1975 Jan-MarVIII 1(75) - VIII 3(75)
1975 Apr-Jun VIII 4(75) - VIII 6(75)
1975 Jul-Sep VIII 7(75) - VIII 9(75)
1975 Oct-Dec VIII 10(75) - VIII 12(75)
1976 Jan-Mar IX 1(76) - IX 3(76)
1976 Apr-Jun IX 4(76) - IX 6(76)
1976 Jul-Sep IX 7(76) - IX 9(76)
1976 Oct-Dec IX 10(76) - IX 12(76)
1977 Jan-MarX 1(77) - X 3(77)
1977 Apr-Jun X 4(77) - X 6(77)
1977 Jul-Sep X 7(77) - X 9(77)
1977 Oct-DecX 10(77) - X 12(77)
1978 Jan-Mar XI 1(78) - XI 3(78)
1978 Apr-Jun XI 4(78) - XI 6(78)
1978 Jul-Sep XI 7(78) - XI 9(78)
1978 Oct-Dec XI 10(78) - XI 12(78)
1979 Jan-Mar XI 1(79) - XI 3(79)
1979 Apr-Jun XI 4(79) - XI 6(79)
1979 Jul-Sep XI 7(79) - XI 9(79)
1979 Oct-DecXI 10(79) - XI 12(79)
Feb Knight Descends On Jones. 1of 4.
Mar Knight Descends On Jones. 2 of 4.
1988 Apr-Jun 3 & 4 of 4.
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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
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WWN 2001 Oct - Dec
2001 Oct -- XXXIV -- 10(01) -- THE YEAR 1950 -- Editor's Preface -- In the August issue of "Watchman, What of the Night?"we covered some of the same ground which will be covered in this issue. That was because in the final historical coverage in Knight's book, A Search for Identity, he reviewed the tension in Adventism since 1950. In this study, we give the basis as to why the date 1950 has significance. It is, as it were, a climax date in the long standing conflict between truth and error in the great controversy between Christ and Satan.
We sometimes fail to realize before there was a Seventh-day Adventist, even before the name was considered, basic truth was committed in trust to a small remnant who survived the great disappointment in 1844. This truth was not a pillar of the faith, but a part of the foundation upon which the pillars were to rest. It is the foundation which no man can lay, save that which is already laid in Jesus Christ - the full revelation of the gospel of God. This the enemy of God hates. It forever settled his fate, and established "the kingdom of God" and demonstrated the "power of His Christ."
In the time frame of 1950, a prophecy of Jesus was established
by a series of events which should be as important to the people of God
in earth's final hour as was the first part of the same prophecy to His
followers in AD. 66. With 20/20 vision we can see and proclaim with eagerness
that which has been fulfilled, as well as that which will be fulfilled
in the future, but when it is fulfilled prophecy which impacts upon us
in the "now" time, we refuse to make the decision which its
fulfillment demands. The Israel of Christ's day made the same mistake.
They rejected the evidence of fulfilled prophecy before their eyes. They
rejected the Messiah!
A careful study of the prophetic word brings the year 1950 into focus. Around that year, and in that year, events of deep significance took place, events which not only "cast their shadows before," but also an event which prophecy had indicated would take place with no references to time.
In the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream in which "four great beast came up from the sea" (7:3) one following the other. Finally a little horn arose in the head of the fourth beast, and was never separate therefrom (v.8). He continued to observe that after the reign of this horn for a specified period, "a time, and times, and the dividing of time" (vs. 25-26), "the judgment was set and the books were opened" (vs. 9-10). Then the prophet is startled by "the great words which the horn spake" (v.11). It is true that the "little horn" spoke words against the most High during his reign for "a time and times, and the dividing of time" (538-1798 AD); but the word, "great" is supplied in verse 25. The great words follow "the hour of His judgment" in 1844.
There have been three dogmas promulgated by the "little
horn" since 1844:
The last of these "great words" which impacts 1950 should provoke serious study and comprehension as we parallel the great controversy between Christ and Satan. They reach back to the beginnings of the Second Advent Movement and to the very first dogma in 1854. Relative to the "Marian" Dogmas, the chain of events has been listed in The Thunder of Justice: The Current Marian times had their beginnings in 1830 when our Blessed Mother appeared to Catherine Laboure in the convent at Rue de Bac, in Paris, France, as the Mediatrix of all Graces, and gave the Miraculous Medal to the world. One side of this medal had an image of two hearts: the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. (p. 7).
Sixteen years later, Mary supposedly appeared to young children in the French Alps telling them about things which upset her Son. The Roman Church approved this revelation in 1851, and in 1854 Pius IX proclaimed the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Four years later another apparition of Mary confirmed this Dogma. The accounting reads: In 1858, Our Blessed Mother oppeored to a peasont girl, Bernadette Soubirous ot Lourdes, France, announcing herself as the Immaculate Conception - confirming the dogma proclaimed by Pius IX (in 1854). Bernadette had never heard the term until told by Our Blessed Mother. (ibid.)
Another series of events parallel these dates: 1) "The public labors of Mr. Miller, according to the best evidence to be obtained, date from the autumn of 1831" (Memoirs of William Miller, p.97)
Though faulty in certain Biblical exegesis, the Second Advent Movement
led by Miller in the States directed attention to the prophecy of Daniel
8:14; the study of the sanctuary types; and consideration of the Three
Angels' Messages of Revelation 14. After the passing of time in 1844,
there came from the shattered and disappointed believers, a small "remnant"
who would later become known as Seventh-day Adventists. However, prior
to the adoption of a name, God committed in trust to this remnant the
doctrine of the Incarnation in direct contradistinction to the Dogma of
the Immaculate Conception.
p 3 -- 2) In 1858, the first volume of Spiritual Gifts was published, which discusses the Great Controversy "between Christ and His angels, and Satan and his angels."
The very first paragraph sets forth the issue which ignited the rebellion
which had been seething in the heart of Lucifer - the design of God for
and in the creation of man. The key sentences read: And
I saw that when God said to His Son, Let us make man in our image, Satan
was jealous of Jesus. He wished to be consulted concerning the formation
of man. ... He wished to be the highest in heaven, next to God, and receive
the highest honors. Until this time all heaven was in order, harmony and
perfect subjection to the government of God. (p. 17). (See also Isa. 14:12-13)
In passing, it might be well to note that had this concept been understood,
the formulation of the doctrine of the "investigative judgement"
as an explanation for 1844 would have been modified to conform to the
vision given Daniel in chapter 7.
In the third chapter on "The Plan of Salvation" is to be found
two direct statements indicating the nature that Christ would assume in
the Incarnation. They read: Jesus
told (the angels) that they should have a part to act, to be with Him,
and at different times to strengthen Him. That He should take man's fallen
nature, and His strength would not be equal with theirs. (p. 25).
Satan again rejoiced with his
angels that he could by causing man's fall, pull down the Son of God from
His exalted position. He told his angels that when Jesus should take fallen
man's nature, he could overpower Him, and thus hinder the accomplishment
of the plan of salvation. (p. 27).
This position, that Christ took upon Himself, man's fallen nature, was
consistently held for the next seventy years. Although not singled out
in the listing of the "pillars" of the faith (Ms. 13,
1889), documentation has shown that this concept was a part of the very
fiber of Adventist teaching. (See the research by Dr. Ralph Larson, The
Word Was Made Flesh, which surveys one hundred years of Seventh-day
Adventist Christology from 1852 onward, or An Interpretative History
of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist
Church, by the Editor).
With the presentation of Righteousness by Faith at the 1888 General Conference
session and the sessions following, the doctrine of the Incarnation received
special emphasis by both A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner as a part of that
message. Although there are certain current church historians, such as
George R. Knight, who would like to mitigate this fact, the documentation
is available to substantiate what these "messengers" actually
taught. It is true that at the beginning of the 20th Century an aberrant
movement, known as the Holy Flesh Movement, challenged the concepts as
set forth by A. T. Jones then serving as editor of the Review &
Herald. (See, R. S. Donnell, What I Taught in Indiana, p.15)
However, at the time of its demise in 1901, E. J. Waggoner placed in bold
contrast the position held by the Church with the Dogma of Rome. In the
evening meeting on April 16 at the General Conference Session, he stated: The
doctrine of the immaculate conception is that Mary, the mother of Jesus
was born sinless. Why? - Ostensibly to magnify Jesus; really the work
of the devil to put a wide gulf between Jesus the Saviour of men, and
the men who He came to save, so that one could not pass over to the other.
