1975 Jan-MarVIII 1(75) - VIII 3(75)
1975 Apr-Jun VIII 4(75) - VIII 6(75)
1975 Jul-Sep VIII 7(75) - VIII 9(75)
1975 Oct-Dec VIII 10(75) - VIII 12(75)
1976 Jan-Mar IX 1(76) - IX 3(76)
1976 Apr-Jun IX 4(76) - IX 6(76)
1976 Jul-Sep IX 7(76) - IX 9(76)
1976 Oct-Dec IX 10(76) - IX 12(76)
1977 Jan-MarX 1(77) - X 3(77)
1977 Apr-Jun X 4(77) - X 6(77)
1977 Jul-Sep X 7(77) - X 9(77)
1977 Oct-DecX 10(77) - X 12(77)
1978 Jan-Mar XI 1(78) - XI 3(78)
1978 Apr-Jun XI 4(78) - XI 6(78)
1978 Jul-Sep XI 7(78) - XI 9(78)
1978 Oct-Dec XI 10(78) - XI 12(78)
1979 Jan-Mar XI 1(79) - XI 3(79)
1979 Apr-Jun XI 4(79) - XI 6(79)
1979 Jul-Sep XI 7(79) - XI 9(79)
1979 Oct-DecXI 10(79) - XI 12(79)
Feb Knight Descends On Jones. 1of 4.
Mar Knight Descends On Jones. 2 of 4.
1988 Apr-Jun 3 & 4 of 4.
last of WWN published
ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)
SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation
- Legal Documents
Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer
Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer
the Form of a Slave
In Bible Prophecy
Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer
Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer
of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary
Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear
OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:
Various Studies --
Bible As History - Werner Keller
Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts
Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith
Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson
Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones
"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson
Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen
Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones
Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen
So Much In Common - WCC/SDA
Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy
The MISSION of this site -- is to put the articles from the WWN in a searchable Essay form. It is not our purpose to copy WWN in whole.
Any portion of the thought paper may be reproduced without further permission by adding the credit line - "Reprinted from WWN, Victoria, BC Canada."
Thank you for visiting. We look forward to you coming back.
WWN 2004 Jul - Sep
Jul 2004 -- XXXVII - 2(04) -- MONOGENES -- CAN THIS GREEK WORD BE THE BASIS FOR "THE LOUD CRY"? -- Editor's Preface --This issue of WWN closes with two quotations from the Writings. They are not only thought provoking in regard to the first essay on "Monogenes", they also call into question the rationale used to justify some of the doctrinal changes in Adventism. When we move from a anti-Trinitarian position through a Tri-Theistic concept to a Trinitarian formulation of the doctrine, is this walking in the advancing light of truth? On the other hand, to bend the Word of God, even the Biblical concept as expressed in the Greek Text, to conform with a previously stated position, is this developing that truth on a higher scale than it has hitherto been done? Both of these questions must be given negative answers.
'When we consider that the doctrine of the Incarnation, which the reprinting of Questions on Doctrine once again brings to the fore, is at the heart of the Gospel of God, we have cause to pause and think. Paul declared that "the gospel of God concerned "His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh" (Rom. 1:1, 3). Does bending the Writings as well as the Scriptures to conform to what an Anglican clergyman called "the Orthodox Doctrine" represent the development of truth on a higher scale than has hitherto been done? Do we dare distort historical fact so as to represent that which we want to personally sustain as the advancing light of truth?
How far dare we go in absurdities, such as asking which God is older than the other? Is not "God eternal? Does the verbal name by which Jehovah designated Himself the I AM - convey no definitive concept of Himself, as the "self-existent" and "ever-existent" One?p 2 -- MONOGENES (MonowgenhV) -- CAN THIS GREEK WORD BE THE BASIS FOR "THE LOUD CRY"? -- In the February issue of WWN we noted a booklet which had been included in a packet sent from Smyrna Gospel Ministries to those who responded to their card placed in a TriMedia advertising card deck. This booklet, The Return of the Fourth Angel, was a reprint of an article in Old Paths, January 2002, written by David Clayton. It set forth that the anti-trinitarian message being proclaimed by Alien Stump, Lynnford Beachy, and himself was "The Return of the Fourth Angel," in other words, "The Loud Cry." This is a serious and questionable assumption which cannot be taken lightly.
Clayton lists nine characteristics of the Fourth Angel's message. He indicated that he knows of only one message being given in the Community of Adventism which bears all these nine characteristics. He writes: Many, of the independent ministries, as well as the official Seventh-day Adventist Church, are coming out against these teachings. But, interestingly, there is one belief that everybody is opposing above anything else (p. 24).
This one belief is Number 1 of his nine characteristics of the Fourth Angel's message, and reads - "A teaching that Christ is the literal Son of God, begotten before the ages as an individual Being, separate from the Father." He then quoted from ten independent ministry publications and two official church sources. As we noted in the February issue of WWN, we were included in these quotations through a manipulation of statements by Clayton. It could be concluded from the quotations chosen by Clayton that the belief in question was simply Trinitarianism; however, this is not the issue, but rather the issue is - the "self -existence" of Jesus Christ from all eternity. Stump made this very clear in an E-mail letter to Australia. He stated: Concerning the honesty of David Clayton's quoting WHG: The truth is that the quotation very accurately reflects his thinking. WHG has stated personally to me that he is a tritheist. The quotation is accurate and fair. Further, in Clayton's article, he never said that WHG was a Trinitarian or that he believed as any of the others quoted. He actually quoted from a variety of views, all of which denied that Jesus was the literal, begotten Son of God (Feb. 09, 2004 1:44 AM; emphasis supplied).
[At this point two questions should be interjected: 1) Does not the definitive designation - "the heavenly trio" - by Ellen White (Series B, #7, p. 62) to define the Godhead, express a tritheistic concept? 2) Why did Clayton not include her in his statements from Adventist sources?]
In the February 2004 issue of Old Paths, the defining issue is again raised by Allen Stump as he discusses the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide of the regular church for the first quarter's lessons of 2004. Charging that the lesson on the Gospel of John "muddies the Gospel waters," he adds to the murkiness of the waters by his failure to recognize how the designation "only begotten Son of God" is first used by John, as well as insisting on the position that Jesus Christ is God's "only begotten Son" in a literal sense. He wrote - "To be begotten means to be born or brought forth. (This is not the same thing as created." p. 4; emphasis his). But by his use of "born" and "brought forth" he raises more questions than he answers. Then he asks - "What does 'only begotten' mean?" In answering this question we must not only make a careful study of the word used in the Greek from which "only begotten" is translated, but also the context in which John first used the word in his Gospel. This is where the Greek word monowgenhV (monogenes) enters the picture.
In the New Testament, only in the Gospel and first Epistle of John do we find the word used in reference to Jesus Christ. It is used by Luke (7:12; 8:42; 9:38) to refer to an only child. Paul uses the word once to refer to Isaac (Heb. 11:17), who was not an "only child," but a son of Abraham in a unique sense, inasmuch as the birth of Isaac was by divine empowerment. This leaves John's use of the word distinct from both Paul and Luke. Its meaning in John must be determined by the law of first use. He used it four times in his Gospel and once in his First Epistle. Stump, in his article, does not consider the law of first use, but seeks rather to transfer Luke and Paul's literal human use to John's
p 3 -- theological application (op.cit., p. 5). This can be forgiven inasmuch as Stump is not a theologian but rather a High School Driver Education teacher turned preacher. This is not to be considered a "minus," for in the final work there will be "young men taken from behind the plow and from the fields to preach the truth as it is in Jesus" (Medical Ministry, p. 305). However, take careful note that in the context of this promise there is found a warning. It reads: While the solid truth of the Bible came from lips of men who had no fanciful theories of misleading science to present, there were others who labored with all their power to bring in false theories regarding God and Christ (ibid.).
