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1993 Jan -- XXVI -- 1(93) -- THE LINES ARE BEING DRAWN -- An insert in the Adventist Review (Nov 5, 1992) contained "an abbreviated and adapted version of a new book, Issues: The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Certain Private Ministries." This book is the result of a commissioned study authorized by the officers and Union Presidents of tbe North American Division of the Church. An article in the same issue of the Review by its editor noted this study as "Acts 15 Time Again," stating - "You will find something unusual in the insert and the book - mention by name of several private organizations that are causing church leaders serious concern." (p. 8) And name them it does, comparing them to the Shepherd's Rod, Robert Brinsmead, and Desmond Ford. However, this insert and Issues, according to the editor comes "as an appeal rather than a declaration of war." (p. 9) Time alone will tell which it really is, an appeal or warfare. We shall reserve final judgment until we can read and analyze the book itself.

A little thought reveals that the greater portion of Jesus' earthly ministry was that of an "independent minister" heading an "independent ministry." He did not intend it to be that way.
He first tried to clean-up the headquarters organization, and overturn the corruption that existed there. John tells us that one of His first acts after launching His ministry was to drive the dealers in oxen, sheep, and doves from the temple precincts, and overthrow the tables of the money changers. (2:13-15) Interestingly, the dove market where the poor would buy their offerings was controlled by the high priest, Annas. Now apart from the profits derived from the exchange of money and the sale of sacrificially acceptable animals, this activity could be presented as a service to the people who had to travel many miles to attend, and who could not drive, or carry their sacrifices such distances.

Jesus did not divorce Himself from the temple,

p 2 -- nor its services. He said in doing what He did, This is my church, this is my temple, "make not my Father's house an house of merchandise." (2:16) Further, in one of the outlying conferences of the Jewish Church, Jesus preached for a short period of time to the local congregations as they met in their synagogues. (Matt. 4:23) Finally, He was expelled, and any who would confess His ministry was to be excommunicated from his local congregation. (John 9:22)

He ordained a rninistry with a mission. The text reads - "And He ordained twelve, that they should
be with hirn, and that He rnight send them forth to preach." (Mark 3:14) A terse cornment on this
action states - "The first step was now taken in the organization of the Church that after Christ's
departure was to be His representative on earth." (DA, p. 291) Herein is revealed the hypocrisy of
the ordination which has been recently performed by one of the "independent ministries" in the
community of Adventisrn. The claim is put forth that these men were only being ordained for a "mission." So were the Twelve! But the ordination by these "independents" was not to establish a new church, so they said; they were still wanting to be "loyal" to the mother church. But what did that act mean - "the first step" in the organization of a new church "was now taken."

Jesus even commissioned 70 other evangelists, and sent thern forth "before His face into every city
and place, whither Himself would come." (Luke 10:1) What a stir this must have made among the
local congregations of the Jewish Church! Not only that, funds flowed into His ministry. Women
with sums of money at their disposal "ministered to Him of their substance." Luke 8:1-3) The
funds were of a sufficient amount that it was necessary for the Twelve to have a "treasurer."
The reaction of the hierarchy was not long delayed. How many studies were commissionod by
the hierarchy we are not told, but they invaded "home church" meetings to latch on any words
which Jesus might utter which could be used against Him. (Luke 5:18-21)

Jesus made one final attempt to cleanse the Temple. It was the beginning of the Last Week.
The text reads:         
And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. (Luke 19:45-46)

The setting of this act dare not be overlooked. Jesus had just wept over the city declaring -     If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things that belong unto thy peace! but now they are hidden from thine eyes. Because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. (Luke 19:42-44)

The beginning of the end for the Jewish Church/Nation as a favored nation under God, and the city of Jerusalem as the Holy City of God had begun. Even yet, Jesus chose a text in cleansing the temple precincts that echoed His hopes - He still called it, "My house." But a few days later, when He left the temple for the last time, He declared - "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." (Matt. 23:38) lt ceased to be His temple, His church; it was left desolate.

On Thursday night of the Last Week, Jesus gathered together in an upper room the ministry of His church, and gave to them the symbols of their oneness. After the terrifying and shaking experiences which followed, the disciples kept returning to this "upper room." (Acts 1:13) [while the KJV reads, "an upper room," tho Greek text has the definite article, "the" - to huperoo?? Here a new era begins - momentous things were about to transpire.

FOLLOWERS OF THE WAY -- In the upper room, the followers of Christ studied diligently for ten days the Old Testament Scriptures. They conducted a business meeting with Peter in the chair. Then came the Day of Pentecost. Would they observe it? To do so, they would have to appear in the Temple for worship. (Ex. 34:23) But this temple had been declared desolate by Jesus. And if any had gone, they would have missed the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Here is a lesson for us. We need to know where to be when God's Spirit is poured out in the Latter Rain!

The book of Acts is a "last day" book for God's people now. It sets forth the issues clearly and
plainly which the torn and bleeding Adventist community needs. It is indeed a "now time" book. ¹

In the book of Acts, the disciples of Christ were first called "Christians" at Antioch. (Acts 11:26)
This was a Greek term based on Christos, the Greek translation of the Jewish word tor Messiah.
(John 1:41) It is used only one other time in

p 3 -- Acts by Agrippa. (26:28) On the other hand, the Jewish hierarchy referred to them as the "sect of he Nazarenes." (24:5) However, another term is used consistently throughout the book of Acts to designate the disciples of Jesus - followers of The Way:

Acts 9:2      -    "of this way" Margin, Gr., "of the way.
Acts 19:9      -     "of that way." Gr., "the way."
19:23          -      "about that way" - Cr., "the way."
Acts 22:4    -    "this way" - Gr. literally - "this the way" because of rules of grammar.
Acts 24:14  -    "the way which they (Jewish hierarchy) call heresy." The Greek word translated, "heresy" is translated, "sect" in verse 5.

Why followers of the Way? Jesus is the Way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6) Further, He opened "a new and living way," becoming "an high priest over the house of God." (Heb. 10:20-21) In the sanctuary truth revealed both in type and in antitype is to be found the way of and to God. (PS. 77:13) This way of truth was intended by Christ to be the pillar and foundation of His church. The whole issue of the great controversy is over truth. The devil abode not in the truth. And the Jewish Church leadership accepted him as their father, and in so doing, brought the Temple of God to the point where Jesus declared it desolate.

History has a way of repeating itself. God raised up a people, and gave to them the sanctuary
truth, a truth so unique that even the evangelicals knew it to be "a doctrine never known in theological history until the second half of the nineteenth century." And when the focus of the Church to whom it was committed became centered on emphases which left it's preaching as
dry as the hills of Gilboa, God sent "a most precious message" of Christ and His righteousness.
This is declared to be "pure, unadulterated truth." (TM, p. 65) The Jewish Church had truth, but it
was adulterated. The question is simply, how adulterated can truth become before those professing it, and the place of their worship is left desolate?

The book of Acts presents another picture. When Paul returned to Jerusalem from his third missionary tour, he reported to the leadership of the Christian Church "the things God had wrought
among the Gentiles by his ministry." (Acts 21:19) He could not state that "many thousands" had
been converted. He could not tell of large edifices being erected in which to worship. He had left the Followers of the Way in "home" churches. (Rom. 16:5: 1 Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:15; Philemon 2)

In Corinth, when the members of the Jewish synagogue "blasphemed," Paul took the company of believers and began worshiping in the house of a God-fearer, Justus, whose home "joined hard to
the synagogue." In due time the first elder of the Jewish Church cast his lot with the Corinthian
believers. (Acts 18:6-8)

In Ephesus, after pleading with the Jewish congregation in their synagogue for three months,
because of their disbelief and hardness of heart, Paul found it necessary to find a class room in
the school of Tyrannus in which the Followers of The Way could study and worship. Separation
inevitably followed the rejection of the truth as it is in Jesus.

However, the leadership of the Christian Church at Jerusalem could point to the "many thousands
of Jews . . which believe;" and they were "all zealus of the law." They were still following the statutes and ordinances of the Mosaic code. They were involved with the rites and purification
of the Temple ritual. (Acts 21:23-26) Yet this temple, Jesus had declared desolate some thirty
years before. The prophecy of Jesus that this temple would be destroyed had made little
impression upon them, even though they were standing within the shadow of its fulfillment.
They were staying with the Church.
It was Paul who was hated by the Jewish hierarchy because he called for separation from that which was desolate. But here he faced a separated group - the sect of the Nazarenes headed by James - and they had been given reports of his teachings which caused big question marks in the minds of the Jewish Christians. (21:21) Furthermore, they were seeking to hold a firm relationship with the Temple and its rituals, while having a separate meeting place of their own. (21:18)

How much different is today's situation in the Adventist Community? There is the main body,
and scattered around are the various "sects" of Adventism - The Hartland Sect; the Hope
International Sect, the Rolling Hills Sect, and the Steps to Life Sect. All of these are named in
the study commissioned by the North American Division leadership. Does the message of the
book of Acts have no meaning? Is the example and teaching of Paul as found in the New
Testament without significance? Can we not know
the state of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as Jesus knew the state of the Jewish Church? What are we - a Seventh-day Adventist, a part of a "sect" of Adventism, or simply a Follower of The Way?