That is all.
We need to settle, every one
of us, whether we are out of the church of Rome or not. There are a great
many that have got the marks yet, but I am persuaded of this, that every
soul who is here tonight desires to know the way of truth and righteousness,
and there is no one here who is unconsciously clinging to the dogmas of
the papacy, who does not desire to be freed from them.
Do you not see that the idea
that the flesh of Jesus was not like ours (because we know ours is sinful)
necessarily involves the idea of the immaculate conception of Mary. Mind
you, in Him was no sin, but the mystery of God manifest in the flesh,
the marvel of the ages, the wonder of the angels, that thing which even
now they desire to understand, and which they can form no just idea of,
only as they are taught it by the church, is the perfect manifestation
of the life of God in its spotless purity in the midst of sinful flesh.
0 that is a marvel, is it not? (GC Bulletin, p. 404)
In 1949 a revised edition of the standard Adventist publication, Bible Readings for the Home, was released. The chapter, "A Sinless Life" was altered. For example, the 1915 edition read, "In Christ, (God) demonstrated that it is possible, by His grace and power, to resist temptation, overcome sin, and live a sinless life in sinful flesh." The revised edition read - "In Christ, (God) demonstrated that it is possible, by
p 4 -- His grace and power, to resist temptation, overcome sin,
and live a sinless life in the flesh." One word only omitted, and
the changed concept moved the Church toward Rome, and away from the sacred
trust committed to it in its inception.
In 1950, the administration of the church changed hands. To the new General
Conference Committee, two young missionaries to Africa, home on furlough,
presented their concern that the Church had never fully repented of the
rejection of the 1888 Message nor had fully accepted it, as brought by
the two "messengers," Jones and Waggoner. These two 1950 "messengers"
wrote out the basis for their findings in a manuscript known as 1888
Re-Examined. From Heaven's viewpoint, this one event may be viewed
as the prime event in 1950 in the purposes of God for His church. Wieland
and Short took a firm stand in regard to the doctrine of the Incarnation
reflecting the original position of the Church. (See A Warning and
Its Reception, pp. 186-189) Based on the same basic premise as set
forth in the manuscript, that there "is a True Christ and there is
a false christ," D. K. Short published in 1991, a paperback, "Made
Like ... His Brethren." Whatever reaction may be taken to some
of the positions expressed by Short, he clearly set forth Jesus as accepting
the fallen nature of man in the Incarnation.
In 1952, a revised and greatly enlarged" Answers to Objections,
by F. D. Nichol, editor of the official organ of the Church, The Review
& Herald, with a foreword by the new General Conference President,
W. H. Branson, was published. In it Nichol wrote: Adventists
believe that Christ, the "lost Adam," possessed, on His human
side, a nature like that of the "first man Adam," a nature free
from any defiling taint of sin, but capable of responding to sin, and
that that nature was handicapped by the debilitating effects of four thousand
years of sin's inroads on man's body and nervous system and environment.
In 1952, Branson called a Bible Conference to refute the challenge made
in 1950 by Wieland and Short. In this Bible Conference, the doctrine of
the Incarnation was not discussed. A change had begun in the thinking
of the Church's leadership which would alter the truth committed to it
in contrast to the Roman dogma of the Immaculate Conception. They dared
not bring it out into the open at the Bible Conference. However, the confusion
was already visible to those who had eyes to see. W. H. Branson, who penned
the foreword to Nichol's enlarged and revised tome, also wrote a book,
The Drama of the Ages, which was given wide circulation. In it
he wrote, alluding to the significance of Jacob's ladder: The
Catholic doctrine of the "immaculate conception" is that Mary,
the mother of our Lord, was preserved free from original sin. If this
be true, then Jesus did not partake of man's fallen nature. This belief
cuts off the lower rungs of the ladder, and leaves man without a Saviour
who can be touched with the feeling of men's infirmities, and who can
sympathize with them in their temptations and sufferings. By this teaching
Jesus is made out to be altogether and wholly divine. Thus the ladder
does not reach the earth where men are. (2nd ed., pp.88-89)
It should be obvious that Nichol's book with its preface by Branson does
not agree with what Branson wrote in his publication. Confusion was beginning
to set in. The final denial of the Church's primitive faith came in the
compromise made with the Evangelicals in 1955-1956. In the published answers
to the questions asked by them, the Adventist conferees responded:
The very word used, "exempt," appears to be borrowed from the
explanation of the Roman dogma in Cardinal Gibbons' book, Faith of
Our Fathers, where he wrote speaking of Mary, "She alone was
exempt from the
original taint" (p. 171, 88th rev. ed.; emphasis supplied).
The force of the statement in Questions on Doctrine rests upon
the fact that in the "Introduction" to the book is found this
affirmation - "This volume can be viewed as truly representative
of the faith and beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church" (p.9).
Let it be noted that the Adventist leadership, as Branson, cited above,
were as much aware of the meaning of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception
in the 1950s as was Waggoner in 1901. The only difference was that in
the 1950s, Adventist "voices" speaking for the Church, embraced
the Dogma in principle.
Two other events occurred just prior to 1950 which would have a decisive impact on the decades follow-
p 5 -- ing. In 1948, the World Council of Churches began to function,
and the State of Israel was reborn. It was this latter event which jolted
the Church into a restudy of its prophetic understandings. In 1944, the
Pacific Press published a paperback entitled,
Palestine in Prophecy. It was used as a "book of
the month" by the Voice of Prophecy radio program. The final paragraph
of this book reads: The
apostle Paul speaks of Jerusalem as being "in bondage with her children."
(Gal. 4:25) Had the Jews been faithful, Jerusalem would have been enlarged
and beautified to become the center of the whole earth, beautiful for
situation. But throughout the generations (from) the fall of that city
in AD 70, Jerusalem has been "a burdensome stone" and "a
cup of trembling unto all people" (Zechariah 12:2, 3); and it will
be so till the end of time. Palestine and Jerusalem do not have a bright
future in this present world, and those who are holding the hope of a
national restoration for the Jews are following a theological will-o'-the-wisp.
in 1947, with rumblings in the ancient land of Israel itself that something
was on foot, another paper-back was published by the same Press which
stated: The God of heaven who
overthrew the city and the nation and who because of their apostasy dispersed
the inhabitants to the ends of the earth, forever settles the question
of a complete return and restoration in old Canaan (of a nation of Israel)
by asserting that it "cannot be." (The Jews and Palestine,
A year later in 1948, our prophetic interpretation was blasted by reality.
From "it cannot be" we were confronted with, "it is."
From the Jewish viewpoint, it was a stupendous event. Menachem
Begin, in his published memoirs, The Revolt, stated: There
is no doubt that the revival of Hebrew national independence in our generation
has no precedence in human history. A nation had been driven out of its
country and after the loss of its liberty and the utter failure of its
uprisings. It had wandered about the face of the earth for nearly 2,000
years. Its wanderings had been drenched in blood. And now, in the 71st
generation of its exile. this wandering people had returned to its Homeland.
The global tour was ended. The circle of wanderings was closed and the
nation had returned to the Motherland that bore it.
Let it be clearly understood that the restoration of Israel as a nation,
though an unprecedented event in all human history as Begin asserts, was
not a fulfilment
of any Bible prophecy. Coming events were but casting their shadows before.
Reeling from the impact of a false prophetic interpretation, and confronted
by the 1888 challenge by Wieland and Short, the Church replied by a Bible
Conference in 1952. Near the close of the conference, W. H. Branson, president
of the General Conference, spoke on "The Lord Our Righteousness."