This we see being fulfilled before our very eyes. This is the real issue at stake - the deception of sincere people who want truth, pure and unadulterated, which is the righteousness of Christ (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 65). But what is taking place? Under the guise of "the return of the Fourth Angel" false theories regarding God and Christ" are being proclaimed.
John's first use of the word in his Gospel (11:14) determines its use in the other four references. It was after John had declared g"the Word (AogoV) was made flesh, and dwelt among us," that he writes of Him as "the only begotten of the Father" (monogenouV para patroV). John begins his prologue by placing Jesus Christ as the Word who was with God "in beginning" (en arch) and declaring that He, too, was God (kai qeoV hn o logoV ). I repeat, John did not use the word, monogenhV to designate Jesus Christ until after Bethlehem. The pre-existent Christ, the AogoV, was the self-existent Christ, the I AM (egw eimi) of John 8:58.
Before considering the second use of monogenes in the final verse of John's preface to his gospel, let us analyze the word itself. It is a compound word: a combination of monoV (monos) meaning alone or only, and genoV (genos) meaning kind. John uses the word, monos, in the high priestly prayer of Christ - "the only true God" (17:3), for the Logos had become a God-man at Bethlehem!
The word, genos, is used in the LXX in Genesis chapter one, where it reads that God made living creatures each "after his kind" (vs. 21, 24-25). The sense of "begotten" as being "born" as stated by Stump is not found in this word use. Thayer cites two other words that John could have used had he intended, "begotten," in the sense of being generated. One, is gennhsiV (gennesis), a begetting, a birth, and is so used in reference to Jesus by Matthew (1:18) and Luke (1:14). The other word is gennhtoV (gennetos) "begotten, born." John used neither! (See Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 113)
What then is the meaning of monogenes? Moulton and Milligan in The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament state: "MonogenhV is literally 'one of a kind,' 'only,' 'unique,' (unicus), not 'only begotten,' which would be monogennhtoV (unigenitus), and is common in the LXX in this sense" (p. 416-417; emphasis supplied). Thayer comments: In the writings of John the title 'o uioV tou qeou is given only to the historic Christ so called, neither to the Logos alone, nor Jesus alone, but 'o logoV o ensarkwqeiV or Jesus through the logoV united with God is to 'o monogeneV uioV tou qeou (p. 418).
The conclusion is inescapable that, as stated above, the designation "the only begotten Son of God" is applied in the Gospel of John only to Christ in the incarnate state and not to the Logos before Bethlehem. Further, Thayer declares plainly that this designation - Son of God - is a "title" and does not indicate a generated Being from God. This accords with Luke, who quotes Gabriel as saying to Mary that "the Holy One which shall be born of thee shall be called (not "is" or "was") the Son of God." He had not yet been manifest in the flesh, thus the name, "Son of God," according to Luke, would become His designation after, not before, Bethlehem.
John's second use of mongenes is in the last verse of his preface to the Gospel, John 1:18. It reads: No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son which is in the bosom the Father, he hath declared him (KJV).
p 4 -- There is another reading which has "no inconsiderable weight of ancient testimony" (Thayer, op. cit.), that needs to be considered. It reads: No man hath seen God at any time; (an) only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Bruce M. Metzger, in A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, stated regarding John 1:18: With the acquisition of Papyri 66 and Papyri 75, both of which read qeoV, the external support of this reading has been notably strengthened (p. 198).
The significance of this alternate reading is that the God begotten in flesh is the only One who can reveal God; for "no man hath seen God." The God-man (the only One of a kind) is the full revelation of God in the flesh. He "hath ... spoken unto us in a Son" (Heb. 1:2, Gr.) in Whom "dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9). John is stating further that the God-man was, at the time of his writing of the Gospel, not in Abraham's bosom, the preferred place for a Jew, but in the bosom of the Father - at the right hand of God (Heb. 1:3).
The next use of monogenes is in the familiar John 3:16. We must note the context. The beginning verses of chapter 3 give the setting - the night visit of Nicodemus to Jesus. The report of the conversation ends with verse 15. John's comment on this experience follows in verses 16-21. The "one of a kind" Son, God gave to be lifted up even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness. The failure to separate the time frame in these verses can cause a faulty interpretation of what is written. John is writing from the perspective of time late in the first century, looking back on an experience some sixty years previous. In that context John 3:16 is saying, God gave the Logos (the Word) as He came to be in the flesh, the "one-of-a-kind (monogenes) Son" for the salvation of man. This looking back on the past and putting it in the perspective of the time of the writing of the Gospel is illustrated in verse 13. Jesus said - "And no man hath ascended up to heaven (so as to reveal heavenly things) but He that came down from heaven." Then John parenthetically adds - "even the Son of man which is [now] in heaven."
While John 3:16 reveals in simplicity the provision for man's redemption, it does not define God. Stump well knows that Driver Education is not the same as a course in Auto Mechanics; neither are John 3:16, and John 1:1-2, 14 focusing on the same concept.
Stump next turns to Andreasen's comments in regard to "time" and "space" (The Sabbath, pp. 54-55), concluding that Christ who created "all things visible and invisible" including time, thus existed before time, and therefore, Christ has existed "throughout all time with God" (op. cit.,p. 6). This is suggesting that Christ was begotten in the sense of being ("birthed") by God before time began. Evidently, Stump is unaware that Isaiah declares that He who was the "son" to be given (John 3:16) was "the Father of Eternity" (9:6; Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible).
The next question raised by Stump is the one that Beachy bungled so badly in his booklet, What did the Pioneers Believe? p. 45. We discussed this carefully in a previous issue of WWN 2(04), p. 4. The problem is still the same, that of assuming one's self to be what one is not, a Biblical linguist; and trying to use a Bible concordance with abbreviated linguistic helps as the basis for questionable assumptions, besides not even being able to use the concordance correctly. This can lead only to erroneous conclusions and deception. Those who are truly seeking truth, pure and unadulterated, need to carefully consider where this is taking them in the light of the warning noted above from Medical Ministry.
Even to ask the question as to whether the Logos is the same age as the Theos borders on absurdity. One of the aspects of Deity is immortality. Moses the man of God sang, "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God" (Ps. 90:1-2). Both are God, fromp 5 -- everlasting to everlasting! How can One be older than the Other? Isaiah declares that the high and lofty One inhabits eternity. I am sure that Stump would want to limit this to the Theos, but the testimony of the Logos to John on the Isle of Patmos is that He is the First and the Last (Rev. 1:17), stating that He is The Living One 'o zwn Verse. 18, Gr.
