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"Saving Faith" - Dr. E. J. Waggoner
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WWN 1984 Jan - Mar

 

1984 Jan -- XVII - 1(84 ) -- Some Lessons From History -- "Not to Know What Has Been Transacted In Former Times Is to Continue Always a Child" - Cicero -- It was in 1901 that Ellen G. White penned to Dr. P. T. Magan the well-known letter which indicated that "we may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel" have to remain in the wilderness following their Kadesh-barnea experience. (M-184-1901) The fact that we are still here in this world testifies amply to the verity of this prediction. Still the prophecy was prefaced with the words, "We may," not, "We will." What had happened prior to the writing of this letter, and what happened following the writing of the letter, which turned a "perhaps" into a reality?

The turmoil engendered over the message of righteousness by faith was, by 1901, a decade in the past. A new Constitution had been adopted by the General Conference earlier that year which eliminated the office of President. Union Conferences were formed here in the States at this same session where before there were only districts under General Conference supervision. Yet with all this change, Ellen G. White wrote to the Battle Creek Church, just prior to the 1903 General Conference that "thorough work" had not been done "at the last General Conference Session." Why? "Those who have had great light have not walked in the light." "Men did not humble themselves before the Lord as they should have done, and the Holy Spirit was not imparted." (8T:104-106)

At the 1901 General Conference Session, as soon as the Conference was formally opened, Ellen G. White arose and addressed the delegates. Among other things stated, she called for "a reorganization." In the light of the fact that today, in the aftermath of the Davenport scandal, there is within the Church a growing movement to reorganize the church structure which would either eliminate the Union Conferences, or drastically alter their power and function; and the fact that among the "dissidents" there is almost total disarray due to a complete lack of "gospel order;" it is mandatory that we seek to learn some lessons from our past history and what happened which has caused us to remain these "many more years" here in this world.

What did Ellen White say in full context when she called for "a reorganization"? She spoke of "the principles of heaven." Then she stated that these principles       "are to be carried out in every family, in the discipline of every church, in every establishment, in every institution, in every school, and in everything that

p 2 -- shall be managed. You have no right to manage, unless you manage in God's order. Are you under the control of God? Do you see your responsibility to Him? If you do realize this responsibility, you will realize that you are to mold and fashion minds after a divine similitude; and then those in the different institutions here, who are being trained and educated to become workers, will work for God, to uphold the standard of righteousness.

"0 my soul is drawn out in these things! Men who have not learned to submit themselves to the control and discipline of God, are not competent to train the youth, to deal with human minds. It is just as much an impossibility for them to do this work as it would be for them to make a world. That these men should stand in a sacred place, to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be, - that is past. What we want now is a reorganization. We want to begin at the foundation, and to build upon a different principle." (1901, GC Bulletin, p. 25)

While we frequently hear quoted the concept that the General Conference is no longer the voice of God to the people - and this is true - we pass over all too lightly what she said about "reorganization," as well as failing to perceive what she did not say!

First, what did Ellen G. White not say? She did not say - "What we want is no organization." Neither did she say - "What we want now is more organization." She called for "a reorganization" to begin "at the foundation, and to build upon a different principle." It is one thing to raze a structure to its foundation, and then to proclaim this fact as being in harmony with the testimony. But the call was, once the superstructure was demolished, there was to be a reconstruction activity - "build upon a different principle." This was attempted at the 1901 General Conference Session, but "thorough work" was not done. It has never been done, nor even tried by "dissidents" who rightly abhor the excesses to which "more" organization following the General Session has led.

The steps outlined by the servant of the Lord in 1901 were simple. Go back to the foundation, and then build again on a different principle. Some of the very elements which caused the "foundation" of the organization to be laid in the beginning of the Movement are again very real among dissidents. There was a need in the pioneer days "for selecting, directing and supporting a ministry; and the necessity of controlling personal ambition, [and] fanaticism ...." The actual ordination of ministers among the early Seventh-day Adventists - even as among dissidents today - was not an immediate problem because the first ministers had been ordained already, but what caused the chief concern in the 1850's "was the problem of self-appointed preachers who went out with more zeal than ability and consecration," (SDA Encyclopedia, pp. 929-930) Commenting on this condition, James White wrote:       "God has been leading, His people out of Babylon ... It is the will of the Lord that His people be called away from man-made creeds, to enjoy the oneness and freedom of the gospel. But it is a lamentable fact that many of our Adventist brethren who made a timely escape from the bondage of the different churches, who as a body rejected the Advent doctrine, have since been in more perfect Babylon than ever before. Gospel order has been too much overlooked." (Review & Herald, Dec. 6, 1853, p.173)

True as this was at that time, it is even more true today. The tragedy today, is that in most instances, those crying out against the confusion of "Laodicea" are in more confusion than the "Laodiceans" themselves.

Subsequently at a conference in the old church at Battle Creek, October 4-6, 1861, James White presented the following resolution which was adopted. It read:        "Resolved, That this conference recommend the following church covenant: We, the undersigned, hereby associate ourselves together, as a church, taking the name, Seventh-day Adventists, covenanting to keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." (Review & Herald, Oct. 9, 1961, p. 148)

There are those who once they discover this simple foundation declare to the acclaim of the dissidents "Here is where

p 3 -- I stand." And it is good to stand there, but the counsel is - "build." How shall we build? - "upon a different principle"- different than was used in the building previously which brought the crisis in 1901-1903, and which has kept us here lo, these "many more years."

The context of the call made by Ellen, G. White at the 1901 Session was that the "principles of heaven" be recognized in every human establishment. Here is the crux of the problem. On what principles is heaven operated? In response to the lawyer's inquiry as to "which is the great commandment of the law," Jesus replied:       "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matt. 22:36-40)

The first principle is, there is one God to whom all created beings owe allegiance of heart, soul, and mind; and this allegiance they can give to none other.

The second principle involves relationships among the created intelligencies. The Bible is clear that each according to the assignment, or gift given, is to fulfill his required duty. In the book of Revelation, angelic ministry is by assignment. To one angel is given "power over fire" (14:18); to another charge over the waters (16:5). Even in the establishment of the Christian church, Christ gave gifts. Some were endowed to be "apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers." (Eph. 4:11) The success of the endeavor was based upon unified support and effort of all, each according to his capacity, even as the various organs of the human body function as a whole. But alas, the realization of this objective cannot be attained unless all are willing to recognize and accept the other according to the gifts as the Spirit has bestowed them - loving his neighbor as himself. We today have a term to describe this failure - "professional jealousy." However, the servant of the Lord said simply that the failure of the 1901 Session was - "Men did not humble themselves before the Lord as they should have done." (8T:104) The problem is still with us.

One illustration from the 1901 Session confirms the lesson. During the discussion of the newly proposed 1901 Constitution, which was to have, not a President - one man - to head the Church, but a representative committee with a Chairman, Elder W. C. White commented:      "It is quite possible that a sentiment will be created, or a sentiment that already exists may manifest itself, that no one should be chairman of this committee for a period or more than twelve months at a time." (1901 GC Bulletin, p. 206)

However, when the report of the committee chosen, as to its organization, was read, it stated:     "Permanent Chairman - A. G. Daniells."

Such pride crystallized itself into open apostasy by the time of the 1903 Session. This Session convened in Oakland, California, on March 27, with the least number of delegates, in a decade. Near the close of the session, on April 9, the Committee on Plans and Constitution brought in their report. This report was most unusual. For the first, and only time known to this writer, a majority and a minority report was brought out of committee to the floor of the Session. The majority report was simply a new Constitution which recreated the office of President of the General Conference. The minority report, signed by E. J. Waggoner, David Paulson, and P. T. Magan, read:     "The minority of your Committee on Plans and Constitution beg leave to submit that the Constitution proposed by the majority of the Committee appears to us to be so subversive of the principles of organization given to us at the General Conferences of 1897 and 1901 that we cannot possibly subscribe to it.

