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Re: The Conversion Controversy #11004
11/13/04 02:59 AM
11/13/04 02:59 AM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
The phrase "perfection of character" can be taken to mean different things. One way of looking at it is in the sense of not commiting known sins. In this sense I agree with you that perfection of character has always been available to all believers from Adam and Even until now.

However, the work of the 144,000 is to perfectly reproduce Christ's character. That is dependent on the message which makes that possible, the "loud cry of the third angel's message", "the latter rain", "the counsel of the True Witness" whatever you want to call it.

The reproduction of Christ's character is dependent on the message which makes that possible. That's what Seventh-day Adventism is all about.

Re: The Conversion Controversy #11005
11/13/04 03:46 AM
11/13/04 03:46 AM
Mountain Man  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22,256
Southwest USA
Tom, I agree there are different levels of perfection. Jesus clearly demonstrated this truth as He grew in grace, as He perfected His character from childhood to manhood. The same is true of born again believers. Which one of the following quotes do you think supports the idea that only the 144,000 can attain to the completeness of Christian character, to perfection of character?

AA 551
The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within. {AA 551.1}

AA 531
None need fail of attaining, in his sphere, to perfection of Christian character. By the sacrifice of Christ, provision has been made for the believer to receive all things that pertain to life and godliness. God calls upon us to reach the standard of perfection and places before us the example of Christ's character. In His humanity, perfected by a life of constant resistance of evil, the Saviour showed that through co-operation with Divinity, human beings may in this life attain to perfection of character. This is God's assurance to us that we, too, may obtain complete victory. {AA 531.2}

FLB 44
God's ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. . . . The plan of redemption contemplates our complete recovery from the power of Satan. Christ always separates the contrite soul from sin. He came to destroy the works of the devil, and He has made provision that the Holy Spirit shall be imparted to every repentant soul, to keep him from sinning. {FLB 44.3}

The tempter's agency is not to be accounted an excuse for one wrong act. Satan is jubilant when he hears the professed followers of Christ making excuses for their deformity of character. It is these excuses that lead to sin. There is no excuse for sinning. A holy temper, a Christlike life, is accessible to every repenting, believing child of God. {FLB 44.4}

The ideal of Christian character is Christlikeness. As the Son of man was perfect in His life, so His followers are to be perfect in their life. . . . He bids us by faith in Him attain to the glory of the character of God. {FLB 44.5}

A well-balanced character is formed by single acts well performed. One defect, cultivated instead of being overcome, makes the man imperfect, and closes against him the gate of the Holy City. . . . In all the redeemed host not one defect will be seen. . . . {FLB 44.6}

1MCP 339
Some of these persons will never attain to perfection of Christian character because they do not see the value and necessity of such a character. Their minds cannot be elevated so that they will be charmed with holiness. Self-love and selfish interests have so warped the character that they cannot be made to distinguish the sacred and eternal from the common.--2T 519, 520 (1870). {1MCP 339.3}

3SM 148
We can never see our Lord in peace, unless our souls are spotless. We must bear the perfect image of Christ. Every thought must be brought into subjection to the will of Christ. As expressed by the great apostle, we must come "unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." We shall never attain to this condition without earnest effort. We must strive daily against outward evil and inward sin, if we would reach the perfection of Christian character.--The Review and Herald, May 30, 1882. {3SM 148.3}

2T 588
We are seeking for purity and holiness of life, that we may at last be fitted for the heavenly society in the kingdom of glory; and the only means to attain this elevation of Christian character is through Jesus Christ. There is no other way for the exaltation of the human family. {2T 588.1}

4T 54, 55
You need a deep and thorough work accomplished for you. Your entire family needs it, and may God help you all to attain perfection of Christian character. {4T 54.3}

4T 400
The word of God sets a high mark before you. Will you, through fasting and prayerful effort, attain to the completeness and consistency of Christian character? {4T 400.2}

Re: The Conversion Controversy #11006
11/13/04 03:51 AM
11/13/04 03:51 AM
Mountain Man  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22,256
Southwest USA
Daryl, the following quote was posted immediately prior to the question you posted, what do you think it means, if it doesn't imply some will barely survive by the skin of their teeth? Does this passage give you the impression they are spiritual giants, whose walk in the Lord makes Sister White's, or some other mature believer, look adolescent?

GC 622
Those who exercise but little faith now, are in the greatest danger of falling under the power of satanic delusions and the decree to compel the conscience. And even if they endure the test they will be plunged into deeper distress and anguish in the time of trouble, because they have never made it a habit to trust in God. The lessons of faith which they have neglected they will be forced to learn under a terrible pressure of discouragement. (GC 622)

Re: The Conversion Controversy #11007
11/14/04 03:42 AM
11/14/04 03:42 AM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
Mike, was that a trick question? I didn't see a single quote that related to the 144,000. Could you give me another list please?

Re: The Conversion Controversy #11008
11/14/04 06:10 PM
11/14/04 06:10 PM
Mountain Man  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2000
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Come on, Tom, that's the whole point. Nowhere in the Bible or the SOP does it say only the 144,000 will attain to the completeness of Christian character. It seems to me you are saying the opposite. Did I misunderstand you? That list of quotes make it obvious that everyone in heaven will have attained to character perfection - including the thief on the cross.

Yes, that's right, even people like the thief on the cross must crucify all of their defective traits of character in order to be admitted in heaven. That's what it means to be born again - dead to sin and awake to righteousness. The thief on the cross experienced the miracle of rebirth before he died on the cross, thus the biblical description of a born again believer applies to him, and others like him.