As he finalized his study, he said - "The message of righteousness
by faith given in the 1888 Conference has been repeated here. ... And
this great truth has been given here in this 1952 Bible Conference with
far greater power than it was given in the 1888 Conference." (Our
Firm Foundation, Vol. 2, p. 616). While an analysis of the presentations
given would fail to substantiate Branson's conclusion that the one subject
of righteousness by faith "swallowed up every other," it is
indicative of the impact the manuscript by Wieland and Short had on the
General Conference Committee.
The correction of the prophetic interpretation was assigned to A. S.
Maxwell, editor of the Signs of the Times. In his presentation,
he cited three areas of unfulfilled prophecy, one of which was, "Developments
in Palestine." (ibid., p. 230). He began by saying - "The
recent dramatic restoration of the nation of Israel has focused the attention
of mankind once more upon Palestine." Then he called attention to
the prophecy of Jesus which he said "all should be watching with
special care," and quoted Luke 21:24. Why? Maxwell noted that while
the nation of Israel was restored, Jerusalem was still in alien hands,
"the times of the Gentiles were not yet fulfilled." Then he
commented that "Jerusalem is to remain trodden down by Gentiles till
the probationary time of all Gentiles has run out. If this is correct,
how much hinges upon the fate of this ancient city, and the power that
occupies it" (p.231). He failed to distinguish between "Gentiles"
as individuals, and "Gentiles" as nations which the linguistics
of the text indicate.
In taking the position he took, Maxwell returned to the Church's previous
understanding of Luke 21:24, the exposition first given by Edson White
in his widely circulated book, The Coming King, published in both
America and Australia, The first American edition in 1898 read: We
also read that "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of
p 6 -- the Gentiles,
until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Luke 21:24. Jerusalem
has never again come into possession of the Jews, and will not until "the
times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." This will be when the work of
the gospel is finished. (p. 98)
Three years later In a letter to Dr. Harvey Kellogg, Ellen White commented,
- "In the twenty-first chapter of Luke, Christ foretold what was
to come upon Jerusalem; 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" (Letter
When this prophecy of Jesus was fulfilled in its first phase in 1967,
Jerusalem recaptured by Israel, that year, the General Conference made
its final rejection of the conclusions drawn by Wieland and Short in 1888
Re-Examined. Commenting on this final meeting, Wieland wrote to Short: To
sum it all up, as I see the meeting (June 27-29, 1967) in retrospect:
the 1951 report said the MS was unworthy of serious consideration
because it was "critical;" the 1958 report said it was unworthy
of such consideration because it used EGW statements out of context; the
1967 hearing concludes it is likewise unworthy because its fruitage is
evil. When we are not able to say anything effective to clarify misunderstandings,
I do not think that the last charge is really fair; but I believe the
time has come to "let go and let God," and to keep still. The
Lord Jesus gave everybody, good and bad, an excellent example - as sheep
before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. Whether I am
right or wrong, I believe I must from hereon be "dumb." ("Buff
Section" A Warning and Its Reception, Fnd. Ed., Letter to
D. K. Short, p. 8)
Also in 1967, the Central Committee of the WCC placed an Adventist theologian
on its Faith and Order Commission with the consent and approval of the
Thirteen years later, in 1980, Israel completed a second phase of its
control of ancient Jerusalem. By the action of the Knesset, old Jerusalem
was combined with its modern counterpart making one city the "complete
and united" capital of Israel. Jesus' prophecy reached its final
The year 1980 also marked the adoption of a new Statement of Fundamental
Beliefs in which the original teaching of the Church on the Incarnation
was muted to the single observation - "He became also truly man,
Jesus the Christ" (#4). In an expanded explanation of what the voted
beliefs mean, the book, Seventh-day
Adventist Believe ..., adopted what is called "the
orthodox" position (p.57, #13), and quotes this position of the Anglican
clergyman, Melvill, as a summary of the Adventist belief on the Incarnation.
Melvill had written: Christ's
humanity was not the Adamic humanity, that is, the humanity of Adam before
the fall; nor fallen humanity, that is, in every respect the humanity
of Adam after the fall. It was not the Adamic, because it had the innocent
infirmities of the fallen. It was not fallen, because it never descended
into moral impurity. It was, therefore, most literally our humanity, but
without sin. (p. 47).
This position varies little, if any, from the position stated by Nichol
in his book written in 1952 (See p. 4 above). The one voice which God
raised up to proclaimed the "everlasting gospel" (Rev. 14:6)
was derailed, and that by the official "voice" the Church in
session. The "gospel of God ... concerning His Son Jesus Christ,
which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh" (Rom.
1:1, 3), was no longer affirmed by the Church, regardless of how many
individual members might still so believe. The prophecy of Jesus concerned
corporate bodies. Its final fulfilment was reached in 1980.
Now we return to the key event by which prophecy marked the year 1950
- the Dogma of the Bodily Assumption of Mary into Heaven. It does not
mean that Mary ascended into Heaven in 1950, that had been taught and
believed by the Roman Church from prior times. The teaching was validated
in 1950 by the infallible power bestowed by the Roman Church on the Pope
when speaking ex cathedra.
This in turn gave official credence to the apparitions of Mary.
It is reported that Leo XIII (1878-1903) had a vision in which he was
informed "that Satan would be allowed one hundred years" to
vent his wrath, and that "Satan chose for his one hundred years the
Twentieth Century" (The Thunder of Justice, pp.4-5). To counteract
this supposed working of Satan, the Church looked upon the Twentieth Century
as "the Age of Mary." The writings of
Saint Louis de Monfort (1673-1716) are cited as indicating
that just as Mary preceded the first coming of Jesus so "the Reign
of the Blessed Virgin would precede a Reign of the Lord Jesus." The
authors of The Thunder of Justice state: Never
before in history have we experienced the number
p 7 -- of apparitions
and supernatural phenomena as we have experienced in this century, particularly
the latter half. On December 8, 1990, Mary stated to Father Gobbi: "I
was driven by the Most Holy Trinity to become the Mother of the Second
Advent, and thus my motherly task of preparing the Church and all humanity
to receive Jesus, who is returning to you in glory." (p. 20)
Herein is the great deception, the coming of Satan as Christ in "the
last remnant of time." All who are not kept by "the power of
God through faith in His word will be swept into the ranks of this delusion."
The authors of The Thunder
of Justice have chronicled various apparitions of Mary since
1531. For the first four hundred plus years till 1950, nineteen occurred.
In the next three decades from 1950 to 1980; there were twenty two. And
since 1980, to the time of the writing of the book in the early 1990s,
This data and the stated objectives behind the Marian apparitions should
tell us something. The world is in for an overwhelming surprise. But not
only the world but many of those professing to believe the truth for this
hour are not "home free" from this great deception.
"We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget
the way the Lord has led us, and
His teaching in our past history" (LS, p. 196).
The issue transcends a denominational designation. Before there was a
Seventh-day Adventist, or the name even thought of, God made provision
that the truth relative to the Incarnation be set forth in contradistinction
to the dogma that Rome proclaimed. The issue is the gospel of God "concerning
His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according
to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according
to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom.
1:3-4). It is that victory which proclaims the "power of His Christ"
In the flesh, in the nature of fallen Adam, Jesus lived a life that no other son of Adam had ever lived, or can live. He did no sin. It is by faith in this righteousness alone, that we can have the hope of victory. It is these two basic elements of the "good news" of God that has come down through our church history, and at each point of the way has been contested by the enemy - 1888, 1901, 1950, 1967. But with this final date, God connected a prophecy of Jesus Himself which was to serve for His professed people as a warning signal, even as the surrounding of Jerusalem in AD 66, by alien armies, served as a warning signal to His people then. There was a brief interlude in time till AD 70, and there has been an interlude in time since 1967 to 1980, when the rejection of the original trust was crystalized in an action by the Church in session. And now as we have entered the 21st Century, the Church has again turned its back on "the gospel of God" through the action of its leaders.
--- (2001 Oct) --- End --- TOP
-- 11(01) -- THE
KING JAMES VERSION --
Editor's Preview -- With this issue of WWN, we include
the new Order Form for 2002. A book which we previously carried in stock,
we are now again able to offer Individuality in Religion by A.