"The proposed new Constitution reverses the reformatory steps that were taken, and the principles which were given and adopted as the principles of reorganization, in the General Conferences of 1897 and 1901, and embodied in the present Constitution; and this before that Constitution or the organization according to it, has ever had adequate trial.

We therefore recommend that the Constitution

p 4 -- of 1901 be given a fair trial before it is annihilated. " (1903 GC Bulletin, April 10, pp. 146-147)

As the minutes read, immediately upon the presentation of the minority report, a motion was moved and seconded that the majority report be adopted. P. T. Magan arose and stated that since the minority report dealt "with certain general vital principles, which we believe are transgressed in the proposed new constitution," he moved that the report of the minority be substituted for consideration in the place of the report of the majority. This was seconded by E. J. Waggoner, but was voted down by the delegates.

Before continuing the account of the discussion following the rejection of Magan's motion, there is an item of vital import which must be noted. Among the signatories of the majority report was W. C. White. Recall that at the 1901 Session, he had suggested an action which would have furthered the reformatory work called for by his mother. He had to be aware of what Ellen White had written to the Battle Creek Church three months earlier, that a "thorough work" had not been done in 1901. Yet in 1903, he voted with the majority to completely reverse what progress had been made in 1901 incomplete as it was. This action may cast some light on Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9. In the 1937 edition which we have available to us, there is a "Preface" written by W. C. White. He indicates that "'things new and old' are gathered together for study." But what is most disconcerting is that the statement made by Ellen G. White at the 1901 Session that the General Conference is no longer the voice of God to the people is muted in Vol. 9 , and the voice of the General Conference in session is substituted. (pp. 260-261) Further the statements on tithe, its use, and how it is to be channeled as found in Vol. 9, are at variance with counsel found in Testimonies, Vol. 4, and the Spalding-Magan Collection. (Compare 9T:247-251 with 4T 464, 472; See also Spalding-Magan Collection, p. 498) This action on the part of W. C. White at the 1903 Session has not been explained as it could relate to the Daniells-Kellogg contentions, and the manipulation of the Writings in favor of
Daniells in the events which followed 1903.

Following the rejection of the motion he had seconded, Waggoner obtained the floor and made some very telling observations in regard to organization and its relation to righteousness by faith. In fact, following his remarks, the minutes read, "Meeting adjourned to 2 P. M."

(From a careful reading of the minutes, it appears that both Waggoner, and Magan who spoke in the afternoon, addressed the arguments which they had faced in the committee inasmuch as no formal statements had been made by any of the members of the Committee on Plans and Constitution who had signed the majority report.)

In his dissent to the majority report Waggoner stated:      "The first objection I have to the report
is that it is fundamentally and diametrical opposed to the principles of organization as set forth in the Bible, and as, up to the present time, adhered to in the main by this body."

Waggoner then proceeded to set forth the Bible principles of organization. He noted that "the local body of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, in any place, is the unit of organization and standard." The local companies, also called churches, "are simply constituent parts of the body as a whole." Because of this, he contended - "Whatever position, whatever principles, whatever features, are true of the church as a whole, are true simply because they are true locally of the bodies composing the one universal church." He told the delegates that he held these truths "to be self-evident propositions," and that "the body as a whole needs no other form of organization, and, consistently with the Scriptures, can not have any other form of organization than the local church has." He concluded his first objection by declaring - "The Bible organization is opposed to the exaltation of any person over others."

Waggoner's second objection was the proposed constitution itself, as he felt that "in some of its particulars," it was "the worst constitution ever devised among Seventh-day Adventists." But lest he be regarded as opposed to "leaders," he made himself very clear by stating:      "The Bible organization recognizes leaders;

p 5 -- most certainly it does. Whomsoever God appoints as leaders ought to be recognized, and will be recognized, by the body, if they are leaders indeed; for authority rests in the individual and his relation to God, and not in the position to which he is elected. And truth is truth, though it be spoken by one who has no standing or official position. And error can not be made to be truth, or mistakes can not be made to be right, because promulgated by some one in official position, or even by the whole body; and we should recognize, and we must educate ourselves and the people to recognize, the truth of the Bible, and to be recognized by the Bible and the Spirit of God, so that whenever any case comes up for decision we have that one thing to guide us."

In concluding his comments, Waggoner emphasized -      "There is a difference between the master workman and the apprentice: The apprentice must have a plan; he must first chalk out the way in which he is going to go; he must have a pattern. The master workman has the plan, goes ahead, and does the work. Now the master workman is God, and the Spirit of God is given to lead us into all truth, not simply into what is unfortunately known as theological truth, or, better, spiritual truth, to guide us in personal conduct or morality, but given to guide us into all truth, as to administration. However, many administrations there may be, there is only one Spirit, and therefore when we have that master Workman given to guide us, why shall we not voluntarily, gladly, and rejoicingly, yield to the Spirit of God, for Him to work in us all, and trust that that one Spirit can bring us back into perfect harmony and keep us there?"

This final question was not answered - the meeting was adjourned. Thus was enacted the same scene that occurred long ago, when Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?" Pilate did not wait for an answer; the majority of the delegates to the 1903 Session didn't want to give an answer.

When the session reconvened at 2 P.M., the same afternoon Dr. P. T. Magan asked for the privilege of speaking "to the matter as a whole." But before he had time to say a word, a motion to limit any one speaker to five minutes was made and seconded. In response to this attempted "gag-rule," A. T. Jones arose and told the delegates that the presentation of this new Constitution created the "most complicated situation, in many years, that this General Conference has ever seen." He declared that "every delegate has an inalienable right to be heard on the subject, and to be heard at whatever length he may have material to present pertinent to the question." Jones told them that he knew "it was late in the session," and because of this it was much too late to bring before the delegates such a matter as a new Constitution. He wondered out loud how anyone could conceive the idea of bringing such an issue to the session, and then seek to have it hastily "swept through." He charged that the very first thing had not been done in regard to constitutional matters. His words were:      "There has been presented to this Conference for adoption a constitution, when we already have one, and I have not heard a single word as to why the one we have is so altogether defective that we have got to have a new one, and it is so open on its face that everybody shall simply say, Amen, and let it go. I have never learned of any such proceeding as that on a constitutional question from the day of the Magna Charta until to-day.

With the tension mounting, even A. G. Daniells had to back-up, and suggested - "I would be very sorry to see this motion pass. I think that the brethren, - those who have a burden and a desire to speak, - shall be left untrammeled." The motion failed to pass.

The chair then recognized P. T. Magan's request to speak to the matter as a whole. In the course of his remarks, Magan cited history as a warning of the course the proposed constitution was taking the Church. He said:      "It may be stated there is nothing in this new constitution which is not abundantly safeguarded by the provisions of it; but I want to say to you that any man who has ever read Neander's History of the Christian Church, or Mosheim's, or any other of the great church historians, - any man who has ever read those histories can come to no other conclusion but that the principles which are to be brought in through

p 6 -- this proposed constitution, and in the way in which they are brought in, are the same principles, and introduced in precisely the same way, as they were hundreds of years ago when the Papacy was made."

Following Magan, A. T. Jones spoke again. He had manuscripts from the pen of Ellen G. White from which he read and commented upon extensively. He quoted one testimony as follows:       "God desires that His work shall be a rising, broadening, enlarging power. But the management of the work is becoming confused in itself. Not that any one wishes to be wrong or to do wrong; but the principles are wrong. These principles are so foreign to God's principles that God cannot bless those who work upon them."

Commenting, Jones said - "A man can pray himself into perdition on a wrong principle."