The murkiness of the waters becomes denser as Stump begins to cite some historical data. He quotes from E. J. Waggoner's book, Christ and His Righteousness, p. 9 which states that Christ came forth from God "so far back in the days of eternity as to be far beyond the grasp of the mind of man." Stump writes that this book published in 1892 was "based on part of his 1888 General Conference lectures" (p. 6). [No documentation!] Which "part" of his 1888 presentations? Where does one find these lectures so we can know just what he said at Minneapolis as well as what he did not say? The context of Waggoner's statements on pages 9 and 22 is based on Micah 5:2, not the book of Galatians, yet the Minneapolis Journal in reporting the Conference on two successive days indicated that Waggoner "resumed his instruction on the law in Galatians" (10/20/88, p. 4; 10/23/1888, p. 3). His studies on Galatians were not published until 1900 as The Glad Tidings. The assumption made by Stump that Waggoner's presentation at the 1888 GC Session was published in the book, Christ and His Righteousness, is based on questionable authority. But this assumption must be maintained by Stump so as to justify Point #1 made by Clayton and to link the Stump-Beachy-Clayton teaching as is found in "The Return of the Fourth Angel" with 1888, as well as to bolster the further assumption, that Ellen G. White's endorsement of Waggoner's Message on righteousness by faith at the Session is an endorsement of their position on "the Son of God." But the link of the chain which connects Waggoner's position on Christ's pre-existence with 1888, and thus possibly an Ellen G. White endorsement, is missing.
Between quoting what Waggoner supposedly said at the 1888 GC Session, and Ellen G. White's supposed placing of her imprimatur on what Waggoner said in regard to Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Stump turns to a "thought paper," clearly, "Watchman, What of the Night?" January, 2004, p. 7. There I compared the Nicene (catholic) Creed with Waggoner's position as published in 1892. Jumping from one meaning of the word, "catholic" to another, Stump assures his devotees that Waggoner's view is not (Roman) Catholic," thus inferring that the "Thought Paper" had so stated. The Roman Catholic position is as Stump stated it. See Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2 nd Edition, p.64, #242. That was not the point of the statement and documentation given in the "Thought Paper." We stated that Waggoner's position in his book published in 1892 was "a direct echo of the Nicene Creed," and documented the same. The Nicene Creed was formulated by the Ecumenical Council of AD 325, and incorporated into the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed at the Ecumenical Council of AD 381. Surely Stump knows that the word "catholic" means "universal" while the word, "Catholic" defined as Roman, refers to the Papal Church. This is a pure attempt to discredit as well as to deny the facts as documented, thus deceiving his readers.
So that the comparison between the Nicene Creed and Waggoner's position might be clearly seen, we will copy what was written in WWN (XXXVII - 1(04), p. 7):
The Creed: "The only begotten Son of God ... very God of very God, begotten not made, being of the same substance with the Father, ..."
Waggoner: "And since He is the only begotten Son of God, He is the very substance and nature of God" (p. 22).
On the previous page (21) Waggoner had already written, "He is begotten, not created." The similarity of Waggoner's position with the Nicene Creed to the point of being identical with the Creed cannot be denied. Stump's premise is built on the assumption that Waggoner stated his position regarding Jesus Christ as the Son of God begotten prior to time at the 1888 General Conference Session. This assumption cannot be documented. What we are seeing are men untrained as theologians laboring "with all theirp 6 -- power to bring in false theories regarding God and Christ," just as Ellen White had warned in 1906 would be (Ms. 33; Medical Ministry, p. 305).
POSTSCRIPTS ON THE CLASSIC Questions on Doctrine -- In 1975, the General Conference and the Review and Herald Publishing Association reviewed the possibility of reprinting Questions on Doctrine. It was rejected. Now with the Annotated edition, Knight has made an "end run" around that decision, and used the Andrews University Press to do so.
At the same time we were reviewing the republication of Question on Doctrine, we received through the mail two issues of Our Firm Foundation (OFF), one of which contained an article which we assume was the first of a series by Dr. Ralph Larson on the Annotated edition. [No other current issues of OFF are presently available to us.]
Larson's opposition to this Annotated edition is surprising, due to his track record. After bringing together, in a monumental work, the documentation of "one hundred years of Seventh-day Adventist Christology, 1852-1952," he endorsed the book, Seventh-day Adventists Believe... In the early 1990s, Larson wrote a booklet on "The Tithe Problem" In it he stated twice his endorsement of the book and specifically mentioned its position on the nature of Christ. Note: My theology is precisely and specifically the theology set forth in the book, Seventh-day Adventists Believe. If I am divisive, that book is also divisive (p. 3).
We pause to point out that the true doctrine of the nature of Christ is set forth in the new Seventh-day Adventists Believe, pages 37-56. Check and see (p. 32).
The book teaches the doctrine of the Incarnation set forth as the "orthodox doctrine" by the popular evangelical Anglican preacher, Henry Melvill (see pages 47 & 57). This is the same teaching which Knight seeks to substitute for the doctrine on the Incarnation as taught in the book, Questions on Doctrine (see Annotated edition, pp. 522-524.) Now Larson is opposing the Melvill teaching which he once embraced as "the true doctrine of the nature of Christ."
In 1986 a Bible conference was held at Hartland Institute in Virginia to discuss the Doctrine of the Incarnation. T. A. Davis presented the concept taught by the Holy Flesh men of Indiana in regard to the doctrine, which when concisely formulated stated that Jesus came into humanity "born, born-again." Dr. Larson was invited to the Bible Conference but declined to attend because, having received an advance copy of Davis' presentation, he was not comfortable with that position. But the editor of OFF attended the conference since he, too, embraced that teaching. Dr. Larson, who would not identify himself with the teaching, presented by Davis at the Hartland Bible Conference in 1986, now places his influence behind a publication whose editor so holds.
The situation becomes even more serious when the nuances of the Incarnation, which the editor of OFF holds are placed in the picture. In his book, The Waymarks of Adventism, R. D. Spear wrote: He (Christ) was born with the nature that becomes ours when we are born again. ...
[a paragraph from ST October 29, 1894 is then quoted]
As God, He chose Mary to be His mother. She was chosen because of her piety and her devotion and love to God. She was everything that God could find in a human mother, a sinner, but filled with love for God and her fellow men. In the prenatal experience, while in her womb, Christ was inheriting Mary's love for God. In the post natal experience, He saw God through his mother. (p 39).
The conundrum does not end with Spear's Mariology - the prenatal impartation of Mary's love for God to the unborn fetes - but Dr. Larson wrote an approving Foreword to the book when serving as pastor of the Campus Hill Church at Loma Linda. This brings us to --
SOME LESSONS FOR US:
p 7 -- Whether we like or don't like what the documented facts of this issue of WWN reveal, there are some important lessons in regard to truth that need to be carefully considered.
It is commendable when men leave mundane vocations to respond to the call of God to preach. But when those answering such calls seek to place themselves in roles for which they are not qualified, nor trained - such as a theologian, or Biblical linguist - they open the door to "self deception" and so deceived, in turn, become deceivers rather than teachers of truth, "as it is in Jesus." The warning has been given and dare not be over looked that while some men "called from the plow and from the fields" will preach "the solid truth of the Bible," others will labor "with all their power to bring in false theories regarding God and Christ" (Medical Ministry, p. 305). The "Divine Instructor" indicated that what was being described concerning the work for Chicago in 1906 was "a parable of what should be, and what will be."
In seeking an answer to the 180 degree turn-arounds of Dr. Larson one is confronted with another factor, friendship. We are advised that the author/editor of Seventh-day Adventist Believe..., Dr. P. G. Damsteegt and Larson are very close friends. This relationship has been given as having influenced Larson's judgment. He alone knows the answer, but it remains a questionable judgment, as well as his endorsement of Spear's Mariology. It staggers the comprehension to think that a man who spent hours researching the Christology of the Seventh-day Adventist Church from 1852-1952 would place his imprimatur on a book which combined Mariology and Christology, stating that "in the prenatal experience, while in her womb, Christ was inheriting Mary's love for God!"
