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ABOUT "Watchman, What of the Night?"

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ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)

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"Watchman, What of the Night?" (WWN)... More Info
William H. Grotheer, Editor of Research & Publication for the ALF

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SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
"Another Comforter", study on the Holy Spirit
1976 a Letter and a Reply: - SDA General Conference warning against WWN.
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From a WWN letter to a reader: RE: Lakes of Fire - 2 lakes of fire.
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Interpretative History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, An
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End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation

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Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer

Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer

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Jerusalem In Bible Prophecy
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Key Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
- William H. Grotheer

Pope Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
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Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer

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SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer

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Remembering
Elder William H. Grotheer

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BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary

Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear

OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:

Additional Various Studies --
"Saving Faith" - Dr. E. J. Waggoner
"What is Man" The Gospel in Creation - "The Gospel in Creation"
"A Convicting Jewish Witness", study on the Godhead - David L. Cooper D.D.

Bible As History - Werner Keller

Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts

Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith

Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson

Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones

"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson

Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen

Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones

Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen

Sanctuary Service, The
- M. L. Andreasen

So Much In Common - WCC/SDA

Spiritual Gifts. The Great Controversy, between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and his Angels - Ellen G. White

Under Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy

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WWN 1987 Jan - Mar

 

1987 Jan -- XX - 1(87) -- An Image to the Beast -- Findings in Fact by a Federal Judge -- Prophecy is how God views a given event, an institution, a government, which by His divine foresight He reveals will take place or come into existence. Prophecy is God's prejudgment of history. This serves a very specific purpose. When the event or entity occurs or appears in history, the children of God can then know how to react in harmony with God's revelation. Inasmuch as a chief focus of prophecy is to unmask the workings of Satan in and through earthly powers, the children of God can in fulfilled prophecy discern "the wiles of the devil" and sound a note of warning to all who will hear. Those who read, hear, and keep the things revealed in sacred trust need not be deceived by the workings of "wicked spirits in heavenly places." (Eph. 6:11-12 margin)

While any given prophecy is specific and its fulfillment can be discerned because the facts of its fulfillment fit no other event, nevertheless lessons in principle can be learned from a fulfilled prophecy as the cyles of history repeat themselves. Further, while given prophecies may remain
as yet unfulfilled, the principles indicated in the prophecies may be applied and understood in events which anticipate the actual fulfillment of any given prophecy.

In Revelation 13, two "beast" powers are symbolized. One through an "image" of the other causes distress to those who did not have either -"the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." (Rev. 13:17) Certain things have been fulfilled in history which coincide with the prophetic delineation so that the first "beast" can be identified. There are close parallels between this "beast" of Revelation 13, and the seventh chapter of Daniel.

In Daniel 7, there are four beasts - and only four - the lion, bear, leopard and a non-descript animal symbol. These four came up in succession, not simultaneously. The Bible language is too clear to warrant any other conclusion: "The first ... and behold another... after this I beheld, and lo another... After this I saw... a fourth. beast." (7:4,5,6,7) The lion, with eagles wings, the national symbol of Babylon, is clearly identified in the Bible as that power. (Jer. 49:19, 22, 28) The, succession follows - Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. From Rome comes forth not only ten horns, three of which are plucked up "by the roots," but a "little horn." It must be kept in mind this "little horn" is ever nurtured by that fourth beast - its roots remain in that beast's head to the end of the "beast."

This non-descript beast with its "little horn" continues till Daniel beholds it given "to the burning flame." (7:11) The other beasts "had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time." (7:12)

This 12th verse of Daniel 7 serves as a preface to Revelation 13, for the first beast of Revelation 13 is pictured as a composite of all the beasts of Daniel 7. It was like a leopard, with the feet of

p 2 -- a bear, and a mouth of a lion, with itself being non-descript having seven heads and ten horns. (13:1-2) It is significant to observe that here the exact order - only in reverse designation - of the beasts of Daniel 7 are incorporated into this first "beast." Further, there is a parallel between the two non-descript beasts keeping in mind that "the little horn" is ever a part of the fourth beast of Daniel 7. The "horn" speaks "great words against the most High," seeks to "wear out the saints of
the most High," being alotted "a time and times and the dividing of time." (7:25) The first "beast" of Revelation 13 has "a mouth speaking great things" against God, makes "war with the saints" and overcomes
them" with an alotted time of "forty and two months." (13:5-7) . The conclusion is inescapable - the "mouth speaking" in Revelation 13 is to be identified with "the little horn" speaking in Daniel 7. The Papacy is the single fulfillment of both of these prophecies.

The first "beast" of Revelation 13 is likewise both political and ecclesiastical. It is given a "seat," "power," and "great authority" by the dragon - the Devil and Satan. (13:2; 12:9) The Devi1 boasted to Christ that the kingdoms (governments) of this world belonged to him, and "to whomsoever he would give them." (Luke 4:6) But this beast is also eclesiastical - worship is involved. (13:4)

The second "beast" of Revelation 13 is likewise both political and eclesiastical. It exercises all the power of the first beast whose power was derived from the dragon. (13:12, 2) It has eclesiastical overtones - it "causeth the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast., whose deadly wound was healed." (13:12) But its horns of power are separated - "two horns like a lamb." This power arising out of "the earth" rather than "the sea" has been accurately identified with the American nation. From the United States is to come the suggestion of the formation of the "image to the beast." (13:14)

In the formation of this image which will demand obeisance to the beast through a mark, name, or number is a vital principle interlocked with the Third Angel's Message. The message is - "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark ..." (14:9) This is clearly defined by the "wisdom" of God. Those who accept God's wisdom have "understanding." The text says - "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man." (13:18) The worship of the beast in principle is the worship of man. The image to the beast in principle is the setting up of an organization in which man appropriates to himself that which belongs to God alone, and causes the adherents to that organization to give their allegiance under threat of excommunication.

When God sent Elders A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner with the message of righteousness by faith to His chosen people in 1888, this message was declared to be "the third angel's message in verity." (R&H, April 1, 1890) The reason why this message was sent is two fold. 1 Not only was the message as given in 1888 "to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour" (TM, p. 91); but also it was a message to thwart "Satan's determined purpose to eclipse the view of Jesus" that would "lead men to look to man, and trust to man, and be educated to expect help from man." (Ibid, p. 93) And why?

The answer is given:       For years the church has been looking to man, and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message in clear, distinct lines. (Ibid)

The third angel's message cannot be given in clear, distinct lines now without taking into consideration those events involved in the 1888 rejection which culminated in the pragmatic call in 1901 for a "reorganization... to begin at the foundation, and to build upon a different principle." (1901 GC Bulletin, p. 25) While a start was made in the adoption of a new Constitution at that session, "thorough work" was not done, and the tragedy of 1903 followed. (8T:105-106) At the 1903 session another Constitution was implemented. During the floor discussion of this proposed Constitution, P. T. Magan stated:      The proposed new constitution reverses the reformatory steps that were taken, and the principles which were given, and which were adopted as the principles of re-organization, at the General Conferences of 1897 and 1901, and which were incorporated in the constitution of 1901.

p 3 -- Now I am not here for a moment to state that the constitution of 1901 is a perfect one. To my mind, in many respects, it is very imperfect. To my mind, in many respects it is very clumsily drawn. But I have learned this, that all reforms come gradually; and in that constitution, clumsy though you may call it, defective though you may mark it, there are principles of reformation and reorganization for the head of the work which are right; and those principles are absolutely subverted and swept aside in the proposed new constitution.

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, 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 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. (1901 GC Bulletin, p. 150)

The seed p1anted in the adoption of the 1903 Constitution has now reached its fruition. In principle an image to the beast was setup at the 1985 General Conference session, and has been so recognized by a Federal Judge in the United States. Judge William T. Hart of the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in an opinion handed down on October 29, 1986 declared in "The Findings of Fact, Section B, Church Objectives and Structures":      Church documents that prescribe the Church's structure and governance confirm that all parts of the Church are parts of a single entity. Next to the Roman Catholic Church, the Adventist Church is the most centralized of all the major christian denominations in this country." ("Derrick Proctor v. General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist", Case #81 C 4938, "Findings of Fact," #77, p. 22; Emphasis mine)

What Magan declared was placed in operation in 1903 - the principles of the Papacy - now has become a reality recognized by the Federal Judiciary in 1986.