Historian that he ever was, Jones commented on Magan's analysis of where the proposed constitution would lead. He said:      "Brother Magan said something about church history. Please remember that was the first organization of the church. The elders met as equals. One was chosen chairman, and simply making the chairmanship perpetual is what bred the Papacy. That is the historical truth. It is proper to have a presiding officer, proper to have chairman of the meeting; but when you perpetuate that thing, and that officer begins to claim it as his right, and, if you don't elect him chairman next time, feels you have dropped him, and so on, you have the spirit of the Papacy, though it is not yet developed. So I say again, that is the way the church began the chairmanship only of assembled elders, for there were a number of them; and the making of that chairmanship perpetual is what bred that which is today the Papacy."

In the background of this struggle was Kellogg - though not named - and his leadership in the medical missionary work. Jones alluded to this by saying - "I believe there should be no one-man power in the medical missionary work. Then he quoted again: "To the leaders in the medical missionary work, I must say that no one is to claim kingly power over God's heritage in the medical missionary work." Jones commented - "I say, Amen; you say, Amen, for the medical missionary work." There were voices responding - "Yes, for any other work." This is what Jones wanted the delegates to start thinking. He then made his point:      "Now that is best for all the conference, so come along. God's people are under Him and Him alone. There is one Shepherd and He has one flock. 'The Lord knows the future.' Of course we can trust the brethren who are here now, because we are here now. But there are people coming afterward. God sees the future. He is calling us in another direction from the way this new constitution is proposed; and what I ask for is that we shall keep our eyes and our steps and our faces in that direction, and not turn back to Egypt and Babylon, which this testimony points out. Think of it, on the road toward a kingly power, 'Confused in itself,' kingly power in the church!"

Jones' attack on the proposed constitution did not go unchallenged. Daniells himself took the floor, He revealed himself as a man of policy, though claiming to be for principle. His "confusion" was revealed by his reasoning. He said:      "Now I believe, brethren, that we must look at conditions. We face conditions, and not theories. We have to deal with what is before us, and not altogether with an ideal condition or ideal situation. When we get to heaven, we will not be doing a great many things, that we are doing here. We shall have very different conditions, and we will be in an ideal state, and we can live ideally then; but while we are here in this world, and are facing conditions, we have to meet these conditions in the best way possible to carry on the work God has given us. I do not say by that that we are to sacrifice principles or adopt wrong methods; but you may survey the whole work of the gospel, and the whole work of organization set forth in the Pentateuch, and you will see that God designed His people to carry on the work by thorough organization and discipline, such as we will not have when we get into a thoroughly ideal state with different conditions."

After Daniells completed his remarks, "Voices" called for "Elder [Geo. I.] Butler"

p 7 -- to speak. The tenor of his remarks was to suggest that what Waggoner, Magan, and Jones were advocating was "dissolution." To this Waggoner responded from the floor - "Oh no!" Butler kept asking J. N. Loughborough, an old veteran worker to verify his recall of the past when organization was first introduced to the church. In due course, the Chair asked Elder J. N. Loughborough to speak. He recounted the problems faced when no organization existed among the believers following the Great Disappointment in 1844. It is very evident these old pioneers were being used by the forces promoting the new constitution to discredit Jones, Waggoner and Magan. Just before the close of the afternoon session, Jones again obtained the floor, and stated:      "I would like to make a request now to all the delegation and all the people who read the Bulletin. When these speeches come out, please look at Brother Waggoner's and Brother Magan's, and then mine; read them over carefully, and if you can find anything in any one of them that strikes at organization in any sense whatever, I hope you will mark it, and send it to us, so that we can repent of it."

None of the men of the minority committee were against organization. They opposed that form of organization which would lead and has led to the formation of an hierarchy within the Church similar to a Papal form of organization. They wanted to keep the church from going in "the track of Romanism." But if their remarks in anyway could be construed as "striking at organization," they wanted to know so that they could repent. Would that such a spirit be seen among dissidents who advocate no organization.

Following the motion to adjourn, Loughborough arose, and asked to say a word in clarification. He stated:      "I am afraid a wrong impression will be carried away unless I make one or two remarks. What Brother Jones said impressed this upon my mind, and called me suddenly to my feet. In what I said in regard to doing away with organization, I did not mean what had been said today was exactly like what people said years ago. I saw from Brother Jones' remark that he wanted you to read it carefully in the Bulletin. 1 did not say that it had been said in these speeches today"

The proposed constitution was adopted. In principle it remains the heart of the Present Constitution of the General Conference, though greatly enlarged, and far more detailed. We have traveled "the track of Romanism" just as the concerned brethren in 1903 said was inevitable with the adoption of the proposed constitution.

Outgrowths of the Church - The SDA Reform Movement, and the German Reform Movement - operate on the same principles in their constitution adapted from the parent instrument. Good 'men for the most part in all the organizations, who do not want to do the wrong thing, but incapable of doing the right thing because of wrong principles; and because of these wrong principles, God cannot work with them. They are left to their own devisings.

Does this excuse the "dissidents" who interpret what Jones, Waggoner, and Magan said in the same light as those who wished to smear them at the 1903 session? No! The challenge of 1901 -     "We want to begin at the foundation, and to build upon a different principle" - still remains unanswered. When will it be answered? When men "humble themselves before the Lord."

NOTE -- For those who wish to know just how far the leadership of the Church has gone down "the track of Romanism, " the documentary - Excepts [from] Legal Briefs - EEQC vs PPPA - is a must. See Order Form. --- (1984 Jan) --- End --- TOP

1984 Feb -- XVII - 2(84) -- HOW MANY IS "MANY MORE YEARS"? - - Have We Reached the Final Generation? -- We are now into the ninth decade - two times plus the period of the wilderness wanderings of Israel - since Ellen G. White wrote to Dr. P. T. Magan - "We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years.` (M- 184 - 190l) Must time go on, or have we reached the final generation of human history? Is the "sure word of prophecy" still shining as "a light" in a dark place?

The great time prophecy of Daniel - "Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed" (8:14) - has spanned the centuries. It was culminated in the experiences and events surrounding 1844. In the book of Revelation, the angel who held in his hand the opened book of Daniel, swore by the Eternal "that there should be time no longer." (10:6) Following enacted prophecy by John, the angel gave further instruction - "Thou must prophesy again [in the presence of ] many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." (10: 11) While time wouldn't be a factor in prophetic reckoning, literal probationary time would continue till "the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound." (10:7) Turning from prophetic time as a factor, we now note events as prophesied to find our bearings as related to the final purposes of God.

The prophet Daniel after seeing the commencement of the judgment scene, "beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake." (7: 11) Following 1844, when "the judgment was set and the books were opened," the ground work was laid for the "resurrection of the papacy from the deadly wound it had received in 1798 at the hands of the French general acting on orders from Napoleon.

Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti ascended the Papal throne in 1846 as Pius IX. His has been to date the longest pontificate in the history of the Papacy, stretching over thirty-two turbulent years to 1878. In 1854, Pius promulgated the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. These were the first of the "great words," which "the horn spake" after 1844. In enunciating this dogma, the Pope employed the Catholic concept of Papal infallibility. However, this teaching had not been, up to this point, authoritatively defined. As early as 1864, Pius IX began to lay the ground work for convening an Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church. "On June 29, 1868, the bull Aeterni Patris convened the Council to Rome, the date being fixed for Dec. 8, 1869" - the day of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. This Council has become known as Vatican I.

The resolutions of this Council "entirely revolutionized the position of the Pope within the Church. He is first accredited with 'complete and supreme jurisdictionary authority over the whole Church, not

p 2 -- simply in matters of faith and morality, but also in matters touching discipline and governance of the Church; and this authority is a regular and immediate authority extending over each and every Church and over each and every pastor and believer.'" (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 23, p. 11, 1958 ed.)

The concept enunciated in the dogma of Papal Infallibility must be understood against the backdrop of Catholic thinking in regard to Church Councils. When the bull calling for the Council was issued, "special bulls were issued, with invitations to the bishops of the oriental churches, to the Protestants and to other non-Catholics, none of which groups complied with the request." (Ibid., p. 10) Since the Roman Catholic Church claims all baptized members belong to it, the significance of the dogma enunciated in the light of the prophecies of Revelation 13, dare not be overlooked. This fuller understanding of its implications can help one better understand the actions of the present Pope.