1 -- Seminar tapes on - -The Book of Acts; Its Message for Today" are available through the Foundation office. 3 tapes - $5.50 postpaid.

p 4 -- THE LAST INVITATON -- In Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus gave a parable about a marriage. Those bidden, who would not come (Vs 3), were again called to attend a dinner (Noon
meal, Vs 4). "But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city." (Vs 5-7). There can be no doubt that this parable speaks of the invitation of God to the Jewish nation. Ultimately in AD 70, the murderers were destroyed and their city, Jerusalem, burned.

The parable continues with the instruction: "Go ye therefore into the highways..." In other words, go out of the city, or the then recognized Church. Paul was called to be the Apostle to the Gentiles. Concerned for the salvation of his people, he made every effort to take the gospel to the Jews first. Time after time and place after place the organized Church fought against the preaching of the gospel to the people. Paul and Barnabas, in Antioch, finally told the Jews, "but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo we turn to the Gentiles." (Acts 13:46b). Jerusalem, the city and center of Jewish worship, was destroyed in AD 70. The final rejection of the invitation by the Church leaders came with the crucifixion of Christ; the three and one-half years from the death of Christ to the stoning of Stephen represents the last invitation to the Jewish Church. Likewise the 36 years from the close of probation for the corporate church to the destruction of the city in AD 70, represents the time for the individual Jew to choose between the corporate church, lead by corrupt Jewish leaders or the church Christ started when he ordained the apostles.

Luke also records an invitation to a meal. (Lk 14:16-24) At first glance this parable appears to be parallel to that in Matthew. However, closer examination reveals this parable to be rather an extension of the one in Matthew. See the comparison below:

Matthew 22 Luke 14
1. -- Dinner or noon rneal 1. --  Supper or evening meal    1
2. --  Go out of the City 2. --  Go first in the city then outside the city
3. --  Servants slain 3. --  No servants slain
4. --  City destroyed 4. --  No city destroyed
5. --  Wedding furnished with guests,then an inspection 5. --  No definite conclusion,except those bidden who refused the invitation, shall not taste the supper

"And [He] sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, come, for all things are now ready." Being at supper time, this is the last invitation of the day. Eighteen hundred years after the invitation to the Jews, God raised up another people to give the last warning message to a
dying world. This people were brought together by the preaching of William Miller in 1831-1844. These Adventists split into various groups according to the beliefs they held. The group
embracing the Sabbath as part of the sanctuary message organized in 1863, into what is called today, the Seventh-day Adventist Church. By the late 1800s, messages from Ellen White warned
of the near return of Christ. A national Sunday law was imminent. However, the Seventh-day Adventist Church rejected this opportunity to fulfill her mission. Later, Ellen White, in a letter to P. T. Magan in 1901, lamented the fact:       "We may have to remain in this world many more years because of insubordination."

History shows the slide of the SDA church into apostasy. In 1931, for instance, the church published changes to the 1889-1914 statements of belief. The beliefs were compromised by
removing any reference to the Papacy as the man of sin and deleting reference to the importance of Bible prophecy in the study of God's Word. (See Comparison of Statements of Belief, available from Adventist Laymen's Foundation).

p 5 -- In 1950, two missionaries from Africa, came to the General Conference with a call for the Church to repent. Looking back from 1992 and understanding Jesus' prophecy in Luke 21:24b, it can be seen that this was to be the last invitation to the corporate SDA Church. The final rejection of this call was made by the SDA leadership in 1967. (A Warning and Its Reception, p. 8, buff section) Thirteen years later, the Church in General Conference Session in Dallas, Texas, voted the current 27 Statements of Belief. This compromise of truth consummates the final rejection by the corporate Church of the last invitation.

Note again in Luke 14:18-20, those that were bidden to the supper made various excuses for not accepting the invitation. They were too busy with the cares of every day living. Their thoughts and priorities concerned the things of this world. Revelation 3:17 pictures this group as saying, "I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing." Could the parable in Luke be illustrating the experience of the SDA church in the last days?

What about individuals--what is to happen after 1980?      "The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the Church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God's professed people. This is forcibly set forth by the prophet's illustration of the last work under the figure of the men each having a slaughter weapon in his hand." (3T, p. 266, emphasis added)

After those bidden refused to come in (Lk 14:21), the servant is instructed to go into the city, go to the church "and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind". Bring in those perhaps mistreated by the Church, those limping along spiritually who need help and those
blind to the betrayal of the sacred trust by the SDA Church. But, bring them in where? Bring them into the faith of Jesus, and the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth. (1 Tim 3:15) How do we know we are living in the time of this parable, the last work for the Church or the last invitation? Only by the fulfillment of that prophecy of Jesus in Luke 21:24b.

Then the servant declares "it is done...and yet there is room" (Lk 14:22). There is room because many SDAs, just like the Jews, will reject the last invitation. The quotation referred to above from the Testimonies Vol. 3, p. 266, is in the setting of Ezekiel 9. The angel with the writer's inkhorn declares that he has completed his assignment. (Eze. 9:11) It is done. What comes after the angel completes the marking? (See Eze. 9:5, 6)

Next, the servant is told to go outside the city (or church) and "compel them to come in". That is to urge them, press them earnestly. Do not hear their excuses, but urge them to overcome, to open their eyes, and lead them to the feast. In Adventism, we have taught and always understood that
there would be SDAs that reject the gospel in the last days, and their places would be filled by an influx of believers into the SDA Church and the church would go through to the kingdom. This may have been true in 1888, but does it apply today? Why would the SDA Church have to be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary if she were unconditionally going through? (8T 247) The true Church is not the "administration", but the people who accept Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone, with the apostles and prophets as the foundation. We are lively stones built into a "spiritual" house. (Eph 2:19-22 & 1 Pet 2:4-6) It is the truth that is going through to the kingdom, and the people of God who accept it. No organization of man's or any works of man will go through nor be found in heaven. Every individual must have on the wedding garment of Christ's righteousness, and our filthy rags given up, removed by Christ. (Zech 3) We must be members of Christ's organization!

There is another call; but this is a wakeup call. It comes at midnight. (Matt 25:6) But note carefully,--the call is to go out to meet the Bridegroom. Only those who have accepted the supper invitation will go into the wedding. The many who reject the last invitation are unprepared to go in, therefore the door is closed to them; they shall not "taste of My supper" (Lk 14:24). "Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh.. . lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping." "Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching:" (Mark 13:35-36; Lk 12:37)

Friend, you are among those that are invited. Are you too busy with worldly things to recognize the final invitation? Are you blind to the apostasy in the SDA Church and the confusion among the independent ministries by their refusal to advance in truth? "I [Jesus] counsel thee...anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see...Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man
[individual] hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Rev 3:20) Yes, Jesus wants to sit down and dine with you here and now. Will you answer His knock today?

1 -- See Luke 14:12. Ariston (dinner) is used in the parable of Matt. 22:4; deipnon (supper) is used in the parable of Luke 14:16.

p 6 -- LET'S TALK lT OVER -- Just after completing the lead article, we received the book, Issues: The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Certain Private Ministries. It contains 467 pages including facsimile reproduced documentation. The very nature of its contents warrants careful study before commenting. sitting as it were for the moment above the fray, and knowing the hypocrisy practiced by the leaders of the Private Ministries named, one's sympathy comes down on the side of the Church's hierarchy even with its hierarchal manner of governance and apostasy. The problem in this whole confrontation is the backdrop given to this action by the Editor of the Adventist Review in his article, "Acts 15 Time Again." He believes the creation of these ministries was unnecessary because "the Adventist tent is large, encompassing a variety of ministers and emphases." (p. 8) From his experience, it is very true. One wonders after reading some of the theology as expressed in his doctoral dissertation why the tent flap dropped to include him in and Desmond Ford out; the line between them can hardly be discerned.

The use of the "tent" symbolism, or "umbrella" metaphor has overtones of ecumenism, and for
that matter Roman Catholicism. The various orders (ministries) of the Roman Church with their differing theologies have one thing in common, their allegiance to the papacy. The Adventist concept was well expressed by a past president of the Arkansas-Louisiana conference to
one of the Literature Evangelists in his field who wanted to discuss some of tbe Church's new
theology with him. The appointment was quickly concluded with - "We have an open-ended
theology. Believe what you want to believe but keep the tithe coming in." This emphasis comes
through in the action taken by the North American Division Council at its 1992 year-end
meeting. One reason cited in faulting the private organizations named, is that they "have drained
away funds that could have been used in accomplishing the mission of the church, thus crippling the evangelistic outreach of the church."
(p.8)  In the documentation given in the commissioned study itself, the fiscal irresponsibility of John Osborne is heavily emphasized. Money is the bottom line, whether it be the Church, or the Private ministries.

