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Crosscurrents in Adventist Christology

by Claude Webster


The Christology of Herbert Douglass

Before looking at the Christology of Douglass in detail we need to obtain an overview of his total theology. We do this for two main reasons. Firstly, it is evident that Douglass is a systematic thinker and his system is logical and well-planned.10 In order to appreciate the one part we need to see the entire system first. Furthermore, we suggest that Douglass' anthropology, soteriology, eschatology and Christology are particularly closely linked and interlocked.11 There is a logical interdependence between these areas of thought and, therefore, to better understand the Christology of Douglass, we need this overview.

In the second place, while the anthropology, soteriology and eschatology of Douglass are most prominent and form the dominant part of his system,12 this superstructure rests on his Christology which plays a smaller but vital role. Therefore, to correctly understand the crucial nature of his Christology it will be necessary to look at the superstructure which it undergirds. We will, therefore, first take the overview of Douglass' main theological thrust and then we will present his Christology in sharper focus.

A. An Overview of the Theology of Douglass

We will endeavor to present the basic theology of Douglass in summary form showing the logical progression of each section.

l. Man's life of faith­Douglass' primary focus

Wherever one begins in Douglass’ theology, it soon becomes apparent that the bottom line is always the question of the quality of man's existential life in the here and now.13 Because of this we have chosen to start at this particular point.

Whether Douglass starts with the origin of sin, the creation, the Incarnation, the cross or the second advent, he quickly moves to his central concern, namely, the character and quality of man,14 because for him the crux of Christianity lies in the visible production of happy, healthy and contented people.15 But it is essential to note that for Douglass this quality of life depends entirely upon a faith relationship with God.16 For Douglass, this faith is not simply mental assent to some creed or dogma;17 it is not merely a matter of playing word games;18 it is saying a meaningful ‘yes’ to God under all circumstances.19 However, saying ‘yes’ to God is not a one-time only event but a repeated affirmation which affects the actual character of man.20 And it affects man continuously, for faith is not static but it is a dynamic and on-going response to the call of God.21

But for Douglass this on-going response cannot be left in this abstract form, for as God's call is clearly revealed in His will, namely, the law of God, the response of faith manifests itself in obedience to the law of God.22 Faith includes, therefore, obedience to God.23 Through faith in God's power this obedience to the law of God can become perfect and total.24 For Douglass, therefore, faith can also be understood as righteous living.25 Douglass sees 'righteousness by faith' as living righteously by faith.26

2. The gospel as the means to the life of faith

For Douglass the essential meaning of the gospel is that God has provided power for man to live righteously by faith.27 The gospel enables man to live a life of victory and to overcome sin.

While Douglass does maintain that the gospel includes provision for the pardon of the sins of the past, his main emphasis in the gospel is what it can do for man in the present and future.2 Justification is seen as a part of the gospel, but essentially it is viewed as the correction of the past and the clearing of the decks 29 preparatory to the real action of the future. Therefore, we can see that this view is consistent with what we previously indicated to be Douglass' primary focus­the present quality of life.

Thus for Douglass the heart of the gospel is what God does in the life of the saint.30 It is in the work of sanctification performed in the heart of man that the real gospel is evidenced.31 Any claim to faith in Christ which does not produce a radical change evidenced in righteous living is a false gospel.32

3. The 'great controversy' as the essential presupposition to the understanding of the gospel

One does not grasp Douglass' view of the gospel fully unless one sees it against the background of his view of the essential nature of the dilemma to which it is the answer. The gospel is only good news because it answers the problem. For Douglass the problem revolves around the character and government of God.33 This is epitomized in the opposition to the requirements of the moral law of ten commandments (which he sees as the transcript of God's character).34 Therefore, for Douglass all failure to keep God's law is essentially rebellion against God's government.35

This opposition to God's law and government forms the heart of what Douglass calls the 'great controversy.' He sees the 'great controversy' between Christ and Satan as the central drama and conflict of all time.36 In Douglass' thinking this is an overarching concept which reaches back to the origin of sin in heaven.

Initially, the controversy arose in heaven over the character of God.37 Lucifer insinuated that God was a tyrant and that His demands were unjust. As the concrete transcript of God's character is found in His moral law, the controversy moved to the question of the reasonableness of obedience to God's requirements.38

With the fall of man the controversy was intensified and Satan continued with his attack on the unjust requirements of God's law. The moral law of God was clearly stated in the Ten Commandments and this became the heart of Satan's attack.39 Douglass believes that Satan's charge in the controversy was that no man could keep this moral law.40

Christ’s Incarnation was to help settle this ‘great controversy’ over the character and law of God.41 Christ’s life on earth was to show that fallen man could meet God’s requirements and keep His law.42 Furthermore, Christ has set an example so that men and women by faith in God can live righteously and through the power of the gospel have a part in settling the issues of the 'great controversy.'43 When man has finally demonstrated the victorious life in the flesh by perfect obedience to the law of God the 'great controversy' will have finally been settled.44

4. Sin is the act of transgression of the law and thus the central issue of the 'great controversy'

For Douglass sin is the actual transgression of the law of God in thought or act rather than a state into which all men are born.45 For him any concept of 'original sin' in the traditional form is to be rejected.46 Prior to the first deliberate act of sin man is innocent and not guilty before God.47

There is some tension in Douglass' thinking on the state of man at birth. While on the one hand he rejects 'original sin', he does maintain that all men are born with fallen, sinful natures.48 All men are subject to the great law of hereditary and inherent liabilities, weaknesses and tendencies to evil.49 However, this fact does not make man a sinner. He only has the human equipment to make sin a possibility.50

While man has the tendencies, passions and propensities to sin, he remains innocent and without personal sin until he actually yields to temptation.51 Douglass does not equate man's sinful nature with 'original sin'. Possessing a 'sinful nature' man has merely inherited the results of sin and man is in a position to suffer temptation to sin from within as well as from without.52

For Douglass, therefore, human sin is not inevitable. In fact, if the environment was correct, and if the parents were well trained and prepared, and if the child was carefully instructed from his earliest moments and if he could maintain a faith relationship with Christ it would be quite possible for such a child not to commit sin.53 Hence, the Biblical statement that all men are sinners would be seen as a retrospective statement of fact and not an apriori  statement of possibility.