The reign of Pius IX coincided with the Revolution of 1848 in Italy, which laid the beginnings for the united kingdom of Italy. Finally with the outbreak of the Franco-German War, the Italians on September 20, 1870, occupied Rome itself. A plebiscite was held in which the overwhelming majority of the votes cast were for the incorporation of Rome into the Kingdom of Italy. As a result, Pius remained for the rest of his days a prisoner, as he regarded himself, in the Vatican. Again, here is a point which needs to be carefully considered. In November of 1870, the Italian parliament passed a law which recognized the sovereignty of the Pope, and which "entitled him to conduct his own diplomatic relations with other powers and to have exclusive authority within the Vatican itself and a small district around it. In the rest of Italy, church and state were to be separated." (Ibid., Vol. 17, p. 985) Though Pius would not recognize this accomplished fact, the Roman question had been settled in 1870.

"At the very moment when the disappearance of the papal states removed it from the field of European diplomacy, the papacy was about to emerge as a world power with which every politician would have to reckon." (Ibid., p. 223). Pius, died on February 7, 1878, "having seen in his pontificate the creation of the modern papacy." (Ibid., p. 986) But as if an Unseen Hand held in check even him "whose coming is after the working of Satan," the "deadly wound" remained unhealed and festering for another half century.

Pius was followed by Leo XIII, whose reign ended in 1903. Leo issued two remarkable encyclicals. One, Immortale Dei, in 1885, declared that the "state" should profess the Catholic religion, and that the Roman pontiffs should have, "the power of making laws." He referred to "innovations" which came to the fore in the 16th century, in other words, Protestantism, and "spread amongst all classes of society. From this source, as from a fountain-head, burst forth all these later tenets of unbridled license." Then he describes these "tenets" as follows:        "Amongst these principles the main one lays down that as all men are alike by race and nature ... that each is free to think on every subject just as he may choose ... In a society grounded upon such maxims, all government is nothing more nor less than the will of the people.
"And it is a part of this theory ... that everyone is to be free to follow whatsoever religion he prefers, or none at all if he disapprove of all." (Quoted in Facts of Faith, pp. 256-257)

In 1888, Leo issued another letter - Libertas which he stated:      "It would be erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the Church, or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for state and church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced ... She would bring forth more abundant fruit if, in addition to liberty, she enjoyed the favor of the laws and the patronage of public authority (Ibid., p. 257)

At this point we need to pause and take an overview of this time period. Pius IX reigned from 1846-1878; Leo XIII till 1903. This period of time covered the

p 3 -- beginnings and establishment of the Advent Movement and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. During the reign of Leo XIII, one of the most critical decades occurred in Adventist Church history - 1888-1901. And it was in 1901, Ellen G. White wrote the letter to Magan about the "many more years." In 1903, when the General Conference voted the Constitution which placed the Church in the "track of Romanism," Ellen White wrote that the church "was [then] being leavened with her own backsliding." (8T:250) That year Leo died and was succeeded by Pius X.

Pius X was of a mind quite different from Leo XIII. "He had always hated 'the political priest;' he h had no liking for diplomatic maneuvers and little sympathy for liberal tendencies in the intellectual field; and he had an instinctive mistrust of popular government ... As Leo's policy of co-operation with secular governments seemed to have ended in failure, Pius decided from the start to concentrate his attention on the problems of the apostolate and to make the defense of the Catholic religion the keynote of his pontificate." (Britannica, op. cit., p. 225)

It would seem that the prophetic time clock had been stopped. Nothing in the events of human history since the great words which the "little horn" had spoken in 1870 could be assigned to a specific prophecy of God's word till near the close of the third decade of the 20th century. Pius XI was in the Papal chair. "One event stands out in Pius' pontificate: the signing, on February 11, 1929, of the Lateran treaty between the Papacy and the Italian government. This was more than a recognition of the status quo as the agreement was specifically declared to constitute a final and irrevocable settlement of the Roman question. The papacy recognized the establishment of the kingdom of Italy and received in turn recognition of its full sovereignty over the Vatican City State." (Ibid., p. 987) The San Francisco Chronicle for February 12, 1929, carried as a secondary headline on its front page - "Mussolini and Gasparri Sign Historic Roman Pact." A sub-title read - "Heal Wound of Many Years." This appeared over a picture of Gasparri which was placed above that of Mussolini. Thus almost to the day, 131 years after the government of the Papacy had been declared to be at an end by Berthier on February 10, 1798, the "deadly wound" was healed.

Again we must pause in our delineation of, the fulfillment of prophecy, to note an event in Adventist Church history. Almost two years after the, healing of the "deadly wound," the General Conference Committee authorized the President of the Church, Elder C. H. Watson, to appoint a committee to prepare a Statement of Belief s to be placed in the Yearbook. (GC Minutes, Dec. 29, 1930, p. 195) None had appeared since 1914. The Statement was readied and first appeared in the 1931 Yearbook. The differences between this Statement, and the previous ones which had appeared in Yearbooks, beginning in 1889, was not so much in what it said though there were differences - but in what it did not say by deleting from the previous Statement. Two concepts omitted had to do with prophecy and the interpretation of prophecy. Previous statements had declared the Papacy to be "the man of sin." This concept did not appear in the 1931 Statement. The second dealt with prophecy itself. Previous statements had read:      "That prophecy is a part of God's revelation to man, " - and    "it is to be understood by the people of God sufficiently to show them their position in the world's history and the special duties required at their hands." (1889 Statement)

This, too, was omitted. Thus the light designated by God to guide His people "till the day dawn" was no longer given official recognition just at the time when the prophetic time clock of God began to tick away the final hours of human history.

The "resurrection" power of the Papacy has been growing since 1929 with ever increasing influence in the councils of world governments. In the United States, President F. D. Roosevelt, in 1939, appointed, Myron C. Taylor as his "personal" ambassador to the Pope. Now 44 years later, provision has been made in Congress to permit the incumbent President to appoint an official American ambassador to the Curia on the Tiber.

p 4 -- Jerusalem in Prophecy -- Simultaneously, paralleling the resurgence of the Papal power in the affairs of nations, another sequence of events leading to the fulfillment of prophecy has also taken place. In 1948, Israel once again became a nation. This event in itself did not fulfill a prophecy. Elder Arthur S. Maxwell at the 1952 Bible Conference held in the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church noted:      "Victorious as were the forces of Israel in every other part of Palestine, they failed to take the most dazzling objective of all. Mysteriously they were held back from achieving this most cherished goal, this culminating triumph [the taking - of Jerusalem], as by an unseen hand."

Then Elder Maxwell asked - "What could be the reason?" In answer to his own question, he declared - "Only that the times of the Gentiles are not yet fulfilled." (Our Firm Foundation, Vol. 2, p. 230) Coming events were casting their shadows before. Jerusalem was coming to the fore in the issues involving the nations of the world.