But we must return to one thing - truth. How big is the "tent" of truth? Finding its source in
the word of God, it encompasses the universe, but in this world of sin, where rebellion against truth is a way of life, the Scriptures picture it as the "narrow way" entered only by a "strait gate" which "few" find. (Matt. 7:13-14) The facts of our denominational history is that the Church has attempted to broaden the gate and widen the way, in other words, enlarge the "tent" to include theological concepts which the founding fathers did not include and spoke against.

In 1914, a year before the death of Ellen G. White, there was included in the Yearbook, a
statement of "Fundarnental Principles of Seventh- day Adventists" prefaced with these words
:       
The following propositions may be taken as a summary of the principle features of our religious faith, upon which there is, so far as is known, entire unanimity throughout the body. (p. 293, emphasis supplied)

Among those propositions, it is clearly stated that the "Lord Jesus Christ...took on Him the nature of the seed of Abraham for the redemption of our fallen race." (ibid.) But in 1980, this statement was removed, and the "tent" so structured that you can believe any one of three views of the incarnation - the 1914 position, the Evangelleal position, or the position of an Anglican divine -
and still be in good and regular standing within the "tent." This was plainly set forth by a
Secretary of the Ellen G. White Estate, Dr. Roger Coon, in another insert that appeared in
the Adventist Review, Nov. 7, 1991. All three positions cannot be truth. But even among the
"private ministries" named there is confusion. First their "patriarch" came out clear and distinct
in harmony with the 1914 Yearbook, then he decided that the Anglican divine's position was
the correct view. When will come the next flip-flop? Who knows?

If God sent us a "most precious" message in 1888 concerning Christ's righteousness, and He did, and then declared that message to be "pure, unadulterated truth," how large can the "tent" become and still remain that message? This is a question that must be answered, not only by the Church, but also by Wieland who though not named, is still a Private Ministry. If truth is going to be adulterated, then let those who wish to risk their eternity abide in that adulteration, but those who want truth in its purity as it is in Jesus, then let them walk apart from the "tent." But the fact is that those "private ministries" named and Wieland do not want it that way. They want a "tent" within a "tent" as the Church leaders charge. They want to call themselves Seventh-day Adventists because it is easier to get money that way. Do they not know that if their work is of God, He will provide for them without the hypocrisy of pretending to be what they are not.

Let us face certain facts. The corporate Seventh-day Adventist Church in general conference session (1980) declared their beliefs to be the 27 Fundamentals. In General Conference, they have also set up their structure and operating rules. This is the official Seventh-day Adventist Church of the present time. When therefore, a group decides to form their own organization, function separately from the Church structure, receive tithes and offerings, ordain men to the ministry, then why do they continue to seek to be a part of that organization from which they in reality have
broken away? Does not the organization have a right to protect those who do not choose to follow the private ministries from what is perceived as false allegations, and which some of the allegations are? Do they not have a right to remove these private ministries from the "tent" even as they did Brinsmead and Ford?

Most of these "private ministries" are gung-ho for the distribution of The Great Controversy,
yet they seem not to have read it for themselves. It might be well for the leadership of each of these private ministries to take time to read again and ponder the last paragraph of Chapter 2. One further suggestion, note the phrase, "faithful few," and compare it with Testimonies, Vol. 5, pp. 210-211.

A detailed study of Luke 21:24b may be obtained from Adventist Laymen's Foundation, P. 0. Box 69, Ozone, AR 72854, by ordering The Hour and The End, $4.00 postpaid.

p 7 -- The truths of the Word of God are the utterances of the Most High. He who makes these truths a part of his life becomes in every sense a new creature. He is not given new mental powers, but the darkness that through ignorance and sin had clouded the understanding, is removed. The words, "A new heart also will I give you, mean, "A new mind will I give you." A change of heart is always attended by a clear conviction of Christian duty, and understanding of truth. He who gives the Scriptures close, prayerful attention will gain clear comprehension and sound judgment, as if in turning to God he had reached a higher plane of intelligence. Review & Herald, Dec. 18, 1913

" God creates out of nothing. Therefore, until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of Him. " Martin Luther

--- (1993 Jan) --- End --- TOP

1993 Feb -- XXVI -- 2(93) -- TAKING ISSUE WITH ISSUES -- PART 1 -- One of the key chapters of the book - Issues: The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Certain Private Ministries (ISSUES) - is a recitation of the Church's history from 1844-1992 in a specifically defined format. The format consists of four categories:   1)    Content of faith, in other words, the teachings of the Church during the specified period;    2)    Structure, meaning its organization and procedures;    3)    Spirit, which covers the tone and atmosphere in which the Church conducts its work; and    4)    Dissent, how the Church has related to and dealt with dissident movements.

The Church's history is in turn divided into three periods of time:    1)    The Formative years from 1844 to 1863 when formal organization was achieved;    2)    The Organized Church during the life time of Ellen G. White (1863-1915); and    3)    The organized Church after her death to the present.
It should be noted also that this publication was produced as was Questions on Doctrine, without an author being named. There is a notation that it was authorized by the North American Division officers and the presidents of the various Union Conferences which comprise the Division. However, unconfirmed reports indicate that Elder Robert Dale, vice president for the Division, is the principal author.

Each period as discussed in ISSUES warrants a careful review, but in this first analysis, we shall focus on a glaring omission which goes to the very heart of the problem not only for the Church but also for the four independent ministries named, a problem which all have thus far skirted.
One subsection in the discussion of the second period of the Church's history is captioned - "The 1901 General Conference Session: Prelude and Aftermath." (pp. 43-44) While key parts of the message which Ellen G. White gave immediately after the opening of

p 2 -- the conference are quoted, including the ones often used by dissidents, the history is made to turn on a quotation used in C. C. Crisler's book, Organization - E. G. White Letter 54, 1901. It was written to a minister who was still critical of the Church's direction after the session. The quotation from the letter reads:     Your course would have heen the course to be persued if no change had been made in the General Conference. But a change has been made, and many more changes will he made and great developments will be seen. No issues are to be forced....It hurts me to think that you are using words which I wrote prior to the conferencc. Since the conference great changes have been made....(ISSUES, p. 44)

Crisler quoted one more paragraph from the letter which is omitted in ISSUES. It reads:       A terribly unjust course has heen pursued in the past. A want of principle has been revealed. But in pity to His people, God has brought about changes....The course of action which before the conference might have been a necessity, is no longer necessary; for the Lord Himself interposed to set things in order. He has given His Holy Spirit. I am confident that He will set in order the matters that seem to be moving wrong. (pp. 174-175; Emphasis by Crisler)

This omitted paragraph rounds out the picture. While "great changes" were made at the 1901 Session, and God entered the assembly "that the work [He] designed should be done and should not be hindered" (GC Bulletin, 1901, p. 463), yet there were matters which seemed "to be moving wrong" when she wrote the letter. The "changes" and what was taking place which hindered the full implementation of those changes is not discussed or even hinted at in ISSUES. There is at this point in the recitation of Seventh-day Adventist Church history a strange historical amnesia. The author of ISSUES"leap frogs" to 1909.

What "changes" were made in 1901? How were they carried out? What happened in 1903? What was Ellen G. White's message then? These questions must be answered because the whole of the present crisis turns on this period in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

THE CHANGES OF 1901 -- A new Constitution was drawn up in the 1901 session which abolished the office of president of the General Conference. In its stead was set up an Executive Committee which was given "power to organize itself, choosing a chairman, secretary, treasurer, and auditor." (GC Bulletin, 1901, p. 379) During the discussion of the Constitution, a question was raised on this point. In replying to it, W. C. White said, "It is quite possible that a sentiment will be created, or a sentiment that already exists may manifest itself, that no one should be chairman of this committee for a period of more than twelve months at a time." (ibid, p. 206) Elder A. G. Daniells was in the chair when this discussion took place, yet when the report of the organization of the General Conference Committee was given to the session, A. G. Daniells was listed as "Permanent Chairman." (ibid., p. 377)

The General Conference at that time was meeting every two years in session. This suggestion of a rotating chairman of the Executive Committee would be midway between sessions. The work of the chair would come up for review by the committee as a whole. This discussion was not lost on Daniells, but he maneuvered things to his own ends. As the first twelve months were approaching their close, Daniells called a minority meeting of the Committee on February 14, 1902. Only six of the 25 member committee were present - Daniells, I. H. Evans, C. W. Flaiz, H. W. Cottrell, W.W. Preseott, and S. H. Lane. Sorne others were called into this noon meeting - Professor Magan, Elders Mitchell and Spicer, as well as Brethren Edwards and Palmer. On the motion of I. H. Evans, it was moved that the Chairman appoint a committee of three to nominate the officers of the General Conference Committee. Daniells appointed Elder H. W. Cottrell, Elder W. H. Thurston, and Professor Magan. Only Cottrell is a member of the Executive Committee. Here is a clear violation of the 1901 Constitution which stated the Committee was to organize itself.

