Faith That Justifies
'Our churches are dying for the want of teaching on the subject of righteousness by faith in Christ, and on kindred truths.'
--- Gospel Workers, p. 301---
ne of the most basically doctrines of the Bible is the doctrinal point of 'Faith'. Faith in the sense of the Bible is altogether different from those recognized among ordinary people of the societies. Faith is similar to the belief. However, in religious life people tend to more use the terminology of faith than belief, because faith has a more significant and broad meaning to God than only believes. Basically the Christian faith is the belief in God and His word that is followed by the practical doing of those believed in the mind.
In religious life of God's people the function of the true faith in God is to justify the man of faith. And that is the reason why Martin Luther has started his reform movement against the powerful pope of the Roman Catholic Church in the past, based upon the doctrinal subject, 'The Just shall live by Faith'. Martin Luther is popularly known in this time as Father of the Protestant Reformation. And his doctrinal subject is more popularly known now as 'The Justification by Faith' or 'The Justification by Faith in Christ.'
If Martin Luther is only known as Father of the Protestant Reformation, due to his success to have revived the doctrinal viewpoint of the true faith, and to have restored the Bible which has been for about 1000 years banned from the public by the powerful pope of the Roman Catholic Church, during the dark ages of religion, then Abraham of old, a very long time since beforehand has been popularly declared Father of all men of faith on the earth. You and I could also be categorized children of Abraham, not because we are descendants of the line of his posterity, but only because we have shared in his faith.
Faith that justifies is actually no more new for us in this time, because ever since in the time of the apostles the teaching on such a faith had ever been much deliberated in the New Testament Scriptures. Only after the Christians have passed through their ordeals under the persecution of the pope during the long period of the dark ages of religion, that faith in the true sense of the Bible doctrine seemed to be much forgotten among the people of God. Therefore Martin Luther has been commissioned of the Lord not only to restore and translate the Bible, but even to lay before us the true meaning of faith as the main factor of justification before God.
The comprehension on the true Christian faith after the demise of Luther, however, appeared no more could be maintained, in the Protestant Church, even up to this day. This is the reason why, the first Church of God established by the servant of the Lord, upon the true faith of the Bible during the dark ages of religion, has now been split into so many churches and sects in this time of the end. Why? Sister Ellen G. White said:
'Different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessities of God's people at that time. Every new truth has made its way against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were tempted and tried. The Lord gives a special truth for the people in an emergency. Who dare refuse to publish it?'' The Great Controversy p. 609.
Due to the coming of several new Biblical doctrines, or new lights, one following the other, after Luther and his doctrinal viewpoint of 'The Just Shall Live by Faith', then the Christian world began to split into at least six main Christian Churches, namely: the Protestant Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church, the First-Day Adventists Church, and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. And even from the main Churches they have come out more than 200 sects of more Christian denominations. All of them have claimed to have the true Christian faith upon the same Bible as their foundation, and have Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Foundation of the true Faith
Faith is similar to the belief. To believe what? We must believe in all the words of the Holy Scriptures of the Bible. The Bible contains the Word of God, consists of The Law of the Ten Commandments and the rules of implementation of the Law. So keeping the Law and its rules of implementation, means maintaining order and discipline of religious life here on earth, according to the will of God. Therefore the Bible and all its truth should be made the foundation of our faith. But how could we get into comprehending the whole Bible and its content? And then to get them into the right practical doing of its words? Let us consult now to Moses the servant of the Lord. Moses was known as the first writer of the Bible. He was a law scientist and also a historian of the Creation. In his book of Deuteronomy chapter 29 : 29 he said:
'The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.'' Deuteronomy 29 : 29.
As a law scientist Moses had divided the Bible into two main portions. The first portion contains the Ten Commandments as the basic Law, and the second portion contains those things revealed ever since the time of Moses himself up to the time of his children and their posterities in the time of the end. Those things revealed ever since the time of Moses up to this time of the end, would become the rules of implementation of the Law, 'that we may do all the words of this Law.' ' Deuteronomy 29 : 29, thus he said.
