Is Pope John Paul II in Heaven?


I was the first caller on James White's Dividing Line on Thursday, 14 April, 2005, and discussed with him where the Pope is today. The conversation then turned to the Investigative Judgment, and briefly the Sabbath/Sunday issue. Here's the program. (Real Player).

Unless otherwise noted, the King James is quoted.

The text in boxes was not part of the program, and presents my additional responses (which are subject to additions or revision) to the comments of Dr. White. So bear in mind that Dr. White was not responding to the boxed text during the program.


My call begins at 21:40 into the program, and this is my transcript of it.

MIKE - As you know, Catholics teach there are three possibilities upon a person's death.

DR. WHITE - Right.

MIKE - And I think we would agree that Purgatory is not true.

DR. WHITE - You and I hopefully would agree about that, Yes.

MIKE - And the other two possibilities, one that the Pope's immortal soul would be in Hell  right now.

DR. WHITE - Right.

MIKE - Or that his immortal soul is in heaven.

DR. WHITE - Right.

MIKE - And I would like to read if I may seven verses

DR. WHITE - Sure.

MIKE - from the King James

DR. WHITE - Well if you want to use the King James.

MIKE - and I will let the verses speak for themselves.

DR. WHITE - (laughs)

MIKE - [These verses are then read]:

Eccl 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
Eccl 9:6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

Psa 146:3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
Psa 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

Psa 115:17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.

James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

MIKE - Did the serpent tell the truth or not?

DR. WHITE - O.K., and

MIKE - I propose to you that the Pope is neither in Heaven, or Purgatory, or in what Catholics would call Hell, but the Pope is unconscious, asleep in his grave.

DR. WHITE - I see! Well, there is a little problem with that, and I noticed as soon as you went to Ecclesiastes 9, I was going to say, now, you need to be careful Ecclesiastes is talking about from the earthly viewpoint, but then when you went to the others I could tell where you were going eventually.

MIKE - I figured you would.

DR. WHITE - Yeah, Yeah, the problem there is the fact that Paul teaches that to be absent from the body is to be home with the Lord.

2 Cor 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2 Cor 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2 Cor 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2 Cor 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

MY REPLY - Jesus equated death with sleep, so Paul is saying that should he die, he would sleep the sleep of death, and he would next see Jesus Christ after being resurrected. To Paul, however, the passing of time after his death would be as an instant, the blink of an eye, and his next thing he would know it would be the second coming, and the resurrection of all the righteous saints to meet the Lord.

DR. WHITE - Peter taught us that the Lord knows how to keep under punishment those who are awaiting the day of judgment, that punishment is an ongoing thing, it is not just simply a promise of a future situation.

2 Pet 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

MY REPLY - Just when are the unjust judged? If they are held in reserve before their judgment, how fair is it of God to torment them in a conscious state in a fiery Hell before that judgment even occurs?

The judgment of the wicked is during the great white throne judgment (Rev 20:11), when all the wicked have been  resurrected from their graves - "But the rest of the dead (the wicked) lived not again until the thousand years were finished." (Rev. 20:5), and this is after the millennium. Their punishment is to be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14-15), which is called the second death. What then of the first death? It is the unconscious sleep in the grave. At the second coming the righteous dead will awake from that sleep, and be resurrected to be with the Lord (John 14:2-3), but the wicked dead will continue to be held in the grave through the 1000 years, totally unconscious, awaiting their resurrection and judgment before the great white throne. It is only after their judgment that they are cast into the lake of fire. There is no lake of fire today, so there is no one being tormented in any fiery hell today.

DR. WHITE - And the idea of mere unconsciousness would also have some problems with those martyrs in the book of Revelation [Rev. 6:9-11].

