Faith and Works

MORNING TALK AT BASEL, SWITZERLAND, SEPTEMBER 17, 1885. PUBLISHED IN SIGNS OF THE TIMES, JUNE 16, 1890 .

"Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). There are many in the Christian world who claim that all that is necessary to salvation is to have faith; works are nothing, faith is the only essential. But God's Word tells us that faith without works is dead, being alone. Many refuse to obey God's commandments, yet they make a great deal of faith. But faith must have a foundation.

God's promises are all made upon conditions. If we do His will, if we walk in truth, then we may ask what we will, and it shall be done unto us. While we earnestly endeavour to be obedient, God will hear our petitions; but He will not bless us in disobedience. If we choose to disobey His commandments, we may cry, "Faith, faith, only have faith," and the response will come back from the sure Word of God, "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:20). Such faith will only be as sounding brass and as a tinkling cymbal. In order to have the benefits of God's grace we must do our part; we must faithfully work and bring forth fruits meet for repentance.

We are workers together with God. You are not to sit in indolence, waiting for some great occasion, in order to do a great work for the Master. You are not to neglect the duty that lies directly in your pathway, but you are to improve the little opportunities that open around you. . . .

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To Wrestle, Labour, and Strive

We are to do all that we can do on our part to fight the good fight of faith. We are to wrestle, to labour, to strive, to agonise to enter in at the strait gate. We are to set the Lord ever before us. With clean hands, with pure hearts, we are to seek to honour God in all our ways. Help has been provided for us in Him who is mighty to save. The spirit of truth and light will quicken and renew us by its mysterious workings; for all our spiritual improvement comes from God, not from ourselves. The true worker will have divine power to aid him, but the idler will not be sustained by the Spirit of God.

In one way we are thrown upon our own energies; we are to strive earnestly to be zealous and to repent, to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts from every defilement; we are to reach the highest standard, believing that God will help us in our efforts. We must seek if we would find, and seek in faith; we must knock, that the door may be opened unto us. The Bible teaches that everything regarding our salvation depends upon our own course of action. If we perish, the responsibility will rest wholly upon ourselves. If provision has been made, and if we accept God's terms, we may lay hold on eternal life. We must come to Christ in faith, we must be diligent to make our calling and election sure.

The forgiveness of sin is promised to him who repents and believes; the crown of life will be the reward of him who is faithful to the end. We may grow in grace by improving through the grace we already have. We are to keep ourselves unspotted from the world if we would be found blameless in the day of God. Faith and works go hand in hand; they act harmoniously in the work of overcoming. Works without faith are dead, and faith without works is dead. Works will never save us; it is the merit of Christ that will avail in our behalf. Through faith in Him, Christ will make all our imperfect efforts acceptable to God. The faith we are required to have is

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not a do-nothing faith; saving faith is that which works by love and purifies the soul. He who will lift up holy hands to God without wrath and doubting will walk intelligently in the way of God's commandments.

If we are to have pardon for our sins, we must first have a realisation of what sin is, that we may repent and bring forth fruits meet for repentance. We must have a solid foundation for our faith; it must be founded on the Word of God, and its results will be seen in obedience to God's expressed will. Says the apostle, "Without . . . [holiness] no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14).

Faith and works will keep us evenly balanced and make us successful in the work of perfecting Christian character. Jesus says, "Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter in the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). Speaking of temporal food, the apostle said, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). The same rule applies to our spiritual nourishment; if any would have the bread of eternal life, let him make efforts to obtain it.

We are living in an important and interesting period of this earth's history. We need more faith than we have yet had; we need a firmer hold from above. Satan is working with all power to obtain the victory over us, for he knows that he has but a short time in which to work. Paul had fear and trembling in working out his salvation; and should not we fear lest a promise being left us, we should any of us seem to come short of it, and prove ourselves unworthy of eternal life? We should watch unto prayer, strive with agonising effort to enter in at the strait gate.

Jesus Makes Up for Our Deficiency

There is no excuse for sin or for indolence. Jesus has led the way, and He wishes us to follow in His steps. He has

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suffered, He has sacrificed as none of us can, that He might bring salvation within our reach. We need not be discouraged. Jesus came to our world to bring divine power to man, that through His grace, we might be transformed into His likeness.

When it is in the heart to obey God, when efforts are put forth to this end, Jesus accepts this disposition and effort as man's best service, and He makes up for the deficiency with His own divine merit. But He will not accept those who claim to have faith in Him and yet are disloyal to His Father's commandment. We hear a great deal about faith, but we need to hear a great deal more about works. Many are deceiving their own souls by living an easy-going, accommodating, crossless religion.

But Jesus says, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24).

  

Ellen White Clearly Draws the Lines

PORTION OF A SERMON AT WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS, JULY 31, 1885, TITLED "THE TRUE STANDARD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS." PUBLISHED IN THE REVIEW AND HERALD, AUGUST 25, 1885 .

The question now to be asked is, Are the professed followers of Christ complying with the conditions upon which the blessing is pronounced? Are they separating in spirit and practice from the world? How hard to come out and be separate from worldly habits and customs! But let us look well to it that Satan does not allure and deceive us through false representations. Eternal interests are here involved. God's claims should come first; His requirements should receive our first attention.