From the prophecy of Zechariah chapter 4, which has been revealed in this time of the end, may it be understood that after Luther had rediscovered the Bible in the XV centuries, it later became the object of investigation of many generations up to this time of the end. Under the control of the Lord Himself Luther had emerged as the first reformer with his doctrinal point of 'The Just Shall Live by Faith.' John Knox later followed with his doctrinal point of 'The Holy Spirit.' And then respectively followed by John Wesley and his 'Grace', Alexander Campbell with his 'Baptism through immersion', William Miller and his 'Purification of the Sanctuary at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8 : 14, Ellen G. White with her Sabbath Truth, and Victor T. Houteff with his 'Coming Kingdom of the 144.000 elects in the Palestine'. The fact is now clear, that the Bible has been interpreted in seven stages, and then be cumulatively gathered in the golden bowl of Zechariah chapter 4. Thus is fulfilled the word of Moses, that those things that are fully revealed in this time of the end belong to us, that we may do the words of the Ten Commandments. The whole Bible has now been revealed in the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY. And John the Revelator shows us the spiritual identities of God's people at this time in the following words:
'And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.'.......worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of Prophecy.' 'Revelation 12: 17; 19 : 10.
The woman of the prophecy of Revelation 12 represents the Church of God or His people. Her child represents Jesus, because Jesus was born of the woman who represented the Jewish Church. Her seed represents the Christians; hence the remnant of her seed must inevitably represent the Christians who live in the time of the end. These remnant people of God would be markedly identified as the keepers of the Commandments of God, and the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY. Thus it is clear that they are the true people of God in this time of the end, because they have based their faith upon the Law of the Ten Commandments and its rules of implementation in the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY. To this end Sister White reminded us:
'There are many who claim to have faith, but how shall we know that it is genuine? The Lord has given us a test by which we may prove our profession and the profession of others. The prophet says, 'To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.'' Review and Herald, vol. 2, p. 513.
Through the prophecy of Isaiah we have been informed that the Basic Law and the Testimony or the Testimony of Jesus Christ which has been developed into The SPIRIT OF PROPHECY in the time of the end, would be testing us of all our words and deeds. Because they are the only foundation of our faith in this time of the end.
The true Faith will always be manifested in obedience to all the Laws and rules available
The servant of the Lord, Sister White said:
'Genuine faith will be manifested in good works; for good works are the fruits of faith.' ' 1 Selected Messages, p. 397.
Since faith without works is dead or nothing, then the true faith should be manifested in all the obedience to the Law and its rules of implementations as provided us in the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY. Nothing less than those available in the SPIRIT OF PROPHCY may fail to be obeyed, because that would mean transgression of the law or sin. Faith that is manifested in incomplete obedience to all the rules of the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY, would never justify the doer before the God.
After having promoted the doctrinal point, 'The Just Shall Live By Faith' by Luther ever since 1500, and after later it has been proven that the knowledge of the people on the justifying faith have been steadily waning, then again the Lord appointed His ministers, Waggoner and Jones, to proclaim the same message of faith before the session of the General Conference leadership in 1888 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. To this regard Sister White said:
'The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Savior, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus.......... This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure'.......
'For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message, in clear, distinct lines.' ' Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 91, 92, 93.
The Third Angel's Message is the Spirit of Prophecy of Sister White, which includes the message of Justification by Faith.
Why is it always neglected?
The third angel's message is the messages of the three angels prophesied in the Revelation 14 : 6 - 9. Due to the fact that every new message or new truth will never put away the previous messages, that have come earlier beforehand, so are the third angel's message that will not separate from the first and the second angel's messages. Thus are those three angels' messages to be found in the Spirit of Prophecy publications of Sister Ellen G. White.
Hence, that Sister White herself has emerged in the time of the end, as the sixth reformer after Luther, the first, then the third angel's message or the Spirit of Prophecy could not be separated from Luther's message of 'The Just Shall Live by Faith.' That is the reason why, the message of Justification by Faith, either by Luther or later by Waggoner and Jones, have been claimed by Sister White to be the message of the third angel. But how is the message treated when it was presented at the 1888 General Conference in Minneapolis? Sister White said:
'An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, and to accept this truth, lay at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord's message through Brethren E.J. Waggoner and A.T. Jones. By exciting that opposition Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them........The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action by our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world.' - 1 Selected Messages, p. 234, 235.
'The prejudices and opinions that prevailed at Minneapolis are not dead by any means; the seed shown there in some hearts are ready to spring into life and bear a like harvest. The tops have been cut down, but the roots have never been eradicated , and they still bear their unholy fruit to poison the judgment, pervert the perceptions, and blind the understanding of those with whom you connect, in regard to the message and the messengers.' - Testimonies to Ministers, p. 467.