In 1967, in a lightning Six Day War, Jerusalem once more came under Jewish control. Dr. J. R. Zurcher, Secretary of the Euro-Africa Division, has well stated the significance of the fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus as found in Luke 21:24. He wrote:      "The fact that since 1967 Gentiles no longer have occupied Jerusalem means, therefore, that we are now living at the end of 'the times of the Gentiles.'
"Jerusalem here constitutes the last sign of the times by which the Lord shows us that the history of this world is coming to a climax and that the restoration of all things is at hand. (Christ of the Revelation, p. 72)

Along with this recognized fulfillment of a specific prophecy in our own day, is a statement by Ellen G. White in 1901 - the same year as the letter to Magan. God could well have been telling His people - "Keep your attention on Jerusalem because then you will be able to know when 'the many more years' will be drawing to an end." Ellen G. White wrote:      "In the twenty-first chapter of Luke Christ foretold what was to come upon Jerusalem, and with it He connected the scenes which were to take place in the history of the world just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 24)

You will observe that Ellen White directed the attention of the recipient of her letter - It was Letter 20, 1901 - to the prophecy of Jesus as recorded in Luke rather than to either Matthew or Mark. The only difference between Matthew and Mark, and what Luke recorded Jesus saying relative to Jerusalem is that "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21:24)

Jesus in giving His prophecy was answering two questions in one answer. He had been asked as to when the destruction of the Temple would be, and what would be the sign of His coming, "and the end of the world." (Matt. 24:3) He gave three specific events that were to mark epochs between that day and His return the second time. 1)   Alien armies would surround the city of Jerusalem. 2)   Signs in the sun, moon, and stars would herald the coming of the Son of man before the Ancient of days to receive His kingdom. And 3)   "Distress of nations" would be marked by the return of Jerusalem to Jewish control.

When Jesus reached these last signs - signs in the heavens, and distress of nations He said - "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." Then after an illustration concerning the fig tree, He added "When ye see these things come to pass know that the kingdom of heaven is nigh at hand." (Luke 21:28-31) Then in this context, Jesus declared - "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled." (verse 32)

The faithfulness of these words can be accepted as one compares the prophetic event with the generation in which each was fulfilled. The Jews who saw the Roman armies surround the city, also lived to see its destruction. Those who saw the sun darkened, and the stars fall, also lived to hear the message that something

p 5 -- had begun to take place in the sanctuary of heaven. So likewise, we today - our generation - have seen the fulfillment of the final sign Jesus gave. The "many more years" are now coming to an end. This generation shall not pass away, till the final events of probationary time will be enacted.

Three Prophecies -- With the return of Jerusalem to Jewish control, the objectives of the "resurrected" Papacy, and the policies of the government of Israel are on collision course. Three prophecies of God's word related together confirm this conclusion. Jesus' prophecy in Luke 21:24 was given in literal language. The same city - not the temple - which was to be surrounded and taken by Gentile forces was to be freed from foreign control when "the times of the Gentiles [were] fulfilled." (Luke 21:24)

In Revelation 11, similar language is to be found, but in a symbolic and figurative representation. Gentiles were to "tread under foot forty and two months," the holy city. (Rev. 11:2) This prophetic time period expressed as "42 months" is found in only two references. In Revelation 11, and Revelation 13:5, where it refers to the "first beast" who was to open "his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven." (Verse 6) This power was the Papacy who has sought through the blasphemies of the Confessional and the Mass to counterfeit the ministry of the Heavenly Sanctuary.

Prophecy indicates that the Papacy has other designs. In Daniel 11 - again a prophecy couched in non-symbolic language - the same power as figuratively portrayed in Revelation 13:5-6, will "plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain." (11:45) This "holy mountain" is identified as Jerusalem. (Dan. 9:16) When this takes place, we are told that Michael shall stand up. Probation's hour closes, the end has come. Thus just before the close of probationary time, Jerusalem shall again see a power designated in prophetic language as "the Gentiles" tread "the holy mountain."

It should be evident that Jesus' literal prophecy as given in Luke 21:24 would need to be fulfilled prior to the fulfillment of Daniel 11: 45. And it has! Thus we live between two final prophecies of God's word concerning the history of Jerusalem. One has been fulfilled; the other is just before us. The "many more years" is no more. God's clock of prophecy, and the clock of human probation are ticking away rapidly to the final hour when in Heaven, it shall be proclaimed -       "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever." (Rev. 11:15)

Explanatory Note -- In Revelation 10, John hears the angel - "There shall be time no longer." (Verse 6) Then after a personal experience which is an enacted prophecy, he is told - "Thou must prophesy again." (Verse 11) To prophesy again with "prophetic time" no longer a factor, means simply, that certain events as prophesied become the major factor in any message to be given. Immediately, John is directed to "the temple of God, the altar, and them that worship therein." (11:1) Then two things are brought to view: The "court" given to the "Gentiles" to be trodden under foot "forty and two months." (Verse 2) God's "two witnesses" will prophesy "in sackcloth" for "a thousand two hundred and threescore days." (Verse 3)

Since the prophetic times of 42 months and the 1260 days are equivalent, why the two designations? One - 1260 days - is associated with the woman in Revelation 12:6; and the other - the 42 months - is associated with the beast of Revelation 13. This beast is the "Gentile" power which shall tread down "the holy city" - God's tabernacle in heaven. (13:6) This can be expressed in another way. Pagan Gentile forces trod down the literal once holy city in AD 70; Papal Gentile forces trod down the true holy city of heaven for 42 prophetic months.

When one compares the working of the same power in Daniel's prophecy, he finds that "the little horn" in Daniel 7 shall "speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High." It was to be given into his hands for "a time, and times, and a dividing of

p 6 -- time." (Dan. 7:25) [A comparison in Rev. 12 between verses 6 and 14, indicates that the two times - 1260 days, and a time, times, and a half a time - are identical] The power symbolized by the "little horn" in Daniel 7 becomes "the abomination of desolation" symbolizing both the pagan
and papal phases in Daniel 8. Then in Daniel 11, "the king" of verse 36, ultimately "plants the tabernacle of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain." (Verse 45) Literally,
the Papacy will seek to set up a "holy
city" on earth in contradistinction to "the holy city" of heaven. Revelation confirms this conflict, when it pictures Babylon as "that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth," and Jerusalem, "that great city," the holy city. Both of these cities were shown to John by one of the angels who was involved in the seven last plagues - judgments on Babylon. (See Rev. 17:1, 18; 21:9-10; 18:8)

IRIDOLOGY -- by Dorothea M. Grotheer -- Iridology is a widely used, widely acclaimed practice. It finds much use as a diagnostic tool in what is called medical missionary work. Dorland defines iridology as the study of the iris, particularly of its color, markings, changes, etc., as associated with disease. (The American Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 18th ed.) The word itself comes from the Greek word for rainbow, transliterated into the English, iris, and "-ology" meaning, science of, from logos.

Dr. Kurt Koch tells us that "historically, iris diagnosis, like acupuncture, goes back to ancient Chinese methods of healing. Both methods are associated with astrology. In the case of iris diagnosis, the eye was originally (in ancient China some three thousand years ago) divided into five concentric zones, alterations in which were evaluated in making the diagnosis. The later divisions into twelve fields corresponds to the astrological signs of the zodiac. (See Bernard Jensen's Iridology Chart, 1977 ed.] In the last century new roots began to sprout from the primitive, superstitious roots of iris diagnosis.

"In 1836, an eleven-year-old Hungarian boy named Ignatz von Pezely was seized by an owl. He was able, to free himself from the bird's talons by breaking its leg. At the same moment, the boy noticed a black line in the owl's iris. It is almost unbelievable that this discovery made by an eleven-year-old fighting for life formed the basis for renewed interest in iris diagnosis." (Occult A B C, trans. fm. German, Michael Freeman, pp. 100-101)

As with any practice, we are admonished: (To pray) - "Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity." (Ps. 141:4) We have been warned:     "You know that Satan will come in to deceive if possible the very elect. He claims to be Christ, and he is coming, pretending to be the great medical missionary." - Ellen G. White (Quoted in The Christian's Experience, p. 134)

The late Dr. Bernard Jensen, a leading Spiritist, quoted one of his teachers as saying "that the white areas in the iris are likened to the angels of heaven, while the dark or black areas are compared to the devils of hell." (The Science and Practice of Iridology, p. 5) Jensen believes that man "molds himself in accordance with whatever feeds his body (the solids and liquids taken into his stomach) by the air that comes into his lungs, by the luminous ether that comes to the skin and the eyes, and by the vibrations around him, which are food for his 'feeling' body (Ibid., pp. 5-6, emphasis mine)

Dr. Koch tells us that "those iris diagnosticians who work by occult means" usually produce 100% accurate diagnosis. Not only are many nonprofessional healers involved in this method of diagnosis, but "fully qualified members of the medical profession" also use occult methods.