Every child of fallen Adam must, through the transforming grace of Christ, become obedient to all God's requirements. Many close their eyes to the plainest teachings of His Word because the cross stands directly in the way. If they lift it, they must appear singular in the eyes of the world; and they hesitate and question and search for some excuse whereby they may shun the cross. Satan is ever ready, and he presents plausible reasons why it would not be best to obey the Word of God just as it reads. Thus souls are fatally deceived.

A Successful Deception

One of Satan's most successful deceptions is to lead men to claim to be sanctified, while at the same time they are living in disobedience to God's commandments. These are described by Jesus as those who will say, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?"

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Yes, those who claim to be sanctified have a great deal to say about being saved by the blood of Jesus, but their sanctification is not through the truth as it is in Jesus. While claiming to believe in Him, and apparently doing wonderful works in His name, they ignore His Father's law and serve as agents of the great adversary of souls to carry forward the work which he began in Eden, that of making plausible excuses for not obeying God implicitly. Their work of leading men to dishonour God by ignoring His law will one day be unfolded before them with its true results.

The conditions of eternal life are made so plain in God's Word that none need err, unless they choose error rather than truth because their unsanctified souls love the darkness rather than the light.

The lawyer who came to Christ with the question, "Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" thought to catch Christ, but Jesus laid the burden back upon the lawyer. "What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." Then said Christ, "Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live" (Luke 10:25-28). These words meet the individual cases of all. Are we willing to comply with the conditions? Will we obey God and keep His commandments? Will we be doers of the Word and not hearers only? God's law is as immutable and unchangeable as His character. Whatever men may say or do to make it void does not change its claims or release them from their obligation to obey.

We need divine enlightenment daily; we should pray as did David, "Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law" (Psalm 119:18). God will have a people upon the earth who will vindicate His honour by having respect to all of His commandments; and His commandments are not grievous, not a yoke of bondage. David prayed in his

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day, "It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law" (verse 126).

Not one of us can afford to dishonour God by living in transgression of His law. To neglect the Bible and give ourselves up to the pursuit of worldly treasure is a loss which is beyond estimate. Eternity alone will reveal the great sacrifice made by many to secure worldly honour and worldly advantages, at the loss of the soul, the loss of eternal riches. They might have had that life which measures with the life of God; for Jesus died to bring the blessings and treasures of heaven within their reach, that they might not be accounted poor and wretched and miserable in the high estimate of eternity.

None Enter As Commandment-breakers

None who have had the light of truth will enter the city of God as commandment-breakers. His law lies at the foundation of His government in earth and in heaven. If they have knowingly trampled upon and despised His law on the earth, they will not be taken to heaven to do the same work there; there is no change of character when Christ comes.

The character building is to go on during the hours of probation. Day by day their actions are registered in the books of heaven, and they will in the great day of God be rewarded as their works have been. It will then be seen who receives the blessing. "Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Revelation 22:14).

Those who make a raid against God's law are warring against God Himself; and many who are filled with the greatest bitterness against the commandment-keeping people of God make the loudest boast of living holy, sinless lives. This can be explained only in one way: they have no mirror in which to look to discover to themselves the deformity of their character. Neither Joseph, Daniel, nor any of the apostles claimed to be without sin. Men who have lived nearest to God, 

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men who would sacrifice life itself rather than to knowingly sin against Him, men whom God has honoured with divine light and power, have acknowledged themselves to be sinners, unworthy of His great favours. They have felt their weakness and, sorrowful for their sins, have tried to copy the pattern Jesus Christ.

Just Two Classes--Obedient and Disobedient

There are to be but two classes upon the earth, the obedient children of God and the disobedient. Upon one occasion Christ thus set before His hearers the judgement work: "When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.

"Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me.

"Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred, and fed Thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee? or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me" (Matthew 25:31-40).

Thus Christ identifies His interest with that of suffering humanity. Every attention given to His children He considers done to Himself personally. Those who claim modern

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sanctification would have come boastingly forward, saying, "Lord, Lord, do You not know us? Have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?" The people have described, who make these pretentious claims, apparently weaving Jesus into all their doings, fitly represent those who claim modern sanctification but who are at war with the law of God. Christ calls them workers of iniquity because they are deceivers, having on the garments of righteousness to hide the deformity of their characters, the inward wickedness of their unholy hearts.

Satan has come down in these last days to work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. His satanic majesty works miracles in the sight of false prophets, in the sight of men, claiming that he is indeed Christ Himself. Satan gives his power to those who are aiding him in his deceptions; therefore those who claim to have the great power of God can only be discerned by the great detector, the law of Jehovah. The Lord tells us if it were possible they would deceive the very elect. The sheep's clothing seems so real, so genuine, that the wolf can be discerned only as we go to God's great moral standard and there find that they are transgressors of the law of Jehovah.

Now, if There Was Ever a Time

If ever there was a time when we needed faith and spiritual enlightenment, it is now. Those who are watching unto prayer and are searching the Scriptures daily with an earnest desire to know and do the will of God will not be led astray by any of the deceptions of Satan. They alone will discern the pretext which cunning men adopt to beguile and ensnare. So much time and attention are bestowed upon the world, upon dress and eating and drinking, that no time is left for prayer and the study of the Scriptures.

We want the truth on every point, and we must search for it

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as for hid treasures. Dishes of fables are presented to us on every hand, and men choose to believe error rather than truth, because the acceptance of the truth involves a cross. Self must be denied; self must be crucified. Therefore Satan presents to them an easier way by making void the law of God. When God lets man have his own way, it is the darkest hour of his life. For a wilful, disobedient child to be left to have his own way, to follow the bent of his own mind and gather the dark clouds of God's judgement about him, is a terrible thing.

