1975 Jan-MarVIII 1(75) - VIII 3(75)
1975 Apr-Jun VIII 4(75) - VIII 6(75)
1975 Jul-Sep VIII 7(75) - VIII 9(75)
1975 Oct-Dec VIII 10(75) - VIII 12(75)
1976 Jan-Mar IX 1(76) - IX 3(76)
1976 Apr-Jun IX 4(76) - IX 6(76)
1976 Jul-Sep IX 7(76) - IX 9(76)
1976 Oct-Dec IX 10(76) - IX 12(76)
1977 Jan-MarX 1(77) - X 3(77)
1977 Apr-Jun X 4(77) - X 6(77)
1977 Jul-Sep X 7(77) - X 9(77)
1977 Oct-DecX 10(77) - X 12(77)
1978 Jan-Mar XI 1(78) - XI 3(78)
1978 Apr-Jun XI 4(78) - XI 6(78)
1978 Jul-Sep XI 7(78) - XI 9(78)
1978 Oct-Dec XI 10(78) - XI 12(78)
1979 Jan-Mar XI 1(79) - XI 3(79)
1979 Apr-Jun XI 4(79) - XI 6(79)
1979 Jul-Sep XI 7(79) - XI 9(79)
1979 Oct-DecXI 10(79) - XI 12(79)
Feb Knight Descends On Jones. 1of 4.
Mar Knight Descends On Jones. 2 of 4.
1988 Apr-Jun 3 & 4 of 4.
last of WWN published
ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)
SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation
- Legal Documents
Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer
Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer
the Form of a Slave
In Bible Prophecy
Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer
Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer
of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
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:
Various Studies --
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
So Much In Common - WCC/SDA
Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy
The MISSION of this site -- is to put the articles from the WWN in a searchable Essay form. It is not our purpose to copy WWN in whole.
Any portion of the thought paper may be reproduced without further permission by adding the credit line - "Reprinted from WWN, Victoria, BC Canada."
Thank you for visiting. We look forward to you coming back.
WWN 1994 Oct - Dec
Oct -- XXVII -- 10(94) -- LESSONS
FROM 150 YEARS AGO -- There were two Disappointments
in 1844: March 21, and October 22. William Miller's original study of
the prophecies of the Bible did not provide any exact date for the Second
Coming of Christ. He finally narrowed the time of the event to "on
or before" and "about the year 1843." Miller
believe that time can be known by all who desire to understand and to
be ready for His coming. And I am fully convinced that some time between
March 21st, 1843 and March 21st, 1844, according to the Jewish mode of
computation of time, Christ will come, and bring all His saints with Him;
and that then He will reward every man as his works shall be." (Signs
of the Times, Jan. 25, 1843)
After the Disappointment on March 21, 1844,
Miller wished to tone down the enthusiasm connected with time. He did
not embrace the new date set - October 22, 1844 - until two weeks before
Miller's study of the prophecies, with a
focus on the time for the Second Coming of Christ, was not limited to
the study of Daniel 8:14. He developed 15 Proofs from numerous other texts
of Scripture to establish his conviction that Christ would come "on
or about" the year 1843. (See Appendix III, The End of Historicism,
p. 220) The fact is also documented that in the Millerite periodicals
from 1840-1843, a total of 123 articles were devoted to the exegesis of
these "15 Proofs." Of this number only 34 focused on the prophecy
of Daniel 8:14. (ibid, p. 219)
In all of Miller's calculations, he overlooked
the fact that there was no Year 0 - 1 B.C. was followed by A.D. 1 - thus
arriving at the year 1843 rather than 1844. It also casts doubts on the
thoroughness of his "homework." After the
p 2 -- disappointment on March 21,
Miller was no longer in control of the Movement, and it passed to the
hands of the one who first pointed out his mistake in the calculation
of chronology, Samuel Snow.
Snow was joined by George Storrs in a detailed
study of various calendars and typology. It was their study leading to
the "Seventh Month Movement" which forms the basis of Seventh-day
Adventism. Here is where the focus should be centered as we note the 150th
Anniversary of the Great Disappointment on October 22, 1844.
While William Miller made the prophecy of
Daniel 8:14 one proof of his 15 Proofs, Snow corrected the date to 1844,
and by application of horizontal typology added October 22. Because of
this, we can conclude that October 22, 1844, was the date arrived at by
Samuel Snow, and was connected with William Miller only in a limited way.
Tradition has a way of muting the very facts of history.
Reasoning on the basis of typology that the
Hebrew festal year was typical of events in prophetic history, and connecting
the cleansing of the sanctuary in Daniel 8:14 with the typical Day of
Atonement, Snow applied "the tenth day of the seventh month"
to Daniel 8:14, setting the date, October 22 as the time for its antitypical
fulfillment. However, into this picture, Snow introduced another factor.
He applied the esehatological parable of Jesus in Matthew 25, to this
period. We thus have the terminology, "The Midnight Cry," added
to the Adventist vocabulary and applied to the great religious revival
that marked the summer of 1844.
Following the Great Disappointment on October
22, 1844, the small band which became the nucleus of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church added a vertical dimension to the typology of the Jewish festal
imagery. They perceived the earthly priestly ministry to be a type of
the Heavenly ministry of Jesus Christ as High Priest over the House of
God. Instead of focusing on "the tradition of the elders" in
their modification of Adventist history, we need to center our attention
on the viability of typology as a hermeneutic, and the meaning of Christ's
parable of the Ten Virgins, now 150 years down the pike.
To focus on typology brings to the forefront
the Church's teaching on the Sanctuary Doctrine. However, by emphasizing
traditional historical concepts - right or wrong - the real issue confronting
Adventism is muted. The question, however, must be faced forthrightly
- Does the Sanctuary Doctrine have meaning and significance for us today?
The answer to this question stands or falls on the validity of typology
as a viable method of Biblical interpretation. Then add to this the application
of Matthew 25:1-13 to the present hour, and you have more questions than
anyone of the ecclesiastical hierarchy wishes to face, as well as many
of the leaders of certain "independent" ministries.
In the first study on the "Theology
of the Sanctuary," we discussed in detail the question - "Is
typology an acceptable hermeneutic?" (WWN, 2(94), pp. 2-4)
We found it to be a valid method for Biblical interpretation if we follow
closely the limitations placed upon it by the Bible itself. This means
simply that the mediation of the priests in the earthly sanctuary were
a type and shadow of the Heavenly ministry of Jesus Christ in the tabernacle
"which the Lord pitched, and not man." (Heb. 8:5, 1)
In the same issue of WWN, the editorial,
"Let's Talk It Over" (pp. 5-7) discussed some of the implications
of Matthew 25:1-13. It would seem that this 150th Anniversary year of
the Great Disappointment would be an excellent time to square up Jesus'
eschatological parable with what has been the on-going history of Adventism.
But who has the courage among the hierarchy of the Church to do so? And
who among the "independent" ministries is willing to state clearly
that The Great Controversy needs to be revised and harmonized with
the light given to Ellen G. White following the 1888 revision? Of course,
there would arise also that embarrassing question as to why this was not
done when the cosmetic revision of the book was made in 1911.
Basic, beyond the revision of The Great
Controversy to square it with the additional light given, is the meaning
and significance of the light itself. If we hold Ellen G. White to be
"the messenger of the Lord" which she claimed to be, then how
do we apply the message given in 1896 - "My mind was carried into
the future, when the signal will be given, 'Behold the Bridegroom cometh;
go ye out to meet Him."'? (R&H, Feb. 11, 1896)
Further, in 1901, this same "messenger
of the Lord" directed attention to Luke 21, in contradistinction
to either Matthew 24, or Mark 13, connecting events in the history of
Jerusalem to "the scenes which are to take place in the history of
this world just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of
heaven with power and great glory." (Letter 10, 1901)
All three writers of the Synoptic Gospels
relate events connected with the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70,
but only Luke quotes Jesus foretelling an event in connection with the
history of Jerusalem which would mark the close of the probationary time
for the nations. Should we not then ask, "What do these things mean?"
and "How must we rectify our understandings of the end-time events
to harmonize with this revelation?"
It was Hugh Latimer, the English Reformer,
who declared: "The
Author of holy Scriptures is the Mighty One, the Everlasting - God
Himself !...and this Scripture partakes of the might and eternity
of its Author....Let us beware of those bypaths of human tradition, filled
of stones, brambles, and uprooted trees. Let us follow the straight road
of the Word. It does not concern us what the fathers have done, but what
they should have done." (Quoted in D'Aubigne's History of the
Reformation, Vol. V, p. 271; emphasis Latimer's)
Think it through carefully - "It is
not what the fathers have done, but what they should have done."
This applies equally, whether we are considering the Great Disappointment
of October 22, 1844, or the General Conference Session of 1888. We need
to carefully consider what should have been done, lest we make the same
mistake "the fathers" made by not walking in the light given,
or else not fully perceiving that light, and seeing "men as trees
walking." (Mark. 8:24) Our concern should not be, whether our spiritual
forefathers failed to see the light clearly in 1844, but rather, are we
seeing "the increasing light" clearly today. Their life's record
is closed, ours is not. We should not become so agitated over the rejection
of the message given in 1888, and by so focusing, we reject the message
for this day. There is still such a thing as PRESENT Truth!
Miller failed to walk in the advancing light which God permitted to shine upon the small band of believers who became the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Church in 1888 failed to walk in the light which God sent through Elders Jones and Waggoner. But the question "is not what the fathers have done, but what they should have done." The answer is clear, they should have walked in the advancing light. But are we making the same mistake today, yet seeking to cover our failure by glorifying "the tombs of the prophets, and garnish[ing] the sepulchres of the righteous"?
p 3 -- "SHARING
THE NEWS" -- Sharing the News is a monthly
newsletter prepared by The 1888 Message Study Committee [1888 MSC] for
its Board of Directors as well as the Advisory Committee Members. The
May 17, 1994 issue (Vol. 1, No. 10) was captioned - "EXTRA"
- with a note to the Committee Members - "Please Do Not Publish!"
This issue wss "a private confidential report" of a special
four hour meeting in the office of Elder Robert S. Folkenberg on May 12.
The principals, Folkenberg, Wieland and Short, were joined by Calvin Rock,
Robert Dale, Gerry Karst, and Angel Rodriguez of the General Conference;
George Reid of the Biblical Research Institute; Kenneth Wood of The Ellen
G. White Estate; and Gerald Finneman representing the 1888 MSC.
The bottom line of the contention between the GC and the
1888 MSC is "a structural issue," according to Folkenberg. Dale
was more direct. "The 1888 Message Study Committee as such is the
problem." The Church's hierarchy do not perceive the 1888 MSC as
a part of the organization. Wieland and Short, however, do so perceive
it. Short emphatically stated - "We are part of the organization.
The Charter of the 1888 MSC provides that if dissolved the assets would
go to the General Conference."
In his opening remarks, Folkenberg had observed that the
1888 MSC is loyal to the Church and its ganization, does not "take
tithe," holds neetings only in church facilities, and "takes
a reasonable position." However, what was not mentioned, and what
is a known fact to anyone acquainted with the present attitudes in the
Community of Adventism, tithe is flowing into the 1888 MSC! There is no
reason to put one's head in the sand and deny this fact.
During this four-hour session, Elder
R. J. Wieland, who authored this "Extra," recorded
himself as stating -
"Some of you brethren have the idea that Donald K. Short and I have
initiated this 1888 MSC, organized it, etc., and that is not true. We
have not taken the initiative! ... When we finally returned from Africa
to retire, [we] were prepared to play shuffleboard. But a little lady
who had experienced a spiritual conversion within the General Conference
offices through reading the 1950 manuscript [and] had also retired, phoned
us [asking], 'Can't we do something? People need to know this message!