Because sin is the actual transgression of the moral law in wrong acts, Douglass also maintains that through reliance upon God by faith and through the power of God's Word the man who is a sinner by act can reach the place where he ceases to transgress the law through wrong actions and by the grace of God lives above sin.54

5. The humanity of Christ in relation to the 'great controversy' and sin

For Douglass the full and complete humanity of Christ in the Incarnation is of vital importance in settling the issues in the 'great controversy' between Christ and Satan.55 One of the main reasons for the Incarnation, according to Douglass, was to show that Ian could keep God's law, thus disproving Satan's Marge.56 give an example of obedience and this could serve to encourage all other men with the hope of victory in the struggle against evil.57 In addition, Douglass teaches that Christ came in fallen, sinful human nature, reaching man at his lowest point, proving that fallen man can obey God's law perfectly.58

What Christ did in His humanity all other men can do by the grace of God. For Douglass the reality and genuineness of the humanity of Christ is vital because what Christ did will be accomplished by His followers through faith.59 Those who follow the example of Jesus in living lives of perfection will have an important part in finally settling the basic issues of the 'great controversy' - are God's laws reasonable and can they be kept?60

Thus for Douglass there is nothing docetic about Jesus Christ and His earthly life. Christ was a real man and came into the world like all other men.61 He was born with the hereditary traits of His ancestors and was not exempt from the weaknesses and liabilities of man62 He took upon Himself man's sinful, fallen human nature with the possibility of yielding to temptation.63 He had the normal passions and tendencies of humanity and faced temptation from within as well as from without.64

Douglass has a two-fold view of the propensities of sin with reference to Christ.66 The first is a propensity to sin which all men including Christ inherit. In this sense all men have sinful human natures, natures which are able to yield to temptation. The second class of propensities are propensities of sin which means that an individual has yielded to temptation and has committed sin; hence a propensity of sin has been cultivated. While all men are sinners by act and possess this second type of propensity, Christ never sinned, and therefore, did not possess cultivated propensities of sin. But Douglass would maintain that Jesus Christ in His humanity did possess tendencies, passions and propensities to sin.

For Douglass, the full humanity of Christ is hence of utmost importance in the ‘great controversy.’66 If Jesus in His fallen human nature never transgressed the law of God then we can do the same for, according to Douglass, Jesus Christ had no advantage over humanity in general.67 Christ’s obedience to the law is as reasonable as our obedience to God’s requirements and together combine in settling this vital issue in the ‘great controversy.’68 full obedience to God’s requirements on the part of man is reasonable and possible.69

6. Jesus' example as the essence of the gospel and the means of a life of faith

As we have seen in the previous section, the humanity of Jesus has a crucial relation to the 'great controversy’ precisely in the fact that the sinless life of Christ answered the challenge that the law could not be kept.70 Coming with our liabilities, Jesus successfully lived above sin.71 Flowing from these two points, we can discern the logical bridge to that which Douglass declares is the second major function of the humanity of Christ. That is as example and model for all men.72 It is precisely because Jesus lived without sin, with a nature exactly like ours,73 that it therefore becomes possible and necessary for us to do the same. The reason why it is necessary goes back to Douglass' insistence on the primary importance of the 'good news' that man can live above sin in the life of faith here and now. Douglass writes: "Jesus did it - I can too. I can live sinlessly even as He did, through faith in my heavenly Father."74 The possibility opens the way to the insistence of its necessity. Christ's humanity stands, therefore, as the example and model which must be copied by man.

Douglass would insist that while on earth Christ laid aside the powers of His divinity and lived successfully in His humanity by means of faith in His Father.75 He never used any powers not available to man.76 Through faith in our heavenly Father we too may live the victorious life on the basis of Christ's example.77 The life of faith was the secret of Christ's success and as example and model we are challenged to copy Him.

Because Jesus Christ is example and model rather than an end in Himself for Douglass, he tends to see the faith of Jesus as being of greater significance than faith in Jesus.78 He would interpret the 'faith of Jesus' as having 'faith like Jesus had.'79 This is vital for man if he wishes to follow the example of Jesus. While it is good to have faith in Jesus Christ, this must be translated into a personal faith in God like Jesus had, in order for the power of the gospel to really become operative in man and for man to follow the example of Jesus.

Furthermore, Douglass would see the life of Christ as a motivating power which would inspire man to go out and do the same. What Christ did in His humanity would be an inspiration and an influence for man to do. The moral influence of the life of Jesus would result in man's doing what He did.80

Douglass would agree that in this life, at least up to the close of probation,81 man might fall short of reaching the ideal and of really following Christ fully as example and model.82 There is pardoning grace available to man upon acknowledgement and confession of sin in failing to reach the example.83 When man is prepared to forsake sin, God gives him another opportunity to reach the standard and in this way he will always strive to follow the model as closely as possible.84

7. Sinless perfection - the logical implication of Christ as Model

While Douglass makes provision, as we saw in the previous section, for a temporary failure to reach the ideal, there is no doubt that the implication of his view of the human nature of Christ and its exemplary function would lead him to an explicit acceptance of the possibility of sinless perfection for all men.85 Furthermore, living a life of total obedience to the law of God is not an impossibility, for God's requirements and laws are reasonable and for our good, hence, Satan's accusations against the law of God are false.86 The power of the gospel is available to change lives and to make obedience total. If one's relationship with Christ is maintained, a life of perfection by God's grace is attainable.

For Douglass the ideal of sinless perfection becomes a necessity for the following reasons. Firstly, in order to make our Christian witness in an unbelieving world as effective as possible the perfect response to the witness to God's will would be persuasive.87 Secondly, if the Christian has the faith of Jesus and the same basic equipment, would it not be a logical expectation to see in man the same life of perfection as was evidenced in Christ?88 Thirdly, Douglass maintains that a life of sinless perfection would indicate that those living such lives by God's grace are "safe to save."89 To save a rebel or a man who is at enmity with God's law or by his faulty life shows a preference for sin would be to invite sin to rear its head again in God's universe. Finally, Douglass insists on perfection on the basis of the judgment.90 As the law of God is to be the standard in the judgment it must be within God's provision for man to render perfect obedience. The promise that "He is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before His presence" (Jude 24) is taken by Douglass to indicate that man will reach a condition of inherent perfection, through Christ's power, rather than what he would consider a synthetic state of perfection through the merits of Christ.91