The Judge deduced very clearly the nature of the structure of the Church. His opinion of fact continued as follows:      The General Conference, as the worldwide governing body of the Adventist denomination, is the Church's highest legislative, judicial and ecclesiatical authority. The General Conference has ten world divisions. The United States is in the North American division. As the Church's highest level of organization, the General Conference may create constituent organizations, arbitrate disputes within and among parts of the Church, establish and revise Church policy, and impose discipline. The General Conference periodically audits the union and local conferences, as well as other church institutions, to determine their compliance with its policies and requirements regarding church and financial matters, and takes action as appropriate to ensure proper compliance. The General Conference also prepares guidelines and structures budgets for the union and local conferences.

Union conferences are created by the General Conference. Union conferences are composed of representatives of local conferences within each union. Each union conference in North America holds a constituency meeting every five years. Any member of the General Conference Committee may attend the constituency meeting of any union conference as a voting member.

Each local conference holds periodic meetings, at which General Conference Committee members and executive committee members of the union conference in that area may attend as voting members. Local conference executive committees follow directives from the union conference of which they are a part. (Ibid, p. 78-80)

What difference remains - except perhaps theological - between the individual member of the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican; and the individual member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the General Conference Committee? Is it little wonder then that within two weeks following the 1903 General Conference session, Ellen G. White quoted the question of the divine "Instructor" whose all-seeing eye penetrated the future to this very hour - "How is the faithful city become an harlot?" (8T:250) In 1903, there was a solution proposed by the Lord's messenger - "Unless the church which is now [1903] being leavened by her

p 4 -- own backsliding shall repent and be converted..." (Ibid.) It requires much more than merely an acknowledgement of the rejection of a Heaven-designed experience; it requires a "reorganization" built upon "a different principle."

What William T. Hart merely did was to bring "the findings of fact", up to date in regard to the Seventh-day Adventist Church structure. Had his opinion been given prior to 1985, his conclusions could not have been what they were of this date. It was at the New Orleans General Conference session that the papal "image" was completed in principle in the far reaching organizational actions of that session. 2 Thus the Third Angel's Message comes home to each member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church - "If any man worship the beast and his image... the same shall drink ..." (Rev. 14:9,10)    # # #

1   The two-fold aspect of the 1888 Message is not being just ignored, but is being actually rejected in the revived emphasis of this message today. God sent two messengers - Jones and Waggoner - each with his own individual emphasis. While in the years following 1888, both expressed themselves in both areas of emphasis, today only what Jones and Waggoner stated theologically is considered as a valid part of the 1888 Message. Jones on individuality in religion is attributed to Jones the "bitter"apostate. (See WWN (XIX-11)

2   One recent reviewer of the Proctor case indicated in his opinion, relative to Judge Hart's findings - "The truth is that this is not so." It is obvious that this writer does not know what "truth" is. He tried to cover his lack of knowledge by concluding - "It is not correct on paper, but it may be more so than many realize in practice." Perhaps the reporter has been so busy publishing "leaves" he has plucked off the "tree" that he has not had time to examine the "roots."

The recent General Conference session in New Orleans restructured the levels of church administration making each "division" merely the voice of the General Conference in their respective areas. Then it created the North American Division a distinct division in and of itself. Further it noted that all unions were the creation of the General Conference. That which is created is subject to its creator. With the power of the members of the General Conference committee to attend union committee meetings as voting members, there is no question as to the power and authority of the General Conference hierarchy.

The failure to recognize the present structure for what it is - an "image to the beast in principle" - and to deny that it has been so adjudicated, continues the confusion everywhere present in the Adventist community today. To continue to pluck "leaves" and to take pages to describe the makeup of the "leaf " without giving a solution to why the leaf is deformed, is to be a false prophet deceiving the people.

FOLLOW-UP ON BAKERSFIELD -- In the September issue of "Watchman, What of the Night?" we reported on the intended disfellowshiping of Marvin Richardson from the Central Seventh-day Adventist Church in Bakersfield, California. Unless the young man answered correctly the questions and answers formulated by the pastor, Elder Wellesley Muir, he would be excommunicated. This was done July 20, 1986. In a letter from Brother Richardson, he tells of his experience before the church. He writes:      I was allowed only thirty minutes to try and tell who was the real dissident group. I really didn't get to witness as effectively as I wanted, but with the church members' preconceived ideas from Pastor Muir, I was a condemned man anyway. It seems no one wants to listen to anyone who tells how bad the apostasy in the SDA organization really is. A question came up from one of the church members, whom I didn't even know. He asked, "Brother Marvin, can you support the Seventh-day Adventist organization?" I said, "No." A church elder, John Wilson, took his finger across his throat and said, "You've really done it now!"

It was interesting that Wellesley Muir gave me only thirty minutes to speak, while he gave negative connotations about ex-pastors etc., for at least three times as long. The vote was unanimous to remove my membership from the church books. All that I would have had to say was "Yes" - I would stop listening to non-pastors, stop attending "dissident" meetings; and support the organization. I guess I was guilty by association. John 16:2 was and is the intent of Wellesley Muir.

This young brother who stood in defense of truth closed his letter - "Your prayers requested." Let us remember him in prayer and others facing the reality of the "image of the beast in principle" as it seeks to carry out its own "death" decrees.

Perhaps it might be well to remember that Lewis Walton is a member of this Bakersfield Church. When he is out on speaking appointments in various churches and at campmeetings, he should be asked to explain the actions of the Church in Bakersfield, and where he stands in regard to the truth for which Marvin Richardson stood. His answers could be very revealing.


p 5 -- Why No Report in the ADVENTIST REVIEW? -- Irregularities in Wisconsin -- On November 18, 1986, the Enforcement Division filed a "Petition for Order" before the Commissioner of Securities for the State of Wisconsin. On the same day the Order was signed because Patricia D. Struck, Assistant General Counsel, believed such an order was "necessary and appropriate in the public interest and for the protection of investors." The Order was primarily directed against Nelson E. Boon, Boon and Boon, Inc.

The Petition for Order signed by Fred Reed, Securities Examiner of the Enforcement Division, and Stephen K. Mueller, Staff Attorney, stated that during 1981, 1982 and 1983 when certain irregularities were alleged to have taken place, Nelson E. Boon, Jr. "acted as treasurer of the Sharon Seventh-day Adventist Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin." The Petition for Order further implicates Auldwin Humphrey who at the time was pastor of the church. Another named person is Zadock J. B. Reid of Zaddock & Co. , who was introduced to "investors" as a "brother-in-law" of the Minister of Finance in Jamaica.

The Petition for Order alleges that "on November 9, 1982, Boon, Reid, and Humphrey offered and sold an unsecured promissory note of Zaddock & Company, Inc. in the amount of $21,641 to Dorothy Collins in Milwaukee, Wisconsin." The money received from Mrs Collins were the proceeds of her husband's life insurance death benefits. She was informed that the money would be used in "'Japan Import/Export, John Crook, Ltd. - Spare Parts,' a business venture of Zaddok and Co., Inc., and would be repaid [to her] on May 15, 1983 with 20% interest." However, according to the Petition, she was not informed that this money "had been used by Zaddock & Co., Inc. and Boon to repay interest and principal to previous investors, invested in real estate in Jamaica, and loaned to friends and relatives of Reid."

On November 29, 1982, according to the Petition, "Boon offered and sold an unsecured promissory note signed by Nelson E. Boon, Jr., as President of Boon and Boon, Inc., in the amount of $12,080.20 to Collins." This was in exchange for her husband's pension plan disbursement check in the amount of $12,580.20. The $500 difference was given to Mrs Collins by Boon. Mrs Collins was to receive the principal and 20% interest on May 29, 1983. She was assured there was no risk involved because the loan was for a good cause - "that of feeding hungry people in a foreign country." According to the Petition, Boon had a "third party" with him whom he described as a "'tax man'" and who would "'fix it'" so that "Collins would not have to pay any tax on a pension payout." Boon prepared Collins' 1982 income tax returns, and "caused the payment to Collins of the pension-plan disbursement check ... not to be reported on that tax return."

