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.
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SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
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Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer
Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer
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
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1978 July -- THE TRUTH OF DANIEL 7 AND COMPARATIVE PROPHECIES -- Before preceding with a study of the comparative prophecies in the writings of Paul and the Revelation which refer to the same power as represented by the "little horn" of Daniel 7, let us note a sequence as given in the vision to Daniel. He sees a Lion, Bear, and Leopard in rapid succession (7:4-6). Then a fourth beast, with its horns, and little horn is presented with descriptive detail (7:7-8). The scene of the vision changes from earth to the Judgment at the throne of the Ancient of Days (7:9-10). When we consider that the time of the "little horn" is given as "a time and times, and a dividing of time" (7:25), which spans the time of the Medieval Papal reign, and brings us to 1798; and when we recall that the events of the Judgment began in 1844 (8:14), we are ready to appreciate the next prophecy given concerning the "little horn". It reads: I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake. (7:11)
According to this prophecy, we are to look for "great words" to come from the "little horn" after 1844. "The judgment was set, the books were opened" then the horn would again speak great words. How was this fulfilled? On July 18,1870, Vatican Council I decreed that when the Pope "speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians ... is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that his church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith or morals ..." "Petri Privilegium" Archbishop Manning, p. 218 (quoted in Source Book, 1940 ed., p. 258) Simply stated, it means that when the Pope speaks from the Papal throne in Rome on faith or morals, he is infallible. Commenting on this assumptive promulgation, Karl von Hase in his Handbook to the Controversy With Rome concludes: The infallible possession of truth in the head of a mortal appears so nearly related to omniscience and so exclusive an attribute of the Godhead, that a man might almost as readily be declared omnipotent as infallible. (See Source Book,(1940 ed.), p. 260)
Another factor of truth that needs to be considered from
Daniel 7 is the life "expectancy" of the individual beasts. Of the beast
which bore the "little horn" the record states - "I beheld even till the
beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame."
(7:11) The other beasts - the lion, bear, and leopard - "had their dominion
taken away; yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time." (7:12)
While the authority and power of Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece ceased to exist in an effectual and operative way, nevertheless,
p 2 -- "a prolonging in life was given them" (7:12 margin). The culture, and religious contributions of these nations continued and were absorbed by Rome, in the ultimate. The College of Cardinals finds its antecedent in Babylon. In fact the Scripture uses "Babylon" in a prophetic sense in its identification of Papal Rome. (Rev. 17). From Persia came the religion of Mithraism with its "Lord's day - Sunday and December 25 as the birthday of the sun-god Mithra. Greece contributed philosophy and a mode of thought that still dominates Western reasoning patterns.
The expression of "continuance" regarding the fourth beast of Daniel 7 finds parallels with the first beast of Revelation 13. The fourth beast was to be "slain" while one of the heads of the beast of Revelation was also "slain" (13:3 margin). The fourth beast's body was to be given "to the burning flame;" the beast of Revelation 13 was "cast alive into the lake of fire" (19:20). (1) The "head" that was "slain to death", and the little horn of Daniel 7 both have their source of life in a beast which continues until destroyed in the lake of fire of the final judgment. The source of life of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, and the source of life of the first beast of Revelation 13 is existent and operating today. This we need to know and understand!
By noting carefully the "source" of the power and authority of the first beast of Rev. 13:1-8, the truth of Daniel 7 - for the little horn received from the fourth beast its origin, its nourishment, and its continuance - comes into sharp focus. To John on the Isle of Patmos was given the following prophetic representation:
The "dragon" gives to this "beast" his power, his seat,
and his great authority.
p 3 -- The "dragon" is brought to view in Revelation
12. While we can represent the "dragon" as Pagan Rome in the fulfillment
of the attempt "to devour " the Man-child which the "woman" brought forth,
and in so doing, provide a historical basis for the identification of
the power, seat, and authority given to Papal Rome, (3) there
is a deeper parallel between the dragon of Revelation 12, and the first
beast of Revelation 13. While the "dragon" is in open warfare against
Michael, the Man-child, "His Christ" - names representing the Divinity,
Humanity, and Messiahship of our Lord - the "dragon" also persecutes the
"woman" who brought forth the Man-child. (12:13) This persecution is given
as "a time, and times, and half a time" - the same as in Daniel 7 - and
represents "a thousand two hundred and three score days." (See Daniel
7:25; Rev. 12:14, 6) The "beast" of Revelation 13, also makes "war with
the saints" (13:7) during the time allotted to him - "power was given
him to continue forty and two months." (13:5) This is the same time period
as the 1260 prophetic days [42 months x 30 days = 1260 prophetic days
or literal years.] Thus, by comparison of the two chapters, the "beast"
of Revelation 13 is "the front" for the dragon of Revelation 12 in his
persecution of the "woman" who brought forth the "Man-child."
The "dragon" is identified as representing "the Devil and
Satan, which deceiveth the whole world." (12:9) The message, then of Revelation
which amplifies the Truth of Daniel 7, is that the real power and authority
behind the Papacy is none other than the devil himself.
This is the same message that Paul conveys. In his second
letter to the Thessalonians, he tells of the coming "man of sin" who would
oppose and exalt "himself above all that is called God, and that is worshipped,
so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he
is God." (2:3-4) He also states that "this outlaw's arrival will be accompanied
by the energy of Satan with all powers, and signs, and terrors of falsehood."
(2:9 Fenton) He further declares the "man of sin" is "that Wicked [one]"
whom "the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth and destroy
with the brightness of His coming." (2:8) Herein is a revelation of heaven
that no one seeking to rightly relate to truth dare overlook. The word
in the Greek - translated "that Wicked" - (Greek), and means "he
in whom all iniquity has as it were fixed its abode." (Greek-English-Lexicon
of the New Testament, Joseph Henry Thayer, p. 48, col. 2)
This should cause us to do some real soul-searching. If we believe the truth of prophecy, and we profess as a people that we do, then how can we enter into any audiences with the "man of sin", he in whom all iniquity has as it were fixed its abode, whose power, influence, and prestige - all represent the "energy of Satan"? But greater yet should be our travail of soul, when we face up to the fact that "the church's medallion" (Adventist Review, "Friendship Issue", p. 22) was presented as a "symbol" of the church to this "man of sin" by an official representative of the Church, who called him - "Holy Father". (See "Special Report" of "Watchman, What of the Night?") Can it be that because we have not received "the love of the truth" God has permitted this "strong delusion" to overtake us so that we are accepting lies, and find pleasure and satisfaction in this unrighteous deed? (II Thess. 2:10-12) Have we mourned over this betrayal of sacred truth, or have we gloried in the prestige and acceptance that this betrayal has brought us?
p 5 -- "THE ANTICHRIST PAR EXCELLENCE" -- This is the title of an editorial appearing in the Review, Feb. 8, 1968, written by the associate editor - Don F. Neufeld. It was the last of four under the general heading - "Who Is the Antichrist?" Interestingly, the editor comments: (1) We have noted, in common with most Protestant prophetic interpreters from the Reformation to a century ago, Seventh-day Adventists have identified the papacy as the antichrist. This is the position generally taken in our publications. It is still valid. (p. 14, emphasis ours)
Then he adds: However, on the basis of what Ellen G. White has said about the antichrist, the picture needs to be broadened and seen in its widest aspects, especially with reference to the leading role the antichrist is to play in the last day events. It is important that we understand fully antichrist's working. Failure to do so will find us ultimately on his side. (Ibid)
The servant of the Lord identifies the antichrist as Satan himself - the real power behind the "beast" of Revelation 13. Two references cited by Neufeld are Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9, p. 230, and Testimonies to Ministers, p. 62. In this latter reference is to be found this observation: In this age antichrist will appear as the true Christ, and then the law of God will be fully made void in the nations of our world. Rebellion against God's holy law will be fully ripe. But the true leader in all this rebellion is Satan clothed as an angel of light.
