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WWN 1981 Apr - Jun

 

1981 Apr -- XIV -- 4(81) -- The Final Arrest of Vladimir Shelkov -- [This is an Open Letter written to Leonid Brezhnev by Dina Vladimirovna Lepshin, daughter of Vladimir Shelkov, and wife of I. S. Lepshin telling what happened on March 14, 1978 at the time of the final arrest of Elder Shelkov.]

In this letter we are making it known that on 14 March this year a violent, despotic and cruel reprisal, a crying injustice, took place in our home. Vladimir Andreyevich Shelkov (83 years old), Chairman of the All-Union Church of True and Free Seventh-Day Adventists, and Ilya Sergeyevich Lepsin were seized and arrested.

Having broken into the house by means of deception, sending an unidentified mob of more than 20 so-called "official representatives," men from the KGB, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor's Office stated that they would be carrying out a search. With insults and threats, they pushed us all into one room (those of us at home were my very aged 83-year old father, my seriously ill husband, my two sisters-in-law, niece and aunt, and my two children). We were forbidden to make the least move into the rest of the house and, after an armed guard had been set over us, they proceeded to carry out the search.

The shame and horror of it! The things that went on then!

They brought in crow-bars, spades, tongs, axes, probes, powerful lights, cameras, firearms, walkie-talkie radios, motors and so on. They broke through the ceilings, demolished the chimneys, breached and took up the floors, hollowed out and pulled down walls, tearing down the plaster; they dug huge deep holes under the floors (up to 2 metres in depth), broke up the asphalt paving, dug up the whole court yard and breached ceilings, walls and floors in neighboring buildings. They investigated all cesspools and toilet bowls. In a word, it was as if a bomb had gone off. This act of plunder was presided over by German Vasilevich Ponomaryov, criminal procurator and junior counsellor of justice at the Tashkent Procurator's Office. All the others taking part in the pogram categorically refused to give their names or official positions, though we asked them more than once to show us their idenity cards. G. V. Ponomaryov, as the person in charge, also refused to name the others, saying, "What do you need their names for? So that you can write about it afterwards?" My father said, "Yes, we shall write about you, as all your actions are unjust and illegal."

The procurator would not allow any of the residents to be present in the rooms being searched. Even the "witnesses" were deprived of this legal right and only looked on from afar. Such an unceremonious, unjust ban harshly tramples underfoot the right to be present at all the investigator's activities during the search. When this illegality was pointed out to Ponomaryov, he rudely told us to mind our own business, as he was a lawyer and knew what he was doing.

Ponomaryov behaved insolently and despotically, bragging and blustering, saying,

p 2 -- "I just have to say the word and the world will turn upside down." And he kept showing he was boss. For him, no laws or limits existed - he was going to do what he wanted by force because he was in charge.

We protest against this illegal search, as the warrant was made out for only one person, but the search was carried out contrary to law and justice by other persons in violation of Art. 55 of the Soviet Constitution, concerning the inviolability of the home.

Our seriously ill mother, in whose name the search warrant was made out, was in the hospital at the time, in a hopeless condition. We had been taking turns to watch at her bedside around the clock, but during the four-day search we were categorically forbidden to go to her by procurator Ponomaryov.

When the hospital authorities sent a message saying that our mother was dying and that we should come at once, heartless, cruel Ponomaryov remained deaf to all our requests and pleas to be allowed to visit our mother. Only after prolonged and insistent demands was I taken to the hospital, accompanied by two procurators and two officials, (whose names were not given), but I was not allowed to see my mother: Ponomaryov himself went in and obtained the required improved report on mother's satisfactory condition from the surgeon in charge. I was forcibly pushed back into the car; no one paid the slightest attention to my pleas and prayers to see my mother and I was taken back to the house, which was still being searched.

My husband, I. S. Lepshin, is seriously ill; he has to stay in bed and suffers from severe heart attacks and migraine every day, migraine and heart pain at the same time. During the search his state of health took a sharp turn for the worse, medical help was vitally necessary, but the inhuman, cruel, criminal-procurator Ponomaryov showed the icy coldness of his soul in his case as well, not allowing emergency aid to be called. However, when he saw that the matter might end badly, he summoned his own medical workers. After they gave him an injection, the sick man felt even worse. I was no longer capable of watching this kind of mockery and asked to see the ampoule from which the injection had been given, but the nurse and her gang rudely pushed me back.

After this my husband was put in an ambulance and driven off to an unknown destination. I only know that a KGB man got into the ambulance with him and began to try to persuade him to cooperate with them, promising him freedom. What cynicism!

We are extremely perturbed at the hard-hearted, inhuman behaviour of the KGB officials, their amorality and sadism. Who taught them to behave like this? After all this, how are we to understand your words, Leonid Ilyich?: "Respect for right and law must be each man's personal conviction. This applies especially to the actions of state officials. Attempts to get around the law or ignore it, no matter why, cannot be tolerated. Nor can we tolerate violations of individual rights or damage to citizens' self-respect. For us as communists, upholders of the highest human ideals, this is a matter of principle." (XXIV Congress of the CPSU, Moscow, 1971, p. 81)

Very eloquently said! But in practice, what you have so often condemned still goes on. Is this not just play-acting?

You, comrade Brezhnev, said in your speech to the Central Committee of the CPSU on 24 May 1977: "We know, comrades, that certain years after the adoption of the present Constitution were clouded by unlawful acts of repression, violations of the principles of socialist democracy, of the Leninist norms of Party and

p 3 -- state life. This was contrary to the provisions of the Constitution. The Party precisely condemns those practices and they must never be repeated."

One of the victims of that unlawful Stalinist repression was our father, who was sentenced three times for his purely religious life and his just and legal struggle against the atheist dictatorship and who spent 23 years of his life in camps and prisons.

And now our father has been arrested again. My husband has also been arrested.

Is it turning out, then, that "certain" distant years in the past, which were clouded by illegal acts of repression contrary to the provisions of the Constitution, have today once again become acceptable after the adoption of the new Constitution?

In addition, during the search Ponomaryov threatened my father with special punishments, tortures and new experimental methods of interrogation, saying, "When he's there, with us, he'll tell us everything and pay for everything in full," "Now he'll start talking in a different style."

How long will these empty but profuse declarations continue - proclaiming that "tomorrow" will be better than "yesterday"? "Yesterday," all right, some comrades in some places were still "acting contrary to the provisions of the Constitution," but today, fortunately, the Party has condemned this and tomorrow it must not be repeated! Have faith, honest people, wait in hope, but meanwhile ... the usual godless carousal continues - state atheist robbery in broad daylight, arrests and bloodshed. And is this arbitrary violence not more than a merely local, affair?

All this has convinced us yet again that religion is a crime in our country and that believers are arch-criminals. Owning religious literature is forbidden by state godlessness. So Ponomaryov, looking at a pile of religious books, said, "I'm very hard on criminals, I hate them." This was while he was still in our house, long before the preliminary investigation but we were already criminals! Is this not just arbitrary power?

We firmly protest against such violent acts and demand full observance of justice and the laws, as expressed in the teaching of Lenin, the Constitution of the USSR, -international agreements, the Declaration of Human Rights and the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference. Are all these humane and equitable international legal norms now being proclaimed and published abroad just so much empty air? We don't want to believe that.

This whole act of banditry, carried out by insolently shameless KGB men, went on for four days.

The search warrant stated that "the residence of V. F. Shelkova may contain stores of manuscripts, libellous literature, machinery designed to print or reproduce such literature, and objects and documents which may be relevant to the case."

As a result of the search, all purely religious literature was confiscated: Bibles, psalms, books dealing with moral and spiritual subjects, religious poetry and tape-recordings, tape-recordings of sermons and psalms, and all our savings down to the last penny. As for libelous literature, for confiscation of which the warrant was made out, we have never had any. The confiscated literature was purely religious in content and was not directed against Soviet power.

We firmly protest against the unjust and baseless accusations that purely religious

p 4 -- literature is libellous in content, as it does not attack Soviet power but is directed only against the dictatorship of state atheism, which is in its own way the state religion of the godless class. State atheism now artificially broadens the category of crimes and makes criminals out of innocent religious citizens. State atheism initiates illegal repression of the freedoms of all freely believing Soviet citizens belonging to purely religious denominations: the freedoms of conscience and belief, with their indivisible attributes - freedom of speech, of the press and of assembly.

We firmly protest against the illegal, baseless arrest of the very old Vladimir Andreyevich Shelkov and the seriously ill Ilya Sergeyevich Lepshin.

We protest against the illegal search.

We protest against the barbarous and criminal actions of those who carried out the search (or robbery).

We firmly protest against the illegal confiscation during the search of:
1)   purely religious literature;
2)   literature dealing with law and rights;
3)   objects of material value;
4)   savings;
5)   other objects of material and cultural value (photographs, slides, tape-recordings, etc.)