This nominating committee reported back to the minority meeting of the General Conference Executive Committee held on February 15 at 7 p.m. While the same six official members of the Executive Committee were present, Elder Thurston was present for this evening meeting in addition to the other five who were present at the noon meeting the day prior. The Nominating Committee made several recommendations for changes in the personnel at the General Conference, but except for these changes, the officers of the Executive Committee were to remain the same for the next twelve month.

It is to be noted further that in this evening meeting, Elder W. W. Prescott was chosen to be Vice President of the General Conference. No such office was provided for in the 1901 Constitution. Obvious rebellion was beginning to set in against what Ellen G. White perceived to be a divinely inspired Constitution. While a structure of Heaven's ordering had been voted in 1901, the hearts of those operating the structure were not sanctified. At this very time in 1902, Ellen White was writing of the individual heart work that should have been done at the 1901 session. While writing, she was taken off in vision and saw a work of confession and repentance as enjoined upon Laodicea taking place in Battle Creek. But when aroused to consciousness, she was told, "This might have been." Then she wrote - "I thought of where we rnight have been had a thorough work been done at the last General Conference [1901]" (8T:104-106) It still hasn't been done, and the Church's leadership is unwilling to come to grips with what happened in 1903 because it was not done. The power behind ISSUES prefers historical amnesia instead of simply facing truth.

WHAT HAPPENED IN 1903? -- Committee on Plans and Constitution chaired by H. W. Cottrell at the 1903 session submitted a "Majority Report" which set aside the 1901 Constitution and submitted in its place an instrument which returned the Church to the hierarchical form of governance under which it functioned prior to 1901. This is the same Cottrell who had been appointed by Daniells to chair the nominating committee in 1902. However, for the first and only time in the history of the Church a "Minority Report" was submitted by E. J. Waggoner, David Paulson, and Percy T. Magan. This report read:        The minority of your Cornmittee on Plans and Constitution beg leave to submit that the Constitution proposed by the majority of the Committee appears to us to be so subversive of the principles of organization given to us at the General Conferences of 1897 and 1901 that we can not possibly subscribe to it.
The proposed new Constitution reverses the reformatory steps that were taken, and the prlnciples which were qiven and adopted as the principles of reorganization, in the General Conferences of 1897 and 1901, and embodied in the present Constitution; and this before that Constitution or the organization according to it, has ever had adequate trial.

We therefore recommend that the Constitution of 1901 be qiven a fair trial before it be annihilated. (GC Bulletin, 1903, pp. 146-147)

As soon as this "Minority Report" was read, a motion was made to adopt the majority report, and was immediately seconded. P. T. Magan countered with a motion of substitution recommending that the minority report be considered in place of the majority report. His motion was seconded by E. J. Waggoner. This motion was rejected. The rest of the morning session was used by Waggoner in stating why he opposed the newly proposed Constitution.

In the afternoon session with Cottrell again in the chair, the Constitution was the subject of discussion. P. T. Magan asked to speak to the matter as a whole. He was interrupted by a motion to limit every speaker to five minutes because of the shortness of time. The motion was immediately seconded, but the chair declined to push the issue opening the question for remarks. A. T. Jones obtained the floor. He said in part:        It seems to me that it is rather late to begin to talk of calling time, under the circumstances. Here is before us the most complicated situation, in many ways, that this General Conference has ever seen; and it is a matter that concerns the whole cause. ...

I know that it is late in the session, and therefore it is [too] late to bring in such a report as this in such a complicated situation. How could it be expected by anybody that such a report as this, involving such important thinqs as this does, should be brought in and simply swept through. Why, even the first thing has not yet been done on a constitutional question in all matters of a constitution. There has been presented to this Conference for adoption a constitution, when we already have one, and I have not heard a single word as to why the one we have is so altogether defective that we have got to have a new one, and it is so open on its face that everybody shall simply say, Amen, and let it go. I have never learned of any such proceeding as that, on a constitutional question from the day of the Magna Charta unto today. (lbid., pp. 147-148)

After another delegate, A. J. Breed, suggested that restricting the time of each speaker "is not the best thing to do," A. G. Daniells stated that he "would not want to see this motion passed." - "The question was called, and the motion was

p 4 -- lost." (ibid.) P. T. Magan was allowed to speak to the question as a whole. He said in part:          As a member of the minority of the Committee on Plans and as a man, if I had not been on the Committee on Plans at all, I am conscientiously opposed to the proposed new constitution. I have always felt that the hardest place that any man could be put in in this life is to have to stand conscientionsly opposed to what the majority of his brethren believe to be right. To me it has always appeared to be a much easier thing to stand in a position of opposition to the world, and even to have to face a court of justice in the world, for your faith, than to have to face your brethren for your faith. And therefore I shall say to-day, as briefly and modestly as I know how, what I shall say. ...

It may be stated there is nothing in this new constitution which is not abundantly safeguarded by the provisions of it; but I want to say to you that any man who has ever read Neander's History of the Christian Church, or Mosheim's, or any of the other of the great church historians, - any man who has ever read those histories can come to no other conclusion but that the principles which are to be brought in through this proposed constitution, and in the way which they are brought in, are the same principles, and introduced in precisely the same way, as they were hundreds of years ago when the Papacy was made.

Further: This whole house must recognize this, before we are through with this discussion, that the proposed new constitution, whatever improvements may be claimed for it, whatever advantages it may be stated that it contains, that in principle, as far as the head of the work is concerned, it goes back precisely where we were before the reformatory steps of two years ago.

Another point: It is a fact which I do not believe any one in this house will deny, but that for many years every General Conference that we have come to has been more or less of a crisis over the question of the progress of the General Conference and the General Conference administration. ...

Now I want to say in all candor and sincerity, this afternoon, that this question will never, and can never be, settled until it is settled right. This whole new constitution may pass this body, I do not know, but that will not settle it. This thing will keep on coming up until the principles of the gospel, approximated and aimed at in the last constitution, are given their full and free place in this church. (ibid., pp. 150-1 51; emphasis supplied.)

In an evening session, April 9, the discussion continued, and the new constitution was approved by a vote of 85 to 20 with three absentions. On April 13, the General Conference adjourned in Oakland, California, to reconvene again in Battle Creek, Michigan on April 22. While the brethren were crossing the continent, Ellen G. White returned to her home in St. Helena, and was moved to write a testimony, dated April 21, 1903. In it she wrote:        In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist Church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence, "Found wanting." By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. (8T:247)

The language of this paragraph is corporate language - "She" - "on her," etc. The Lord put the Church on notice that "she" faced a judgment in the sanctuary above. She was "to be weighed" and she would "be judged." Further, there was the possibility that the verdict would be negative - "she" could be "found wanting." The judgment of heaven on the action taken at the session was declared to a "backsliding." A remedy was indicated - "Unless the church. which is now being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted,..." (p. 250) Here is the call to denominational repentance, and that repentance is related to the issues involved in constitutional change in 1903.

Here is the point which over the years both Wieland and Short have missed and are still missing. In the final section, "Constructive Recapitulation," of their original edition of 1888 Re-Examined, they used the reference in Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 250 to support their call for corporate repentance - but not for what the Lord called, but what they perceived the call to be - the 1888 message itself. Now in a recent publication, Wieland again renews his call for denominational repentance, but stops short of a discussion of 1903. In his chapter - "What Our Denominational History Tells Us" - he asks the question - "Did the 1901 General Conference Cancel the 1888 Unbelief?" - and ignores any reference to 1903, when the call for repentance was given. (See Corporate Repentance, p. 131)

p 5 -- This we shall discuss in depth when, in a future issue of WWN, we discuss this latest book by Wieland. We have already written to him calling his attention to factual and linguistic errors he has made in the publication which leads to deceptive conclusions.

ISSUES also chose to ignore the Church's reaction to the 1901 Constitution as well as Heaven's reaction to the rebellion at the 1903 session. They would have the laity of the Church believe that all has been well since 1901 and the leaven of "backsliding" has not done its baleful work. One has only to look at the present state of the Church to know that this "backsliding" has come to full fruitage.

The intent of the break in the recitation of the Church's history in ISSUES can be discovered
from the context. They faithfully recorded what Ellen White had said in 1901 in regard to the
authority of the General Conference, even marking it with emphasis - "That these men should stand in a sacred place, to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be - that is past." But they did not dare to leave it in the "past." The 1909 statement furnished them a link by which they could reassert the authority of the General Conference and skip the history of 1903. (See p. 44, col. 2) However, the message of 1903 dare not be overlooked, for if the Church has been weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, and found to be wanting, what force has its authority following that event?