May it be clear to all of us now, that the message of Justification by Faith has never before been heartily welcomed by the Seventh - day Adventist Leadership up to this day. And the consequence is clear that they have failed to manifest their obedience to all the commandments of God, as those specified in the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY.
'For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message, in clear, distinct lines.' - Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 91, 92, 93.
For years our people has been looking only to their ministers and expecting too much from the pulpit declamations and their Sabbath Schools, but not looking to Jesus through His testimonies in The SPIRIT OF PROPHECY. And this is the reason why the Lord has commissioned Waggoner and Jones to proclaim again the message of Justification by Faith in our midst as the first and the main part of the third angel's message. But how is this message received in our churches up to this day?
Most of the ministers would have claimed, that the message of 'justification by Faith' by Waggoner and Jones, have been later welcomed and received. There is no more any problem with the message now, they said. But for years to come our people may yet be looking to them and expecting much more from them. And yet from the fact their claims have not as yet been manifested in their obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus.
All the commandments of God are the basic Law of the kingdom of heaven. They are found in the Ten Commandments of the Decalogue's. They have been specified and detailed into the Holy Scriptures of the Bible. And the Bible itself has been fully interpreted into the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY in this time of the end. Therefore let us be aware, that the failure of most of our people to get the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY obeyed in their religious lives should have proven by itself that most of our people have lost sight of Jesus. Sister White has confirmed this condition in the following words:
'There are grand truths, long hidden under the rubbish of error, that are to be revealed to the people. The doctrine of justification by faith has been lost sight of by many who have professed to believe the third angel's message. The Holiness people have gone to great extremes on this point. With great zeal they have taught, 'Only believe in Christ, and be saved; but away with the Law of God. 'This is not the teaching of the word of God. There is no foundation for such a faith. This is not the precious gem of truth that God has given to His people for this time.' --- Review and Herald, August 13, 1889.
There are only One Lord, One Faith, and One Baptism
(Ephesians 4 : 5)
The above statement of Paul is very much encouraging to us as a people, because we are now united in the same Church of Laodicea. We all have the same Lord, the same faith, and the same baptism. However, with so many isms now dominating our perceptions on the Christian faith in this time of the end, that the words of Paul mentioned above are no more clearly seen in its practical doing among us. Actually, one Lord, one faith, and one baptism, are three inseparable factors, which play very decisive roles in our salvation. Therefore the failure of only one of the factors, to have them truly comprehended by every one of us, then all our efforts of salvation would be in a mess. Let us therefore try to deliberate them here again as follows:
1. O n e L o r d:
The Lord mentioned here is none other than Jesus Christ, our Savior. Since we have no more access to see Him or to talk with Him directly in this time, then the only access available to communicate with Him is by reading. After His departure to Heaven in 31, He has been represented here on earth by His Word to communicate with men. This is what the apostle John said:
'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. .............. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.' - John 1 : 1, 2, 14.
After His return to heaven in 31, then ever since only His Word was the media to represent Him here on earth to communicate with men. The Word meant here is the Word that is known ever since the beginning of the creation of our world. Thus not only the Word which was known in the time of Moses nor those that was known in the time of David, nor those only in the time of the apostles, but the whole Word of God which have been revealed up to this time of the end. In short, the entire Word of God beginning with those written by Moses up to those written by John the Revelator, and all their interpretations provided in The SPIRIT OF PROPHECY. So let it be comprehended that the Bible and the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY are the only Word of God in this time of the end, which are now representing Jesus among us. And they are the only One Lord for us.
Due to the fact that no prophecy has ever been satisfactory revealed in the Church up to this day, could you not imagine how empty we are in the knowledge of the 'One Lord.'
2. O n e F a i t h:
The true faith could always be marked by its foundation. And the foundation is none other than Jesus Himself. He is the only Lord in whom we fully believe and worship. And He is the only Lord, whom in this time of the end is represented by the Bible and the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY, to communicate with us. But due to our own spiritual declension that the servant of the Lord has to say:
'For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered,'. .. - Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 91, 92, 93.