MY REPLY - The martyrs under the altar are speaking symbolically, just as Abel's blood cried out for justice (Gen. 4:10). See my article The Souls Under The Altar

DR. WHITE - I can at least see how some might argue for the wicked, even though Peter has a problem with that, but certainly for the righteous there is immediately the presence of Christ. And so I am aware of the arguments that you would be putting forth. The problem is would you be coming from a Seventh-day Adventist perspective?

MIKE - Absolutely.

DR. WHITE - I see, yeah.

MIKE - I am a Seventh-day Adventist

DR. WHITE - Well, you know, this particular issue would be one we would certainly disagree on, but far more importantly to me, would you be one of those Seventh-day Adventists that would hold to the Investigative Judgment?

MIKE - Oh Absolutely.

DR. WHITE - Yeah, see I would put that as being as false a gospel as Rome's. Personally I don't see any difference between the Investigative Judgment and the grounds that places one's relationship to God on, and what Rome teaches.

MIKE - Well, I really didn't call for, to discuss the Investigative Judgment, although I would be happy to if you wanted to.

DR. WHITE - Well, the point

MIKE - My point was, and I didn't comment on the verses, I let them speak for themselves, and I think they are very clear that when a person dies, his thoughts perish.

DR. WHITE - From the earth.

MIKE - There is no conscious immortal soul that goes to Heaven or to Hell.

DR. WHITE - You just read something in there. Your first comment was correct, your second comment demonstrated a tradition that then tries to tie these things together. That's where the difference is.

MY REPLY - The serpent said:

Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

God had said:

Gen 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

God said they would surely die and return to the dust. The serpent said they would not surely die, they would be like God. Did God tell the truth or did the serpent tell the truth? The serpent lied, and that first lie involved death. The serpent (Satan) denied death, he told Eve she was immortal, that she would not perish for disobeying God. The doctrine of the immortal soul is a doctrine of demons. God only has innate immortality (cf.1 Tim. 6:16). The apostle Paul tells us when the righteous receive conditional immortality:

1 Cor 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Cor 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1 Cor 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

Paul says he is mortal, subject to death, but he receives his immortality at the last trump, at the second coming. Paul is not an immortal soul blissfully in heaven, he is still corrupt, dead, asleep in his grave:

1 Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1 Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1 Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

When does Paul meet the Lord in the air, ever to be with him? At the general resurrection of the righteous, at the second coming, not before. And why is the immortality received conditional?

Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

The immortality received at the second coming is dependent on continued access to the tree of life. Adam and Eve were condemned to surely die by denying them access to the tree of life (Gen. 3:22-24). People simply cannot live forever independent of the tree of life.

So it is Dr. White who reads scripture with the glasses of Catholic Tradition on, and denies or redefines death, as did the serpent. He has been taught, and unwittingly subscribes to, Satan's lie about death told to Eve in the garden of Eden.

DR. WHITE - For example, in Ecclesiastes chapter 9, there is many things said in Ecclesiastes concerning all is vanity. Well, O.K. in a particular context on earth we understand what's being said there, but you certainly are not going to take that to mean that there is nothing that has meaning in this life. So you are doing the same thing in trying to say, well their memory is gone from this earth, they no longer have any interaction on this earth. I would agree completely. That doesn't mean however

MIKE - Verse 6 says "their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished"

DR. WHITE - And that's, yes.

MIKE - In other words their whole - and verse 5 is saying their memory is forgotten, in other words their memory has perished.

DR. WHITE - Umhum.

MIKE - In other words their consciousness is gone. They have no consciousness.

DR. WHITE - Na Na Na Na Na NO. That's, that's no. You see your reading that into it.

MIKE - Well, isn't that what Psalm 146:4 says?

DR. WHITE - This is on the earth

MIKE - "In that very day his thoughts perish."

DR. WHITE - This is on the earth, this is not, Yeah, on the earth yes.

MY REPLY:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

There are two fates listed there, to perish or to have everlasting life. What does it mean to perish?