Others identified in the Petition as having placed money with Boon in exchange for promissory notes were Allen and Karen Horwath, and Larry Jeter. The latter gave Boon a total of, $25,000 for four notes with interest ranging from 15 to 25%.

"During at least 1982 and 1983, Reid, Boon, and Humphrey solicited investments from the parishioners of the Sharon Seventh-day Adventist Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the Sharon Investment Project, which involved individual parishioners making contributions, in a total amount yet to be determined, during regular church services to a fund which was to be, and was, transferred by Boon to Reid and Zaddock and Co., Inc. as an investment for which the contributors were to receive repayment of their contributions plus interest at various stated interest rates." (Emphasis supplied) The individual parishioners received receipts for their contributions, and unsecured promissory notes were given in the name of the Sharon Seventh-day Adventist Church, in consideration of the transfer to Reid and Zaddock and Co., Inc., by Boon of the monies raised in this project with a promised return of 25% interest. The Petition further alleges that Boon

p 6 -- received "compensation in the form of the differential in interest rates between interest obligations" of Boon to the Church, and the interest obligation of Reid to Boon.

"On or about January 3, 1984, Boon, acting as Treasurer of the Sharon Seventh-day Adventist Church, caused $39,000 of that church's funds to be invested with Reid and Zaddock and Co., Inc. without the knowledge of or approval of the church pastor or members in accordance with the rules of the church."

On June 29, 1984, the creditors of Reid and Zaddock and Co., Inc., filed an involuntary petition in bankruptcy against Reid and his company in Chicago, Illinois. An interim trustee in bankruptcy was appointed on July 2, 1984, and one week later, Reid declined in a hearing held by the trustee to answer all pertinent questions taking the Fifth Amendment.

On July 13, 1984, Boon and Boon, Inc., by Boon as President, filed for bankruptcy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, listing among his creditors, Collins for $12,996.24; and Jeter for $31,071.88, besides others.

The unsecured promissory notes given by Reid and Boon are defined as "securities" according to the Wisconsin Statutes in Sec. 551.02 (13) (a), and were never registered for offer or sale under Chapter 551 of the same statutes.

According to the North American Division Committee minutes September 18, 1986 (86-107) an action was voted relative to a "Lake Region Survey." The report of this survey was to have been reported to a constituency meeting of the Lake Region Conference on October 24, 1986, but was postponed till December 7, 1986. What took place and what action was taken is not known at present to this editor; however, this would afford a good opportunity for the Adeventist Review to cover the whole story in reporting this constiuency meeting to the church at large.

There is a possibility that this "Lake Region Survey" involves more than merely the Sharon Seventh-day Adventist Church of Milwaukee. If the Adventist Review does not give a full disclosure, you might wish to telephone the Associate Editor, Myron Widmer. If he can close his office door before answering your question, he might give you the same answer he gave another brother who called him.

In the "Findings of Fact" of the Judge of the United States District Court for the Nothern District of the State of Illinois (Eastern Division), it was noted - "Local conference executive committees follow directives from the union conference of which they are a part." (See p. 3, col. 2) If the survey made by the committee appointed by the North American Division reveals that Elder Robert H. Carter was remiss in any way in his oversight as the Union President, or negligent in the administration of corrective measures when this was first brought to his attention, he should resign and let someone more competent serve as Union President. It should now be evident that "coverup" administrators only diminish the credibility of the hierarchy in the eyes of an informed laity. A prime example - the Davenport scandal!

Sadly, when any item is brought forth showing the activities of Black leaders in the community of Adventism, the cry is raised - "Racism." - Because this is shouted, long and loud, the sincere laity among the Black Adventist community are not informed as to what has been perpetrated against them and are led to blindly follow the leadership installed over them by the North American Division. The best service that could be rendered by the president of the North American Division to the Black Adventist Community would be to likewise resign.    [All direct quotes, unless otherwise noted, are taken from "Petition for Order" filed before the Commissioner of Securities, State of Wisconsin. File No. X-1958(L)]

CONTEMPLATED IN 1987 -- We have been giving serious consideration to a quarterly publication as an adjunct to this monthly Thought Paper. We would call it - Commentary - and place in its pages actual evidences of the continuing apostasy and corruption in the church, plus ominous trends in the religious world, with studied comment and evaluation. This would leave the monthly Thought Paper free to discuss the truth committed to our "trust" and to present "meat in due season" to the concerned Adventist community.

p 7 -- No one can grow spiritually with a diet composed of the revelation of apostasy even if it be letters written by church leaders in support of Sunday legislation. The need of the human heart is truth as it is in Jesus - pure and unadulterated. This cannot be supplied by those who are either teaching error, or mingling truth and error in the same publication. O how desperately we need "the Spirit of truth" to guide us into all truth, - and nothing but the truth! We solicit the prayers of each reader to this end so that as we begin our 20th year of publication, we can by God's grace meet the need of "the scattered flock" of God upon the "mountains of Israel."

IN RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT -- This year marks the beginning of our 20th year of continuous publication. As we look back to the first mailing in December of 1967, with barely enough names to meet the postal requirement for the bulk mailing rate, and now scan our present list reaching out to all continents of the earth besides a wide coverage in the United States and Canada, we simply thank God for His prospering Hand upon the work.

As the editor, I think back to the time following the close of Old Madison College, when I was sent to Andrews University to complete my graduate work. During the year on the university campus, I could not erase the impression from my mind that my future ministry in service for the Lord would be through writing rather than in public speaking or teaching. I did not like to write, but preferred to prepare an organic outline and speak from that outline. I enjoyed evangelism and college teaching. But as the years followed in quick succession, and the apostasy deepened in the Church, it became evident that some publication had to be sent forth to give God's professed people the facts of what was taking place in their midst. I had been in the struggle against the compromise with the Evangelicals from its very beginning - few today can so speak with first hand insight. Most of the "many voices" which today profess to warn against apostasy are merely siren calls leading those who will listen down by-paths to perdition.

I shall never forget the early morning in mid-1967 when driving to an adult educational center in Yazoo, Mississippi, I pulled off into a side road and poured out my heart in prayer with tears flowing freely, telling the Lord that if He opened up certain avenues, I would do that which He wanted me to do - write and publish. He did, and I had no alternative but to follow through the door He opened. I remember vividly as if it were yesterday, one of the first letters which came back, after the first issue, was from Takoma Park asking specifically what I had in mind in writing, and what I intended to accomplish. I sensed in the letter, the writer's concern was not for the uninformed laity but rather that they be not disturbed from their "slumbering and sleeping." So the publication of the Thought Paper went forward, and documentary manuscripts have also been published over these past 19 years. (To be continued) --- (1987 Jan) --- End --- TOP

[note from Apr.87 p. 3: In the February issue of WWN (XX - 2), I told of the Hartland Institute Bible Conference where Elder Thomas A. Davis presented a paper on the Incarnation which taught that doctrine exactly the same way the "Holy Flesh" leadership taught it. In listing some of the key personnel of the Bible Conference, included Dr. Ralph Larson. In so doing, I had no reason to doubt my source - a young man who himself was present. I have known him to be a strictly honest person and careful in small detail. I can only assume that he mistook someone present to have been Dr. Larson, perhaps knowing Dr. Larson had been invited to attend. I am sorry for this factual error, and apologize to Dr. Larson for the embarrassment it has caused him. ]

1987 Feb -- XX - 2(87) -- THE "HOLY FLESH" ALTERNATIVE -- T. A. Davis Follows R. S. Donnell -- Prior to the 1888 Message Conference at Andews University in August, 1986, a group of the "leading lights" within corporate Adventism who profess to be concerned about the apostasy in "Israel" assembled at Hartland Institute in Virginia. 1 It was their objective to arrive at a concensus in certain key doctrinal areas so as to speak with one voice. Among those present who were involved in the various discussions were Ron Spear, Dr. Ralph Larson, Thomas and Margaret Davis, Elder Joe Crews and some of his staff, Elders R. J. Wieland and D. K. Short, Dr. Bernell Baldwin from Wildwood, Dr. Herbert Douglass, President of Weimar Institute, besides the host, Dr. Colin Standish and his staff. One of the major topics discussed was the doctrine of the Incarnation.

