BIBLE STUDY THREE
the Second Coming of Christ
Jones and Waggoner consistently taught
(during the years of Ellen White’s support) that Christian character
perfection is possible and will be certain for all who believe "the
everlasting gospel" of Revelation 14. This is the opposite of the
idea of "perfectionism." The motivation is not egocentric, but
concern for Christ’s honor.
B. THE BIBLE EVIDENCE
Genesis 26:5 Abraham’s perfect
obedience as "father" (progenitor) of all "the
Genesis 13:16 An unnumbered
multitude will at last by faith exemplify his character.
Matthew 5:48 Spiritual maturity
is character perfection, the exemplification of agape.
Romans 1:16, 17 Experienced only
through the true gospel; not a program of works.
Hebrews 3:1 Considering Christ as
High Priest, as He truly is, leads to that perfection. 1
Hebrews 4:15, 16 The key truth
involved is understanding the nature of Christ.
Hebrews 6:1 "Let us go on to
perfection," the theme of Christ’s High Priestly ministry.
Hebrews 7:11, 19, 25 Perfection
of character assured "in Christ" for all who "come."
Hebrews 9:11-14 The deepest
heart-level (the conscience) will be "purged." 2
Hebrews 9:26 Before He returns,
sin will be "put away," not merely legally pardoned.
Hebrews 13:21 A prayer for
character perfection that must be answered before His return.
Ephesians 4:8-15 What God longs
to see is a growing up unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of
Christ. The idea is, a people must be prepared for His return.
1 Thessalonians 4:3; 5:23
"Thy will [to] be done in earth ..." is the perfection of His
Hebrews 8:10, 11 The Good News of
the 1888 view of the new covenant fulfilled at last. 3
"The everlasting gospel"
believed produces true obedience. But it must also be understood. The
1888 message was "the beginning" of its final understanding
and proclamation. The 1888 call to overcome was not bad news but Good
This topic of sinless living in sinful
flesh has been ridiculed by some Adventists for decades. When it is
properly presented, fanaticism disappears before it. The issue is simply
motivation— transcending egocentric concern by a truly Christ-centered
| Index of Bible studies | Study
Four | Articles
- See the first paragraph of
Waggoner’s first book published after the Minneapolis Conference, Christ
and His Righteousness. [return to study]
- Jones and Waggoner did not
intimate that anyone would be conscious of character perfection, or in
any way claim it. The closer one comes to Christ, the more unworthy he
feels himself to be. Character perfection is judged only by God. The
1888 message insists only that it is possible, and will be accomplished
"by grace through faith." It’s not a works trip but a faith
trip. Faith can "grow up." [return to
- For a detailed presentation, see
Waggoner, The Glad Tidings, chapters 3, 4; and Ellen White’s
endorsements of his view (Letters 30, 59, 1890). [return