The "private" ministries named in ISSUES will not come to grips with the message Ellen White gave following the 1903 session. With an agnosticism which parallels the Jews of old (See John 7:27 and Matt. 21:23-27), they declare, "When the probation [of the Seventh-day Adventist Church] does close, no one will know." (0FF, Vol. 7, #8, p. 24)

Herein lies the answer to the whole issue troubling the Community of Adventism today. "In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light-bearers. The most solemn truths ever committed to mortals have been given us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be our work. The world is to be warned, and God's people are to be true to the trust committed to thern." (9T:19)

In 1903, this people were warned that they would be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary concerning how they related to this trust. It is ludicrous to think that God, who called a special people, and gave to them a sacred trust unparalleled in history, and who told them that they faced an accounting of how they handled that trust, would not give a sign when it was about to occur, and tell them when it occurred, and the decision rendered. Why do we continue to insult God either with our agnosticism, our presumption, or by ignoring God's sovereignty? A series of soul-searching questions are in order:     

1)    Has the Church been true to the trust committed to it? Or has the Church officially or unofficially compromised its doctrinal integrity? If the latter in any respect, how is the Church any longer able to proclaim the everlasting gospel?
2)    Has the Church been weighed in the balances of the sanctuary? If so, when and what was the verdict?
3)    Unless these questions have been asked in sincerity, and truthful answers given, one is not in a position to relate properly to the present crisis in Adventisrn. Nor will he as an individual be able to follow the Biblical example as how to relate to such a disclosure.

NEWS NOTE -- The November 9, 1992 issue of Christianity Today (p. 68) carried a report in its "News" section on Saturday Worship Services in large Evangelical Churches in the United States. While this trend has only involved 1% of the nation's churches, it represents 10% of America's "100 largest." The question is asked - "Why Saturdays?" The answer should give us pause. It read:      One operative factor involves cultural acceptance of alternate-day worship engendered by the Roman Catholic Church. In 1970 the Vatican gave approval for Saturday masses. Now, two decades later, a number of dioceses report that attendance is greater for Saturday's masses than for Sunday's.

Carl F. George, director of the Charles E. Fuller Institute of Evangelism and Church Growth, call the alternate-day services "the trend of the future." For a number of churches, it is already here. One church in Kirkland, Washington, hopes to fill its 1 200-seat auditorium twice on Saturday night. Another church in Alta Loma, California, conducts five services a week - two being on Friday night.

LET'S TALK lT OVER -- History is not merely a revelation of facts in a particular human drama, but also a revelation of character, the character of the players in any particular historical episode. The events of 1901 and 1903 in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are no exception. During the discussion of the 1901 Constitution, W. C. White spoke positively that it seemed "to be the mind of this Conference that responsibility not be centralized and fixed upon a few individuals for a long period," suggesting the very concept that there be a rotating chairman of the Executive
Commlttee of the General Conference every twelve months. There is no question, he knew his
mother's gratitude to God because of the results of that session. But in 1903, W. C. White affixed
his name to the Majority Report to "annihilate" that Constitution. In this decision, W. C. White
joined the forces which introduced the leaven of backsliding into the Church which could be
reversed only by corporate repentance and individual conversion. His character is here revealed not as a man who would stand for principle regardless of the opposing forces as did Magan, but as a policy man. This may account for some of the problems extant in regard to the Writings of Ellen G. White which were left to his guardianship following her death in 1915.

There is another factor from history which needs to be carefully considered. When Ellen G. Whilte
and her family returned from Australia, they located in Elmshaven. Arthur White in his biography of the events in the life of his grandmother noted that in setting up the office, "W. C. White ordered self-inking rubber stamps, one wlth Ellen White's signature, another with his own,...(EGW, Vol. 5, p. 46) Had the record of W. C. White been beyond question in the matter of principle versus policy, there would be no reason to question this particular act on his part, - having a rubber stamp made with E. G. White's name on it. But this opens the whole question of control and influence. It even
suggests the question as to who may have used that "rubber stamp," and the authenticity of some
of the manuscripts which appear with only the stamped name on them. The fact remains that W. C. White's influence came down on the side of those who were leavening the Church with their backsliding. This influence on his mother would grow in her declining years and needs to be
considered in the evaluation of decisions made and messages given at succeeding General Conference sessions.

The desire to omit, forget, obliterate the history of 1903 is even reflected in the Seventh-day
Adventist Encyclopedia
of the Commentary Reference Series. In verifying data for the use of the lead article, I had occasion to note the section in the Encyclopedia - "General Conference Constitution and By-Laws." In the revised edition is found this statement:     
The present constitution (1976) is not an amended form of the original one (1863); it is a new constitution adopted in 1901. (p. 496)

This is simply a blatant falsehood, and casts a shadow on the Encyclopedia itself. Does the
Encyclopedia give the true perspective of history, or is it an instrument of propaganda to serve the
ends of the hierarchy of the Church. Again the question arises, why the purposeful avoidance of
what happened in 1903? There is no question but that the rebellion which manifested itself set the
Church on a backsliding course which has not been arrested to this very day. The call to corporate
repentance has been misinterpreted, and the possibility of a negative judgment upon the Church
for its failure to do so has been denied. We will not even give consideration to the insight
manifested by Magan in 1903 when he said that administrative problems involving the General
Conference "will keep coming up until the principles of the gospel.. are given their full and free place in the church." It means 1888 correctly applied instead of misapplied.

"UNITY MEETING" REPORT --

Richard Sutton, Pastor
Remnant Seventh Day Adventist Church
Nora Springs, Iowa

As a church body, we have become very concerned that things vital to God's people were not being really addressed by "independent" ministries. So we sent out invitations for various like believers to join us in Nora springs, November 6-8, in an attempt to speak with one voice, rather than being "many voices" leading to confusion.

lt is our conviction following two attempts to arrange and host similar meetings that not many
Adventists, whether they call themselves "historical," or whatever, manifest much genuine
interest.

p 7 -- We invited brethren whom we had met in various meetings; others who through their written and/or spoken word, we thought were standing for truth, and who would be willing to work together to help fulfill Christ's prayer for unity. (John 17:20-23)

Not everyone invited was able to attend - some because of distance, some because of concern for
weather conditions, and some because of health reasons. However, we felt the response was
good, whether all invited could attend or not.

Because of a misunderstanding concerning the format, the meetings were conducted somewhat
less formal than we had planned. Nevertheless, everyone participated in all the subjects studied.
Agreements were reached. We learned new things. There was an openness in the consideration of new ideas. There was an awareness of the urgency of the times to which we have come. There was a seeking for truth. The discussions were frank, but in a good spirit.

It is our opinion that the general consensus of the group on the topics discussed is as follows:     

"State of Affairs in the Adventist Community" -- Confusion and chaos reign both inside and outside of the regular Church.

"Final Atonement - - Jesus' End-Time Prophecy" -- We discovered that these topics need much more Discussion and study. The final atonement is one of the most vital truths which needs to be fully understood now. Most recognized Luke 21:24 as"present truth" for this time. Much more study needs to be given so that we can understand how best to relate in this end-time period.

"Use of the Spirit ot Prophecy" -- We discussed the nature of "spiritual gifts" and their relationship to Scripture. Everyone agreed that the Bible is the only infallible source of truth, and that further, the Writings of Ellen G. White places that emphasis on the Bible. In many ways the Writings are being misused by those both inside and outside of the regular denomination.

"Sunday Laws" -- Consensus was that with "all" the events taking place, we must not side track ourselves with the single "Sunday law" issue, but must he awake and watching as tbe scroll unrolls.

"Closing Work - Present Truth" -- Some present expressed their concern that adequate consideration be given to the part health reform is to play in the closing work. Personal preparation was stressed, and the need to work for the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

"Gospel Order" -- It was generally agreed that how we relate to God individually is not necessarily the same as how we relate to the Church collectively. God's church is ORGANIZED! There must be gospel order. We need - under the Holy Spirit - guidance to be better organized so that God can
use us individually and collectively to finish His work.

Summary: -- There were some misunderstandings and disagreements on all points discussed. However, we believe there was nothing which separated any of us to the extent that we cannot network together and help each other as well as others to become better prepared for the "end-time" crisis just before all of us. No specific date or time was set, but future meetings are planned.