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John tells us that to perish is to not see life. Death is a complete absence of life, and at death consciousness and memory cease, which is why scripture calls it a sleep. Death does not mean your consciousness simply leaves earth in an immortal soul for Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory. The phrase immortal soul is never used in the Bible.

DR. WHITE - But you have to allow the rest of scripture to speak.

MY REPLY: Oh I agree.

DR. WHITE - What are, what are the shades in Isaiah 12 and 14? What are they doing when the spirits of these wicked kings comes to them? What are these individuals? Who are these things? How do they know this is a king? There's clearly conscious existence at that point.

MY REPLY: In Isaiah 14:9 in the New Revised Standard Version it uses the word "shades":

NRSV Isa 14:9 Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come; it rouses the shades to greet you, all who were leaders of the earth; it raises from their thrones all who were kings of the nations.

The King James translates the same verse this way:

KJV Isa 14:9 Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations.

The word translated as "shades" or "dead" is Strong's H7496 - (rapha', raw-faw'; from H7495 in the sense of H7503; prop. lax, i.e. (fig.) a ghost (as dead; in plur. only):--dead, deceased.) It is used in Job 26:5, Psa 88:10, Prov 2:18, 9:18, 21:16, Isa 14:9, 26:14, and 26:19. Let's look at the last use for a moment:

NRSV Isa 26:14 The dead do not live; shades do not rise-- because you have punished and destroyed them, and wiped out all memory of them.

KJV Isa 26:14 They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.

Once again, we are told the dead do not have life, they have been destroyed, and their memory has perished. The dead do not take up a ghostly conscious state somewhere else, they remain in their grave, dead, their memory and thoughts have completely ceased.

So what then of the kings in Isaiah 14:9? Well, first of all, note that trees are talking in verse 8? So there is symbolism to a degree in Isaiah 14. In context the main character of Isaiah 14 is Lucifer (KJV v. 12), which is to say Satan. The trees symbolize the redeemed, rejoicing over the demise of Satan. It is Satan being met by the resurrected wicked dead, including the kings of the earth, in verse 9. When does this happen? At the second resurrection, the resurrection that occurs at the conclusion of the 1000 years, so that the wicked can face the great white throne judgment. The same kings are mentioned in Rev. 19:18-19. At the conclusion of the great white throne judgment, Satan and all the wicked will be cast into the lake of fire. Thus the wicked about to perish in the second death (Rev. 2:11, 20:6, 20:14, 21:8) remark to Satan:

Isa 14:10 All they [the wicked] shall speak and say unto thee [Satan], Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?
Isa 14:11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.

And what is the result of the lake of fire? Satan is also described in Ezekiel 28:12-19 with the symbolic name of the king of Tyre:

Ezek 28:18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
Ezek 28:19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.

Satan, and all the wicked, will be reduced to ashes, destroyed, cease to exist, in the lake of fire, the second death.

DR. WHITE - And the fact of the matter is there is a number of passages in the New Testament that say otherwise.

MY REPLY: And they also can all be explained in a manner that is consistent with death being a sleep.

DR. WHITE - But the reason I went to the issue, in asking you where you are coming from, is because I tend to think that, unfortunately, a lot of these discussions, especially with a believing conservative Seventh-day Adventist, misses the point. Because to me, I could sit around and talk with a Roman Catholic about, oh, let's say, papal infallibility, which we've done. And that's important, it speaks to issues of authority. That would be sort of like talking to you about the claims that Ellen G. White made about concerning her prophecies and her writings in relationship to scripture and things like that. But If that's all I ever discussed, I'm, I'm not doing you any favor, because the real issue, and the issue I always get to with Roman Catholics, is the issue of what the gospel is - what is most important. And that's why I raised the issue, because to me you can be a non-Seventh-day Adventist and believe what you believe about the afterlife. But to be a Seventh-day Adventist what's definitional, what is uniquely definitional and what's more important, what addresses the specific issue of the gospel is the issue of the Investigative Judgment. That's why I raised the issue, that's why I mentioned it. And in fact since I am seeing,  looking in the chat channel here, that almost no one has any idea what that is -

MIKE - Ah, That doesn't surprise me.