You ask, what is a lay person to do when confronted with all these deceptions, whether it be the study of the Incarnation, or the study of God? Jesus' response to Satan is apropos - "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). Let me illustrate. The prophet Isaiah indicates that the Son which is "given" is correctly assigned the designation, "Father of eternity" (9:6; Young's literal Translation of the Holy Bible); or as in the Gospel of John, the "I AM" (8:58). How then could he be "birthed" or "begotten" before He created "time" when He is the Father of eternity? The simple word of God excludes human reasoning.
There are some guidelines in the Writings which can keep
us on track if we are willing to heed them:
2) "The Lord has made His people the repository of sacred truth. Upon every individual who has had the light of present truth devolves the duty of developing that truth on a higher scale than it has hitherto been done" (HM, July 1, 1897, par. 1). --- (2004 Jul) ---End --- TOP
Aug 2004 -- XXXVII - 8(04) -- A 28th STATEMENT -- A "Fig leaf" to Divert Attention from the Nakedness the "Classic" Revealed? -- Editor's Preface -- The 2004 Spring Meeting of the General Conference Executive Committee was presented with a proposal for a new Fundamental Belief. The committee voted "to submit to the world church for discussion the document entitled "The Fundamental Beliefs and 'Growing in Christ': Proposal for a new Fundamental Belief " with the understanding that it will be brought back to the 2004 Annual Council for final discussion before it is presented to the 2005 General Conference Session. (Adventist Review, June, 2004. p. 40) The document in full is found on pp. 40-44 of the same Review. Comment on this document will be the basis for this issue of WWN. Citations will give the page numbering as found in a proposal presented to the Spring meeting.
Two questions of paramount importance were raised in the document itself. Based on what is perceived as an "obvious need driven by mission," the first question asked is "Do the Fundamental Beliefs as currently formulated already address this need, so that we do not need a new article?" Then the authors of the Document raise a second more important question - "Is the Holy Spirit leading His people to revisit the Fundament Beliefs formulated in Dallas, 1980?"
The reprinting of the book, Questions on Doctrine with annotations and what they revealed, as well as what they did not discuss, which were open to challenge in the 1957 edition demand a clarification. Such a return to the 1980 Statement was ruled out by the General Conference president according to ANN. Where does that leave the Church?
p 2 -- An Addition Proposed To the 1980 "Statement of Beliefs" -- According to the Adventist News Release (ANN) of April 15, 2004, the Spring Council voted "unanimously" to present a draft of a new statement of Belief to the Annual Council in October, and if approved, it would be presented to the 2005 World session in St. Louis, Missouri.
A study paper prepared by Michael, L. Ryan, a general vice president and director of the Church's Global Mission initiative; and W. G. Johnsson, Editor of the Adventist Review; and Manuel Rodriguez, Director of the Biblical Research Institute, was presented to the Church leaders at the Spring gathering. This Study paper - "The Fundamental Beliefs and 'Growing in Christ:' Proposal for a new Fundamental Belief " - will be the basis of this issue of WWN.
In introducing this study document, Elder Jan Paulsen, president of the General Conference, emphasized that the proposed addition was "just that" and not a "revision" of the existing 27 Beliefs, for "if you do" he said, "there is virtually no end to what (would) happen."
The ANN release stated: One purpose of the new statement is to address questions from those coming into the Adventist Christian faith from animist, spiritualist and other backgrounds in world religions. Another is to present concepts many believe are essential in a fulfilling Christian life including prayer, Bible study and service.
Rodriguez, director of the Biblical Research Institute, and a member of the three-man panel who worked on the proposed "additional statement," noted - "This new statement will sharpen the Adventist understanding of the nature of a constant growth in Christ. This is indispensable at a time when some members are more interested in theological discussion than in the spiritual impact of those doctrines in their daily lives."
It may well be that this comment by Dr. Rodriquez suggests the real reason for the introduction of the new proposed Statement at this time. The republication of Questions on Doctrine as an Adventist "Classic" with the annotations made by Knight re-opens the doctrinal controversy which engulfed the Church following the 1957 publication of the same book. Knight plainly admits that the "publication of Questions on Doctrine did more than any other single event in Adventist history to create what appear to be permanently warring factions within the denomination" (p. v., Annotated edition). Will its republication, as it was done, bring a "truce" or fuel the hostilities? Will a legislated new "statement of belief " produce peace? Can there be spiritual growth without "sound doctrine"? Can "mission" be accomplished without "the righteousness of Christ, which is pure, unadulterated truth" (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 65)? It would appear that "doctrine" and its purpose needs to be reviewed, then we can approach the enunciation of doctrine so as to reflect the truth.
Doctrine - Truth as it is in Jesus -- The word, "doctrine" is found 49x in the New Testament (KJV), being used to so translate three Greek words: 1) didaskalia (didaskalia) 19x; 2) didach (didache) 29x; and 3) logoV (logos) lx. The single translation of logos as doctrine is found in Hebrews 6:1 - "the doctrine of Christ" and is associated in context with didache in Hebrews 6:2 - "doctrines" of baptism, etc. - that which is being taught. Basically, "doctrine" is a teaching.
The first of the Greek words above - didaskalia - is used by Paul 17 of the 19x it occurs in the New Testament, and 15 of the 17x are found in the pastoral letters to Timothy and Titus. There he sets before his two protégés "sound doctrine" as a part of the "glorious gospel of the blessed God" (1 Tim. 1:10-11) admonishing Titus to "speak the things which become sound doctrine" (Titus 2:1). He commands Timothy: "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in so doing thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee" (1 Tim. 4:16). Here are the two elements involved in this
p 3 -- present issue confronting the Church leadership. There is a need to "take heed" to one's own spiritual life, - to prayer, to Bible study, and meditation on the Word of God in communion with the Holy Spirit. This the proposed Statement of Belief addresses. But there is the second element, doctrine, which was ruled out by the president of the General Conference limiting the discussion solely to the proposed Statement.
Why shouldn't the whole matter of doctrine be addressed? Whether one likes the direction the Annotated edition of Questions an Doctrine has taken, there is clearly the documented admission that the Adventist conferees lied to the Evangelicals, stating that the Church did not teach certain doctrines as alleged by the Evangelicals. Further, these falsifications were published under the imprimatur of the officers of the Church in the 1957 edition of Questions on Doctrine. Then when these compromises with the Evangelicals as well as positions arising from other ecumenical dialogues (See So Much in Common) were reflected in the 1980 Statements of Belief voted at Dallas either by omission or added statements, the leadership of the Church assured the Evangelicals that they still stood behind the positions taken in the 1957 edition of Questions on Doctrine.
This brings us face to face with the question as to what do we really believe? Were the founders of the Movement teachers of heresy? Have we faithfully followed the counsel that we should walk in the advancing light of truth? Have we sought honestly to advance "the sacred truth" committed to our trust to "a higher scale" than when first received?
The fact is self evident that the Community of Adventism, (and this includes the regular as well as the independent "voices") is in a state of doctrinal confusion. This problem will not be solved by merely voting a new article of belief recommending "growing up" in Christ, however worthy such an objective is.