T. Jones.. With another printing of Letters to the Churches by
Elder M.L. Andreasen, there are no longer limits on quantity ordered.
Another manuscript EEOC vs PPPA which carries the major court documents
in the Merikay Silver case is also available in limited supply.
One may ask, why the emphasis on these manuscripts and documents from the past, year after year? In the second article, we note that the bottom line of the Sabbath School lessons for the Third Quarter was "stay with the corporate body" as it is the true "remnant" for this final hour. How was this conclusion reached? The corporate body, though made up of faulty people, still holds the true doctrines. All one has to do is to become knowledgeable of the apostasy that has marked the Church's course over the past five decades to know that this is not true. These deviations from truth have not been corrected, neither have the official voices who sanctioned them been repudiated. One tape with its helps, will give you an outline into which you can put all the other factors, as well as see the fallacy which the Sabbath School Lessons sought to promote. That tape with its documented helps photographically reproduced from the sources is "The Sacred Trust Betrayed." Of course, if you do not want to see anything different from what the hierarchy wants you to see, then do not listen to it.
The article on the KJV calls your attention to two things:
1) How this version supports one position of Desmond Ford and
how the NKJV compounds it; and 2) How Ellen G.
White reacted to a new version in her day.
p 2 -- The KJV -- Two factors motivate the discussing of the King James Version (KJV) in this issue of WWN. Earlier in the year at a camp meeting held by the "historics" near the Foundation, the use of other than the KJV by one of the "voices" produced a reaction. In the summer, the History Book Club to which I belong, had as one of their choices for the month the book, In the Beginning by Alister E. McGrath, Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University, and published by Doubleday. This book is a review of the background of the social, religious, and political forces which were involved in the publication of the KJV. McGrath is a lucid writer, and the book makes very easy and interesting as well as informative reading.
Before discussing the KJV further, let me state my position and use of the version. It is the only version that I have ever used in preaching from the lectern in evangelism, from the pulpit in the service of divine worship, or teaching the Scriptures in the college classroom. I see no reason to make any change even with the New King James Version available. If some text is better translated in another version than in the KJV, I do not hesitate to cite that translation and state why. For example, the KJV translates Hebrews 9:12 stating that "by His own blood (Christ) entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." If the English language means anything, the KJV is saying that Christ before He entered the first apartment of the Heavenly Sanctuary obtained for us "eternal redemption." In other words, the atonement was completed on the cross.
The translation in the NKJV is worse. It reads that Christ "with His own blood ... entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption." This gives support not only to a completed atonement on the Cross but also to the contention that Christ upon His ascension went directly into the Most Holy Place. It was quite ludicrous to hear a prominent "voice" among the historics railing on Ford, and then holding tenaciously to a translation of the Scriptures which sustains Ford's position.
On the other hand, the RSV reads: He (Christ) entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
This translation can be sustained linguistically by Greek grammar. It is a case of the aorist (past tense) participle indicating "action identical with that of the main verb." (Nunn, A Short Syntax of NT Greek, #264)
Another observation on the use of translations is of interest. In 1901, the American Revised Version was published. In 1903 when the book, Education, was released, the footnotes of Scripture references reveal that some forty plus references from the new version were used, as well as one from Rotherham's translation.
It needs to be kept in mind that the KJV is a translation; the Old Testament
from the Hebrew, the New Testament from the Greek. The Greek text from
which the New Testament of the KJV was translated should be of the utmost
gives some background information on this text. He states: Erasmus
of Rotterdam produced a printed Greek text of the New Testament in 1516,
which called into question some of the Latin translations found in the
Vulgate. Erasmus was obliged to complete his Greek text on the basis of
various manuscripts he was able to consult. None of these were especially
ancient; Erasmus had to work on the basis of the criterion of accessibility.
As far as we can ascertain, none of the half dozen manuscripts were earlier
than the tenth century.
Since 1611, the date of the first edition of the KJV, there have been found manuscripts of the New Testament much closer in time to the autographs, than were available in 1611. The result, we have available a much more accurate Greek text than the translators of the KJV knew. However, McGrath is quick to point
p 3 -- out: It must be made clear immediately that this does not call into question the general reliability of the King James Bible. The issue concerns minor textual variations. Not a single teaching of the Christian faith is affected by these variations, nor is any major historical aspect of the gospel narratives of early Christianity affected. The important point is that, in general, the King James Bible was based on the textus receptus. Scholarly fashions have changed, and the Alexandrinus text - named after the Codex Alexandrinus - is now preferred within the scholarly community to the Byzantine text, which the textus receptus reflects. (p. 242)
You will observe that McGrath uses the word, "fashions" - "scholarly fashions." Fashion should not dictate in the reading or study of the Bible. The NIV may be the "in" thing, or the use of the NKJV so that one may not be looked upon as "old fashioned," yet as McGrath concludes: "The King James Bible retains its place as a literary and religious classic, by which all others continue to be judged" (p.300). I shall continue to use it as the version of first choice, and yet I will be open to any translation of a particular verse which expresses the thought intended by the Greek text more clearly.
Returning to the example we have used previously - Heb. 9:12 - we find that the text of the textus receptus is identical to the "fashionable" Greek text referred to by McGrath. The difference between the translations involves a point in Greek grammar. I, therefore, accept the translation which harmonizes best with the whole of the priestly ministry of Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture.
However, there are exceptions. After writing as quoted above from page 242, McGrath states on the page following, "we may note a remarkable exception to the statement, made above" (p. 243). This involves I John 5:7-8, known as the Comma Johanneum. The KJV reads: For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
The RSV reads: And the Spirit is the witness, because the Spirit is the truth. There are three witnesses, the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree.
however, is an exceptional case. In general, the variations between the
textus receptus and the Codex Alexandrinus are interesting,
but slight" (p. 244). How then did this
major gloss get into the KJV? Note the following: The
passage as given in the KJV is in no Greek MS earlier than the 15th and
16th centuries. The disputed words found their way into the KJV by way
of the Greek text of Erasmus. It is said that Erasmus offered to include
the disputed words in his Greek Testament if he were shown even one Greek
MS that contained them. A library in Dublin produced such a MS (known
as 34), and Erasmus included the passage in his text. It is now believed
that the latter editions of the Vulgate acquired the passage by the mistake
of a scribe who included an exegetical marginal comment in the Bible text
he was copying. The disputed words have been widely used in support of
the doctrine of the Trinity, but in view of such overwhelming evidence
against their authenticity, their support is valueless and should not
be used. (SDA Bible Commentary, Vol.7, p. 675)
Where does this leave one in respect to the Bible he reads? It is true
that the English of 1611 is not in many respects, the English of 2001.
There have been changes in word meanings. For example, the word, "prevent"
used in I Thess. 4:15, carried the meaning of the word, "precede,"
which we now use. The NKJV reflects that change in word meaning. This
is a minor variation when compared with the NKJV for Hebrews 9:12 which
we cited above. While there is still retained a questionable translation
of the Greek from the KJV, the NKJV compounds the error in its translation
of the verse.
What Bible should one read? For me the answer is simple - the KJV. If I find a problem, I can compare the verse in question with another version, or go to the Greek texts available. For those who have questions and are unable to consult a Greek text, help is available. The library of this Foundation is open to aid any serious student of the Word of God.
p 4 -- Not Exactly
a New Concept But
Is It Valid? -- While preparing this issue of WWN,
the editor received a call from a young man in Maryland calling his attention
to the Sabbath School lessons (then current) for the Third Quarter. The
lesson which prompted the call
It is true that each "remnant" cited, from salvation history
beginning with Noah, including the returned captives from the Babylon,
and the new "Israel" composed of some who came from the nation
which rejected Jesus Christ, were imperfect. The conclusion would appear
to be validated that this same standard of imperfection would apply in
the case of the final remnant. But the key text itself nullifies this
conclusion. Revelation 12:17 reads that the warfare of "the dragon"
is with "the remnant" which "keep [not "are trying
to keep"] the commandments of God." And - there is a difference!