DR. WHITE - I'll even give you the opportunity, if you can do it briefly, to explain what is the Investigative Judgment. How would you define it if you could do so briefly?

MIKE - Well at the second coming, there is the division of the sheep and the goats, the resurrection of the living righteous [dead] at the second coming. And for that to determination to have been made there must have been a judgment that these people were in fact righteous, that they had faith in Jesus Christ. So there has to be, I think in Revelation, I don't have it in front of me, Revelation 22, it says that when He comes His reward is with Him (Rev. 22:12), the last few verses in Revelation.

ADDITIONAL COMMENT: Notice that human probation closes in verse 11, the first phase of judgment ends, and then Jesus speaks about His second coming. So there is a pre-advent judgment:

Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

At the second coming, as Paul describes, the righteous dead are resurrected first, and the living righteous who will not see death are transformed, both then possessing glorified bodies, and only at that point they enter into eternal life.

1 Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1 Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1 Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

1 Cor 15:51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1 Cor 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Cor 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

DR. WHITE - Uh huh.

MIKE - And He can only present that reward, which is eternal life, to those who have been judged righteous. So there has to have been a pre-advent judgment of the righteous, which Adventists believe began in 1844 and is underway even now.

ADDITIONAL COMMENT: The year 1844 is arrived at from Daniel 8:14, where the 2300 days represents 2300 years, which begin at the same time as Daniel's 70 weeks (490 years) with the decree in Ezra 7:1-27 in the 7th year of Artaxerxes, dated to 457 B.C. See Diagram

DR. WHITE - O.K. let me make sure people heard that. So in 1844, and this was involved with the Miller movement

MIKE - Yes.

DR. WHITE - Christ entered into the Sanctuary, and since that period of time, the lives of those individuals who have trusted in Him for salvation have been brought before Him in the inner sanctuary and He has examined them. And what did Ellen G. White say was the basis, upon which, Christ would apply His atoning sacrifice to them or not?

MIKE - Well the biblical answer is by faith.

DR. WHITE - Is that all?

MIKE - I don't know which quote of Ellen White you might be referring to.

DR. WHITE - So, that's all. Why would there be an examination of their lives if the only ones being examined were those who had believed in him anyways.

MIKE - Well God doesn't need to do this examination for His benefit.

DR. WHITE - O.K.

MIKE - In other words, He already knows, He is omniscient.

DR. WHITE - Right.

MIKE - But the heavenly host are not [omniscient]. O.K., so the books are opened not only for the Lord to examine, but the books are really opened for the heaven hosts to examine the books to see that God's judgment has been righteous.

DR. WHITE - And what books are these?

MIKE - The book of life.

DR. WHITE - O.K.

MIKE - The Lamb's book of life is really the one that's being examined.

DR. WHITE - And the only way into that is by

MIKE - And if you appear in the Lamb's book of life, then you, at the second coming, assuming you had died and were not alive at the second coming -

DR. WHITE - Right.

MIKE - All those that are resurrected, is the resurrection - I think its in Thessalonians (1 Thess 4:13-16) says those who are asleep in the Lord.

DR. WHITE - O.K., but how do you get in there? How do you get into the Lamb's book of life? So what's the basis?

MIKE - By faith.

DR. WHITE - Faith alone, it's not examination of your life?

MIKE - Well, by faith you appear in the Lamb's book of life.