But Satan has his agents who are too proud to repent and who are constantly at work to tear down the cause of Jehovah and trample it under their feet. What a day of sorrow and despair when these meet their work with all its burden of results! Souls who might have been saved to Jesus Christ have been lost through their teachings and influence.

Christ died for them that they might have life. He opened before them the way whereby they might, through His merits, keep the law of God. Christ says, "I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it" (Revelation 3:8). How hard men work to close that door; but they are not able. John's testimony is, "And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament" (Revelation 11:19). Beneath the mercy seat, within the ark, were the two tables of stone, containing the law of Jehovah. God's faithful ones saw the light that shone forth to them from the law, to be given to the world. And now Satan's intense activity is to close that door of light; but Jesus says that no man can shut it. Men will turn from the light, denounce it, and despise it, but it still shines forth in clear, distinct rays to cheer and bless all who will see it.

God's children will have a fierce conflict with the adversary of souls, and it will become more exceedingly bitter as we approach the close of the conflict. But the Lord will help those who stand in defence of His truth.

FAITH IS AN ACT OF OBEDIENCE!

 

Faith is an action in yielding obedience to whatever God commands. In the individual experiences listed by Paul inHebrews Chapter 11 the expression “by faith” is followed by a verb – an action of obedience on the part of the individual involved.

 

Hebrews 11:1: -   “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

 

Paul illustrates this definition of faith by the many Scriptural examples he lists from the Old Testament writings.  Many of the godly patriarchs and prophets were not able to see the heavenly things that God had promised them with the natural eye; they could only behold them with the eye of faith.

 

By faith the Hebrew elders received a good witness with God.

Hebrews 11:2: -    “For by it the elders obtained a good report.”

           

 

Hebrews 11:3: -   “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

 

God spoke and it was so, because his Word is living and powerful.

Psalm 33:6 & 9: - “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. … For he spake, and it was [done]; he commanded, and it stood fast.

 

Hebrews 4:12: - “For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

 

By faith Abel offered (a verb of action on Abel’s part) a better sacrifice than Cain. Abel by his obedience in offering an animal sacrifice received the witness that he was righteous. Abel saw by faith the bleeding Lamb of God in his animal sacrifice. 

Hebrews 11:4: - “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” 

 

Genesis 4:3 - 7: - “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.  And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” 

 

John 1:29: - “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

 

Enoch was translated to heaven so that he would not taste of death, because he had pleased God during his lifetime. He pleased God by walking with him. Enoch’s walk with God was by faith.

Hebrews 11:5: -   “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” 

 

Genesis 5:21 - 24: - “And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.

 

The prophet Micah records what the Lord requires of us to please him: - to do justly or righteously; to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. Enoch would have fulfilled all these requirements for him to have pleased God.

Micah 6:8: - “He hath showed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”   

 

The Testimony of Jesus has recorded the truth, that Enoch’s character represents the character of the saints who will be alive to be translated without seeing death, at the 2nd Coming of Jesus.

Gospel Workers, 1892 Edition, p. 383: - “Enoch was a marked character. Many look upon his life as above what the generality of mortals can ever reach. But Enoch's life and character, which were so holy that he was translated to heaven without seeing death, represent what the lives and characters of all must be, if, like Enoch, they are subjects to be translated when Christ shall come. His life was what the life of every one may be who closely connects with God.” {GW92 383.1}

 

Hebrews 11:6: - “But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

 

Paul brings this point in here, because of his use of the example of Enoch in VS. 5. Faith is essential to pleasing God. It must be a faith that God exists, in WHO HE IS, and that he will reward those who diligently seek him. We must ask in faith without any doubt or wavering.

Mark 11:22 - 24: - “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you,What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them].

 

Noah by faith prepared the ark (a verb of action on Noah’s part) in obedience to all that the Lord had commanded him, and thus saved himself and his family from the floodwaters.

Hebrews 11:7: -   “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

 

Genesis 6:13 - 22: - “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this [is the fashion] which thou shalt make it [of]: The length of the ark [shall be] three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; [with] lower, second, and third [stories] shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein [is] the breath of life, from under heaven; [and] every thing that [is] in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every [sort] shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep [them] alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every [sort] shall come unto thee, to keep [them] alive.  And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather [it] to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

NOTE: - If Noah had possessed the “dead faith” of James 2:14 - 26 which is so popular among many professed Christians today, and had believed that God would bring a flood upon the world, but did not obey God’s command to build the ark, he would have perished with the rest of the wicked world. And because he was a righteous man in doing righteousness, he was chosen by the Lord to enter into the ark with his household. Righteousness by faith was the saving message in Noah’s day; it was righteousness performed by faith!

 

By faith Abraham obeyed (a verb of action on Abraham’s part) God’s call to leave his idolatrous family and go to a land unseen and unknown to him, which the Lord promised to him and his descendants would be an eternal inheritance. By faith he sojourned (a verb of action on Abraham’s part) in the Promised Land in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise. He obeyed God because he by faith looked for the Heavenly City – the New Jerusalem as his homeland. He understood by faith that he was to inherit the world made new with the New Jerusalem as its capital.

Hebrews 11:8 - 10: - “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as [in] a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker [is] God.” 