We firmly protest at the cruel repression and violence directed against all dissent in thought and religion by the dictatorship of state atheism in our country.

Let us put an end to shameless state atheism in the USSR!

We decisively protest against the enslaved, weak position of the True and Free Christians of our land.

Down with the criminal Legislation on Religious Cults of 1929-75, which enslaves religious people!

We demand:
1)   that the executioners threatening their chosen victims, the honest, innocent believers of our country, should be made to stay their hand;
2)   that the unfortunate victims of the militant violence of state godlessness, V. A. Shelkov and I. S. Lepshin, should be released immediately. Criminal charges against them must be dropped;
3)   that everything confiscated during the illegal, baseless search-robbery should be returned;
4)   that we should be compensated and reimbursed for all the material damage done during the search;
5)   that such harassment by force of religion and believers in the USSR should cease.

We are seriously concerned at the state of health of the very old V. A. Shelkov and the seriously ill I. S. Lepshin and we fear for their lives and safety. If either of them come to an untimely end (as Ponomaryov threatened during the search), the whole responsibility will be yours and we are informing you of this.

If our legal protests and rightful demands are not taken into consideration, we shall be forced to inform all socialist countries and world public opinion as a whole about this arbitrary act of violence.

p 5 -- With respect,

Dina Vladimiraovna Lepshina
Vladimir Vladimirovich Shelkov
(and all relatives of those arrested)
Tashkent, Soyuznaya 56

19 March 1978

(Religion in Communist Lands, Vol. 8, #3 Autumn, 1980, pp. 210-213)

THE TRUE AND THE FREE -- In the above noted journal - Religion in Communist Lands, pp. 201-210 - is to be found a documented article entitled - "V. A. Shelkov and the True and Free Seventh-day Adventists of the USSR." It is written by Marite Sapiets, a member of the Soviet Research Department of Keston College, England, and a specialist on the Baltic States. Several paragraphs from this documentary should prove of real interest to every concerned Seventh-day Adventist. The introductory paragraph reads:      The recent death in a Soviet labour camp of 84-year old Vladimir Shelkov, leader of the All-Union Church of True and Free,Seventh-Day Adventists, has-highlighted the activities of this small Christian sect in the USSR. Although it was known in the West that it existed as a body separated from the officially recognized Adventist Church - it is periodically attacked in the Soviet anti-religious press - it was only in the 1970s that True and Free Adventist samizdat documents began to reach the West. Certain facts soon became clear from a study of these documents: there was an unofficial press, True Witness, run by the True and Free Seventh-Day Adventists as a centrally-organized group; and a large number of documents, pamphlets and articles, even books, were being produced by this "publishing house" and distributed all over the USSR (as proved by the lists of material confiscated by the KGB during searches of Adventist homes as far apart as Riga and Samarkand). In fact, owing to the information provided in these documents about the history and doctrines of the True and Free Adventists, more is now known about them than about the "official" Adventists, who have no publication of their own. Even Soviet press articles tend to concentrate on attacking the "reformist" Adventist sect and largely ignore the registered Adventists, apart from pointing out that they have "realistically assessed their position."

As to why they call themselves The True and Free Seventh-day Adventists is explained by the researcher in these words:      This "remnant" are the "True and Free" Adventists, as they describe themselves: "True," because they are true to God's fourth and sixth Commandments, thus following the example of the early Christians. (Shelkov even quotes the Church Fathers Origen and Tertullian in support of Christian refusal to bear arms); "Free," because they are free from what they see as slavish subservience to the state atheist

p 6 -- dictatorship imposed by registration of their communities (which thus bear"the mark of the Beast," as in Revelation 13:16). The "Beast" is identified by V. A. Shelkov in his writings with the principle of state religion or state atheism as such, wrongly made use of in the past by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and now incarnate in the materialistic atheist "religion" of the Soviet State. Shelkov contrasts this "impure State" with his ideal of the "pure State," in which faith and religious expression are left to individuals and voluntary religious organizations, while state power is confined to maintaining peace and law and order. (pp. 203-204)

The persecution, and the reason for it is given by Marite Sapiets, quoting from documents: (p. 205)      The True and Free Adventists have been savagely persecuted since the partly because of their success in maintaining their own central All-Union Council and an independent press (established on organized lines by V. A. Shelkov in 1968), partly because of their pacifism and their stubborn insistence on refusing to work or attend schools on Saturdays. About half of the known Adventist prisoners of conscience have been imprisoned for refusing to bear arms or swear the military oath, although many have declared their readiness to serve in medical or construction units (not on Saturdays, however).

Like other banned religious groups (the True Orthodox and Uniates, for example), the True and Free Adventists were arrested en masse during the 1930s and 1940s as members of an,"anti-Soviet organization." Two of their leaders, G. Ostvald and P. I. Manzhura, died in prison, "cheerful and unbowed in spirit," though "exhausted and tormented." V. A. Shelkov himself, ordained as a preacher in 1929, served three sentences (totalling 23 years) in camps and prisons: 1931-34 in the Urals, 1945-54 in Karaganda, and 1957-67 in the camps of the Far East, Siberia and Mordovia, "in conditions of violence, barbarity and horror which cannot be described in words." Avraam Shifrin, a Jewish fellow-prisoner, wrote of the impression made on him by Shelkov in Siberia: the guards pushed into their cell "a tall, thin man about 60 years old, with an intense, expressive face, framed by a long, white beard. The beard was so white that it looked unreal in the middle of our filthy cell. But even more striking than his beard were the gentle old man's eyes: they were dark and peaceful and literally radiated tenderness." He goes on to describe Shelkov's method of argument: quiet and tolerant, but knowledgeable and insisting on the final victory of good over evil.

"Shelkov's entire guilt lay in his rejection of war. Because of this the Soviet authorities feared his influence on young people: as he had deep faith and education he was able to persuade people he was right."

The trial and the trial procedures of Shelkov and four others at Tashkent are most revealing - "The abandonment of any pretense of legality or justice during the trial was excessive even for a Soviet court and seems to have shocked the officially appointed defense counsel, G. Spodik, who defied Judge N. S. Artemov in insisting that the defendant's words should be fully and correctly recorded instead of being deleted on the judge's orders." (p. 206)

p 7 -- One section of the indictment against Shelkov accused him of "joining with the illegal Baptist sect and the so-called 'dissidents' - such as Sakharov, Solshenitzyn, Orlov, Ginzberg, Khodorovich, Grigorenko and others." Shelkov had written to President Carter appealing for help in releasing Yuri Orlov and Alexander Ginzberg, characterizing them as "self-sacrificing, selfless men, with no thought of their own profit," who had contended for the suffering families of prisoners. However, he did not accept their philosophy as the solution of the problems which faced them, but rather proclaimed the necessity of the "pure" religion, unattached to nationality or State. Andrie Sakharov came and attended Shelkov's trial from outside the closed courtroom. He appealed to the Pope, and heads of State who were party to the Helsinki agreements, and to world opinion, condemning the sentence passed on Shelkov as "cruelty surpassing all norms of decency." (p. 207)

No voice was raised by the hierarchy of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Washington on behalf of Shelkov. Wounded by the "bandits" of atheism, and placed in a camp in frigid Siberia to die, the "high priests" thought it best to pass by on the other side rather than defile their garments before the Soviet government by protesting the brazen inhumanity committed against Shelkov. But are not their garments stained with the blood of Shelkov, and how shall they answer in the day of final accounts?

The attitude of the Adventist hierarchy toward the True and Free Seventh-day Adventists in the Soviet Union is discussed by the researcher. It reads:      Western Adventist leaders have visited the Soviet Union, participating in "official" Adventist services in Odessa, Tallinn, and other towns, but have not attempted to establish contacts with the True and Free Adventists. They are largely of the opinion that the True and Free Adventists in the USSR are an offshoot of a German reformist group that split away from the central Adventist Church during the First World War, mainly over the issue of military service. Shelkov did indeed condemn military service with reference to the 1914-18 war but he also emphasized that his objection is to bearing arms, not to military service as such (which is the same as the normal Adventist position). It is difficult for western Adventists to form a clear view of the True and Free Remnant as they have not in general studied the documents by the latter which have reached the West, but have relied instead for their information on official Adventist spokesmen.

The recent decision of the Soviet government to allow two representatives of the officially recognized Adventist Church to attend a meeting of the International Council of the Seventh-day Adventist Executive Committee in the USA may be an attempt to counter the publicity achieved by the True and Free Adventists for their accounts of anti-religious repression in the USSR. M. P. Kulakov 1 one of the Soviet Adventist delegates, told American Adventists that V. A. Shelkov and the True and Free Remnant held unorthodox views and were not really Adventists, that Shelkov had represented himself as a new "prophet," and that he had rejected contact with the official Adventist body. Similar attempts were made in the 1960s to cast doubts on the credentials of "unofficial" Baptist spokesmen by means of the "official" Baptist statements. It

p 8 -- is to be hoped that international Adventist opinion will suspend judgment on the True and Free Seventh-day Adventists in the USSR until more of the facts are known. (Pp. 208-209).

