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SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
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BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary

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

OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:

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

Bible As History - Werner Keller

Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts

Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith

Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson

Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones

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

Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen

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

Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen

Sanctuary Service, The
- M. L. Andreasen

So Much In Common - WCC/SDA

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

Under Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy

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WWN 1975 Jul - Sep

 

1975 Jul -- EZEKIEL'S KNOTHOLE!  1   -- Ezekiel, chapters eight and nine, constitute one vision, and should be studied together, though an arbitrary chapter division has been made in the translation as found in our King James Version. No doubt there was a current application for the prophet saw      "sins that were practiced in Jerusalem."  2    But we are here concerned with a secondary application to the present time because      "Satan is working that the history of the Jewish nation may be repeated in the experience of those who claim to believe present truth."  3    What lessons can we learn from this vision of Ezekiel?

The prophet was taken from the company of his captured countrymen in Babylon and in the Spirit set down in the temple courts at Jerusalem so that he could see the mercy of Jehovah still exercised toward the obdurate rebels claiming to be the chosen people of God, yet despising His leniency and departing further from His service and worship each day. The God of Justice MUST soon deal according to their misdeeds!

If Ezekiel were living today, the Spirit would have brought him to the vicinity of the General Conference offices in Takoma Park. Such is the import of the analogy. In Jerusalem, the spokesman for Jehovah was invited to look carefully about at the evils within the church, and the prophet did not have to journey far to see too much for his delicate spiritual sensibilities.

At the North Gate was placed an image of a particularly revolting nature. The New English Version calls it the image of Lust; the King James Version names it, Jealousy. Certain it is that it represented personality traits that should be en-

P 2 -- tirely foreign to the loyal followers of Jehovah. And why the North Gate? Satan had said -      "I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the North."    4   Mount Moriah, the site of Solomon's Temple, was called the Mount of the Congregation. Satan had succeeded very well in Ezekiel's time. Has he now brought about a repetition of Judah's downward trek to perdition in our own church in accordance with his long-laid plans?

The prophet was permitted to consider only briefly the image to selfish desires. Brought next to the wall of the temple (General Conference office at Jerusalem), he discovered a knothole and was invited to look within. The narrow hole was enlarged at the angel's insistence so that the prophet might observe clearly all he should see and report. What a sight! Surrounded by the odor of sanctity - the cloud of incense from their censers - were the seventy elders engaged in secret adoration of the most hateful and disgusting of the idols of Judah's neighbors. Why the seventy? Moses had chosen seventy as counselors and administrators in his day.  5    In Ezekiel's day, this was none other than the entire General Conference Committee!!

The vile objects of worship portrayed around the walls were well known objects of adoration among the Baal worshipping neighbors of Judah. Observe that the Seventy had set these up "in the chambers of their imagery" - evidently not for public display - but nevertheless secretly adored. Do we have any modern idols secretly set up among us? Surely WE wouldn't do THAT! Let us look about in the chambers of OUR imagery and see what we see. We read: No outward shrines may be visible, there may be no image for the eye to rest upon, yet WE may be practicing idolatry. It is as easy to make an idol of cherished ideas or objects as to fashion gods of wood or stone. Thousands have a false conception of God and His attributes. They are as verily serving a false god as were the servants of Baal.   6

Could we see in this day as Ezekiel saw in his day, and with God-given insight see OUR idols as heaven sees them, would we be able to consider ourselves superior in

P 3 -- spirituality to the seventy elders of Judah? Have WE renounced the idol of worldly possessions, the worship of academic degrees, the desire for public acclaim, the quest for admiring subordinates -possible sycophants?