The document presented to the Spring Council listed the various Statements of Belief held by the Church from the first in 1854 to the present suggesting that they show "growth in understanding and formulation" (p. 4: line 38). Is this a true deduction? The list given with their "annotations" and documentation need to be considered.
Statements of Belief - 1854 - 1980 -- The Proposal listed nine statements culminating in the Statement of Fundamental Beliefs voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980. We shall consider some of them in greater detail than is given in the listing.
The earliest list of doctrines appeared in the masthead of the Sabbath Review and Advent Herald in five successive issues, August 15-December 19, 1954. (p. 5).
The masthead reads:
Noting the first of the five doctrines - "the Bible alone" as "the rule of faith and duty" - let us ask ourselves candidly, Is this what the 1980 Statement teaches? There can be no question as to the force of the word "alone." It is used twice in the masthead in both the first and last statements. "Alone through Christ" in the last statement is clearly declaring, "no other source" than Jesus Christ. In the first statement, "the Bible alone" means simply there is no source of faith and duty other than the Bible. Now let us honestly consider #17 in the 1980 Statement. It reads that the writings of Ellen G. White "are a continuing and authoritative source of truth."
p 4 --This position is further confirmed by the omission of the word, "only" in Statement #1, on "The Holy Scriptures." The word "only" is found in every previous statement of beliefs from 1872 to 1980, save one, declaring "the Holy Scriptures" to be "the only unerring rule of faith and practice" (emphasis supplied). The sole exception is the statement found in the "Official Directory" of the local Battle Creek Church in 1894.
The Committee of three, who drew up the Proposal, listed #17 of the Dallas Statement - "The Gift of Prophecy" - among the "completely new articles" that were added in "the major revisions of the Fundamental Beliefs" voted at Dallas in 1980. Yet they wrote without blinking - "In considering the new articles added in 1980, not one represented a new departure in doctrine" (p. 6). This is simply not true. Have these men not learned from the 1955-56 experience with the Evangelicals that lying is not appropriate but is rather contrary to "sound doctrine"? Or has lying become a part of the warp and woof of the Adventist hierarchy from administration on down through the Biblical Institute to the official church paper?
Our Church Fathers were very specific about the principle of "the Bible alone" as "the rule of faith and duty" in relationship to "spiritual gifts" when considering the writings of Ellen G. White. In the Review and Herald, October 16, 1855, James White, the editor, wrote: "There is a class of persons who are determined to have it that the Review and its conductors make the views of Mrs. White a Test of doctrine and Christian fellowship. ...
"What has the Review to do with Mrs. W's views? The sentiments published in its columns are all drawn from the Scriptures. No writer of the Review has ever referred to them as authority on any point. The Review for five years has not published one of them. Its motto has been, "The Bible, and the Bible alone, the only rule of faith and duty." ...
"Again, How has the Editor of the Review regarded Visions, and the gifts of the Gospel Church for more than eight years past? His uniform statements in print on the subject will satisfactorily answer this question. The following is from a tract he published in 1847:
" ' The Bible is a perfect and complete revelation. It is our only rule of faith and practice. But this is no reason why God may not show the past, present, and future fulfilment of his word, in these last days, by dreams and visions, according to Peter's testimony. True visions are given to lead us to God, and to his written word; but those that are given for a new rule of faith and practice separate from the Bible, cannot be from God, and should be rejected.' "
Again, four years since, he wrote on the Gifts of the Gospel Church, republished in the Review for Oct. 3d, 1854, from which is taken the following: "Every Christian is therefore duty bound to take the Bible as the perfect rule of faith and duty. He should pray fervently to be aided by the Holy Spirit in searching the Scriptures for the whole truth, and for his whole duty. He is not at liberty to turn from them to learn his duty through any of the gifts. We say that the very moment he does, he places the gifts in a wrong place, and takes an extremely dangerous position."
This article was a part of the material published by the Ellen G. White Estate in 1961 on the Witness of the Pioneers concerning the Spirit of Prophecy and placed in a hard back cover. It was used as one of the text books by Arthur L. White for the class he taught at Andrews University on the subject. Those who formulated the new Statement #17 for the 1980 Dallas Statement of Beliefs were without excuse as to what the historic position was on "The Gift of Prophecy." Likewise, the three who formulated the "Proposal" which was presented to the Spring Council are without excuse for writing of the new articles added in 1980 - "not one represented a new departure in doctrine." It just isn't the truth. They lied. Willfully? - that is not ours to judge. In ignorance? If so, they should not have been chosen to write the "Proposal." All of this adds weight to the assumption that more than just "Mission" [Ryan, AAN] motivated the suggested new statement of belief.
The 1946 General Conference session voted that "no revision of the Statement of Fundamental Beliefs as it now appears in the Manual shall be
p 5 -- made at any time except at a General Conference session" (1946 GC Bulletin #8, p. 197). Then in 1950, the session added two sentences to the 1931 Statement #19. These read: That the gift of the Spirit of prophecy is one of the identifying marks of the remnant church (Texts given). The church recognizes that this gift was manifest in the ministry of Ellen G. White (1950 GC Bulletin, p. 230).
This is the first time that Ellen G. White's name appeared in a Statement of Belief. It appeared again in the 1980 Statement. Does this indicate a changed thinking in regard to Ellen G. White which was reflected in the pronouncement that her writings are "a continuing and authoritative source of truth"?
Prior to the General Conference action limiting any change in the Statement of Beliefs except at a General session, the 1941 Annual Council approved a uniform "Baptismal Vow" which was prefaced by a Statement of Beliefs. The Proposal prepared by Ryan, Rodriguez and Johnsson stated that these beliefs were "based on the 1931 statement prepared by F. M. Wilcox on behalf of a committee of four which in turn had been authorized by the General Conference Committee. This is open to question.
There is a distinct connection between the 1941 statement of beliefs, and the baptismal vow. The baptismal candidate was to affirm among other affirmations that: Knowing and understanding the fundamental Bible principles as taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, is it your purpose, by God's grace, to order your life in harmony with these principles?
There are some distinct differences between these 1941 statements and the 1931 Statement drawn up by Wilcox. The 1931 Statement was the first statement to use the word "Trinity" in describing the Godhead. Statement #2 reads: "That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists ... etc." The Baptismal delineation of doctrines to be affirmed by candidates eliminated the word, "Trinity," and presented a Tri-Theistic concept. Further, while the 1931 Wilcox statement defined the doctrine of the Incarnation - "He [Christ] took upon Himself the nature of the human family, lived on earth as a man" - the Baptismal affirmation was silent. Does this reflect a changing view on the Incarnation in the fourth decade of the 20th Century which by its close permitted the revision of Bible Readings in 1949?
In the Proposal submitted by the Committee of Three - Ryan, Johnsson, and Rodriguez - two questions were asked. Prefacing these two questions was a paragraph that requires comment. It reads: Any new article will not introduce new theology. As in the formulation of the Fundamental Beliefs voted in 1980 the new material will be merely an articulation of what we already believe as Seventh-day Adventists. Any addition to the Fundamental Beliefs will require widespread input, with dissemination well in advance of the 2005 General Conference Session. The whole church must "own" the Fundamental Beliefs (p. 7).
Let us break this paragraph down sentence by sentence: "Any new article of belief will not introduce new theology." Is there no such thing as "new light"? What does the counsel - "The truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing light" ( R&H, March 25, 1890) - mean? What does the "duty" of developing the light of present truth on a higher scale that it has hitherto been done require? Perhaps not a "new" article, but surely nothing less than a "revised" article!
