Out of love for the truth and from a desire to remove any obstacles that might hinder the Holy Spirit to bring about revival and reformation among God’s people so the worldwide proclamation of the Three Angels’ Messages can be completed and Christ return soon, may the following propositions be considered, biblically weighed und taken to heart by each Seventh-day Adventist -- Johannes Kolletzki
1. When our Lord and Saviour told the Adventist Church to “be zealous therefore, and repent” (Rev 3:19) he intended this repentance to pervade the believers’ lives in totality.
2. Because this repentance has not been complete yet the second coming of Christ has been delayed.
3. Christ cannot return unless his work of redemption has been accomplished in heaven as well as on earth.
4. It is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Latter Rain that is ripening the work on earth.
5. The Latter Rain will only fall when church members are praying for it with contrition of hearts.
6. A contrite mind only grows out of a realization of sin.
7. Knowledge of sin is the natural result of the knowledge of God. It is the awareness of the goodness of God that is prompting repentance in the soul (Rom 2:4).
8. At the same time one can only get a sense of the greatness of God’s goodness as one gets a sense of the greatness of one’s guilt that God is willing to forgive.
9. The lack of repentance among Adventists is evidence of a lack of knowledge of themselves and of God diagnosed by Jesus as “blindness”.
10. The lack of realization of their own lostness causes a lack of realization of the redemptive work of Christ and a lack of faith in this work diagnosed by Jesus as “poverty”.
11. The lack of faith prevents the experience of complete justification by faith diagnosed by Jesus as “nakedness”.
12. The extent and depth of the divine remedies “eyesalve, gold and white raiment” are underestimated because the extent and depth of the spiritual condition they are supposed to heal is underestimated.
13. A superficial idea of the disease leads to a superficial treatment without saving efficacy.
14. An unwittingly superficial church is an unwittingly lukewarm church.
15. A church that is not knowing herself proves that she is not knowing God.
16. A lack of the knowledge of God will ultimately prove fatal: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hos 4:6). The message to Laodicea is therefore a matter of life and death.
17. The fact that even in 2017 Christ has not come yet is an demonstration of his extraordinary love and longsuffering toward the Church, being “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
18. The healing process – commonly called “revival and reformation” – begins realizing the truth by means of the heavenly “eyesalve”.
19. The eyesalve is the Holy Scriptures and especially for God’s last Church the gift of prophecy as it has been manifested in the work of Ellen Gould White.
20. God considered these prophetic writings necessary since his people either studied the Bible too little or interpreted it in a wrong way.
21. The writings of Ellen White describe the same way of salvation as the Bible but in more detail und easier to understand for our times.
22. The generally lukewarm condition of the Adventist Church proves that generally she does not read, or does not understand, or does not believe the Bible or the writings of Ellen White.
23. The first fundamental realization on the way to salvation is that of one’s own lostness. It is apparent in the utter incapability of the natural man to keep God’s holy law (Rom 8:7).
24. From personal experience, Martin Luther arrived at a very deep grasp of this truth but did not attach the same importance to the following, equally significant truth:
25. To the converted believer being vitally connected with Christ “all things are possible” (Mk 9:23).
26. The imbalance between these two truths resulted in an imbalance in Luther’s concept of justification and sanctification, although he was clearly more balanced than many of those who later appealed to him.
27. Thus there came about in evangelical Christendom a one-sided view of salvation where justification was regarded as salvation itself instead of a part of salvation.
28. The evangelical view received a divinely-ordained adjustment and enlargement through post-Reformation movements like Methodism and Pietism who put increased emphasis on sanctification.
29. God completed our concept of redemption when in 1844 he revealed to the Advent movement the doctrine of the heavenly sanctuary.
30. The three compartments of the sanctuary – courtyard, Holy Place, and Most Holy Place – represent the three phases of the plan of redemption.
31. The courtyard represents Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross; here the believer receives forgiveness and the new birth. This teaching evangelical Christians fully share with Adventists.
32. The Holy Place represents the daily living connection with Christ; here the believer experiences change und growth. This teaching evangelical Christians share only in part with Adventists.
33. The Most Holy Place represents completion and judgment; here the believer attains to full maturity and is sealed. This teaching is foreign to evangelical Christians.
34. Even though the three-part ministry of Jesus as sacrifice and High Priest is officially taught by the Adventist Church, the practical significance of this ministry has to this day not sufficiently been recognized and accepted.
35. Among the principal reasons for this are love of sin and pride while love of sin leads to the abuse of grace and pride to works of the law.
36. Common to both is a lack of love to God resulting in lack of willingness to let “Christ live in me” (Gal 2:20).
37. Our love to God is a gauge of our being conscious of our guilt for “to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little” (Lk 7:47).
38. The plan of redemption is composed of God giving us complete knowledge of our sins so He can, if we ask for it, fully forgive us which inspires us with undivided love to God–leading to the desire to wholly imitate the character of God whereupon the Holy Spirit places entire obedience in our hearts developing finally into a perfect character enabling us to full communion with God in all eternity.