In the October, 1979, issue of "Watchman, What of the Night?" we discussed the reaction of the hierarchy of the Church to the trial and sentencing of Shelkov. We reproduced a "form letter" prepared by Elder Alf Lohne which stated the official position of their intention "to pass by on the other side." However, there is still left unexplained certain facts:
1)    Elder Alf Lohne on a trip to Russia in 1977 made arrangements for Elder Pierson's officially recognized "state visit" which took place in the Fall of 1978. Elder Lohne visited Tashkent (home area of Elder Shelkov) because "there were many believers" in the district. (Review, July 14, 1977, p. 4)
2)    After Elder Lohne's visit, Shelkov was arrested as described in the first article of this thought paper.
3)    Approximately the same time, one of the leaders of the recognized Adventist Church in Russia was in Washington to finalize on the trip of Pierson to Russia accompanied by Lohne.
4)    Pierson on his trip never went near Tashkent where Shelkov was in prison awaiting trial, nor did he speak in his behalf to any Russian government leader. Why did he avoid Tashkent where there were so many believers? Why did he not try to visit Shelkov in prison as commended by Jesus Christ?
5)    After the "state" visit by Pierson and Lohne, the disgraceful trial of Shelkov took place in the Spring of 1979.

If this sequence of events was only a "happenstance," then it stands as unique in the annals of history. There has been no explanation of this unusual set of circumstances by the hierarchy and their reluctance to speak up for a faithful minister of the faith. The latest word from Washington is that the leadership plan to organize a new world Division composed of Adventist churches in USSR recognized by the atheistic State.

It must be kept in mind that an editorial in The Toronto Sun (July 9, 1980) stated:      Put succinctly and as dispassionately as possible, it is inconceivable that travelling priests and clergy from the Soviet Union are anything but KGB-sponsored. That is not to say they are all KGB officers, but they are informers, propagandists, talent scouts, recruiters, watchdogs, or whatever for the KGB. (p. 10.)

This is the type of "clergy" we now have on the General Conference Committee in the person of Kulakov, and the type of persons we welcomed to the General Conference Session of Dallas. And the fact is, and which dare not be overlooked, that so long as the laity support the hierarchy with their tithes and offerings, they are party to, this situation.

p 9 -- In the Adventist Review, Nov. 8, 1979, p.3, Elder Alf Lohne is pictured introducing Kulakov and another representative of the Atheistic State recognized Adventist Church to the delegates attending the 1979 Annual Council.

A NEW FORM OF ADVENTIST WORSHIP -- In Paulin Hall on the Pacific Union College campus, an early morning worship service conceived and conducted by Elder Wayne Judd of the College Theological faculty was held. Its theme was - "That They May Be One." An outline was given each attendant so that he or she could respond in a predesignated way to the various sections of the worship service. While space will not permit us to reproduce the whole of the liturgy, we shall copy certain sections which indicate the ecumenical and doctrinal perceptions behind this new form of Adventist worship. One section will be in its entirety, and the other in part:
Proclamation of God's Grace

Pastor:    I ask you before God: Do you turn from your sins to God?
Congregation:    We do.
Pastor:    Do you trust in Jesus Christ, and Him alone, as your Saviour?
Congregation:    We do.
Pastor:    Do you intend to rely upon the Holy Spirit to help you be like Jesus?
Congregation:   Yes, we do.
Pastor:    Upon this your commitment, know that the death of the Son of God upon the cross has paid the penalty for all your sins. He, the righteous One, accepted into His body the sins of the unrighteous. He the righteous One, has transferred His robes of righteousness to you, the unrighteous. You are clean. You are holy. You are saints of God!

Corporate Testimony of Faith [After individual testimony first by the men, and then by the women, all recited together the following:]

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him, but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Church He daily and richly forgives all sins to me and all believers, and will at the Last Day raise up me and all the dead, and give to me and all believers in Christ eternal life. This is our testimony.

After the sermon, followed by the taking of the offering, and the singing of the Doxology, the General Prayer for the Worship Service was offered. However, it too, had an introductory congregational response, first by the men, followed by the women, and then all together. During the General Prayer, each time the pastor (Wayne Judd) said - "Let us pray" - which according to one observer was "numerous" during the prayer, the congregation was suppose to respond - "Lord have mercy." This was followed by a section termed "The Reaffirmation of the Great

p 10 -- Commission, a closing hymn, and the Benediction.

In reading through this whole liturgy, one has the feeling that we are not only drawing closer to the Anglicans (Church of England) in our doctrinal beliefs as noted by Bishop Robert Terwilliger in his comments to the delegates at the Dallas Session (Adventist Review, May 1, 1980, p. 16); but we are now formulating an order of worship, that will bring us into one liturgically with this "bridge" church to Rome.

But what can be said about these ecumenical concepts stated in this new liturgy when at Dallas, the delegates voted as the belief of the Church that "The church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior." (Ibid., p. 25)


SDA PRESS RELEASE -- A group of concerned Adventist business men and women have joined together in an Adventist Layman Council for the purpose of investigating and exposing the financial intrigues of the hierarchy, and how they have invested the trust funds given by unsuspecting laity. One statement to be found in the green release reads:      A private investigator, hired by John Felts, an Adventist layman of Ooltewah, Tennessee, and a title researcher, later commissioned by Sidney Allen, a teacher at Redlands, California, revealed that unsecured (i.e. extremely soft) loans to [Donald J.] Davenport [MD] by the Georgia-Cumberland Conference while [Elder Desmond] Cummings was president there, had been made in the amount of Three Million Dollars...

Knowledgeable estimates of the total amount of consecrated Money which was advanced to Davenport in loans from Adventist organizations range from Twenty to Sixty Million Dollars. These consecrated, donated dollars are composed of both Conference-owned funds [tithe and offerings] and funds held in trust for Conference members who have made annuity agreements. --- (1981 Apr) --- End --- TOP

1981 May-- XIV 5(81) -- LET'S TALK ABOUT THE ATONEMENT - I -- The word - atonement - is an English word coming from "atone," a word in Middle English meaning - at one. So we can say that atonement means simply to be at one again with a person from whom we have become estranged. When applied to theology, it indicates the reconciliation between God and man, and man and God. There is only one thing that has separated between God and man, and man and God, and that is sin.

In the case of man's alienation from God, the Scripture states it very simply - "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23) Paul summarizes the condition of man by quoting from the Old Testament -    As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Rom. 3:10-12)

With God, the alienation was forced upon Him by man's actions, not by any action initiated by Him. Isaiah declared - "Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear." (Isa. 59:2) God is holy and righteous. The Psalmist sang that "righteousness and judgment are the basis of His throne." (Ps. 97:2 Heb.) Sin - rebellion - on the other hand had challenged the very foundations of the government of God. Justice demanded that the traitors be executed. There is, however, another aspect to the character of God. His holiness and His righteousness emanate from a heart of love. Love devised an atonement that would meet the demands of justice, and thus secure the Throne, and would provide a means for the healing and restoration of the traitor.

Before we can understand the atonement devised by God, we must understand the sickness of man. All sin represents degrees of insanity. We continue in our rebellion because "the whole head is sick." (Isa. 1:5) Sin originated with a created being whose mind became deranged. The prophet stated of Lucifer under the symbolism of the king of Tyrus - "Thou has corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness." (Eze. 28:17) How could a created being ever think that he could destroy an immortal God, and take His place? But once in the pathway of insanity, this arch-traitor led our first parents into sin by a derangement of their thought patterns, a subversion of the higher nature to the lower. The atonement must bring healing to the mind, and restoration of the glorious character lost through this deceptive derangement.

There is, however, that judicial aspect of judgment with which God had also to

p 2 -- deal so that He could be at-one-ment with sinful man, and thus effect the healing of man. "The wages of sin is death." (Rom. 6:23) But who would be willing to die as a substitute, and who could die in such a capacity so that the demands of justice might be met? There was only One, and that was the Son of God. To Abraham who was bringing his "only son" as an offering to God, the Spirit encouraged his heart so that he could say to Isaac - "My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering." (Gen. 22:8) And He did! "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son." (John 3:16) "The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all . . . His soul [was made] an offering for sin." (Isa. 53:6, 10) Thus the first great question of the Atonement found an answer - How can God be just, and yet justify the sinner? (See Rom. 1:16-17; 3:24-26) We can, therefore, from the viewpoint of God - and only from that viewpoint - speak of the Cross as an atonement. The Cross is an atonement only in this phase of the relationship - God becoming at one with man. In the cross man is provided by God what could be called a "second chance," but which is in reality an opportunity to escape his corporate involvement in the first choice made for him by the father of the race, for "by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation." (Rom. 5:18)

The significance of this atonement with man on the part of God is illustrated in covenant-history. Israel was assembled before Mount Sinai. They had heard the voice of God proclaim His law amid thunderings and lightenings. They listened carefully as Moses read "the book of the covenant" which he had prepared under the direction of God. To what they heard, Israel responded - "All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient." (Ex. 24:7) In this book of the covenant had been written as its preamble the requirement of God for singleness of worship on the part of Israel. It read - "Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. Ye shall not make with Me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold." (Ex. 20:22-23) Within forty days following the ratification of this blood covenant, and the solemn commitment of Israel, they gave their adoration to the "golden calf" of Egyptian devil worship. They repeated the sin of Adam and Eve in giving their loyalty and allegiance to the enemy of God.