Further, those who respond to the Three Angels' Messages of Revelation
The lesson sets forth two premises:
1) Adventists may have the quiet confidence that we are a
2) Being part of the remnant, however much a privilege, is no guarantee of salvation, as the history of the remnant church proves. Being among the remnant means only that you're a part of the corporate body that has been given great light and truth, "present truth." How we as individuals, respond to that light and truth is what will determine our ultimate destiny. (Box in Thursday's study)
Herein a lesson is missed. Though the historical data is given illustrating one of the "remnants" in salvation history - "The Remnant According to Grace" (Tuesday) - this remnant included Jews who to be a part of such a remnant had to separate from their previous "corporate" identity. This same factor involving the final "remnant" is avoided in the lesson. However, the gift of the spirit of prophecy is noted as a key characteristic of the final remnant. (Thursday section) In that gift is found this statement: 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 upon her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence, "Found wanting." By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. (8T:247)
No one who has any knowledge of the history of the Church over the past
five decades can deny that the Church corporately has met the conditions
which would warrant the Divine sentence indicated. (Study carefully, "The
Sacred Trust Betrayed." ) Actually the Sabbath School lessons
for the Third Quarter were deceptive. It has been a long time since various
doctrines as appeared in the Quarterly had been studied in Sabbath
School. This now leads to the perception that the deviations from truth
that have marked the past five decades are no more. Yet statements by
men speaking in official capacity, and a book published by direct General
p 5 -- Do It Correctly Eugene Lincoln -- If you want to draw a single Muslim to your evangelistic meetings, don't call them Crusades. When talking of the Sabbath and Sunday, don't accuse the Catholics or Constantine - or anyone else, for that matter - of changing the Sabbath. The fact remains that no one has changed it. People in past times have tried to change it, however. The Lord would not, and humans cannot, change this weekly memorial. So the seventh day, commonly called Saturday, remains as the Sabbath.
When presenting the Sabbath, do not use a human-made seal to illustrate what a seal must contain: The person's name, his or her office, and the territory over which he or she exerts authority. The U.S. President's seal does not contain th name of the current president. The only wording on it is "SEAL OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES." Few seals contain all three elements. If you regard the Sabbath as God's seal, you can find more illustrations to prove your point.
Do not enter the discussion with an "I'm right, you're wrong" attitude. Pray for the right words to say. And remember that presenting the Sabbath, apart from the Messiah of the Sabbath, has no saving power.
2001 Dec -- XXXIV -- 12(01) -- Doctrinal Idolatry -- Editor's Preface -- With this issue we complete thirty four years of continuous publication. My mind goes back to the first issue sent out in December, 1967, as I - 1(68). It had been written for the most part at a desk in the Central Mississippi Chapter of the American Red Cross. When Madison College closed its doors, I was sent to Andrews University to complete my graduate work so as to return to the Madison Campus and teach Bible and History to the nursing students coming from Southern Missionary College for their practics at Madison Hospital. This did not materialize, and I was left free to accept any ministerial work offered. Instead, I asked for a leave of absence which was granted. I obtained a signed statement by the Southern Union Conference president that this leave was of my initiation, and as a minister in good and regular standing.
While at Andrews University, I could not erase from my mind the conviction that my future work, would be in the field of writing. I didn't like to write; I resisted the thought. My first responsibility after taking leave was that of supervising counselor of an educational unit in a Federal project to help alleviate illiteracy for the underprivileged in the state of Mississippi. The hours in driving to and from the unit as well as the night testing programs gave no time for writing. But I could not erase from my mind the call to write. So one morning while driving to Yazoo City, I pulled off from the highway onto a side road, and there in prayer with tears flowing freely, I promised the Lord I would write if he found me a job where I could have time to do so. In a few weeks, the position at the Red Cross opened, caring for the department of Service to Military Families. I was told that I had to be at the desk eight hours a day (M-F) but if not busy, I could use the time as I wished. So during October and November of 1967,the first "Watchman What of the Night?" was written. It was mimeographed, and sent out in December to a very small group of names that I could quickly put together. The organization of the Adventist Laymen's Foundation was to come later, as we found it necessary to respond to the requests coming from the growing group of readers of those early issues.
p 2 -- Doctrinal Idolatry
-- Paul in his letter to
the Romans charged that the heathen "changed the glory of the uncorruptible
God into an image made like to corruptible man." They also "changed
the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more
than the Creator" (1:23, 25). In other words, the heathen imposed
upon the Divine, the human. Instead of seeking to understand God as He
revealed Himself to be, they created a God, according to their earthly
perceptions of Him.
The commandment is specific, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any
graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or
that is in the earth beneath. ... Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them,
nor serve them" (Ex. 20: 4-5). The God of Israel remained "invisible"
(I Tim. 1:17), representing Himself by the Shekinah glory dwelling between
the cherubim (Ps. 80:1). John wrote: "No
man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten God ( monogenhV
QeoV) who being ('o wn ) in
the bosom of the Father, hath declared Him" (John 1:18; Gr.).
How did the Word who was equally God (John 1:1) in becoming flesh reveal
Him? The Scripture is clear. As the second Adam, He came to restore the
broken relationship resultant upon the first Adam's failure. "For
as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (I
Cor. 15:22). Even as Adam was a son of God (Luke 3:38), so the Messiah
became a Son so as to restore "many sons unto glory" (Heb. 2:10).
This father-son relationship while revealing the objective of God for
the salvation of man, dare not be turned, and read as the revelation of
the nature of the Godhead. To do so is nothing less than "doctrinal
idolatry," changing "the truth of God into a lie."
It is true that the incarnate Word is declared to be the Son of God.
Many New Testament references can be cited. This is as the angel Gabriel
said it would be: "That holy One which shall
be born of thee shall be called ( klhqhsetai
) a Son of God" (Luke 1:35; Gr.). Gabriel did not say either that
"He was" or that "He is;" but that He "shall
be called a Son
of God" This "Sonship" is based on a different premise
than a human father-son relationship. We dare not be guilty of the heathen
application of the human upon the Divine.
The Messianic second Psalm begins with the rebellion against Jehovah
and His Anointed One in a great controversy motif (2:1-6). The Hebrew
word "Anointed" in verse 2 is Meshiho
(Messiah) - "the Anointed One of Him." This Anointed One is
set as a "King" in Zion (ver. 6). The compact is between the
Two Jehovahs of Isaiah 44:6 - "Thus saith the Lord (Yehowah),
the King of Israel, and his redeemer, the Lord (Yehowah)
of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no
The eternal God, the King of Israel, when He came unto His own, His own
received Him not, but cried out, "We have no king but Caesar"
(John 19:15). However, this counsel of peace which was "between the
Two of Them" (Zech. 6:13; Heb.) involved more than a kingship. A
decree was issued defining the messianic relationship, which stated: I
will declare the dercee: the Lord hath said unto Me, Thou art my Son;
this day have I begotten thee. (ver. 7).
The Godhead relationship is defined in Isaiah 44:6, the Messianic relationship
is set forth in Psalm 2:7. To project back upon the pre-existent Elohim,
the decreed relationship by which that Elohim designed to convey their
objective in redemption, is doctrinal idolatry, and reveals the mind set
of paganism. We might well ponder the following counsel: When
the mind is engrossed with the conceptions and theories of men to the
exclusion of the wisdom of God, it is stamped with idolatry. (FCE,
No outward shrines may be visible,
there may be no image for the eye to rest upon, yet we may be practising
idolatry. It is 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. (5T:173-174)
The "Messianic" decree in its fulfilment became the core of the Gospel. To two different experiences in the life of "the Word made flesh" was the decreed "sonship" applied: 1) "When He bringeth the first begotten into the world" God did not say to the angels, "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee" but rather, "Let all the angels of God worship Him" (Heb. 1:5-6). He was "in flesh appearing" but nevertheless God, now to be "called the Son of God." 2) "We declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God has fulfilled the same to us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee" (Acts
p 3 -- 13:32-33). In the Incarnation and in the Resurrection,
the decree meets it objective and fulfilment. It is as the "Son of
God" and "the Son of man" that the Messiah stands as the
only Mediator between God and man. Paul states it this way - "For
there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus
the Messiah" (See I Tim. 2: 5). It is still the Two of Isaiah 44:6
and Zechariah 6:13. Status of position does not alter the nature of Being.