Would you come and tell us about it?' Thus came the initial 1888 Message
Study Conference at Camp Mohaven. All we did was to respond to this invitation;
we took no initiative ourselves; we cannot refuse when someone asks us
to share the gospel and the truth about it. Thus, the organization of
this 1888 MSC is nothing of our doing." (p.2)
This is a flawed statement on several counts. The Camp
Mohaven meeting was not the first conference with the objective of getting
the 1888 Message to the members of the Church. The first conference was
held following the General Conference session in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1958.
Conceived by A. L. Hudson, then the first elder of the Baker, Oregon Seventh-day
Adventist Church, the discussions took place in the Seventh-day Adventist
Church at Marion, Indiana, where this editor was serving as Pastor. One
other Indiana Conference pastor joined us. At this conference, Hudson
revealed that he planned to start publishing a magazine to meet the need
of concerned Adventists over the recent SDA-Evangelical Conferences. He,
too, had obtained a copy of 1888 Re-Examined, and was prepared
to push its message to the forefront. This he did.
On February 3, 1959, Hudson placed a motion before the Pacific Union Conference Committee with certain allegations and representations. With this motion, he included a series of documents, one of which was 1888 Re-Examined. The whole was published under the title - A Warning and Its Reception. By this means a knowledge of the original document presented to the General Conference by Wieland and Short in 1950 not only became known but was widely circulated. Upon the exhaustion of the first printing, the Adventist Laymen's Foundation printed the material under the same title, but
p 4 -- with an additional letter by Wieland to
Short which is very revealing, and significant in point of time.
At the conference in Marion, Indiana, Hudson invited Wieland
and Short to write for his new publication, but they demurred. They had
no objections to the publication promoting their message. In fact, they
encouraged it; but their reaction was, just don't involve us directly,
please. Here in this meeting in Folkenberg's office, the same "out"
is used. "We didn't intiate the 1888 MSC," but all must know
who has dominated the committee, apart from the initiator, who in turn
has dominated Wieland.
I, too, was invited to write for Hudson's publication.
I should have written forthrightly in my own name, but compromised thus
avoiding at that time direct confrontation. I used the pen name, "Ben
Ezra II" It had significance telling the Church that as the former
"Ben Ezra" could not write openly in the Roman Catholic Church,
so the same situation had developed in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Another writer used the name, "Dr. Luke.")
There is something more basic in this twice revealed attitude
of Wieland and Short. Aside from the fact that these men waited until
their full sustentation was assured before "going public" on
the message which God gave them for the Church, is the question of how
they regarded the stewardship entrusted to them, and the results of that
In all my contacts with these men over the years, and
there have been many, it is my conviction that they have never fully grasped
the concept that God sent them to the Church with a message as verily
as He sent Jones and Waggoner in 1888. Because of this, they could not
bring themselves to lay their future on the line. However, it is my conviction
that had they been willing to work closely with Hudson, the deepening
apostasy and turmoil which has taken the Church captive might have been
averted. They might have seen their heart's desire of the Church turned
around before it faced the judgment of the sanctuary (8T:249).
As it was, Hudson joined forces with Robert Brinsmead, and Brinsmead obtained
the 1888 material of Wieland and Short. The reproduction of this material
by Brinsmead greatly troubled Elder Wieland. On one occasion while both
he and I were at the Seminary during the school year of 1964-65, Brinsmead
came to Berrien Springs for some meetings. Wieland asked me to accompany
him to see Brinsmead. At this confrontation, Wieland emphatically told
Brinsmead that he had no permission to publish any of his writings.
If men are called of God to be His "messengers, they
have a direct responsibility to give that message, and not seek to hide
behind someone else to do it for them, or to run interference for them.
The Scripture is clear that when Moses sought to avoid his call, and requested
that the Lord use someone else, "the anger of the Lord was kindled
against Moses." (Ex. 4:14) Further by waiting for another to open
up the way, the possibility becomes a reality for the enemy to select
his own advocate, and thus misdirect the thrust which God intends should
be realized. Wieland indicated at the recent committee meeting in Silver
Spring that Short and he were willing to come back to America in retirement
and play "shuffleboard." He must have said this facetiously
for this is unbelievable. The tragedy of this whole situation is "the
little lady" who supposedly singlehandedly sponsored the conference
at Camp Mohaven.
There are two factors here that need to be clarified. To have been converted by the reading of 1888 Re-Examined is one thing; to have been convicted of the correctness of the position taken in the document is vastly different. My contacts with this "little lady" have not led me to believe that she evidenced in her life the righteousness of Christ. She has been deceptive and not above prevarication. Her style reflects worldly techniques of communication. If I have correct information, she was an employee in the Department of Communications of the General Conference at the time that Department became involved in the acquisition of a medallion to symbolize the Church. Designed by a Roman Catholic who introduced Catholic symbolism into the layout, it was produced in gold, silver and bronze medallions. One of the gold medallions was ultimately given as a symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church into the hands of Pope Paul VI. This is not saying that "the little lady" was in any way responsibile for this medallion, but it is suggesting that one working in that department would be influenced by the methods employed in communication by that Department, in other words, managed and edited news releases. God's method in setting forth the righteousness of Christ is "pure, unadulterated truth." (TM, 65)
The second factor is the time element. The Church at the
beginning of the 1980s was not the Church which began the 1950s. The thirty
years saw a changed Church doctrinally. The doctrinal change struck at
the very heart of the message of righteousness by faith. This Wieland
has either refused to perceive, or else has been blinded by advisors so
that he cannot see it. Two cannot walk together unless they be agreed.
Out of this meeting a committee was formed for the objective
of creating a dialogue between the 1888 MSC and the General Conference.
Anyone reading the names on the committee appointed who has any insight
at all can be impressed only with its futility. This is not saying that
some statement will not be forthcoming, or that a compromise will not
be reached by which the objectives of the General Conference will be realized.
For example, to this committee was appointed George Knight, the author
of From 1888 to Apostasy, an attack on A. T. Jones. In your mind
try and reconcile Knight's position on Jones, and the position of the
1888 MSC. What can dialogue do?
It is evident from this report that the objective of the
General Conference is either to absorb the 1888 MSC, or to so alter its
thrust that it will be an acceptable adjunct to the Church such as Amazing
Facts or Quiet Hour. However, there are some basic factors which differentiate
the 1888 MSC from the two above named organizations. Only time will tell
6 -- LET'S TALK IT OVER -- There
are a number of things which we should talk over. Time has not stopped
while we focused our attention on a Theology of the Sanctuary which harmonizes
with the revelation of Scripture.
There was published earlier this year a book by Dr. Roy
Adams of the editorial staff of the Adventist Review - The Nature
of Christ. In this book he made a vicious attack on Wieland and Short,
declaring them to be in the same "continuum" with Jim Jones
and David Koresh. (p. 110) While we may differ with Wieland and Short
on method and approach, and believe they have been deceived by false advisors,
one dare not overlook the fact that these men gave the greater part of
their lives in devoted mission service to Africa. During his ministry
what has Adams been doing? From his dissertation at Andrews - The Sanctuary
Doctrine - through his editorship of the Canadian Union Messenger,
and now with the Adventist Review, he has done little else but
vomit out heresy. Now, to so viciously attack Wieland and Short, men to
whom he cannot even hold a candle, is nothing short of journalistic cannibalism.
In this same book, he exhumes M. L. Andreasen and villifies
him, citing a document alleged to be a confession by Andreasen. He quotes
the late Arthur White of terming it a "death-bed confession."
He holds up for ridicule Andreasen writing out his feelings and convictions
in "Letters to God." (p. 53) Such attacks are unacceptable journalism
and reveal a hatred akin to that manifested by Lucifer toward Michael.
On the back cover of the book were endorsements by George Knight, William
H. Shea, Raoul Dederen and Robert S. Folkenberg. Folkenberg,
at the meeting in Silver Spring on May 12, expressed regret that his name
was associated with this book, and declared that if "reprinted,
[it] must be rewritten."
But more than this is required before justice is done. Adams must be removed
from the editorial staff of the Adventist Review!
Also early in 1994, the publishers of SDA Press Release
(Feb. 26) called for the resignations of Jack Blanco, who had been appointed
to the Ellen G. White Memorial Chair at Southern College, as well as the
other professors in the Religion Department which would include Dr. Norman
Gulley. The president of the College, D. Don Sahly, was also included
in the resignation demand. The Board of Trustees of the College responded
in a March report to the constitueny. One item in the report should cause
an individal devoted to truth to take a second look, and do some serious
thinking. Dr. Jack Blanco
gave an affirmation as an appointee to the Ellen G. White Chair. He wrote: "I
affirm my faith in the fundamental teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church as stated by the General Conference in the Church Manual."
continued his confession of
"it is from the Scriptures that I understand the value of the gifts
of the Spirit that God has bestowed upon the Church, including the gift
of prophecy. This gift - the call to prophetic office - I firmly believe
was manifested in the life and work of Ellen G. White, not as an addition
to Scripture but as a derived, authoritative source to lead men and woman
back to the Word of God as the norm of all morality and faith."
Blanco's omission of a phrase makes one wonder if indeed
he really subscribes to what he affirmed in the first paragraph noted
above. The Church Manual adds to "authoritative source"
the words, "of truth," and declares it to be "a continuing"
source as well. (p. 40, 1981 ed.) This makes the Writings an addition
to the Scripture, but Blanco distances himself from that concept by stating,
- "not as an addition to Scripture."
Then we might also question, does a "gift" create an office? Along with the "gift" of prophecy are the gifts of apostles, evangelists, pastor-teacher. Does this make the one having the gift of evangelism, holding the "office" of an evangelist? There can be no doubt that in this area of perception, we have created for us a problem in
p 7 -- relating the Writings of Ellen G. White
and the Scriptures.
Blanco has written instead of an affirmation of faith, a position statement trying to say, "yes" and "no" at the same time. It is pure, unadulterated duplicity. Somebody really should resign, the one making the statement, or the ones creating an intellectual environment which creates such a stance? Perhaps all, as was suggested.
PERES ON JERUSALEM --
Israel's Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres indicated that Israel
was "open to proposals" on determining the status of the Moslem
and Christian holy places in Jerusalem. In June, Maroccan King Hassan
had "remarked that only God can have sovereignty over Jerusalem's
holy places." This concept has intrigued Israeli officials.
Peres told reporters: "If we reached an agreement with the Vatican on conducting their religious affairs, I am sure we can reach an agreement with other religions. I have said Jerusalem is closed politically and open religiously. This means it will remain unified, and only as Israel's capital, not two capitals. It will remain under Israeli sovereignty." The Jerusalem Post (Int. ed., p. 2) July 23, 1994. --- (1994 Oct) --- End --- TOP
XXVII -- 11(94) -- THE SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST
REFORM MOVEMENT -- Its
History, Teachings and Organization -- Out
of experiences connected with World War I, a major splinter group developed
from the Seventh-day Adventist Church. European in origin, it has, since
its inception date in 1925, become world-wide with much success in Latin
America. Progress has been slow in North America for various reasons,
but with the confusion which presently dominates the "mother"
Church of Adventism, this Reform group has been able to attract adherents.
Concerned conservative Seventh-day Adventists have given them a second
The Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement, with headquarters
in Roanoke, Virginia, publish as their General Church paper, the Reformation
Herald, which is issued quarterly. They also produce a pleasing Sabbath
School Lesson booklet structured very much like the Seventh-day Adventist
quarterlies used to be, using a question and answer format, with notes
almost exclusively being quotations from the Writings.
The first issue of the Reformation Herald for 1994 was
a special edition defining "the Remnant Church" which they perceive
themselves to be. The editorial extended an open hand "to earnest
believers seeking fellowship with those of like precious faith."
The editor noted that "many sincere sheep who actually believe so
similarly to the way we do have never really taken the time to learn more
about the SDA Reform Movement or its beliefs." Then he pled to all
such to "dig deeply in the study of present truth," and to all
who had been receiving their literature to "'Come and see."
