin were defined as a chosen state, like when we say someone—for example, an adulterer—is “living in sin.”  This is most assuredly a condition from which sinful actions arise, but the condition is one that is chosen, not involuntary.  The Bible is very clear that separation from God is the result of iniquity, not the other way around:

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you (Isa. 59:2).

 

Notice it isn’t Adam’s sin that has made this separation.  Our own sins have done this.  Ellen White agrees:

Just as soon as we separate ourselves from God by sin, which is the transgression of His law, Satan takes control of our minds [37].

By choosing to sin, men separate themselves from God, cut themselves off from the channel of blessing, and the sure result is ruin and death[38].

God does not separate from His people, but His people separate themselves from God by their own course of action[39]

So long as the people of God preserve their fidelity to Him, so long as they cling by living faith to Jesus, they are under the protection of heavenly angels, and Satan will not be permitted to exercise his hellish arts upon them to their destruction.  But those who separate themselves from Christ by sin are in great peril[40]

Their iniquitous practices did that for Israel which all the enchantments of Balaam could not do–they separated them from God [41]

Many who might be fruitful in God’s service become bent on acquiring wealth.  Their whole energy is absorbed in business enterprises, and the feel obliged to neglect things of a spiritual nature.  Thus they separate themselves from God[42].

A Closer Look At Some Bible Passages

A number of Bible verses have been cited as allegedly supporting the notion of humans being born sinners ((e.g. Psalm 51:5; 58:3; Eccl. 7:20; Isa. 64:6; Jer. 13:23; 17:9; Rom. 3:23; 7:15-20; I John 1:8)[43].  But not one of these verses proves that all are born sinners.  They simply prove that all have chosen to sin (Eccl. 7:20; Rom. 3:23; I John 1:8,10) and that those who have made this choice are morally corrupt (Isa. 64:6; Jer. 13:23; 17:9).  Equally clear is that the sinful condition described in these verses is correctible through conversion—a fact that doesn’t apply, as we have seen, to our inherited sinful natures this side of the second coming[44].  The Biblical gospel exchanges the filthy rags of unconverted self-righteousness (Isa. 64:6) for the “fine linen [which] stands for the righteous acts of the saints” (Rev. 19:8, NIV).  It exchanges the bondage of unconversion and powerlessness against sin (Rom. 7:14-25; Gal. 5:17) for the liberation of sanctified victory over sin (Rom. 8:1-13; I Cor. 9:27; II Cor. 10:4-5; Gal. 5:24).  It holds out to the one who has sinned against God—all of us (I John 1:8,10)—the prospect of cleansing from all sin and unrighteousness (I John 1:7,9).

 

Related Article: Sin and Salvation in Genesis 3

 

 

The two verses that come closest to equating the origin of sin in human lives with birth, but in fact do not, are Psalm 51:5 and 58:3. The first of these verses simply says, “In sin did my mother conceive me,” but does not say, “As a sinner did my mother conceive me.”  All David is saying is that he was born into a sinful world.  He is not saying his sin was or is involuntary.

And the second of these two verses, Psalm 58:3, is referring only to the wicked (not to all humanity), and is speaking of how for the wicked, estrangement from God begins at birth.  Ellen White speaks of this in her counsel to neglectful parents relative to the rearing of children:

Children are left to come up instead of being trained up.  The poor little children are thought not to know or understand a correction at ten or twelve months of age, and they begin to show stubbornness very young[45].

I tremble especially for mothers, as I see them so blind, and feeling so little the responsibilities that devolve upon a mother.  They see Satan working in the self-willed child of even but a few months of age.   Filled with spiteful passion, Satan seems to be taking full possession[46].

The mother’s work begins with the babe in her arms.  I have often seen the little one throw itself and scream, if its will was crossed in any way. . . .These little ones cannot discern what spirit is influencing them, and it is the duty of the parents to exercise judgment and discretion for them.  Their habits must be carefully watched.  Evil tendencies are to be restrained, and the mind stimulated in favor of the right.  The child should be encouraged in every effort to govern itself[47].