8. The Pre-Advent Judgment as the setting for sinless perfection

We have noted in the previous section that one of the reasons for the necessity of sinless perfection for Douglass is the judgment taking place in heaven. Along with traditional Adventist teaching, Douglass holds that the earthly Mosaic sanctuary is a type of the true heavenly sanctuary and that just as there were two divisions of priestly work in the earthly sanctuary, so there are two divisions to the work in the heavenly Sanctuary since the cross.92 Accordingly, it is held that Christ began His High Priestly ministration in the 'first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary at His ascension and in 1844, at the close of the 2,300-day period of Daniel 8:14, Christ moved into the second or most holy apartment and began the second phase of His ministration.93 This corresponds to the 'cleansing of the sanctuary' and points to a work of judgment.94

Douglass would see this second phase of priestly ministration focusing on the ark of the covenant, the law of God and the judgment.95 During this antitypical Day of Atonement when man faces the solemnity of the judgment he is to seek to come into an experience of total perfection.96 While Douglass believes that throughout time individuals have here and there experienced sinless perfection, the period since 1844 would call for a greater and more consistent evidence of this experience.97

The final generation who are alive to face the investigative judgment will require this perfection of character as they must live through the 'time of trouble' without a Mediator and hence live without sin.98 Furthermore, for God to close probation while men are still living and able to make new decisions, necessitates their having reached a state where they will not choose to sin again so that God can be just in declaring them righteous.99

Quite evidently, for Douglass, this group demonstration of sinless perfection has not yet been seen despite the lapse of almost 140 years since 1844.100 This is not due to failure on the part of God or Christ but is wholly man's fault.101 However, Douglass is confident that the time will come when a generation of Advent-orientated people will achieve sinless perfection and when this truly 'cleansed' generation emerges, the heavenly sanctuary will be finally 'cleansed' and the investigative judgment will come to an end.102

9. A perfect generation vindicates God during the judgment

For Douglass the question of the vindication of the character of God is vital.103 The 'great controversy' has raged around the character of God and His law. While it is true that Christ's earthly life of obedience and His death on the cross brought vindication to God, Douglass sees this vindication as not final or complete.104 He believes that a further and fuller Vindication of God is needed.105 While individual Christians have sporadically had a part in vindicating God this demonstration has not been adequate. Since 1844 Christ has been ministering in the second phase of His priestly ministration and the special judgment-hour message has been going to the world. Hence, Douglass maintains that any time after 1844 the time has been ripe for a final vindication of the character of God.106 He believes that it is necessary for a whole generation of saints to live righteously by faith as Christ did and to demonstrate in a consistent way that complete obedience to God's law makes men holy, happy and healthy.107

According to Douglass, all heaven has been waiting for this final demonstration and vindication, and when a generation of Advent-orientated Christians accept the challenge and experience the faith which Jesus had and live a life of perfection and of victory everyone will see that Satan has been a liar expectations have not been too high.108 These saints will demonstrate the truth of Revelation 14:12: "Here are they that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus."109 They will become Exhibit A110 before the universe that God's ways are just and right. Douglass believes that God will be able to point to these people without embarrassment111 and say: "Here they are; take a good look at them. This is what my kingdom is like."112 This final demonstration by a sufficiently large group of people will bring complete vindication to the character of God before the entire universe.113

10. The second advent delayed due to a lack of a quality people

Douglass' eschatology is characterized by an element of conditionalism with reference to the eschaton.114 He believes that the second advent has been delayed primarily because the final vindication of God by a generation of quality Christians has not yet taken place.115 He finds the principle of the delayed Advent in the parable of the virgins of Matthew 25 with its picture of the bridegroom who tarried.116

Douglass is convinced that Christ could have returned very soon after 1844 if the church had in a practical way accepted righteous living by faith.117 He believes that the delay has been substantial and in fact says: "Our Lord has been in a holding pattern for more than a century."118

According to Douglass this delay in the second Advent of Christ is not God's fault,119 neither is it because world conditions are not ripe for the Advent.120 For him the real problem lies in the character and life-style of God's children.121 He is convinced that it is a failure to demonstrate the life of faith that is delaying the coming of Christ. He believes that God's people are not revealing the Christian love and maturity that is called for.122 Those who claim to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus are not really demonstrating the consistent quality of life that would be an effective witness to the world.

Therefore, Douglass holds that the failure of the church to live the life of faith, to experience the power of the gospel, to truly keep the commandments of God, to reach a correct level of perfection and to reveal the depth of love of a quality generation is causing a delay in the second Advent.123 This delay will continue until God finds a committed generation who are prepared to fully reflect the image of Jesus and thus vindicate the character of God.124

11. Douglass' theology culminates in 'harvest' eschatology

In view of what has been said in the previous sections, we would submit that Douglass' eschatology is largely dominated by what he calls the 'harvest' principle.125 He bases this on the parable of the growing seed in Mark 4:26-29. Here we read of the stalk, then the head and finally of the full kernel in the head: "As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come" (verse 29). Douglass then links this with Revelation 14: 14-16 and maintains that character is being developed and when a generation of believers have reached a stage of character ripeness, Christ will return to reap the harvest.126 The 'harvest' principle is Douglass' method of tying together the various strands of his thought into a neat bundle. The achievement of the quality life of faith which will hasten on the Advent, is likened to the ripened grain which brings on the harvest. Furthermore, the harvest will bring to fruition the good news of the gospel that God is truly able to save men from sin. The harvest will also climax the 'great controversy' and will bring both the ripened grain and the full-grown tares to reaping time. For Douglass the harvest at the end of the world will demonstrate that sin has been an unnecessary tumor waiting only to be excised by faith. Furthermore, Douglass would see the humanity of Christ as a type of first-fruits of the general harvest at the end and hence of the same quality. If the first-fruit was perfect and without fault then the 'harvest' principle would demand that the final product also be perfect and complete. Douglass finds harmony in the concept of the judgment and the harvest. He sees both pictures as eschatological and each casting light on the other. The final, perfect harvest gathered in at the end will bring full vindication to God and will prove that God's ways are best. Douglass is convinced that the 'harvest' principle of the full-grown and mature grain will fully explain the delay in the second Advent.127 Christ will return but He cannot come until a generation of mature Advent-orientated men and women produce the ripeness of character fitted for the final harvest.128


10 Evidence for this assertion will be presented in the following section as we give an overview of the main points of his systematic theology. [back]

11 This will also become apparent as we present the overview. [back]

12 A careful scrutiny of his books and articles will give evidence of the dominance of soteriology and eschatology over Christology. This is seen, for example, in his Faith, Saying Yes to God, in his contribution to Perfection: The Impossible Possibility?, in his The End-Unique Voice of Adventists About the Return of Jesus and in Why Jesus Waits. And yet, while the volume of his Christological contribution is less, it is of vital significance to his soteriology and eschatology. [back]