Do not just rely on hearsay, see for yourselves." (p.4)
This article concei'ning the Seventh Day Adventist Reform
Movement will be based on personal contacts with leaders and ministers
of the Movement extending over two decades, correspondence, and their
own publication, Principles of Faith and Church Order, known as
the "Green Book."
First, in discussing this Movement, we should note its origin and what happened. What caused its existence? Was an attempt made toward unification, and with what
p 2 -- success?
After the War, a delegation of the separated brethren
came to the 1924 General Conference to seek a redress of their grievances
and a unification of the Church in Europe. The General Conference was
in turmoil over whether A. G. Daniells would again succeed himself, or
whether a new president would be elected. The politics of the session
were such that the delegation was not even given a hearing. They returned
to Europe and in 1925 at Gotha, Germany, organized themselves, adopting
a statement of beliefs known as the "Gotha Statement" and referred
to as the "Green Book."
My first contacts with the Seventh Day Adventist Reform
Movement was through Elder John Nicolici, whose father had been a long
time respected voice in that Church. The contact with Nicolici came through
Elder David Bauer with whom he was closely associated and still is. Nicolici
introduced me to the leadership of the Reform Movement on the West Coast
at Sacramento, one of their headquarters at the time, the other being
at Blackwood, New Jersey. I had an extensive visit and discussion with
the leaders there including their long time editor, Elder A. Balbach.
In visiting their eastern headquarters in New Jersey,
I was welcomed, and spoke to the group in their chapel. I stayed with
Brother Benjamin Burek and his family who made me feel very much at home.
I still, when meeting him since then, have a deep brotherly regard for
him. I might add that in all my contacts save one with the leadership
and ministers of the Reform Church I have found them to be open and forthright
in their approach to issues discussed. This is more than I can say of
contacts and discussions with the "brethren" of the "mother"
Church. On a more recent trip to the East Coast, I spent the Sabbath in
Roanoke and visited their new headquarters church and offices. In the
afternoon we discussed various issues facing Adventists, including doctrinal
beliefs. A goodly representation of their General Conference officers
were present and joined in the discussion. It was a very pleasant Sabbath
from my viewpoint.
In a recent issue of the Reformation Herald, a
current doctrinal concept on the Godhead which is being pressed by certain
"independent" ministries was addressed. I found that in responding
to certain positions taken, and I hold no brief for the "independent"
ministries' positions, that there was a reluctance on the part of the
associate editor to come to terms with what she had written. I hope that
this attitude does not signal a move "to pull into their shell"
and block out forthright exchange on current issues.
The Reform Movement does face two major problems in dealing
with the present agitation within the Community of Adventism. The first
problem surfaced early-on in a discussion with Elder Balbach at the time
of the first contact in Sacramento. The Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement
believes strongly that they are the true successors of the Advent Movement
which began in 1844, in other words, they are the Remnant Church.
My question to Balbach was simply, that if this is the case, then why
does their Gotha Statement not reflect the positions set forth in the
1872, 1889, and 1914 Statement of Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church. His reply was that they did not have access to these statements
when they formulated the Gotha Statement in 1925. This is no doubt true,
but they have them now! Still there has been no correlation attempted.
There is a reason. Elder John Nicolici gave me some insight
into the why. The European Reform Movement has split into two movements:
the German Reform Movement, and the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement.
They are at loggerheads with each other, and both affirm the Gotha Statement.
For one to alter even the dotting of the "i", or the crossing
of the "t" of this statement would give the other a basis to
charge the one making any change with heresy. Thus they are boxed into
The second major problem is the educational program for
their ministers and theologians, if they have any of the latter. From
p 3 -- observation and contacts, their ministry
is trained in only one discipline - the Writings of Ellen G. White. As
laudable as this may be, they are in so doing, rejecting her own counsel.
I have attended one of their campmeetings at which the then president
of their General Conference spoke. At the Sabbath worship hour, one brother
placed a large stack of E. G. White books on the pulpit. For the sermon,
the District leader read verses from the Bible, with the President following
each text read with paragraphs from the E. G. White books with very little,
if any comment. This is not preaching the Word as demanded by ordination.
(II Tim. 4:2) This one-time experience, which I had, may not reflect the
regular format for the main Sabbath service at their campmeetings.
The Gotha Statement is more than just a confession of the principles of faith, but also sets forth their Church Order. It is divided into three parts: I) Principles of Faith; II) The Church Order; and III) Organization of the Denomination. It regulates every phase of the member's personal life as well as detailing church order from the local church through the various conferences to the General Conference. The statement makes the General Conference the final arbiter of what constitutes truth. (p.29)
In noting the first section of the Gotha Statement, there
are doctrinal questions which need clarification. The first three statements
define the Reform Movement's perception of the Godhead. There is but "one
God" and Jesus Christ "is the living Son of God ... one in nature
with the Father." While the Holy Spirit is declared to be "the
representative of Christ upon the earth," He is defined as "a
power from the Father and the Son, and is active also through human
beings." (p. 3; emphasis supplied)
In an article in the Reformation Herald (XXXIV,
#3, pp. 8-11), referred to above, the Associate Editor, Barbara Monteiro,
modifies the Gotha Statement, setting forth Christ as not only the Son
of God, but as One "with God from all eternity." The Holy Spirit
is declared to be a "Person," and she seeks to mute the word,
"power" as used in the Gotha Statement by arplying the word
to all Three Persons of the Godhead, as "infinite, omniscient dignitaries
In regard to the Doctrine of the Incarnation, the Gotha
Statement is written so that you can believe either one of
two ways as to the nature of the humanity which Christ took upon Himself.
The Statement reads that
"He was born as a human being on this earth at Bethlehem in Judea,
of the virgin Mary, conceived by the Spirit of God."
It must be remembered that Adam was a "human being" both before
and after he sinned. Merely to say that Christ became "a human being"
in the incarnation does not define the human nature He accepted. It is
true that in conversation with the leadership of the Reform Movement,
they state they believe that Christ accepted the fallen nature of Adam.
However, even in the article written by the Associate Editor, this issue
is sidestepped, and declared to be a mystery "beyond our finite comprehension."
While it is true that the "how" of the incarnation does remain
"a mystery" as we use the term mystery, the nature He accepted
is clearly defined in the Word of God. He "was made of the seed of
David according to the flesh," taking upon Himself "the slave
form of man." (Rom. 1:3; Phil. 2:7)
The most difficult sections of the Gotha
Statement to understand as to why the language as used was
adopted are sections "9.
Grace and the Means of Grace,"
Section 9 declares that "we can only have the benefits of
redeeming grace if we shun sin through the power of Christ, united with
our will. ... We believe that God has provided several means to
draw sinners to Himself and give them the promised redemption through
the grace of Christ." These means are listed as the Word of God,
the Church of God, the Washing of Feet, and the Lord's Supper. In Section
11, one reads - "Baptism is administered only once, while the other
means of grace like feet washing, Lord's supper, and prayer are
repeated in the life of faith."
It would seem that the proverbial German order - the cart
before the horse - is stated in Section 9: "shun sin so you can receive
the grace of God." I cannot shun sin without the grace of God having
operated in my life through the working of the Spirit of God. The grace
of God that bringeth salvation comes first, the shunning of sin is an
on going experience. (Titus 2:11-12)
The very language used, and the "means" set
forth in both sections 9 and 11, echo Roman Catholicism. One wonders if
the movement was infiltrated from its inception. Note the following teachings
and wordings from a Roman Catholic
4 -- salvation. Grace is something real, just as the soul is
real. It is not merely the absence of sin but rather a spiritual quality
infused by God into the soul.
"What are the
principle ways of obtaining grace?
Since when has the adoption of Roman Catholic doctrine,
clothing it in the language of Adventism, made it truth?
Even in the sections of the Gotha Statement on Church
Order one finds a modification of Catholic teaching. The Church is defined
believers in the three-fold angels' message, who are led by an ordained
church elder (or church chairman), a deacon, treasurer, and secretary."
concept of a church as a congregation of believers under ordained authority
is Roman Catholic. While the SDA Reform organization is a modification
of this concept, nevertheless it falls short of the Protestant perception
expressed by Melancthon -
"There is no other church than the assembly of those who have the
word of God, and who are purified by it." Actually
in function, the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement approaches the
same hierarchical structure as operates in the "mother" church
from which it sprang.
It is only natural for a concerned Seventh-day Adventist,
who has become disenchanted with the way the "mother" Church
is going, to cast about for fellowship and a "church" home.
It is difficult to walk "alone." However, when we are searching
and seeking for fellowship with "those of like precious faith,"
we need to be sure that it is indeed of "like faith" and not
a substitute as questionable as that with which we have become concerned.
It would be a step in the right direction if the SDA Reform
Movement would seek to engage in a meaningful dialogue with others concerning
questionable features of their Gotha Statement with a view of finding
and embracing truth, pure and unadulterated, which is defined as "the
righteousness of Christ." (TM, p. 65) Perhaps this is expecting
too much of a group which seems solidified in their perceptions of what
constitutes truth. It is difficult at times to remember the counsel -
"The truth is advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing
light." (R&H, March 25, 1890)
This past week (August 19) we received in the mails some materials from another editor. Enclosed was a yellow clipping -"Truth's Champions." It was a quote from Cosmic Conflict. p. 146. What is quoted is very apropos: "There are many at the present day thus clinging to the customs and traditions of their fathers. When the Lord sends them additional light, they refuse to accept it because, not having been granted to their fathers, it is not received by them.
"We are not
placed where our fathers were; consequently our duties and responsibilities
are not looking to the example of our fathers to determine our duty instead
of searching the word of truth for ourselves.
is greater than was that of our ancestors. We are accountable for the
light which they received and which was handed down as an inheritance
for us, and we are accountable for the additional light which is
now shining upon us from the Word of God."
Our problem is that we cannot modify and bring into line our inheritance from tradition with the light which deeper study of the Word reveals. We box ourselves in by closed statements of belief, instead of being open to the ever increasing light of truth which is to shine upon the pathway of the just. (Prov. 4:18)
LET'S TALK IT OVER -- In
discussing the SDA Reform Movement, we noted an article in the Reformation
Herald written by the Associate Editor on the Doctrine of the Godhead.
While one may question the ultimate conelusions drawn by the editor, this
subject is coming to the fore in the Community of Adventism. Especially
is it being emphasized by various "independent" voices.
While the divisive nature of the discussion is to be abhored,
nevertheless this doctrine cannot be ignored in the light of the ecumencial
thrust which is using this doctrine as the basis for a visible church
unity on a world-wide scale. The
p 5 -- doctrine of the Trinity was defined in the
Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (A.D. 381). This creed, expressed in an
abbreviated form in the Constitution of the World Council of Churches,
is made the basis for membership in that body. It is now being used by
the Faith and Order Commission to achieve its stated objective "to
call the churches to the goal of visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic
To further this objective the Commission has published
Faith and Order Paper No. 153, under
The preface by Tillard was written in 1990, and in this preface, he noted - "In view of the Fifth World Conference on Faith and Order to be held in 1993, the present ecumencial document should play a significant role in the discussions and have an impact on this great ecumenical event." This Conference was held in Santiago de Compostela1 Spain, in Roman Catholic facilities. On the last day of the conference, Jean Tillard in his address suggested without specifying a date, that consideration be given to "a gathering of all the major church leaders [of] the churches - perhaps in Jerusalem - simply to sing the creed together. That would be a wonderful expression of the degree of unity already present and of its origin," he concluded. (One World, Oct. 1993, p. 15)
The issue of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed is central
today in Adventism. Why? The statement from the WCC Constitution based
on this creed was written into the 1980 Statement of Beliefs formulated
at Dallas, Texas. We can no longer relegate a discussion of the Doctrine
of God to a "back burner" neither can we regale ourselves in
speculative theories presently being projected by "independent voices."