 

Genesis 12:1 - 4 & 7: - “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.  So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram [was] seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.  And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.”

 

Genesis 17:8: - “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

 

Romans 4:13: - “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, [was] not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

 

By faith Sarah received strength to conceive a son in her old age (a verb of action on Sarah’s part), because she judged God to be faithful who had promised an heir to Abraham. From this old man Abraham (who was about 100 years old), came so many descendants as many as the stars in the sky and as the sand that is upon the sea shore.

Hebrews 11:11 & 12: - “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, [so many] as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.”

 

Romans 4:17 - 22: - “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, [even] God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.” 

 

All these godly patriarchs died in faith not having received the promise of an eternal inheritance yet, but they saw the fulfillment of this promise by faith, confessing that they were only strangers and pilgrims upon the earth, because they were looking for a Heavenly Country and a City, which God has prepared for them, the Heavenly City – the New Jerusalem. They were seeking for the place of “many mansions” that Jesus has gone to heaven to prepare for the righteous.

Hebrews 11:13 - 16: -  “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”

 

John 14:2 & 3: - “In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also.” 

 

Hebrews 12:22: - “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.” 

 

By faith when Abraham was tested, he offered up (a verb of action on Abraham’s part) his only promised son Isaac upon the altar. God had promised Abraham “That in Isaac shall thy seed be called”  that is, all God’s promises to Abraham and his seed were through Isaac. Yet Abraham had faith that if he obeyed God’s voice and sacrificed Isaac, God was able to raise him up from the dead.

Hebrews 11:17 - 19: - “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten [son]. Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God [was] able to raise [him] up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” 

 

Abraham’s faith had to be tried or tested by the Lord with this final test relating to God’s command for Abraham to sacrifice his only promised son Isaac to the Lord. Abraham’s faith produced obedience to God’s command, and thus by his works his faith was made perfect or complete. And because of his obedience by faith he was called the “Friend of God”.

James 2:21 - 23: - “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

 

By faith Isaac blessed (a verb of action on Isaac’s part) his two sons concerning their respective futures – things that they could at that point of time only hope for – things not yet seen.

Hebrews 11:20: -   “By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.” 

 

Jacob’s blessing: -

Genesis 27:26 - 29: - “And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son [is] as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed: Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed [be] every one that curseth thee, and blessed [be] he that blesseth thee.” 

 

Esau’s blessing: -

Genesis 27:38 - 40: - “And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, [even] me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.

 

By faith Jacob as he lay dying blessed (that is a verb of action on Jacob’s part) Joseph’s two sons concerning their respective futures – things that were yet unseen.

Hebrews 11:21: - “By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, [leaning] upon the top of his staff.”

 

By faith Joseph as he was dying gave commandment (a verb of action on Joseph’s part) concerning his bones to be taken into the land that God had promised to the patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He had faith in God’s promise.

Hebrews 11:22: - “By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.”

 

Genesis 50:24 & 25: - “And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.” 

 

By faith Moses’ parents hid him (a verb of action on their part) for three months, not being afraid of the king’s commandment, concerning the Hebrew children.

Hebrews 11:23: -   “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw [he was] a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. 

 

Exodus 1:22: - “And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.”

 

Exodus 2:1 & 2: - “And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took [to wife] a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he [was a] goodly [child], she hid him three months.

 

By faith Moses when he was of age refused (a verb of action and of choice on Moses’ part) to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing (a verb of choice on Moses’ part) to suffer affliction with God’s people, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short lifetime. Moses had respect (a verb of action on Moses’ part) to the reward of the righteous, esteeming (a verb of action on Moses’ part) the reproach of Christ greater riches than the temporal treasures in Egypt.

Hebrews 11:24 - 26: - “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.”

 

By faith Moses forsook or left[1] Egypt (a verb of action on Moses’ part) at the time of the exodus of the children of Israel, not fearing the wrath of the king’s commandment to put him to death, if the king saw his face again, because Moses saw by faith the Invisible God.

Hebrews 11:27: - “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”

 

Exodus 10:27 - 29: - “But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go. And Pharaoh said unto him,Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in [that] day thou seest my face thou shalt die. And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.”

 

Exodus 11:4 - 8: - “And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt:  And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that [is] behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger.

 

By faith Moses kept (a verb of action on Moses’ part) the Passover and the sprinkling of blood that spared the children of Israel from the Destroying Angel.

Hebrews 11:28: - “Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.” 

 

Exodus 12:21 - 23: - “Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip [it] in the blood that [is] in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that [is] in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite [you].” 

 

By faith the children of Israel passed through the Red Sea (a verb of action on their part), while the Egyptians who attempted to follow in their path were drowned. They obeyed God’s command to “go forward”.

Hebrews 11:29: - “By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry [land]: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.”

 

By faith the walls of Jericho came tumbling down, after the children of Israel had compassed (a verb of action on their part) the walls of the doomed city for seven days

Hebrews 11:30: - “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.”

 

By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with the rest of Jericho – those  “that believed not”, when she received (a verb of action on her part) the spies in peace. She had faith that Israel’s God was the God of heaven and earth, and that he would conquer the city of Jericho.

Hebrews 11:31: - “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them *that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.”

NOTE: - The margin has “Or, that were disobedient.

 

 

Joshua 2:1 - 14: - “And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country. And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.  And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they [were]:  And it came to pass [about the time] of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them. But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof. And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.  And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof; And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that [were] on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard [these things], our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he [is] God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have showed you kindness, that ye will also show kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token: And [that] ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.