The reaction of God to this apostasy was swift. Moses was immediately informed by God as to what was happening in the camp below, and was told that He no longer considered them His people. (Ex. 32:7) Moses after returning to the encampment of Israel from his dialogue with God in the Mount, removed the "tabernacle" of meeting without the camp. (Ex. 33:7) Then he told the people - "Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the Lord, peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin." (Ex. 32:30) The result of this interceding of Moses, and the exchange that took place between him and God is given in God's final answer to Moses' pleadings - "The Lord said to Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel." (Ex. 34:27) Israel's commitment was not secured to this covenant. It was a covenant by which Moses stood as surety for Israel's compliance, and through which God could once more become atonement with Israel. It was a "type" covenant of the "atonement" achieved by Christ for man to effect God's reconciliation with man. God became at one again with humanity in Christ Jesus. Even, as God talked with Moses face to face (Deut. 34:10) so Christ in His glorified humanity is in the very presence of God to speak for man. (Heb. 4:14-15)

The fact should not be overlooked that at the time when Israel was forfeiting

p 3 -- their rights as God's people in the worship of the golden calf, and demonstrating the inability of man to keep any covenant to which mentally he would agree, God was giving to Moses "the plan" by which man can become at-one with God. The sanctuary and its services, which were to operate as "types" under a type-covenant, were being revealed to Moses. (See Ex. 24:18-32:1)

This second aspect of the atonement - man becoming one with God begins at the same point - the Cross. Here his healing begins for in the Cross he comes to see the real significance of where his mental derangement will lead. If God had only the judicial aspect of the atonement in mind to effect the redemption of man - justification - Gethsemane would have sufficed. There the cup was accepted, and there the blood first touched the ground. (Luke 22:44) Thus Gethsemane could have become the antitypical Altar. Why then the Cross? The Cross brings to our poor deranged and dull senses that sin is the will to kill God. Jesus had told the Jews that the lusts of their father the devil they would do. Being a murderer from the beginning - desiring to kill the Immortal Potentate, Satan would have them do that very thing to God's Son in whom all the fulness of the Godhead dwelt. (John 8:44) When we truly perceive what sin really is, our thinking is rearranged, and we see in Him whom we have pierced, our Sacrifice and Substitute.

However, with the healing of our thought processes, we are still short of the glory of God. We are still just as unable to meet the judicial requirements of God as stated in His law, as we were before we found our place at the foot of the Cross. But He who became our Sacrifice and Substitute speaks to us, and says I will be your Mediator - your Priest. I will accomplish your atonement with your God. And so "of Him are [we] in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." (I Cor. 1:30) "Wisdom" - for by the Cross we see the real meaning of sin; "righteousness" for by His righteousness God is able to declare "the remission of sins that are past." (Rom. 3:25); "sanctification" for by His sanctification the truth is to be inwrought in our lives (John 17:19); and "redemption" for by that redemption our vile bodies shall be changed into the likeness of His "glorious body" (Phil 3:21); - yea all this is for us by Jesus Christ that "in all things He might have the preeminence." (Col. 1:18) But in this divine process whereby we become atone with God and see His face again (Rev. 22:4), there are specific acts to be performed on both the part of the priest and the individual. These conditions were outlined in the types of the earthly sanctuary which foreshadowed the work and ministry of our great High Priest as He makes atonement for us in the sanctuary of the heavens.

In the Court -- The principle article of furniture as far as the individual was concerned was the Brazen Altar. On this Altar was offered the sin offering. While the disposition of the blood varied with the status of the sinner, the process by which it was presented, and the ultimate result reflecting back on the sinner was the same. The one presenting the animal of the sin offering must bring it "to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord." (Lev. 4:4) Then he would "lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering and slay the sin offering" before the Lord. (Lev. 4:29) With this ritual the participation of the sinner ceased. But in his participation, he had performed two very meaningful acts.

p 4 -- First, he had presented a substitute to meet the demands of justice, and secondly, he himself slew the substitute.

At the point when the victim was killed, the priest took over. He either ministered the blood directly before "the veil of the sanctuary" (Lev. 4:6), or he partook of the flesh of the sin offering. (Lev. 10:17) Through the priestly act, atonement was made, and forgiveness was extended to the sinner. (Lev. 4:20) Again this ritual tells us something. The atonement of man with God was not made until after the sacrificial substitute was offered. The result of the atonement was forgiveness - judicial in its results, because the sinner had just as much a potential to sin after the sin offering was presented as he had before its presentation. The forgiveness extended had only one effect upon him - he could rest in the consciousness of freedom from the guilt caused by his sin. He stood before his God as though he had never sinned. The victim had borne his sin, and had been accepted in his place.

The Hebrew word translated "atonement" in describing the ritual of the sanctuary is kah-phar. It means literally "to cover." Its first use in Scripture had to do with Noah's ark. There God commanded Noah - "Make yourself an ark of gopher wood, and cover it inside and out with pitch." (Gen. 6:14 RSV) In the sanctuary service as pertaining to the sin offering, the priest made the "covering." The sin of the sinner was open - he confessed, and was deserving of death, but had presented a substitute. By the means of the blood of the substitute, the priest had in turn "covered" his sin. In the reality, Jesus became both Substitute, and Priest, one following the other. As the great High Priest over the house of God, He has effected the judicial atonement - whether individual or corporate - covering the sins of all who "come unto God by Him seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them." (Heb. 7:25)

If in the sanctuary service, the ritual of the Court had been all that was to be performed, and the first apartment into which the priest went with the blood of the sin offering was a vacant vestibule, then we might conclude that the "new theology" had some merit. But the Scripture plainly teaches that beyond the judicial atonement was much more to be performed by the priests on behalf,of the sinner directly effecting his final atonement with God. There was the Holy Place, not vacant and meaningless, and the Most Holy Place, where the final decree regarding sin and sinners was prefigured each year in the great Day of Atonement. These we shall discuss in the next thought paper, God willing.

MORE DOCUMENTATION -- On the next three pages you will read an exchange of correspondence regarding the SDA-Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956. There are several important facts confirmed in the letter written by Walter Martin which should be carefully noted. Those who have not obtained a facsimile copy of the articles in Eternity, and the historical summary by T. E. Unruh which appeared in the Adventist Heritage will surely want to do so after reading these letters.

p 5 -- OKANAGAN ADVENTIST ACADEMY - .1036 HOLLYWOOO RD., KELOWNA, B.C. VIX 4N3

Prof. Walter Martin
Post Office Box 500
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693

Dear Prof. Martin:

Sometimes I wonder if the "truth" will ever be made known? It seems we are still going over the ground you and your late friend Dr. Barnhouse walked over some twenty plus years ago.

Since our last correspondence concerning the writing of the book Questions on Doctrine, I have gone over carefully a communiqué by Dr. Barnhouse wherein he stated: "We (referring to you and himself) have written and signed by the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist movement that we have not misinterpreted Seventh-day Adventist positions."

Perhaps he was speaking about the foreword of your book, which was signed by one of our officers. However, he also stated: "Everything I have published was read by Seventh-day Adventist leaders before we published. Not a line, have I ever printed that was not previously read by Froom."

Was Dr. Froom the only one that gave his concent and placed An indorcement upon the writings in ETERNITY? The reason I raise the question is because of a letter I received from the Editor of The Ministry Magazine. (The one that took Dr. Roy Anderson's place) He told me that "when it comes to your quoting ETERNITY magazine, you must remember that this is their interpretation of the story ... You cannot hold the Adventist Church leadership responsible for our saying what others said we said. So what Barnhouse and Martin said our leaders said, still has to be taken in that context."

I must say, this rather muddles the water and makes it most difficult to discern which person has spoken "truth." I would like to believe that God is still leading the honest in heart and those who are seeking to know Him as their personal Saviour. However, as a professor of religion here at O.K.A., it sometimes becomes rather hard to determine just where we stand as a denomination. Are we divided?