From the contemplation of the secret sins of Judah's spiritual leaders, Ezekiel was directed to greater offenses to Jehovah. At the door of the temple on the side looking toward the image of unregenerate Self were a group of women "weeping for Tammuz". Just who was Tammuz? The perfect lover-boy, Adonis of Phoenician mythology, whose day of worship was marked by sexual excess. Particularly distasteful to the loyal followers of Jehovah. Does history have a repeat performance in our midst? Do any sisters in following modern fashions expose too much of the anatomy thus calling attention to the parts having to do with sexual gratification? - and are they surprised by the natural reaction to such exposure! "Obedience to fashion is pervading our Seventh-day Adventist churches, and is doing more than any other power to separate our people from God."  7    Evidently in the eyes of Jehovah this sin was more abhorrent than the secret sins of the leaders.

In the ascending scale of abominations divulged to the horrified prophet there remained yet another of a nature particularly repugnant to Jehovah. Israel had been instructed according to the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the temple to pray toward that place.   8    Daniel was careful to do so.  9    Hence, the position of the worshippers as was shown to Ezekiel was indicative of the very greatest insult that they could render to their God. In the area between the porch and the altar, sacred in the performance of the ministerial duties, were twenty-five men worshipping the sun toward the East. Consider the import of this. Here were priest-ministers consecrated by the most solemn of dedicatory rites to the service of Jehovah, yet they bowed in the Oriental manner - not a mere inclination of the head, not by resting upon both knees only - but by resting on both hands and knees with the forehead to

P 4 -- the earth. In doing so they presented not only the back, but the backside to the temple and altar of Jehovah in open defiance of Divine instructions, even as any other Baal (Evangelical) worshiper would do. Why will our leaders - at least some - urge that we join Baal devotees insofar as possible? Why will our local pastors - an ever growing number - join with, and hold office in, the local ministerial associations? And why will modern priests of Baal be invited into the pulpit to conduct worship for the people on the Sabbath? Such practices, whether joining in worship with or permitting such to officiate at the Alter, were plainly forbidden by Jehovah.

Now look back. From the insight end of our knothole, can we find in the chambers of OUR IMAGERY any of the offensive idols found among the Baal worshippers?

My favorite Scottish poet wrote:

" O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us. "  
10

Are there not on Sunday morning, excellent sermons by prophets of Baal we would hate to miss? To what extent do we enter into their services? Do we not love Billy Graham? Could there be other idols? Re-think ---

No outward shrine may be visible, there may be no image for the eye to rest upon, yet we may be practicing idolatry. It is as easy to make an idol of cherished ideas or objects as to fashion gods of wood or stone. Thousands have a false conception of God and His attributes. They are as verily serving a false god as were the servants of Baal. Are we worshipping the true God as He is revealed in His word, in Christ, in nature, or are we adoring some philosophical idol enshrined in His place?   6

"Let a man examine himself"'.   11

That this vision is vital to us is shown by the fact that these disclosures lead directly and at once to the sealing work, the cleansing of the church preparatory to the Latter Rain, the Loud Cry, and the Second Advent of our Lord. The time is NOW!

P 5 --
1. Ward P. Hill, author of our guest thought paper is a layman residing in Lodi, California.
2. Ellen G. White, Prophets &Kings, p. 448
3. Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, bk. ii, p. 11
4. Isaiah 14:13
5. Numbers 11:16
6. Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 173
7. Ibid., Vol. 4, p. 647
8. II Chronicles 6:21
9. Daniel 6:10
10. Robert Burns, "To a Louse" (seen on a lady's bonnet in the kirk.)
11. II Corinthians 11:28

Brother Hill Takes Us on a Single Volume Safari for IDOLS --
Why go on a safari? Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5.p. 164, par. 2
Identification of our game. c., p. 250, par. 2
Difficult game. Ibid., p. 23I, par. 2
A trophy buck. Ibid., p. 337, par. 2
A sneaky creature, Ibid., p. 75, par. 2
Safari could be short. Ibid., p. 205, par. 1
Where game once abounded, Ibid., p. 190. par. 4. Could be again. Let's go hunting!