13 Notice the article "Jesus Waits for a Quality People," Review and Herald, December 6, 1973: "He is waiting for His people to demonstrate that the commandment-way of life produces the happiest, nicest, healthiest people on the face of the planet, for unless that is done He will not have truly settled His case with the universe." See also "Beyond Excellence," Review and Herald, January 29, 1970. "Excellence with a burning commitment to reproduce Christ's way of life in the flesh again is the achievement for which all heaven still waits." Notice Douglass' emphasis that the first duty of the Christian is self-development (Perfection, p.27). [back]

14 See Perfection, pp.22,23, where Douglass is discussing Matthew 24,25 and very soon focuses on the ‘quality of life’ of man. In "Why the World Needs Mission '72," Review and Herald, March 16, 1972, Douglass writes: "Plainly, man's regard for the quality of life will determine his fitness to live forever" (p.6). [back]

15 Douglass often uses such words to describe God's last generation of believers. Men and women "will demonstrate that God's way of life is the happiest, nicest, healthiest way to live" (Why Jesus Waits, p.29). See also Perfection, p.13; The End, p.108. While there is truth in this optimistic view of man reaching God's ideal one must ask regarding the place for the dedicated, saintly Christian who might be very unhealthy or diseased. At times their demonstration is more convincing than that of a healthy person. This paradox is evident in a world of sin and suffering. [back]

16 See Douglass’ articles, "Faith the Free Response of a Convinced Man," Review and Herald, March 26, 1970; "The Rock of Christian Faith," Review and Herald, April 2, 1970; "Where is your Faith?" Review and Herald, January 4, 1973; "Faith is more than Belief," Review and Herald, March 6, 1975; "Faith the Opposite of Rebellion," Review and Herald, March 20, 1975. [back]

17 Douglass, Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.45: "The faith that is unto salvation is not a mere intellectual assent to the truth." See chapter 2, "How Faith is Misunderstood," in the same book. [back]

18 Douglass, Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.69: "The Lord of heaven...does not play word games with His children. The issue has always been faith or rebellion, obedience or disobedience, love or self-centeredness." Here Douglass is particularly speaking of justification by faith. [back]

19 See Douglass, Faith, Saying yes to God. See also The End, p.100. [back]

20 "Such faith transforms men and women...A new power, a new principle of action, takes over a person's life" (Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.45). [back]

21 Douglass: "Biblical faith, then, is man's proper response to God's initiative" (Faith, Saying yes to God, p.46). See also "Faith, the Free Response of Convinced man,” Review and Herald, March 26, 1970, p.11, See "The Rock of Christian Faith,” Review and Herald, April 2, 1970: “New Testament faith is not static...Each new encounter with the Lord, every time the insight registers that God’s Word is speaking to us, that rock of conviction and certainty takes on new dimension: (p.14). [back]

22 Note Douglass' linking of faith with obedience to the law of God: "In fact, His [Christ's] example of obedience proved that the nicest, happiest, most composed person in the midst of life's great distresses was a man of faith and a commandment keeper" (The End, p.134). [back]

23 Douglass says: "Faith was belief, trust, obedience, and deepest conviction all wrapped up in a cheerful companionship with their Lord and Master" (Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.32). Further: "Faith is the whole person doing everything that a grateful person can do to show gratitude, sincerity, and loyalty" (Ibid., p.60). [back]

24 Note Douglass' words: "One of the distinguishing features of Christianity is that its members may cease to sin, may overcome all inherited and cultivated tendencies to sin" (The End, p.147). Douglass writes of God's purpose to save His people from the penalty and power of sin, "and that He will have a people demonstrating once and for all that His grace is more than sufficient to eradicate sin from human practice" (Ibid., p.150). [back]

25 Douglass says: "Noah preached his message of righteous living by faith at a time when 'the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and...filled with violence' Genesis 6:11" (The End, p.84). [back]

26 Douglass calls 'righteousness by faith' a process of living righteously by faith. Speaking of the development of attractive Christians he writes: "That is exactly what the process, righteousness by faith, is all about" (Perfection, p.29). See his discussion of 'righteousness by faith' as a process by which a man becomes right with God and proves his fitness to live forever (Ibid., pp.47-49). See "Faith, the Key to the 'Last Generation'," Review and Herald, April 17, 1975, P.13. [back]

27 See Douglass, "What is the Gospel?" Mimeographed document, [n.d.] , 19 pages. Obtainable from the Seventh-day Adventist Biblical Research Institute, Washington, D.C. [back]

28 Douglass writes: "If Jesus is only man's Saviour and not truly his Substitute or Example, thus proving that all men can do what He did if they too would live a life of faith, then the challenge to do what He did is immeasurably reduced" (Perfection, p.49). One wonders why Douglass makes such a clear distinction between Saviour and Substitute and prefers to link Substitute with Example almost equating the latter two terms. It is significant to note that in one of Douglass' articles he places Christ as Example before Substitute: "His role as man's example and substitute would have to be heralded to the world" ("Faith, the Free Response of a Convinced Man," Review and Herald, March 26, 1970). Does this not indicate Douglass' greater concern for sanctification than for justification? For a discussion of justification see Faith, Saying Yes to God, pp.62-71. [back]

29 Notice Douglass' interest in the real action of the future: "The message of the Bible becomes more precious as well as exceedingly simple. 'Jesus did it - I can too. I can live sinlessly even as He did, through faith in my heavenly Father.'" Perfection, pp. 49,50. [back]

30 Douglass, The End, p.94. "The 'gospel of the kingdom' is the good news that God has all the solutions 'or man's salvation, that Jesus reigns, especially in :he lives of men and women of faith." See also p.112. [back]

31 Douglass, The End, p.78. "'This gospel of the kingdom' is the good news about how God will save men and women from their sins. The story of how God reaches out to pardon all mankind, how He stands ready to provide the power to keep from sinning, is the best news that any man or woman, regardless of his station in life, can ever hear." See also p.138 where he writes of this good news that honest, weary, struggling men and women want to know. [back]

32 See Douglass, "What is the Gospel?" Mimeographed document, [n.d.] , p.2. [back]

33 This problem arose in heaven with Lucifer before the creation of this world and revolved around the law of God as the basis of God's government. See Douglass, Perfection, pp.36,37; The End, pp.132-140; "God on Trial," The Ministry, May 1982, pp.7-9. [back]