While the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not a "voting" member of the WCC, it does have a representative voice on the Faith and Order Commission. This commission began its trek toward a more visible unity in the issuance of the Lima Document on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry in 1982. All churches were invited to give their reaction to this Statement. The Seventh-day Adventist Church responded, and expressed disagreement with parts of it. The same opportunity is being afforded in regard to the Confession of One Faith. Inamsuch as the Church's Statement of Beliefs reflects the Nicene Creed of 381, its response should make interesting reading. ---(1994 Nov) ---End--- TOP
1994Dec -- XXVII -- 12(94) -- "TAKE HEED TO YOURSELVES ..." -- IN THIS ISSUE: -- The year 1994 is rapidly drawing to a close as well as time. There are some loose ends of items discussed during the year that need to be tied up. This we hope to do in this issue of WWN.
During the Fall months, Darren and Terrie Lambert, on study leave from Australia, have been reading collections of old letters written by J. S. Washburn, W. W. Prescott, W. C. White, M. L. Andreasen, J. H. Kellogg, and others, as well as some letters written by R. J. Wieland around 1950. The sense of feeling which these letters convey is more poignant than the summaries of history which historians distil from a mass of data. We hope to share at least one in this issue of WWN.
The pastor of the Fletcher, North Carolina, Seventh-day Adventist Church scheduled for the month of January a series of "controversial" speakers - Morris Venden, Martin Weber, George R. Knight, and R.J. Wieland. During the question period following his presentation, Wieland responded to a question, and his answer bothered Edward J. Benson who was present. This brother went to Elder D. K. Short and asked him why the answer. Short's response only compounded the problem. (See p. 3)
There is more to be written on the data regarding the status of Jerusalem, as the drama of Papal intrigue unfolds.
We plan for this issue documented information in all of these areas.
One month prior to the moving by Israel of its government from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Vatican lodged with the President of the UN Security Council a text, from the June 30th issue of L'Osservatore Romano, on "the position of the Holy See concerning Jerusalem and all the holy Places." The Charge d'Affairs for the Vatican asked that this text be circulated as a Security Council document. It was! - Document S/14032.
In the "Basic Law" which established Jerusalem as the "seat of the President of the State, the Knesset, and the Government and the Supreme Court," there was enacted the stipulation that "the Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings in regard to those places."
Document S/14032, thirty days earlier bluntly rejected this position stating that "the Jerusalem question cannot be reduced to mere 'free access for all to the holy places.'" It called for "an 'appropriate juridical safeguard' that does not derive from the will of only one of the parties interested." This left Israel and the Vatican at loggerheads. Yet in the Vaticanization Plan proposed by the present government of Israel, there will be only one power controlling the "old" City of Jerusalem, and that will be the "Holy See" - the Pope.
During the decade that followed these statements of position by both the Vatican and Israel, there had to be some behind the scenes diplomacy which resulted in the formulation of the plan that has been revealed. One would suspect that most of this dialogue was done after the Likud
p 2 -- government was replaced by the Labor government with Peres as the Foreign Minister.
There were certain propelling forces which moved Israel. "World Jewish leaders have for years urged the 73 year-old Polish pope to establish [diplomatic] ties and visit Israel to help dispel the notion by some Arabs that Israel was a passing entity." (The Buffalo [NY] News, Dec. 29, 1993) The Papacy was adamant and demanded concessions which included a Palestinian State for the PLO, and a special status for Jerusalem.
The November, 1989 U.S. Catholic Bishops' statement on the Middle East either presumed or assumed an outcome of the Arab-Jewish conflict - "the internationalization of Jerusalem." This concerned, Steven Windmueller, a Jewish leader, interviewed by the National Catholic Register (August 17, 1990). Yet in the rapid moving drama of the "peace negotiations," this very prospect is on the drawing board. Moreover one cannot read The Jerusalem Post and The Jewish Press without sensing that the Rabin government is actually now a minority government with support dwindling with each concession made under the guise of peace for Israel. There seems to be no way to reverse this process to the return of Israel to its pre-1967 borders. The only new factor is the emergence of the papacy into the equation of the Middle East.
The Bible reveals the sinister forces at work in the Middle East. They are "the spirits of devils" gathering "the kings of the earth" for the war of the great day of God Almighty to a place caIled in the Hebrew tongue, Har-Magedon. We have been most reluctant to recognize what Jesus noted as the specific event which would mark the closing of "the times of the nations" and the giving of those "nations" into the hands of Satan to work his will - Jerusalem once again under the jurisdiction of Israel. This did occur in 1967; it was emphatically declared in 1980. The last power which prophecy indicates would be involved with Jerusalem before the close of all human probation is the "he" of Daniel 11:45, which is "the king" of verse 36. This is the papacy. We see this final act in the drama of human history now taking place. Michael shall soon stand up.
In the fast moving drama of closing events, we need to keep our eyes focused on "the unrolling of the scroll." It is futile to date even the year when all human probation will close based on the calculations of time, jubilees or whatever criteria is used. "When probation ends, it will come suddenly, unexpectedly - at a time when we are least expecting it." (Ms. 95, 1906)
On January 28, 1901, Ellen White wrote a letter to Dr. J. H. Kellogg. The last three paragraphs called attention to what she termed God's "object lesson." She asked a question - "If the world will not heed, will not the people of God take heed?" This object lesson was based on Luke 21. She wrote: "In the twenty-first chapter of Luke, Christ foretold what was to come upon Jerusalem; and with it He connected the scenes which were to take place in the history of this world just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Ms. Release #1102, p. 149)
What is of interest about this statement is the fact that she noted Luke, not Matthew nor Mark. The only event prophesied in Luke, not found in either Matthew or Mark is the event which would signal the close of the probationary time for the nations. Then she followed with these words: "Mark the words: ' Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkeness, and the cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."' (verses 34-36)
Ask yourself, what is a "snare"? The obvious? Never! One has only to carefully read the final verses of Luke 21 from verse 24, to see the obvious progression of thought leading to the final admonition. (Keep in mind that in the Greek text, there is only one word for the two words, "Gentiles" and "nations." It is best to read "nations" in each use of the word, ethne)
The signal of Luke 21:24 - Jerusalem once more in Israeli control, marks the time of the beginning of the "distress of nations" upon "the earth." Fear grips "men's hearts" as the "things ... on the earth" begin to take place. But when "these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (ver. 28) However, "when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand." (ver. 31) "This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled." This is followed by the warning of Luke 21:34-36. Isn't it time to take heed?
p 3 -- R.
J. WIELAND ANSWERS A QUESTION -- On January 29, 1994, Elder
R. J. Wieland spoke in the Fletcher, North Carolina Seventh-day Adventist
Church, the last of four "controversial" speakers which the
pastor had arranged to speak during the month of January. At 4 p.m. Question
and Answer service, the pastor read a written question, which had been
handed in, to Wieland. [Wieland will not take questions direct from the
floor] This question asked - "When will you four men - Wieland, Venden,
Knight, Weber - get together to study and be in harmony over this precious
message?" To this question, Wieland replied - "I wasn't aware
we were not in harmony." (Taped Recording - Side B - "True or
False, Gospel or Heresy: Easy to be Saved; Hard to be Lost?")
Listening was a resident of Fletcher.
What Wieland answered disturbed him greatly. He went to see Elder D. K.
Short, who resides in the area and asked him - "Why that answer?"
Brother Benson's sworn statement follows:
On January 28-30, 1994, R. J. Wieland concluded a month long week-end series of meetings on "Righteousness by Faith" in the Fletcher SDA church. The other week-ends were conducted by Martin Weber, George Knight, and Morris Venden. During the question and answer period the question was asked of Elder Wieland, "How is your message different from Morris Venden?" to which he (Wieland) answered: "I was not aware that there is a difference." I asked Elder D. K. Short at his home the following week, "Why that answer?" to which he replied: "He (Wieland) just did not want to start a war."
In reading this deceptive answer given by Wieland to the question asked, and then Short's explanation as to why given, my mind raced back to another defender of "Righteousness by faith" - Martin Luther. When urged to defend his cause with
p 4 -- moderation by Spalatin, Luther replied - "Too much folly is displeasing to men, but too much discretion is displeasing to God. The gospel cannot be defended without tumult and without scandal. The word of God is a sword, a war, a ruin, a stumbling-block, a destruction, a poison." (D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation, Vol. II, p. 83) On another occasion, when Spalatin urged him to propose peace, Luther answered - "Why should you imagine that Christ will advance his cause by peace? Did He not fight with His own blood, and all the martyrs after Him?" (ibid., p. 84)
When we advance speculative theories about how easy it is to be saved and hard it is to be lost, concepts that Jones and Waggoner never projected as "messengers" of the Lord, we soon forget that "the righteousness of Christ...is pure unadulterated truth." (TM, p. 65) He who was the very embodiment of truth plainly stated - "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I am not come to send peace, but a sword." (Matt. 10:34) The compromising timorous reply of Wieland nullifies all that he seeks to say regarding a forthright revelation of Christ's righteousness.
Both Wieland and Short know what Venden teaches. They are very much aware of the position of George Knight on A. T. Jones. Then to say, "I wasn't aware we were not in harmony," is just plain lying! To justify such falsifying with the excuse that he didn't want to start a war is to reveal how far these men are actually from true righteousness by faith revealed in the life of Jesus.
In 1950, they didn't want to start a war, and went back to Africa. In 1958, they didn't want to start a war, and declined to write for A. L. Hudson's proposed publication. As 1988 approached, they didn't want to start a war, and re-wrote their original manuscript - 1888 Re-Examined. This new edition compromised the truth to the extent that C. Mervyn Maxwell could comment concerning the new edition - "Mercifully, no mention is made of 'corporate repentance' and very little of the 'sinful nature of Christ,' terms that have been a stumbling block to many erstwhile Wieland and Short admirers." (Ministry, Feb., 1988, p. 63)
It is time for both Wieland and Short to re-study a little biography - the lives of Paul and Luther, men to whom God committed the message of "Righteousness by faith," as He did to them in 1950.
TALK IT OVER -- While gathered together in the Annual Fellowship
meeting in August, those present representing the groups which prepared
a "Statements of Belief" the first of this year, believed that
the cause of truth could be served by preparing Position Papers on key
doctrines which either are or are becoming major issues in the Adventist
Community. The first doctrine chosen was that of "Spiritual Gifts"
to be followed by one on the "Trinity."
During the first full weekend in October,
the Nora Springs, Iowa, Remnant Seventh Day Adventist Church was host
to the first such study conference. A paper was prepared, and is ready
for distribution and critique.
First, why was the topic of "Spiritual
Gifts" chosen to be a basis for the first position paper? In contacts
with various "independent" ministries, it was perceived that
the position of those calling themselves "historic" Adventists
did not coincide with the position of the pioneer Adventist leaders. Was
there a Biblical basis for departing from the original position? Or was
this hue and cry about "historic" Adventism deception to beguile
In our study, as we sought to evaluate
all the data available, we faced some questions which still remain open.
The answers must be found in further study. For example, Paul in his general
Epistle to the Church at Ephesus, lists as the first gift, "apostles."
(Eph. 4:11). Are there still to be apostles, or has the office merely
Early on in church history there developed
a contention between the "bishops" of the Church, and the pneumatikoi,
"men of the Spirit." Yet to the "elders" of the church
at Ephesus, Paul declared that "the Holy Spirit" had made them
"overseers." (Acts. 20:17, 28)
There are two listings in Paul's writings
in regard to "spiritual gifts" which were "set in the church."(Eph.
4:11; I Cor. 12:28) Are these to be considered vertically with descending
authority, or horizontally with all of equal authority? This question
was left open, but the implications of each possible answer were explored.
Then as the paper states - "No position
paper on Spiritual Gifts would be complete for a Seventh-day Adventist
unless we addressed the role of Ellen G. White in relationship to the
Community of Adventism" - we discussed her work and mission. Knowing
that she stated, "I am not a prophet," we noted the why given,
and in what capacity she was to serve according to divine directive. We
asked, "How then has Ellen G. White become an inspired, infallible
interpreter of Scripture?" This we forthrightly answered, leaving
certain other questions involved open.