"ADVENTIST INNOVATION" -
- This is the title that the editor of Christianity Today (April 11, 1975, p. 21) gave his book review of God Is With Us. This book written by Jack W. Provonsha was published by the Review & Herald. Commenting on Provonsha's assertion -"Rational certainty is an impossibility" - Lindsell remarked, "Except this proposition itself, which must be a certainty." In other words, the only certainty to life is uncertainty, according to Provonsha. The editor further notes that "in his effort to lead men to God through men, Provonsha, who speaks constantly of the unity of God, does make mention of Jesus Christ, but nowhere gives the reader any reason to suppose that the Holy Spirit has any real part in the salvatory process or even that He exists." The final paragraph of the Review reads: -"This is the first Review & Herald book I have seen that departs from normative Adventist theology. Whether this was an accident or represents a decided trend in the denominational stance remains to be seen." The Book Committee of the Review & Herald owes an explanation to the laity of the church whether this was an accident or not. When one realizes that Dr. Provonsha teaches our medical students at Loma Linda University, there is little left to explain why so many depart from the fundamental faith of the Advent Movement which has been the heritage of many from the family altar at home.

"An Agency of the Proud" -- This is the title of the tape this month available of Elder David Bauer's recent presentation in Carmichael, California. The message covers three Cassette tapes, and can be obtained by writing direct to Mrs. Jeanne D. Colston, Gen. Del., Al Tahoe Sta., South Lake Tahoe, Calif., 95702. (1975 Jul ) --- END ---TOP

1975 Aug TITLE: -- 1967 -- (Times of the Gentiles) -- In A. D. 70, Titus took Jerusalem, and the nation of Israel ceased to be. In 1948 the British withdrew from Palestine. In the ensuing war between the Jews and the Arabs, the Jews were able to hold what was known as West Jerusalem, a new city; and they made it the Capitol of the re-established state of Israel. But the Western Wall, "A fragment of the western rampart of a platform on which the First Temple of King Solomon and the Second Temple of King Herod stood", remained beyond their reach.  1   It was the lone remaining remnant of that city taken by Titus, and in 1948 it remained under Gentile control. However, in the Six Day War of June, 1967, the victorious Israeli took and annexed the Old City, and thus the Jerusalem of which Jesus prophesied in Luke 21:20-24 was no longer under the control of the Gentiles. The times of the Gentiles had been fulfilled. Other events were also taking place in this same year, which this fulfilled prophecy brought into meaningful focus.

Jesus also indicated in the same prophecy that "upon earth" there would be      "distress of nations, with perplexity."  2    The word, "nations" in this verse and the word, "Gentiles" in verse 24 is the same word in Greek word. The Greek word translated "distress" means imprisoned; - in the straits or narrows. The phrase, "with perplexity" or better, "in perplexity" carries the force of being unable to meet the demands placed upon them financially, and the inability to solve the financial stress.   3    In other words, Jesus declared that there was a time coming when the nations of earth would be unable to solve their financial problems. Has this

P 2 -- been fulfilled, and if so, when did the distress begin?

In a special issue of Myers' Finance and Energy, the editor wrote:      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 stem the advance of gold, or to stem the collapse of inflation - or to avoid the enormous deflation - the global liquidity crunch - and the resulting depressions. Don't doubt this . . .

For seven years things have gone from bad to worse; the U. S. $ has been devalued; inflation has undermined world confidence in money, and now the bankruptcies come.   4

After attending an international monetary meeting in Switzerland this year, the same editor wrote:      From all that I have observed of international conferences since 1967 I do not believe that any conference is going to come up with any workable answer. It seems that the situation will just continue to deteriorate.

Only six months ago we heard every monetary authority in the world shouting, "either we lick inflation or we are doomed. This is the battle of the century"…

What has happened to all the dire predictions of the result of inflation? All brains have been stunned. They see no answer - so now they begin to think no answer is necessary. Or at least they have decided there is no use thinking about it at all. Therefore I can only see as the end product, as I have repeatedly said in these letters -and especially after attending the big world meetings of IMF -the answer is total collapse.