 

Hebrews 11:32: - “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and [of] Barak, and [of] Samson, and [of] Jephthae; [of] David also, and Samuel, and [of] the prophets.”

 

Hebrews 11:33 - 38: - “Who through faith subdued kingdoms,”

“wrought righteousness,”  - they worked or performed righteousness BY faith - that IS righteousness by faith.

“obtained promises,”

“stopped the mouths of lions,”  - the prophet Daniel – Daniel 6:19 - 23. He would not violate the 10 Commandments, and was delivered from the lions’ mouths because he believed in his God.

“quenched the violence of fire,” - the 3 Hebrew worthies – Daniel 3:16 - 18 & 28. They would not violate the 10 Commandments, and they were delivered from the fire because they trusted in their God.

“escaped the edge of the sword,”

“out of weakness were made strong,”

“waxed valiant in fight,”

“turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” 

“Women received their dead raised to life again:” - See 1 Kings 17:17 - 23; 2 Kings 4:31 - 37.

“and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.” - they looked forward by faith  to the time of the resurrection of the just.

And others had trial of [cruel] mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:” – Joseph -  Genesis 39:20 & 21; Jeremiah – Jeremiah 20:2 & 38:6.

“They were stoned,” – Naboth – 1 Kings 21:13.

“they were sawn asunder,”

“were tempted,”

“were slain with the sword:”

“they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;  (Of whom the world was not worthy:)” – Elijah -  2 Kings 1:8.

“they wandered in deserts, and [in] mountains, and [in] dens and caves of the earth.”  The faithful Obadiah hid the prophets of the Lord in caves – 1 Kings 18:4. David and Elijah also had to wander in the desolate places of the earth to escape their persecutors.

 

Hebrews 11:39 & 40: - “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” 



[1] This verse does NOT apply to Moses’ fleeing Egypt at 40 years of age when he killed an Egyptian, because he did  fear the king’s wrath – see Exodus 2:12 - 15.


IS OUR OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST’S COMMANDS AND REQUIREMENTS AS LAID DOWN IN THE SCRIPTURES ESSENTIAL TO OUR SALVATION?


I want to pose a simple question to start this study with: - Is our obedience to Christ’s commands and requirements as laid down in the Scriptures essential to our salvation?

 

 The overwhelming majority of Protestant Christians including the majority of Sabbath-keeping Adventists would answer this question with a definite “NO”! They teach that our obedience to Christ’s commands and requirements contained within the Scriptures plays no part in our salvation whatsoever. They assert that our obedience to Christ is only a fruit of our salvation. Coupled with this popular misconception is the Evangelical belief of “I AM SAVED”.

In this study I am going to give the simple but unambiguous Bible and Spirit of Prophecy evidence that answers the above question positively, with an unqualified “YES”! I shall also give you some very plain texts which disprove the “I AM SAVED” theory. It is almost like these professed Christians are reading a completely different Bible from us, for them to come up with such a radically different answer to such a simple but vital question. And the thing that will make this truth stand out even more pointedly, is the fact, that ALL the Bible texts that will be used within this study will be taken entirely from the New Testament Scriptures. Let us now proceed to examine the inspired evidence in support of this statement.


OUR OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST IS ESSENTIAL TO OUR SALVATION: -

 

 This SECTION of the study, will deal with the accusation of “Legalism”, that is often hurled at us by those of an Evangelical theology. And by Legalism, I mean the belief that our obedience through God’s enabling grace to God’s Moral Law is one essential part in our salvation. The other essential parts being repentance and faith in Christ as our Atoning Saviour. By the time I have finished this study, you will be able to clearly see that those who raise this accusation against us, are in fact the ones who are perverting the Scriptures and who are standing on the side of the “Modern Revivals” false gospel.

Jesus by learning obedience through the things which he suffered during his earthly life, has become the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey him.

Hebrews 5:8 & 9: - “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” 

Only those who do or perform the will of our heavenly Father shall be able to enter into heaven. While those who call Jesus Lord, but who are workers of iniquity, will not be able to enter into heaven.

Matthew 7:21 - 23: - “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

 

In Luke’s account of Jesus’ words, he quotes our Lord asking the relevant question, Why do we call him Lord, if we do not do the things that he tells us to?

Luke 6:46: - “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

 

Jesus taught that keeping the Ten Commandments was essential to entering into the experience of eternal life.

Matthew 19:16 - 19: - “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said,Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and [thy] mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”   

In the last book of the New Testament – the Book of Revelation, the saints of God at the end of time are clearly identified as being Commandment Keepers.

Revelation 12:17: - “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.”

Revelation 14:12: - “Here is the patience of the saints:here [are] they that keep the commandments of God,and the faith of Jesus.”

 

Jesus has stated in the Book of Revelation that those who do his Father’s Commandments will be able to enter into the New Jerusalem through its gates, while without the Holy City will be those who break God’s Commandments. This obedience to the Father’s Commandments is the doing of the Father’s will Jesus referred to inMatthew 7:21.

Revelation 22:12 - 16: - “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star.”

NOTE: - A careful reading of this entire passage reveals that there is no change of speaker throughout. Jesus is the One who is speaking to John all the words found within this passage. Therefore, the expression “his commandments” can only be referring to his Father’s Commandments; other wise, Jesus would have said “my commandments”. 