All in all, this concise position paper should challenge the thinking of every sincerely concerned Seventh-day Adventist. To say that it is the final word would be to overlook the humanity of the group formulating it. It is available for study. Send $1.00 to cover postage and handling to P. 0. Box 69, Ozone, AR 72854 if you desire a copy.
p 5 -- "KELLOGG
REVISITED" -- The above
title was the caption on an editorial in the Adventist Review,
October 13, 1994. Written by the Editor-in-chief, Dr. William G. Johnsson,
the article on John Harvey Kellogg was an assessment of the man in the
light of an up-coming Hollywood movie - "The Road to WelIville."
After enumerating the accomplishments of the man - doctor, surgeon, educator,
administrator and inventor - Johnsson pictures how Kellogg is characterized
by T. Coraghessan Boyle, the author of the book about to be Hollywoodized.
Answering the question - "What was
he - crackpot or genius'?" - Johnsson closes his editorial comment
by writing - "I prefer to stick with the facts." This is right,
but in the 150th anniversary year for Adventism's disappointment, should
we not assess all the facts in connection with John Harvey Kellogg and
his relationship to the Adventist Church? Does what happened to Kellogg,
and has happened to others, and is still happening, tell us something
as to why the Lord has not been able to bless the Church as He would like
to have done? Could it also supply us with some answers as to the present
fragmentation in Adventism today?
The letter below - note the date, 1922 - was the year of the end of the reign of A. G. Daniells as president of the General Conference. The biographical sketch of John Harvey Kellogg in Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia closes with the information that upon Kellogg's request "the General Conference Executive Committee held its Autumn Council in the Battle Creek Sanitarium in the years 1926, 1932, 1933, 1934, and 1941." The next and final sentence reads - "He passed away in his Battle Creek home, Dec. 14, 1943, without having returned to the church." (p. 723) This is in direct contrast with the attitude expressed in the 1922 letter.
p 6 -- All of this and Kellogg's
final legal suit with the Church in 1942 points up some very poignant
questions involving the relationship between A. G. Daniells and John Harvey
Kellogg; the question of the book, Living Temple, and its teachings;
and the influence of W. C. White on his mother in regard to the book.
The conflict begins in 1901. No provision
was made in the new General Conference Constitution adopted that year
for the office of president. The General Conference Committee of 25 was
to be chaired by a rotating chairman. Midway between sessions, Daniells
knowing of this intent quickly called together available members in the
office without notice to the full committee, and had himself re-appointed
chairman for the balance of the time till the 1903 session. J. H. Kellogg
was a member of that committee. If you had been in his place, and had
read the report of the action, what confidence would you have in A. G.
The book - The Living Temple -
finally became the center of the crisis and was declared to be the presentation
of "the alpha of deadly heresies." (Special Testimonies,
Series B, No. 2, p. 50) Few today really know what the book is all
about, for few have ever seen a copy. I recall, after learning about the
existence of the book, of obtaining a copy on loan from a history professor
at Andrews University. To my surprise, the major portion of the 568 page
book, involved physiology, anatomy and principles of health and hygiene.
The first fifty pages contained philisophical concepts which were subject
to question, and even in these it was difficult to discern "the deadly
heresies." When I returned the book to Dr. Vande Vere, I commented
on this point, and he remarked that unless one knew what Ellen White had
written about the book, a casual reader would not see the error charged
At the time of publication in 1903, those
who favored a wide circulation for the book, declared, "It contains
the very sentiments that Sister White has been teaching." (ibid,
p. 52) In fact Kellogg himself maintained that the views expressed in
his book were in harmony with Ellen White's chapter, "God in Nature"
found in Education. (John Harvey Kellogg, M. D., p. 185)
On this point, I have personally, on several occasions, conducted an experiment
with different audiences in discussing this issue. I compiled a series
of quotations from Education and Living Temple, and
asked those listening, as I read, to indicate from which book they were
taken. At no time did anyone actually identify the quotations correctly.
After reading portions of Living Temple with W. C. White, Ellen
White herself noted this possibility. She wrote: "There
may be in this book expressions and sentiments that are in harmony with
my writings. And there may be in my writings many statements which, taken
from their connection, and interpreted according to the mind of the writer
of "Living Temple," (sic) would seem to be in harmony with the
teachings of this book. This may give apparent support to the assertion
that the sentiments in "Living Temple" (sic) are in harmony
with my writings." (White, op cit, p. 53)
Into every issue, there come personality
factors which must be added into the equation before final judgment can
be rendered on events of history, or lessons drawn. W. C. White was closely
allied with Daniells, at least as long as Ellen White lived. This did
not contribute to any better understanding between Kellogg and Daniells,
but was rather a negative factor. There was no love lost between W. C.
and Kellogg. W. C. White married Kellogg's fiancee Mary Kelsey, while
he was away finishing his Medical work. As a result the relationships
between Kellogg and White "were never quite as cordial as before."
(Schwarz, op cit, p. 149)
No doubt Kellogg himself had his personality
problems. He measured as an adult, only five feet, four inches tall. "Always
conscious of his short stature, he may well have felt a psychological
need to demonstrate his abilities through directing and dominating others."
(ibid, p. 137) We today would say that Kellogg had "the little
man" syndrome. Add to this two other ingredients and you have a volatile
mix. Kellogg as an administrator, speaker, doctor, educator, stood head
and shoulders above most, if not all, his contemporaries in the Church.
This produced "professional" jealousy and fear. These things
must be understood so as to see why the various attempts on the part of
different individuals to bring reconciliation between Kellogg and the
Church leaders failed.
There are lessons that can be learned from this episode in Adventist Church history if we are willing to learn. How does administration relate to individuality? Are we to look upon a conference working force as a ball team, and if one does not play ball with the team captain (president), he is off the team? Or do we see in the working force, individuals whom God has called to His work, and as an undershepherd seek to place that individual where his talents and calling best serve the cause of God? Tragically
p 7 -- in Adventism, there have
been those, who like Daniells, perceived of themselves as "monarchic
bishops," and have related to men called of God as mere hirelings
of the conference. In the day of judgment, many adminstrators will have
a fearful accounting to meet.
It should be of interest in evaluating
the history of the Kellogg era in Adventism that at the height of the
crisis, A. T. Jones, who sided with Kellogg, wrote, Individuality In
Religion. Though this book emphasized religious liberty from the world
viewpoint, there were sections which called for religious liberty within
the Church. This over the years has been strangely lacking in Adventist
administration. At present we are willing to exercise "religious
liberty" (pluralism) in the teaching and publishing of heresy in
the Church, but still have problems with "individuality" in
Returning now to the reproduced letter written by Kellogg in 1922, and his action after that date, one fact dare not be overlooked. Kellogg could not be reconciled to the Daniells type of church administration, but he was not alienated in thought from his former brethren. However, when the opportunity was given for them to fellowship with Kellogg once again, they did not know how to relate to Kellogg. They could partake of his hospitality, but they could not find the way to the heart of the man, a fellow for whom Christ died. How far from the cross do men wander, and yet believe themselves to be a "voice" of God to their fellow men.
the Editor: -- We have just finished the pamphlet, "Jerusalem
in Bible Prophecy," for morning devotions and I suppose it was
the clearest explanation I have ever read in my fifteen years as a Seventh-day
Adventist on the ministration of the sanctuary.
The section on Jerusalem was fantastic
as I have just finished reading Hershel Shanks book, The City of David. AZ
In the Catskill area of New York State which is a largely populated Jewish area, they are hanging signs up saying "Messiah is coming." Everything is coming together for the reception of Satan as Christ. What a time to be alive! Praise God, it won't be long now. NY
Ye are all children of light, and the children of the day:
--- (1994 Dec) --- End --- TOP
from Ellen G. White
A. T. Jones:
attending a meeting, and a large congregation were present. In my dream
you were presenting the subject of faith and the imputed righteousness
of Christ by faith. You repeated several times that works amounted to
nothing that there were no conditions. The matter was presented
in that light that I knew minds would be confused, and would not receive
the correct impression in reference to faith and works, and I decided
to write to you. You state this matter too strongly. There are conditions
to our receiving justification and sanctification, and the righteousness
of Christ. I know your meaning, but you leave a wrong impression upon
many minds. While good works will not save even one soul, yet it is impossible
for even one soul to be saved without good works. God saves us under a
law, that we must ask if we would receive, seek if we would find, and
knock if we would have the door opened unto us.
Christ offers Himself as willing to save unto the uttermost all who come unto Him. He invites all to come to Him. "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." You look in reality upon these subjects as I do, yet you make these subjects, through your expressions, confusing to minds. After you have expressed your mind radically in regard to works, when questions are asked you upon this very subject, [since] it is not [organized] in very clear lines in your own mind, you cannot define the correct principles to other minds, and you are yourself unable to make your statements harmonize with your own principles and faith. ...
Then when you say there are no conditions, and some expressions are made quite broad, you burden the minds, and some cannot see consistency in your expressions. They cannot see how they can harmonize these expressions with the plain statements of the Word of God. Please guard these points. These strong assertions in regard to works, never make our position any stronger, for there are many who will consider you an extremist, and will lose the rich lessons upon the very subjects they need to know. ...
it is hard for the mind to comprehend this point, and do not confuse any
mind with ideas that will not harmonize with the Word. Please do consider
that under the teaching of Christ many of the disciples were lamentably
ignorant; but when the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised, came upon
them and made the vacillating Peter the champion of faith, what a transformation
in his character! But do not lay one pebble, for a soul that is weak in
the faith to stumble over, in overwrought presentations or expressions.
Be ever consistent, calm, deep, and solid. Do not go to any extreme in
anything, but keep your feet on solid rock. 0 precious, precious Saviour.
"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth
Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love
him, and will manifest Myself to him."
This is the true test - the doing of the words of Christ. And it is the evidence of the human agent's love to Jesus, and he that doeth His will giveth to the world the practical evidence of the fruit he manifests in obedience, in purity, and in holiness of character. -- Letter 4, 1893 (Emphasis mine)
-- Elder Jack Sequeira, the author of Beyond Belief, was
brought to the knowledge of the Advent Message by Elder R. J. Wieland
during Wieland's minstry in Kenya. Thus Sequeira not only had as his tutor,
in the doctrine of righteousness by faith, one of the two outstanding
exponents of the teaching in Adventism today, but he himself has done
considerable study and research in the area as is indicated in this book.
While Elder R. S. Folkenberg was still president of the
Carolina Conference, at the suggestion of Elder Ben Wheeler, a minister
in the conference, and a returned missionary from Africa, he invited Elder
Jack Sequeira to give a series of studies at a campmeeting. It was in
listening to these studies that Folkenberg says he was converted. Apparently,
an excellent rapport developed between these two men. The end result,
with Folkenberg now in the presidency of the General Conference, Sequeira
has a wide range of influence. For a number of years, Sequeira was a featured
speaker at the 1888 Message Conference and Seminars promoted by Wieland
and Short in connection with the 1888 Message Study Committee. At present
he is no longer doing so. The whys and wherefores of this change are not
relevant to this critique.