Either the countries will have to go back to a system which will stabilize the money, such as gold-or the social order, not only of the United States, but all of the industrial world, will disintegrate, and from this enormous confusion new governments will arise after much suffering and bloodshed, starvation and horror. These governments would be dictatorships.   5

Need more be said -or written? And what is the date? -"since 1967!"

Turning our attention next to the Church, we ask, What was happening within the Church during the year, 1967? Since we are looking at the financial narrows through which the nations have passed "since 1967", let us explore this factor in the Church's program. In 1967, the General Conference      "established special 'unitized'

P 3 -- funds which are operated in a manner similar to mutual funds ."   6    Into this created "pool" all conferences, unions, divisions, and church-owned institutions could pour their surplus funds. Because of this      "large pool of capital, the controlling investment and securities committee decided in 1967 to retain professional investment counsel. . . . Lionel D. Edie & Company, Inc., of New York City, was chosen to do the research, analysis, and selection of securities for the General Conference portfolio."   7    In other words, in 1967, the Church officials began playing the stock markets in earnest with the money of the laity.

The results of this action for one conference has already been documented in our Special Report #1. The difference between the cost of investing in the "selected" stock, and the market value of the same for the year 1968 through 1973, amounted to over $2,000,000 paper loss. Since the release of this report, letters have come to this desk affirming that the total loss to the entire Church has been well over $50,000,000. Only a full release of the records by the Investment and Securities Committee of the General Conference could verify the actual total loss.

Also in the year 1967, there appeared a series of three editorials on the relationship of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to the World Council of Churches. Keep in mind that the Review in 1967 was still billed as the "Official Organ of the Seventh-day Adventist Church" rather than our "General" church paper. Thus its editorial pronouncements constituted the official position of the Church. These editorials were triggered by a report on Seventh-day Adventists released      "in the January number of The Ecumenical Review, the official quarterly journal of the World Council."  8    Two years prior a dialogue had begun between representatives of the Church and representatives of the Faith and Order Commission of the WCC. The report in The Ecumenical Review was a summary from the World Council viewpoint of these dialogues. Later this report was incorporated in a booklet which presented

p 4 -- "Documents of Interest in the conversations between World Council of Churches and the Seventh-day Adventist Church."  9    The tiptoe of the booklet is - So Much in Common one surveys the footnotes to the initial report released in 1967, it is understandable why there is so much in common. Of the 49 footnotes used 29 are from the heretical publication -Questions on Doctrine! But this is not all!

In the third editorial, R. F. Cottrell concluded -note the words used: It is with no small measure of regret that SDA's do not find it possible, as an organization, to be more closely associated with others who profess the name of Christ. On the other hand, if the Secretariat on Faith and Order, for instance, were to invite SDA's to appoint someone competent in that area to meet with their group from time to time and represent the SDA point of view, we would accept such an invitation with a clear conscience. Perhaps the same might be done in other areas of Christian concern.   10

In other words, through the official organ of the Church, we asked for representation on the Faith and Order Commission. The invitation was not long in coming and we concurred in 1967!    11    The Central Committee of the WCC appointed Dr. Earle Hilgert of Andrews University as a member of the 120 member Commission on Faith and Order. The leadership of the Church endorsed this selection. Dr. Hilgert has since become an ordained Presbyterian minister and is serving on the staff of Mc Cormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. His replacement was Dr. Raoul Dederen, also of Andrews University.