The significance of Ellen G. White's emphasis may be seen in another statement from her pen. It reads: Satan is working to the utmost to make himself as God and to destroy all who oppose his power. And today the world is bowing before him. His power is received as the power of God. The prophecy of Revelation is being fulfilled, that "all the world wondered after the beast." Rev. 13:3. (6 Testimonies p. 14)
Here again is the emphasis that the dragon of Revelation
12 is so closely identified in the work of the first "beast" of Revelation
13, that it can be said that in the worship and adulation of the "beast",
Satan is actually being reverenced. In other words, Satan is the antichrist
The very name - antichrist - suggests a power working in
place of God's working through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was God incarnate
- "The Word" which "was God" "was made flesh, and dwelt among us." (John
1:1, 14) This Word was "slain to death" crucified upon the Cross. (John
19:30-37) Yet He arose, and in the power of His resurrection, He was highly
exalted, and the Gospel was impregnated with an appeal
p 6 -- which was and is irresistible.
(Phil. 2:9-11; Acts 13:32-33) In all this, "God was in Christ reconciling
the world unto Himself." (II Cor. 5:19) Through the power and indwelling
of the Holy Spirit, the ultimate is to be achieved - "Christ in you the
hope of glory." (Col. 1:27)
Now the Papacy is Satan's incarnate - "He in whom all iniquity has as it were fixed its abode" - whose "arrival (was) accompanied by the energy of Satan." (See p. 3, par. 3) The devil's messiah was also "slain to death." (Rev. 13:3 margin) But there was a resurrection - "the deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast." (13:3-4) The devil is in the papacy reconciling the world unto himself. By the power of his false charismatic gifts, he is indwelling the inhabitants of the world. The results are foretold: Through yielding to satanic influences, men will be transformed into fiends; and those who were created in the image of God, who were formed to honor and glorify their Creator, will become the habitation of dragons, and Satan will see in an apostate race his masterpiece of evil, - men who reflect his own image. (Review & Herald, April 14, 1896)
[The tragedy of this picture is that those who are so transformed
into "fiends" will believe that they are involved in God's service (John
15:21) and they will view the wonderful transformation as the work of
the Holy Spirit. Such will be the final deception. But is our deception
any less when we pronounce the devil's resurrected messiah a "Holy Father"
as was done by an official representative of the Church, and feel that
we have engaged in a great "missionary" project by giving to the Pope
"the Church's Medallion" as a "symbol of the Church.]
We are now living in the very hour and time when the final
delusions of Satan will bring about his ultimate objectives for the children
of men. We read: Satan
has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world. ...
Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception
in the development of Spiritualism. He has not yet reached the full accomplishment
of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time. Says
the prophet: "I saw three unclean spirits like frogs; ... they are the
spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of
the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that
great day of God Almighty." (Rev. 16:13, 14) Except those who are kept
by the power of God, through faith in His word, the whole world will be
swept into the ranks of this delusion. The people are fast being lulled
to a fatal security, to be awakened only by the outpouring of the wrath
of God. (Great Controversy, 561-562)
A DOCTRINE OF ANTICHRIST -- The word - antichrist (Greek) - is used only five times in the Scriptures all of these five times are to be found in the Epistle of John. (I John 2:18 [2x], 22; 4:3; 2 John 7) It is suggested by Thayer that the very name,(Greek), was formed by John to define the hostile influence and power at work in "false teachers who have come from the bosom of the church and are engaged in disseminating error." He translates the thought of I John 2:18 in these words -"What ye have heard concerning Antichrist, as about to make his appearance just before the return of Christ, is now fulfilled in the many false teachers, most worthy to be called antichrists." (Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon, art. "Antichrist", p. 51)
As one reads these references in the Epistles of John, he
finds that twice John defines a very specific doctrine which marks the
working of antichrist. Let us note these:
spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not
of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist whereof ye have heard that
it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (I John 4:3)
For many deceivers
are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus
p 8 -- Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (II John 7)
From John's use of the word, "flesh," elsewhere in his Epistles (I John 2:16), it is evident that he is not talking about immaculate flesh, but the flesh possessed by the fallen sons and daughters of Adam. It was the only flesh he knew, or that anyone else who has lived, or is now living has ever known, except Adam and Eve prior to their Fall.
The Catholic Church denies that Christ came in "the flesh" through the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. The Dogma is defined thus: We define that the Blessed Virgin Mary in the first moment of her conception, by the singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from every stain of original sin.(Cardinal Gibbons, Faith of our Fathers, p. 171 (88th ed.)
In commenting on this Dogma, Cardinal Gibbons simplifies
its meaning and intent by noting - "unlike the rest of the children of
Adam, the soul of Mary was never subject to sin, even in the first moment
of its infusion into the body. She alone was exempt from the original
taint." (Ibid.) Thus Christ born of Mary as defined by the Catholic
Church did not come in "the flesh" into which the rest of the children
of Adam were born. Interestingly, this Dogma could be noted as a part
of the "voice of the great words which the horn spake" after the "judgment
was set and the books were opened." (Dan. 7:10-11) The Dogma was defined
ten years later in 1854.
This denial that Christ came in the "same" flesh and blood
as the children of Adam (Heb. 2:14) creates an affinity for and with Rome.
The "Christ" of the neo-Adventists, and the "Christ" of Rome is one and
the same, although the "Marys" may be a bit different. In other words
- "the doctrine of Christ" - that which I believe about Jesus Christ in
the Incarnation is absolutely vital to my eternal salvation. The reason
is simple. The antichrist(s) has a false Christ; the true Christian believes
in the true Christ. This is what John is writing about in his Epistle.
Note the full context of his teaching on this doctrine of antichrist:
many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus
Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look
to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we
p 9 -- have gained, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (II John 7-9)
After stating in positive language the import of the "doctrine of Christ" John gives some strong admonition. It reads: If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (II John 10-11)
Some would seek to
mitigate this counsel, by assuming John's fiery and zealous spirit got
the better of him when he wrote these words. But this is not so. Alford
comments that we are not - at
liberty to set aside direct ethical injunctions of the Lord's Apostles
in this manner. Varieties of individual character may play on the surface
of their writings: but in these solemn commands which come up from the
depths, we must recognize the power of that One Spirit of Truth which
moved them all as one. It would have been infinitely better for the Church
now, if this command had been observed in all ages by her faithful sons.