And this truth is clearly reinforced by the Spirit of Prophecy.

R. & H., Book 1, p. 18: - “Let those who break God's law and teach others to do so, denounce us as fallen from grace because we keep all ten of his immutable precepts, it will not harm us. We have the satisfaction of knowing, that while they curse, Jesus has pronounced a blessing.Says the true Witness, the only Begotten of the Father, "Blessed are they that do his [the Father's] commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the City." Rev. xxii, 14.”  {RH, June 10, 1852 par. 17}

 

Paul taught that the wrath of God comes upon the “children of disobedience”.

Ephesians 5:5 & 6: - “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 

Colossians 3:5 & 6: - “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.

 

The Testimony of Jesus has clearly defined the ONE way of salvation in the following statement. Its teachings are so clear that it should leave you in no doubt, that what is being taught concerning salvation by ALL the Protestant Churches, and by the SDA Denominational structure, is clearly out of harmony with the teachings of inspiration.

Sketches from the Life of Paul, p. 192: - “It is Satan's studied effort to divert the minds of men from the one way of salvation, -- faith in Christ, AND obedience to the law of God.


The following statement from the Testimony of Jesus is also very clear on the issue of obedience to God’s Law of Ten Commandments, being one of the necessary conditions to our receiving the favor of God. The other two conditions are, repentance for past transgressions, and faith in Christ’s atoning sacrifice.

Sketches from the Life of Paul, pp. 161 & 162: - “He [that is, Paul – compiler] vindicated the law of ten commandments, and held it up before the people as a rule of life. He showed that all men are under the most solemn obligation to obey that law, which Christ came to make honorable. He taught that Christ is the only one who can release men from the consequences of breaking the divine law; and that it is only by repentance for their past transgressions, faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ, and a life of obedience, that men can hope to receive the favor of God.  {LP 161.3}

 

The Testimony of Jesus has recorded the simple truth that from the very beginning of the revelation of the Plan of Salvation by Jesus to the Holy Angels, the Son of God revealed that through his ransom for fallen man, he would restore fallen man to favour with God, through the merits of his blood AND obedience to the Law of God.

Spirit of Prophecy, Volume 1, p. 45: - “He [that is, Jesus – compiler]  told them that he had been pleading with his Father, and had offered to give his life a ransom, and take the sentence of death upon himself, that through him man might find pardon; that through the merits of his blood, and obedience to the law of God, they could have the favor of God, and be brought into the beautiful garden, and eat of the fruit of the tree of life.” 

 

One of the most prominent of the false doctrines of the “Modern Revivals”, is that obedience to God’s Law is NOT necessary to salvation; that all we have to do is to believe in Jesus and we are safe or saved.

1884 Great Controversy, p. 297: - “How wide the contrast between these words of Paul and those that come from many of the pulpits of today. The people are taught that obedience to God's law is not necessary to salvation; that they have only to believe in Jesus, and they are safe.  {4SP 297.2}

NOTE: - This is the common Evangelical Protestant “I AM SAVED BY FAITH ALONE GOSPEL”. This now leads me to consider,WHY THE COMMON “I AM SAVED” TEACHING IS NOT BIBLICAL: -

(TO BE CONTINUED)

"REPENTANCE AND OBEDIENCE ARE THE PRICE OF DELIVERANCE FROM THE ENEMY". Anna DeMichael Hoehn

WHY THE COMMON “I AM SAVED” TEACHING IS NOT BIBLICAL: -


Paul has taught us that as we see the Day of Christ approaching, now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. Obviously our salvation was not assured or completed when we first believed in Christ.

Romans 13:11 & 12: - “And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” 

 

Paul has outlined for us the simple steps in salvation in the following passage: - We are made free from sin at justification; we then become servants to God, having our fruit unto holiness or sanctification. And the end result will be eternal life.

Romans 6:22: - “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to Godye have your fruit unto *holiness (sanctification), and the end everlasting life.

NOTE: - The Greek word that is translated as holiness” in the KJV is the word  – “hagiasmos” – See Strong’s Concordance; Greek, No. 38. It is translated in the King James New Testament as “holiness” or “sanctification”.

 

Jesus in his “Sermon on the Mount” has taught us that the narrow path leads to eternal life. This implies that it is a path that we have to travel upon, and at the end of which we will find eternal life.

Matthew 7:13 & 14: - “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.   

Jesus taught his disciples that we have to endure unto the end, in order to be saved.

Matthew 10:22: - “And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.


Matthew 24:12 & 13: - “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.


Mark 13:13: - “And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.


In each of the following four passages, the Greek verb that has been translated as “saved”in the KJV, is the word “sozo” – See Strong’s Concordance; Greek, No, 4982. It is defined as “save, keep from harm, preserve, rescue.” - A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, by Walter Bauer, p. 798.


In each of the following four passages, the inspired writers have chosen to use the Present Tense of this Greek verb, which indicates that it is a continuous or ongoing process. And this fact is confirmed by the reading of the Greek – English Interlinear of the New Testament, that is based upon the King’s James Greek Received Text.

Acts 2:47: - “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. 

NOTE: - The INTERLINEAR reading of the phrase that is highlighted reads as “those who were being saved”.


1st Corinthians 1:18: - “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

NOTE: - The INTERLINEAR reading of the phrase that is highlighted reads as “to us who are being saved”.