'There are many who have a merely nominal faith, but this faith will not save you .Many believe in Christ because somebody does, because the minister has told them this or that; but if you rest your faith only on the minister's word, you will be lost. You must not do as did the foolish virgins, who, when the cry came, 'Behold, the bridegroom cometh,' found no oil in their vessels...' - Review and Herald, vol. 2, p. 335.
'The condition of the church at this time is pointed out in the Saviour's words in the Revelation: 'Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.' - The Great Controversy, p. 309.
It means that for years the people has been looking and expecting much from their General Conference of SDA and their ministers. They only have faith in the ministers, and not looking upon Jesus, the only Lord, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. For years they feed upon only sermons from the pulpits and the Sabbath School lessons, whereas so many words from The SPIRIT OF PROPHECY calling for revival and reformation have been neglected and rejected. Thus is the spiritual condition of our church with the people who have been satisfied with only their nominal faith, which has never been developed ever since baptism. And how is the church now dominated by the foolish virgins.
3. O n e B a p t i s m:
'Christ has made baptism the sign of entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He has made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Before man can find a home in the church, before passing the threshold of God's spiritual kingdom, he is to receive the impress of the divine name, The Lord our Righteousness.' Jeremiah 23 : 6.' - 6 Testimonies for the Church, p. 91.
Baptism is a sort of visa or a sign of entrance to the kingdom of God on earth. Through the right procedure of baptism, man could have obtained his new status as a citizen of the kingdom of God. Therefore, for a man to become one of God's people or a citizen of His kingdom, he must first comply with all the condition of repentance, before presenting himself to be baptized. In this regard Sister White said:
'The test of discipleship is not brought to bear as closely as it should be upon those who present themselves for baptism. It should be understood whether they are simply taking the name of Seventh-Day Adventists, or whether they are taking their stand on the Lord's side, to come out from the world and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing.' - 6 Testimonies, p. 95.
Despite having fully repented at the time of baptism, yet as long as we are still living here on this earth of sin, we would have sometimes fallen again and again. And through Solomon the prophet, however, the Lord has assured: 'For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.' - Proverbs 24 : 16.
Repentance would be the only main requirement, to be met by every one who wants to present them to the baptism. How far is the requirement to be met at the baptism? Let us turn to the experience of Nicodemus of how Jesus Himself had prepared him for his baptism. From the Spirit of Prophecy we read:
'When Nicodemus, a great teacher in Israel, came to Jesus, the Master laid before him the conditions of divine life, teaching him the very alphabet of conversion [from (A) --- to --- (Z)].' - 6 Testimonies, p. 154.
'The work for these last days is a missionary work. Present truth, from the first letter of its alphabet to the last, means missionary effort.' -- Counsels on Health, p. 300.
'Ministers should present the sure word of prophecy as the foundation of the faith of Seventh-Day Adventists. The prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation should be carefully studied, and in connection with them the words, 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' - Gospel Workers, p. 148.
If the gospel taught by Jesus to Nicodemus was yet limited to only the Old Testament Scriptures, it is no more so in this time of the end. The gospel proclamation in this time would include the whole Bible and its interpretations in the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY. This is according to the instructions given us through the prophecy of Zechariah chapter 4.
Fruit of the Holy Spirit is F a i t h, Fruit of F a i t h is the various Good Works
'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.' - Galatians 5 : 22, 23.
'Genuine faith will be manifested in good works, for good works are the fruits of faith.' - 1 Selected Messages, p. 397.
After His return to heaven in 31, Jesus had commissioned His Spirit to represent Him to continue His mission of salvation on the earth. Encumbered by His body of flesh and blood, it is impossible for Him to be everywhere to reach any one whom He wants to salvage. And that is why He has said:
'Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear (from Jesus), that shall he speak : and he will shew you things to come.' - John 16 : 13 (in bracket is added).
In fact, however, Jesus is also represented by His own Word, because John also said that,
'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. ' ........ And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.' - John 1 : 1, 2, 14.
It is clear, therefore, that the Holy Spirit and the Word would together dwell in every one of us as the people of God. As long as the truth of the gospel presented us by the Spirit, will not be neglected or rejected, just so long will the Spirit abide with us, and to produce fruits of 'love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance'. And then from the faith it is to emerge the various kinds of good works. The fruits of good works will inevitably be realized in the various practical doing of the Law of the Ten Commandments and its rules of implementation in the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY. These are the only good fruits of works in the sense of the Bible.