(Alford, Greek Testament, Vol. IV, p. 521)
ANOTHER ASPECT -- Just
as surely as day follows night, so does our concept of perfection follow
our understanding of the incarnation. This was the issue in the controversy
over the message of righteousness by faith in the aftermath of 1888, and
it is still the issue in the same controversy today in 1978. As far as
Elder A. T. Jones was concerned it would have been no mystery for God
to be manifest in sinless flesh. "But the wonder is that God can do that
through and in sinful flesh. That is the mystery of God, - God manifest
in sinful flesh." Then he stated to the assembled delegates at the 1895
General Conference Session, these words:
Christ as He was in sinful flesh, God has demonstrated before the
universe that He can so take possession of sinful flesh as to manifest
His own presence, His power, and His glory, instead of sin manifesting
itself. And all that the Son asks of any man, in order to accomplish this
in him, is that the man will let the Lord have him as the Lord Jesus did
Then God will so take us, and so use us, that our sinful selves shall not appear to influence or affect anybody; but God will manifest His righteous self, His glory, before men, in spite of all ourselves and our sinfulness. That is the truth. And that is the mystery of God, "Christ in you, the hope of glory," - God manifest in sinful flesh. (Jones, "The Third Angel's Message", No 15, p. 303, (General Conference Bulletin, 1895)
In a continuing study at this same General Conference Session,
Jones put his finger
p 10 -- squarely on the source of where opposition
to this teaching originated. He said that the "false idea that [Christ]
is so holy that it would be entirely unbecoming to Him to come near to
us, and be possessed of such a nature as we have, sinful, depraved, fallen
human nature" had its source in "the "incarnation of that enmity that
is against God, and that separates between man and God, the papacy." (Ibid,
No. 16, p. 311)
One year later in an article in the Signs, Jones connects the statement concerning the antichrist in the Epistle of John with the denial that God can now live victoriously in our fallen flesh. He wrote: (emphasis his) Christ himself living in us; Christ in you the hope of glory; God with us; God manifest in the flesh now, today in our flesh, by the faith of Jesus Christ - this and this only faith. For "every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God; and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God; and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." I John 4:2-4 (Signs, Dec. 3, 1896, p. 6)
We could "allegorically" state, borrowing from Paul, that the mystery of iniquity doth already work in the "temple" of the professed people of God, for there are those who are teaching today the very outworking of antichrist - the denial that God can live a victorious life in fallen, sinful flesh. Consider one example - the Triumvirate of Falsehood: - Dr. Desmond Ford teaching at PUC; Paxton getting access to Adventist pulpits; and Brinsmead in his Present Truth.(1) Add to this the position of the editor of The Ministry (April, 1978, pp. 21-23)(2) and you have "an energy of error" seeking to make "the Falsehood credible; so that in every way those who do not trust to the truth" might be deceived. (II Thess. 2:11-12 Fenton)
We must ever keep in mind that the special audience which Dr. B. B. Beach had with the Pope on May 18, 1977 as an official representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was only symptomatic of our "drift toward Rome" over the past two decades. The presentation of the "Church's Medallion" as a "symbol" of the church truly characterized our growing affinity doctrinally, and in church polity with Rome. The Spirit of Prophecy calls this "following in the track of Romanism." (Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 362-363) Thus at the very time when the work of Ellen G. White is coming under attack as inspired counsel for the Church, the hierarchy of the Church are actually fulfilling its prophecies, and thus testifying to its validity.
p 12 -- SIGNS
OF THE TRENDS -- The Pope and Pentecost - Speaking
to thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square at noon, May 7,
the Pope noted - "we find that we are in a special period - - - the period
between the ascension of Christ into Heaven and that of the revealing
and operative mission of the Holy Spirit, promised by Christ to his Church."
Referring to the account of Pentecost - they were with one accord in one
place - the Pope indicated that "the example of this group is still relevant
to day ... to prepare ourselves to receive the fire of the Holy Spirit
- within the communitarian framework of the one true Church of Christ."
"Now more than ever," he added, "we must be one in body with the Church
to receive the animation of the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit." (RNS,
May 8, 1978, p. 25) We need to remember that the Charismatic Movement
with speaking in tongues entered the Catholic Church in 1967, the year
the prophecy of Jesus in Luke 21:24 was fulfilled. It has since grown
rapidly with the full blessing of the Catholic hierarchy and the Pope
Why? Because the hierarchy discovered that those so "baptized"
do not rebel against the authority of Rome. Does this not tell of what
spirit it is?
Unity in the Spirit
-- Jesus '78, the Charismatic Renewal Rally held in the Giant's
Stadium at East Rutherford, N. J., May 13, gathered together 55,000 people,
Catholics and Protestants alike. Archbishop Peter L. Gerety of Newark
described the gathering as "one of the largest interfaith gatherings in
the history of the world." Cosponsored by Logos International Fellowship,
a nondenominational charismatic publishing association, and the People
of Hope, a Catholic charismatic group, the Rally featured such speakers
as Ruth Carter Stapleton, sister of the President, and Jim Bakker of the
TV show - "Praise the Lord." Besides priests of the Catholic church, Cardinal
Terence Cook of New York also took part. The Cardinal gave the final blessing
and stated - the rally was a "tremendous witness to the power of the Holy
Spirit moving in our times. Alleluia."
Ruth Carter Stapleton, author of two books on inner healing, prayed for the healing of hostilities, and suggested that those gathered might wish to touch a person near them as they joined in prayer to allow "love to begin to flow one to another." Bakker stated that the experience of ministering with my Catholic brothers and sisters is a "sign that Jesus is coming soon." He said - "if we stop judging and start to love, we'll turn the world upside down." Scanlon, a Catholic priest, and leader of the national Catholic charismatic movement, told the Rally - "The body of Christ (the Christian community) is divided. There are over 250 sects and denominations. We are not one. It's time to get on with that." Another priest said he longed for the day when at a huge stadium altar "all of us will share the Body and the Blood of Christ." However, he called for obedience to Roman Catholic discipline that presently forbids inter-communion and urged in stead shared liturgical services at which Christians would wash each other's feet in a token of service and love.
Some of the Protestant pentecostals present indicated that this was their first experience of praying with Roman Catholics; while others indicated that they were doing this regularly through Marriage Encounter meetings or charismatic prayer groups. The majority present seemed to have left the idea of religious difference behind and was content that unity clearly already had been achieved in the shared prayer experience of the charismatic movement. (RNS, May 15, 1978, pp. 3-5. (1978 July) --- END --- TOP
1978 Aug -- THE ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-FOUR THOUSAND (1) -- Part 1 -- And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on mount Zion, and with him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. Rev. 14:1
"And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth, and the sea, saying, hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed; and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel." Rev. 7:1-4
To what state of the church do these scriptures apply? Evidently
to the present. (2) But as some doubt this position,
we wish briefly to give some of the reasons for believing that the 144,000
are those who are alive, and are changed to immortality at the second
"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." Rev. xv, 2.