I would appreciate anything you might have from your files that could help clear up this issue in my mind once and for all. I might add, Dr. Barnhouse also mentioned a book you had read there in Washington by Ellen G. White that few Adventists knew anything about. Would that book be of any value in helping one to see the picture clearer?

Let me thank you in advance for your time and consideration and

May I remain Sincerely,

Willard L. Santee

WLS: cc         PS   Thanks for information you sent on John Todd

p 6 --

CHRISTIAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Walter Martin, Director


December 9, 1980

Professor W. L. Santee,
1035 Hollywood Road
Kelowna, B. C.
CANADA VlX 4N3

Dear Brother Santee:

I am sorry for a late reply to your letter of last January, but my schedule has been horrendous. As I stated in my Eternity articles and Dr. Barnhouse stated in his editorial, and as I have further stated in The Truth About Seventh-Day Adventism and The Kingdom of the Cults, representatives of the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination with the full approval of Reuben Figuhe, then president, entered into lengthy dialogue with myself, Dr. Barnhouse, and Dr. George Cannon for the purpose of ascertaining Seventh-Day Adventism's agreement or disagreement with historic Christianity. Dr. Roy Allen Anderson, Dr. W. E. Read, Dr. LeRoy Froom, and Dr. Unruh referred our dialogues to selected members of the Seventh-Day Adventist seminary in Washington and to Reuben Figuhe. When the book, Questions on Doctrine was published, it was stated that it represented historic Adventism as understood by the leaders of the church at that time. The book was in response to the questions addressed to the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination. The current editor of the Ministry, who is maintaining that what went on in those dialogues and the material that was printed was merely the interpretation Eternity magazine placed upon it is not only woefully ignorant, but he apparently can't read. "Barnhouse and Martin" didn't say what your leaders said, Barnhouse and Martin reproduced exactly what they said; and after they had read it, as the book Questions on Doctrine and my book accurately represents it all.

It is sorry to see after such a short period of time that some leaders of Adventism have not only short memories, but are now attempting to say things which are blatantly erroneous.

If this dialogue must be public once more, I shall be happy to produce the documentation. Dr. Roy Anderson is still alive as is Dr. Unruh. This was not a matter of interpretation. This was a matter of very thorough documentation and the editor of

p 7 -- Professor W. L. Santee December 9, 1980 Page 2

the Ministry had better start doing his homework or his attitude will further what is now a growing schism within the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination.

One cannot simply have his cake and eat it too. Either the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination stood behind the book Questions on Doctrine, or they printed it under false pretenses. I do not accent the latter; and all the evidence is in favor of the former. You may consult Dr. Anderson if you wish. He is an honorable man with a good memory; and if we have to get down to the area of factual data, the editor of the Ministry will not be very successful in defending this double talk.

With appreciation for your correspondance and a continuing interest in the ministry of the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination, I remain,

In the Fellowship of our Lord,

Walter Martin

WM:kt

Comments:   The above letter written by Dr. Walter Martin adds another important document to our understanding of what took place, and what was said at the SDA-Evangelical Conferences in 1955-1956. I reiterate again, what I have written so many times before, that no one desiring truth can fully understand the present condition in the Church without a correct understanding of what took place at these conferences. Further, the Ford syndrome is only carrying to its ultimate conclusion the deviations from historic Adventism which the leaders of the Church perpetrated at that time.

The problem is not difficult, nor covered in mysticism. If the atonement was completed on the Cross as the Evangelicals teach, and to which the leadership of the Church agreed both during the conferences, and in the book that followed - Questions on Doctrine - then there can be no final atonement, and our spiritual forefathers misinterpreted the meaning of Daniel 8:14 as they related it
to the times in which they were living. This is what I understand Ford is saying.

p 8 -- Why then have the hierarchy condemned a man for merely applying to its ultimate conclusion what they themselves are on record as believing? As Walter Martin wrote - "Either the Seventh-day Adventist denomination stood behind the book Questions on Doctrine, or they printed it under false pretenses. I do not accept the latter; and all the evidence is in favor of the former."

Let us cite a case in point. If you have been following the latest issues of the Adventist Review - the "General Organ of the Seventh-day Adventist Church" you will note a complete absence of any material which would inform the laity of what Martin calls "a growing schism within the Seventh-day Adventist denomination." And this schism involves the Ford syndrome. The present editor of the Adventist Review is on record as having written that the book - Questions on Doctrine "in no way changes our fundamental beliefs. In fact, it probably sets them forth more clearly than any publication that has been issued from our presses in many a year." (Letter dated, Feb. 28, 1968) This is what Martin writes that they said. Note - "When the book, Questions on Doctrine was published, it stated that it represented historic Adventism as understood by the leaders of the church at that time." Now this book declares plainly that Christ upon His ascension "appeared in the presence of God for us. But it was not in the hope of obtaining something for us at that time, or at some future time. No! He had already obtained it for us on the cross." (QOD, p. 381, Emphasis theirs) And this is what Ford is teaching - the Ford syndrome. This is what Wood, the editor of the Adventist Review, declared to be a part of our fundamental beliefs. Why then a schism? Perhaps the editor might wish to explain.

Now Martin comes back into the picture again and states that if the hierarchy in Washington cannot remember what they have written, and stated, and approved, and "the dialogue must be public once again, I shall be happy to produce the documentation." It is the hope and prayer of this writer that such will soon come to pass, for then the laity will have the indisputable proof of the apostasy which has been perpetrated on them by men entrusted with the preservation of the truth, but who betrayed that trust.

It is no doubt true that some seeing the fruitage of their apostasy would like to recall their unfaithfulness, but having gone out and slept with the "harlot" they are now hard pressed by the threat of her revelation of what took place the "night" they were with her - for dark was that night in the history of Adventism! Little did they realize that in that "night of lust" they were approaching that unseen line which they would cross a decade later. Now like Esau of old who for a morsel of food sold his birthright, these spiritual adulterers "can find no place of repentance." (Heb. 12:16-17) So they are ignoring the situation hoping that it will go away.

Some in reading Martin's letter may think that he was a bit hard on Elder J. R. Spangler, present editor of Ministry, and head of the General Conference Ministerial Department. One must keep in mind that Spangler was a protégé of R. Allan Anderson, and at the time of the Evangelical conferences was basking in the "upward mobility" being provided for him by his mentor. It is most interesting to note how he views that period and how he compares his own expertise in theological comprehension to a tennis ball that can be hit back and forth between courts. Here is, what he wrote:      Prior to the publication of Questions on Doctrine and certain articles

p 9 -- appearing in Ministry, I hadn't given much thought to the precise nature of Christ. I simply believed He was the God-man and presented Him as such in evangelistic campaigns. During the early years of my ministry, I leaned heavily toward the view that Christ had tendencies and propensities toward evil as I did. I believed Christ possessed a nature exactly like mine, except that He alone never yielded to temptation.

However, in the fifties, as the church focused on Christ's nature, my position changed. I now favored the idea that Christ was genuinely man, subject to temptation and failure, but with a sinless human nature totally free from any tendencies or predisposition toward evil. A barrage of brochures, articles, and letters plus seemingly endless discussion followed the publication of Questions on Doctrine... During this period, conflicting views of His nature were presented with such apparently irrefutable logic that my mind, like a tennis ball, bounced first in one court and then the other, depending on which racquet hit me last!
Eventually, I landed more and more in the sinless nature "court." (Ministry, April, 78, pp. 21-22)

In the light of his own self-evaluation, one is forced to conclude that Martin was rather restrained in his remarks concerning Spangler, and exhibited a degree of mercy which was more than justified.