" Those who do not know Jesus as their personal Saviour,
do not avail themselves of the promised hlessings; but to all who believe,
He is as the Tree of Life in the paradise of God.
His branches reach to this world, that the blessings which He has purchased for us may be brought within our reach
. "  Ellen G. White

---(1993 Feb) ---End---- TOP

1993 Mar -- XXVI -- 3(93) -- TAKING ISSUE WITH ISSUES -- PART 2 -- Following the "gap" in the recital of Seventh-day Adventist Church history which was discussed in detail in the previous issue of WWN, the writer of ISSUES turns his attention primarily to history of the doctrinal teachings of the Church, and spirit in which they are to be discussed. Speaking of the era of our church history from 1863 to 1915, in regard to the proper "spirit," it is stated:        During this era it was the voice and pen of Ellen White that preserved the emphasis on the Christlike spirit as the significant factor in all aspects of church life. Without that spirit, it was not safe to discuss either the content of the faith or church structure. (p. 45; emphasis theirs)

While no one would deny the necessity for a Christlike spirit in all areas of human intercourse, it must also be remembered that when confronted with error, that Christ did not hesitate to tell the religious hierarchy of His day -- "Ye are of your father the devil, ... he ... abode not in the truth." (John 8:44) To use "the Christlike spirit" as a facade to accommodate error is in itself a deception of
the enemy. The righteousness of Christ which is our only hope of salvation is "pure, unadulterated truth." (TM, p. 65) To "earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 3), which was committed in sacred trust to God's remnant people, does not mean that we develop a cozy doctrinal ecumenism under the guise of a "Christlike spirit."

In the balance of the discussion of the era from 1863 to 1915, and in the discussion of the period from 1915 to the present, three key doctrines are noted - Trinitarianism, the Incarnation, and the Doctrine of Character

p 2 -- Perfection. Comments are made on the authority of the various Statements of Belief published
during the Church's history, as well as the authority of Ellen G. White. But the bottom line is the final paragraph of this chapter on "Historic Adventism" which reads:     
The history ot the church reveals that a brother or sister can choose to make a life-or-death issue of any point of faith or practice, no matter how small. When that happens, if all attempts at reasonable and Christlike conversation fail, then there must be a parting of the ways. The landmarks must be clear; there must be room for present truth. But the crucial decisions cannot be made by a segment ot the church, however devout and intense their convlctions. The church as a whole will decide. That is the true heritage of historic Adventism. (p. 51)

Two things mark this Paragraph:    1)    If the various "independent ministries" do not concede to the dictums of the Church, there is to be a parting of the ways.    2)    That which Magan warned the
delegates in 1903 in regard to the process by which the Papacy was established comes to fruition in ISSUES. It is the Church which shall be the final arbiter of truth, not the Word of God. This is not the heritage of historic Adventism.

However, in this paragraph is a statement of vital concern - "The landmarks must be clear; here must be room for present truth." The landmarks have been set, but how does "present truth" come to a people? Through the decree of the Church, or by the Spirit of truth? How is it to be checked to determine if it is truth - by the Church, or by the Word of God? This determination is critical for no church can grow spiritually without an advancement in truth. Herein, the "private" ministries named in ISSUES create deception for the concerned people of God. They are crying, stay with "historic
Adventism" apparently unaware that in so doing they are putting a period to their Christian experience, whatever they may have. It is not "historic Adventism" that is needed, but a progressive Adventism built upon the basics given in the beginning. "We have many lessons to
learn, and many, many to unlearn." But many of the "private" ministries will not "unlearn" so that

they can "learn."

In this analysis of ISSUES, we shall note the doctrlnes introduced, the history of our Statements of Belief, and how these statements are interrelated to the continuing authority of Ellen White.

TRINITARIANISM -- This doctrine is drawn into the discussion as a challenge to those who hold the basic concept of the Incarnation as taught by the Church until recent decades. If we have changed our thinking in regard to the Trinity, what is wrong if we now hold differing views from the
pioneers on the nature that Christ assumed in the incarnation? There is no question but that
many of our pioneer leaders were semi-Arian in belief, some were entirely Arian. This concept needed to be brought into line with the Scriptures, but the question is, did the Church need to adopt the Trinitarian concept of the Church Councils - a concept reflected in the Constitution of the World Council of Churches and the basis of Roman Catholic doctrine? But the challenge of Trinitarianism is what the writer of ISSUES throws at those advocating "so-called historic Adventism." He wrote:          
For those who would wish to define "historic Adventism" in terms of specific doctrinal content, the 1872 date [statement] presents a real dilemma. To accept what Adventists considered binding at that time would exclude any reference to the nature ot Christ [?] or to a particular type of obedience. If one wishes, however, to claim additional content from that era and make that content binding in our day,...the question is: Would one be willing to accept all the content from that earlier era? Are the modern defenders of so-called historic Adventism really prepared to return to a non-Trinitarian position? (p. 39; emphasis his)

First let us note what the 1872 Statement of Beliefs said in regard to the Godhead. Statement I declared       "that there is one God, a personal, spiritual being, the creator of all things, omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal...and everywhere present by his representative, the Holy Spirit."      Statement II read       "that there is one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, the one by whom God created all things." Here indeed is the recognition of "the Heavenly Trio." (Evangelism, p. 315)

The writer of ISSUES declares this 1872 Statement to be "remarkable" in that it is "non-Trinitarian." (p. 45) In a previous reference to the Statement, he points out that nowhere does it identify Jesus "as God or as eternal." He is simply the 'Son of the Eternal Father."' But let it be also noted that this statement does not refer to Jesus as being a created Being. One of the co-authors of this 1872 statement, Uriah Smith, had in his first edition of Thoughts-

p 3 -- on Revelation published in 1867 declared Christ to be "the first created being (p. 59) He did
not project his personal belief into the Statement. The Statement reflects the Pauline position as found in Ephesians 4:4-6. While the eternal pre-existence of Jesus Christ, and the fact that He was the I AM, as claimed, is set forth in the Bible, the formulation of a "Trinity" concept did not come until three centuries later. J. N. D. Kelly in his Early Christian Doctrines notes:      
The doctrine of one God, the Father and creator, formed the background and indisputable premiss of the Church's faith. Inherited from Judaism, it was her bulwark against pagan polytheism, Gnostic emanationism and Marcionite dualism. The problem for theology was to integrate with it, intellectually, the fresh data of the specifically Christian revelation....Even at the New Testament stage ideas about Christ's pre-existence and creative role were beginning to
take shape, and a profound, if often obscure, awareness of the activity of the Spirit in the
Church was emerging. No steps had been taken so far, however, to work all these complex
elements into a coherent whole. The Church had to wait for more than three hundred years for a final synthesis, for not until the council of Constantinople (381) was the formula of one God existing in three co-eternal Persons formally ratified. (p. 87-88; emphasis ours)

Herein lies the problem. It was not until 1980 when tbe 27 Fundamental Statements of Belief were voted that this formula of the Church Council of A.D. 381 appeared. Number 2 - The Trinity reads -      "There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons."      The problem is complicated further by the fact that this Statement is found in the Constitution of the World Council of Churches, the confession of which is made a part of the basis for membership in that Babylonian body. (See So Much in Common, p 40) The "issue" does not end here. The Faith and Order Commission of the WCC - on which there is Seventh-day Adventist representation - still holds as its objective the achievement of "the goal of visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship." To this end the Commission has prepared a study - "Towards the Common Expression of the Apostolic Faith Today - through wich it is asking churches today to "celebrate in common...the same apostolic faith that was expressed in Holy Scriptures and summarized in tbe creeds of the early church."

Now note this:      "For the study, the Faith and Order Commission has chosen the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of A.D. 381 - already officially recognized by many churches - as a summary of the apostolic faith." (One World, No. 132, p.15)       The Seventh-day Adventist Church recognized it in the 27 Statements of Fundamental Beliefs as voted in 1980!

THE INCARNATION -- The author of ISSUES wrote emphatically that      "all formal statements of belief - the 'unofficial' one of 1872, the first official one in 1931, and the one fully discussed and voted by a General Conference in session in 1980 - have specifically avoided defining the precise nature of Christ as either pre-Fall or post-Fall, the one point that seems so very crucial to the critical independent 'holiness' movements in Adventism." (p. 49)

This is a blatant falsehood. If the leadership of the North American Division, and the presidents of the various unions do not understand the English language, tben they are in no position to lead the Seventh-day Adventist Church in an area where the English language dominates. The 1872 "unofficial" statement declared:     "There is one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father....He took on him the nature of the seed ot Abraham for the redemption of our fallen race." (Emphasis ours)

This same position was repeated in the 1889-1914 Statement. The Battle Creek Church statement of 1894 read -       "that He took on Him the nature of man, for the redemption of our fallen race."      The 1931 voted statement declared that      "He took upon Himself the nature of the human family."      The question is simply -      What kind of nature did the human fmily possess, and what was "the nature of man" when Christ came to redeem "the fallen racae"? It is obvious! And then, the Church never took an official position on the nature Christ assumed in tbe incarnation? Who is trying to deceive whom?