Since the foundation of the true f a i t h in God, is the Law of Ten Commandments and its rules of implementation in the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY, then the classification of all the good fruits of works could be observed on the following chart.
But how could it be otherwise, when we are not willing to be led by the Spirit unto a certain new light or new truth? And what is the consequence when we would have never come to having all the truths of the gospel? What is the consequence when the various prophecies and the parables of Jesus, foretelling our destiny in the future, are yet to be rejected? The servant of the Lord has ever since warned us as follows:
'New light will ever be revealed on the word of God to him who is in living connection with the Sun of Righteousness. Let no one come to the conclusion that there is no more truth to be revealed. The diligent, prayerful seeker for truth will find precious rays of light yet to shine forth from the word of God. Many gems are yet scattered that are to be gathered together to become the property of the remnant people of God." - Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 34 (1892).
'The truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing light.' - Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 33.
'There is no excuse for anyone in taking the position that there no more truth to be revealed, and that all our expositions of Scriptures are without an error. The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people is not a proof that our ideas are infallible. Age will not make error into truth' -- Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 35.
Saved by G r a c e, Justified by F a i t h
'For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' - John 3 : 16.
Sin is the transgression of the Law, and the wage of sin is death. Adam and Eve were the very first sinners on the earth. The servant of the Lord said: 'Adam and Eve at their creation had knowledge of the original law of God. It was imprinted upon their hearts, and they were acquainted with the claims of the law upon them.' - Review & Herald, April 29, 1875. To Adam, the Lord had commanded him in the following words:
'Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.' - Genesis 2 : 16, 17.
'The death penalty' pronounced upon Adam by the Lord God is definitive. It is the everlasting death, which is also known as the second death, from which there is no more resurrection. It is not the death commonly suffered by our loved ones up to this day. Because they are yet to be resurrected either in the coming resurrection of the blessed ones at the second coming of Jesus, or in the mixed resurrection of the Laodiceans, prior to the second coming of Jesus.
The fact in the case of Adam and Eve, however, is otherwise. Although both of them had sinned for eating fruits of the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they had not died. They even had been prolonged their lives for several hundred years more before they died. Adam appeared to be permitted to live longer up to 930 years on the earth outside his former home of Eden. To this circumstance the servant of the Lord said:
'Adam listened to the words of the tempter and yielding to his insinuation fell into sin. Why was not the death penalty at once enforced in his case?' .... Because a ransom was found. God's only begotten Son volunteered to take the sin of man upon Himself, and to make an atonement for the fallen race. There could have been no pardon for sin had this atonement not been made.' - Review and Herald, April 23, 1901.
Though the death penalty was not at once enforced in the day of their falling, yet as soon as in the same moment they had been driven out of the Eden home. This could be understood, because after falling in sin they should have in need of food to eat at least two to three times a day. Whereas they were no more permitted access to the trees of life to eat of their fruits to maintain the eternal life in Eden.
The salvation by grace by itself, is in fact, has no more power to bring them back into their Eden home, but only to suspend their death penalty for a certain period of probation to enable them to repent. That is the reason why Adam had been permitted to live longer up to 930 years of age. And during that time of probation he had been instructed to rebuild his faith in Jesus as his Lord and Savior to evade the everlasting ruin and death that are yet to come upon the earth as the result of sin. Thus it was, as soon as they had been driven out of Eden, then to both of them had been instructed to carryout a ceremonial system by offering a lamb sacrificed upon an altar to symbolize Jesus as the Lamb of God to be sacrificed to death on the Calvary hill in Palestine to bear the sins of men. Thus is the way of how God had made known His only begotten Son Jesus as their Lord and Savior to all the inhabitants of the earth.
The salvation by grace is not to bring us directly back to heaven, but just too firstly make known to us Jesus the Word as outlined in the testimonies of His Spirit, in the SPIRIT OF PROPHECIES. Only upon the Law and its rules of implementations in the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY, that we could build the true faith that justifies. Let us learn from the experience of Adam and Eve his wife in the following story:
'After their sin Adam and Eve were no longer to dwell in Eden. They earnestly entreated that they might remain in the home of their innocence and joy. They confessed that they had forfeited all right to that happy abode, but pledged themselves for the future to yield strict obedience to God. But they were told that their nature had become depraved by sin; they had lessened their strength to resist evil and had opened the way for Satan to gain more ready access to them. In their innocence they had yielded to temptation; and now, in a state of conscious guilt, they would have less power to maintain their integrity.