WEIMAR OPTS FOR APOSTASY -- In the Adventist Review, "February 12, 1981, a notice over the name of the president of Weimar Institute stated:      The Institute concurs with and actively supports the Statement of Beliefs adopted by the 1980 General Conference in session. (p. 23)

While the president is not listed among the delegates to the Dallas session, the academic dean, Colin Standish, though not a delegate, was present. (Adventist Review, April 24, 1980 p. 20) It is inconceivable that Dr. Colin Standish did not join his twin brother who was a delegate on the floor and follow closely the discussion in the formulation of the revised Statement of Beliefs. Anyone comparing what was voted with our previous Statements of Belief (See Oct., 1980 WWN) cannot help but recognize significant deviations from our historic positions. Also Dr. Standish could have heard or read later in the Bulletin - Bishop Robert Terwilliger of the Anglican Church who expressed amazement at the narrowing of the gap that separates the new Adventist beliefs from his. The Bishop said - "I hoped to find some degree of disagreement. I had the most awful disappointment. I found increasingly that we are together in our faith." (Adventist Review, May 1, 1980, p. 16)

The leadership at Weimar are not ignorant of these facts, but instead of standing up for the historic faith, they opt to follow the hierarchy as it takes the church into the midnight darkness of the omega apostasy.

p 10 -- Student Movement -- Wednesday, November 12, 1980
Meier, Lamson Invaded
The account you are about to read is true. The names have been withheld to protect the guilty.
Approximately 45 guys wearing masks and underwear on their heads, raided Lamson Hall the night of October 30.
The Lamson raid can be partially attributed to an earlier raid staged by a group of Lamsonites. These girls ran down Meier 2nd East hallway, spraying perfume, shaving cream and baby powder. An assortment of panties were scattered around.
The commotion the girls raid induced lead to the organization of a formidable counterattack force. The guys, the majority of which were wearing underwear on their heads, entered Lamson West lobby at 10:30.
"The mortified look on Miss Friestad's face gave me more pleasure than I've had in a long time," one fellow said.
The guys raced down first floor hallways, shouting and banging on doors. Shaving cream and toilet paper were dispersed generously.
The guys rallied outside East lobby, stormed back into Lamson, this time to the second floor. Girls met the guys at the top of the stairs, equipped with an arsenal of shaving cream. One guy said, "I thought for a second they were going to spray us with mace."
Another guy mused, "I sure was surprised to see how many girls tried to pull us into their rooms."
An M-80 firecracker exploded, after which most of the guys bolted down the stairs, and back over to Meier. The security car attempted to chase the guys, adding even more excitement to the situation.
During the raid minor damage was done to several doors and windows at Lamson. One pajama clad girl said, "There was a big mess to clean up, but I sure hope they come again, when they can stay longer."

Note - Meier Hall and Lamson Hall are the dormitories on the Andrews University Campus. One wonders as he reads whether we are beginning to see the fruitage of the new theology?

FYI - The George H. Rue, M. D, listed on the Green Issue of the SDA Press Release is not the G. Harvey Rue, M. D., editor of the Layworker., There are three G. H. Rue, M. D.'s. --- (1981 May) ---End---- TOP

1981 Jun -- XIV 6(81) -- LET'S TALK ABOUT THE ATONEMENT - II -- As we continue our discussion about the Atonement - and specifically that phase of the atonement which involves man's at-one-ment with God - we shall consider the second step as pre-figured in the earthly type.

In the First Apartment -- In the earthly sanctuary service, all ministry within the first apartment was done by the priests. It was the priest who placed the incense on the golden altar, which stood before the second veil, both morning and evening; and who "dressed" the lamps simultaneously. (Ex. 30:6-8) Prepared by the Levites, the cakes of shewbread were placed by the priests on the Table opposite the Golden Candlesticks, and were renewed every Sabbath day. (Lev. 24:5-8). But while the priests were ministers of the Holy Place, the people were involved in that ministry. They were commanded to provide oil for the lamps (Lev. 24:2); they were assessed an half shekel for the service of the sanctuary. This assessment was considered as "an offering unto the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls." (Ex. 30:13-16) Thus the very materials purchased by the half shekel, and used by the priests in the ritual of the Holy Place were considered a part of the ongoing atonement.

Theologically, the services and articles of furniture in the Holy Place have been understood to represent the experience called sanctification. In the type by the assessment of the half shekel and the purpose for which it was used, and how the Lord regarded it, we can understand that what we call sanctification is a part of the atonement - man becoming at-one with God.

The people of Israel sensed the typical meaning of the first apartment ritual. The offering of the incense - both morning and evening - was recognized as a time of prayer. (Luke 1:10) Since the lamps were trimmed at the same time, they could perceive a meaning in this act as well - "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Ps. 119:105) The service connected with the Table of Shewbread reminded them weekly of their responsibilities under the Fourth Commandment.

With the establishment of the New Covenant, the involvement of the ones who had become atone with God through the priestly act of Jesus resulting from the sacrifice of Himself as Substitute was more direct. They are pictured as participants in the ministry before the Throne in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. There the four and twenty elders have "everyone of them harps, and golden vials full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." (Rev. 5:8)

p 2 -- Representing the 24 courses of the Levitical priesthood, these 24 Elders are no longer restricted to the tribe of Levi, but have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." (Rev. 5:9) While redeemed members of the human family serve with their great High Priest in the ministry of the first apartment of the tabernacle "which the Lord pitched and not man" (Heb. 8:2); the earthly believer is also considered a part of this royal priesthood, thus becoming a part of the kingdom of priests to which all Israel were called, but to which Israel never attained. (I Peter 2:9; Ex. 19:5-6) The "priesthood of all believers" involves more than mere equality of rank, but involves active participation in the daily "dressing" of the lamps; the offering of the incense morning and evening; and the weekly participation in the renewing of the bread of His presence on the Holy Sabbath.

In this priestly ministry under the New Covenant, the believer has committed himself to a work of a lifetime - daily, both morning and evening, he holds communion with his God; the light of the Spirit guides in his life's decisions; and each week he partakes with his fellow "priests" of the bread of God's presence as found in the Word, and through this fellowship a renewing of their perceptions and commitment. To perceive the depths of this ongoing atonement provided through Jesus Christ, the great High Priest over the household of God, one can find endless insights as the mind is directed by the Holy Spirit in the study of the symbols devised by God in the lesson plans for the earthly sanctuary.

The Bible pictures not only Christ as the minister of the true tabernacle where in its first apartment He ministers as "a Lamb as it had been slain;" but also as the One who has obtained from the Father, the light of the seven golden candlesticks which is "sent forth into all the earth." (Rev. 5:6) It is through this Holy Spirit that where two or three are gathered together in His name partaking of the heavenly Shewbread - He is in the midst of them. This church on earth and the Church of the heavenly Jerusalem become one through the ministry of Jesus "the mediator of the new covenant" and "the blood of sprinkling." (Heb. 12:22-24) From an individual judicial atonement resulting from the acceptance of the Substitute sacrificed "in the court," and the mediation of that blood upon "Mt. Sion," we enter an individual-corporate atonement process in the first apartment ministry, a process which is to be completed in the Most Holy Place as a corporate atonement, or as prefigured in the type - a national atonement.

In the Most Holy Place -- It is of utmost importance to note that 0. R. L. Crosier in his study - "The Sanctuary" - first appearing in the Day Star, Extra, February 7, 1846, and reprinted again in the 1850 Advent Review, a 48-page pamphlet, notes the daily ministry in the earthly sanctuary which pertained to the sin offerings as "the individual atonement," and the once-a-year ministry in the Most Holy Place as "the National Atonement." To this concept, we have given little attention. In simple language, it means a corporate atonement.

Introducing this concept, Crosier used Hebrews 9:7 - "But into the second [apartment] went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people." He emphasized - "errors of the people," defining people as "nation" from the Greek word used - AaoV.

p 3 -- This was to emphasize the corporate idea involved rather than the result to a single individual. This concept is emphasized in the Levitical detailing of the ritual to be performed on the Day of Atonement. The two goats over which the lots were cast were to be taken from "the congregation of the children of Israel." (Lev. 16:5) The one which became the Lord's goat is designated as "the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people." (verse. 15) The atonement was made "because of the uncleaness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins." (ver. 16) The ritual commanded was declared to be an "everlasting statute" by which "to make atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year." (ver. 34) Further, this was noted by God as "the sin offering of atonements" (Ex. 30:10) All previous offerings by which atonement was realized find their ultimate objective in this final atonement. It was national, collective, and corporative.

This atonement of atonements involved "the holy place within the vail", because "of the uncleanness of the children of Israel." (Lev. 16:2,16) It involved "the tabernacle of the congregation" [the first apartment]; "the altar that is before the Lord" (ver. 18); and the priests and "all the people of the congregation." (ver. 33) Its purpose - that the people "be clean from all [their] sins before the Lord." (ver. 30)

In this study of the services of the Day of Atonement, it must be clearly understood that the people's involvement in the ritual of this day, whether considered collectively, or individually was absolutely nil. It was the blood of the goat designated as "the Lord's goat" (See Lev. 16:8-9) which accomplished the atonement. It was the High Priest arrayed in his holy garments who entered the Most Holy Place alone to minister the atonement of atonements.

This Day was to be to the people a holy convocation (Numbers 29:7) As they assembled, and throughout the day, they were to "afflict their souls." (Lev. 23:27, 32) In it they were to do no work - for if anyone did he would be destroyed from "among the people." (ver. 30) This people as they assembled, assembled as "forgiven sinners" not as "cleansed saints." That was to be the result of the atonement made on this Day. Even though throughout the year, they had assembled morning and evening at the time of prayer; even though they had diligently sought to know and practice the precepts of the Lord, they still were unclean before the Lord. And nothing which they could do on the Day of Atonement could gain them merit. They were to do no work, and anyone who attempted to accomplish something by his works was to be destroyed from among the people. The blood of the Lord's goat, and the ministry of the High Priest alone would attain the atonement of atonements. This was the type.