34 Theologians of varying Reformed and Lutheran background would accept this thought. See Francis Nichol, "The Law of God in Church Creeds," Reasons for our Faith, Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1947, pp.229-249. However, it should be remembered that even the Ten Commandments are given in human language and that God who is love cannot be circumscribed by such language. [back]

35 In describing those who "keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Rev.14:12), Douglass speaks of this "last generation" as men and women who are no longer rebels. See Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.85. In Douglass' thinking, are those who acknowledge the commandments of God as a divine standard and submit to Christ but do not always keep the commandments 'perfectly' still rebels? Is it only the 'last generation' who are no longer rebels? [back]

36 Douglass says: "To Seventh-day Adventists has been given the assignment of making this theology of the great controversy known in simple terms" (The End, p.20). Note also: "From Genesis to Revelation the story of the controversy unfolds, describing how God defends Himself and settles the questions that deception has raised" (Douglass, "God on Trial," The Ministry, May 1982, p.7). [back]

37 See Douglass, The End, p.134; "God on Trial," The Ministry, May 1982, pp.7-9. [back]

38 See Douglass, Perfection, p.36. Note also: "Eventually Lucifer charged that God's law could not be obeyed and that God was the author of sin, suffering and death" (Douglass, "God on Trial," The Ministry, May 1982, p.7). [back]

39 Although the Ten Commandments were only given in codified form at Sinai it is believed that they were given orally to Adam and Eve after their fall so that they were aware of these principles of right and wrong. [back]

40 In other words, God was a tyrant and unreasonable in His expectations regarding man and his ability to obey the moral law. [back]

41 Douglass, Jesus-The Benchmark of Humanity, pp. 35-40; See also The Humanity of Jesus, mimeographed document, pp.2,3; see also "The Humanity of the Son of God is Everything to Us," Review and Herald, December 23, 1971, p.12. [back]

42 Douglass says: "Jesus proved that man, even in his fallen human nature, could keep God's law" (Perfection, p.36), also p.53; see also, "Jesus Showed Us the Possible," Review and Herald, December 30, 1971, p.16. [back]

43 See Douglass, "The Demonstration that Settles Everything," Review and Herald, January 6, 1972, p.13. See also Douglass, The End, p.113: "This kind of life pattern, as depicted in Matthew 24 and 25, will settle many questions in the great controversy and will open the way for Jesus to return." [back]

44 See Douglass, Why Jesus Waits, pp.55-61 which is the chapter entitled "Why Time Lingers." [back]

45 Note Douglass' words: "However, the Biblical truth about the reality of Christ's humanity and Ellen White's resounding confirmation of His complete identification with all humanity's liabilities, short of sinning Himself, turns the whole story around" (Perfection, p.49). Note the accent on the act of sin. [back]

46 Douglass, in speaking against the 'transmitted sin syndrome' writes quite clearly against the concept of original sin: "Some have called it the original sin that all men share, or the federal head fallout, etc. Although there are many variations, the idea seems to surface that either all men are born guilty, or that all men are born sinful. If 'sinful' means 'able to sin unless there is divine grace to keep from falling,' there is no misunderstanding and there would be no disagreement. But something more than the above definition for 'sinful' is demanded although whatever is said becomes mysterious and contradictory to such Adventist concepts as free will and human responsibility" (pp. 4,5). An Historical Footnote, mimeograph document, 1975, 6 pages. Biblical Research Institute. [back]

47  Ibid. [back]

48 Douglass has Jesus descend to the level of our sinful fallen natures: "The majesty of Jesus is demeaned when we lessen His real victory as the Sinless One by making it appear that He did not descend to the level of our sinful, fallen nature and face temptation as all other men have" (Perfection, p.39). [back]

49 Discussing the word 'propensities' Douglass suggests that Ellen White uses the word in two ways and the first is applicable here: "in the sense of inherent weaknesses, liabilities, tendencies to sin, and clamors of our fallen nature that every child of Adam inherits;" (An Historical Note on the 1895 Baker Letter, mimeo-graphed document, 1975, 12 pages). Obtainable from Biblical Research Institute. For more elaborate treatment see footnote 228 of this chapter. [back]

50 For Douglass a 'sinful nature' does not make a child a sinner. In a letter from Douglass to this author he wrote: "Probably the easiest way to understand the phrase, 'sinful nature' is to think of it as 'nature that is able to sin" (Letter from Douglass to E C Webster, October 20, 1972, in this author's files). In a letter from Webster to Douglass dated November 17, 1972, it was pointed out that if this definition of 'sinful nature' was accepted we would have the anomaly of Adam and Eve possessing 'sinful natures' before they had sinned. In Douglass' reply of January 18, 1973, he wrote: "I concede to your observation regarding a definition for sinful nature being 'a nature that is able to sin'. This is only a working definition for men this side of the fall in Eden." [back]

51 This is, of course, necessary for Douglass because he wishes both Christ and man to be on the same level. As both have 'sinful natures' and Christ cannot be a sinner, man, likewise, remains sinless until his first wrong choice. [back]

52 In a compilation of Ellen White statements Douglass endeavors to show that Jesus Christ like sinful man was tempted from within as well as from without. See Compilations by Herbert Douglass, mimeographed document, 1975, 12 pages. Biblical Research Institute. It might be in order for Christ to be tempted from within if we maintain that He was without taint of sin like Adam. However, it is very easy to think incorrectly of Christ having sinful tendencies like fallen man. To have Christ face temptation from within on this basis is incorrect. [back]

53 Douglass implies this as he discusses the fact that Jesus chose His mother and proceeds to argue for the powerful influence of a godly mother upon the child. See Unidentified Mimeographed document prepared by H E Douglass for the Biblical Research Institute, pp. 3a,b,c. See also Jesus-The Benchmark of Humanity, p.46. [back]

54 Douglass speaks of the "unsullied purity and sinless perfection of character to be revealed by faithful Christians in the last generation" (Perfection, p.35). [back]

55 See Douglass' chapter, "God with Us," In Jesus-The Benchmark of Humanity, pp.25-40. [back]

56 See Perfection, pp.35,36. In speaking of the Incarnation as the bedrock of all Christian faith, Douglass shows that in this event "Jesus proved that man, even in his fallen human nature, could keep God's law" (p.36). [back]

57 Douglass writes: "Jesus did it - I can too. I can live sinlessly even as He did, through faith in my heavenly Father" (Perfection, pp.49,5). [back]