In the same year -1967 -the liberal intelligentsia of the Church made their voices heard, and received the endorsement of the hierarchy. We shall let Alvin L. Kwiram of Harvard University, president of the Association of Adventist Forums in 1969 tell the story. Here is what he wrote:      To further this spontaneous search for meaningful participation [on the part of the liberal intelligentsia], the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists invited representatives from several groups to meet with them in October of 1967. The purpose was to discuss possible methods of establishing a cohesive program to provide for dialogue between the church leadership and this segment of the laity and to involve the latter more significantly in the activities and concerns of the formal church. The outgrowth of that meeting was an action by the officers

P5 -- of the General Conference (taken at the 1967 Fall Council) to approve the establishment of an organization known as the Association of Adventist Forums.   12

Through, Spectrum, the official publication of this Association, the doctrine that the world was created 6,000 years ago is challenged; and the authority of Ellen G. White as a prophet with a relevant message for this hour, or as a basis for a systematic theology is openly questioned.   13

When the leadership of the Church turns from the Source of living waters and seeks the broken cisterns of this world with its vain philosophy what else could God do, but to arise from "the cherub, whereupon He was," and call for the sealing of those in "Jerusalem" who are sighing and crying for all the abominations that are being done in the midst thereof.   14    And in that act, how much plainer could He declare that the Church, whom He had called to carry the final message to the world, and to whom He had once more committed the "prophetic gift", had been weighed in the balances of the sanctuary and had been found wanting.  15    And lest there be any mistake, He, the Sovereign of the Universe in whose hands are the times and seasons,    16     permitted the sign that Jesus gave to be fulfilled.   17    The "Times of the Gentiles" are up, and by so indicating, God has withdrawn the commission to the Church, and has taken things into His own hands.    18

What has happened, and is happening in the religious world at large? "The angel of mercy is folding her wings preparing to step down from the throne, and leave the world to the control of Satan.    19

This year is an Holy Year for Catholicism. The International Conference on the Charismatic Renewal which had met annually on the campus of Notre Dame University, met this year on the outskirts of Rome "in a large tent over the catacombs of St. Callixtus." Their conference was timed to coincide with Penticost Sunday, May 18. Leaving the large tent, the 10,000 joined another 15,000 thus jamming the Basilica of St. Peter's in Rome itself on that day. Reporting what happened, a

P 6 -- writer for Christianity Today stated:      Pentecost Sunday, 1975, will live in church history as the day when the charismatic movement in the Catholic Church arrived in St. Peter's with full force. During the pontifical mass presided over by Pope Paul VI on May 18, the sound of tongues and charismatic singing filled the massive nave of the ancient mother church of Roman Catholicism.   20

The climax to the Charismatic Conference came on the following day in a mass conducted in St. Peter's Cathedral by Cardinal Suenens, primate of Belgium, assisted by twelve bishops and more than 800 priests. The cardinal delivered his sermon in Pentecostal style, and the cathedral reverberated with the shouted responses to his "hallelujahs". Following the mass, Pope Paul came and gave his special greetings to the Pentecostal pilgrims. Before leaving he kissed Cardinal Suenens, which caused the Cardinal to remark -"the Pope opened his arms and heart to the charismatic renewal."

When did all this begin in the Catholic Church? Speaking of the phenomenal growth of the charismatic movement in the Catholic Church, Christianity Today reported:       On the surface, the big story is still the movement's phenomenal growth. From its beginnings among a handful of mostly young persons at a retreat In 1967 on the Duquesne University campus in Pittsburgh, it now encircles the earth.   21

Not only has it engulfed the Catholic Church, but all the mainline Protestant bodies have had within their communions both among the laity and clergy the manifestation of the gift of tongues.