Rev. vii, 1-3, has been, and is still, held by Adventists, with very few exceptions, to apply to the preparatory scenes of the second advent. In fact it seems impossible to apply it anywhere else.
Mark this: John was shown, not things that were in the past,
no, but "things which
p 2 -- must shortly come to pass." It is true
that some allusions were made to the past, but it was only to explain
the "things which must shortly come to pass," as in the case of the "woman,"
the "dragon," and the "man child" of chap. 12. This fact seems quite destructive
of the view, that the 144,000 were raised at the time of the first advent.
(3) If the prophecy relative to the 144,000 was fulfilled
at the time of the first advent, then the faithful Witness, instead of
doing what he said he would do, viz., "shew unto his servant, things which
must shortly come to pass," showed John things that were all past, at
least sixty years before he had his revelation on the isle of Patmos.
The twelve tribes, of which the 144,000 are sealed, are the same as the
apostle James addressed, A. D. 60.
"James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to the
twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting." James 1:1.
This epistle is evidently addressed to the present state of the church;
to that state when the people of God are waiting for the Lord, and in
their disappointed, waiting, trying state, need much patience. "Be patient,
therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord." Chap. 5:7. "Be ye also
patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."
Verse 8. From these scattered "tribes" who are exhorted to wait patiently
for the Lord, the 144,000 are to be sealed.
II -- The history and description of the 144,000 apply to those who are to be changed at the coming of the Lord, and to no other class.
1 -- "Having his Father's name written in their
foreheads." Said the true Witness to the Philadelphia church, "Him
that overcometh, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he
shall no more go out, and I will write upon him the name of my God."
Where? "In their 'foreheads,'" just where John saw the "Father's
name." Now just as sure as the Philadelphia church is the true church
of the last days, just so sure the 144,000 are sealed, just before the
coming of the Lord. (4)
2 -- They sing "as it were a new song," that
none in all wide heaven, but the 144, 000 "could learn." "And they sing
the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb." Chap.
The song of Moses was the history and deliverance of Israel.
The new song of the 144,000 will also be of their experience and their
deliverance. The reason why none but the 144,000 can learn or sing this
song, will be because the history and deliverance of no other class will
be like those who pass through the time of trouble, and are changed to
immortality "in the twinkling of an eye," at the coming of the Lord.
3 -- "These are they which were not defile with
women." A woman is used as a symbol of the church. See Rev. 12:1-6;
17:1-6. The woman arrayed in purple and scarlet-color, on whose "forehead
was a name written mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots,"
is the Catholic church. Her harlot daughters must there fore be the Protestant
sects. They are the woman with whom the 144,000 are "not defiled." Why
not defiled with them? Because they obey the voice from heaven, saying,
"Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, [be
defiled,] and receive not of her plagues." Chap. 18:4.
4 -- "These were redeemed from among men."
Not out of their graves; no, no, - "from
p 3 -- among men."
They must, therefore, be the living saints who are changed to immortality
at the coming of the Lord. The sleeping saints are not "among men." Those
who came out of their graves at the time of the first Advent were not
among men. No, they were in the silent grave. Some say that the 144,000
were the infants slain by Herod. Those infants had been slain more than
thirty years, and of course had returned to dust again. What folly to
say that they were redeemed "from among men!" There is no consistency
in such a view. (3) The simple truth on this point
is this: The 144,000 are on the earth "among men" [the wicked] at the
coming of Christ, and at the "voice of the Archangel" they are changed
in a moment, and are "caught up" from among men to "meet the Lord."
5 -- "Being the first fruits unto God and the
Lamb." The first fruits in this text, do not refer to the type - the
"sheaf of the first fruits of the harvest," which the priest waved before
the Lord "on the morrow after the Sabbath." Lev. 23:10-12. That was fulfilled
in Christ. "Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's
at his coming." I Cor. 15: 23. Paul does not say, Christ and the 144,000
the first fruits, no, no; the 144,000 are a part of the great harvest,
in the end of the world, of which the risen Saviour was a sample, or the
first fruits. If Paul had said, Christ and 144,000 the first fruits, and
there was no other testimony in the way, then we might with safety believe
that they were raised at the first advent; but as it reads "Christ the
first fruits," we think it safest and best to believe it as it reads.
"Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that
we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. James 1:18.
It will yet be more clearly seen that the living saints will be delivered
by the voice of God, and have power over the nations before the second
advent. Their captivity will be turned, and the yoke broken from off their
neck, and "destroyed because of the anointing." See Isa. 10:27.
The latter rain - the outpouring of the Spirit - prior to the advent,
will ripen the 144,000 for the harvest, while the other saints will be
still sleeping in the grave. In this sense they will be "the first fruits
unto God and the Lamb."
Then they will be "without fault before the throne." They will confess all their faults while Jesus is in the Sanctuary, ready to blot them out, and they will be borne away by the scapegoat, just before our High Priest comes out to bless his waiting people.
FALLACIES OF SATAN ARE NOW BEING MULTIPLIED,
p 5 -- A PSYCHIATRIC ANALYSIS AND ITS IMPLICATIONS -- Concerning Lucifer, it is written: How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High. (Isa. 14:12-14)
These verses tell us that he who was highest among the angelic
host became an ego maniac, possessed with delusions of grandeur. For a
created being (Eze. 25:15) to believe that he could be God - like the
Most High - was sheer insanity. His mental powers became warped. "Thou
hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness" is the Divine diagnosis.
Our adversary, the devil and Satan, is brilliantly insane.
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood but. . . against wicked spirits
in heavenly places." (Eph. 6:12 margin) And "though we walk in the flesh,
we do not war after the flesh. (For the weapons of our warfare are not
carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.)" (II
Cor. 10:3-4) God has not provided human munitions guns, grenades, and
rockets. We have not been given the power to cope with the physical aspects
of the devil's activities - God holds that intervention in His own hands
- but we have been provided a spiritual arsenal. (Eph. 6:11, 13-18) 1
am amazed that so many sincere saints become enamored with sensational
presentations of the material workings of Satan in the children of disobedience,
and yet continue to be deceived by the spiritual sophistry under the guise
of "present truth", or even so-called "righteousness by faith."
Another aspect of Satan's insanity is that he is a schizophrenic
in the basic meaning of the word - a split personality influencing and
encouraging sadistic responses in humanity and at the same time voicing
through others lofty ideals of peace. A case in point - while the instruments
of Communistic infiltration in Africa are committing acts of murder, the
one whom the Scriptures declare to be the embodiment of "all iniquity"
calls for peace in Africa. Of this mental derangement in Satan we have
been informed. We are told while Satan will appear as "a benefactor of
the race" and "present a new and more exalted system of religious faith"
he will "at the same time" work "as a destroyer." (Great Controversy,
p. 589) He delights in "war" and incites "the nations to war against one
another." He has studied "the secrets of the laboratories of nature" and
unleashes the elements in sadistic destruction of life and property. "While
appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all
their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities
are reduced to ruin and destruction." (Ibid.) Yet when he will
come personating Christ, his voice will be "soft and subdued, yet full
of melody," and "in gentle, compassionate tones," he will present "gracious,
heavenly truths." (Great Controversy, p. 624)
Since Satan himself will be transformed into an angel of light, it is now "no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as ministers of righteousness." (II Cor.
p 6 -- 11:15) Herein is the great
deception which is being practiced on the world, and even in the Church.