The decreed Son is still God in a new dimension - the God-man.
Paul declares the "gospel of God" to be composed of two components:
1) "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ (Messiah) our Lord,
which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;" and
2) "Declared the Son of God with power, according
to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom.
1:3-4). This gospel, Paul affirmed, did not come from man, but "by
the revelation of Jesus Christ (Messiah)" directly. By the Incarnation,
the "Anointed One" was to be "called the Son of God"
and by the Resurrection, He was declared the Son of God with power.
The picture in Revelation brings together the whole of the objective
of the counsel of peace which was between the Two of Them. The Messiah
is standing "in the midst of the throne as "a Lamb as it had
been slain" (5:6), and thus in worshipping Him that sat on the Throne
would be to worship the Lamb also. Indeed, He has sat down with the Father
in His throne. (3:21). He could say to John who had fallen at His feet,
"I am the first and the last" (1:17; Isa. 44:6). "I am
He that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am alive forevermore"
(1:18). There was a "sundering of th. Divine powers" in the
redemption provided for men, but in the exaltation of the risen Lord,
He is alive forevermore.
Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no ELOHIM. - Isaiah 44:6.
Purpose? - The Tithe --
With this issue, we complete 34 years of publication. During this
time span, we have discussed or said little about the question of tithing.
It is an individual matter and highly personal between an individual and
his God. Whether one tithes very resrictively, or is liberal in his interpretation
of what he should tithe is dependent on his appreciation of what God has
done and is doing for him. The Biblical injunction is clear: "Bring
ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine
house" (Mal. 3:10).
In this one verse is the injunction - "Bring ye all
the tithe." It is not a matter of allocating here and there the tithe
as we may determine, but "all" is to come to one place - "the
storehouse." But what is the storehouse? The regular Church would
have you believe that the storehouse is the Conference. This may or may
not be true. The Bible defines "the house of God." To Timothy,
Paul wrote: These
things write I unto you, hoping to come unto thee shortly: but if I tarry
long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the
house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and the
ground of truth. (I Tim. 3:15)
Here the "house of God" - the storehouse - is defined as "the
church of the living God." So the position of the regular Church
has merit, except for one fact. The "church of the living God"
is "the pillar and the ground of the truth." Therefore, if a
church is in apostasy from the truth, it ceases to be "the storehouse"
of God. The first determinate factor in the placement of the tithe is
truth. The tithe cannot be placed where error is a "pillar"
of the faith.
How are we to understand the purpose of the tithe? The injunction in
Malachi reads - "that there may be meat in My house" - literally
"food." Does this mear then - "pay the preacher"?
It does not say food for the preacher, but for the whole house of God
- all who are
of "the household of faith" (Gal. 6:10). This does involve the
preacher but in the same way the church is involved. Jesus, during His
eschatological sermon on the Mount of Olives, questioned: Who
then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Iord hath made ruler over
his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant,
whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. (Matt. 24:45-46)
p 4 -- "Food in My house" is focused by Christ on "food
in due season;" and that "season" being the time of the
second coming. It is incumbent upon those who receive tithe, to feed the
household of God with "present truth" in regard to the prophecies
which relate to earth's final hours; as well as the spiritual experience
all must have who will endure to the end. This also serves as a criterion
for where the tithe is to be placed. Awesome is the responsibility as
well as the accountability of each one who truly desires to place the
Lord's holy tithe where it ought to be placed. What an accounting will
have to be given by "servants" who accept tithe, and do not
provide "food in due season" but continue to preach error instead
of truth. Further, how will the "blind guides" who continue
to urge people to support apostasy with their tithe answer in the day
of final accounts?
In 1888, God sent two other "messengers" to the Church with
a specific message. Reviewing this commission, Ellen White wrote: The
Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through
Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently
before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the
world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited
the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is manifest in
obedience to all of the commandments of God. (TM, pp. 91-92)
In the same testimony, it was noted: "It is the perpetual life of
the church to love God supremely, and to love others as they love themselves."
But in 1888, there was little of this love manifest in the Church, so
"God gave to His messengers just what the people needed" (ibid.,
p. 95) Then the question was asked, "How long will you hate and despise
the messengers of God's righteousness?" (p.96).
There can be little doubt, that Ellen G. White who recognized her commission
as a "messenger" also recognized Jones and Waggoner as commissioned
"messengers" with a specific message for the Church. The question,
though asked, has not been researched nor answered as to why God chose
two other "messengers" to give the message of justification
by faith instead of the first "messenger"? Further, while the
two "messengers" of 1888 emphasized the "gospel" of
the Three Angels' Messages of Revelation 14, during the same period, the
first "messenger" was counselling the Church on an attitude
and condition of mind which has been as much spurned as was the
In 1892, the admonition was given - "Let no one come to the conclusion
that there is no more truth to be revealed" (Counsels on Sabbath
School Work, p.34). Two years prior, a brother had asked Ellen White,
"Do you think we must understand the truth for ourselves? Why can't
we take the truth that others have gathered together, and believe them?"
To this she wrote - "It is dangerous to make flesh our arm. We should
lean upon the arm of Infinite Power. God has been revealing this to us
for years. We must have living faith in our hearts and reach out for larger
The messages of the three "messengers are congruent. Each is a part
of the whole. The righteousness of Christ was declared to be "pure,
unadulterated truth" (TM, p. 65), and the truth was declared
to be "an advancing truth" with the counsel, "we must walk
in the increasing light" (op. cit, R&H). Lest, we would
conclude that this counsel was being directed solely toward those opposing
Jones and Waggoner, and that "the advancing light" was only
in reference to the
p 5 -- clude - Ellen White wrote: There is no excuse for anyone in taking the position that there is no more truth to be revealed, and that all our expositions of Scripture are without error. The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people, is not proof that our ideas are infallible. Age will not make error into truth, and truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will loose anything by close investigation. (R&H, Dec.20, 1892).
And again: We
have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and heaven
alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give
up a cherished view, never have an occasion to change an opinion, will
be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with
determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed.
(R&H, July 26, 1892).
Here is the crux of our problem - "the unity for which Christ prayed."
It is so desperately needed among the fragmented segments of Adventism,
yet it is among these segments that the "determined persistency"
which opposes that unity is most visibly seen. We may proclaim the 1888
Message and form a committee for its promotion, yet if we are not willing
to walk in the advancing light of truth which leads to a "pure, unadulterated
truth," we in reality do not have the righteousness of Christ manifest
in a living and working faith. The message of two messengers may be given,
but failure to heed the message of the third leaves a void which nullifies
"the unity for which Christ prayed."
Then there are those who profess to be upholding the "historic"
faith, who, not only, know little of what righteousness by faith means,
but also reject any advancing light of truth. They remain in the same
Laodicean state out of which they profess to have come. Tragically, they
have attached "works" as well as "hobby horses" to
their confession of faith and are riding them "like the midnight
ride of Paul Revere." But it is not leading to "the unity for
which Christ prayed."
The question is first asked "How shall we search the Scriptures?"
This is the first hurdle today, that evidently was not a stumbling block
in 1892. Today, the question which dominates is "What do the Writings
teach?" before we even open the Bible. The question the first messenger
noted as the beginning point to achieve the unity for which Christ prayed,
is "How shall we search the Scriptures?" and she made it clear
that she meant the Bible. She observed that "many who read and even
teach the Bible, do not comprehend the precious truth they are teaching
After asking the first question, the first "messenger of the Lord"
we drive our stakes of doctrine one after another, and then try to make
all Scripture meet our established opinions, or shall we take our ideas
and views to the Scriptures, and measure our theories on every side by
the Scriptures of truth?
The answer is obvious. The
Bible determines truth, not our own ideas and opinions.