How do those using the occult make their diagnosis. Koch explains - "There are some diagnosticians who are psychic and work with various forms of psychic power. The iris is just one contact bridge which

p 7 -- can be used for the tapping of the conscious or subconscious mind through telepathy, clairvoyance, or trance. By this means, a psychometric diagnosis is produced." (Koch, op. cit., p. 103)

Many who use iridology for diagnostic evaluation have nothing to do with the occult, but as Koch point out, "the medical value of their diagnosis is extraordinarily thin," in many cases meaningless. (Ibid.)

The Bernard Jensen's 1977 Iridology Chart, for the "Right Iris" under the 12th Sign of the Zodiac, indicates that "sex impulse perversion" can be noted. This is not God's method. Jesus said the Comforter which He would send, would "convince of of sin." (John 16:7-8 margin) "The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself ... When we desire to be free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God." (DA, p. 466) [This applies equally to those who seek for deliverance from such perversions through exorcism.] No human intermediary such as an iridologist is necessary for victory over the baser element of our fallen nature.

Koch refers to a book by Professor P. A. Jaensch, Iris diagnostik, and expressed surprise to find a chapter entitled, "Eye Diagnosis and Occultism." Then he quotes findings of this university lecturer that iris diagnosis is an Afterwissenschaft, a pseudoscience, or a fantasy under a scientific guise. Jaensch states:      "Medieval ophthalmoscopy, or the prophesying character from the appearance of a person's eye, is on a level with chiromancy, the art of fortune telling by means of the lines on the hands; metoposcopy, the art of interpreting the lines on the forehead; and physiognomy, the art of interpreting the features, warts, and spots on the face." ( Iris diagnostik, p. 28, Quoted, Occult A B C, pp. 102-103)

Should it not now be obvious from the association of iridology with the occult, that it has no place in true medical missionary work? But those whom Satan cannot deceive in one way, he offers another way. "He has different delusions prepared to affect different minds." (EW, p. 261)

UNBELIEVABLE -- In the mails yesterday (Jan. 5) came a letter with a number of sheets, one of which announced - "Forum - Protest of the Heretiques." This is to convene in less than a month in Sacramento. Their objective is to warn the Church. "The answer we believe," they state, "lies in the experience of the early Reformers some 500 years ago. As they determined to expose the corruptions of the papacy, so we are determined to expose the corruptions of the leadership of the S D A Church."

Further reading reveals they have not done their home work well. To protest they will present "proof texts from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy." In stating what to bring, they indicate - "of course, bring Bible and if possible the 1884 GC as that should be the proof-text for the session." Have these men forgotten the words of Chillingworth - "The Bible, I say, the Bible only, is the religion of Protestants." Even the 1884 edition of Great Controversy says - "God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrine and the basis of all reform." (p. 413) Evidently those who will formulate and sign the Protest in Sacramento have no desire to be the people God is looking for on the earth. Then are they any better off than the ones they are protesting against? --- (1984 Feb) ---End---- TOP

1984 Mar -- XVII - 3(84) -- SO MUCH IN COMMON -- A Document of Interest In Conversations Between the WCC and the SDA Church -- So Much in Common is a booklet published by the World Council of Churches in 1973, and co-authored by Dr. Lukas Vischer, then Director of the Faith and Order Secretariat of the WCC, and Dr. B. B. Beach, now head of the Public Relations and Religious Liberty Department of the General Conference.

This "dossier" is divided into two parts:
Part I - "Where conversation begins, and
Part II - "How conversation moves." Under Part I can be found the following sections:
1.   Questions and Answers about the World Council of Churches.
2.   Constitution of the World Council of Churches.
3.   The Church, the Churches and the World Council of Churches.
4.   The Seventh-day Adventist Church.
[Here is a key section. It is an Essay presenting the Seventh-day Adventist Church to an ecumenical audience. It first appeared in 1967 in the Ecumenical Review, official organ of the WCC. At the time, this Essay formed the basis of an editorial response in the Review written by R. F. Cottrell, then associate editor. (Review & Herald, March 23, 30, and April 6, 1967) The result of this exchange led to the appointment of Dr. Earl Hilgert of Andrews University to the Faith and Order Commission. The Essay in the Ecumenical Review was drawn largely from the book - Questions on Doctrine]
5.   Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists (From 1972 Yearbook]
6.   Relationship [of SDA Church] to other [Missionary] societies. [Here is quoted an action of the GC Executive Committee in 1926, which stated that the SDA Church recognizes "every agency that lifts up Christ before men as a part of the divine plan for the evangelization of the world," and that the Church holds "in high esteem the Christian men and women in other communions who are engaged winning souls to Christ. " Never mind to which Christ they are introduced.]

Part II contains the following sub-topics:
7.   Seventh-day Adventist Questions regarding the World Council of Churches.
8.   Common Witness and Proselytism.
[This is a study document published in 1971 by a Joint Working Group between the Roman Catholic Church and the WCC.]
9.   Adventist Reaction to the foregoing Document.
10.   The World Council of Churches/Seventh-day Adventist Conversations Meetings 1965-1969.

p 2 -- Introductory Statement -- At the beginning of the book, an "Introductory Statement" signed by both B. B. Beach and Lukas Vischer is to be found. The statement reads as follows: (All direct quotes from So Much in Common is by permission.)      "Regular conversations between representatives of the WCC and Seventh-day Adventists have been taking place on an annual basis in Geneva and Collonges since 1965. The participants in these meetings feel that the mutual comprehension engendered and the personal fellowship enjoyed have been beneficial.

"As a result of these international contacts, and also independently, contacts on national and local levels have been increasing in recent years. It is now felt that it would serve a useful purpose to make available to a wider constituency the results of the WCC/SDA Conversations.

"With the above purpose in mind, various documents and publications have been brought together in a "dossier." It is expected the information here contained will be welcomed by national councils of churches, SDA Union conferences and church officials or persons presently involved in or contemplating future conversations or contacts on a national or local level.

"The documents in this "dossier" are of various kinds. Some present SDA or WCC self -understanding and give basic information on the organization, basis and purpose of both bodies. Other documents represent summaries and analyses of the discussions or present statements that have emerged from the Conversations during the past eight years.

"The difference in the character of the documents dealing with the WCC and those resenting the SDA Church reflects the fundamental dissimilarity in the nature of the two partners in dialogue. As one document clearly points out: ' There is a fundamental difference in the nature of the organizations which precludes comparisons. While the SDA Church is a world church with established fundamental beliefs and one polity, the WCC is a council or fellowship of churches representing a great variety theological beliefs, traditions and church politics.' This explains why the document deals with SDA beliefs and teachings, but cannot represent the WCC in a comparable way.

"It is obvious that many more documents, articles, or books having a bearing on SDA relations to the ecumenical movement could have been included in this "dossier." Rather than to increase the content of the "dossier," bibliographical reference to additional items interested parties may want to consult have been included in order to point to further useful sources of information.

"Those involved in the organization of the contacts on the international level do not expect these to now simply fade away in the wake of enlarged local or national liaisons. On the contrary, it is hoped that local or national conversations may provide added meaning and justification for possible future contacts on the world level and help establish a sound basis for conscientious cooperation in those areas where this would appear to be feasible and useful.

"It is, therefore, sincerely desired and hoped that there will be a regular feedback to the undersigned regarding the developments in this field. It is expected that possibly another meeting of the WCC/SDA Conversations will take place at some future date, when attention will be given to experiences on the national and local levels."