It is not some future delusion when Satan appears as Christ that should
cause us the greatest concern, but the present for "many" are standing
"in our pulpits, with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled
from the hellish torch of Satan." (Testimonies to Ministers, pp.
The cause for the insanity of Lucifer is given by Christ
Himself. Jesus stated clearly to the Jewish hierarchy concerning the devil
- "He ... abode not in the truth." (John 8:44). The only cure for insanity
is truth, and the only prevention of deception is truth. We need to recognize
that to the degree we are deceived to that degree we become likewise insane.
Delusions of grandeur are not limited alone to him who first rebelled,
but to those who conceive of "the true church" being exalted in this world
where Satan will ultimately hold universal sway are likewise lipping the
same delusion. Furthermore, the real diagnosis of the spiritual malady
afflicting Laodicea is that of insanity. What would you think of a person
going down the main street of town completely naked, yet telling the authorities
when being arrested for indecent exposure that he was fully clothed? Yet
this is the description of Laodicea:- "Thou sayest, I ... have need of
nothing; and knowest not that thou art ... naked." (Rev. 3:17)
To Laodicea is offered "white raiment, that thou mayest
be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear." (Rev.
3:18) This "white raiment" - the righteousness of Christ - is declared
to be "pure, unadulterated truth." (Testimonies to Ministers, p.
65) But this we refused to accept in 1888, and still refuse to heed. Is
it any wonder then, that the servant of the Lord wrote in 1890 - "Since
the Minneapolis meeting, I have seen the state of the Laodicean Church
as never before." (Review & Herald, Aug. 26, 1890) And whether
we like it or not, this state of spiritual insanity has only increased
as we have gone from one delusion to another.
The only solution to our desperate mental illness is "the
mind of Christ." Paul wrote, "Let this mind be in you which was also in
Christ Jesus." (Phil. 2:5) This "mind of Christ" is more than mere lip
service to "righteousness by faith" - it is Truth - the revealed will
and purposes of God! And no where in all the Scriptures is the truth of
God revealed in relationship to our adversary the devil and Satan, than
in the book of Revelation - which is the very message of God through Jesus
Christ. (Rev. 1:1) The book of Revelation unveils for us the "true church"
of these last days: the real meaning of the "beast" which wars against
the saints, and opens his mouth in blasphemy against the tabernacle of
God in heaven.
We are told: ''By a variety of images the Lord Jesus represented to John the wicked character and seductive influence of those who have been distinguished for their persecution of God's people. All need wisdom carefully to search out the mystery of iniquity that figures so largely in the winding up of this earth's history." (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 118)
Satan in his insanity manifests himself in various ways
and "has different delusions prepared to affect different minds." (Early
Writings, p. 261) With every wind of doctrine blowing, whatever "sensational"
revelations are projected as truth which do not include the "mystery of
iniquity which figures so largely in the winding up of this world's
p 7 -- history" need to be taken with the proverbial
"grain of salt." And when within the Church, the man of sin, the mystery
of iniquity, is hailed by an official representative of the Church as
"Holy Father", we need to take alarm. The truth of the Word of God alone
can keep us mentally in balance; and that Truth and that Word is Jesus
Christ, the Word made flesh, who prevailed as the Lamb to open the book
UPDATE -- The Reader's Digest (July, 1978) -- published excerpts from the Diary of Dr. Billy Graham telling of his visit to Hungary last September. The first notation reads: Saturday, September 3. A delegation of church leaders met us at the Budapest airport, led by Rev. Sandor Palotay, President of the Council of Free Churches. (p. 110)
Spotlight, a weekly newspaper from Washington D C, in its July 3 issue, also commented on the Graham Crusade in Hungary. It noted: In Hungary the recent Billy Graham Crusade was the apparent victim of extortion. The agent who arranged both sites and audiences for the crusade was Sandor Palatoy, a communist whose only allegiances are to money and state - in that order. (p. 6)
Previous to this, we reported to you in the December, 1977 issue of "Watchman, What of the Night?" about the news item in The Voice of Prophecy News (Vol. 35, #11, p. 5) which showed a picture of "an Hungarian national treasure," a painting presented to Graham by Sandor Palotay. The news item read - "Himself a Seventh-day Adventist, Palotay is president of the Council of Free Churches in Hungary." A similar news item appeared in the Southern Tidings (September, 1977, p. 9), the official organ of the Southern Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It read: Evangelist Billy Graham has accepted an invitation to hold a crusade in Hungary. Graham's acceptance was announced jointly by the evangelist and Sandor Polatai chairman of the Council of Free Church in Hungary. Polatai extended the invitation to Graham while in the United States for a General Council meeting of the Baptist World Alliance. Himself a Seventh-day Adventist, Polatai represents the eight evangelical churches in Hungary.
Religious News Service in its "Week in Religion" (Oct. 14, 1977) observed that "Mr. Graham's visit ... was sponsored by the Council of Free Churches, an alliance of Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Seventh-day Adventist, and other denominations." "The Voice of the Martyrs" a publication of Jesus to the Communist to the World, Inc., told of repression in Hungary. It stated - "Those harassed by the Communists denounce a certain Palyotai as on the traitors who gave them into the hands of the police; this is the man who invited Billy Graham to preach in Hungary." (Jan. 78, p2)
p 8 -- In the latest Seventh-day Adventist Year Book (1976) available to me as I write, Sandor Polatai (Palatoy, Palyotai) is not listed as a minister of the Church. Billy Graham in his diary calls him - "Rev." - indicating that for Graham he is a minister. Our own publications refer to him as a "Seventh-day Adventist." Other news releases are not so flattering in describing his connections and his work. It is interesting that a Seventh-day Adventist minister represent the Baptist Church at its General Council. Further, how is the Seventh-day Adventist Church associated together with the Pentecostals, and other "evangelical" religious groups in the Council of Free Churches in Hungary? These are questions that should be answered by the Editor of the Adventist Review. But so far, only a strange silence. If the Editor is running true to form, he will tell any who write to him that WWN sees something "sinister" in what is taking place, but really there is nothing to be concerned about, because I have not obtained "reliable" sources upon which to base my concerns. Again, you, the reader, can judge the sources quoted in this Update. Whatever the explanation is, it needs the light of day. If any do write to Editor Wood, and he sends you an explanation, please send us a copy for our information. Thank you.
1967 AGAIN -- In Newsweek (June 19, 1978, p. 21) appeared this comment: Since 1967, the value of the dollar has declined 47.6 per cent. ...