1st Corinthians 15:1 & 2: - “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” 

NOTE: - The INTERLINEAR reading of the phrase that is highlighted reads as “ye are being saved”.


2nd Corinthians 2:15: - “For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.”

NOTE: - The INTERLINEAR reading of the phrase that is highlighted reads as “in those being saved”.

 

It is those who endure temptation, that will receive “the crown of life”.

James 1:12: - “Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

 

Also let us never forget that it is the OVERCOMER who is promised to inherit ALL things that are promised for the righteous in the New Earth.

Revelation 21:7: - “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” 

 

The Testimony of Jesus has clearly labeled the common Evangelical “I AM SAVED” belief as being an erroneous doctrine.

R. & H., Book 2, pp. 403 & 404: - “We are never to rest in a satisfied condition, and cease to make advancement, saying, "I am saved." When this idea is entertained, the motives for watchfulness, for prayer, for earnest endeavor to press onward to higher attainments, cease to exist. No sanctified tongue will be found uttering these words till Christ shall come, and we enter in through the gates into the city of God. Then, with the utmost propriety, we may give glory to God and to the Lamb for eternal deliverance. As long as man is full of weakness, -- for of himself he cannot save his soul, -- he should never dare to say, "I am saved." It is not he that putteth on the armor that can boast of the victory; for he has the battle to fight and the victory to win. It is he that endureth unto the end that shall be saved. The Lord says, "If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." If we do not go forward from victory to victory, the soul will draw back to perdition. We should raise no human standard whereby to measure character. We have seen enough of what men call perfection here below. God's holy law is the only thing by which we can determine whether we are keeping his way or not. If we are disobedient, our characters are out of harmony with God's moral rule of government, and it is stating a falsehood to say, "I am saved." No one is saved who is a transgressor of the law of God, which is the foundation of his government in heaven and in earth.  {RH, June 17, 1890 par. 8}

 Another inspired truth that I want to consider now, which adds further inspired support as to why the “I Am Saved” teaching is erroneous, is the principle of


THE HOPE OF SALVATION: -

When we have experienced justification by faith, we now have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:1 & 2: - “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

This is an interesting but little noticed point of Bible truth, as the Bible writers teach us that we should have the hope of salvation, or the hope of eternal life.

Lamentations 3:26: - “[It is] good that [a man] should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.


1 Thessalonians 5:8: - “But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 


Titus 1:1 & 2: - “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” 


Titus 3:7: - “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

 

The Testimony of Jesus clearly encourages us to cherish the hope of salvation, but plainly warns us NOT to assert “I am Saved”. This is misleading, and was the root error that caused Peter to deny his Lord three times.

Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 155: - “Peter's fall was not instantaneous, but gradual. Self-confidence led him to the belief that he was saved, and step after step was taken in the downward path, until he could deny his Master. Never can we safely put confidence in self or feel, this side of heaven, that we are secure against temptation.Those who accept the Saviour, however sincere their conversion, should never be taught to say or to feel that they are saved. This is misleading. Every one should be taught to cherish hope and faith; but even when we give ourselves to Christ and know that He accepts us, we are not beyond the reach of temptation. God's word declares, "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried." Dan. 12:10. Only he who endures the trial will receive the crown of life. (James 1:12.)”  {COL 155.1}

Those who accept Christ, and in their first confidence say, I am saved, are in danger of trusting to themselves. They lose sight of their own weakness and their constant need of divine strength. They are unprepared for Satan's devices, and under temptation many, like Peter, fall into the very depths of sin. We are admonished, "Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall." 1 Cor. 10:12. Our only safety is in constant distrust of self, and dependence on Christ.”  {COL 155.2}


THE NEW TESTAMENT WITNESS CONCERNING GOOD WORKS OR WORKING RIGHTEOUSNESS: -


The inspired writers of the New Testament, including the Apostle Paul, have repeatedly exhorted believers in Christ to be fruitful in good works; to do righteousness, to be doers of the Word, and other like expressions. I shall now read these passages to you, without any comment, as they are so plain a child can understand what the Apostles of Jesus are teaching. I have found plain, unambiguous New Testament passages which teach this truth. Because of time constraints I will not share all these references with you. But I will share 

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 of the strongest and clearest passages with you. And in light of all these inspired witnesses from the New Testament Scriptures, it is amazing how the professedly Protestant churches can frown upon and deny the necessity of good works or doing righteousness. It is almost like they are reading a completely different Bible from us, as their beliefs are so contrary to the following New Testament passages.

  1. Matthew 5:16: - “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

 

  1. John 5:28 & 29: - “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” 


  1. Acts 10:34 & 35: - “Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” 

 

  1. Romans 2:7 – 10: - “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.”

 

  1. Romans 2:13: - “(For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” 

 

  1. 2nd Corinthians 9:8: - “And God [is] able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all [things], may abound to every good work.

 

  1. Galatians 6:8 – 10: - “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all [men],especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” 

 

  1. Ephesians 2:8 – 10: - “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
  2. Colossians 1:9 & 10: - “For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” 

 

  1. 2nd Timothy 3:15 – 17: - “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 


  1. Titus 2:13 & 14: - “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” 

 

  1.  Titus 3:8: - “[This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”


  1. Hebrews 11:32 & 33: - “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and [of] Barak, and [of] Samson, and [of] Jephthae; [of] David also, and Samuel, and [of] the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.” 