The second sentence that the 1980 Statement was merely an articulation of what was already believed by Seventh-day Adventists is simply not true, unless it is confessing that the Church had already departed from what it once did believe. To the documentation given above on how the Spirit of Prophecy was viewed in the 1980 Statement compared with the original position prior to 1915 could be added similar documentation on the doctrine of the Godhead. The last two sentences are correct, the last one is fundamental.
Then the question is asked: "Given the obvious need driven by mission, the question now becomes: Do the Fundamental Beliefs as
p 6 -- currently formulated already address this need, so that we do not need a new article?" The next two pages of the Proposal are devoted to showing where in the Dallas Statement similar concepts are already expressed which make the proposed new Statement merely a summary or amplification of what was already voted in 1980.
The second question is of utmost consequence. After asking the first, the second reads: Back of that question is a more important one: Is the Holy Spirit leading His people today to revisit the Fundamental Beliefs formulated in Dallas, 1980?
With the republication of Questions on Doctrine with the annotations by Knight, the answer is a resounding, YES! With admission of lying to the Evangelicals on the doctrine of the Incarnation, we need to state the truth clearly in regard to "the most marvelous thing that ever took place in earth or heaven - the incarnation of the Son of God" (Ms. 76, 1903). We need to state clearly as to whether the Melvill position is really "the orthodox position" or not. Further, the doctrine of the Atonement, which goes to the very heart of Adventism, needs to be very plainly stated and defined and not left in confusion.
The report from the Adventist News Network indicates that the present Church administration is not willing to face up to the question. Instead, there is placed the "fig-leaf " statement to cover the nakedness revealed in the release of the Adventist "Classic". There is no substitute for truth, pure and unadulterated.
The uniform "Baptismal Vow" voted by the 1941 Annual Council first appeared in the 1942 Church Manual, pp. 86-87. This was prefaced by a summary of 27 Fundamental Beliefs (pp. 81-86), which with the Vow was placed in a Certificate of Baptism to be filled out and given to each candidate being baptized. Specific instruction was given to any evangelist and/or minister in regard to his duty in the preparation of the candidate for baptism. It read: A minister should not present any candidate for baptism and church membership until he can thoroughly satisfy the church by a public examination of the candidate that he has been well instructed and is ready for such a step. His work is not completed until he has so thoroughly instructed all candidates that they are familiar with all points of the faith, and are prepared to assume the responsibility of church membership. (p. 80).
This 1942 Church Manual has special meaning to me, for that was the year that I entered the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Texico Conference and became a part of an evangelistic endeavour at Fields, New Mexico. My problem is that the 27 Fundamental Beliefs which prefaced the "Baptismal Vow" in 1942 and the 27 Fundamental Statements voted at Dallas, Texas in 1980 do not say the same thing. Not only do they not say the same thing, but the 1980 Statement says things which the 1942 Statement does not say. To illustrate, let us contrast what each says in regard to the High Priestly Ministry of Christ. The 1942 statement reads: 8. Upon His ascension, Christ began His ministry as High Priest in the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, which sanctuary is the antitype of the earthly tabernacle of the former dispensation. As in the type, a work of investigative judgment began as Christ entered the second phase of His ministry, in the most holy place, foreshadowed in the earthly service by the Day of Atonement. This work of the investigative judgment in the heavenly sanctuary began in 1844, at the close of the 2300 years, and will end with the close of probation (p. 82).
The much wordier 1980 Statement which reflects the concepts of the Atonement as stated in Questions on Doctrine (pp. 349-355, 381, 390) reads: There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is a part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelli-
p 7 -- gences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent (1981 Church Manual, revised, pp. 43, 44).
(Of interest, in this revised 1981 edition, there is also contained as an Appendix "the Outline of Doctrinal Beliefs" as found in the 1942 edition with the notation - "This summary of doctrinal beliefs is especially prepared for the instruction of candidates for baptism (See page 60)."
Turning to page 60, this paragraph is found: Prospective members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, before baptism or acceptance on profession of faith, should he carefully instructed from the Scriptures in the fundamental beliefs of the church as presented in chapter 2 (pp. 31-46) of this Manual [The 1980 Dallas Statement]. In order to assist evangelists, pastors, and others in giving such instruction and making it Scripture-based and practical, a specially prepared outline appears as an appendix on pages 288-294 of this Manual [The 1941 Annual Council Statement].
Can there be any question that there needs to be a revisiting of "the Fundamental Beliefs formulated in Dallas, 1980," if for no other reason than to clarify the confusion as to which 27 Statements are to be the norm. [In the Appendix to the 1981 Manual, the 1941 Annual Council Statement number 28 rather than 27 as given in the 1942 Manual. There has been added a #15, a statement on Marriage and Family]. Confusion reigns supreme, and cannot be rectified without a full re-visitation to Dallas, 1980. Either the 1941 Annual Council statement needs to be set aside, or the 1980 Dallas statement be revised and corrected.
If the 1941 Annual Council Statement is made void, then did I present "cunningly devised fables" when I presented the sanctuary truth as stated in my evangelistic campaigns? Were the dedicated Bible teachers at Union College at the time, 1938-42, teaching heresy? It is doubtful that the current Bible faculty are teaching the 1941 position. Did the retired credentialed Bible Worker who gave my mother and me 22 Bible studies that introduced us to Adventism teach us error? These are not hypothetical questions, but questions of life and death issues. The republication of Questions on Doctrine revisits the 1955-56 SDA Evangelical Conferences. A new Statement of Belief cannot divert the attention from the real issue. Was the Church in Council right or wrong in 1941? Was the leadership of the Church in 1957 right or wrong? Where does it stand today? Is it going to use a "fig leaf " or put on the robe of Christ's righteousness which is pure unadulterated truth?
2004 Sep -- XXXVII 9(04) -- ELLEN G. WHITE'S CHOICE OF WORDS TO DEFINE FINAL BETRAYAL OF THE SACRED TRUST -- Editor's Preface -- This issue of WWN is based solely in the Writings of Ellen G. White and reference the Bible only where those Writings indicate a specific text. Further, Eller G. White indicated how her writings were to be studied. We have sought to follow this hermeneutical rule meticulously. We accept and recognize her specific position as assigned by heaven - "a messenger with a message" for the people of God. These messages speak directly to the corporate Seventh-day Adventist Church and to the individual member in his relationship to that Church.
There are some expressions and vocabulary which are unique in the Writings as they are applied to the Church. While the words, "'alpha" and "omega" are to be found in the Scriptures, and are applied to both God and Christ (Rev. 1:8; 22:13), these same words are used in the Writings to denote certain experiences that have taken place in the history of the Church. Other unique phrases are to be found., such as "the balances of the sanctuary" and "a coming out" alluding to the Parable of the Ten Vrirgins. What is interesting about the reference to the Parable of the Ten Virgins is the two different time frames to which the Parable is assigned in the Writings.