CHARACTER PERFECTION -- Besides the doctrine of the incarnation, the teaching of "perfection" is scored as not having a basis in historic Adventist teaching. The writer of ISSUES  states, placing his remarks in emphasis:      "Neither has the church ever 'formally' adopted a position on perfection and the precise nature of human obedience." (p. 47)

p 4 -- It is true, there is no statement on the subject of perfection as direct, or as clearly stated as
on the doctrine of the incarnation. However, the author(s) of ISSUES seeks to cloud this teaching. Twice, a similar statement is made:      
Early Adventists linked the sanctuary and judgment doctrines to the Sabbath, the keeping of the commandments, and the three angels' messages. (p 47)

Among the early pioneers, the cleansing of the sanctuary itself was seen primarily as the means by which God focused the attention of the Advent believers on the Sabbath and the
importance of God's holy law. (p. 49)

All one has to do is to read the statement of what constitutes "basic" Adventism - the landmarks (p. 36, col. 2), to know that "the cleansing of the sanctuary" headed the list, and was not related to the Sabbath or the Law of God, but focuses on the very experience which ISSUES now seeks to deny. That foundational teaching in "basic" Adventism reads:       "The passing of time in 1844 ...[opened] to our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having a decided relation to God's people upon earth."       This is the very heart of the teaching of perfection - the decided experience that the final intercession of our Great High Priest will have for the people of God on earth. The sin record of God's people cannot be wiped out in Heaven until God's people stop sinning here below, for to close human probation under such conditions would close them out. Herein lies the major controversy in Adventism today.

There has been a denial of the doctrine of the final atonement with the insistence that all was
completed on the Cross. While lip service is still being given in some quarters to the prophecy
of Daniel 8:14 and 1844, it comes across as only a doctrinal theory inasmuch as the perfection of
God's people is denied. The message has been gutted with the denial of the reality of the final
atonement.

On the other hand, the "private" ministries named in ISSUES refuse to "unlearn" certain traditional
concepts which are without Biblical support, so that they could "learn" some truths God would
have His people know. Neither will they avail themselves of the opportunity to study and discuss this most crucial issue in Adventism today. Thus as blind leaders of the blind they are heading for the "ditch." (Matt. 15:14) But tragically many sincere souls are going to be lost because of that willing blindness.

STATEMENTS OF BELIEF -- ISSUES comments on three Statements of Belief:    1)    The 1872 Statement which it insists was "unofficial" (p. 39) and "nonbinding" (p. 45);    2)    The 1931 Statement declared to be "the first official Adventist statement of Adventist beliefs" (p.46); and    3)    The 1980, "27 Fundamentals" voted at the Dallas session of the General Conference. However, there are other key statements of belief which have been formulated besides the three noted in ISSUES. The question raised focuses on the meaning of "official" and the intent of the Statements.

In 1946, the General Conference voted that a Statement of Beliefs, as well as the Church Manual, could only be revised at such a session. It was at that session and not before that the 1931 Statement was voted with certain cosmetic changes plus, for the first time, the addition of Ellen G. White's name in such a statement. The question remains, what then makes a statement "official?"

ISSUES points out, and rightly so, that the Church did not design that these statements of belief be looked upon as a Creed which would tend to solidify the thinking of the Church doctrinally. All statements prior to the 1931 statement carried a preamble which stated in some form as did the 1872 Statement:       "we wish to have it distinctly understood that we have no articles of faith, creed, or discipline, aside from the Bible."      But still, the question remains, what makes a statement of beliefs - "official" - reflecting the basic positions held doctrinally?

Consider the 1872 Statement: It was first issued as a pamphlet from the Battle Creek Press. It was published as an editorial in the first issue of the Signs of the Times, July 4, 1874, by James White. The same year it appeared in the Review & Herald (Nov. 24), the official organ of the Church. It had various subsequent reprintings. While not a creed, it did express "with great unanimity," the beliefs held by the Church. How much more "official" does one require a statement to be?

Between1872, and 1931 two statements appeared. In 1889, the year after the 1888 session, and continuing till 1914, the year prior to the death of Ellen G. White, a Statement of Beliefs, written by Uriah Smith was inserted into the Yearbooks of 1889, 1905, 1907-1914.

p 5 -- It should be noted that the Yearbook was not published every year during the period between 1889 and 1914, but General Conference Bulletins served as substitutions and did not contain a Statement of Beliefs. How "official" was this Statement? It was never challenged by Ellen G. White. How official was the Yearbook in which it appeared?

The first Yearbook resulted from an action of the General Conferenoe Committee in December,
1882. When published, it contained        "the statistics of our denomination, the proceedings of our General Conference, T. and M. [Tract and Missionary] Society, and other associations, the financial condition of our institutions, our General and State Conference constitutions, a good calendar, and full directories of all Conferences and various societies throughout the country." (SDA Encyclopedia, RV Edition, p. 1336) The Yearbook was an authoritative voice of the Church's position and standing.

Further, the Statement of Beliefs which was placed in this Yearbook had an altered preface which stated not only the fact that the Church had "no creed but the Bible," but also that "the
following propositions may be taken as a summary of the principle features of their religious faith,
upon which there is, so far as is known, entire unanimity throughout the body." (1889, p. 147)

The other statement of beliefs was issued in 1894 by the Battle Creek Church, the headquarter's
church as well as the largest church of the denomination, for inclusion in their Church Directory. Froom in his book, Movement of Destiny (p. 412) comments that "the 1,521 member Battle Creek church had taken the lead [in this Statement] in dropping the lingering contention that the Cross had nothing to do with the actual Atonement." This assertion can only be evaluated by a complete study of the Atonement concept in the history of Adventism. For the phrases, "the merits of His shed blood," and "the great atonement" in the Yearbook statement, the Battle Creek Church statement substituted, "the atoning merits of His blood," and "the final atonement."

In considering the 1931 Statement, which had no preamble, one must again take note of Froom's
evaluation of this time period. He wrote,       "the year 1931 stands out as a really momentous yet little-heralded transition point"      in Adventism. (ibid., p. 409) Since 1914 no Statement of Beliefs had appeared in the Yearbook. The Statistical Secretary of the General Conference, H. E. Rogers, became concerned. Finally by the action of the General Conference Committee on December 29, 1930, a committee was appointed by the chair      "to prepare. ... a statement for publication in the Year Book."      According to Froom, the Statement was written by F. M. Wilcox, the editor of the Review, and with the approval of the appointed committee of four, it was passed on to H. E. Rogers who inserted it in the 1931 Yearbook. (ibid., pp. 410-415) The 1931 Statement was published "without any formal denominational adoption, and was by common consent, accepted without challenge." Is this what makes a "Statement of Beliefs" official?

This "first official Adventist statement of Adventist beliefs" according toISSUES, used the word, "Trinity" for the first time in reference to the Godhead, a word not found in either the Scriptures or the writings. Actually, apart from the use of the word, "Trinity," the statement varied little from previous statements on the Godhead. The omissions which ISSUES noted as being in the 1872 Statement (p. 39) making it "non-Trinitarian" are likewise omitted from this 1931 Statement. Jesus Christ is declared to be simply, "the Son of the Eternal Father." What is ISSUES trying to prove or
introduce by their "sloppy" scholarship?

It was the 1946 General Conference session which finally voted the 1931 Statement as the official position of the Church.  Two sentences were added at that time to Article 19. These read:        That the gift of the Spirit of prophecy is one of the identifying marks of the remnant church. They recognize that this gift was manifested in the life and ministry of Ellen G. White.

This is the first time that Ellen White's name was placed in a Statement of Beliefs. All
previous statements had recognized the Biblical teaching of Spiritual Gifts, and had set them in their proper relationship to the Scriptures, declaring "that these gifts are not designed to supercede, or take the place of, the Bible, which is suffident to make us wise unto salvation,..."

What ISSUES has to say about the current Statement of Beliefs as voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980, is significant. It reads:        The 1980 statement is like the 1931 statement in that it is fully Trinitarian, but departs from both [all] earlier statements by describing Scripture as the "infallible revelation of His

p 6 -- will," rather than "the only infallible rule of faith and practice." (1872) or "the only unerring rule of faith and practices [sic]" (1931). The deletion of the "only" from the 1980 statement reflects an attempt to preserve an authoritative role for the writings of Ellen White in Adventism. Fortunately, from the standpoint of "historic Adventism, the "only" still appears in the preamble, even if it is absent from the explicit statement on Scripture. (p. 46)

This is simply "new theology" as much as the doctrine that the atonement was completed on the cross, or that there will be no cessation of sin prior to the second coming of Christ. It is not simply the removal of the word, "only;" it is the added insertion in regard to the Writings, not found in any previous statement, which compounds the problem and contradicts the use of "only creed" in the preamble. Article 17 -The Gift ol Prophecy - declares Ellen G. White's writings to be "a continuing and authoritative source of truth..." This is setting up a third canon of Scripture. Why?

While ISSUES would have one believe that they are interested in preserving "an authoritative role for the writings of Ellen White in Adventism," they do not tell you that this is to preserve their authority as the "voice of God to the people." The last direct quotes from the writings, as ISSUES finalizes the discussion of the period of Adventist Church history covering Ellen G. White's lifetime, has as its last sentence:       "God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference shall have authority." (p. 44)      This doctrinal authority is expressed in the 27 Fundamentals voted at Dallas in 1980.