Elder Thomas Davis, author of Was Jesus REALLY Like Us?, led in the discussion on the subject. The position taken by Davis was challenged only by Dr. Douglass; the rest either went along, or remained silent. When the editors of Ministry in 1985 2 printed essays giving the two divergent views held in Adventism today on the human nature of Christ, Davis responded with a resume of the position taken in his book. This was published under the title - "Christ's Human Nature: An Alternate View." (Ministry, June, 1986, pp. 14-16) But, and here is the crux of the whole issue, the alternative presented by Thomas Davis, is the exact teaching of the Holy Flesh Movement on the same doctrine!

Some Historical Background -- When the book," Questions on Doctrine, was first published, this editor was ministering in the Indiana Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Visiting a retired minister who during the Holy Flesh Movement had served the Indiana Conference as Book Agent [now called the Publishing Department Secretary], we discussed certain teachings of the book. He remarked that the Holy Flesh men taught the same thing. He then put me in contact with key persons by which I was able to obtain source documents of the Holy Flesh Movement. Then when I was head of the Bible Department of Old Madison College, I assigned a senior student this topic on which to do further research. He obtained letters written by S. N. Haskell to Ellen G. White telling of his contacts with the Movement in Indiana. One thing Haskell emphasized was their understanding of the Incarnation. He summarized his perception gathered from contacts during his attendance at the Muncie, Indiana, campmeeting. He wrote to Ellen White:      Their point of theology in this particular respect seems to be this: They believe that Christ took Adam's nature before he fell." (Ltr., # 2, Sept. 25, 1900)

Because of this correlation between Haskell's evaluation of the doctrine of the Incarnation as taught during the Holy Flesh Movement and the teaching of the book, Questions on Doctrine, the research manuscript - The Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901 - emphasized Haskell's summation as the teaching of the leaders in that Movement.

p 2 -- During the time of the initial research in Indiana, we did obtain a copy of an "Essay" written by R. S. Donnell from Memphis, Tennessee. From this we quoted in our manuscript, and in retrospect, it gives the shade of difference from Haskell's conclusion. Donnell in this "Essay" sent to S : S. Davis, the founder of the Movement, wrote:      Christ's body represented a body redeemed from its fallen spiritual nature, but not from its fallen, or deteriorated physical nature. (See Manuscript. p. 31)

Those ministering in Indiana who opposed the Movement under the leadership of R. S. Donnell and S. S. Davis noted the bottom line which Haskell did not perceive, and challenged this position. Two of these were Elders S. G. Huntington and G. A. Roberts. Roberts stated that "Hebrews 2: 7-14, was used to prove that Christ was born with flesh like 'my brethren' and 'the church' would have after they passed through the garden [of Gethsemane] experience," in other words, converted and cleansed. (Ibid.)

Huntington charged those teachings, this concept of the Incarnation, with a teaching which led to Papal error. He wrote:     In adopting the theory of sinless flesh,  though its advocates have ever been loathe to admit it, they are nevertheless unconsciously led into the papal error of the Immaculate Conception and other errors of the Catholic church. The theory of sinless flesh is pre-eminently papal - the foundation upon which the Catholic church stands. Remove this, and the whole structure of the Papacy, as a religion, falls to the ground. The expression, "sinless flesh," is nowhere found in the Bible: then why adopt such an expression... The record says that Christ was "made in the likeness of sinful flesh," (Rom. 8:3) "Of the seed of David," (Rom 1:3) "Of the seed of Abraham" (Heb. 2:16) Then let us believe that it was just that way without trying to spiritualize these plain declarations to suit a perverted fancy, and by so doing entangle ourselves in an inextricable web of inconsistencies. (Ibid. p. 32)

When the first manuscript on the Holy Flesh Movement was put together as the requirement
for the class - Research in Theology - at Andrews University, I was promised by Arthur White access to all available material in the Document Files of the Estate on this Movement so as to incorporate the previously gathered data with the on-the-ground research done while ministering in Indiana. If this promise had been kept, the actual position of the leaders of the Holy Flesh Movement in regard to the Incarnation could have been completely clarified at that time. However, within the day, after learning of the conference at Hartland Institute, and the position taken by those present, with the exception of Dr. Douglass, I was given copies of a series of tracts from the Estate Document files written by Donnell in defense of his teaching on the Incarnation. These tracts clarify the teaching beyond all doubt.

Following Donnell's resignation as president of the Indiana Conference in 1901, he went to Elnora, Indiana, and lived with the S. S. Davis family for several years. In 1905, he was called back into the ministry of the Church to serve as pastor of the Raleigh, Tennessee, church near Memphis. There taught the same doctrine of the Incarnation as he had taught in Indiana. As a result of this teaching, action was taken by the conference on February 24, 1907, to annul his credentials and disfellowship him from the Church. Donnell responded by publishing in tract form a series of articles which he wrote while president of the Indiana Conference, and which were published in the Indiana Reporter. This 26 page tract is entitled - What I Taught in Indiana. His explanation of these articles as they first appeared gives some interesting insights. He stated:      These articles all bear upon what I taught in Indiana, to which opposition was taken by a number of the General Conference Committee. This opposition was so strongly urged that I finally resigned my position as president of the conference. The articles were headed "Did Christ Come to This World in Sinful Flesh?" Why I was charged with teaching "Holy Flesh" I know not, unless it was that in my article, as well as in the pulpit, I took the negative side of the question.

p 3 -- In these articles his teaching is clearly defined. That the reader might see the exact parallel between what Donnell taught and what Thomas Davis is teaching today, we shall place them side by side in two columns:

R. S. Donnell

In Hebrews 2:8, referring to the change wrought as a result of the fall, the apostle says: "But we see not yet all things put under him." No; man fell and lost his estate and marred the image of God in him. He now needs a restorer, a Saviour. So the apostle, continuing in verse 9, says: "But we see Jesus." In what way do we see Him? Ah, we see Him coming as the Restorer, as the Saviour of the fallen race. And now, how must He come? Must He come possessed of the inherent traits of the fallen race, or while He comes as a man should He not come as a man redeemed, possessed of all the traits of character, all the inherent principles of a godly nature, and holding a title to the lost estate? Are not these what He offers to man?... In short, if Christ proposes to restore man to his first estate, He must come to man standing in that estate Himself. He must come standing where Adam the first owner, stood before he fell. That is where the world must see him. And, thank God, it is just at this point that the Bible presents Him to us. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels (exactly the record concerning Adam), for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor (just so with Adam); that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man." (Heb. 2:9) The Spirit of Prophecy, in the Signs of the Times, June 13, 1900, says: "Christ came to this earth and stood where Adam stood, overcorrting where Adam failed to overcome." Now, Christ stood where Adam stood, and Adam stood there without a taint of sin. So Christ must have stood where Adam stood before his fall that is, without a taint of sin.

This must be so, for Paul continues the subject, and in verse 11 he says: "For both He that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified (not those he is going to sanctify, but they who are sanctified) are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren." Notice it is the sanctified ones who He is not ashamed to call brethren. Further, it is the sanctified ones of whose flesh He partakes. Forasmuch, then as the children (or brethren, sanctified ones) are partakers of flesh and

 

Thomas A. Davis

There is, an alternate understanding to the two viewpoints of the human, incarnate nature of Christ championed by Drs. Douglass and Gulley. This view could provide a bridge between, these two positions and resolve a number of problems that arise in each of them. I can only outline the third viewpoint here.

We may use as a point of departure a quotation from The Great Controversy, p. 477: "Through Jesus the fallen sons of Adam become 'sons of God.' ' Both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.' (Heb. 2:11)"

Here Ellen White equates the "sons of God" with those who "are sanctified, " and who, additionally, are called the brethren of Him "that sanctifieth" - Jesus. Paul refers to "those sanctified in Christ Jesus." (I Cor. 1:2, RSV).

It is a particular group - those who are being "sanctified" - who are referred to as Christ's brethren. Who are these people?

Romans 6:22 tells us: "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctif ication and its end, eternal life." (RSV) No proof is required to state that those "set free from sin" are those who have been regenerated, born again. It is, then, those born-again ones, those being sanctified, whom Christ is not ashamed to call His brethren - and no others. It is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are reckoned as descendants." (Rom. 9:8 RSV. . . ) The unregenerate are not "sons of God" but are "children of wrath." (Eph. 2:3; ... And there is no third category.