When we recognize
that the word for "Gentiles" in Luke 21:24, and the word for 11 nations"
in Luke 21:25 are identical in the Greek, we can understand that the year
1967 not only marks the date when the "times of the Gentiles" was fulfilled,
but also the date for the beginning of the "distress of nations with perplexity."
The word translated, "distress" gives the picture of nations imprisoned, in the straits, or narrows, and the nature of these forces are described in the phrase, it with perplexity" (Greek), or in financial difficulties. Moulton and Milligan in their Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament (pp. 67-68) quote from the papyri and other nonliterary sources that this word both in its verb and noun forms signifies poverty, bankruptcy, a state where even though one has financial resources, they are insufficient to meet the expenditures of living, thus qualifying the individual for "Poor relief." Today, and since 1967, the nations of earth faced with the ever increasing demands to supply the requirements ' for a higher standard of living, have permitted inflation with the resulting devaluation of the currency. C. V. Myers, the Canadian financial expert, stated back in 1974: It has now been established over the course of the last seven years - since 1967 - that there is nothing in this world the international monetary authorities can do ... to avoid the enormous deflation - the global liquidity crunch - and the resulting depressions ...
For seven years things have gone from bad to worse; the US$ has been devalued; inflation has undermined world confidence in money; and now the bankruptcies come. (Myers' Finance and Energy, July 4, 1974, pp. 2-3)
Isn't it time that we did some real thinking on the prophecy
of Jesus in Luke 21?
p 9 -- IN THE UNION PAPERS -- A couple of readers in Canada sent us an article appearing in the Canadian Adventist Messenger (May 18, 1978, p. 4). It was written by M. Carol Hetzell of the General Conference Communications Department. (We have also seen the same article in the Central Union Reaper.) This article told of the appointment of a 115 member special Commission on Maintaining Church Unity. This commission studied the nominating committee process for the election of the officers of the General Conference and recommended that at all future sessions an "electronic computer voting" procedure be implemented. Four discussion groups devoted their time to the part the layman, the pastor, and the Holy Spirit was to play in a finished work. Then a significant sentence was written by Miss Hetzell. It reads: There was no discussion on doctrines, for those on which the church has its foundation stand firmly on the Word of God.
Do not the leaders of the Church know that it was in the area of doctrine that disunity and dissension entered the Church about 1950, and that it has continued unabated since then? Are they unaware that some of the basic truths upon which the Church did stand have been altered, and heretical concepts have been substituted? Has Elder Pierson forgotten that he placed his imprimatur on the book Movement of Destiny with its error and heresy? To merely dress up the machinery of the Church so that it will function more rapidly and smoothly, and not address the real issues of disunity is to continue to keep the laity of the Church in a fatal security until it will be too late!
Vatican City -- U. S. News and World Report (May 22, 1978) carried a report on the "ministates" of Europe. Among these was Vatican City. Concerning its government and territory, the article noted: This is the temporal estate of the Pope, who is also the spiritual leader of the world's Roman Catholics. Nobody owns property here except the Pope, and nobody pays taxes, not even Paul, himself.
Only the Pope is a citizen of the Vatican for life. There are 370 temporary citizens; they perform official duties and carry Vatican passports. (p. 68)
1978 Sep -- THE SHADOW OF "ARMAGEDDON" -- [Recently, I received from a retired minister of the Church several articles of real thought and challenge. I wrote to him asking if I might use these in one of our monthly thought papers. I also told this saintly elder in Israel that I wished to give credit to the source. He replied as follows: You certainly may use any material you wish in your thought papers (which by the way, I appreciate very much and keep on file) Giving credit or not; I am indifferent to that. "Gedanken sind zollfrie." "Thoughts are exempt from custom duty." Inasmuch as they are true and valuable, they all have one author - the One who identifies Himself with "Truth." And if false, they have their own father whom Jesus identifies clearly.
We might all profit from adopting such a philosophy. The following articles down to the author's name, reflect this minister's convictions and concerns.]
Readers of the Bible and, in particular, students of prophecy cannot help to be impressed with the news that sprouts from their radios in these months. Their headlines featuring names such as "Egypt, Sinai, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq (the site of ancient Nineveh, Babylon and Ur) and, above all, the tiny state of Israel with heavy emphasis on its capital, Jerusalem, the nerve center of the present commotion. In short: the ancient Bible world convulsed by feuds whose roots may be traced as far back as Old Testament times.
To get the full impact of what is gathering, however, we are bound to add another feature: in the wings, on opposite poles of the action, loom the profiles of the two superpowers of our time, monitoring their clients and feeding them with deadly hardware while themselves poised to throw their massive might into the arena at any moment deemed crucial to their interests.
Here then, we come on a fuse planted on a land-neck that
binds three continents together; an explosive proliferating in all directions
of the compass containing all the elements of the "Armageddon" of Bible
prophecy! An immediate neighbor of the scene expresses his concern in
these words. Referring to the recent Sadat-Begin talks, King
Hussein of Jordan declared: If
these talks fail, we are at the end of the road - at the end of hope for
peace. We will be heading for disaster in terms of this area and of the
whole world. (Time, Jan. 30, 1978, p.38)
p 2 -- To assess the gravity of the situation more
accurately, however, we shall call on one of God's accredited witnesses.
In the eleventh chapter of his prophecy, Daniel sketches the history of
the Mediterranean countries from the time of ancient Medo-Persia, via
Greece and Rome, to a point when "the king" that "shall do according to
his will" in a passionate, climacteric move will "plant the tabernacles
of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain (Jerusalem);
yet he shall come to his end and none shall help him." (Daniel 11:36-45)
Continues the inspired text: "And at that time shall Michael stand up,
the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there
shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation
even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered,
everyone that shall be found written in the book." (Dan. 12:1)
The march of events, here outlined by the prophet, culminates
in "a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." For
a short time, Satan will be given an opportunity to give a demonstration
of what the world would be like if he had unrestricted control. "Satan
will have entire control of the finally impenitent." (Great Controversy,
p. 614) This is also the time to which Jesus points in His great prophecy
on the Mount of Olives - "upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity,
men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things
which are coming on the earth." (Luke 21:25-26)
The world has passed through many crises. This generation
alone has witnessed two world wars. Since then, it has seen wars on the
Asiatic, African, and South American continents. At the time of writing
these lines, there are fightings in Cambodia-Vietnam, in Ethiopia-Somali,
in Zaire. There are tensions between China and the Soviet Republic, between
the two Germanys; there are labor troubles in many countries. Crime, violence
and vice walk the streets of our cities at noon and at midnight. They
propagate boldly and blatantly on TV screens, on newsstands and billboards.