The book (Education) that is coming out will have much to say in regard to the great principles that are to be carried out in training the children, from the very baby in arms.  The enemy will work right through those children, unless they are disciplined.  Someone disciplines them.  If the mother or the father does not do it, the devil does[48].

Those with any doubts as to the negative results of such neglect in the training of very young children need only stand in the checkout line at Walmart!

 

 

Some Ellen White Passages Considered

 

A number of Ellen White statements have lately been cited as proof that sin and the inherited sinful nature are one and the same thing[49].  We will look at each of these statements and consider their meaning:

 

We must remember that our hearts are naturally depraved and we are unable of ourselves to pursue a right course.”[50]

 

“Nature” in the writings of Ellen White can mean either our inherited nature[51] or our cultivated character, good or bad[52].  Context and the inspired consensus tell the difference.  But as Ellen White is clear, in her discussion of the infamous Holy Flesh movement, that while the heart can be made holy the fleshly nature cannot be so long as this life lasts[53], we can fairly assume that the natural depravity described in the above statement refers to the chosen nature of the depraved character, not to one’s inherited fleshly nature.

 

Another Ellen White statement used to support original sin is the following:

 

The inheritance of children is that of sin. . . . As related to the first Adam, men receive from him nothing but guilt and the sentence of death[54].

 

Notice how this this statement doesn’t say the inheritance of children constitutes sin itself.  Rather, this inheritance is “that of sin’—that is, produced by sin.  And humans receive Adam’s guilt and death sentence in the same way they “receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness” (Rom. 5:17)—by choice.  Nothing in the above statement or its context describes Adam’s guilt or sin as something received without an act of the will.

 

Another Ellen White statement used to support involuntary sin is the following:

 

It is inevitable that children should suffer from the consequences of parental wrongdoing, but they are not punished for the parents’ guilt, except as they participate in their sins. It is usually the case, however, that children walk in the steps of their parents[55].

 

Again this statement is describing the transmission of sin’s consequences, not the transmission of sin itself.  Let’s consider another, similar statement from Ellen White’s pen:

 

As a result of Adam’s disobedience every human being is a transgressor of the law, sold under sin[56].

 

But neither this statement itself nor its context compels us to believe that every human has been forced to sin because of Adam.  Adam’s sin has certainly resulted in all human beings following his example in sin, but as the book of Romans tells us, all are under the sentence of eternal death because “all have sinned” Rom. 5:12).

Related Article: Obedience vs. Legalism

The following Ellen White statement is one of the most common of those used to advance the theory that sinful defilement is involuntary in the human experience:

The religious services, the prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin … ascend from true believers . . . to the heavenly sanctuary, but passing through the corrupt channels of humanity … they are so defiled that unless purified by blood, they can never be of value with God[57].

Again, nothing in this statement or its context depicts the corruption and defilement here noted as inborn or experienced apart from an act of the will.  A future article will address this statement and its language in greater depth, in light of the use of similar language elsewhere in the inspired writings.  When the language of this statement is compared with similar wording in other statements, it becomes clear that the purification by Jesus’ merit here described involves the internal cleansing of character and motive, not a legal decree of justification covering the presumably “inevitable” pollution of Christian conduct by original sin[58].

Conclusion

Let us again consider the words of the apostle James regarding the volitional nature of human sin:

Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then lust, when it hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin (James 1:14-15).

 

Ellen White, as we have seen, affirms this truth in such passages as the following:

 

There are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused by Satan that annoy even the best of men; but if they are not cherished, if they are repulsed as hateful, the soul is not contaminated with guilt and no other is defiled by their influence[59].