"Men entertain errors, when the truth is clearly marked out, and
if they would bring their doctrines to the word of God, and not read the
word of God in the light of their doctrines, to prove their ideas right,
they would not walk in darkness or blindness, or cherish error. Many give
the words of Scripture a meaning that suits their own opinions, and they
mislead themselves and deceive others by their misinterpretation of God's
How then are we to study the
Word so as to attain "the unity for which Christ prayed"? As
we take up the study of God's word, we should do so with humble hearts.
All selfishness, all love of originality, should be laid aside. Long-cherished
opinions must not be regarded as infallible. It was the unwillingness
Of the Jews to give up their long-established traditions that proved their
ruin. They were determined not to see any flaw in their own opinions or
in their interpretations of the Scriptures; but however long men may have
entertained certain views, if they are not clearly sustained by the written
word, they should be discarded. (ibid.)
This last step will be most difficult to take. To discard the many, many
things that must be unlearned, which have been long cherished will be
traumatic. At that point we will either do as the Jews did in a different
form, or we will, with humble hearts, lay aside error.
p 6 -- The Jews crucified Jesus who was the truth, we can today
crucify the truth as it is in Jesus.
With what attitude should we approach a challenge to our personal perceptions?
The answer is given: Those
who sincerely desire truth will not be reluctant to lay open their positions
for investigation and criticism, and will not be annoyed if their opinions
and ideas are crossed. (ibid.)
Then the first messenger of the Lord recalled that "this was the
spirit cherished among us forty years ago" which would take one back
to the 1850s prior to the formation of the organized Seventh-day Adventist
Church. What did that "Little Flock" as they were then called
We would come together burdened
in soul, praying that we might be one in faith and doctrine; for we knew
that Christ is not divided. One point at a time was made the subject of
investigation. Solemnity characterized these councils of investigation.
The Scriptures were opened with a solemn sense of awe. Often we fasted,
that we might be better fitted to understand the truth. After earnest
prayer, if any point was not understood, it was discussed, and each one
expressed his opinion freely; then we would again bow in prayer, and earnest
supplications went up to heaven that God would help us see eye to eye,
that we might be one, as Christ and the Father are one. (ibid.)
If we would seek to emulate the experience that marked the beginning
of the Advent Movement, it would become obvious that there were difficulties
to solve. First, Bible Conferences such as have marked the years since
then, such as the 1919 or 1952 conferences, cannot duplicate the setting
necessary to achieve the true objective of "the unity for which Christ
prayed." Study groups would have to be limited in size, small enough
so that each one present could "freely" express himself. The
time allotted would have to be of a duration so that solid conclusions
based in the study of the Word could be achieved. The pace of life to
which we are accustomed would have to be drastically altered. Progress
would be slow due to the many and varied winds of doctrine that have been
blowing unchecked in the corridors of Adventism during the past few decades.
Then there is a primary question that must be addressed. Who is willing
among the many voices sounding in the corridors of Adventism "to
lay open their positions for investigation and criticism and who "will
not be annoyed if their opinions and ideas are crossed"? Besides
this, there is a more acute question: Who would be willing
to admit that he was in error even if shown to be by the study of the
We are prone to think that since the pioneer brethren came together and
through fasting, prayer and study of the Bible, formulated a comprehensive
doctrinal structure in the 1850s, it is infallibly sound. Yet it was some
forty years later that the first messenger stated unequivocally that there
were still things to learn, and many, many things to unlearn. This fact,
we are reluctant to acknowledge and act upon in accordance with the directive
- "learn" and doubly "unlearn." It has been made even
more difficult to follow and accept, when it is obvious in the history
of the church from 1950 and climaxing in 1980, most attempts to do so
have resulted in apostasy from the truth rather than growth in the truth.
This has been carefully documented in the first eight issues of WWN
for this year as we critiqued Dr. George R. Knight's book, A Search
Those promoting the current agitation over the 1888 Message, while placing
in the forefront the message given by the second two messengers, have
ignored, or we might say, have rejected, the directives by the first messenger
in regard to the advancing light of truth. They deplore the rejection
by the "brethren" of the 1888 message, yet at the same time
reject the advancing light of truth commensurate to the hour to which
we have come in human history. Their rejection since their challenge in
1950, and documented in A Warning and Its Reception, seems to have
made no impression upon them.
There are questions that demand attention. There can be no question that
we have reached the end of time. Jesus Himself gave a prophecy which would
mark that end. We have not heeded it nor the message of the first messenger
regarding final events. (See R&H, Dec. 13, 1892) From the very
beginning of the Advent Movement, the first messenger encouraged the "Little
Flock" to consider what could be designated as a "great controversy
motif" in the understanding the salvation history. (See Spiritual
Gifts, Vol. 1) This means simply that when the final judgment began
in heaven, the first question to be resolved, of necessity, would involve
the angelic host. From one of them is where sin began. The prophecy clearly
indicates this fact (Daniel 7:10), but we have given it little consideration.
It is our objective, by the grace of God, to address
p 7 -- some of these questions forthrightly in the issues of WWN
for 2002. If in 1892, there were lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn,
the intervening years have not nullified this counsel, but because it
has not been done, it has made it even more necessary that such an attempt
Divine Intervention -- While
God created man a free moral agent with the power of choice, He did not
abdicate His Sovereignty to intervene in the course of human affairs.
The first act of sin caused God to intervene for the protection of the
Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden. "He drove out the man"
(Gen. 3:22-24). When the wickedness of man became so great that "every
imagination of his heart was only evil continually," God altered
the whole of the original creation by a flood of waters (Gen. 7:11). As
the defiance of man again exhibited itself on the plain in the land of
Shinar, "the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which
the children of men builded" (Gen. 11:5). He intervened. The very
functioning of the human mind was altered which led to diversity of cultures
and varied ethnic groupings.
With the call of Abraham, God intended through man to intervene in the
affairs of man. Man was to reveal God to his fellow men. The exhibit which
God developed in His relationship with Abraham was the element of faith
- seeing the unseen by promise as if it were reality. The development
of this faith in Abraham was so time consuming, that God had to intervene
directly when only by that divine intervention could the promise be fulfilled.
The whole reproductive system of Sarah had to be rejuvinated. In this
experience, is set forth the single question which governs all else in
the great controversy between good and evil - "Is any thing too hard
for the Lord?" (Gen. 18:14). Paul, citing this experience, wrote
of Abraham, that he "being fully persuaded that, what [God] had promised,
He was able also to perform" (Rom. 4:21). This is the basis of grace,
and the substance of faith.
The Gospel as promised required Divine Intervention (Rom. 1:1, 3-4).
God entered flesh itself so as to condemn sin where it resided. (Rom.
8:3). But there was no intervention in His own behalf to purge the flesh
before He entered it. He further limited Himself. In that flesh, of His
own self, He could do nothing. (John 5:30). But when the Messiah was made
verily sin for us in all of its aspects - He died the "second death"
- God intervened! To John, the risen Lord could proclaim; "I was
dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore" (Rev. 1:18).
There is to be another divine intervention. In the provision of the gospel for our present sinful lives, there is the promise that "if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (I John 2:1). However, in the contest with the flesh, we "cannot do the things that (we) would" (Gal. 5:17). No amount of good works brings to us perfection. We fail often, though the "intent" is still there. We press on toward "the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." To "be thus minded" is to "be (presently) perfect" (Phil. 3:14-15). There is a time, however, when that intercession will cease. (Rev. 15:8). What Divine Intervention does God have planned for those whose "intent" is toward His high calling, when He takes unto Himself His great power and reigns? (Rev. 11:17). This is the supreme question of the present hour, and can be answered only in the context of the final atonement. There are only two factors from the human perspective: 1) Soul affIction, and 2) Cease from trust in our own works. (Lev. 23:29-30). All the rest, according to the type is the work of the High Priest. The promise has been given - "He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him" (Heb. 7:25). The question asked so long ago - "Is there anything too hard for the Lord" - is apropos. "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever" (Jude 24-25). --- (2001 Dec) --- End --- TOP
-- Special Report 1(01) -- The
Forming of the Image To the Beast --
Is it Now Accomplished? --
Editor's Preface --
The author of this special issue wishes to remain anonymous
under the pen name, Pro Libertas.