58 This is the whole intent of Douglass' Compilations of Ellen White's statements dealing with Christ's taking man's fallen nature and acting as an example for all fallen men. [back]

59 Douglass wishes us to understand of Christ "that He proved that any other man of faith, open to the empowering Holy Spirit, may live a Christ-like (that is, sinless) life also" (Perfection, p.39). [back]

60 See Douglass, "The Demonstration that Settles Everything," Review and Herald, January 6, 1972, p.13. [back]

61 This is the theme of his book, Jesus-The Benchmark of Humanity. [back]

62 Douglass writes: "The burden of proof rests with those who believe that a break existed between Mary and Jesus and that He did not take upon Himself the full liability of human nature as do all babies" (Jesus-The Benchmark of Humanity, pp.27,28). See Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.8. [back]

63 See Why Jesus Waits, pp. 7-10. [back]

64 See Douglass' An Historical Note on the 1895 Baker Letter. [back]

65 When we come to an evaluation of Douglass' Christology we will devote some space to his relationship to Ellen White and will note his observations on the Baker letter. See footnote 228 in this chapter. [back]

66 See Douglass, Perfection, pp.40,41. See also The Humanity of Jesus, mimeographed document, pp.2,3. [back]

67 Douglass says: "Jesus employed no advantages that are not available to every human being. His faith in His heavenly Father alone constituted the secret of His triumph over sin (1 John 5:4)" (Perfection, pp.44,45). [back]

68 See the chapter. "God's People Vindicate His Government," in The End, pp.132-138. [back]

69  Ibid., p.132. [back]

70 See Douglass, Perfection, p.43. [back]

71 Douglass speaks of Jesus "who demonstrated, with all of man's liabilities besetting Him, that God's law of love could be kept - that man could be indeed an overcomer, here and now" (Perfection, p.14). [back]

72 The idea of example and model is the theme of the entire book, Jesus-The Benchmark of Humanity. [back]

See Perfection, pp.40-45, where Douglass discusses the human nature of Christ and gives supporting Ellen White evidence. [back]

74 Douglass, Perfection, pp.49,5. Furthermore he writes: "Christ proved that sin was not inevitable or necessary. He demonstrated by a life of faith that men and women when connected with divine power can live without sinning" (Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.77). [back]

75 Note Douglass: "So with Jesus Christ; because He chose to lay aside His divine powers while He was a man, He too had to trust completely on the power of God through faith" (Perfection, p.45). Writing in the special anniversary issue of the Review and Herald, Douglass says: "He [Christ] had set aside for a time His divine prerogatives when He became truly human" ("Meet the Man Who Makes Us Human," Review and Herald, Vol. 152, No. 51, 1975, p.38). [back]

76 See Douglas, Perfection, p.45. Also: "There was nothing special or unique about His human nature that gave Him any advantage over 'his brethren'" (Special Anniversary Issue, Review and Herald, Volume 152, No. 51, 1975, p.38). [back]

77 Douglass says: "He still rebukes men and women when they fear that they cannot be like Him. Any self-serving, comfortable thought that we will not 'be like Him' (l John 3:2) this side of the resurrection will again receive His condemnation" (Faith, Saying Yes to God, pp. 8,9). Further: "To put it plainly, living in faith is living as Jesus did" (Ibid., p.47). And: "His victory over temptation has demonstrated that any man may also overcome as He overcame" (Perfection, p.33). [back]

78 For Douglass 'faith in Jesus' could be spurious but when a person has the 'faith of Jesus' and demonstrates this by a Christ-like life, the power of the faith which Jesus had is being clearly evidenced. [back]>

79 See Douglass' discussion of the 'faith of Jesus' in Faith, Saying Yes to God, pp.11-13. Also in Perfection, p.46, where Douglass writes: "Do you want their happiness and hope? If you do, then you must know their secret: they keep My commandments, and they have a faith like Jesus had." [back]

80 This is the main line of thought in Douglass' presentation of Jesus Christ as man's Model and Example. [back]

81 The 'close of probation' is Adventist terminology applied to a point in time when Christ ceases His priestly ministration in the heavenly sanctuary as the destiny of all men is settled. The seven last plagues of Revelation 16 are then poured out upon the finally unregenerate preparatory to Christ's second advent. [back]

82 He does recognize this in the practicality of human life but actually believes that there is no real excuse for sin. [back]

83 Douglass writes: "On the other hand He does not pardon unconditionally. He expects a change before He pardons, or else the integrity of His government would disintegrate. That change He has called faith" (Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.67). [back]

84 Note Douglass' comment: "The Lord of heaven wants an end to sin as soon as possible, and He has promised the resources of heaven to assist those who feel the same way about their sins" (Faith. Saying Yes to God, p.69). [back]

85 In this connection Douglass writes: "Christ proved that sin was not inevitable or necessary. He demonstrated by a life of faith that men and women when connected with divine power can live without sinning" (Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.77). Douglass does apply the term 'sinless perfection' especially to the last generation. This is clearly his intent generally. He speaks of the "unsullied purity and sinless perfection of character to be revealed by faithful Christians in the last generation" (Perfection, p.35). This 'sinless perfection' is applied to the character and not to the body. Douglass would also be quick to differentiate between 'sinless perfection' and 'perfectionism,' which he would reject. See Douglass, "Paxton's Misunderstanding of Adventism," Spectrum, Vol. 9, No. 3, July 1978, pp.31-37. [back]

86 See Douglass, The End, pp.132,133. [back]

87 Douglass: "Their public witness becomes God's last plea to a rebel planet" (Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.10). [back]

88 Douglass says: "Jesus proved that man in sinful flesh could live without sinning" (Perfection, pp. 43,44). [back]

89 Douglass describes some generation of latter-day Christians who will reveal perfection of character and speaks of these as "safe to save." This is a favorite saying. See Perfection, p.30; The End, pp.102,103; "Advent Waits for God's Exhibit A," Review and Herald, August 13, 1970; "U.S. Population Growth Rate Declines," Review and Herald, April 6, 1972; "No Anxiety in the Man of Faith," Review and Herald, August 30, 1973. [back]