Further, in a reference to the Parable there is found in the Writings a definitive statement which links the Parable to the Church of Laodicea, and makes synonymous, the two expressions, "vomited out," and "the door was shut." Though dead, her messages still speak to the Church. These need to be carefulIy heeded.
p 2 -- "Alpha,
" "Omega," "the Balances of the Sanctuary,"
Another "Coming-out" -- Unique
terms in the Writings addressed to those to whom the gift was given. --
In the Scriptures certain expressions become a part
of the eschatological language marking the end times. In Daniel as well
as Revelation the Judgment is introduced: "The
Judgment was set" (Daniel 7:10); "The Hour of the judgment
of Him is come." (Rev. 14..6. Gr.) To this concept is added,
the "image to the beast" (Rev. 13.14) and "the seven last
plagues" (Rev. 15:11). The message which brings this prophetic imagery
together - the Three Angels Messages of Revelation 14 - was committed
in sacred trust to a group of people to whom also was restored the gift
of prophecy. In
a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchman
and light-bearers. To them has been entrusted the Iast warning for a perishing
world. On them is shining wonderful light from the Word of God. They have
been given a work of the most solemn import, the proclamation of the first,
second, and third angels' messages, There is no other work of so great
importance. They are to aIlow nothing else to absorb their attention.
The words, "alpha," "omega," "the balances of the sanctuary," and "another coming out," are all unique to the Gift and are directed to those to whom the "most sacred work ever entrusted to mortals" was given. Because of this fact, special attention needs to given to these words, their context in the Writings, and what they are saying to us individually, and to the Church corporately as the instrument to whom God entrusted, "a work of the most solemn import."
THE ALPHA -- This
word was first used at the turn of the last Century in connection with
a book - The Living Temple. In 1904, a Special Testimony
(Series B, #2) was released which contained "Letters to Physicians
and Ministers." In a letter dated August 7, written to one of the
physicians, Ellen White wrote: Separate
from the influence exerted by the book "Living Temple;"
(sic.) for it contains specious sentiments. There are in it sentiments
that are entirely true, but these are mingled with error. Scriptures are
taken out of their connection, and are used to uphold erroneous theories.
(p. 49). ---
The emphasis in these letters was to stand firmly "on the platform of eternal truth that has withstood test and trial" (p. 51). The warning was given that "the track of truth lies close beside the track of error, and both tracks may seem to be one to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit, and which, therefore, are not quick to discern the difference between truth and error" (p. 52). After listing the objectives of the movement envisioned by those promoting the alpha of apostasy, Ellen White asked the question, "Who has authority to begin such a movement?" Then she advised: "We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth?" (p. 55).
The "alpha" did not succeed, but the danger did not end. Coupled with the warning concerning the "'alpha" was the prophecy of an "omega" of apostasy to come. Ellen White in the same letters warned: "I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our
p 3 -- people" (p. 53). Why the trembling? "The omega will follow, and will be received" (p. 50; emphasis supplied).
THE OMEGA -- In this series of letters (Series B, #2), Ellen White listed what would have taken place had the alpha succeeded. These objectives need to be carefully considered for the enemy's objective does not change toward truth, whether in the time of the alpha or in the time of the omega. The conflict only intensifies as the end approaches (Rev. 12:12). In 1905, she would warn that "the great apostasy" which was "developing and increasing and waxing stronger, " would "continue to do so" until the second coming of Christ. And because this would be, "we are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith,and go forward from strength to increased faith" (Series B, #7, pp. 56-57).
In the time of the "alpha" the enemy of truth sought to promote "the supposition" that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith." Then the question is asked: "Were this reformation to take place, what would result?" To this, the answer is given: The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written (Series B, #2, p. 54).
The "alpha" did not succeed. Only one book was written - The Living Temple - but it contained "deadly heresies" mingled with much physiological truth. As I write, I have before me a copy of the book. The preface declares that the intent of the author, J. H. Kellogg, M,D., was not to write a "theological treatise, but simply to study man from a physiological standpoint: hence, in the use of the word "temple," as it appears upon the title-page and in the numerous places in the work, the physiological, or literal, sense is to understood. For most of the 568 pages this holds true. The first 60 pages, however, develop psychological and theological concepts which turn the bodily functions into evidence of the presence of a Divine Being. Kellogg would write: There is is clear, complete, satisfactory explanation the most subtle, the most marvelous phenomena of nature, - namely, an infinite Intelligence working out its purposes. God is the explanation of nature, not a God outside of nature, but in nature, manifesting himself through and in all the objects, movements, a varied phenomena of the universe (p. 28).
Interesting also is the fact that Kellogg closes his preface with a notation of acknowledgement of his indebtedness to both A. T. Jones and Dr. J. Waggoner, who in 1903, when the book was published, were still held in high esteem by the laity of the Church.
While the "alpha" did not succeed, the "omega" would be received. This means simply that among other things, "books (plural) of a new order" would be written which would seek to aside "the doctrines which stand as the pillars our faith" discarding "the principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remant church." In summary language, "Our religion would be changed" (B #2, p. 54).
Books of a "new order" have been written. "Principles of truths that God in His wisdom" gave "to the remnant church" have be "discarded" (ibid.). The publication of Questions on Doctrine in 1957 did just this. Now some forty-five years later it has been reprinted as the second book in a series by the Andrews University Press to be known as the "Adventist Classic library." Devoid of shame, its 1957 publication is proclaimed to "easily" qualify as "the most divisive book in Seventh-day Adventist history" (Annotated Edition, p. xiii).
This is not the only book. There were to be "books." Others would follow.
LeRoy Froom, whose "facile pen" was actively involved in composing the written distillation of the Adventist-Evangelical conferences, in 1955-56
p 4 -- (The Adventist Heritage, Vol.4, #2, 1977, p, 38) would himself write a book, the - Movement of Destiny, which reiterated the same positions as taken in 1957. He claimed to write the book under a mandate from Arthur G. Daniells. (p. 17) long time president of the General Conference. The book published in 1971 carried the "imprimatur" and "nihil obstat" of Robert H. Pierson, then president of the General Conference and Neal C. Wilson, vice-president of the North American Division.
Other books which might be listed are The Sanctuary Doctrine by Roy Adams in 1981 as the first volume in the Doctoral Dissertation series published by Andrews University Seminary, and Christ Our Substitute in 1982 by Dr. Norman R. Gulley, my immediate predecessor as head of the Bible Department at old Madison College.
The evidence leaves us with the cold reality that our religion has been changed. The Bible studies which the retired "credentialed" Bible Worker gave my mother and me in 1932 did not reflect "contemporary Adventism." Then either the Adventism that we were taught was wrong, or the present course of contemporary Adventism is askew with truth, The same comparison applies to my ministry which began ten years later. Either the "truths" which I proclaimed during the years of my evangelistic ministry were wrong, or the current positions being promoted in "the books of a new order" are open to serious question.
There is a more pervasive question that needs to be answered. Can one continue to bathe his mind in error, and truly grow up in Christ who is the Truth? What merit is there in the adoption of a new statement of belief calling for growth in Christ if the "contemporary Adventisrn" growing out of the "omega of apostasy" is reflected in any of the other 27 statements?
As we study carefully, the other unique phrases found in the Writings, our course of action can become crystal clear, or the counsel given can have a negative effect, depending upon the stubborness of our hearts.
"IN THE BALANCES OF THE
SANCTUARY" -- The 1903 General Conference
Session was held in San Francisco. During the session in San Francisco,
two reports from the Committee on Plans and Constitution, a majority,
and a minority report, were presented to the session. The Minority report
signed by E. J. Waggoner, David Paulson and Percy T. Magan read: The
minority of your Committee on Plans and Constitution beg leave to submit
to you that the Constitution proposed by the majority of the Committee
appears to us to be so subversive of the principles of organization given
to us at the General Conferences of 1897 and 1901 that we cannot possibly
subscribe to it.