The date -1967 -is further heightened in relationship to the growing manifestation of the power of Spiritism, not only in its guise as a charismatic movement, but also in its raw form of communications with the spirits of devils. John Godwin reported:     The year 1967 was a historic milestone for the United States toy industry. In that year Americans ditched their longest-standing favorite among board games, Monopoly, and elevated Ouija boards to its place.

p 7 -- Since then approximately ten million of these boards have been sold, making them a $50,000,000 business and assuring that a basic minimum of 20 million Americans have played with them.   22

Indeed the devil is come down having great wrath,      "because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."  23    But are we still sleeping not      "knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed?"  24    Are we unable to perceive the meaning of what God is saying to us in fulfilled prophecy - or is the real problem that we are not willing to accept what He is saying? Are we bowing at the shrine of some "cherished idea"  25    - such as the church as a corporate body is going through - and making this idea, god to us, instead of bowing before the God in whose hands are the times and seasons and saying simply -"Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Would the Master say to us -       "0 fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken."  26    And remember that He is the greatest prophet of all, for through Him comes all that the prophets have spoken!

1 -- David Reed, "Jerusalem -Too Holy for Its Own Good", Reader's Digest, March, 1975, p. 132
2 -- Luke 21:25
3 -- James H. Moulton & George Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, p.68.
4 -- C. F. Myers, Editor, Myers' Finance & Energy, July 4,1974, pp. 2-3
5 -- March 11, 1975, pp. 1-2
6 -- Robert E. Osborn, "Investment Practices of the General Conference," Spectrum Vol. 5, No. 2, p. 53.
7 -- Ibid., p. 52
8 -- Editorial, "The World Council Looks at Seventh-day Adventists", Review and Herald, March 23, 1967, p. 12
9 -- So Much in Common, World Council of Churches publication, Title page. The 1967 Report is to be found on pp. 57-68.
10 -- Editorial, "The World Council Looks at Adventists -3", Review and Herald, Apr.6 ,1967, p. 13.
11 -- Gerald F. Moede, Letter to M. Ireland, dated 27th March, 1974: -"The Seventh Day Adventists have had representation on the Faith and Order Commission since 1967."
12 -- Alvin L. Kwiram, "Introduction", Spectrum, Winter, 1969, p. 5.
13 -- See "The Genesis Genealogies as an Index of Time" by Lawrence T. Geraty, Spectrum, Vol. 6, #1 & 2, pp. 5-18. Also, "Ellen G. White in Adventist Theology" by Robert L. Shull, Spectrum, Vol. 6, #3 & 4, pp. 78-85.

p 8 --
14 -- Ezekiel 9:3-4
15 -- Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 8, p. 247
16 -- Acts 1:7
17 -- Luke 21:24
18 -- Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300
19 -- Ellen G. White, Review & Herald, May 13, 1902
20 -- Vinson Synan, "Pentecost in St. Peter's", Christianity Today, June 6,1975 p.45
21 -- Edward E. Plowman, "The Spirit Is Moving", Christianity Today, June 22,1973, p. 37
22 -- John Godwin, Occult America, p. 271
23 -- Revelation 12:12
24 -- Romans 13:11
25 -- Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, Vo1. 5, p. 173
26 -- Luke 24; 25

Another Testimony to the Historic position of the Church on the Incarnation --
In fulfilling the plan of redemption, Jesus came to earth and took upon Himself the same flesh and blood in which Adam failed. Being born of a woman centuries after the fall of man, Jesus inherited all the tendencies to sin inherent in our weak, frail humanity. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same." When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law." Heb. 2:14, Gal. 4:4. So Jesus, taking this burden of weak, fallen humanity upon Himself, under-took to do what Adam had failed to do in his original perfection. Thus humanity learned obedience by the crucifixion of that fallen, disobedient nature which the Son of God took, and His victory made the development of an obedient, sinless character possible. It is this holy life that He offers to us, but it can come to us only through the same process by which Jesus obtained it. Self, the old fallen, sinful Adam nature, must be crucified and die. "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Gal. 5:24.

It was the union of His divinity with humanity that enabled Jesus to endure the temptations and suffering where Adam failed. And Christ came to make us "partakers of the divine nature" that by following His example we may triumph as He did. Does God Care?, Meade MacGuire, PP. 36-37.