We are born again complete in Christ, and then we spend the rest of our life "perfecting holiness." 2 Cor 7:1. It says "perfecting holines", not accumulating holines, or swapping sin for righteousness. Whether we die the day we're born again or many years later, the fact remains - we are born again complete in Christ, and as such we are worthy to receive eternal life. Jesus will not have to change the character of the thief when He returns and resurrects him. It was changed before he died.

John
3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Romans
6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:
6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Ephesians
4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

1 Peter
1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

"For he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God." 1 Peter 4:1, 2. If we take our eyes off Jesus and fall into sin, the gift of repentance restores the relationship our sin severed. "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:1, 2.

Re: The Conversion Controversy #11009
11/14/04 06:59 PM
11/14/04 06:59 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
What do you see as the significance of the 144,000? Do you see any significance in Christ's work in the Most Holy Place?

What do you make of the statement in Christ's Object Lessons which says when Christ's character is perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come and claim them as his own? If every Christian perfectly reproduces Christ's character, then this has been happening since forever. Yet Christ hasn't come. Odd.

Re: The Conversion Controversy #11010
11/14/04 07:46 PM
11/14/04 07:46 PM
Mountain Man  Offline OP
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20000+ Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22,256
Southwest USA
The only thing significantly different about the 144,000 (so far as attaining to perfection of Christian character is concerned) is that they will be alive when 1) their names come up during the investigative judgment, 2) their record and memory of specific sins is blotted out, 3) during the MOB crisis, 4) probation closes, 5) the plagues are poured out, 6) during Jacob's time of trouble, and 7) Jesus returns. They will also be the only ones allowed in the temple in heaven.

Those differences are significant indeed. But every truly born again believer is born again complete in Christ. We are born again dead to sin and awake to righteousness. Our old man habits of sin, our defective traits of character, are confessed and crucified during the process of conversion. But just because we born again complete in Christ it does not mean that every church member has been truly born again.

6BC 1075
The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ (MS 148, 1897). {6BC 1075.7}

9T 187, 188
We have a character to maintain, but it is the character of Christ. Having the character of Christ, we can carry on the work of God together. The Christ in us will meet the Christ in our brethren, and the Holy Spirit will give that union of heart and action which testifies to the world that we are children of God. May the Lord help us to die to self and be born again, that Christ may live in us, a living, active principle, a power that will keep us holy. {9T 187.4}

That quote in COL 69 is referring to a shaken and purified church.

9T 15, 16
Soon the battle will be waged fiercely between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. Soon everything that can be shaken will be shaken, that those things that cannot be shaken may remain. {9T 15.5}

LDE 174, 179
In the absence of the persecution there have drifted into our ranks men who appear sound and their Christianity unquestionable, but who, if persecution should arise, would go out from us.--Ev 360 (1890). {LDE 174.1}

When the law of God is made void the church will be sifted by fiery trials, and a larger proportion than we now anticipate will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.--2SM 368 (1891). {LDE 174.2}

The great issue so near at hand [enforcement of Sunday laws] will weed out those whom God has not appointed and He will have a pure, true, sanctified ministry prepared for the latter rain.--3SM 385 (1886). {LDE 179.2}

Re: The Conversion Controversy #11011
11/14/04 08:28 PM
11/14/04 08:28 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
The Spirit of Prophesy tells us that Christ will come when His character is perfectly reproduced in His people. His people are those who believe in Him. According to you, this has always been the case (i.e., His people always perfectly reproduce His character). Yet the fact that Christ hasn't come indicates that His character has *not* been perfectly reproduced in His people.

The 144,000 will stand before a holy God without a mediator. Noone else has done that. That's a significant difference.

Do you see any siginificance in Christ's ministry in the Most Holy Place? What is He doing? How long does it take for God to investigate the books in heaven? Less than a second, right? So why hasn't Christ come?

Re: The Conversion Controversy #11012
11/14/04 09:20 PM
11/14/04 09:20 PM
V
vastergotland  Offline
Active Member 2011
3500+ Member
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 3,965
Sweden
quote:
Originally posted by Mike Lowe:
The only thing significantly different about the 144,000 (so far as attaining to perfection of Christian character is concerned) is that they will be alive when 1) their names come up during the investigative judgment, 2) their record and memory of specific sins is blotted out, 3) during the MOB crisis, 4) probation closes, 5) the plagues are poured out, 6) during Jacob's time of trouble, and 7) Jesus returns. They will also be the only ones allowed in the temple in heaven.


Mike
You read all of that from the few verses describeing this group in the bible? And how does that last sentence go together with rev 21:22 which says that the new Jerusalem will have no temple for God himself is the temple of the city?

Tom
Where does it say that the 144000 will be special in standing before God without a meditator? In rev 14 they are standing WITH the lamb singing a new song before the heavenly court.

/Thomas

Re: The Conversion Controversy #11013
11/14/04 09:54 PM
11/14/04 09:54 PM
Mountain Man  Offline OP
SDA
Charter Member
Active Member 2019

20000+ Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22,256
Southwest USA
Tom, the church has never been perfect. Not until the shaking will it be perfect. I've addressed your questions regarding the 144,000 and the MHP on the new thread you started.

Thomas, the things I listed regarding the 144,00 are implied in the Bible and spelled out in detail in the SOP. You are right, the temple is not located inside the City, it's situated outside on the mount.

Revelation
7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

EW 17-19
Then we looked up and saw the great city.... Then we began to look at the glorious things outside of the city.... We passed through the woods, for we were on our way to Mount Zion.... Mount Zion was just before us, and on the mount was a glorious temple, and about it were seven other mountains, on which grew roses and lilies.... And as we were about to enter the holy temple, Jesus raised His lovely voice and said, "Only the 144,000 enter this place," and we shouted, "Alleluia." {EW 18.2}

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