“Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us.” {Romans 15:4 from most modern translations}

One of those things that was “written in the past” contains a lesson that is of the utmost importance with respect to our search for truth in regard to the subject of this book. To fail to be aware of this lesson and to give it the consideration it deserves can, and oftentimes does, result in a very serious wrong assumption being made.

In the days of Christ there were two major sides within the ministry of the church: the Pharisees and the Sadducees. One side was more conservative; the other side more liberal. One side (at least outwardly) tried to live by the law; the other side did not. One side was also more correct doctrinally. Both sides struggled for control of the ‘church’. Both sides tried hard to influence the hearts and minds of the people. BOTH SIDES WERE WRONG.

The parallels cannot be denied. Today there are two sides in the church and in the ministry of the church. One side is more conservative, the other side is more liberal. One side tries to live by both the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, the other side not nearly so much. One side is definitely more correct doctrinally. Both sides have struggled for control of the church. Both sides also try very hard to influence the hearts and minds of the people.

To ignore or deny the possibility that both sides could also be wrong today would be ignoring and denying the lesson of Bible history. Failing to see this possibility leads to the logical (but dangerous) assumption that since it is clear that the one side is wrong (the liberal side), then the other side (the conservative side) must be right. This subject is too important to take any chance of making a wrong assumption. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that both sides have to be wrong. I am only saying that this subject is far too important not to carefully consider the possibility. Remember: “Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us.”

Though this book is concerned primarily with looking at the views of the conservative side, I still need to spend a few minutes examining and commenting on some of the views of the liberal side (generally termed “New Theology”). There are two things I hope to accomplish by doing this. First, I feel a need to try to make it as clear as possible that my views are not in harmony with those on the liberal side. The reason for this relates to the question that I’ve brought up as to the possibility that both sides could be wrong. Inevitably, when I state that I believe there are serious misunderstandings with many on the conservative side (on this specific subject), people tend to automatically assume that my views are more in harmony with those on the liberal side. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Since this study has everything to do with examining the experience of Christ, especially as our example of what it means to live a sinless life, I think it is crucial that I try to show that I am not in harmony with the New Theology when it comes to their understanding of the human nature of Christ. At the same time, I think this is a perfect opportunity to show how true it is that the New Theology is nothing short of open denial of what the Spirit of Prophecy clearly teaches:

“He [Christ] took upon him our sinful nature.”  {Review & Herald, December 15, 1896}
“He took upon His sinless nature our sinful nature.”  {Medical Ministry 181}
“In taking upon Himself man’s nature in its fallen condition.”  {5 Bible Commentary 1131}

In spite of quotes like these the New Theology still teaches that Christ came to this earth with the nature of Adam before the fall. They do this primarily to avoid the truth that Christ is our example and that we are called to live a sinless life as He did. The New Theology, similar to what most of Christianity is doing today, is simply lowering the standard. Sadly, those who are doing this are only deceiving themselves and forfeiting all that God offers to them, just to “enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”

The other reason I wanted to examine some of the views, as well as lifestyles, of those on the liberal side is because I hope that by doing so I can make one very important point. If you see the validity of this point—and I am convinced that it cannot be missed and it cannot be denied—hopefully it will make you more aware of the necessity of finding out whether I am right or not in regard to my assertion that many conservative Seventh-day Adventists have accepted “another Jesus.”

I think it can be truthfully said, that in most cases the real reason why people embrace the theology of the New Theology is because it allows them to accept a lower standard, which in turn allows them to be more worldly and self-indulgent. In my mind, both the theology and the lifestyle of those who believe in the New Theology are so obviously different from true Bible religion and true righteousness that it cannot possibly even begin to meet the description given in these two quotes that I am about to share. And if not, that would mean that we must look elsewhere for the fulfillment of these warnings:

“So well will he counterfeit righteousness, that if it were possible, he would deceive the very elect.”  {Fundamentals of Christian Education 472}

“So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures.”  {Great Controversy 593}


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