'In humility and unutterable sadness they bade farewell to their beautiful home and went forth to dwell upon the earth, where rested the curse of sin. The atmosphere, once so mild and uniform in temperature, was now subject to marked changes, and the Lord mercifully provided them with a garment of skins as a protection from the extremes of heat and cold.
'As they witnessed in drooping flower and falling leaf the first signs of decay, Adam and his companion mourned more deeply than men now mourn over their dead. The death of the frail, delicate flowers was indeed a cause of sorrow; but when the goodly trees cast off their leaves, the scene brought vividly to mind the stern fact that death is the portion of every living thing.
'The Garden of Eden remained upon the earth long after man had become an outcast from its pleasant paths. The fallen race was long permitted to gaze upon the home of innocence, their entrance barred only by the watching angels. At the cherubim-guarded gate of Paradise the divine glory was revealed. Hither came Adam and his sons to worship God. Here they renewed their vows of obedience to that law the transgression of which had banished them from Eden. When the tide of iniquity over spread the world, and the wickedness of men determined their destruction by a flood of waters, the hand that had planted Eden withdrew it from the earth. But in the final restitution, when there shall be 'a new heaven and a new earth' (Revelation 21 : 1), it is to be restored more gloriously adorned than at the beginning. - Patriarchs and Prophets pp. 61 & 62.
Building f a i t h in Jesus Christ
Due to having been saved by grace, that we are yet alive now. Not only to live freely as we wish, however, but that we are able to reconcile with God in His Church of Seventh-Day Adventist, specifically in the association of the five wise virgins or the wheat. Because only here could we be led 'to believe in Him (Jesus) that we should not perish, but have everlasting life.' - John 3 : 16. Because only here is the true foundation of faith, which is the Bible and the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY could be found.
Have faith in Jesus, or believe in Jesus Christ, in this time, could no more suffice by only listening to sermons from the pulpits, nor from the Sabbath School lessons, because they are no more presenting us the true foundation of our faith in Jesus Christ, just for this time of the end. Because no more prophecies and the parables of Jesus, which deal specifically with the destiny of our salvation, could be obtained in the churches. Whereas the servant of the Lord has ever before warned us as follows:
'I was shown that merely observing the Sabbath and praying morning and evening are not positive evidences that we are Christians. These outward forms may all be strictly observed, and yet true godliness be lacking.' - Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 305.
'There are many who profess Christ, but who never become mature Christians' - 2 Review and Herald, p. 403.
J u s t i f i c a t i o n b y F a i t h
We have quoted herewith several statements from the servant of the Lord, which deal specifically with our subject here discussed.
(1) F a i t h
'The faith that is unto salvation is not a casual faith, it is not the mere consent of intellect, it is belief rooted in the heart, that embraces Christ as personal Saviour, assured that He can save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him.' - 1 Selected Messages, p. 391.
'Faith is the only condition upon which justification can be obtained, and faith includes not only belief but trust.' - 1 Selected Messages, p. 389.
'The truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing light.' - Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 33.
Attention: The foundation of faith is the truth. Due to the fact that the truth is an advancing truth, then faith would also advance accordingly. The consequence is that obedience and works must also advance accordingly.
'He who waits for entire knowledge before he will exercise faith cannot receive blessing from the God.' - Gospel Workers, p. 260.
'His faith must be made perfect by works, for faith alone is dead. It must be sustained by works. A living faith is always manifested by works.' - 1 Testimonies, p. 620.
'Genuine faith will be manifested in good works; for good works are the fruits of faith. As God works in the heart, and man surrenders his will to God, and cooperates with God, he works out in the life what God works in by the Holy Spirit, and there is harmony between the purpose of the heart and the practice of the life. Every sin must be renounced as the hateful thing that crucified the Lord of life and glory, and the believer must have a progressive experience by continually doing the works of Christ. It is by continual surrender of the will, by continual obedience, that the blessing of justification is retained.' - 1 Selected Messages, p. 397.