 

The strongest temptation cannot excuse sin.  However great the pressure brought to bear upon the soul, transgression is our own act.  It is not in the power of earth or hell to compel anyone to do evil.  Satan attacks us at our weak points, but we need not be overcome.  However severe or unexpected the assault, God has provided help for us, and in His strength we may conquer[60].

 

It is Satan’s act to tempt you, but your own act to yield.  It is not in the power of all the hosts of Satan to force the tempted to transgress.  There is no excuse for sin[61].

 

Temptation is not sin; the sin lies in yielding[62].

 

Elsewhere she declares:

 

There are many who in their hearts murmur against God.  They say, “We inherit the fallen nature of Adam, and are not responsible for our natural imperfections.”  They find fault with God’s requirements, and claim that He demands what they have no power to give.  Satan made the same complaint in heaven, but such thoughts dishonor God[63].

 

And as we segue in our next article into a discussion of Christ’s human nature and what it makes possible in fallen human lives, perhaps the following Ellen White statement offers the best springboard:

 

As we see the condition of mankind today, the question arises in the minds of some, “Is man by nature totally and wholly depraved?”  Is he hopelessly ruined?  No, he is not.  The Lord Jesus left the royal courts and, taking our human nature, lived such a life as everyone may live in humanity, through following His example.  We may perfect a life in this world which is an example of righteousness, and overcome as Christ has given us an example in His life, revealing that humanity may conquer as He, the great Pattern conquered[64].

Click here to read the rest of this series on Last Generation theology.

______

Notes.

 

[1]See Roy Adams, The Nature of Christ: Help for a church divided over perfection (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Assn, 1994), pp. 87-98; William G. Johnsson, “Our Matchless Saviour—B,” Adventist Review, Aug. 26, 1993, p. 4; George R. Knight, End-Time Events and the Last Generation: The Explosive 1950s (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Assn, 2018), pp. 93-98; Ralph Larson, The Word Was Made Flesh: One Hundred Years of Seventh-day Adventist Christology, 1852-1952 (Cherry Valley, CA: The Cherrystone Press, 1986), pp. 330-350; Dennis E. Priebe, Face to Face With the Real Gospel (Boise, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Assn, 1985), pp. 12-13,16-17,22-41; Colin D. Standish and Russell R. Standish, Deceptions of the New Theology (Rapidan, VA: Hartland Publications, 1989), p. 77.

 

[2]Unless otherwise noted, all Biblical texts are from the King James Version.

 

[3]Ellen G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 140.

 

[4]—-Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 177.

 

[5]—-Education, p. 29.

 

[6]See Morris L. Venden, Faith That Works (Washington, D.C: Review and Herald Publishing Assn, 1980), p. 163; Jack Sequeira, Beyond Belief: The promise, the power, and the reality of the everlasting gospel (Boise, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Assn, 1993), p. 52.

 

[7]—-Signs of the Times, June 27, 1900.

 

[8]—-From the Heart, p. 299.

 

[9]—-Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, p. 229.

 

[10]Ibid.

 

[11]—-Signs of the Times, June 13, 1900.

 

[12]—-In Heavenly Places, p. 146.

 

[13]—-Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 177.

 

[14]—-Signs of the Times, Dec. 18, 1893.

 

[15]—-Temperance, p. 16.

 

[16]—-From the Heart, p. 253.

 

[17]—-Signs of the Times, June 13, 1900.

 

[18]—-From the Heart, p. 151.

 

[19]—-Letter 57, 1876.

 

[20]—-SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 951.

 

[21]—-Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 320.

 

[22]—-The Great Controversy, p. 493.

 

[23]—-Faith and Works, p. 56.

 

[24]—-Our High Calling, p. 141.

 

[25]—-Review and Herald, July 15, 1890.

 

[26]—-General Conference Bulletin, March 2, 1897.

 

[27]—-Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, p. 228.

 

[28]—-Signs of the Times, Nov. 24, 1887.