 

  1. Hebrews 13:20 & 21: - “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will,working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

 

  1. James 1:22 – 25: - “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” 


  1. James 2:14 – 26: - “What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent [them] out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

 

  1. 1st Peter 2:11 & 12: - “Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers,they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

 

  1. 1st Peter 4:19: - “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”  


  1. 1st John 3:7: - “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.”

 

  1. 3rd John 11: - “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.”

 

FOR FURTHER STUDY – THE OTHER 16 NEW TESTAMENT REFERENCES ARE: -

Luke 11:28; Acts 9:36; Acts 26:19 & 20; 1st Timothy 5:9 & 10; 1st Timothy 6:17 – 19; 2ndTimothy 2:21; Titus 2:7 & 8; Titus 3:1; Titus 3:14;  Hebrews 10:24; 1st Peter 2:15; 1st Peter2:19 & 20; 1st Peter 3:10 – 13, 1st Peter 3:16 & 17; 1st John 2:29; 1st John 3:10 – 12.

 

The Spirit of Prophecy echoes the previous New Testament Scriptures very clearly.

Spirit of Prophecy, Volume 3, p. 331: - “On the other hand, those who claim that their faith alone will save them, are trusting to a rope of sand; for faith is strengthened and made perfect by works only. 


The Testimony of Jesus gives us a definition of genuine faith. It is NOT a mere intellectual assent of the mind to certain Biblical truths. True faith in Jesus, brings us to the point of yielding our will to obey Christ.

Steps to Christ, 1892 edition, p. 69: - “When we speak of faith, there is a distinction that should be borne in mind. There is a kind of belief that is wholly distinct from faith. The existence and power of God, the truth of His word, are facts that even Satan and his hosts cannot at heart deny. The Bible says that "the devils also believe, and tremble;" but this is not faith. James 2:19Where there is not only a belief in God's word, but a submission of the will to Him; where the heart is yielded to Him, the affections fixed upon Him, there is faith--faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Through this faith the heart is renewed in the image of God. And the heart that in its unrenewed state is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, now delights in its holy precepts, exclaiming with the psalmist, "O how love I Thy law! it is my meditation all the day." Psalm 119:97. And the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us, "who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1.”


R. & H., Book 2, p. 436: - “In order for man to be justified by faith, faith must reach a point where it will control the affections and impulses of the heart; and it is by obedience that faith itself is made perfect.  {RH, November 4, 1890 par. 5}


“WITHOUT ME YE CAN DO NOTHING” – JOHN 15:5: -


How can we harmonize all these clear, plain New Testament passages which exhort believer’s repeatedly to do good works, to work righteousness, and to be doers of the Word, with the few passages from the Apostle Paul’s pen which seem on the surface, to be disparaging doing good works or working righteousness, which are often put forward by those professed Christian of an Evangelical theology? 

 

Jesus has stated a simple but yet profound truth, which we should never forget in relation to this subject. Without Jesus we can do no good thing.

John 15:4 & 5: - “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:for without me ye can do nothing. 

 

All Paul is doing in the few passages in Romans, Ephesians and Philippians, is echoing Jesus’ statement recorded in John 15:5 - “without me ye can do nothing.”  Works of righteousness or obedience while we are not abiding in or connected with Christ, are indeed worthless. But when we are connected to Christ by living faith, then we cannot but help produce the fruit of good works and obedience to God’s Law in our lives. Just as  a branch connected to the vine will automatically produce fruit. This is exactly what the Testimony of Jesus has revealed to us concerning John 15:5.

Steps to Christ, 1892 Edition, pp. 75 & 76: - “Jesus teaches the same thing when He says, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. . . . Without Me ye can do nothing." John 15:4, 5. You are just as dependent upon Christ, in order to live a holy life, as is the branch upon the parent stock for growth and fruitfulness. Apart from Him you have no life. You have no power to resist temptation or to grow in grace and holiness. Abiding in Him, you may flourish. Drawing your life from Him, you will not wither nor be fruitless. You will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.

 

1884 Great Controversy, p. 305: - “It is the privilege and the duty of every Christian to maintain a close union with Christ, and to have a rich experience in the things of God.Then his life will be fruitful in good works.


CONCLUDING THOUGHTS: -


If we take the position that we are saved by faith alone, without obedience to God’s Commandments, we have destroyed the imperative necessity of the Third Angel’s message, which calls humanity back to obey all of God’s Commandments, or receive the unmingled wrath of God. Let us not be fooled by Satan’s sophistry, by believing that we can be saved while committing known transgression of God’s Law. Because Satan himself knows that every transgressor of God’s Law must die.

1858 Great Controversy, p. 111: - “Satan knows that if he can cause others to violate God's law he is sure of them; for every transgressor of his law must die.  {1SG 110.1}

 

On the other hand, I don’t want us also to forget the simple truth stated by Jesus, that after we have done all that God’s Word requires of us, through the name and strength of Jesus, that we are to still regard ourselves as “unprofitable servants”. It is not our merits that will entitle any one of us to an entrance into God’s Eternal Kingdom, but the merits of Jesus our Saviour.

Luke 17:10: - “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” 

 

Original Testimony, Number 27, p. 127: - “Our good works alone will not save any of us, but we cannot be saved without good works. And after we have done all that we can do, in the name and strength of Jesus we are to say, "We are unprofitable servants." We are not to think we have made great sacrifices and should receive great reward for our feeble services.”

 
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