This book has created a firestorm of opposition among
the section of "independent" ministries headed by Spear and
Standish; so much so, that Wieland and Short have found it necessary to
defend the very message of 1888 itself. In a "Special Report"
(Nov-Dec, 1993), five pages of questions and answers were given to the
objections voiced by these men. One of the most telling answers to these
charges is the documentation of the fact that Standish is teaching Roman
Catholic doctrine in his concepts of righteousness by faith. Further,
p 2 -- Message Study Committee has shown that both
Spear and Standish suggest the disregarding of certain statements made
by Paul in Romans. In other words, throw the Bible out, if "we, the
brethren of experience," cannot understand it in regards to righteousness
by faith. Well did Ellen White write about the "lamentably ignorant"
persons Jones needed to take into consideration when presenting the message
God gave in 1888. (See Letter to Jones) The situation has not changed
Dr. Colin Standish berates the book as "the most
deceptive book put out in years." He said, "Books like Hot
Potatoes are full of error which is readily apparent, but they are
crude compared to this." He called it "Satan's masterpiece of
deception," in his closing prayer. (October 8, 1993, Paradise, CA)
From a telephone conversation yesterday (January 25), I learned that at
a recent meeting at Hope International, Sequeira and his book were dissected
at their "spiritual" feast.
In recent weeks, I have received numerous calls from the
West Coast, and from the heartland asking what I thought of the book,
Beyond Belief. I had not as yet read it. One friend who called
asked if I had the book. To my negative response, he said he had an extra
copy which he would send to me. He did for which I am grateful, and I
have since read it with multiple color marking pens at hand.
-- First, let me note that it will be impossible to cover all aspects
of this book in this brief critique. From the reading of the book, there
is clear evidence, that Elder Sequeira did a vast amount of study in preparing
this book. Some of his insights into the Word are thought provoking. There
is much thought to challenge the reader, and much to upset a surface reader.
There are areas which I feel he has not thought through sufficiently so
as to state his point clearly. Perhaps he does not at this juncture in
his own experience know the full answer and how to relate the parts to
the whole, as is the case with many of us. It also struck me that due
to this fact, there appeared statements which an antagonist could use
as contradictory. Certain key thoughts are left undeveloped which added
study could enlarge.
Now, there is no question in my mind that this book does
contain errors, but hardly as many errors as his accusers in their writings,
and publications which I have read and tapes to which I have listened.
To deny the basic concepts on imputed righteousness and imparted righteousness
as given by Elder Sequeira in this book is to mark the whole of their
"independent" ministries as a deception. If one does not have
straight the gospel, and is teaching another gospel than that which Paul
taught, he is under an anathema. (Gal. 1:8) Instead of cursing and condemning
the book, it would be far better to take time and study carefully some
of the advanced thoughts which Sequeira has introduced. If proved from
the Bible to be error, then discard it; but if truth, then make the necessary
adjustment in one's own thinking and teachings.
This brings us to the preface. Sequeira is very forthright.
He tells the reader in advance - "This book presents the plan of
salvation in a new light," and asks the reader "to put aside
all preconceived ideas." (p. 7) If ever a group of so-called leaders
needed to put aside all preconceived ideas, it is the very ones who are
leading such a storm of opposition to this book. Ellen White clearly stated
that "the truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing
light." (R&H March 25, 1890) The date of this counsel
indicates that she had in mind the truth of 1888. Obviously, those opposed
to this message today haven't even reached 1888 in their thinking, or
experience. How then can they perceive anything beyond that point? This
is really the subtle error in the hue and cry today to join the "Historic
Adventist Movement." They are refusing to walk in the advancing light
The second major point in his preface declares - "I
believe the Bible teaches that God actually and unconditionally saved
all humanity at the cross so that we are justified and reconciled to God
by that act." (p. 8) The word, "unconditionally," bothered
me, as do some other words which he uses, such as "finished."
(p. 30) It was at this point that my mind recalled the letter to A. T.
Jones in Notebook Leaflets which we have quoted on page 1. "There
are conditions ..." We must believe. This is declared to be "the
work" which God requires. (John 6:29) Further, only to those who
"receive" Jesus is the "authority" granted "to
become the sons of God." (John 1:12) Scripturally, God made provision,
without reservations on His part, in the gift of Jesus for the salvation
of all who accept (receive) and believe. He gave His Son to the fallen
so teaches in the book - "To
be experienced, this gift [of grace] must be received." (p. 56)
That is a condition! Is he as Jones not expressing himself clearly? This
is the problem which I faced periodically in the book as
p 3 -- I read it. Does this negate the major thrust
of the book? Hardly, for anyone wrestling with truth of divine origin
knows the struggle to express that truth in adequate words to convey the
thought accurately. The antagonists in their surface writing for surface
readers cannot appreciate this point.
Now let us move to the heart and core of the firestorm
- Romans 5. Romans 5:12
reads - "Wherefore, as
by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so death passed
upon all men, for that all have sinned." Does
this last clause mean that all have sinned as did Adam, or does it mean
that all have sinned in Adam? The conclusion drawn has "important
implications" as Sequeira admits. He draws the conclusion that "'all
have sinned' in Adam" (p. 52). Then he lists among his reasons
"The only explanation for the fact that death is universal is that
all sinned 'in Adam."' (Ibid.)
is universal not because of our sinning in Adam, but because we sin as
a result of our inheritance from Adam of a fallen nature. There is a distinct
difference. Adam sinned actively
2) "Grammatically, the Greek verb sinned in verse 12 is in the aorist tense." This is true; the Greek past tense is used. But it is also used in Romans 3:23 - "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Is this saying likewise that all have sinned in Adam and come short of the glory of God? That is doubtful. Paul does not say per se even in Romans 5, that "by one man's disobedience, many die," but rather "by one man's disobedience many were made sinners." (5: 19) As sinners, they die.
For all to sin in
Adam means simply for one to come in man's fallen nature makes him a sinner
without even sinning. Yet Sequeira does not believe this. (p. 42) He teaches
in the book that Christ took upon Himself the fallen nature of Adam at
the Incarnation. He insists - "We
must not teach that in Adam all humanity also inherits his guilt.
This is the heresy of 'original sin' introduced by Augustine and adopted
by the Roman Catholic Church. Guilt, in a legal sense, always includes
personal volition or responsibility, and God does not hold us personally
responsible for something in which we had no choice." (p. 54;
Does the fact that Sequeira errs in his interpretation
of Romans 5:12 nullify his analysis of the Two Adams motif which is clearly
taught in both Romans 5, and I Corinthians 15? Is it not true that "the
death sentence pronounced on Adam when he sinned was the second death
- eternal death"? Is it also not true that "it is this death
- the second death - that has passed to all mankind 'in Adam"'? (ibid.)
Paul plainly states that the first Adam "is the figure of Him to
come." (Rom. 5:14) It is equally clear that not one of us contributed
one iota to "the holy history of lesus Christ." He lived a victorious
life. Have we not taught that when we accept Him as our Saviour, His life
is accounted to us instead of our life of sin? We are freed from the "in
Adam" state to enter the "in Christ" state. Does not the
Bible teach "there is salvation in none other"? (Acts 4:12)
Why do we then continue to believe that we must contribute something to
Those who had the opportunity to become acquainted with
Elders Wieland and Short when they came home at various times on furlough
from the mission field, can testify to the fact that the presentation
of the Cross was a key part of their message. I recall to this day, when
pastoring the Adventist Church in Marion, Indiana, having Wieland as a
guest speaker one Sabbath. He spoke on the cross as revealed in Matt.
16:13-25. I took careful notes, and prepared a sermon of my own from those
notes. Elder Short also gave some deep insights of sin in relationship
to the Cross at a conference several of us had at the time. He showed
clearly that sin is the will to kill God. These concepts coupled with
the (agape) love
of God form a major portion of the book, Beyond Belief. When that
love is perceived works follow, not for merit but in devotion.
There is a section in the book that requires more study,
and perhaps even better elucidation. One chapter is captioned "Spirit,
Soul, and Body." (pp. 143-154) In this chapter, Sequeira defines
the "spirit" as the "component" formed by
p 4 -- God to be "His point of contact with
us - His dwelling place in us." (p. 144) He prefaces this concept
with John 4:24 - "God is a spirit." To conclude that it "was
primarily this aspect of our being - the spirit - that He had in mind"
when He made us in His likeness comes perilously close to the concept
of a "spark of divinity" in man. This needs to be re-thought
and re-phrased. The "spirit" could well refer to the individual
"identity" by which through the soul the character is revealed.
"Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with
a power akin to that of the Creator, - individuality, power to think and
to do." (Education, p. 17) "God is spirit" is similar
in grammatical force to "God is love." (I John 4:8) In contrast
to the essence of God being "spirit," man is "flesh."
"Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." (I Cor.
12:50) That is why it was necessary for Christ to become one flesh with
us that we might become one spirit with him. (See DA, p. 388) To
have this accomplished, we must choose to be "in Christ" so
that the Holy Spirit may be "in us" renewing our very "identity."
"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation." (II Cor, 5:17
NKJV) This "new creation" is not of the flesh, but of the "spirit."
(Eph. 4:23-24; Col. 3:10)
In this same chapter, Sequeira teaches that "we come
into the world without the indwelling Spirit of God. ..." (p. 144)
Then three pages beyond, he writes - "However, Christ was born of
the Spirit from His very conception. So from the very beginning of His
life on earth, Christ's mind, or soul, was under the full control of the
Holy Spirit, who dwelt in His human spirit." (p. 147) This is nothing
more than the same teaching that the "Holy Flesh" men of Indiana
taught as their position on the Incarnation. I have often wondered how
R. J. Wieland could attend that unity meeting at Hartland in 1986 and
sit there and say nothing at the presentation by Thomas Davis on the Incarnation.
This position of Sequeira casts some light on the question. Dr. Ralph
Larson declined to attend because he did not want to clash publically
with Davis who was presenting this same "holy flesh" teaching
at the conference. Yet Sequeira writes emphatically, "Even God Himself,
great as His power is, will not transform the flesh into something that
is pleasing to Him." He does not believe in "holy flesh,"
for he says, "The flesh belongs to the realm of Satan, and God had
condemned all that belongs to that realm to destruction." (p. 149)
Two chapters are devoted to "Law and Grace."
(# 16 & # 17) Having emphasized through the first part of the book,
the agape love
of God, Sequeira seemed to have missed a cardinal point of his primary
thrust in the whole book. If I have read him correctly, those "in
Adam" are sinners continuing in sin, while those "in Christ
are declared righteous (justified) and through cooperation with the Holy
Spirit receive imparted righteousness (sanctification). If this is his
position, why did he not in discussing the Law, note that the Law was
not made for a righteous man, in other words one "in Christ,"
but rather for one "in Adam"? (I Tim. 1:9-11) This fact, Paul
declared to be a part of "the glorious gospel of the blessed God,"
which had been committed to his trust. (v. 11) Then what law governs those
"in Christ"? Jesus stated it plainly - "Thou shalt love
(agapao) the Lord
thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it,
Thou shalt love (agapao)
thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and
the prophets." (Matt. 22:37-40) The same love which motivated God
to provide "the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," must be
our response to Him and to one another. But who can love as He loved?
Only as "the love (agape)
of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given
to us." (Rom. 5:5) Who, then can really keep the commandments? Only
he who has surrendered his heart to the Holy Spirit. Away with that boasting
which lifts the works of men to the status of merit. "Where is boasting
then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay:
but by the law of faith." (Rom. 3:27) "God forbid that I should
glory (Gr. boast - kauchasthai)
save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified
unto me, and I unto the world." (Gal. 6:14)
There are several other points which could be discussed,
such as, what cross am I to bear, His or my own? No man can bear His cross
and accept the second death, as Christ did, and return. Jesus said, "If
any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his
cross and follow Me." (Matt. 16:24) Then on another point, am I crucified
in Him, or with Him (KJV)? In the Greek text of Galatians 2:20, "Christ"
is in the dative case, and the verb "crucified" is in the perfect
passive tense, which denotes the present state resultant from past action.
Then whose action?
Other issues in the book could be discussed, for example,
the question of the "church" and the conflicting concepts of
Paul and James. There are areas introduced in Beyond Belief which
needs to be studied much more thoroughly.
p 5 -- SEQUEIRA
WRITES: -- "Scripture
teaches that Christ actually did assume our condemned sinful nature
as we know it. But He totally defeated ' the law of sin and death' that
resided in that sinful human nature and then executed it on the cross.