ADDITIONAL COMMENT:

Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Rev 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Rev 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Here is a quote from Ellen White regarding the book of life:

    When we become children of God, our names are written in the Lamb's book of life, and they remain there until the time of the investigative Judgment. Then the name of every individual will be called, and his record examined by Him who declares, "I know thy works." If in that day it shall appear that all our wicked deeds have not been fully repented of, our names will be blotted from the book of life, and our sins will stand against us. If the professed believer becomes self-confident, if in word or spirit he breaks the least precept of God's holy law, he misrepresents Jesus, and in the Judgment the awful words will be spoken, "Blot out his name from the book of life; he is a worker of iniquity." But the Father pities the self-distrustful, God-fearing soul, harassed though he may be with doubts and temptations. Jesus pleads for him, and confesses his name before the Father and his holy angels.
     He who is to be our judge knows our works. He understands every temptation and trial, and I am glad of it. He knows the circumstances that surround every soul. He knows our weaknesses, and is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. "If any man sin," says John, "we have an advocate with the Father! Jesus Christ the righteous." Oh, how precious is the name of Jesus, and how precious every name that he confesses before the Father! When our gracious Redeemer says of the poor penitent, "He is mine; I have graven his name on the palms of my hands," the answer comes, "I will not blot his name from the book of life, but his sins shall be remembered against him no more." Ellen White, Signs of the Times, August 6, 1885, par. 17, 18.

[Program break at 32:40 to 37:17]

DR. WHITE - Mike, are you familiar with a fellow by the name of W. H. Branson?

MIKE - Ah, no I am not.

DR. WHITE - Ah, the book called In Defense of the Faith. Branson is a Seventh-day Adventist. This is his reply to Canright. It's an older book, but, under the subject of The Cleansing of the Sanctuary, let me just read you a couple of things so know where I am coming from.


Regarding the Investigative Judgment, Dr. White read the following extracts from:

IN DEFENSE OF THE FAITH
(.pdf)

The Truth About Seventh-day Adventists

A REPLY TO CANRIGHT

By William H. Branson

Review and Herald Publishing Association

Takoma Park, Washington, D.C.


[p.127]
...
    Someone may say: I thought that when Christ forgave my sins, He took them clear away. Yes, He did, so far as you are concerned. He promises to make us as white as snow. But this does not mean that the sins are finally disposed of. He takes them from us, but the record is still there. We are free because we have accepted Him as our substitute and sin bearer, but the record of sin is held in the sanctuary.

DR. WHITE - This then becomes the basis for the discussion which says:

...
    Another may ask, Why could not Christ have immediately blotted out the sins of the people? Why wait until after 1844? We reply: There must come first an investigation of the records. That is essential. Here is a man who has accepted Christ. His sins have gone on before him into the sanctuary, but Christ cannot blot those sins out of the record until the man's life is finished, or until probation closes for him. Why not? Because he may not continue in faith, and we are told in Ezekiel 33:12, 13, that if the righteous man turns away from his righteousness, all the righteousness that he has done shall not be remembered. If he does not continue in faith, all his past sins will come back upon him again. Jesus does not plead before the throne of God in the final judgment for one who has died in sin. He cannot plead His blood in behalf of one who, though once a Christian, refuses to continue in His grace. Thus before the Lord can blot out the sins from the record books, a very careful examination has to be made to see whether those who accepted Christ have remained true. [“Be thou faithful unto death,” says the Scripture, “and I will give thee a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10.] It is not the beginning of the race that gives assurance of the crown of life; it is the successful finishing.

DR. WHITE - That then is what leads him into the discussion of the Investigative Judgment, and he says of the Investigative Judgment:

[p. 128]
...
    During the judgment the names of those who were once Christians but who have given up their faith in Christ, are blotted out of the book of life.
...

DR. WHITE - That's in regard to Revelation, chapter 3. And then finally, ah just one last, two little quotes here. Under The Law of Judgment it says:

[p. 129]
... Without this, trial would be a farce, and the decisions rendered, a travesty on justice. God must of necessity, therefore, have a law by which He will test men's lives, a standard by, which they will be measured; and if so, surely in this solemn hour, when court week has actually begun and cases are already being tried, it behooves every man to inquire seriously what that standard, or code, is, and to take the necessary steps to bring his life into harmony with it before his name is called.
...