We are suffering from an epidemic of kidnapping, guerilla warfare and
terrorism! Behold the world, puffing and sputtering like a volcano about
to erupt! "But the wicked are like a troubled sea, when it cannot rest,
whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith the Lord,
to the wicked."(Isa. 57:20-21)
Serious as these crises are, they recede to second and third
places when held against the crisis in the Mid-East. In the light of prophecy
it is not a crisis on the American continents, nor in Europe, nor in Asia
that ripens into the "time of trouble such as never was since there was
a nation." It is a crisis shaping and festering around the tiny state
of Israel and the city of Jerusalem that ripens into the "time of trouble
such as never was since there was a nation" and sparks the "Armageddon"
of the Bible. It is this singular feature that makes any crisis in that
particular part of the world-map heavy with destiny, triggering "Armageddon."
In prophecy these two events are banded together as closely as is the
shadow with the substance, the ark to, the flood, and the handwriting
on the wall to the fall of the city!
There have been moments in history when Providence focussed all eyes on Israel. One such moment occurred in the days of Solomon. God fitted him with judiciary, administrative, executive and artistic ability, moreover, with a keen trading instinct, that drew the attention of the world. Kings and queens, statesmen, philosophers, scholars, artists, craftsmen, merchants and traders sought counsel and knowledge at the feet of this living "university." (I Kings 4:34; 11:23-24) It was thus
p 3 -- that the world was brought into contact with God's people and the message of salvation.
Another such moment occurred in the year 31 A. D., on the
day of Pentecost, following the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. The
Scriptures cite more that fifteen language-groups which were represented
on that occasion, listening to the message of Peter and the apostles.
"Every tongue was represented by those assembled." (Acts of the Apostles,
p. 39) It was an experience destined to touch off a moment which would
carry the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations under the sun within one
And once again in our days, all eyes are trained on the
Mideast The creation of a Jewish state in 1948, after a suspense of nearly
two thousand years of oppression, humiliation, climaxing in an Auschwitz
and "Dachau," has aroused the jealousy of Israel's traditional enemies
- the Arabs, the descendants of Israel. They challenged Israel's right
to exist as a nation. This cancerous relationship might be shrugged off
as a "family quarrel" which needs not concern the rest of the world. However,
another factor, peculiar to our time, magnifies the event and converts
the Mideast into a subject of universal concern. The syphoning of oil
and natural gas, perfected to a high degree of efficiency during the last
four decades, coinciding with the heyday of the automobile, the airplane,
the space age and the plethora of mechanical gadgets, all of which depend
for their function on oil and gas as the body depends on the bloodstream
for its life, has given the Mid-East an economic and political clout whose
impact is felt around the circle of the globe. It has propelled the Mideast
nations once more onto center-stage! For centuries the sluggish, anemic,
inconsequential segment within the concert of nations, the Mideast has
now and suddenly become a telling and crucial factor of the scenario.
Once again, then, in the Providence of God, all eyes are
focussed on that unique stretch on the earth's surface - the homeland
of the greatest personalities of the race, the scene of the most exalted
chapter in the history of the entire universe, the state of God's personal
intervention in human affairs, its soil, indeed, watered with the very
blood of the Creator and moistened with His tears! Here is a phenomenon
that appeals to man's historical, political, materialistic, cultural,
and religious instincts!
The Antediluvians scoffed at the ark and its builders; the
flood took them away. Lot's wife could not bring herself to cut loose
from Sodom; she lingered. Her reluctance sealed her fate. A golden wedge
entranced Achan; a hail of stones buried him. Two talents of silver and
two changes of garments made Gehazi a leper for life. Samson was beguiled
by a heathen girl; he became the sport of his enemies. The rich young
ruler clung to perishable possessions while in the presence of Him who
offers riches imperishable. Passengers there were on the Titanic who ignored
the lifeboats hanging on their davits to take them off the fated liner.
They lingered in the lounges and sauntered on her decks trusting in "she
cannot sink" - a shibboleth drilled into their ears and minds by an arrogant
propaganda. But sink she did - within hours the waters of the Atlantic
closed over her.
YE, DEPART YE FROM THEM, TOUCH NO UNCLEAN THING:
How earnest, how insistent is this call! Jacob, in the fear
of God, buried the idols
p 4 -- of his household under an oak (Gen. 35:1-4).
The Ephesians, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, burned their books
(Acts 18:18-19). Moses turned his back on the treasures of Egypt, choosing
rather to cast his lot with a despised and downtrodden people which were
heading for "no-man's land," the wilderness! What about us who claim to
believe in the imminence of Christ's second coming? Does our life testify
to the genuineness of our profession? Should we not, too, turn away, separate
and "come out" from everything that stands in the way between ourselves
and the gates of heaven? Should not we, at this late hour, take an intensely
earnest look at our intimate self? Then, too, at our furniture, our pantry,
our wardrobe, our bank account, our book shelves, our discotheque, our
correspondence file, our picture gallery, our social circle, our time
schedule, our hobbies and our priorities? How do these square with the
"Blessed Hope" which we, as a people, profess? How would the unseen Witness
evaluate them? Would your neighbor or the "outsider" who observes discern
that "Blessed Hope" in us? Would he feel encouraged to enter with you
and me into that blessed experience?
BE YE ALSO READY:
How many a soul has stood on the platform, forlorn, disappointed,
defeated, and stunned, watching the last car of the outgoing train disappear
behind the curve of the track or the silvery wing of the plane melt into
the distant cloudlet! How humiliating, how hopeless, how desperate, how
irreversible! It is for that reason that Christ bids us BE READY, not
"Get" ready. Between "being ready" and "getting ready" stretches an eternity!
all sad words of tongue or pen,
Look then -- Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. (Heb. 12:1)
Choose then -- And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)
Trust then -- Now unto Him that is able to keep you from failing, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God and Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. (Jude 24, 25)
p 5 -- Triumph then -- For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing. (2 Tim. 4:6-8)
ISRAEL - A MIRACLE -- On May 15, 1948, the British Mandate
over Palestine was relinquished. On May 16, Chaim Weizmann was elected
President of the new state of Israel. Thus, thirty years ago, the State
of Israel was re-formed after an interval of almost 1900 years of oppression,
humiliation, of Ghetto-life, or Dachau and of Auschwitz! Within 24 hours
the young state was attacked by the armies of five Arab states (Egypt,
Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq), which protested her right to exist
as a nation; it was an attempt at national infant-slaughter!
At the time, Israel was not a military power. The defenders
on which it counted were a citizen-army, made up of miscellaneous and
sundry elements; escapees from the ghettos of Europe and Hitler's ovens;
small shopkeepers, dealers in old clothes and old furniture, pawnbrokers,
moneylenders, auctioneers, troopers, showmen, fiddlers, peddlers, etc.
- an army devoid of military training, fueled, however, by a zeal and
motivation that outweighed all shortcomings; steeled with the fiery patriotism
of the Maccabees and the valor of the Masada-heroes!
Three wars were to follow: the Sinai campaign of 1956, the
six-day war of 1967, and the "Yom Kippur War" of 1973. From all four wars
Israel emerged victoriously, fighting against greatly superior forces.