Had Christ consented, even by a thought, to the sinful desires of that
nature which He assumed, then He would have become a sinner in need of
a saviour Himself. That is why, in dealing with the human nature of Christ,
we must be exceedingly careful not to drag His mind or His choice into
sin or to say that He 'had' a sinful nature." (p. 44)
What is wrong with
this? -- "Before
the Fall, Adam surely knew nothing about the first death. Therefore, the
death sentence pronounced on Adam when he sinned was the second death
- eternal death. It was goodbye to life forever. Had there been no 'lamb
slain from the foundation of the world.' Adam would have forfeited his
life forever the day he sinned, and mankind would have died eternally
in him. It is this death - the second death - that has passed to all mankind
' in Adam.' In Adam the whole human race belongs legally on death row.
It is only in Christ that we can pass from eternal death to eternal life."
What is wrong with this? -- "All of us by creation are ' in Adam.' This is the hopeless situation we inherit by birth into the human race. Hence we are ' by nature the children of wrath.' But the good news is that God has given us a new identity and history ' in Christ.' This is His supreme gift to humanity. Our position ' in Adam' is by birth. Our position ' in Christ' is by faith. What God has done for the whole human race in Christ is given as a ' free gift,' something we do not deserve. That is why the gift is referred to as grace or unmerited favor. To be experienced, this gift must be received, and it is made effective by faith alone." (p. 56)
What is wrong
with this? -- "According
to I Corinthians 15:21-23, 45-49, there have been only two heads of the
human race - Adam and Christ, who is the ' last Adam'. The destiny of
the entire human race rests upon these two. Adam is the prototype of unredeemed
humanity; Christ is the prototype of those who are ' in Him,' and what
is true of Christ is true also of those who are ' in Him.' Adam's situation
after the Fall is the situation of all the unredeemed. That which Christ
realized for all mankind will be the situation of the redeemed. 'As in
Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."' (p.
What is wrong
with this? -- "At
the cross, Satan was given full control of Christ to do with Him as he
pleased. Satan's hidden desire, cherished in secret so long, could come
into the open in no other way. Now the entire universe would be able to
see what sin really is and what it will end up doing if it has the opportunity.
Sin is rebellion against God and His law of self-sacrificing love. If
allowed to have its own way, sin will actually murder God in its hatred
of Him." (p. 69)
What is wrong with
this? -- "Christ's
death on the cross was 'unto sin.' This simply means that as our substitute
and representative He experienced on the cross the 'second death,' the
eternal death that the Bible describes as 'the wages of sin.' As Hebrews
2:9 puts it, He 'by the grace of God should taste death for every man.'
The Scripture promises that those who have accepted by faith their position in Christ, and who will be raised in the first resurrection, will escape the second death....Why do these avoid the second death? It is because Christ, their Sin Bearer, has already 'tasted' the second death for them. On the cross, Christ actually experienced the second death on behalf of fallen humanity. It was this that constituted the supreme sacrifice." (p. 75)
What is wrong
with this? -- "Under
no circumstances will God enter into partnership with the flesh (our concern
for self). The flesh belongs to Satan, and therefore must be crucified.
When we give up all confidence in the flesh and live by faith alone, then
God can produce godliness - genuine righteousness - in us. And He will
do so. God did not give us His only-begotten Son so that we could copy
Him, but that we could receive Him.
"Our lives will become pleasing to God only if we completely surrender ourselves to Him who so loved us and gave Himself for us. God is not looking at us to see how good we are or how hard we are trying to keep His law. There is only one thing that God looks for in each of us
p 6 -- · how much of His Son Jesus does He see in us?" (pp. 97-98)
[" We are not
to be anxious about what Christ and God think about us, but about what
God thinks of Christ, our Substitute. Ye are accepted in the Beloved.
The Lord shows, to the repenting, believing one, that Christ accepts the
surrender of the soul, to be molded and fashioned after His likeness."
SM, bk ii, pp. 32-33]
What is wrong
with this? -- "When
a person accepts the gospel and is united by faith to Christ, immediately
all that Christ has prepared and provided as humanity's substitute is
made effective for that person. The history of Christ now becomes lawfully
the history of the believer because he is in Christ by faith. God looks
at such a person as being perfect in obedience, justice, and nature, since
all three were obtained for him in the holy history of Christ.
"Such a person
is no longer under condemnation; he has passed from death to life. God
looks at the justified believer as if he has met all the demands
necessary to qualify for heaven and eternal life. Justification, then,
is the work of a moment - a heart response to what Christ has already
by contrast, is an hourly, daily experience that continues throughout
the lifetime of the believer who continues to walk by faith. The gospel
not only freely gives us the righteousness of Christ in order to deliver
us from the condemnation of the law; it gives us the righteousness of
Christ as a personal experience so that we can reflect His character.
"Anyone, therefore, who stops with justification and makes it the entire gospel experience has received only half of the good news. God did not send His Son merely to legally deliver us from sin so that He could declare us righteous. He sent His Son in order to also set us free from sin and restore His image in us. This work of restoration includes sanctification, and it, too, is part and parcel of the good news of the gospel." (p. 102; emphasis his)
What is wrong with this? -- Note: These are selections from only 102 pages of the 188 page book.
LET'S TALK IT OVER -- Just
as I was contemplating whether to add to this first "extra"
issue of WWN for 1994, an editorial comment, the telephone rang.
When I picked up the receiver, the voice said, "Have you read that
book yet?" I replied in the affirmative and told him that I had just
finished a critique of the same, but I wasn't sure he would be happy with
what I had written. "Oh," he said, "you agreed with some
of what was written." I added, "And disagreed with some."
His response - "I was talking to Kenneth Wood the other day, and
he took the same position, some of it good, some of it not so good."
The conversation quickly ended. I was a bit amused because I never thought
I would find myself in the same corner with Kenneth Wood, at least not
in this life.
Shouldn't a book be either all good, and if not, isn't
it too bad to be read? I, for one, have inveighed in times past against
a number of books and articles which are modern day trees of the knowledge
of good and evil. I will no doubt do so again in the future. But why make
an exception to this book? For at least two reasons, one being, that the
message of 1888 is so desperately needed in all of its fullness, that
something needs to jar the concerned people of God in order to get them
to study their Bibles so they can understand just what is involved in
"the hope of righteousness by faith." (Gal. 5:5) The book, Beyond
Belief, is Bible-based, and our answers should show plainly from that
Word wherein Sequeira has erred.
Another reason is the caliber of those who are opposing so vehemently this book. These men are going up and down the country fanning their egos, and bragging about the number of "deep pockets" they are getting their hands into, yet know little of what righteousness by faith is. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. One of these "voices" speaks on John 3 about the night conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. He states that no one can be born of the Spirit, unless he is keeping the commandments of God, citing, out of context, Acts 5:32. This is a form of Roman Catholic teaching. Who wants to be identified with such teaching and/or teachers? So if Sequeira's book is a mixed theology, do two wrongs make one right? What we need is the genuine article - the righteousness of Christ, which is pure unadulterated truth. Hopefully, the discussion that is being aroused over Beyond Belief will cause sincere hearts to study to see
p 7 -- what is truth. But so long as we look to
man, and expect much from man, we will not realize this objective.
In this morning's mail, I received a letter written to
Elder Wieland by a man with questionable literary ethics. In this letter
he cites the communication Ellen White sent to A. T. Jones which we quote
in part in this special issue of WWN. He emphasized the fact that
Ellen White told Jones that there were conditions to salvation quoting
from a section which we omitted due to space. We had already quoted that
counsel, and saw no reason to repeat the same. However, this antagonist
sought to portray a gulf between Ellen White and A. T. Jones on the subject
of righteousness by faith. He garbled what Ellen White said - "You
look in reality upon these subjects as I do." This
misuse of the prophetic gift is appalling. I would hope that this controversy
would cause those sincerely wanting the truth to either study for themselves,
or in small groups, from the Bible just what God has done in Jesus Christ,
and in turn, by faith, will do in us.
In gleaning an overall picture of the book, Beyond
Belief, I sensed that had Sequeira presented more of the sanctuary
truth especially in the light of the ministry of the High Priest on the
Day of Atonement, his case concerning the fact that we can contribute
nothing to that which Christ has already obtained and is now obtaining
for us, would have been strengthened. Ours is to humble ourselves before
Him, and cease to trust in our own works, lest we be cut off.
On the other side, there has been added by Elder R. J.
Wieland to the 1888 messages of Jones and Waggoner much which was not
in the original presentations. This has both plus and minus points. Minus
if that which has been added detracts from the message, and plus if that
which has been studied is an on-going revelation of truth. I fear there
is some of both in the present 1888 Message Study Committee's outreach.
This is a time for study, and not a time to cheer for our particular "man" in the arena of public discussion and debate. Let us at least in this present conflict learn one lesson from the 1888 Message - "Cease ye from man whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (Isa. 2:22) --- (1994 Special -- Part 1 -- A CRITIQE of JACK SEQUERA'S BOOK "BEYOND BELIEF") --- End --- TOP
Special -- Part 2 --
FINAL RAPID MOVEMENTS
-- In the 1992 July issue of WWN, we wrote: "What
is interesting is that 13 years elapsed between 1967 and 1980 when the
transfer of the government from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was finalized and
the declaration was made that Jerusalem united was the capital of Israel.
If - and note, I write, ' if' - God is using the same cycle of
time for the fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel 11:45 in relationship
to the completion in Luke 21:24, then we stand indeed on the very borders
of the close of all human probation. For when an 'alien' power plants
' the tabernacles of his palace in the glorious holy mountain,' Michael
stands up. (Dan. 12:1)" (p. 7)
Thirteen years from 1980 brings one to 1993. As the year
passed, the only major activity between Israel and the Vatican, was the
news that an exchange of diplomatic recognition between the two governments
was in the offing. An accord was finally signed as the year ended. Given
little publicity was the revelation in an Italian newspaper, La Stampa,
three days before Rabin and Arafat met in Washington to sign the Declaration
of Principles, of a plan which called "for the extra-territoriality
of the Old City and the airport at Atarot, which would become a world-wide
The "Vaticanization Plan" offers "the sovereignty
of Jerusalem's Old City to the Vatican. Jerusalem is to stay the capital
of Israel but, the Old City will be administered by the Vatican."
Other parts of the plan claim "Jerusalem is to become the second
Vatican of the world with all three major religions represented under
the authority of the Vatican."
The above data is summarized in an editorial appearing
in The Jewish Press, September 2, 1994.
(See article p. 2, "The Selling of Jerusalem")
The design of the Vatican for Jerusalem has been known
for some time. One month before the Knesset passed a Basic Law making
Jerusalem the captial of all Israel, the Vatican placed a letter before
the President of the Security Council of the UN and asked that it be circulated
as a document of that Council. This document - S/ 14032 - called
for a "corpus separatum" for Jerusalem and the surrounding area,
in other words, a "territorial internationalization" of the
city. The Vaticanization Plan prepared by Peres incorporates this concept.
In 1984, as the Catholic Jubilee Year of Redemption was
closing, Pope John Paul II
issued an Apostolic Letter, "Redemptionis Anno,"
which focused on his desire for Jerusalem. He wrote:
Speaking of the peace he envisioned, he continued: "I
think of and long for the day on which we all shall be so ' taught of
God' (John 6:45) that we shall listen to his message of peace and reconciliation.
I think of the day on which Jews, Christians and Muslims will greet each
other in the city of Jerusalem with the same greeting of peace with which
Christ greeted the disciples after the resurrection: ' Peace be with you.'
closed his letter with a very significant comment about this peace: "This
peace proclaimed by Jesus Christ in the name of the Father who is in heaven
thus makes Jerusalem the living sign of the great ideal of unity, of brotherhood
and of agreement among peoples according to the illuminating words of
the Book of Isaiah: ' Many peoples shall come and say: 'Come, let us go
up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that
he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths' (Isa. 2:3)."