DR. WHITE - And then the application then becomes:

[p. 130]
... Do not allow yourself to be deceived, therefore, into believing that nine points of the law will suffice, and the Sabbath point can be dropped out as nonessential.
...

DR. WHITE - That being a part of the code by which a person is going to be judged. So does it not follow then, that a person can believe in Christ, but if they do not, for example, follow Ellen G. White's understanding of the Sabbath law, then Christ will refuse to apply His blood to that individual in the Investigative Judgment?

MIKE - Ah, Seventh-day Adventists do not believe, well they believe that the Sabbath [Sunday] is the mark of the beast, as I am sure you know.

DR. WHITE - Yes. Well, that Sunday worship is the mark of the beast.

MIKE - But Adventists do not believe that anyone has the mark of the beast as yet. In other words, in the last 2000 years the Sunday keepers that did so, fully believing that they were in God's will, that will not be counted against them.

DR. WHITE - Is that what Ellen G. White believed?

MIKE - Yes.

DR. WHITE - O.K.

MIKE - It's only when the mark of the beast is, comes before the world, and is enforced by law, that people are faced with a choice as to whether or not they take the seal of God, which we believe to be the Sabbath, the 7th day Sabbath, Saturday, or the mark of the beast, which would be Sunday keeping. So, it's an issue that will be before the world shortly, but it is not something for which people will be condemned in ignorance.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

    "The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty; for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve him not. While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of an allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God's law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other, choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God." Ellen White, Review and Herald, April 27, 1911, par. 17.

DR. WHITE - Now you do know that there have been Seventh-day Adventists who took a different view on that?

MIKE - Oh, there is no doubt about it. Like any denomination there is a spectrum of what people believe. But as far as official, what I have told you is official Adventist teaching with respect to the Sabbath. In other words no one has the mark of the beast as yet.

DR. WHITE - O.K., but I mean obviously those who would disagree with you would, would question the official point, but I mean you don't speak for the, your not the head of the denomination?

MIKE - No, no not at all.

DR. WHITE - O.K. I just wanted to make sure people understood that.

MIKE - I am just confirming to you that if you investigate it, that is what you will find.

DR. WHITE - O.K. So, but to boil this all down, and we've been on a long time now and there is a bunch of other folks we need to get to -

MIKE - And I appreciate that.

DR. WHITE - But to boil it all down, fundamentally, would you agree or disagree with the assertion that whether Christ applies His atoning sacrifice depends upon your continuance in faith?

MIKE - Yes it does.

DR. WHITE - O.K., and you would then, obviously, Seventh-day Adventist theology does not have a concept of a monergistic election to where God has an elect people, and He infallibly saves those elect people, not based upon they do, but based solely upon His purpose and grace.

MIKE - Well, that's a topic unto itself, but I believe you would probably call it Arminianism, but I believe that we have a choice, whether or not we follow Christ, or not.

DR. WHITE - O.K. So, you would take the Arminian perspective on that, I don't know if you have listened to the program before but -

MIKE - Yes, I have.

DR. WHITE - You have probably heard our discussions with Dave Hunt and -

MIKE - I believe we are faced with a choice, and that choice is either to accept Christ's righteous blood, or to reject it. And to reject it is to be lost.

DR. WHITE - And to accept Christ's righteous blood though, is not enough if you do not continue, and if your life does not measure up to the standards that are going to be used -

MIKE - Well, faith without works is dead (James 2:20).

DR. WHITE - Yeah, O.K., I just wanted to make sure everyone understood that. I just wanted to make sure that we weren't misrepresenting it, or anything along those lines. Mike I hope you will keep listening. Thanks, thanks so much for the phone call out there in Ha [waii].

MIKE - I appreciate your time Doctor. Thank you.


These articles will discuss the main issues in more detail.

What Really Happens When You Die?
The Biblical Truth About Hell.
The Scriptures on Judgment.



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