One of the signers of this Minority Report, Dr. Percy T. Magan, told the delegates: It may be stated there is nothing in this new constitution which is not abundantly safeguarded by the provisions of it; but I want to say to you that any man who has ever read "Neander's History of the Christian Church" (sic.), Mosheim's, or any of the other great church historians, - any man who has ever read those histories can come to no other conclusion but that principles which are to be brought in through this proposed constitution, and in the way in which they are brought in, are the same principles, and introduced in precigely the same way, as they were hundreds of year ago when the Papacy was made (ibid., p, 150).
On April 13, a motion of adjournment, brought the 1903 session in San Francisco to a close to be reconvened in the Battle Creek Tabernacle on April 22. Between these two dates on the day just before the convening in Battle Creek, Ellenp 5 -- White would ask, "Shall We Be Found Wanting?" In answer to her question, she would write: In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist Church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed an her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, or her will he pronounced the sentence, "Found wanting." By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. (Testimonies, Vol, 8, p. 247).
This is corporate language. It must be measured against the backdrop of the work and responsibility given to the Church as described in Testimonies, Vol. 9, p, 19 (See p. 2, col. 1). It is not a "perhaps statement." The Church "is to be weighed" - the Church to which was given "the most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals."
God has declared that He will weigh the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the balances of the Heavenly Sanctuary. It becomes incumbent upon the individual member to determine if He has, and the decision rendered. Then he has a decision to make.
It needs to be kept in mind that this same testimony written from St. Helena, California, on April 21 quotes the Divine Instructor as asking, "How has the faithful city become an harlot?" and stating that it has become "a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed" (p. 250).
We have been counselled that in the study of the Writings "the testimonies themselves will be the key that will explain the messages given, as scripture is explained by scripture" (SM. book one, p. 42). This is simply the teaching method used by the Holy Spirit - "comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (1 Cor. 2.13). The concept of "the departure of the divine presence and glory from Israel" was used two decades earlier and placed in an end-time setting in connection with the scaling of God's people as described in Ezekiel 9. See Testimonies, Vol. 5, pp. 207-216. Three groups of people are designated: "the few," the "many," and the "some." The "few" are also called "the little company" whose prayers and concern "arise in behalf of the church, because its members are doing after the manner of the world" (pp. 209-210). These concerned ones "had been holding forth the words of life; they had reproved, counselled, and entreated" (p. 210). This earnest work caused a separation between the "some" and the "many." "Some, who had been dishonouring God, repented and humbled their hearts before Him. But the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel; although many still continued the forms of religion, His power and presence were lacking" (ibid.).
The time frame is also defined as the time when "Jesus is about to leave the mercy-seat of the heavenly sanctuary" (p. 207, 208). The use of the "balances of the sanctuary" is completed.
There is interjected an illustration of God's dealing with a nation of the past, the Amorites. Their cup of iniquity was not yet full, and mercy tarried. It is cited as representative of how God's dealings will be with all nations as the final hour of mercy approaches. It reads: With unerring accuracy, the Infinite One still keeps an account with all nations. While His mercy is tendered, with calls to repentance, this account will remain open; but when the figures reach a certain amount which God has fixed, the ministry of His wrath commences. The account is closed. Divine patience ceases. There is no more pleading of mercy in their behalf (p. 208).
The paragraph is followed by this sentence: "The
prophet (Ezekiel), looking down the ages,
Two paragraphs follow the clear delineation of these three
groups. They dare not be overlooked, except at peril to our own souls,
for every one of us is in one of these three categories. They read: (Note
carefully the high lighted sentences).
p 6 -- ... and weeping reproofs and warnings. While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a zeal for God's honor and a love for souls will not hold their peace to obtain favor of any. Their righteous souls are vexed day by day with the unholy works and conversation of the unrighteous. They are powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief and alarm. They mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light. They lament and afffict their souls because pride, avarice, seffishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church. The Spirit of God, which prompts to reproof, is trampled underfoot, while the servants of Satan triumph. God is dishonored, the truth made of none effect.
The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: (Eze. 9:5-6 quoted)
that the church
- the Lord's sanctuary - was the
first to feel the stroke
wrath of God.
this sentence again.
It tells you what the findings were when the Seventh-day Adventist Church
was "weighed in the balances of the stanctuary." Ask yourself the
question, if on "9/11" those who were employed in the New York Trade
Center had known that they would be the target of the terrorist attack
that day, would they have reported to work? Here we are told plainly where
the first strokes of God's wrath will fall. How are we relating to this
The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus "Peace and safety" is the cry from men who will never again lift their voice like a trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together (ibid., pp, 210-211).
A Second Coming Out -- In the year following the crisis at Minneapolis in 1888, Ellen White wrote: I was confirmed in all that I stated in Minneapolis, that a reformation must go through the churches. Reforms must he made, for spiritual weakness and blindness were upon the people who had been blessed with great light and precious opportunities and privileges. As reformers they had come out of the denominational churches, but they now act a part similar to that which the churches acted. We hoped that there would not he the necessity for another coming out. While we will endeavour to keep the "unity of the Spirit" in the bonds of peace, we will not with pen and voice cease to protest against bigotry (Ms. Rel. #1216, pp. 5-6).
a key concept. There
had been an original
coming out. But if the Adventist church came to reflect the same spirit
of the denominational churches which had resulted in the original coming
out, it would necessitate "another coming out." While it is true
that there is no further use of this expression
again, other statements
reflect the thought. In reporting the first camp meeting to be held in
Tasmania, Ellen White broke into the continuity of her report, and stated:
My mind was carried to the future, when the signal will be given, "Behold
the Bridegroom cometh;
out to meet
(R&H, Feb. 11, 1896).
In her first use of this
- Matt. 25:6 - she ascribed it to the summer of 1844 (Great Controversy,
p. 398). In 1896, she indicated
to be still future, and connected it with a
"signal" to be
It should be obvious to even a casual reader that the expression, "another coming out" was connected in Ellen While's mind with the parable of the Ten Virgins, In 1890, she linked this parable with the "Laodicean state." She wrote that "the state of the Church represented by the foolish virgins, is also spoken of as the Laodicean state," and then quoted Rev. 3:15-21
p 7 --
(R&H, August 19,
not only separated
the Ten Virgins,
but marked "another coming out."
THE TEN VIRGIN PARABLE -- A brief review of the parable Jesus gave as recorded in Matthew 25 is in order. He stated: "Then shall the kingdoin of heaven be likened unto ten virgins which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom" (verse 1).
is the first "coming
out." The Ten Virgins
were united. The verb, "went forth" is in the Greek past tense
a change occurred.
the bridegroom tarried they all
slept. And at midnight, there
was a cry made, Behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him."
(verses 5 & 6).
time call is placed in the present tense
(exercesqe) - "be going out to
a meeting of him."
Only the five who
into the marriage;
on the other five, "the door was shut" (Verse 10).
should be observed that the cry at midnight was given by a voice outside
of the sleeping
Virgins. The "oil"
provided by the vendors
came to late.
Order Form: - Those who would desire a fuller study of Testimonies Vol. 5, pp. 207-216, see the tract - "The Seal of God." Also, - Available for study is the documented Sacred Trust Betrayed with cassette tape.
Hebrews 13:10-14 -- We have an altar,whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priestfor sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffer without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. --- (2004 Sep) ---End----