The Resume: Faith is not a belief and works that are only casual. Faith needs a long process that covers the whole span of our life time. Thus will the Holy Spirit dwell within us? It will dwell within us as long as we are not to reject any new light or new truth presented us in the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY. Only such a faith that is leading us to the justification in the sight of God. 'Christ dwells in the heart by faith; and through cooperation with the divine, the power of man becomes efficient for good.' - Desire of Ages, p. 297.
'Justification is a full, complete pardon of sin. The moment a sinner accepts Christ by faith, that moment he is pardoned. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him, and he is no more to doubt God's forgiving grace.' - EGW SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 - A, p. 295.
'Pardon and justification is one and the same thing. Through faith, the believer passes from the position of a rebel, a child of sin and Satan, to the position of a loyal subject of Christ Jesus, not because of an inherent goodness, but because Christ receives him as His child by adoption. The sinner receives the forgiveness of his sins, because these sins are borne by his Substitute and Surety.' - Ibid. p. 294.
Attention: As soon as one begins to have faith in Jesus Christ, at the same moment he would be pardoned of all his sins. The practical doing of this sense should have been realized the moment after the baptism, because 'Christ has made baptism the sign of entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He has made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.' - 6 Testimonies, p. 91.
However, the servant of the Lord said: 'There are many who have a merely nominal faith, but this faith will not save you .Many believe in Christ because somebody does, because the minister has told them this or that; but if you rest your faith only on the minister's word, you will be lost. You must not do as did the foolish virgins, who, when the cry came, 'Behold, the bridegroom cometh,' found no oil in their vessels...' - Review and Herald, vol. 2, p. 335.
How to Test Our F a i t h
Faith is the belief that followed by works of obedience. Faith without works is not faith in the sense of the Bible truth. Therefore, to test faith of a man, it is enough to get his works is tested if they are truly right according to the Law and its rules of implementation in the SPIRIT OF RPOPHECY. But people might also ask the following question: Why is the justification be pronounced upon faith and not upon works? Are they not works that have decided the right or wrong of a faith? The apostle Paul gave us the following answer:
'Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.' - Romans 4 : 4, 5.
Apostle Paul said that every work or any act of doing things deserves a payment. But the blessing of justification from Christ is not a payment as a counter to the services given, but purely a grant or gift presented to them that believe and trust in Jesus Christ, who has shown their faith in Him by their practical doing of His Law. Thus is the blessing of justification be granted to them for their faith (believe and works), and not for their works only.
Despite every work is a realization of those things fixed and believed in the mind, not all the works are the fruits of faith in Jesus Christ. To this end Sister White said:
'Feeling is not faith. Faith is simply to take God at His word.' 'Many of us walk by sight, and not by faith. We believe the things that are seen, but not appreciate the precious promises given us in God's Word;'. - 1 Testimonies, p. 620; 1 Selected Messages, p. 350.
Having only the nominal faith at the time of their baptism, most of our people now have no more advanced than the same faith. They then walk only by sight, and then base their faith upon their feeling. They have been confirmed in the feeling of happiness and safety under the big name of Seventh-Day Adventist Church as a world organization, for its popularity in the whole world, for having so many institutes of High Learning, for having so many well-known hospitals and Health Care in many parts of the earth. But the servant of the Lord said :
'For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message, in clear, distinct lines.' - Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 91, 92, 93.
'There are many who claim to have faith, but how shall we know that it is genuine? The Lord has given us a test by which we may prove our profession and the profession of others. 'To the Law and to the Testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.' - 2 Review and Herald, p. 513.
As a people of God now living in this time of the end, we should have understood that the whole 'Testimonies' have been revealed and developed in the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY, consist of the Spirit of Prophecy of the third angel's message, and the Shepherd's Rod of the message of the angel of Revelation 18 : 1. Both messages have now been united in the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY to enlighten the earth with its glory. beginning in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Isaiah, in his prophetic word for this time of the end, had said: 'To the Law and to the Testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.' - Isaiah 8 : 20. The Law means the basic law of the Ten Commandments and its rules of implementations in THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY. And to this all Sister White again said:
'We are accountable only for the light that shines upon us. The commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus are testing us. If we are faithful and obedient, God will delight in us, and bless us as His own chosen, peculiar people. When perfect faith and perfect love and obedience abound, working in the hearts of those who are Christ's followers, they will have a powerful influence." --- 1 Testimony Treasures, p. 288.