(In this Thought Paper, we shall begin "With the reproduction of the section by Dr. B. B. Beach on "The World Council of Churches/ Seventh-day Adventist Conversations and Their Significance." (Pp. 98-102) If we are unable to reproduce the whole of this article, we shall conclude it in the next issue. Our comments on the individual paragraphs will be in brackets.)

B. B. Beach's Analysis -- "In view of the fact that informal conversations between the World Council of Churches and the Seventh-day Adventist Church have been taking place on a regular basis for over four years. It is not inappropriate to consider the significance of these contacts and take stock of what has been accomplished so far.

p 3 -- A.   Historical Background
"Strange as it may seem, these yearly Consultations are an indirect by-product of
Vatican II. In fact, while in Rome in connection with the Vatican Council a WCC staff member and an Adventist representative came to the conclusion that an informal meeting of a small group of Seventh-day Adventists and an equal number of representatives from the World Council of Churches would fulfil a useful purpose - Adventists being insufficiently informed regarding the World Council of Churches, and the WCC staff and church leaders being equally in need of additional and more comprehensive knowledge regarding the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

[ We are left with the assumption that the "Adventist representative" was B. B. Beach while the "staff member" of the WCC was Lukas Vischer. It should also be noted that the Consultations were conceived at the wrong place - in Rome at the Vatican II Council; and the justification for so doing - insufficient information regarding the WCC - is without foundation. All that a child of God needs to have enough knowledge of the WCC is to find out how God looks upon it. This is found in the book of Revelation. When, however, we abandon our trust in the sure word of prophecy, we go where we should not go - Rome - and enter into Consultations with those which prophecy designates as "the false prophet." What only can such an end be?]

"The first meeting was held in 1965, the participants being selected by the two organizers. Thus, the Conversations got under way on a completely informal basis and were held under the sole responsibility of the participants. Subsequently meetings have become somewhat more formal, in the sense that the employing bodies of the SDA participants have authorized and financed their presence and the executive committees of the three Adventist Divisions involved have given their blessing by facilitating the selection of the SDA representatives; the World Council of Churches has defrayed the expenses of its group. The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has been kept informed regarding the meetings, though it has taken no direct, active part in the Consultations, except through its three European Divisional branch offices. The November 24-26, 1969, Consultation was the fifth in the series.

[ In considering the involvement of the General Conference in these Consultations beyond the suggestion that they were "kept informed," one needs to understand the organizational structure of the hierarchy of the Church. The President of each of the Divisions, and who served as chairman of the executive committees which gave their blessing to the Consultations, is also a Vice President of the General Conference, and thus is answerable to the President and Executive Committee of the General Conference. Thus no Divisional Executive Committee would bless or authorize such a step which involved the Church as a whole unless approval had been forthcoming from the General Conference.]

B.   Purpose of Conversations
"The original purpose in meeting together was quite simple, straightforward and unpretentious: to acquaint each side with the structure, functioning and thinking of the other side. This frank exchange of views was to
be accompanied by a sincere endeavor to remove misconceptions and improve understanding. Because of the incontestable usefulness of the first meeting, it was felt by all participants that the Conversations should be continued on a regular basis. As a result, subsequent Consultations have been more in the nature of dialogue, by moving from the level of information to the niveau of serious theological discussion.

"It was made unmistakably clear from, the very start, that there is no plan or expectation on the part of the Adventists of joining the WCC; nor is the WCC pushing for SDA membership, though, taking a long-range view, it may feel that this would be desirable. On the other hand, the Adventist partners in the Conversations do not expect their partners in the dialogue to become a part of the Advent Movement, though they may feel this would be apropos. It is of course appreciated by all engaged in the Conversations that there is a fundamental difference in the nature of the organizations which precludes comparisons. While the SDA Church is a world church with established fundamental beliefs and, one polity, the World Council of Churches is a council or fellowship of churches representing a great variety of theological beliefs, traditions

p 4 -- and church polities, each church preserving its own doctrines, ecclesiology and that measure of complete independence which it feels called upon to exert. The World Council is not empowered to legislate for its member churches.

"In addition to generating increased mutual understanding, the exploration of possible areas of Christian cooperation and concrete, practical Christian service has become another valuable intent of the Conversations.

C.  Style of Meetings
"The Conversations have been conducted in a rather free, informal and friendly atmosphere, under the joint chairmanship of the WCC and SDA conveners. Approximately 15-20 participants have taken part each time. WCC participants have included members of the WCC staff (especially from the Faith and Order Secretariat) and representatives of various Christian - traditions. The SDA group has included SDA church leaders and educators. There has been a greater turnover of participants on the WCC side. The Consultations are held on the basis of equal footing, each yearly meeting taking place part of the time at the WCC headquarters in Geneva and the rest of the time, at the nearby Seminaire Adventiste at Collonges, just across the border in France. The core of each Consultation centers around the presentation and discussion of papers dealing with the subject matter chosen for the meeting. In addition, time has been given over to general discussion and exchange of views regarding questions and developments of mutual interest or concerning matters needing clarification.

[ The names of the Seventh-day Adventist leaders, and educators who participated in these Consultations should be made available to every member of the Church. I would suggest you write to the General Conference President, and ask to be supplied with these names. The answer you receive back should be most interesting. We will appreciate your sharing with us these answers.]

D.   Subject Matter of Conversations
"The 1965 Conversations started with a broad tour d'horizon and concentrated on discussion of the organizations, beliefs
and aims of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the consideration of the organization, basis and aims of the World Council. The questions of proselytism and religious liberty were briefly touched upon. Subsequent Consultations dealt with the following areas: law and grace, Sabbath versus Sunday, proselytism and religious liberty, prophecy. The November, 1969, Conversations pin-pointed the 1968 general discussions of prophecy by coming to grips with specific exegesis of Revelation 13, 14; Matthew 24, and II Thessalonians 2, passages which Seventh-day Adventists believe have a real relevance to Christianity today.

[ At this point we are faced with a conundrum. To our knowledge there has not been an official release of any transcript of the 1969 Conversations, nor of the papers presented by the Adventist participants in regard to Revelation 13, or II Thessalonians 2. Assuming that the Adventist conferees did present the historic Adventist position on II Thessalonians 2, that "that Wicked" (verse 8) represents the Papacy as "the man of sin" and "he in whom all iniquity has fixed its abode" (Thayer) - the subsequent actions of the Adventist convener, B. B. Beach, forms the basis of the conundrum. Growing out of these dialogues, there developed a set of circumstances wherein B. B. Beach presented to Pope Paul VI a medallion as a "gold-covered symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (Review, August 11, 1977, p. 23) See, Documentary Pope Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader. How one believing historic Adventist teaching regarding "the man of sin" could present the Church in "symbol" into the hands of the Anti-christ is unbelievable.]

"Without endeavouring to present here a full summary of the subject matter of the Conversations, a few general observations can be made. In the discussion on law and grace there was considerable agreement. If there was a difference, it was mostly one of emphasis, the WCC representatives possibly laying greater stress on the superiority of grace and the SDA participants giving more emphasis to the compatibility of law and grace.

"In the discussions dealing with the Sabbath and Sunday, the incongruity of views,

p 5 -- as could be expected, was quite substantial. For the Seventh-day Adventists the seventh-day Sabbath is a weekly memorial of God's creative act as recorded in the Old Testament, and of Christ's redemptive act in the New Testament. The fourth commandment, therefore, has continuing, heterocentric significance for modern man. The WCC participants connected the Sabbath more with Mosaic social legislation than with creation and felt that the present-day Christian[?] Sunday is tied to the resurrection and eucharistic service, and has only a remote connection with the Sabbath requirement of the Decalogue. In regard to the related question of calendar reform, the discussions revealed that Seventh-day Adventists have no objection to a fixed Easter date in the present Gregorian calendar, but strongly oppose calendar reform of the "blank" day type, which would disrupt the orderly succession of the weekly cycle by interposing from time to time extra days. This would cause the first (Sunday) or seventh (Sabbath) day of the week to fall on other days. Some WCC participants expressed similar opposition to this type of new calendar suggested in some circles.