90 Douglass writes: "Even God will not give, posit, reckon, or credit His character to another in the judgment" (The End, p.102). If this is true it would mean that everyone coming up in the judgment must possess a spotless character of their own. Why will God not credit His own character to a believing saint in the judgment? The whole basis of justification is that "Christ's character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned" (E. G. White, Steps to Christ, p.62). While it is true that our characters are taken to heaven and we cannot change them after death, every saint will need the character of Christ in the judgment to add any merit to his own. Speaking of the judgment, Ellen White says: "Christ will clothe His faithful ones with His own righteousness, that He may present them to His Father 'a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing'" (The Great Controversy, p.484). It is in the judgment that God's people are clothed with Christ's righteousness and thus enabled to be without spot. [back]

91 Douglass uses Jude 24 to mean that when God says He will present the saints as faultless before His presence, they are really and actually without fault. For Douglass this is a promise that God can actually keep us from sinning and make us inherently faultless by His grace. This is the intent of Douglass' usage of Jude 24 in the article "Christ Our High Priest, Pardon and Power," The Ministry, March 1977, p.12. Here he speaks of Christ giving "sufficient power for the present" and then quotes Jude 24. See also Douglass, Why Jesus Waits, p.50; Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.78; The End, p.138.[back]

92 For representative Adventist sources in this connection see M. L. Andreasen, The Sanctuary Service, Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1937; W. H. Branson, In Defense of the Faith, Takoma Park, Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1933, pp.268-305; L. E. Froom, Movement of Destiny, pp.541-560; S. N. Haskell, The Cross and its Shadow, Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1949; W. G. C. Murdoch, "The Gospel in Type and Antitype," Our Firm Foundation, Vol. l, Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1953, pp.301-356; Uriah Smith, Looking Unto Jesus, Battle Creek, Michigan: Review and Herald Publishing Company, 1898; C. H. Watson, The Atoning Work of Christ, Takoma Park, Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1934; E G White, The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan, Mountain View: California: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1911, pp.391-432; 479-491; E G White, Patriarchs and Prophets, Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1913, pp.343-373.[back]

93 William Miller believed and taught that Christ would return to earth at the end of the 2300 days. When this did not take place he and his followers experienced the 'Great Disappointment' of October 22, 1844. After further study some who had passed through this experience found what they believed to be Biblical support for the idea that Christ entered the second phase of His priestly ministry in 1844. See P. Gerard Damsteegt, Foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Message and Mission, Grand Rapids, Michigan: W. B. Eerdmans, pp.103-135; Francis D. Nichol, Reasons for our Faith, pp.15-225; 353-375; A. W. Spalding, Origin and History of Seventh-day Adventists, Vol. l, pp.97-113.[back]

94 The 'cleansing of the sanctuary' used in the King James translation is connected with the ritual of the cleansing of the Mosaic sanctuary on the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16 and thus it is believed that in 1844 the heavenly sanctuary was to be 'cleansed'. This would involve a work of the examination of the heavenly records and the final disposal of the record of sin. [back]

95 In the earthly sanctuary the ark containing the Ten Commandments was the one article of furniture in the Most Holy place. Thus it is believed that in the anti-type in heaven the attention will be focused on the law of God as the basis of judgment. [back]

96 While Douglass would interpret this experience as one of inherent sinless perfection by God's grace, other Adventist thought leaders such as Heppenstall, Ford and Spangler, to name only a few, would see loyalty to Christ as the main issue in the judgment rather than sinless perfection. Instead of contending for sinless perfection, Heppenstall writes: "Properly understood, we contend for the Biblical doctrine of perfection: the perfecting of a right relationship to God, full commitment, a mature and unshakable allegiance to Jesus Christ" (Perfection, p.64). See also Heppenstall, "Theological Answer to Perfectionistic Doctrine," typeset document, 11 pages, in possession of author of dissertation. On Desmond Ford, see "When Probation Closes; Absolute Loyalty or Absolute Sinlessness," typeset document, 10 pages, in possession of author of dissertation. Spangler says clearly on Aspire Tape of the Month, June 1981, in "The Theological Uniqueness and Issues Within Adventism," that if all those to be saved in the judgment had reached sinless perfection there would be no need for a judgment. Because God saves some sinners and rejects others a judgment is required. [back]

97 Douglass says: "One of the most urgent messages of the sanctuary doctrine to Christians since 1844 is that something special is required of God's followers in terms of character development that may not have been so crucial to the development of the church heretofore" (Why Jesus Waits, p.45).[back]

98 Quite clearly Douglass speaks of "the unsullied purity and sinless perfection of character to be revealed by faithful Christians in the last generation" (Perfection, p.35). Although Douglass states that "God does expect sinlessness in this life" (Ibid., p.47), He reserves this highest ideal particularly for the last generation. [back]

99 After the ‘close of probation' there will be a short period before Christ returns. During this time Christ will not be actively engaged in intercessory ministration in the heavenly sanctuary. Douglass says of the saints at that time: "They are ready for probation to close because they have allowed God to cleanse their hearts from all sin. Their life pattern is that of a commandment-keeper" (Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.88).[back]

100 Douglass speaks of the future group demonstration: "Here at last are the people for whom God has been waiting, for at least a century - people who not only say Yes to everything He says, but who demonstrate the distinctive quality of what happens to people who say Yes to God" (Perfection, p.55). See also "Advent Waits for God's Exhibit A," Review and Herald, August 13, 1970; "Truth with Urgency," Review and Herald, August 20, 1970; "God Waits for the Fruit of the Spirit," Review and Herald, April 5, 1973; "Why Jesus Waits," Review and Herald, October 4, 1973; "Jesus Waits for a Quality People," Review and Herald, December 6, 1973; "Why God is Urgent - and yet Waits," Review and Herald, May 16, 1974.[back]

101 See Douglass, The End, pp.97,98.[back]

102 Douglass writes: “The heavenly sanctuary is truly cleansed when God's people are finally truly purified, cleansed, and clean” “In Christ Our High Priest,” The Ministry, March 1977, p.12.[back]

103 This is an important theme in Douglass' thought. See "God's People Vindicate His Government," The End, pp. 132-138; "The Vindication of God," Why Jesus Waits, pp. 45-54; "The Integrity of God's Government Vindicated," Perfection, pp.52-56.[back]

104 This vindication will be accomplished by Jesus and the last generation. See Perfection, p.14; Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.92; The End, p.136.[back]

105 Douglass sees this final vindication of God as necessary for Christ to return. He says: "Jesus is delaying His Advent until His people exhibit His kind of faith, thus vindicating the fairness and wisdom of God's dealing with man" ("God Does Not Play Word Games," The Ministry, October 1974, p.37). This final vindication will come when church members "let God work in their He has never been given the chance before on such a worldwide scale" (Ibid.). See also "The Vindication of God," Why Jesus Waits, pp.45-54.[back]