Sanctified by Christ Righteousness
'For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again; but the wicked shall fall into mischief.' - Proverbs 24 : 16.
A just man here is a man of faith. The Biblical number 'seven' means completeness. Due to his faith upon the Law and the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY, every time he falls in sin, he would have risen again, and his sin would also be forgiven him soon after that. Nevertheless, this does not mean that he is now a holy man, so that he should have been free from death. The wage of sin is death, but the wage of the just man who falleth seven times and riseth up again is the everlasting life, because he has his sin forgiven.
But, due to the fact that even Abraham, as the father of all men of faith, Martin Luther, the father of Protestant Reformation, Sister White, the founder of Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Victor T. Houteff, the revelator of the all Bible prophecies and the parables of Jesus, and all other saints are yet now sleeping in the dust of the earth, the question may arise, what does it mean by 'sanctification by Christ's righteousness? Is a sanctified man could be free of death? Let us now investigate into the following explanation given by Sister White:
'The Scriptures plainly show that the work of sanctification is progressive. When in conversion the sinner finds peace with God through the blood of atonement, the Christian life has but just begun. Now he is to 'go on unto perfection;' to grow up 'unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.' Says the apostle Paul: 'This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.' - Philippians 3 : 13, 14. And Peter sets before us the steps by which Bible sanctification is to be attained. 'Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity '' If ye do these things, ye shall never fall.' - 2 Peter 1 : 5 - 10.
'Those who experience the sanctification of the Bible will manifest a spirit of humility. Like Moses, they have had a view of the awful majesty of holiness, and they see their own unworthiness in contrast with the purity and exalted perfection of the Infinite One.' - The Great Controversy, p. 470.
There are three stages we have to pass in our religious life. The first stage is when we have been saved by grace. By the grace of the Lord and through His own providence, every one of us has been brought to the message of salvation. As well as how Adam and Eve had been saved by grace to get their lives prolonged several more hundreds years to rebuild their faith in Jesus. Then the second stage, which is by faith we will be justified. And here is the Christian life begins. Then comes the third stage which is 'the sanctification by Christ righteousness.' Here we are to walk several steps by which Bible sanctification is to be attained. 'If we do these things, we shall never fall', thus said the apostle.
C o n c l u d e d
'Christ came to this earth and lived a life of perfect obedience, that men and women, through His grace might also live lives of perfect obedience. This is necessary to their salvation. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.' - Review and Herald, vol. 5, p. 222.
'All our preparation for heaven must be completed here. When Christ comes, our characters will not be changed. These vile bodies will be changed, and fashioned after the likeness of His glorious body; but there will not be a moral change wrought in us then.' -- Review and Herald, vol. 2, p. 236.
'Remember that the character building is not finished till life ends.' - In heavenly Places, p. 226.
'The work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups. The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want of these qualities in another.' - Review and Herald, vol. 5, p. 184.
'The Lord works in cooperation with the will and action of the human agent. It is the privilege and duty of every man to take God at His word, to believe in Jesus as his personal Saviour, and to respond eagerly, immediately, to the gracious propositions which He makes. He is to study (from A --- to --- Z) to (understand and) believe and obey the divine instruction in the Scriptures. He is to base his faith not on feeling but upon evidence and the Word of God. (MS 3, 1895).' - EGW. Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 928 (In bracket is added).
'There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is the ways of death.' - Proverbs 16 : 25.
'Faith in a lie will not have a sanctifying influence upon the life or character. No error is truth, or can be made truth by repetition, or by faith in it. Sincerity will never save a soul from the consequences of believing an error. Without sincerity there is no true religion, but sincerity in a false religion will never save a man. I may be perfectly sincere in following a wrong road, but that will not make it the right road, or bring me to the place I wished to reach. The Lord does not want us to have a blind credulity, and call that the faith that sanctifies. The truth is the principle that sanctifies, and therefore it becomes us to know what truth is. We must compare spiritual things with spiritual. We must prove all things, but hold fast only that which is good, that which bears the divine credentials, which lays before us the true motives and principles which should prompt us to action. 'Letter 12, 1890.' -- 2 Selected Messages, p. 56.
'Humanity lays hold upon divine power, Christ dwells in the heart by faith; and through cooperation with the divine, the power of man becomes efficient for good...' -- Desire of Ages, p. 297.
* * *