"Truth about Ellen White Writings"

Christian Perfection

1. Righteousness by faith

Ellen White (1827-1915): “The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed; the righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. The first is our title to heaven, the second is our fitness for heaven” (Review and Herald, June 4, 1895; MYP, p. 35, 1930).

Note: One of the primary sources for her Christian perfection themes as for my research seems to be J. C. Ryle’s book, Holiness as shown below.


J.C. Ryle (1816-1900): “The righteousness we have by our justification is not our own, but the everlasting perfect righteousness of our great mediator Christ, imputed to us, and made our own by faith. The righteousness we have by sanctification is our righteousness, imparted, inherent, and wrought in us by the Holy Spirit, but mingled with much infirmities and imperfection” (Holiness: its nature, hindrances, difficulties, and roots, p. 29, 1879 [reprinted in 2011]).

J.C. Ryle (1816-1900): “Justification gives our title to heaven, and… sanctification gives our meetness [fitness] for heaven.” (Ibid., p. 30).

2. What sanctification is

Ellen white (1827-1915): “True sanctification is an entire conformity to the will of God” (The sanctified Life, p. 9).

Ellen White: “true sanctification means perfect love, perfect obedience, perfect conformity to the will of God” (AA, p. 565).

Ellen White: “Entire conformity to the will of our Father which is in heaven is alone sanctification, and the will of God is expressed in His holy law. The keeping of all the commandments of God is sanctification” (RH, March 25, 1902).

Octavious Winslow (1808-1878):  True sanctification- “Briefly and emphatically, it is a progressive conformity of the whole man to the Divine nature” (The Inquirer Directed To An Experimental And Practical View Of The Holy Spirit, p. 170, 1840).

John Cumming (1807-1881): “… the degree of sanctification or holiness attained by a Christian upon earth (I mean by holiness, conformity to the image of Christ, superiorly to all the sins and temptations of the world, triumph over its difficulties, walking in the fear of God, setting himself before us, in filial affection towards him)” (Sabbath Evening Readings on the New Testament: John, p. 319, 1856).

Isaac Ambrose (1604-1664): “Sanctification, if saying, must be perfect and entire… every part and power of the body and soul must have its parts of sanctification… his body must be regenerated, his soul must be renewed: he is moulded anew, and all the members of body are conformed to the sovereignty and rule of grace … holy, and acceptable unto God” (Works of Isaac Ambrose, p. 11, 1829).

J.C. Ryle (1816-1900): “Genuine sanctification will show itself in habitual respect to God’s law, and habitual effort to live in obedience to it as the rule of faith” (Holiness: its nature, hindrances, difficulties, and roots, p. 26, 1879 [reprinted in 2011]).

3. Sanctification – a work of a lifetime

Ellen White (18287-1915): “This sanctification is a progressive work, and an advance from one stage of perfection to another” (My Life Today, p. 250, 1952).

Ellen White: “Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, a day, but of a lifetime” (Acts of the Apostles, p. 561, 1911).

J.C. Ryle (1816-1900): “Sanctification is eminently a progressive work, and admits of continual growth and enlargement so long as a man lives.” (Holiness: its nature, hindrances, difficulties, and roots, pp. 29, 31, 1879 [reprinted in 2011]).

John Cumming (1807-1881): “Justification is an act, done at once, done forever… sanctification is a work or a process that goes on from degree to degree… In sanctification there is increase continuous and progressive” (Sabbath Evening Readings on the New Testament: John, p. 315, 1856).

4. Lifelong struggle with sin

Ellen White (182-1915): “So long as Satan reigns, we shall have self to subdue, besetting sins to overcome; so long as life shall last , there will be no stopping place , no point which we can reach and say, I have fully attained” (AA, pp. 560, 561, 1911).

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772): “That man after conversion and justification begins to be renewed in his mind… That repentance with Christians continue until death, because they have to wrestle with the remains of sin in the flesh as long as they live” (Miscellaneous Theological Works Of Emanuel Swedenborg [1758], p. 178, 1850).

5. Sanctification does not consist in strong emotions

Ellen White (1827-1915): “Bible sanctification does not consist in strong emotion…They make their feelings their criterion…True sanctification is a daily work…Those who are battling with daily temptations, overcoming their own sinful tendencies, and seeking holiness of heart…” (The Sanctified Life, p. 10, 1889).

J.C. Ryle (1816-1900): “True sanctification does not consist in temporary religious feelings. Emotional feelings, after false religious excitement, is almost deadly disease of the soul. Sanctification is a thing which does not prevent a man having a great deal of inward spiritual conflict. By conflict I mean  a struggle within the heart between the old nature and the new, the flesh with the spirit” (Holiness: its nature, hindrances, difficulties, and roots, p. 25, 1879 [reprinted in 2011).

6. Sanctification to continue till the second coming

Ellen White (1827-1915): “…there will be no stopping place, no point which we can reach and say, I have fully attained. Sanctification is the result of lifelong obedience” (AA, p. 561, 1911).

J.C. Ryle (1816-1900): “Justification is a finished and complete work, and a man is perfectly justified the moment he believes. Sanctification is an imperfect work, comparatively, and will never be perfected until we reach heaven” (Holiness: its nature, hindrances, difficulties, and roots, p. 29, 1879 [reprinted in 2011]).

7.  We must be saints on earth first

Ellen White (1827-1915): “Those who would be saints in heaven, must first be saints upon the earth; for when we leave this earth” (RH, August 19, 1890).

J.C. Ryle (1816-1900): “we must be holy, because without holiness on earth we shall never be prepared to enjoy heaven. Heaven is a holy place. The Lord of heaven is a holy Being. The angels are holy creatures. Holiness is written on everything in heaven… Suppose for a moment that you were allowed to enter heaven without holiness. What would you do? What possible enjoyment could you feel there? To which of all the saints would you join yourself, and by whose side would you sit down? Their pleasures are not your pleasures, their tastes not your tastes, their character not your character. How could you possibly be happy, if you had not been holy on earth?” (Holiness: its nature, hindrances, difficulties, and roots, pp. 42, 43, 1879 [reprinted in 2011]).

J.C. Ryle (1816-1900): “We must be saints on earth, if ever we mean to be saints in Heaven. God has said it, and He will not go back: “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord”” (Holiness: its nature, hindrances, difficulties, and roots, p. 45, 1879 [reprinted in 2011]).

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892): “… and I may say without fear of question that what the character of the saints is above, that should be the character of the saints below” (The Elders before The Throne: A Sermon Delivered on March 23, 1862).

8. Satan claimed to be sanctified

Ellen White (1827-1915): “Satan claimed to be sanctified and exalted himself above God even in the courts of heaven…When he tempted Christ in the wilderness he claimed that he was sanctified, that he was a pure angel from the heavenly courts” (3SM, 1894, p.199).

Anna Kingsford (1846-1888): Writing about Satan she said, “Among the Gods there is none like unto him…Many names hath God given him…Stand in awe…speak his name with trembling…blessed and sanctified is the angel of Hades, [Satan]” (The Perfect Way; or, The Finding of Christ,[1882], pp. 360, 361, 363).