 

[29]Ibid, March 3, 1890; see also Confrontation, p. 75; The Upward Look, p. 371.

 

[30]See Jiri Moskala and John C. Peckham (eds.), God’s Character and the Last Generation (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Assn, 2018), p. 47; Adelina Alexe, “Last Generation Theology, Part 6: Biblical Perspectives: Sin,” May 30, 2019 https://thecompassmagazine.com/blog/last-generation-theology-part-6-biblical-perspectives-sin

 

[31]—-Acts of the Apostles, pp. 560-561.

 

[32]—-Prophets and Kings, p. 84.

 

[33]—-Counsels to Teachers, p. 20.

 

[34]—-From the Heart, p. 297.

 

[35]—-Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 355.

 

[36]Alexe, “Last Generation Theology, Part 6: Biblical Perspectives: Sin,” May 30, 2019 https://thecompassmagazine.com/blog/last-generation-theology-part-6-biblical-perspectives-sin

 

[37]White Review and Herald, July 12, 1887 (italics supplied).

 

[38]—-Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 235.

 

[39]—-1888 Materials, p. 1011 (italics supplied).

 

[40]—-Maranatha, p. 95.

 

[41]—-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 455.

 

[42]—-Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 51.

 

[43]Alexe, “Last Generation Theology, Part 6: Biblical Perspectives: Sin,” May 30, 2019 https://thecompassmagazine.com/blog/last-generation-theology-part-6-biblical-perspectives-sin

 

[44]White, Acts of the Apostles, pp. 560-561; Prophets and Kings, p. 84; Counsels to Teachers, p. 20; From the Heart, p. 297; Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 33.

 

[45]—-Review and Herald, March 28, 1893 (italics original).

 

[46]—-Child Guidance, p. 289.

 

[47]—-Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 150.

 

[48]—-Selected Messages, vol. 3, pp. 117-118.

 

[49]Alexe, “Last Generation Theology, Part 10: Ellen White on Sin and Human Nature,” June 25, 2019 https://thecompassmagazine.com/blog/last-generation-theology-part-10-ellen-white-on-sin-and-human-nature

 

[50]White, In Heavenly Places, p. 163.

 

[51]—-Education, p. 29; The Desire of Ages, p. 122; The Ministry of Healing, p. 428; The Adventist Home, p. 205.

 

[52]—-Messages to Young People, p. 35; Counsels to Teachers, p. 266; Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 258; The Desire of Ages, p. 391; Our High Calling, p. 278.

 

[53]—-Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 32.

 

[54]—-Child Guidance, p. 475.

 

[55]—-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 306.

 

[56]—-In Heavenly Places, p. 146.

 

[57]—-Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 344.

 

[58]—-Acts of the Apostles, p. 532; SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 909; In Heavenly Places, p. 34; Christian Service, p. 263; Manuscript Releases, vol. 2, p. 337; Review and Herald, Nov. 26, 1901.

 

[59]—-That I May Know Him, p. 140.

 

[60]—-Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 421.

 

[61]—-Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 623.

 

[62]—-Our High Calling, p. 87.

 

[63]—-Signs of the Times, Aug. 29, 1892.

 

[64]—-Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, p. 238.

 

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About the author

Kevin Paulson

Pastor Kevin Paulson holds a Bachelor’s degree in theology from Pacific Union College, a Master of Arts in systematic theology from Loma Linda University, and a Master of Divinity from the SDA Theological Seminary at Andrews University. He served the Greater New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists for ten years as a Bible instructor, evangelist, and local pastor. He writes regularly for Liberty magazine and serves as a script writer for the It Is Written television ministry and other media ministries within the church. He also serves as the leading webmaster of ADvindicate.com, where many articles by him and others can be found which address a variety of denominational issues. He continues to hold evangelistic and revival meetings throughout the North American Division and beyond, and is a sought-after seminar speaker relative to current issues in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He presently resides in Berrien Springs, Michigan.