106 Douglass says: "As far as God is concerned, the harvest could have, and should have, ripened decades ago. The divine catalog said: 'Anytime within the generation living in 1844!'" (The End, p.68).[back]

107 Douglass says that God does expect perfection of character in His people - "a demonstration that some generation of latter-day Christians will reveal before Jesus returns" (Perfection, p.30). See also Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.89. Evidently, the demonstration which even Adventists have been giving over the past 138 years since 1844, by God's grace, is not good enough. [back]

108 This is a recurring theme in all of Douglass' writings and much emphasis is placed on man's part in bringing final and full vindication to God.  [back]

109 Douglass says: "Such a demonstration will be on full display in the last generation of Christians who truly 'keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.' Revelation 14:12" (The End, p.136).[back]

110 Douglass often refers to the demonstration of the last generation as "Exhibit A." See "Advent Waits for Exhibit A," Review and Herald, August 13, 1970; "The Age of Aquarius - for Real," Review and Herald, June 4, 1970; "Regard for Purpose on the Adventist Campus," Review and Herald, September 10, 1970; "Truth with Urgency," Review and Herald, May 30, 1970; "The 'Clean Life' Pays Off," Review and Herald, February 25, 1971; "Why Gifts Were Given to the Church," Review and Herald, March 22, 1973; "God Waits for the Fruit of the Spirit," Review and Herald, April 5, 1973; "No Anxiety in the Man of Faith," Review and Herald, August 30, 1973; "What is the Gospel of the Kingdom," Review and Herald, February 6, 1975; Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.10.[back]

111 Douglass says: "For the first time in this world's history God will be able to point to His church and say without embarrassment: 'Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus' (Revelation 14:12, KJV)" (Perfection, p.46). Further: "Faith has brought them to the point where God can without embarrassment introduce them as His trophies of grace, appealing through them to all men and women to take a good look at what His way of life is all about" (Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.85; see also p.89). See also Douglass, "God's Long-Awaited Harvest," The Signs of the Times, July 1979, p.14.[back]

112 See Perfection, p.46; "Jesus Waits Quality People," Review and Herald, December "Emmanuel - God with Us," Review and Herald, 20, 1973; "God's Purpose through a Symbol," Review and Herald, November 6, 1975.[back]

113 See Perfection, p.14, 52-56. The general thrust of Douglass' writings over the years has been that this special vindication of God by a future group of people who will be living without sin is necessary for the plan of salvation to be complete. Speaking of this group Douglass writes: "When such a people are cleansed from sin and reflect the image of Jesus winsomely and courageously, then God's honor is vindicated, His government cleared of Satan's accusations" (The End, pp.136,137). In a recent article in The Ministry Douglass has attempted to soften his position by broadening man's vindication of God over the span of history. He says: "The last-day vindication of God through His people is not a new feature in the great controversy scenario" ("God on Trial," The Ministry, May 1982, p.9). Has Douglass endeavored to broaden this concept of vindication to counter the criticism of soteriological dispensationalism? If this proves a genuine shift in his thinking he might have to modify his views of 'sinless perfection' confined to some future group for whom God is waiting. Either the vindication of God has been going on and is taking place or God is still waiting for this unique demonstration. [back]

114 By this we mean that Douglass holds that Jesus Christ could have returned in any generation since 1844 and will only return when a final generation have reached God's ideal of Christ-like living. The eschaton is conditioned by the state of the church. [back]

115 See "Jesus Waits for a Quality People," Perfection, pp.18-34. Even in an article on New Testament preaching, Douglass finds that the life-style of preachers and Christians in general has caused a delay in Christ's return. He writes: "Because professed Christians have not fulfilled their role as the living exponent of word and life, the return of Jesus has been delayed" ("The Essence of New Testament Preaching," The Ministry, November 1972, p.36). [back]

116 See "Jesus Waits for a Quality People," Perfection, p.25. [back]

117 Ibid., p.18. [back]

118 Douglass, "How Near is Near, Part 1," Insight, October 7, 1980, p.8. He writes further: "Here at last are the people for whom God has waited for at least a century" (Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.95). See also The End, p.141.[back]

119 See "The Return of Jesus Has Been Delayed," Perfection, pp.15,16.[back]

120 See Ibid., pp.21-24.[back]

121 See Perfection, pp.22,23. Further Douglass says: "readiness for the advent is more a matter of character and life-style than emergency activity" (The End, p.93). The theme of the delay in the Advent was an important one for Douglass in his earlier ministry too. See his series, "Hastening the Advent," Parts l-4, in the Gleaner, official organ of the Atlantic Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Vol. LX, No. 31, August 7, 1961, pp.l,2; Vol. LX, No. 32, August 14, 1961, pp.l,2; Vol. LX, No. 33, August 21, 1961, pp.l,2; Vol. LX, No. 34, August 28, 1961, pp.l,2. In these articles Douglass discusses the problem of the delay and finds the solution in 'righteousness by faith' and 'Christ our Righteousness. '[back]

122 Douglass says that only a living demonstration can be credible. See Perfection, p.24.[back]

123 See "Advent Waits for God's Exhibit A," Review and Herald, August 13, 1970; "The 'Clean Life' Pays Off," Review and Herald, February 25, 1971; "Jesus Waits for a Quality People," Review and Herald, December 6, 1973; "God Stakes His Honor on a Victorious People," Review and Herald, July 4, 1974; "Heaven Waits for Human Channels," Review and Herald, August 29, 1974.[back]

124 Douglass confirms: "Only when Christians finally realize that God will wait for a quality people, generation after generation if need be, will they become serious about the standard of maturation (or perfection) that they must reach" (Perfection, pp.46,47). See also Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.93; The End, p.137.[back]

125 See Douglass, "The Harvest Principle," The End, pp.65-82; Perfection, pp.18-21; "How Near is Near?" Parts 1 & 11, Insight, October 7, 14, 1980; "God's Long-Awaited Harvest," The Signs of the Times, July 1979, pp.13,14; "Why God Waits," These Times, July 1975, pp.8-11.[back]

126 Douglass writes: "Such people are the harvest of the gospel seed for which Jesus now waits" (Faith, Saying Yes to God, p.10).[back]

127 See The End, p.68.[back]

128 Douglass says: "That is, God will wait for the maturing of Christian character in a significant number of people as the chief condition determining those events which affect the time when probation for the world will close, and thus the time of the advent" (The End, p.65).[back]

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