If you have not read and studied -- In The Form of a Slave or An Interpretive History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church - you should do so immediately. May be requested through Adventist Laymen's Foundation, P.O. Box 69, Ozone AR 72854 with $1 for postage. (1975 Aug) --- END --- TOP

1975 Sep -- A LETTER --

Dearly Beloved in the Most Holy Faith,

Usually our monthly thought papers present a documented topic which expresses our convictions for your personal study. But this month, I wish to write a personal letter to you, that is, as personal as a mimeographed letter can be. Many of you I have never met, and so a letter such as this will be even more Impersonal than if I had met you, and we had conversed and prayed together. However, I do hope and pray that as you read, you will sense through the Holy Spirit the deep burden of my own heart in regard to you as a part of the Israel of God.

From the letters that come to my desk from many of you, I am sure that there is one fact that is known to you all - a fact that we dare not over look - we have reached a crisis in the church of God on earth. Not only have we reached a crisis, but this crisis is compounded because of the confusion which the enemy of souls has brought in to blind our understanding of the very basic issues which confront us. As one writes, or talks, he is almost compelled to define each major word, such as "church", for the terms and expressions we use have different meanings to different people. And sadly, too many do not take time to really think through in precise terms just what they do mean by the words they use. Let us, therefore, proceed from the basics that give us a common faith to the issues that perplex us today.

There can be no question that God in the unfolding of the times and seasons established in 1844 a final Movement through which and by which He intended to bring an end to the reign of sin.      "The Scripture which above all others had been both the

p 2 -- foundation and central pillar of the Advent faith was the declaration, 'Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.'"   (Spirit of Prophecy Volume IV, p. 258)       This single text became the "watchword" of the faith of our spiritual fathers. This faith was not in vain, for God shall take this Movement through to the Kingdom. But now over 130 years are past, and we still are not in the Kingdom.

In 1888, God again spoke through human instruments - not men endowed in a special way with the gift of prophecy, but men who had to study and seek for truth even as those to whom they brought their message. Indeed, the servant of the Lord to whom had been entrusted the gift of prophecy, attested to the genuineness of the message Jones and Waggoner brought to the church, even as she had done in the days following the disappointment in 1844. But note, and this we must never forget - God speaks to His people through human instrumentalities in the same manner and ways that those who hear must use to verify the messages given - the study of the Word of God. I do not know what means the Holy Spirit used to prompt Elders A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner to study to obtain the message they brought to the people of God at the General Conference Session in 1888. Some statement from the pen of Sister White may have sparked their study. But one thing is certain -      "God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrine and the basis of all reforms."   (Spirit of Prophecy Volume IV, p. 413)       Our study may be initiated because of a ray of light from Heaven through the ministry of the written word found in the Spirit of Prophecy. But when we pursue the study of the Spirit of Prophecy to the exclusion of the Holy Scriptures which are able to make us wise unto salvation, we do despite to the Spirit of God who in times past spoke by "holy men of God." In other words, we find ourselves in a crisis of authority.

Now another eighty-seven years have passed, and the message that God intended to produce the ripening of the harvest of earth has still not done its work, and we are still here in this world. It seems the seriousness of this present delay has

p 3 -- escaped us, and we think that since God has waited this long for His "church" - the vehicle He chose through which the Movement was to triumph - He will continue to wait. This is a fatal delusion. In 1892, just a few short years after 1888, it was revealed to this people, that if there were a delay, "the character of God and His throne will be compromised." And the question we must ask ourselves - Will God permit this? The answer can only be - NO!

There is no doubt - there has been a delay, not because God wanted it that way, but because we have caused it. So the question of this hour - the supreme question upon which our eternal destiny hangs - What has God done about this, and how am I to relate to what God has done?