In the great antitypical Day of Atonement in the sanctuary which the Lord pitched and not man, our great High Priest, with His perfect holiness and by His own blood will accomplish the cleansing of not just one individual, but the cleansing of His people. This cleansing will be of a people who know they have been forgiven, and that at the foot of the Cross - before the altar of the court - is the highest place they can attain; a people who are not seeking perfection by their own works, but who find in their communion with God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit that humility of soul, that distrustfulness of self which God delights to honor. "Blessed are they who know their spiritual poverty, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:3 RBV)

p 4 -- It must also be recalled from the type given that as God made a covenant with Moses as representative of the people - a covenant to which the people did not assent to as a nation, but which through the "daily" services of the sanctuary they individually acknowledged by the bringing of their sin offerings, so Christ has been accepted by the Father as the representative of the individuals who accept Him as their Substitute - their Sin-Offering. For these people - collectively - He will make the atonement of atonements. They are His people. As a Representative of them, He has covenanted to "make a man more precious than gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir." (Isa. 13:12)1 This He will do; but it must be kept in mind that He and He alone will do it! He does it in and for those who recognize themselves as sinners, not perfected saints. It was this He made painfully clear to the "religious" during the days of His earthly ministry. He said "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Matt. 9:13)

As our High Priest, Christ will obtain from the Father all power necessary for the accomplishment of His part of the covenant so that the ultimate objective of the at-one-ment may be realized - "Father, I will that they also, whom thou has given me, be with me where I am." (John 17:24) For who is like unto our heavenly Father, who "pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will [respond], He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; [He] will cast all [our] sins into the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:18-19) And when this shall have been accomplished in the atonement of the atonements, then we shall see His face, and His name shall be in our foreheads. In that hour we shall experience the fullness of the atonement (Rev, 22:4)

Our Father, as He sees the host of the redeemed - His earth-born children come home - will rejoice over [them] with joy, He will rest in His love, He will joy over [them] with singing." (Zeph. 3:17)

l   Isaiah 13:12 is a very important text. The promise to make a man more precious than fine gold is placed in a time setting in context with "the day of the Lord." Following the fulfillment of the prophecy - "the sun shall be darkened in his going forth" (verse 10) - and before "the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, I and in the day of His fierce anger" - this promise is to be fulfilled. Thus between the Dark Day, May 19, 1780, and the close of human probation, Christ will make a man as precious as the golden wedge of Ophir. Thus the timing of this promise coincides with the antitypical Day of Atonement - the Day of the Atonement of the Atonements. (See Isa. 13:9-13; Dan. 8:14)

"Let no one take the limited, narrow position that any of the works of man can help in the least possible way to liquidate the debt of his transgression. This is a fatal deception. If you would understand it, you must cease haggling over your pet ideas, and with humble hearts survey the atonement. This matter is so dimly comprehended that thousands upon thousands claiming to be sons of God are children of the wicked one, because they will depend on their own works."
(Ms 50, 1900; 6BC: 1071)

p 5 -- THE GOSPEL IN THE LIGHT OF THE ATONEMENT -- Now having talked about the Atonement - God's atonement with man, and man's atonement with God - what is the Gospel, the good news about our redemption? In the KJV of the New Testament, the word, atonement, is used only once. In Romans 5:11, it reads - "And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." The word translated - "atonement" - is the Greek word katallage (katallagh), which means reconciliation. This word is used only by Paul in the New Testament; and by Paul only in Romans, and his letters to the Corinthians.

In II Cor. 5:18-20, Paul sets forth this reconciliation - this atonement and indicates that God has committed to us "the ministry of reconciliation." The message to be given is - "Be ye reconciled to God." God by the Cross has been reconciled to man, but now man must be reconciled to God. The good news is that God can still be just; and yet the justifier of those who believe on Jesus. The story of that reconciliation and how it is to be attained on the part of man, and how it will be achieved is to be found in the message of the Sanctuary for the way of God is in the sanctuary. (Ps. 77:13) This, too, is good news - the Gospel. To mitigate it, to deny it, is to preach an incomplete and partial gospel - another gospel.

ACHRI HO (acri ou) -- This Greek phrase is one of the key expressions to be found in Luke 21:24, and is translated by the one word - until - in the clause, "until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Luke uses the word - "achri (acri) - twenty times in his two books, the Gospel and Acts. But three of those twenty times, he combines achri with the relative, hou (ou). Thus to understand the force in Luke 21:24 - one of those three times, we should consider its use by Luke in the other two places where this compound expression is to be found.

In reporting the sermon of Stephen before the Jewish Council, Luke quotes Stephen as saying the children of Israel "grew and multiplied in Egypt, till another king arose, which knew not Joseph." (Acts 7:17-18) This is not saying that immediately upon the assumption of the throne by this king, the children of Israel ceased to multiply, and that measures were forthwith taken to reduce their population. But it is allowing for a brief period of time from the ascension to the inauguration of the genocide tactics of the new king.

The other reference in Acts concerns the experience of Paul at the time of the shipwreck on the way to Rome. It reads - "While the day was coming on, Paul besought them to take meat." (Acts 27:33) Again a very brief period of time is encompassed in the use of achri ou - that time between the first faint rays of light in the east till the fulness of the sun dispels all shades of darkness. Thus the expression in Luke 21:24, must carry a brief period of time. (If we should render Luke 21:24 as "while the times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled," you then have a time period covering from 34 to 1967. The two other references

p 6 -- do not sustain such an extended period of time.) In the study of the prophecies of the Bible, very few prophecies indicate an abrupt change at the point of fulfillment. Even the times allotted to the Jews - the 490 years of Daniel 9:24 - though terminating in 34 AD, have pre-events which indicated the withdrawing of the Divine Presence from Israel. Jesus said their house was being left unto them desolate as He withdrew from the Temple courts. (Matt. 23:38) The Temple veil was rent in twain at the hour of the death of Jesus. (Matt. 27:51) And even after the passing of the time in 34 AD, it was not until 36 years later that the Temple itself was destroyed, and the city of Jerusalem passed to Gentile control.

A study of the prophecy of Daniel 7 reveals the same thing in God's dealings with the nations. We can set the dates which mark the transition between the various "beast" symbols, as literal history fulfilled the prophetic outline. But prophecy itself stated that while these various nations had "their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time." (Dan. 7:12) On the other hand, there are some abrupt changes in history marking the fulfillment of prophecy. In the book of Revelation (2:10, 12), there is a ten day tribulation period which we have understood to mean the persecution under Diocletian from 303-313 AD. The year 313 did mark an abrupt change in the fortunes of the Christian Church, and ushered in another period designated as Pergamos.

How then, are we to understand the use Luke makes of this phrase in his Gospel as he reports the prophecy of Jesus? A brief period of time as the nations fill up their cup of grace would be indicated. While the date - 1967 - remains an unquestioned date when Jerusalem passed once again to Jewish control, it was not until 1979 that the United States, through its President, invited the Pope to the White House, and where representatives of all three branches of the Federal government received the papal blessing. This was national apostasy.

The involvement of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in this process dare not be overlooked. To the Church was committed the final message of mercy to the nations of earth. They were to remain faithful to the Truth committed to their trust. While certain changes were made in the Statement of Belief in 1931, the major pillars remained intact for the most part. However, at the Annual Council in 1979, a new Statement of Beliefs was voted to be recommended to the General Conference Session in 1980. This statement materially altered the "pillars" of the faith. While not submitted, the Statement actually voted at the Session did change certain doctrines of the Church, and give approbation to the apostasy committed during the SDA-Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956. It was during this period - 1967-1979 - that - Movement of Destiny - was published which edged the Church into the deeper recesses of the-darkness of the Omega apostasy. (We have already in the monograph - The of the Gentiles Fulfilled - outlined what took place in the Church in 1967 which paralleled the initial date of fulfillment of Luke 21:24.( See Order Form)

In 1979, besides the official deviations, came the Ford and Rea challenges. The warning which fulfilled prophecy in 1967 should have brought to the Church went unheeded. However the God of heaven did not leave the Church without witness. It was called to their attention by the research publication noted above. And too late it was called to the attention of the whole Church through the Sabbath School Lesson help for the second Quarter, 1980. (See Christ of the Revelation,

p 7 -- by J. R. Zurcher, pp. 71-72)

Now having crossed the "unseen" line fully, one has only to become alert to the present condition of the church to see the fruitage of rejection of light from heaven which has been shed upon it over the decades of its existence. After the first major deviation doctrinally in 1949 with the publication of the revised Bible Readings for the Home Circle, there came the voices of Elders Wieland and Short in 1888 Re-Examined. But the warning was unheeded, even rejected. This was to be followed by the dark night of apostasy in 1955-1956. This time the warning was sounded by the late Elder M. L. Andreasen. But then, they did to him as they would - shamefully treating him, and his witness.