39. In all these steps Christ is “author and finisher” (Heb 12:2) which is why in the plan of redemption human boasting “is excluded” (Rom 3:27) although we still have a part to act, namely to walk in the good works that God has “created in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:10). This means that our salvation does not happen without our cooperation (Phil 2:12), and our cooperation and must not be confused with righteousness by works (Luke 17:10).
40. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Mt 5:48). This command is a promise. The plan of redemption contemplates our complete recovery from the power of Satan” (DA 311).
41. The disposition to make excuses for one’s sins and character defects leads to more sins and character defects.
42. The Bible teaches “righteousness by faith”, not “unrighteousness in spite of faith.”
43. Only when we see that there is no excuse for sin will we really feel sorry for it. Only then will we unreservedly allow Christ to enter our soul temple “to cleanse it from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
44. The preaching at the General Conference in 1888 was a divine advance to lead the Church into a full understanding of the plan of redemption and thus pave the way for the Latter Rain and the second coming of Christ.
45. The fact that 130 years after the event we are still praying for revival and reformation proves beyond any doubt that this advance was not successful.
46. This reality likewise refutes the claim that after some initial resistance the message of 1888 was accepted by the great majority of Adventists and is today generally taught by the Church.
47. This claim is rather a symptom that the Church has come under the influence of the churches of Babylon and is reinterpreting the 1888 message from hindsight through glasses colored by the evangelical concept of justification.
48. Further symptoms of this influence are the emphasis in the process of salvation shifting away from the sanctuary to Golgotha, the turnaround in our understanding of the human nature of Christ from fallen to unfallen, and the re-designation of the investigative judgment to pre-advent judgment.
49. The Adventist teaching of the redemptive work of Jesus as it has been preached also in 1888 is based upon the principles of the Reformation while exceeding them.
50. During the reformation Jesus’ vicarious sacrifice in the courtyard was the great present truth; today it is His priestly ministry in the sanctuary and especially the investigative judgment in the Most Holy Place since 1844 whereas all three phases form a harmonious whole.
51. During the Reformation, grace and forgiveness were the great discovery; today it is sanctification and the perfection of the Church since 1844 whereas all three phases make up the big picture.
52. God’s will for each believer is to experience complete conversion, and consequently complete santification, and consequently complete victory over sin.
53. The completion of one phase is the precondition for the completion of the next one.
54. Laodicea’s main problem is an incomplete conversion leading to incomplete sanctification and incomplete victory over sin.
55. Many Adventists do realize their lack of victory over sin but not their incomplete conversion (lukewarmness). They therefore “cure” the problem on a theological level declaring Jesus their substitute but not their example, declaring the “wretched man” in Romans 7 the standard Christian, and declaring the judgment “good news” since it can anyway just boil down to the verdict of not guilty.
56. The starting point of this theology is not the Word but one’s own experience. This is contrary to the reformers’ core principle of Sola scriptura creating common ground with the experiential religion of the Charismatic Movement and the Catholic Church.
57. Nothing but faith in the naked Word of God, even against all experiences, will give a person entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. This was the faith of Abraham, Jesus, and Luther, and this will be the faith of “the remnant … which keep the commandments of God” (Rev 12:17).
58. All works of God are perfect. Since justification and sanctification are God’s work they are necessarily perfect as well.
59. In the investigative judgment the believer is presented “holy and unblameable and unreproveable” (Col 1:22) because the blood of Christ is completely covering his past sins and has completely purified his present character so that in all eternity he will remain without sin.
60. The teaching of character perfection is not extreme but the logical advancement of the reformation’s righteousness by faith and our only hope of eternal life. It “gives glory to God” (Rev 14:7) as Re-Creator and mighty Saviour. It is the only biblical and consistent way to the final eradication of sin and the greatest Divine promise ever given to humans.
61. Countless Adventists cannot believe that God will perfect their characters during their lifetime, but have no doubt that He will do the same during the sealing or at the Second Coming in one moment even though Scripture is nowhere teaching this.
62. Countless Adventists fear the judgment and therefore readily believe the assertion that it is the works of their substitute Jesus Christ alone, and not their own, that will be examined in the investigative judgment even though Scripture clearly says otherwise.
63. Countless Adventists seeing their own spiritual weakness become so despondent that they eagerly grasp an “assurance of salvation” that is based solely on an imputed holiness although common sense tells you that this cannot be it if one day I want to stand in the presence of a holy God.
64. Instead of fearing the judgment Adventists should rather fear unbelief for it was “because of unbelief” (Heb 3:19) that ancient Israel could not enter the promised land.
65. Instead of getting discouraged because of their own inability Adventists should rather look upon their father Abraham who notwithstanding his and Sarah’s old age “gave glory to God” and was “fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform” (Rom 4:20,21).
66. Instead of preaching a “sterilized” justification purged from all human works as redemption proper Adventists should realize that “the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (1Cor 4:20).
67. The Word of God is not just truth, it creates truth. The very word of God declaring you righteous is making you righteous.