The objective of the Pope for Jerusalem, "as a symbol
of coming together, of union," making Jerusalem "the living
sign of the great ideal of unity, of brotherhood and of agreement among
peoples," is echoed in the Peres Plan calling for "the Old City
and the airport at Atarot" to become a "world-wide meeting center."
However, in the choice of Isaiah 2:3 to express his objective, the Pope cited a prophecy that needs careful consideration in the light of developing events. Satan is to appear as Christ, and what better place to make his appearance than Jerusalem to claim "the throne of his father David." All "three" great monotheistic religions envisioned in this union would accept him as Christ. Out of Jerusalem would "go forth the law." But "the Law" has already gone forth from Mt. Sinai. What then would be proclaimed?
p 2 -- The
Selling of Jerusalem --
When PLO Chairman Yasser
Arafat spoke in Johannesburg, some time ago, he inadvertently revealed
the existence of a letter sent from Foreign Minister Peres to the Norwegian
Foreign Minister. That letter was sent in October of 1993. It committed
Israel to respect the PLO governing institutions in Jerusalem.
When Peres was asked about that letter, he flatly denied its existence. In fact, Police Minister Moshe Shachal, who was asked by the Knesset if such a letter existed, flatly denied the charge. Then he literally went off the wall when he later found out that such a letter actually existed.
When Peres was pressed
for a confirmation or denial, he declared, "If you are insinuating
that we would ever divide Jerusalem, then that's an ugly slander!"
Adding insult to injury,
it has further been claimed that Peres also sent a letter to Pope John
Paul II. In that letter it is alleged that Peres outlined his plans for
changing Jerusalem. According to Mark Halter, a close friend of Peres,
who was the one who delivered the letter to the Pope, "Peres offered
to hand over sovereignty of Jerusalem's Old City to the Vatican. Jerusalem
is to stay the capital of Israel but, the Old City will be administered
by the Vatican."
Halter further explained,
"According to the letter, the city would have an Israeli mayor and
a Palestinian mayor both under the control of the Vatican." Halter
claimed the program was originally submitted to the Vatican by Peres two
years ago, just before the Oslo talks began.
The PLO was shown the
Vaticanization Plan just before the signing of the Declaration of Principles.
At that time Arafat agreed not to oppose the plan. Arafat had also consulted
a number of influential Palestinians who were delighted with the plan.
Further details of
the plan claim Jerusalem is to become the second Vatican of the World
with all three major religions represented under the authority of the
Vatican. A Palestinian state is to emerge in confederation with Jordan.
Its religious capital is to be Jerusalem but its administrative capital
would be situated elsewhere, possibly Nablus.
A member of the Foreign
Ministry claims the plan is a good one because Israel's ties to the Catholic
world will lead to trade, tourism and prosperity. Further Peres believes
with a strong governing authority, future disputes between Arabs and Israelis
will be easily resolved.
Despite all this information that has been made public, the Israeli government continues to deny that the future of Jerusalem is being negotiated.
While all the world is plunged in darkness
Following a private meeting which Arafat had with Pope
John Paul II, now more than a decade ago, he told the Pope the time would
come when he would accompany the pope into Jerusalem and the pope "would
receive a Palestinian welcome even equal to the one that he had received
in Poland in 1979." Since that time "John Paul has maintained
his personal links with Yasser Arafat." He "sees Arafat assuming
the role of elder statesman in the Middle East affairs." The Holy
See has favored a plan for the creation of "a homeland for the PL0"
in connection with Jordan involving the West Bank and Gaza. This has been
a factor which has delayed Vatican recognition of Israel and the establishment
of diplomatic ties. The present peace process plus the Peres plan for
Jerusalem has removed this factor.
The expectation of Arafat playing the role of "elder
statesman" in Middle East affairs was prefaced with the condition
- "provided he physically survives." The Vatican has been instrumental
in seeing that Arafat has so survived. When Assad of Syria decided to
remove Arafat from the Middle East cockpit, and bottled him up in the
Lebanese port of Tripoli, it was papal intervention which saved his life.
The papacy requested the Greek government "to make available five
transport ships," and "helped persuade the French government
to provide a naval armada." When the Israeli government brought in
gunboats to shell Tripoli and prevent Arafat's escape, President Reagan
was approached to enter the picture. He did, and Israel withdrew its gunboats
thus permitting Arafat to be evacuated to Tunesia.
Revealing the covert diplomatic maneuvering which the
Vatican had engaged in during 1983 in behalf of the PLO, L'Osservatore
Romano (Dec. 22, 1983) published with the full approval of John Paul
a commentary in which Arafat was lauded "as an able and open-minded
politician" even though admitting that he left Tripoli "with
a new humiliation." Arafat has little choice but to accept the plan.
The Vatican is orchestrating the whole Middle East peace process with
its own personal objectives for Jerusalem as the chief priority. Behind
the moves of the papacy is the inspiration of the one who designs to "sit
also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north."
(All direct quotes
and the source for the data in the above article are from The Year
of Armageddon published by Granada Ltd., London, 1984)
"INTO A PLACE
CALLED ..." -- Not only does John Paul II envision
Jerusalem as "a symbol of coming together, of union, and of universal
peace for the human family," the Peres' Vaticanization Plan for Jerusalem
envisions "the Old City and the airport at Atarot" as "a
world-wide meeting center." The revelation which God gave to Jesus
to give unto "His servants" unveils the sinister workings behind
the present diplomatic maneuvering in the Middle East. The "spirits
of devils" are gathering "the kings of the earth and of the
whole world ... to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."
These spirits gather them together "into a place called in the Hebrew
tongue Armageddon." (Rev. 16:14, 16)
To place these verses in their proper setting so as to
understand their import, one must carefully note the structure of Revelation
16. In the outline of the Seven Last Plagues, in every case, there is
a reason given for the plague. This reason is based on what man did in
probationary time with only one exception, the cause for the third plague.
For example, the first plague is to be "a noisome and grievous sore"
upon men who worshiped the image of the beast and received his mark. This
mark was received during probationary time. (16:2)
The sixth plague is "upon the great river Euphrates."
(16:12) The why is given in verses 13-14, 16. These verses will be fulfilled
in probationary time. In The Great Controversy, verses 13 &
14 are represented as being fulfilled "in the last remnant of time."
(See pp. 561-562) Verse 16 which defines the place of the gathering coincides
with the intent of Lucifer as revealed in Isaiah 14:13. In analyzing the
word, Har-Magedon, the actual transliteration from the Greek, one must
then find the corresponding designation in the Hebrew. This is Har-Mo'ed,
"mount of the congregation," the same as is used
p 4 -- in Isaiah 14:13 in noting Lucifer's objectives.
The new "tower of Babel" instead of being erected on the plain
in the land of Shinar is now to be erected on "the mount of the congregation"
and is prophetically defined as "Babylon the great," the last
attempt by man for universal unity.
The "communion" aspect for unity involves the
eucharist. Cassidy judged that sharing the eucharist is the "ultimate
sign and seal" of church unity. (EPS 91.02.74) The "faith"
aspect involves the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381 in regard to
the Trinity. This objective is being spearheaded by the Faith and Order
Commission of the WCC. The moderator of this Apostolic Faith Steering
Group is Jean-Marie Tillard
O.P., cleric of the Roman Church. The goal is visible church
unity. On the last day of the Fifth World Conference on Faith and Order
held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Tillard in his address suggested,
without giving a date, that consideration be given to
"a gathering of all the
major leaders in the churches - perhaps in Jerusalem - simply to sing
the creed together. That would be a wonderful expression of the degree
of unity already present and its origin," he concluded. (One
World, October. 1993, p. 15)
Add to this two Roman Catholic concepts and one can see
the focus of the present movement among nations: 1)
John Paul plays a more direct role in Vatican diplomacy than any of his
recent predecessors, Holy See initiatives remain part of a system established
over 400 years ago. Then
as now, papal politics embody the truism that Church and State can never
be entirely separate, in the sense that either side wishes to or can ignore
the other." (The Year of Armageddon, p. 5) And
2) John Paul II
"insists that men have no reliable hope of creating a viable geopolitical
system unless it is on the basis of Roman Catholic Christianity."
(Keys of this Blood, p.492)
(Those desirous of
seeing the linguistics behind the relationship between "Har-Magedon"
and "Mount of the Congregation" (Har-Mo'ed) may send to the
Foundation office for a copy. Please include a self-addressed stamped
envelope and $1.00 for postage.)
DANIEL 11:45 -- Into
this picture enters the prophecy of Daniel 11:45. The importance of understanding
the meaning of this prophecy is the fact that when this verse is fulfilled
in either one of its two parts or both: 1)
the planting of "the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in
the glorious holy mountain," and/or 2)
his coming "to his end" and none helping, Michael stands up.
(Dan. 12:1) All human probation closes.
In the past several decades Daniel 11:45 has been interpreted
as a symbolic prophecy by some and by others as a literal prophecy with
varied interpretations regarding who is the "he," and speculation
as to whom the kings of the north and south might refer. Uriah Smith in
his monumental work - Thoughts on the Prophecies of Daniel - introduces
Daniel 11 by noting: -"We now enter upon a prophecy of future events,
clothed not in figures and symbols, as in the visions of chapters
2, 7, and 8, but mostly given in plain language." (p. 222,
1897 edition; emphasis supplied)
In regard to the kings of the north and the south, Smith
states a very vital principle of interpretation: "Whatever
changes might occur [in time due to wars and revolutions], the first divisions
of the empire must determine the names which these portions of territory
should ever afterward bear, or we have no standard by which to test the
application of the prophecy; that is, whatever power at any time should
occupy the territory which at first constituted the kingdom of
the north, that power, so long as it occupied that territory, would be
the king of the north; and whatever power should occupy that which at
first constituted the kingdom of the south, that power would be
the king of the south." (ibid., pp. 224-225; emphasis his)
p 5 -- Using this principle today, the powers
resident in both territories of what were once the kings of the north
and the south are Islamic.
For a detailed and documented identification of the "he" with "the king" of Daniel 11:36, we suggest a research article on these verses in The Ministry, March, 1954, pp. 22-27. Copies of this article may be obtained from the Foundation office. ($1.00 postpaid)
-- In the lightning Seven-Day War of 1967, the Israeli
armies recaptured Jerusalem. When we awakened to the significance of this
event, we recognized that before our very eyes, a prophecy of Jesus recorded
in Luke 21:24 had been fulfilled as verily as our spiritual forefathers
saw the fulfillment of the other prophecies which Jesus gave in the same
prophetic discourse such as the Dark Day, and the Falling of the Stars.
We recognized that the word translated, "Gentiles,"
can also be translated, "nations." This prophecy clearly indicated
that the probationary "times of the nations," as corporate bodies,
were being closed. We perceived also that "church" organizations
were considered as "nations" in the Scriptures. (See Isa. 26:2;
Eph. 2:12-13). This fact gave significance to the prophecy in Testimonies
for the Church, Vol. 8, p. 247.
In 1980 when Israel moved its capital from Tel Aviv to
Jerusalem, and declared that a Jerusalem united was the capital of Israel,
we saw the complete fulfillment of this prophecy of Jesus.
With this evidence, we were left with only one conclusion. The nations of earth had been given into the hands of Satan to work his designs to muster of the "kings of earth" to a place called in the Hebrew, Har-Magedon. In the decade that has followed 1980, there has been seen the collapse of the Russian Communistic Empire, leaving only one remaining super power, and a papacy intent on not only world religious leadership, but also political dominance as well. The final last prophecies concerning the objectives of the papacy as given to Daniel (11:45) are on the verge of fulfillment as ravealed in the plans for the future status of Jerusalem. Indeed the curtain is about to be lifted, and the rapid movements of the end-time consummated. --- (1994 Special -- Part 2 -- FINAL RAPID MOVEMENTS) --- End ---