The greatest triumph was achieved on Wednesday, June 7, 1967, when Israeli
paratroopers took the old, walled city of Jerusalem: the historical city,
the city of sacred memories, containing Mt. Moriah (which bears the footsteps
of Abraham and Isaac), the city of David and Solomon, of Hezekiah, of
Jeremiah, of Zerubbabel and Nehemiah; the city hallowed by Gethsemane
and Calvary, moistened with the tears of the Creator and watered by His
very blood. What spot on earth is there more significant to the whole
human race and to heaven itself!
Today, we hear the blasts of the ancient Shofar rise from the ancient city, calling the world's attention to the last battle in the age-long controversy between the forces of good and the forces of evil. Do you hear and recognize their message? Do you take them to heart? May God help each reader of these lines to hear, watch, to prepare and to triumph: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the
p 6 -- breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (Eph. 6:10-18)
THE TITANIC -- In the early dawn of Monday, April 15, 1912, the liner "Titanic" foundered in the icy-cold waters of the North Atlantic. She was the greatest ship afloat at that time, the pride of the Cunard-Line: she was on her maiden trip and she was declared to be unsinkable, or as one of her crewmembers expressed it: "God Himself could not sink her" - a claim no other floating craft had ever made. But sink she did, struck by an iceburg that tore a gash of 300 feet into her starboard and sent her into the deep. She carried 2207 souls on her decks; over 1500 perished (about 70%!). Two tragic factors stand out in this drama of the seas: while the "Titanic" admitted over 2000 souls to her decks, she provided life-boat capacity for only one half (1178) of them. And again: through the hours of her last day (Sunday, April 14) she had been receiving six warnings from ships traveling in the opposite direction, cautioning her of the presence of icebergs - the last warning telling her, in fact, exactly where she might expect one of these icy monsters. In the meantime the temperature dropped ominously from 43' to 31'! Ignoring these warnings she plowed forward at "full speed ahead" through night and fog. The captain was in pursuit of the "Blue Ribbon of the Atlantic" award given to the liner that would achieve the fastest transit across the Atlantic, a prize keenly coveted by the great shipping companies competing with each other.
What a price to pay for a cherished priority! -- Elder Henry E. Baasch, Silver Spring, MD
JEWISH NATION - A SPIRITUAL "TITANIC"? -- "The
Jewish people cherished the idea that they were the favorites of heaven,
and that they were always to be exalted as the church of God. They were
the children of Abraham, they declared, and so firm did the foundation
of their prosperity seem to them that they defied earth and heaven to
dispossess them of their rights. But by their lives of unfaithfulness
they were preparing for the condemnation of heaven and for separation
from God." (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 294)
What think ye? Does modern "spiritual" Israel believe and
teach the same thing?
The statue had been taken in procession from the airport
to the Cathedral. After it had remained in veneration for a few hours,
it was escorted to the Lourdes Shrine in Permabur, 30 kilometers from
Madras, where many thousands worshipped.
"Our Lady of Fatima is especially venerated by Catholics
in Madras. When the city was bombed by Japanese during World War II, the
then Archbishop of Madras, Louils Mathias, reportedly prayed to the Lady
of Fatima to save the city. He vowed to erect a shrine in her honor if
his prayer was answered. Madras was saved. Though bombarded constantly
by the Japanese, the city suffered relatively minor damage." (May 12,
1978, p. 9)
Comment: "As we near the close of time, there will be greater and still greater external parade of heathen power; heathen deities will manifest their signal power, and will exhibit themselves before the cities of the world; and this delineation has already begun to be fulfilled." (Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 116,117)
West Germany (RNS)
-- Two Roman Catholic
priests and the parents of a young woman have been found guilty of negligent
homicide in the death of the couple's daughter during protracted exorcism
"According to the indictments, Miss Michel died of 'highly
advanced' malnutrition and dehydration in her parent's home in the village
of Klingenberg, near here, after refusing nourishment during the months-long
exorcism." Miss Michel was a student at the University of Wuerzburg, and
had received medical treatment for epilepsy between 1969 and 1975. But
failing to be cured, she came to believe that she was possessed of demons.
Her parents, Joseph and Anna Michel, also came to believe that she was
possessed, and consulted with a local Catholic priest. "On his advice,
82 year-old German Jesuit Father Rodewyk, an authority on exorcism, was
called in for consultation." The Jesuit expert recommended formal exorcism
to the Bishop of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, who in turn appointed
Fathers Alt and Renz to carry out the ritual.
"The two priests who performed the exorcism maintained in
their court testimony that Miss Michel had been possessed of six demons,
including the spirits of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, Roman Emperor Nero,
and Judas Iscariot.
"In tape recordings of the exorcism rites, played in court,
Miss Michel's voice was harsh and distorted. Some observers said her voice
sounded like the voice of the 'possessed' child in the movie, "The-Exorcist,"
which had been showing in West Germany for the previous two years -- as
if another person were speaking from within her."(April 24, 1978, p. 10)
p 8 --
Louis (RNS) --
"A former supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus
told a national gathering of Roman Catholic religious here that 'the Church
was founded by Christ, not as a democratic but an authoritative body.'"
John W. McDevitt was addressing a national congress on the theme - "What
Ever Happened to Religious Life?" - sponsored by the Institute on Religious
Life in cooperation with the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
McDevitt declared that "Christ did not make provision for
a democratic poll on His doctrine, with the option to accept the pleasant
and reject the difficult, to embrace Mount Tabor but repudiate Calvary.
He told His apostles to teach 'all things' that He had told them. Christ
wanted His followers to accept totally of what He taught." He continued
- "in the days when our Church spoke with one voice the average loyal
Catholic had ever before him uniform guidelines, adherence to which would
achieve divine salvation. However, today he is completely confused when
misguided clerics and religious go forth and preach a distorted analysis
of Vatican II and challenge the magisterium." Mr. McDevitt indicated the
cause for the problem was an "unreasonable doubt and false theology" of
which the priesthood and sisterhood of the church were suffering. (April
Comment: How familiar the cause - "unreasonable doubt and false theology'' - when we take a look at our own church. Liberal thinkers are casting doubt - beyond reason - on our positions regarding Creation, Prophecy, and the Spirit of Prophecy; and theologians are projecting false theology in regard to the Incarnation, and Righteousness by Faith. Result - Confusion!
Eng. (RNS) - "Ecumenism took a new upward swing when
400 people from six churches representing five denominations covenanted
together to become one church in this western English town. The members
came from the Baptist Tabernacle, the Church of Christ, the Methodist
Central Hall, Sanford St. United Reformed Church and Trinity United Reformed
Church and the Church of England.
"Chairmen at the founding meeting asked the members if they
were ready to become one church. They signed their names as founding members
before receiving Communion in the presence of the invited representatives
of the denominations ...Teenagers were among those who formed the new
congregation and parents who covenanted brought their children forward
to be greeted and blessed."
While a central church complex is being built - furnishings from all participating churches, either sold or demolished, have been brought to Trinity where they are presently meeting to show in a practical way that all of the uniting congregations have contributed to the new structure. (April 25, 1978, p. 22) --- (Sep 1978) ---END---