But we read in Hebrews 2:17 that Jesus was "made like unto his brethren [the born-again, sanctified ones] in every respect."

This brings me to my main emphasis. To develop my thesis, I stated some paragraphs back, that "there was something important about the incarnate nature of Christ that was like born-again people." Now I give

 

p 4 --

Donnell (cont.)

blood, He also Himself likewise (just as the sanctified ones are partakers) took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil." Heb. 2:14.

Christ Himself took part of flesh and blood, just as the children did. That is, He took part of the same flesh that the children possessed. We found also that the children are the sanctified ones. Now the sanctified ones are surely those upon whom the truth of God and the power of His Holy Spirit has wrough - the ones who are new creatures in Christ Jesus, those who have been created unto good works, the same which God before ordained that they should walk in. (pp. 3-5 Emphasis supplied)

 

Davis (cont.)

it the proper perspective by rewording it thus: There is something about born-again people that is like the incarnate Christ. This, I believe, is the better viewpoint, rather than the more common one - one that is sometimes given short shift - that Jesus was "born born-again." (It might be observed that the difference here is in perspective. ) (Ministry, June, 1986, pp. 14- 15)

Now carefully consider the following statement from Hebrews 2:17, and as you read, emphasize the word in capital letters: "Therefore he had to be made like his BRETHREN in every respect."

The point that presents itself so foreceably here is that Jesus was not incarnated with a nature common to all men. He did not come to this world to be in all respects like all men. The human nature he was endowed with was not like that of unregenerate sinners. His human nature was common only with those who have experienced a spiritual rebirth.

Let us express this another way: Of Mary, Jesus was born, "born-again." (Was Jesus REALLY Like Us, p. 30, Emphasis his.)

How does one relate to the reasoning and seeming logic of both Donnell's and Davis' position? Donnell takes off from the point of "the first dominion." His understanding of this concept is faulty. Christ came to claim back "the first dominion" by overcoming the enemy. He entered the strong man's house to spoil his goods, but first He bound the strong man, and then spoiled "his house" [dominion] (Mark 3:27) As Paul put it - Jesus "condemned sin in the flesh." If He had not taken upon Himself, the fallen, sinful nature of Adam, He could not have done this. Here we come to the very core of the "holy flesh" doctrine. Donnell taught that for God to dwell again in man - "sin must be eradicated." (Tract, op. cit., p. 5) Thus for him, Christ took a body prepared of God in which all the fallen nature of Adam had been eradicated. This is also the essence of Davis' teaching when he wrote that "Of Mary, Jesus was born, "born-again."

As one studies Donnell's application of his understanding of the Incarnation to Christian living, there is very little difference between his teaching, and the seminar presentations of Margaret Davis on "How to Be a Victorious Christian." In other words, we are seeing a revival of "holy flesh" teaching in the ministry of Thomas and Margaret Davis minus the emotional extravaganza which accompanied it in 1899-1901. When the Indiana Movement was brought to a halt at the 1901 GC Session, a special conference session was called to meet in Indianapolis, at which time Ellen G. White said - "When I am gone from here, none are to pick up any points of this doctrine and call it truth. There is not a thread of truth in the whole fabric." (EGW Estate Document File #190)

Elder Thomas Davis in his take off on his teaching of the incarnation as an alternative to either Drs. Douglass' or Gulley's position uses a quotes from the Writings. 3 The "holy flesh" men of Indiana were also quite profuse in their use of the Writings. Huntington, in reply, called their attention to some of the Writings they wanted to overlook. He noted Desire of Ages, p. 638, which states that Christ "is the Son of man, and thus a brother to every son and dauahter of Adam." Then he commented:

p 5 -- Notice, His brethren are every child of Adam - sinners, men and women under the law, and not simply the spiritual seed of Abraham alone. Now if the spiritual seed of Abraham and the sanctified ones only are those referred to, and they being redeemed are no longer under the law, and Jesus was made like unto them, then it would become evident that Jesus was not made under the law at all. (Son of Man, p. 12)

This is exactly what the men leading the Movement in Indiana believed, that Christ was exempt from the law of heredity that effects every other child of Adam. In 1903, the president who succeeded Donnell, Elder Ira J. Hankins, sent a set of questions to both S. Davis, and Donnell. To the question - "Is every child born into the world naturally inclined to evil even before it is old enough to discern between good and evil? - Davis replied: "Yes, unless preserved from the law of heredity in conception by the power of the Holy Ghost."

Donnell in replying to the same list of questions wrote in answer to one - "Christ's nature was a divine human nature. A nature which, prior to the new birth, has not been possessed by a single son or daughter of Adam since the fall." (Tract, op. cit., p. 20)

The approach to the papal teaching of the "immaculate conception" is embodied in the Davis "holy flesh" alternative to the historic Adventist position and the "new" theology. The kernel of his whole incarnation theology is to be found in the single statement - "Of Mary, Jesus was born, 'born again'." If so, then Mary was able to give to Jesus a human nature different than any other mother can give to her child. To say that Mary was merely a "carrier" for the human body of Jesus, and that her womb was sanctified, is but to avoid the immaculate concept of Romanism yet produce the same results. Davis' position is actually the apostate Evangelical Protestant position, which in turn is but a modification of the Papal teaching.

One has only to note the next sentence following the one - "Of Mary, etc." to get a revealing insight. It reads "Please note that this concept did not originate with me." Where did it come from? His footnotes tell you - authors whose works are promoted by the Evangelical publishing houses such as Zondervan which promote the book of Walter Martin - The Truth About Seventh-day Adventism. (Davis, op. cit., p. 34) The water is totally different coming from the cisterns of Babylon than the water from the wells of salvation!

This whole conference held at Hartland Institute under the sponsorship of Dr. Colin Standish should send forth a message loud and clear to those who are enamored with the "firm foundation" publication and seminars that the "foundation" being presented is really not so "firm" but has become a guise to promote evangelical theology in the area of the incarnation. Keep in mind there is no alternative to truth! Truly as the Lord counseled Isaiah - Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; near fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. (Isa. 8:12-14)     # # #

1   My information concerning the conference held at Hartland came from conversations with three persons who were present. Their description of what took place was so nearly identical, except that each added detail the others didn't, that I accept as valid their reports. (See Deut. 19:15) All three were highly alert and intelligent men.

  See Ministry, June. 1985, pp. 8-21.

3   In using the Writings as a take off point, Elder T. A. Davis violated the counsel found in the Writings themselves. Ellen White has clearly stated - "You have no right to use the testimonies to prove doctrine." ("Proper Use of the Testimonies", p. 5) Since Elder Davis has laid aside this mandate, perhaps he should consider the following statement:       Clad in the vestments of humanity, the Son of God came down to the level of those He wished to save. In Him was no guile or sinfulness; He was ever pure and undefiled; yet He took upon Himself our sinful nature. (R&H, Dec. 15, 1896) Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost, all those who had inherited the fallen nature of Adam.

p 6 -- LAKE REGION FOLLOW-UP -- In the January issue of WWN, we reported on alleged irregularities involving the Sharon Seventh-day Adventist Church of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a local church officer, and the pastor at the time. It has been called the "Zaddock Scandal." We also noted that a Lake Region Survey Commission had been formed by the North American Division to investigate activities within the conference. We suggested - "There is a possibility that this 'Lake Region Survey' involves more than merely the Seventh-day Adventist Church of Milwaukee." Information now at hand so indicates. In a letter to Elder Robert H. Carter, President of the Lake Union Conference, J. J. Adam, Secretary of the Adventist Laymen Council states:      The Lake Region Conference has placed $700,000.00 of tithe funds into the Racine Street Project. Into a shopping center, Continental Partners, the Lake Region Conference has invested $1,300,000.00 without authority from anyone. On the reverse side of this letter you will see where the state of Wisconsin is looking into the criminal activities of Adventist ministers in the Zaddock Scandal. [Reported in January, WWN] To top it off you allowed the Adventist Hospital System-NORTH to lend $220,000 to the Lake Region Conference with no board authorization. (Letter dated, Jan. 2, 1987)

The General Conference officers have now entered into this picture, and have sent a strong Memo to the Executive committee of the Lake Union Conference. This Memo reveals that the report of the Lake Region Survey Commission had been presented to the Lake Union Committee. As a result certain actions were voted, one which read that the Union officers were to appoint "an individual to directly oversee the daily financial operations of the [Lake Region] conference." Now it appears that in carrying out these actions, there has been negligence to such an extent, that the Memo reads:       The General Conference officers feel bound to express to the Lake Union Conference Executive Committee and its officers that the measures taken up to the present by the Union to resolve this serious situation must be considered as merely preliminary and, from a practical viewpoint, quite unsatisfactory.