In 1967, the prophecy of Jesus as recorded in Luke 21:24 was fulfilled. This was called to the attention of all who would read and study. But on the downward course the hierarchy took the Church. Movement of Destiny, with its imprimatur and nihil obstat by the then president of the General Conference, Elder R. H. Pierson, and the present president, Elder Neal C. Wilson, was soon published which merely confirmed the doctrinal deviations of Questions on Doctrine, which had been published prior to 1967. Rebellion against truth was added to rebellion. And today's story of the schism, loss of faith in the prophetic guidance given to this people, abrasive hierarchial leadership - all spell the final finale of a once faithful city of truth. (See 8T:250) The time of the achri hou is past!

FOOD(?) FOR THE SOUL -- In a Church Bulletin, this "THOUGHT FOR TODAY" was suggested for Sabbath, April 18, 1981:       Easter is a factor in our salvation because it is a fact of history (Marion, Indiana SDA Church Bulletin, p. 2)

It was Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, who before a meeting of Baptist ministers, declared:      Of course I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history as a religious day, as we learn from the Christian Fathers and other sources. But what a pity that is comes branded with the mark of Paganism, and Christened with the name of the Sun-god. Then adopted and sanctified by the Papal apostacy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism, and the Christian world, just as Easter, which the Churches hankering after ritualism are now lovingly pressing to their hearts, comes bearing the sign Manual of a heathen divinity, instead of - if something purely Christian could not be had - at least bearing the sign and designation of pascha from the old dispensation. But in those early ages, when Christian ritualism largely received its form, the mould in which it was cast was rather Pagan than Jewish, as preferred by a carnal and secularized Church establishment. (August 20, 1893, Saratoga, NY.).

The English word - Easter - corresponds to the German.- Oster - thus revealing

p 8 -- the indebtedness of an apostate Christianity to the pagan Teutonic tribes of Central Europe. As the missionaries of the Papacy sought to Christianize these heathen tribes, they incorporated into the Christian religion many of the rites and customs which these pagans used in the observance of their spring festival.

Easter month, corresponding to our month of April, was dedicated by the Teutonic tribes to Eostre, or Ostara, goddess of the spring, and in turn gave its name to the day now called Easter Sunday. The customs and symbols associated with the celebration of Easter not only find their origins in Teutonic rites connected with their spring festival, but also go far back into antiquity. Among these customs is the giving and eating of eggs. The conception of the egg as a symbol of fertility is to be found in ancient Egyptian and Persian beliefs. This ancient idea of the egg as a symbol of a new life was readily accepted as a symbol of the resurrection in the amalgamation of paganism with apostate Christianity. These ancient beliefs also provided for the coloring of the eggs during the spring festival. The color red used in dyeing the eggs has since then been variously interpreted as signifying the sun, fire, the blood of Christ shed on Calvary, and the joy of Easter.

Other customs and traditions connected with the worship of the spring goddess still survive. Supposedly on Easter morning, the rising sun danced. Its pagan devotees also danced at the time of the rising. This is a prelude to the sunrise services on Easter Sunday. Also according to an old Teutonic belief it was unlucky not to wear some new article of clothing or personal adornment on Easter. This is reflected in the modern custom to appear in a new costume on Easter Sunday. (See Encyclopedia Britannica, 1958 edition, article "Easter.")

To suggest, therefore, for Sabbath meditation - thus directing the mind not to the Sabbath but to the pagan festival the next day - that Easter is a factor in our salvation, because it is a fact of history, is to reveal how gross our perceptions have become in regard to what constitutes a pure faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Is it any wonder then that the divine Instructor asked - "How is the faithful city become a harlot? a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed!" (8T:250)

A PROPHETESS OR A MESSENGER? -- In the present controversy which is raging over the authority of Ellen G. White in Adventist thinking, we fail to accept our Lord's designation of her work. In Battle Creek, on October 2, 1904, Sister White told those assembled to hear her - "I do not claim to be a prophetess." Over this statement some of her hearers stumbled. To this she replied - "I have no claims to make, only that I am instructed that I am the Lord's messenger." (R&H, July 26, 1906, Emphasis hers) In this capacity she listed her responsibilities:
1)   "The Lord gave me light on health reform ... I was to be a medical missionary worker ... I was also to speak on the subject of
Christian temperance, as the Lord's appointed messenger."

p 9 -- 2)   "I was instructed that I must urge upon those who profess to believe the truth, the necessity of practicing the truth. This means sanctification, and sanctification means the culture and training of every capability for the Lord's service." [How many useless hours of bickering could be avoided, if we would but accept this simple definition of what sanctification is!]
3)    "I was charged not to neglect or pass by those who were wronged. I was especially charged to protest against any arbitrary or overbearing action toward ministers of the gospel by those having official authority." [If Ellen G. White were alive today, she wouldn't have time for anything else.] (Also in this area she was to watch how the elderly ministers were being cared for.)
4)    "After my marriage I was instructed that I must show a special interest in motherless and fatherless children, taking some under my own charge for a time, and then finding homes for them."

Summarizing her own position on the question of her authority, she wrote:      To claim to be a prophetess is something that I have never done. If others call me by that name, I have no controversy with them. But my work has covered so many lines that I cannot call myself other than a messenger, sent to bear a message from the Lord to His people, and to take up work in any line that He points out. (Ibid.)

To this designation as a "Messenger" rather than as a "Prophetess," we have given little study or thought. While there may be in some minds only a fine line separating the two offices, the Scripture does make a distinction. Speaking of John the Baptist, Jesus asked the question - "What went ye out for to see? A prophet?" To His own question, He replied - "Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before my face, which shall prepare thy way before thee." (Matt. 11:9-10) John himself when asked, "Who art thou?" - denied all designations - Messiah, Elijah which was to come, "that prophet" - but simply stated as the basis for his authority - "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Isaiah." (John 1:19-23) He was that "messenger" who was to prepare the way for the coming of the "Messenger of the covenant." (Mal. 3:1)

Though John the Baptist was "more than a prophet," and "among them that are born of woman there hath not risen a greater" (Matt. 11:9-10) still he "did not understand the nature of Christ's kingdom." (DA, p. 215) He was influenced by the prevailing Jewish theology. He was but a lesser light sent to point to the much greater Light. His message was - Christ "must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30)

If we would but accept the role designated by the Lord for the work and ministry of Ellen G. White, and cease to cast her in a role that the Lord never assigned, much of our present difficulty could sink into insignificance. If we could perceive her ministry which paralleled the American Civil War and Reconstruction Period in the historical context of the times, when reforms were sweeping through

p 10 -- the land, we could better understand the onward guidance of the Lord in His Movement, when He chose two other "messengers" to bring to His people the message of Justification by Faith. Since Ellen G. White was plainly instructed that she was the Lord's "Messenger," she would not use lightly this designation in referring to others because it would have a special meaning to her. But she did designate Elders A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner as the "Lord's messengers." (TM, pp. 91, 95, 96-97) She stood with these men and commended their message. It is a fact that cannot be denied, her own emphasis changed from the thrust that is evident in the pre-1888 writings to the post-1888 messages. She herself heeded the message of the Lord's messengers, and placed the concepts of reform into their proper relationship to righteousness by faith.

It was not God's intent or purpose to ever leave His people without the witness of "messengers." "Just as long as God has a church, he will have those who will cry aloud and spare not, who will be His instruments to reprove selfishness and sins, and [who] will not shun to declare the whole counsel of God, whether men will hear or forbear." (SG, II, p. 284) This has been God's method for all time. Speaking of ancient Israel, and the reason for their captivity, it is written:      The God of their fathers sent to them by the hand of His messengers, rising up continually and carefully, and sending; because He had compassion on His people, and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no healing. (II Chron. 36:15-16 margin)

In these final hours of human history, God has not left His professed people without a witness - He has sent to them by His messengers - encompassed with humanity, and like John the Baptist not able at times to discern all things clearly, nevertheless this has not excused those to whom they have been sent. I could name them, and you can name them. But we have now come to the time when the wrath of the Lord has risen against His people, and there is no healing.

Now let us ask ourselves a candid question. If administrators wish to use the writings of Ellen G. White to sustain their authority and position of power, into what role would they cast her - the role of prophetess or messenger? In what role did Christ Himself place her? Where is the "inspired voice" to put her into any other category? And tragically, she has been used, and her writings are being used, to seek to nullify any and all other "messengers" which God might send to His people. Is this not also making of none effect the testimonies of the Spirit? You do not have to reject her writings to make them of none effect; you need only to misapply them to accomplish the same ends. And further, many who profess great devotion for the work and ministry of Ellen G. White are doing this very thing. May we take by simple faith the Lord's designation of her work, that as He continues to send lesser lights as His "messengers" who point to the greater light, we might walk therein. "For we have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." (II Peter 1:19)   -- (1981 Jun) --- End ----

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