On Ellen White: The Gospel Adventist Position

When dealing with the writings of Ellen White it is wise to give her the benefit of the doubt unless there is clear biblical evidence to suggest otherwise. Calling her a plagiarist, a hypocrite, or con-artist is an ad hominem attack on her character that says little about the truth of what she wrote.

By taking a snippet of writing from here and there without full context and balancing statements it is easy to misunderstand what she wrote over the span of 80 years. She never claimed to be a prophetess nor did she ever claim to be infallible.

There were times when she spoke her own opinions, but her overall message was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Her writing was edited over a period of time as her views changed, but the main ideas–the soon return of Christ, the Sabbath, the State of the Dead, the Heavenly Sanctuary, the Health Message, and the insights into the great controversy have withstood the biblical test of accuracy and the historical test of time.

Was Ellen White perfect? No, and we should not expect her to be without fault. Was she the infallible interpreter of scripture? No, and not one of us is able to claim that status. Did she live up to her own standards 100 percent of the time? No, but she admitted her faults and kept trying to improve on her lifestyle.

Instead of attacking the character of Ellen White, it is enough to argue that what she said was biblical or not. If it is not biblical then it is safe to disregard, but be careful not to throw her entire ministry out of the window over a few minor details. Her overall message was one of God’s love for man by sending Jesus to die for our sins.

Don’t throw the Baby out with the Bathwater.

Stephen Beagles (2021)

The Good News of the Pre-Advent Judgment

The important thing to remember about judgment is that Christians already have the final verdict. We are “Not Condemned” while the wicked are condemned already because of their rejection of the person and work of Christ. This is a core element of the gospel.

“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:18, NIV

Christians do not need fear the judgment even though we do not measure up to the legal requirements for entrance into the heavenly kingdom. Jesus lived a perfect life and became a perfect sacrifice for our sins on the cross. This allows Him to place His perfect robes of righteousness over our filthy rags of human righteousness. We are judged while standing in His robes of perfection and are declared, “Not Condemned.”

The good news is that Christians have the assurance of eternal life and have already been adopted into the family of God. We have nothing to fear of a judgment due to the person and work of Jesus Christ on our behalf.

Stephen Beagles (2021)

The Five Essentials of Christianity

A question I have been pondering over the past few decades is what are the essential teachings of Christianity? What does a Christian have to believe to be a representative of Jesus Christ?

What MUST I believe to be saved?

There are Five essential teachings:

1. The Bible is the word of God. If a person does not believe the Bible is a product of divine revelation they have no basis to believe in Christ or God’s plan of salvation. The gospel becomes speculation and myth and Christ cannot be the object of genuine faith.

2. The Trinity. One God existing in three distinct forms and personalities. If someone were to pull the plug on God then all three persons would disappear in an instant. God has revealed Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The human brain cannot fathom the complexities of God, but this is how God has revealed Himself. Jesus is fully divine and as eternal as God the Father, but with His own distinct function and role in the God head. To deny the full divinity of Christ is to deny the one and only true God.

3. The Blood Atonement of Jesus. Jesus died in our place on the cross of Calvary. This is the central doctrine of Christ and the Apostles. It does not take a Ph.D. in theology to understand and God does not require a five page essay on the person and work of Christ on the cross to be born again. However, this is a basic truth that must be accepted: Jesus died in our place for our sins. Without the cross there is no resurrection, no Christianity, no salvation for humanity, and no basis for our faith as Christians.

4. Righteousness by Faith. What does God require of us to have the assurance of salvation? God demands we accept Jesus as the full substitute for our sins. There is no condition for salvation other than simple faith and trust in our divine savior. We are declared righteous the instant we place our faith in Jesus. Warning: We deny Christ when we worship other Gods or if we pervert the truth of the Gospel–Righteousness by Faith Alone.

5. The Second Coming. To be a Christian we must believe Jesus is coming back to provide eternal life for His followers. It is not essential that Christians agree on when and how the second coming will occur. However, the second coming is an integral part of the plan of salvation. To deny the reality of the second advent would be to deny a major promise that Christ proclaimed to His disciples–He would return to earth to set up His kingdom. Jesus will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords for all eternity.

All Christians must accept these five major teachings of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Holy Scriptures. These are non-negotiable teachings of the Bible that are simple enough for any Child to understand. They also leave us with a complexity of understanding, depth of knowledge, and profound thought that will never be fully exhausted by an eternity of study.

Stephen Beagles (2020)

The Full Armor of God

The Belt of Truth

Yes, truth exists and it is possible to know right from wrong. Being an expert on the Bible doesn’t grant a person infallibility, but a heart full of the Holy Spirit will have a divine interpreter waiting to guide a person into the truth. (John 16:3)

Nothing is more disheartening than to be faced with a wide range of opinions in the world and to be persecuted for standing up for what you know as truth. The only way to overcome this is to accept the Bible as the word of God and to follow it closely. The power of the truth will comfort the afflicted and will afflict the comfortable. To wage war against the devil we need to confront his lies with the truth of God’s word.

The Breast Plate of Righteousness

The truth of God’s word will always lead us to a knowledge of righteousness by faith. As a breast plate covers the vital organs, the truth of the gospel will shield us from self-righteousness and pride. It reminds us of our natural weakness apart from the righteousness that Christ offers as a gift for all who place their trust in Him. Even though we are weak on the inside, we are made strong as we trust in the breastplate of His righteousness.

Feet Fitted with the gospel of Peace

When God calls us into His army, He issues the gear that we will need to survive the rough and rugged terrain of our sinful environment. He calls us to take the gospel to every part of the world. A sturdy boot that protects our feet is essential for traveling long distance over land. A knowledge of the gospel of peace is essential to accomplishing our mission.

The Shield of Faith

Doubt is the preferred weapon of our enemy. If the devil can get us to doubt the word of God then he has us in his grasp. When ever we are exposed to the lies of Satan we must extinguish them by refusing to doubt the truth of God’s word. We must allow ourselves to study differences of thought and opinion, but it is essential to become more familiar with the truth. Exercise genuine faith in the promises of God. Refuse to doubt.

The Helmet of Salvation

We must never go anywhere in battle without our helmet. It is designed to protect our brain in the event of a bullet or an explosion. The deep and holy assurance of salvation will help to protect our minds from the deadly deceptions of the evil one. If we lose that assurance for even a second then we might be impacted and subjected to eternal loss. We are not safe for a second without the helmet of Salvation.

The Sword of the Spirit

This is our only offensive weapon. The word of God must be proclaimed. The word of God itself is powerful enough to neutralize error. We should never argue or debate with the devil, but we should be ready to answer all charges with a plain thus saith the Lord. The word of God is powerful and must be presented accurately There is nothing more powerful than the truth of the gospel to win souls for Christ.

(to be continued…)

Stephen Beagles (2020)

"For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." ~ 1 Cor 2:2