The Memo further reveals that the Study Commission "met with some difficulty" in being able to obtain "accurate and well documented facts" for its report. A summary follows expressing the convictions of the General Conference officers which reads:      In summary and with deep regret, it is the considered opinion of the General Conference officers that the situation in the Lake Region Conference has taken on unacceptable proportions, has become a reproach to the church at large and can no longer be tolerated. From reports reaching the General Conference, it is apparent that the patience exhibited by the North American Division over a long period of time is being considered as weakness and inability to take corrective and disciplinary action. In spite of appeals and urging during the last two years, there has been no substantial change in the financial status of the conference. If anything, it has worsened. This has been the trend for at least four years, and should have been resolved long ago.

Coumpounding this, there appears to be an underlying spirit of defiance, cynicism, and insubordination on the part of conference leadership and the conference committee. It is our understanding that the Lake Region Conference officers are misrepresenting the November 19, 1986 action of the Lake Union Executive Committee as being a victory for the Lake Region Conference. We feel that this is unfortunate for it is leading the members of the conference into believing that the situation has been satisfactorily settled.

It is also being alleged that because no charges of personal gain, fraud, or embezzlement are being brought against the president, or other officers, that the situation has been cleared up. The facts are that there are several areas of expenditure which have not been fully accounted for, and which therefore leave unanswered questions. It is unclear at this point whether certain individuals may or may not have personally benefitted from the transactions which have taken place. The commission however has chosen to give the benefit of the doubt to the leaders. Even though there are expenditures which are not yet fully accounted for, and certain questions remain unanswered, we prefer to believe - contrary to the convictions of some - that individuals have not taken advantage of their office for personal benefit.

Due however to repeated willful violation of policy and rejection of counsel, the General Conference and North American Division officers have lost confidence in the ability of the conference leaders, who are ordained ministers of the gospel to operate in harmony with established policies of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is clear that this state of affairs cannot continue, and in our judgment the president and possibly some of his associates have disqualified themselves for spiritual, ecclesiatical, and executive leadership. (p. 3)

p 7 -- Certain immediate actions are demanded:
1) The resignation of the president of the Lake Region Conference.
2) Rectification of the "untenable financial postion" of the Conference.
3) Submission of a plan for "immediate payment of delinquent remittances" to the General Conference.

This Memo was signed by Elder C. E. Bradford on behalf of the officers of the General Conference. Certain questions remain. Why was a serious situation which is now acknowledged to have been "contrary to accepted ethics, spirit, and authority of the church" allowed to continue four years? Why was the so-called "patience" of the North American Division leadership interpreted by the officers of the Lake Region Conference as "weakness and inability to take corrective and disciplinary action"? Did such a sentiment come as a result of the counsel given by the North American Division leadership, or was this a Lake Union leadership failure? Since it is admitted in the Memo that the present situation "has become a reproach to the Church at Large," it should, therefore, be reported to the Church through the Adventist Review in full detail with all questions answered, including those suggested above. (1987 Feb) ---End---- TOP

1987 Mar -- XX -- 3(87) -- LAODICEA A FAILURE? 0R IS THE CHURCH GOING THROUGH? -- If there is one question above another which is troubling the "concerned" in the Adventist Community today, it is the question of Laodicea. The Seventh-day Adventist Church identifies itself with Laodicea. This self-identification has been brought into sharp focus through the recent publication by Elder R. J. Wieland - "As Many As I Love". In the very first chapter, Wieland states emphatically - "Christ's direct rebuke to 'the angel of the church of the Laodiceans' applies specifically to us." (p. 1) Thus to everyone who identifies himself as a Seventh-day Adventist, the very thought of the question - Laodicea, a failure? - causes deep emotional distress.

The self-perception held by conservative Adventists is well stated by Wieland. He introduces the theme of his book with the following:       We begin with a deep conviction: this church is the prophetic "remnant" of Revelation 12:17, a unique people with whom the dragon is "wroth" and makes "war" because they are called to "keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus." This same group tell the world the true good news of "the everlasting gospel" (ch. 14: 6-12). They are a vital ingredient in world stability. (p. 1)

Just as positive as the above expressed human conviction derived from Revelation 12:17 and 14:6-12, so are the words of the True Witness - Who does not lie - "I will spue thee out of my mouth." (Rev. 3:16) Does not faith come from "hearing" the word of the Lord? Then will not true "righteousness by faith" be both manifest and proclaimed in the acceptance of the verdict and decision of the True Witness? Or does the True Witness not mean what He says and we should supply the word - perhaps - into His statement? Just what does the Word of the Lord really say?

Some Historical Background -- Within the Adventist Church up to at least 1911, two different views of the Churches of Revelation, Chapters 2 & 3, have been held and set forth in the published literature of the Church. What could be called "the original view" was expressed by Joseph Bates in the first issue of the Second Advent Review, and Sabbath Herald (-November, 18-50) Bates considered the prophecy as giving the "states" of the Church. In his article - "The Laodicean Church" - he based his presentation solely of Revelation 3. He wrote: "As the first four states of the church were in the past (about A.D. 1798) let us confine our exposition relative to the last three, which are all in an organized state, at the present time."

Bates defined "Sardis" as "the present nominal church, the Babylon, which God's people came out from under the second angel's message." To him, the "Philadelphia" state

p 2 -- represented those who followed by "faith" the open door into the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary. He wrote - "The Philadelphia church kept the Saviour's word and have not denied His name. Those that left this state, and became Laodiceans, took the opposite, i.e., they did not hold fast His word, and hence they denied His name." (Emphasis his) Bates termed Laodicea, "the nominal Adventist."

This view by Bates was expressed as late as 1911 in the Signs of the Times. (January 17) There Milton C. Wilcox, the editor, in a copyrighted article wrote:      The last three churches present three present-day conditions:  (1) Great worldliness, dead while professing to live, having not the life of Christ, seen in the great popular churches;  (2) Devoted, earnest seeking of God, manifested among a far smaller number who are looking for their Lord's coming;  (3) Those who possess an outward knowledge of God's truth, who feel rich because of that knowledge, proud because of their superior morality, but who do not know the sweetness of God's grace, the power of His redeeming love.

There is hope in neither Sardis nor in Laodicea. Out of these conditions must come the victors into that of Philadelphia brotherly love. He pleads with the few names in Sardis. Upon the greater part of those in Sardis, Christ will come as a thief in swift judgment, but He will save some. He has no promise to Laodicea as a whole. "If any man hear My voice, He pleads with the individual; but the individuaI who opens the heart's door and lets Christ in, who comes into that wonderful communion with his divine Lord, will by that very process come into the condition of brotherly love. They will constitute the remnant who keep the word of His patience, against whom there is no condemnation, who are ready for translation. Out of that condition of lukewarmness means a hard struggle, earnest zeal, severe conflict; but he who wins shall share Christ's kingdom eternally. (Emphasis his)

The other view of the Seven Churches was expressed by Uriah Smith in his first edition of Thoughts on the Revelation, in 1865. He perceived of the churches of Revelation as "stages" of one historical church. He wrote of Laodicea:       It is the last stage of the church. It consequently applies to believers under the third message, the last message of mercy before the coming of Christ, chapt. xiv, 9-14, while the great day of atonement is transpiring, and the investigative judgment is going forward upon the house of God, - a period during which the just and holy law of God is taken by the waiting church as their rule of life." (pp. 58-59)

It is this view of the Seven Churches as "stages", which prevails at the present time.

A Re-Examination -- A careful restudy of the Seven Churches beginning with Thyatira cast some very interesting light on the key question as to whether Laodicea will fail, or not.