"The agreement in the discussions about religious liberty was very substantial indeed. Increased cooperation in this area is considered by both sides to be desirable. Concerning proselytism, there was a large measure of mutual understanding. Agreement was complete regarding methods, the SDA Church having since 1926 an official policy which in its provisions [See page 1] closely resembles the 1961 WCC document entitled "Christian Witness, Proselytism and Religious Liberty." Both sides fully agreed that conversion can only come by uncoerced faith and sharing of Christian conviction is not only a right, but a duty. Conversations did reveal some divergence of views regarding relationships and the ecumenical implications of Christian witness. Seventh-day Adventists have a deep conviction that it is their duty to proclaim their distinctive witness to all men, and the church therefore consistently stands aloof from territorial comity arrangements. There was some discussion regarding the proper use of the term "proselytism." Both sides admitted that the expression is somewhat ambiguous, because the word has received in ecumenical circles a definitely perjorative connotation, implying corrupted witness, which does not harmonize with the common dictionary definition of proselytism.

"The Faith and Order Secretariat has prepared an excellent analysis of the discussions regarding "Apocalyptic Prophecy." Suffice it to say here that while exegesis of particular passages does not by any means always lead to disagreement, there are some marked differences in the respective understanding of the prophetic and apocalyptic texts. The Conversations indicated that the SDA approach tends to be more "systematic" (looking for inner coherence and parallels between various apocalyptic texts) and the WCC approach more "situational" (looking for the original purpose and situation for which the texts were written). The WCC side greatly underlined the "paranetic" nature of prophecy, while the SDA representatives dwelt at greater length upon the "predictive" dimension of the apocalyptic writings.

E.   Results Obtained
"Measured within the frame-work of the avowed purposes of the Conversations, it can be said that their results have been definitely positive and useful. There have been no measurably negative out-growths. In order to clearly see the sub-number of accomplishments, it would appear helpful to succinctly list some of the major results that have emanated from the Conversations:
1.  Personal acquaintance and fellowship -- "The discussions have been beneficial on the plane of personal relationships, with consequent better understanding and appreciation of the Christianity and humanity of the participants. Friendships have been formed and fellowship experienced.
2.  Information and Understanding --
"Without doubt the Conversations have enabled, the participants to gain accurate information and a better understanding of the background, approach, thinking, developing trends, aims and expectations

p 6 -- of the other side. Mutual knowledge has increased and erroneous views, based on prejudice have decreased.
3.  Channels of communication -- "While prior to 1965 the channels of communication between the SDA Church and the WCC were non-existent, they were very weak and spasmodic. Today, largely as a result of the Consultations, a number of actively used channels of communication are entertained, especially with the General and Faith and Order Secretariats. Information once ignored or difficult to come by, is now regularly communicated. In addition the SDA/WCC Conversations were at least partly instrumental in opening new channels for contacts between the SDA Church and other confessional bodies or churches.
4.  WCC Statement concerning SDA Church -- "A very useful product of the Conversations is the statement regarding the SDA Church which was published in the January, 1967, issue of the Ecumenical Review. While the statement was prepared by the Faith and Order Secretariat, the SDA participants in the 1966 Conversations had the opportunity to discuss the draft statement and make some useful observations. After incorporating some relatively minor suggestions, the document was published substantially as originally written. The statement has had a wide distribution, not only through the Ecumenical Review, but as a Faith and Order paper. Seventh-day Adventists consider
this article as one of the fairest and finest, statements published by non-Adventists about Adventists.   [See, p. 1, col. 1, under #4 as to how Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership reacted to this article. One further point needs to be noted in regard to the article in the Ecumenical Review. The authors of the article queried:       "Of particular interest to WCC members is the question of how Adventists would react to the WCC basis. As revised at New Delhi this reads as follows:    'The WCC is a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures and therefore seek to fulfil together their common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.'
"While only the General Conference itself could state its reaction to this basis, in the light of the first three articles of Adventist 'Fundamental Beliefs' it would appear that there is no obstacle to a positive evaluation." (So Much in Common, p. 58)
There was no obstacle to a "positive evaluation." The hierarchy placed the very wording in the 1980 Statement of Beliefs, and the delegates went along! (See Documentary - History of Our Statement of Beliefs.)] See Order Form
5.   Participation in Meeting of World Confessional Families -- "Since 1968 the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has been actively represented at the annual meeting of "Secretaries of World Confessional Fam
ilies. This participation is largely the result of the WCC/SDA Conversations and contacts that were made at the time of the Uppsala Assembly. It is hoped that expanded cooperation will ensue between the World Confessional Families in the vital realm of religious liberty.   [Dr. B. B. Beach represented the General Conference at these annual meetings. He finally became Secretary of the "Secretaries of World Confessional Families," and in this capacity met with the Pope in private audience giving to him the gold medallion as a "symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church."]
6.   Observer and Advisor Status --
"Since the Conversations got under way, it has become the accepted procedure for the SDA Church to be represented at various WCC meetings, including the Assembly, by observers. These observers have not just been present pro forma, but have taken an active interest in the meetings they attended. An additional step was taken when the General Conference, as a world confessional body, or church, was represented by an advisor in Canterbury at the 1969 meeting of the WCC Central Committee."   [This paragraph alone tells you how deeply the hierarchy of the SDA Church is involved with the World Council of Churches]   To be continued

p 7 -- SO MUCH IN COMMON - AVAILABLE IN LIMITED SUPPLY -- We placed an Order with the Publication Office of the World Council of Churches for a supply of this Document for resale to our readers. The WCC Office discovered the supply on hand was less than we had ordered, so they sent all they had in stock. We have proportioned these into three categories covered by the Thought Paper - USA, Canada, and Overseas. See Order Form

LETTERS --

"What is going to happen next? I went for a visit out to [SDA Church], Sabbath. I went into shock. A man in Catholic garb had the service [and] talked about unity, get together."    Oregon

 

(From a letter sent to Takoma Park to the Curia on the Sligo)
"This last fall, I received a brochure from the Adventist Review offering a free trial offer. In this brochure was this statement:   'Frankly, we're excited about what is happening in the Adventist church." WHAT A STATEMENT! The apostasy in Australia, the official abandonment of our historic beliefs, uncertainty about the nature of Christ, the Davenport scandal, huge stock-market gambling losses. Excited?
"How better to close this letter than to paraphrase Isa. 5:20. 'Woe to them that depend upon the stock-market gambling instead of free-will offerings, that put intellectual degrees in place of wisdom from on high, that entertain the flock of God instead of admonishing holiness, that consider muck-raking the quintessence of scholarship."

LAST WORDS" -- At the 1909 General Conference Session in Washington D.C., Ellen G. White "came to the platform, on the last day of the session to speak a farewell word to the delegates who had come in from the four quarters of the earth. She felt impressed that she would never attend another General Conference; and she never did. What would be the last message by personal presence, in such an assembly, by one who had been so many years the agent through whom the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy had come? Mrs. White spoke a few words of good cheer and farewell, and then turned to the pulpit, where lay a Bible. She opened the Book, and held it out with hands that trembled with age. And she said:       'Brethren and sisters, I commend unto you this Book.'

"Without another word, she closed the book, and walked from the platform. It was her last spoken word in the world assembly of the remnant church. Well was it symbolic of the lifelong ministry through this gift, ever exalting high, supreme above all, the Holy Scriptures as the foundation of the faith of the people of the advent movement." (W. A. Spicer, The Spirit of Prophecy in the Advent Movement, p. 30.)

The pioneers believed that -       "The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, contain a full revelation of His will to man, and are the only infallible rule of faith and practise." - 1914 Yearbook. ---(1984 Mar) ---

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