68. Full forgiveness through Christ is at the same time the pledge of full sanctification through Christ. If we believe the former although we cannot see or feel it, we may equally believe the latter although we cannot see or feel it.
69. An intercessory service that keeps offering forgiveness but not complete sanctification would prolong sin instead of taking it away, and make Christ “the minister of sin” (Gal 2:17). “To obey is better than sacrifice!” (1Sam 15:22).
70. If the Word of God is “like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces” (Jer 23:29) – the rock being Christ who has been broken for our iniquity – then it is well able to break our hard hearts and make us new creatures.
71. The promise of a new heart filled with love is the centerpiece of the New Covenant. Whoever denies that Jesus’ intercessory ministry in New Testament times is “perfecting” the believer “forever” (Heb 10:14) is still living under the Old Covenant.
72. The fact that the New Covenant is bringing about perfection is the very reason that Christ’ ministry in the heavenly sanctuary can cease one day (Heb 10:1).
73. Israel would not enter into Canaan because the people aligned themselves with those preaching unbelief while intending to stone those who encouraged them to trust in God’s unlimited power.
74. The Adventist Church has to this day not entered into the heavenly Canaan because many churches would rather listen to preaching against character perfection while the few pointing out God’s redeeming power are opposed as extremists.
75. Whoever says that the doctrine of character perfection would take away one’s assurance of salvation is preaching a humanly devised assurance.
76. The frequently asked question “Do you have assurance of salvation?” is indicative of a deficient understanding of the Gospel.
77. The crucial question is: “Do you love Jesus?”; this is the kind of love Jesus had in mind when he said: “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
78. Laodicea is not in need of human certainty of salvation but of divine uncertainty of salvation – to be stirred up from the perilous condition of a false teaching of justification that is blinding a person to the truth.
79. The Bible does not speak of “assurance of salvation” but of hope “for we are saved by hope” (Rom 8:24).
80. Our hope of eternal life does not consist of external facts like “imputed righteousness” or an entry in the book of life but in the Son of God: “He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life” (1Jo 5:12).
81. Hope does not look to the visible but believes in the invisible because God has promised it.
82. Hope has peace with God because it is stayed on His promises while at the same time having an holy urge to appropriate these promises to oneself.
83. Objectively “sure” is our salvation at the end of our lives or at the Second Coming.
84. As long as we live it is our duty, through “his divine power” and the “exceeding great and precious promises”, to make our “calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:3,4,10).
85. “Let not him that girds on his harness boast himself as he that puts it off.” (1Ki 20:11)
86. Whoever loves his life will hate death; whoever loves Jesus will hate his sins because they nailed the Saviour to the cross, and each time wound him afresh.
87. Love for Jesus creates a deepening longing to be entirely freed from sin and to lead a life of continual obedience in harmony with Him.
88. The fruit of true justification is a growing conformity to the commandments of God; the fruit of false justification is a growing liberality towards the Commandments of God.
89. The increasingly liberal practice of Adventist standards – regarding diet, coffee, dress, music, TV, Sabbath keeping, confession of faith at baptism, out-of-wedlock intimacy, church discipline, homosexuality and many more – manifest the leavening of a false doctrine of justification.
90. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). True justification gets to the root of the problem und delivers from sin; false justification is satisfied with deliverance from death.
91. Thus modern Israel is taking the same road as ancient Israel who desired a Messiah delivering them from the Romans, without realizing that it was their own sins that brought the oppressor into the country in the first place.
92. Like ancient Israel who were reading Scripture selectively without distinguishing the first Advent of the Messiah from the Second, many Adventists read the Bible selectively and do not distinguish the “justification of the ungodly” (Rom 4:5) from the “justification of the obedient” (Rom 2:13), holyness by “separation” (Lev 20:26) from holyness to “blamelessness” (1Thess 5:23), the seal of ownership (Eph 1:13) from the seal of confirmation that a person has made his character “white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev 7:3,14).
93. Before calling others to “Fear God and give glory to Him” and “worship” Him as Creator (Rev 14:7), we first need to give evidence of our fear of God through obedience, honor Him in all aspects of life und testify of our belief in a perfect creation of the world in six days by not doubting a perfect re-creation of man in his lifetime.
94. Before proclaiming “Babylon’s fall” and calling others out of this system of rebellion and idolatry (Rev 14:8; 18:4) we first need to end our own rebellion against God that becomes apparent in unbelief and disobedience towards His way of salvation.
95. Before being able to convince others that a small detail in the Law like “Sabbath or Sunday” will provoke God’s righteous wrath (Rev 14:9-11) we need to have learned ourselves to keep God’s Commandments to the letter, or else we will fall under the same verdict.
Author: Johannes Kolletzki, Church Elder in Nürnberg, Germany (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Johannes Kolletzki has a degree in theology and information technology. He is married to Mira, and they have one son, Joshua. He has been working as as Pastor and Software Engineer, and for ten years is part of an Adventist Media Ministry in Germany where he is serving as editor and Vice President. He also is Elder of an SDA church in Nuremberg, Bavaria. He loves music, nature, and studying the Word of God.