Thyatira is a duality. There are some who permitted "that woman Jezebel... to teach and to seduce" the servants of "the Son of God." (2:20) There are others who did not have "this doctrine," and who did not know "the depths of Satan." To this latter group, "the Son of God" declares - "Hold fast till I come." (2:24-25) This is the first introduction of the concept of the coming of Christ into the "states" of the seven churches. This admonition would have no meaning unless this church were also in existence at the Second Advent.

Sardis recognized as the "Reformation" state had a "few names" which "had not defiled their garments." (3:4) The One having the Seven Spirits of God warns the church that if they do not "watch," He "will come on (them) as a thief." (3:3) This is the language used by Christ in connection with His second coming. (See Matt. 24:42-44) This would justify the conclusion that this church, too, will be in existence at the return of Christ.

Philadelphia also receives the counsel - "Behold I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." (3:11) Thus all three church "states" Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia - are warned and counseled with respect to the Second Advent of Christ.

When we come to the Laodicean state, there is no association, no such warning. There is not a single suggestion in regard to the second Advent. Why? The conclusion is inescapable - she has been spued out! To those who desire to continue in the Laodicean state, and sustain a "vain hope" that perhaps the True Witness does not mean what He says, would have us believe that mello, the word translated, "will", in the pronouncement of Jesus - "I will spue thee out of my mouth" - does not mean that for sure, but really means, "perhaps" He will. Further, if we "only believe" that concept hard enough, we can turn the divine decision around. Just "only believe" - don't look at the facts!

p 3 -- How Is Mello Used in Revelation? -- According to the sources available - not counting them myself - mello ( mellw ) is used by John in the book of Revelation, 13 times (1:19; 2:10 [2x]; 3;2, 10, 16; 6:11; 8:13; 10:4; 10:7; 12:4, 5; 17:8). In each use of the word, whether as a verb, or a participle, it is connected with an infinitve expressing - the purpose or result. When used as a verb, it appears in the present tense (6x) and in the imperfect (2x), and once in the subjunctive mood.

Since, in the text under consideration Rev. 3:16 - mello is used in the present tense, let us check each of the other uses in the present to see if there is a conditional element that would negate the stated purpose:
1 :19 -    "Write thou therefore the things which thou sawest. even the things which are and the things which are (mello) to occur after these things." (Literal)
2:10 -    "Do not fear the things which thou art (mello) to suffer. Behold, the devil shall (mello) cast some of you into prison that ye may be tried." (Literal)
12:5 -    And she bore a son, a male, who shall (mello) shepherd all the nations with a staff of iron." (Literal)
17:8 -    "And the beast which thou sawest was, and is not, and shall (mello) come up out of the abyss." (Literal)

It.should be obvious that each stated intent or purpose as defined by the infinitve modifying mello IS to occur - not perhaps, nor maybe. In the case of Rev. 12:5, the book itself tells the time when it will take place, and states it inthe same language. See Rev. 19:15..

There are two uses of mello in Revelation which indicate "perhaps" or that the stated purpose can be altered .- BUT, in each instance, mello is in, the imperfect Greek tense, and not in the present. Note:
3:2 --    "Be thou watching, and establish the things re
maining which were (emellon) dying." (Literal)
Robertson in his Word Pictures of the New Testament, comments relative to the use of the imperfect ."The imperfect looking on the s1tuation ' with delicate optimism' (Swete) as having passed the crisis, as sort of epistolary imperfect. (Vol. VI, p. 314)
10:4 -    "And when spoke the seven thunders, I was going (emellon) to write, and I heard a voice out of heaven saying: Seal thou the things which spake the seven thunders, and- not them write." (Literal)

It is obvious in this verse (10:4) that the intent is not carried out - but John was even forbidden from doing so. To convey this use of mello the Greek imperfect is used, NOT the present as is found in Rev. 3:16. - Furthermore, the use of mello in Rev. 3:16 is followed by an infinitive in the Greek aorist, and not by a present infinitive as with the five other uses of mello in the present tense. The use of the Greek aorist infinitive indicates "punctiliar" action, or as happening immediately upon the decision of the one acting, and not an indicisive prolonging of the contemplated action. (See An Exegetical Grammar of the Greek New Testament, p. 105) In simple language, the True Witness gave Laodicea time to repent with a special call to repent in 1950, and when she did not do so, He acted! It was not a temporizing to see if some "messengers" could persuade Laodicea to turn around, and then the True Witness could change His mind. The present indicative is used in the verb form, it will or has taken place; it is certain - and the aorist infinitive confirms a decisive judgment, and not a prolonged haggling.

This is exactly the picture in the Writings:      In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. [Definite], She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentnce, "Found wanting. By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged." [Punctiliar] (8T:247)

The parable of the Ten Virgins indicates that the Philadelphians and the Laodiceans were to be mingled together for a period of time. This was the concept perceived by Wilcox as he studied the existing states of the church in Revelation 3. (See p. 2, col. 1 , Groups 2 & 3) "The state of the Church represented by the foolish virgins, is also spoken of as the Laodicean state." (EGW, R&H, Aug. 19, 1890) The parable, however, indicates there will be a separation. The light supplied by the oil - the Spirit of truth - goes out in the hearts of the foolish virgins. They go to the venders who sell oil, but in so doing, on them the door is shut!

Bates emphasized this loss of truth in describing the difference between these two states of the Church. Note again his comment:      The Philadelphia church kept the Saviour's word and have not denied His name. Those that left this state, and became Laodiceans, took the opposite, i.e., they did not hold fast His word, and hence they denied His name. (R&H, Nov. 1850)

This is indeed the picture. Corporate Laodicea has not kept Christ's word - committed in sacred trust - but compromised the final atonement in seeking to reach an accord with the Evangelicals. Thus they denied His name as understood by Bates. The verdict - "I will spue thee out of my mouth" (Rev. 3:16) - could not be escaped.

The message to the individual - "if any man hear my voice" - is the call of Jesus as He stands at the door knocking. This is the call to every Seventh-day Adventist today.

[We have placed in tabular form the uses of mello in Revelation with the modifying infinitives. This table may be obtained on request. Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

p 4 -- THE MESSAGE OF JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH -- Today in Seventh-day Adventism the terms "1888" and "the Minneapolis Conference" are synonymous with the term "Righteousness by Faith." Many books have been written on the history of the 1888 General Conference session and the message there presented. The scope of the thought paper, "Watchman, What of the Night?" does not give room to present to the reader what volumes have already done. However, it is the conviction of the editors that the message of righteousness by faith must be put before our people today as never before. What happened at the Minneapolis Conference? Let the following quotation from Testimonies to Ministers pp. 91-93 give us a brief sketch of the message that was presented, and the background to that message.

The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift "of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His, Spirit in a large measure.

The uplifted Saviour is to appear in His efficacious work as the Lamb slain, sitting upon the throne, to dispense the priceless covenant blessings, the benefits He died to purchase for every soul who should believe on Him. John could not express that love in words; it was too deep, too broad; he calls upon the human family to behold it. Christ is pleading for the church in the heavenly courts above, pleading for those for whom He paid the redemption price of His own lifeblood. Centuries, ages, can never diminish the efficacy of this atoning sacrifice.

The message of the gospel of His grace was to be given to the church in clear and distinct lines, that the world should no longer say that Seventh-day Adventists talk the law, the law, but do not teach or believe Christ.

The efficacy of the blood of Christ was to be presented to the people with freshness and power, that their faith might lay hold upon its merits. As the high priest sprinkled the warm blood upon the mercy seat, while the fragrant cloud of incense ascended before God, so while we confess our sins and plead the efficacy of Christ's atoning blood, our prayers are to ascend to heaven, fragrant with the merits of our Saviour's character. Notwithstanding our unworthiness, we are ever to bear in mind that there is One that can take away sin and save the sinner. Every sin acknowledged before God with a contrite heart, He will remove. This faith is the life of the church. As the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness by Moses, and all that had been bitten by the fiery serpents were bidden to look and live, so also, the Son of man must be lifted up, that "whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have
everlasting life."