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." (II Peter 1: 19) Further, we are told that "the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7) In the unfolding of the scroll of prophecy, every act of God is revealed, and will be revealed to us as to time and purpose. Prior to 1844, God's purposes were tied to specific time prophecies; but since that date, events alone mark the timing of the actions of Heaven. Jesus clearly indicated the purpose of these events - in the upper room to the select eleven He said - "I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it come to pass, ye might believe." (John 14:29)

Now let us come down to some real thinking in regard to the crisis which we have reached. There is foretold a movement by God in heaven, by which He takes the reins into His own hands. And the action, thus initiated has serious consequences to the Church here below. This is described for us in Ezekiel 9:1-4. God arises from the cherub whereupon He was, and orders the sealing to commence in Jerusalem. It is evident that Jesus has not yet left the Most Holy Place, and thus probation's hour has not closed for the inhabitants of earth as individuals. But some decision

p 4 -- has been made in regard to Jerusalem,-which we are told in Ezekiel represents the church. (Testimonies Vol. 3, p. 267) Neither all the inhabitants of the city, nor the city itself, are sealed. Either this means something, or it does not. And in describing this experience, the servant of the Lord uses two different word pictures - "the true people of God", and "God's professed people". (Testimonies Vol. 3, p. 266) Either these are the same group of people with different labels, or else they are two distinct classes of people. And these terms are used in connection with comments or, the prophecy of Ezekiel 9. Note the language -     "This is forcibly set forth by the prophet's illustration of the last work under the figure of men each having a slaughter weapon in his hand."   (ibid.)

In recent thought papers published this year, I have set before you that in 1967, the prophecy of Jesus as found in Luke 21:24 was fulfilled. I have further projected that this date signaled the fact that God had arisen from the cherub, and had taken the reins into His own hands to finish the work, and to bring a triumph to the Movement He began in 1844. In so doing, I have pointed out that He weighed "Jerusalem" in the balances of the sanctuary, and found it wanting. The actions of the city through its hierarchy had "compromised" His character and His throne. Thus He had to act to vindicate His name. I have further stated that this very fulfillment of prophecy brings us to a reassessment of our individual relationship to the corporate body of the church, the leadership of which has caused this compromise of God's character and throne. This does not mean a reassessment of the faith which was committed to our trust in 1844, and re-affirmed in 1888.

I do not have the gift of prophecy in any special sense. I must obtain truth in the same way in which you must evaluate truth - through the study of the Word. You must know, and I must know, whether these things be truth. My soul has been purchased with the same blood as yours - the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, if these things which I have set before you are not truth, you owe it to

p 5 -- me to show through the Word of God wherein I have erred, even as I have presented to you by the Word of God the conclusions which I have drawn to warn you to flee from the wrath to come.

My study of these truths of prophecy was sparked by a testimony from the servant of the Lord. She wrote:      "in the twenty-first chapter of Luke Christ foretold what was to come upon Jerusalem, and with it He connected the scenes which were to take place in the history of this world just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."   (Counsels to Writers & Editors, pp. 23-24)

I found in Matthew 24, and Mark 13, the same line of prophecy was followed as was followed in Luke 21, with one exception - "the times of the Gentiles." The servant of the Lord specified Luke 21, not Matthew 24 or Mark 13, to be our special concern when interpreting events in the history of literal Jerusalem. While the things that happened to Jerusalem in A. D. 70 are typical of what will come upon the earth in its final judgment, the event noted by Luke exclusively was fulfilled in 1967. Sr. White had indicated that these events would take place just prior to coming of the Son of man. What joy filled my heart. God had now indicated without question, we had reached the last generation. Our Lord was coming, and coming soon. Then as I studied the implications of what the finishing of the times of the Gentiles might mean, I found that God was also telling us other things. These I have faithfully set before you in the thought papers thus far this year.

If this is what God is saying to us - to you and me, then you need to do some serious study, and re-evaluation, and unite your voice in giving this message to the professed people of God, for God declares this to be      "the closing work for the church." (Testimonies Vol. 3, p. 266) Your involvement is essential.

Sincerely yours,

(Signed WWN)

(1975 Sep) --- END --- TOP  ©2002-2013