But the irony of this "new theology" is that the "Private" ministries named in ISSUES likewise
accept this "new theology" even carrying it to new lengths. The Standish brothers, with the
full approval of Spear speculated in OFF, that in Heaven Ellen White would be seen as "a major
prophet," writing:        "The acceptance of the prophetic gift in the ministry of Sister White is
essential not only to the preparation of God's people for the eternal kingdom, but also for the
acceptance of the Scriptures as inspired." (April 1989, p. 15)   
   Ellen White did not teach this. She stated that      "in the Word of God is contained everything essential to the perfecting of the man of God." (ST, Jan. 30, 1893, article, "Benefits of Bible Study")      Further, I learned from my mother, before we had ever heard of a Seventh-day Adventist, that the Bible was the inspired word of God. This blasphemous teaching carries the overtones of Roman Catholic doctrine:    1)    the Roman Catholic Church determined which writings were inspired (The Faith of Millions, p. 142); and    2)    there are two streams from Paradise (Catholic Belief, Di Bruno, p. 45).

This very point - this "new theology" - gives evidence as who the people of God are not, for
Ellen G. White has plainly written:      
God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and basis of all reforms. (SP, IV, p. 413; GC, p. 595)

This does not mitigate nor mute the ministry of Ellen G. White as a "messenger of the Lord" as
designated by Him. It must be kept in mind that Spiritual Gifts were not one of the landmarks of Adventism. The original Statements of Belief from 1872 to 1914 - the lifetime of Ellen G. White - placed them in their proper relationship to the Bible. This must be maintained by those who wish to follow in the light of basic Adventism.     
(To Be Continued)

~~~START~~~ This correction appeared in Commentary Vol VII Number 1(93) -- THE 27 STATEMENTS -- SOME HISTORY -- A CORRECTION AND CLARIFICATION -- In "Part Two" of the series of responses to ISSUES, we devoted a section to "Statements of Belief." (WWN, 3-93, pp. 4-5) Regarding the 1931 Statement we wrote:       It was the 1946 General Conference session which finally voted the 1931 Statement as the official position of the Church. Two sentences were added at that time to Article 19. (p. 5)

In re-checking our manuscript, Key Doctrinal Comparisons, p. 3, we noted that we had used the date 1950 as the date of the General Conference session which added the two sentences in regard to the ministry of Ellen G. White. Realizing that both dates could not be correct, we decided more thorough research was in order. Here is what we found.

in 1946, the General Conference in session voted in regard to the 1931 Statement of Beliefs:      "No revision of this statement of Fundamental Beliefs as it now appears in the Manual shall be made at any time except at a General Conference session." (GC Bulletin, #8, p. 197)      This represented the de facto recognition of the 1931 Statement as the official Fundamental Beliefs of the Church.

in 1950, the General Conference voted:       "in harmony with the action of the 1946 Session of the General Conference that no change is to be made in the statement of Fundamental Beliefs as it appears in the Church Manual except by approval of a session of the General Conference,

we recommend that paragraph 19 of this statement be amended to read as follows:     ' That God has placed in His church the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as enumerated in I Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4. That these gifts operate in harmony with the divine principles of the Bible, and are given for the perfecting of the saints, and the work of the ministry, the edifying of the body of Christ....That the gift of the Spirit of prophecy is one of the identifying marks of the remnant church....The church recognizes that this gift was manifest in the ministry of Ellen G. White. "' (1950 GC Bulletin, July 23, p. 230) Written, Feb. 10, 1993 ~~~END~~~~

LETS TALK lT OVER -- In a recent mailing of Freedom's Ring, Trefz included a copy of a letter written to Dr. Wm. G. Johnsson, Editor of the Adventist Review by Dr. Sudhir K. Pandit of Amity, Arkansas. It was read with interest. It was obvious that Dr. Pandit had not carefully reviewed all the documented evidence presented by the "brethren" in ISSUES in regard to the "independent ministries" named, and was writing as a devotee of these men.

We wrote to Dr. Pandit commending him for writing to Dr. Johnsson. He had every reason to
challenge Johnsson, because Johnsson is the number one problem that the "brethren" have in the
"image" they reflect to the Church through the church paper. To the "independent," he is the one who could not stand up to Walter Martin on the Ankerberg Show. To the knowledgeable concerned Adventist, he is operating under a facade. Having denied the very sanctuary fundamentals of Adventism in his doctoral dissertation, equalling if not surpassing Desmond
Ford's denial, he now is in the place to influence the thought patterns of Adventism.

While some of the details of the documentation given by the hierarchy may be faulty, and will be
in turn challenged by the "independents" named in ISSUES, the general picture conveyed conforms to personal experiences one has had with certain of these leaders over the years. During the past year, I had an occasion to speak to a "home church" in the East. After the meeting a family connected closely with Hartland Institute asked the group leaders if I had submitted my message to "the brethren of experience" before giving it.
By "brethren of experience" this family meant, Standish and Spear. I didn't know whether to laugh at such a ludicrous suggestion, or cry at the deception of these devotees. A very perceptive friend, to whom I related this experience, commented that I should probably do both. This same attitude came through in the exchange of correspondence on the part of Spear in his reaction to the "ordination" carried out by Steps to Life. (See ISSUES, p. 194)

In the dccumentation supplied by the hierarchy relative to John Osborne is to be found a very
enlightening "Confidential Memorandum" which had been sent to Spear. (ISSUES, p. 370) To
the credit of the church's leadership, they included Osborne's reply to this Memorandum. (pp. 372-373) However, one must also carefully read and evaluate the letter written by Dennis McKeever. (pp. 392-395) The direct quotes are a real revelation of John Osborne. (p. 394, col. 1) One wonders how Dr. Ralph Larson feels now after having ordained Osborne, finds that "I was only used for credibility." (p. 370)

p 7 -- As various rumors kept coming through about activities at Prophecy Countdown, I believed the only honest thing to do was to talk to Osborne himself. I dialed "HIS LOVE," but could not get
further than a secretary and/or office manager. The answer to the first question about an allegation
coming from the Florida Conference, the response was that they had not had time to evaluate the
letter and could make no comment. When I asked about the "restaurant" incident, I was transferred to the office manager who stated that she had a prepared statement. I asked if she would send me a copy. The reply was a resounding, "No, not under any circumstances;" but she would read it to me. She did in a very measured manner permitting me to ask questions for clarification which I appreciated.

I next introduced a matter of which I had personal knowledge. It involved the purchase of a mailing list. The purchaser was given the assurance that it was current and up to date. We had helped underwrite this brother's outreach program, and helped him get the mailing out. The commercial mailer told me there were thousands of duplications in the list as he worked it through his computer equipment. I personally checked some of the names listed, and found my own daughter's name at an address she had some five years previously. This was only one of a number which I discovered. When I related this to the office manager, she said, "Just a moment." When she retumed to the line, her comment was, "You are not talking to me as a Christian," and "HIS LOVE" evaporated in a click of the receiver.

This is not the only incident of deception and lying of which I am personally familiar. I can understand why the Hartland Administrative committee asked Osborne to take a polygraph test as
related in the documentation found in ISSUES. p. 394)

The issue comes down to a bottom line. What is A sincere, concerned, professing Seventh-day
Adventist to do? There is only one answer - know for one's self from the Bible, what is truth, and
walk in that light, claiming the precious promise -      "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)      When this is done, then each one having such an experience will find that ministry in which they can fellowship and through which they can work in fulfilling the prayer of Christ in John 17:21 -      "that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, are in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent Me."

" It is twice as hard to crush a half-truth as a whole lie. "
Austin O'Malley

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING --      Nutritionists used to staunchly defend fat's role in the diet, saying that fat provides a fatty acid (linoleic acid) that the body can't make by itself, that it provides fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), and induces satiety (a full feeling). That argument may have been appropriate for subsistence-level societies, but not for well-fed Americans, who are never more than a Big Mac away from satisfaction. No one we've ever heard of suffers from nutritional deficiences because he or she eats too little fat.

On the other hand, plenty of people suffer from eating too much fat and cholesterol. Saturated fat promotes heart and cardiovascular diseases, as does the fatlike substance, cholesterol. High-fat diets contribute to obesity and are implicated in colon and breast cancer. It is ironic that after centuries of fighting starvation, much of humankind is suffering from the ravages of food excess.

Fat supplies calories in more concentrated form than protein or carbohydrate. Ounce for ounce, fat has more than twice the calories of protein or carbohydrate. These concentrated calories are vital for infants and toddlers, but they cause problems for many of the rest of us. Face the Fats, p. 3

" Eat that which is good, and let your soul
delight itself in fatness. " Isa. 55: 2

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