Unless he makes it his life business to behold the uplifted Saviour, and by faith to accept the merits which it is his privilege to claim, the sinner can no more be saved than Peter could walk upon the water unless he kept his eyes fixed steadily upon Jesus. Now, it has been Satan's determined purpose to eclipse the view to Jesus and lead men to look to man, and to trust to man, and be educated to expect help from man. For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message, in clear, distinct lines. (Emphasis supplied.)

The first paragraph of this quotatioh taken from Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 91-92 is quoted in Arthur G. Daniells' book Christ Our .Righteousness, page 36. Then Daniells proceeds to give the following outline:
1.    A Most Precious Message. - "The Lord in His great .mercy sent a most precious message to His people."
2.   The Object. - "The message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world."
3.   The Scope -
a.   "It presented justification through faith in the Surety."
b.   "It invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God."
4.   The Need -
a.   "Many had lost sight Jesus."
b.   "They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family."
5.    The Resources -
a.  "All power is given into His hands,"
b.   "That He may dispense rich gifts unto men,"
c.   "Imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent."
6.   Extent - "This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world."
7.   What It Really Is - "It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure."

p 5 -- What a truly wonderful message! What was the reception? One only needs to read 1888 Re-Examined, by Elders Wieland and Short to discover the reaction of the leadership to the "most precious message" that God sent to His remnant people. On pag 26 Wieland and Short give the following quote from the servant of the Lord:      In Minneapolis God gave precious gems of truth to His people in new settings. This light from heaven by some was rejected with all the stubbornness the Jews manifested in rejecting Christ. (Ms. 13, 1889.)

What is the reception of the message by the people today? A Warning and its Reception compiled by A. L. Hudson gives the reaction to the message by the leadership when Wieland and Short tried to re-introduce the message more than thirty years ago. The light sent from heaven was again rejected "with all the stubbornness the Jews, manifested in rejecting Christ." It is the conviction of the editors that God sent Elders Wieland and Short to bring this message again to His people, just as He sent Waggoner and Jones to the church almost years ago. Has the message been received any better as of late? No! Again the answer is no hard to find. Today in Adventism the standard according to the popular vote of both the laity and the hierarchy is the theology of Morris Venden. Students of the Bible are quick to perceive that the standard of today does not match up with the "precious message" that God sent His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones.

What has been the cause of the rejection of this heaven-sent message? Page 25 of 1888 Re-Examined gives two Spirit of Prophecy quotations that help to reveal what the problem was in the years after the famous Minneapolis Conference.-       For nearly two years, we have been urging the people to come up and accept the light and the truth concerning the righteousness of Christ, and they do not know whether to come and take hold of this precious truth or not. They are bound about with their own ideas. They do not let the Saviour in. (R&H, Mar. 11, 1890.)

Why were the people bound about with their own ideas? Why were the people so reticent and perplexed? Sister White gave the reason why in the next week's issue of the Review and Herald. -      Our young men look to our older brethern, and as they see that they do not accept the message, but treat it as though it were of no consequence, it influences those who are ignorant of the Scriptures to reject the light. These men who refuse to receive truth, interpose themselves between the people and the light. (R&H, Mar.18, 1890.) (Emphasis supplied.)

Please do not read the above quotation without giving it careful thought. The young men had been looking to the older men to see how they treated the message. Since the leaders had refused to receive the truth, the young men had also. When the reference from Testimonies to Ministers was given earlier, more than just the last part of page 91, and the first part of page 92 was quoted. Where Daniells starts is excellent, however it is not far enough for us to get the picture of what is needed today. On page 93, Sister White said that for years Satan has been trying to get and keep the people's eyes off of Jesus. How could he do that? Bv leading "men to look to man, and to trust to man, and to be educated to expect help from man."

What would cause the younger men to look to the older brethern for help? The answer is in the testimony, the young men were "ignorant of the Scriptures." The pride of the leaders with the ignorance of the young men; this is the heart of the matter. (Please see 1888 Re-Examined, pp. 19-21 for futher study concerning the pride of the brethern.) If the young men had known the Scriptures, then they would have recognized the message as Sister White had done. They would have recognized Jesus as the heart of the message.

"It is the work of true education ... to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men's thought." Education page 17. This was the work that was not being done prior to the 1888 Conference. The youth were not taught to think for themselves, instead they had been "educated to expect help from man." Even though God may use men as His instruments in the spreading of the gospel, (see Matt. 28:19,20), David in the 108th Psalm verse 12 says, "Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man."

Is it any different today? Are we training

p 6 -- our brethern to be thinkers, or mere "reflectors of other men's thought." In the Adult Sabbath School Lessons for the first quarter of this year, on page 92 is the following comment concerning the interpretation of prophecy. -      'One thing is certain, nothing is gained by dogmatism and controversy. In such areas of unfulfilled prophecy we must tread humbly and softly. It is our responsibility to study the Scriptures for ourselves, to ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to submit our understanding to those in the church who are able to judge our findings, and then to abide by the decisions of the church in order to maintain the unity of the church. (Emphasis supplied)

Thus it, is today, just as it was during the time of Sister White; men refuse to receive the truth, and then interpose themselves between the people and the light. When one considers such projects as the "1000 Days of Reaping" and "Harvest 90", could not the words of Jesus well apply: "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."Matthew 23:15.

How eager we are to gain converts. Yet most are converts to organization and not converts to the Lord Jesus Christ. People are looking for the waters of salvation, and instead we give them polluted water from the cisterns of Babylon. The great tragedy of today is that not only the world is confused about the message that God designed them to have, but that His professed people are also in confusion. Today most have no concept of what the true message of righteousness by faith is. To help God's people to have a Bible understanding of the true message of righteousnesss by faith "Watchman, What of the Night?" will be printing basic Bible study guides under the title: CHRIST- OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. The first series of these lessons will be based largely upon the book Christ Our Righteousness, by E. J. Waggoner. Most studies will have 12 - 15 questions with Bible text answers. This is the method of study that the Holy Spirit gave to Elder Stephen N. Haskell at the southern California camp meeting in May of 1883 and later endorsed by the Spirit of Prophecy.

May God bless us in our personal study of the Scriptures. A. Stump

CHRIST OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS -- Lesson # 1 -- Why We Should Consider Christ --

Question Answer
1. Whom should we consider? Hebrews 3:1
2. What happens when we consider Christ and His glory? 2 Cor. 3:18
3. Whom did Paul center all his preaching around? 1 Cor. 2:2
4. What is the gospel (the good news) the power of? Rom. 1: 16,17
5. Through whom only does salvation come to men? Acts 4:12
6. Who is our only access to the Father? John 14:6
7. Why is it necessary for Christ to be "lifted up"? John 3:14,15 (See note 1)
8. What will happen to men when Jesus is "lifted up"? John 12:32
9.  Who is both the Author and Finisher of our faith? Heb. 12:1,2
10. Why also should we consider Jesus Christ? Hebrews 12:3(See note 2)
11. What does God instruct us to do when we need wisdom? James 1:5
12. Where is.all true wisdom contained? Col. 2:1-3
13. What does the Bible call any wisdom not from God? Rom. 1:21,22
14. What are two things Christ is declared to be? 1 Cor. 1:24
15. Why else should we consider Christ? 1 Cor. 1:30 (See note 3)

NOTES -- 1 . "This 'lifting up' of Jesus, while it has primary reference to His cruifixion, embraces more than the mere historical fact; it means that Christ must be 'lifted up' by all who believe in Him, as the crucified Redeemer, whose grace and glory are sufficient to supply the world's greatest need; it means that He should be 'lifted up' in all His exceeding loveliness and power as 'God with us."' Christ Our Righteousness, p. 6.

2. The Greek word for "contradiction" is antilogia (an-tee-log-ah) which means hostility or strife.

3. "We are ignorant, wicked, lost; Christ is to us wisdom, righteousness, redemption. What a range! From ignorance and sin to righteousness and redemption. Man's ... need cannot reach outside the bounds of what Christ is to us." Christ Our Righteousness, p. 8

p 7 -- Thls Thought Paper carries the f'irst article by Allen Stump as Contrbuting Editor. He is presently Pastor of the Smyrna - Gospel Ministries, in the area of Welch, West Virginia. --- (1987 Mar) ---End----

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