A Seventh-day Adventist since 1953, he has a legal background
as a graduate of London University and Lincoln's Inn of Court, London,
England, with degrees of Ll.B and Barrister-at-Law. He practiced law in
a British jurisdiction for twenty years before coming to the United States
in 1975. Now an American citizen, he received training in the laws of
the United States before working as an assistant to attorneys in Corporate
and Civil Litigation law departments of a major California corporation
between 1991 and 1996. Deeply concerned with what he sees taking place
since the American election and having followed closely the development
of the Religious Right, the author has deep convictions as to the fulfillment
of the prophecy of Revelation 13 before our very eyes today. However,
he leaves with each reader the final judgment as to what he sees, really
means. Is the forming of the Image to the Beast now being accomplished?
There is no question but that the events of the past few
months leaves one stunned. The selection by the Supreme Court of the President
of the United States in a five to four decision, with three of the five
judges confessed Romanists, plus the rapid fire changes initiated by the
President without a clear mandate to govern, clearly indicates the meaning
of what we have been told - "the final movements will be rapid ones."
Consideration needs to be given to the fact that the common
bond between the Religious Right and the Hierarchy of the Roman Church
is the issue of abortion, and the basis of this factor is grounded in
the doctrine of the immortality of the soul.
p 2 -- The Forming of the
Image To the Beast --
Is it Now Accomplished? --
Libertas -- To the knowledgeable Seventh-day
Adventist, there should be no question about the connection between the
Roman Catholic Church and the Image to the Beast It is a fact established
beyond all reasonable doubt that the first beast of Revelation 13 is the
papacy. All the characteristics and identifying marks apply to none other
than the Church of Rome. It can also be established that the second beast
"coming up out of the earth" is Protestant America. Our Lord
revealed that in time the second beast would exercise all the power of
the first beast before him. Sadly the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church has for many years departed from the former clear separation of
the church from Rome and apostate Protestantism, so that today the message
of Revelation 13 is at best muted and at worst repudiated.
In the American colonies the Roman Church had little influence.
Of the original thirteen only Maryland included an appreciable number
of Catholics. Roman Catholics were often unwelcome in the other colonies,
and in some colonies, they were excluded. Some estimates indicate there
were 25,000 in the colonial population of 4,500,000 in 1776. In 1789 John
Carroll was appointed Bishop of Baltimore, with a diocese encompassing
the entire new nation. While the laity were social outcasts, and viewed
with suspicion and hostility on the part of their Protestant neighbdrs'
well into the 20th century, the hierarchy enjoyed its place in the free
society of the United States from the beginning. This and the growth of
the Catholic population are of profound significance. In 1850 Catholics
made up only 5% of the total population; by 1906, they made up 17% (14
mIllion out of 82 million) and constituted the largest single religious
denomination in the country. They have never looked back.
At the 1895 General Conference session, A T. Jones as
a part of his series on the "Third Angel's Message" presented
a study on "The Papacy." He noted the intense interest with
which Leo XIII viewed the American experiment in democracy and the place
of the Roman Church in the United States, where he believed the stronghold
of Romanism of the future lay. Of particular interest to Leo was the fact
that this democracy was "without restraining bonds." Jones brought
this central issue into focus by stating: The
papacy is very impatient of any restraining bonds; in fact, it wants none
at all. And the one grand discovery Leo XIII has made, which no pope before
him ever made, is that turn which is taken now all the time by Leo, and
from him by those who are managing the affairs in this country, - the
turn that is taken upon the clause of the Constitution of the United States,
- "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Leo has made the discovery
that the papacy can be pushed upon this country in every possible way,
and by every possible means, and that Congress is prohibited from ever
legislating in any way to stop it. That is a discovery that he made that
none before him made, and that is how it is that he of late can so fully
endorse the United States Constitution. (GC Bulletin, pp.29,
In an Encyclical published in the Catholic Standard, February 2, 1895, Leo XIII made it very clear that although the Church of Rome was enjoying "a prosperous growth" in America, this was not to be taken as evidence that it was better to have Church and State separate. Thus was Leo both the admirer and the foe of democracy and the U.S. Constitution. The diabolical insights and the machinations of Leo XIII are a critical component of the relentless assaults against the twin First Amendment Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the United States Constitution.
Nation with two Lamblike Horns --
Christian Edwardson in his book, Facts of Faith,
provides an analysis of the second beast of Revelation 13. In the last
two of six specifications drawn from the prophecy, he states: (5)
It would be a great nation, for it was equal in power to the Papacy (v.12).
(6) And yet its principles were to be lamblike, mild (v. 11), or as the Danish and German have it: "Like a lamb" - Christlike. And Christ advocated two great principles: First, separation of church and state. He said: "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's" (Luke 20:25). That is keep the two separate. Second, religious liberty. He said: "If any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not" John 12:47. "Judge not, that ye be not judged" Matt. 7:1.
It is evident that
only one nation answers to all these specifications: the United States
of America. (p.235).
There is much talk today by right-wing jurists about the "original intent" of the framers of the Constitution. Their real agenda is to reinterpret the Constitution with the primary purpose of destroying the "wall of separation" between Church and State. Whatever can be discerned of the original intent of the founders of this nation, their object in framing the religion clauses can be deteimined from the plain language of their private statements and letters. The following are a few selections that give the lie to opponents of the total separation between Church and State: GEORGE WASHINGTON -- The tribute of thanksgiving which you offer to the gracious Father of lights, for His inspiration of our public councils with wis-
p 3 -- dom
and firmness to complete the national Constitution, is worthy of men who,
devoted to the pious purpose of religion, desire their accomplishment
by such means as advance the temporal happiness of mankind. And here
I am persuaded, you will permit me to observe, that the path of true piety
is so plain as to require but little Political attention. To this consideration
we ought to ascribe the absence of any regulation respecting religion
from the Magna Charta of our country. (George Washington in a letter
to Presbyterian Church representatives in Massachusetts and New Hampshire,
October 1789; emphasis supplied)
-- You have not extended your ideas of the right of private judgment and
the liberty of conscience, both in religion and philosophy, farther than
I do. Mine are limited only by morals and propriety. (John Adams in
a letter to M. M. Noah regarding Jews in America, July 31, 1818).
-- The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated
hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions
with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and morality of
the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased
by the total separation of the church from the State. (James
Madison, letter to Robert Welsh, March 2, 1819)
The experience of
the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the
unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt
hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of
religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence
is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to
political prosperity. (James Madison, a letter to F. L. Schaeffer,
December 3, 1821)
Every new and successful
example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical
and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new
example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion
and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed
together. (James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July
10, 1822; emphasis supplied)
Ye States of America,
which retain in your Constitutions or Codes, any aberration from the sacred
principles of religious liberty, by giving to Caesar what belongs to God,
or joining together what God has put asunder, hasten to revise & purify
your system, and make the example of your Country as pure & compleat,
in what relates to the freedom of the mind and its allegiance to its Maker,
as in what belongs to the legitimate objects of political and civil institutions.
(Excerpt from James Madison's Detached Memoranda)
-- Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between
man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his
worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only,
and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the
whole American people which declared that their legislature should make
"no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between
church and State. (Thomas Jefferson, Writings, Library of
America, p. 510; Emphasis supplied).
In the case of Reynolds
v. United States, decided in 1878, redecided in 1879, the Supreme Court
quoted Jefferson's statement and said: Coming
as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure,
it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope
and effect of the amendment thus secured.
In 1947 the Supreme Court
again adopted Thomas Jefferson's view in the case of Everson v. Board
of Education and stated, "That wall must be kept high and
impregnable." Opponents of the "wall of separation" claim
that the Court went far beyond Jefferson's original intent; but this flies
in the face of the facts of history. Similarly, the powerful forces that
are now engaged in the work of undermining the constitutional guarantee
of religious liberty argue that the United States was founded as a "Christian
Nation." Perhaps all of them, or a majority of them, really believe
their own propaganda. The fact is that they are wrong. In addition to
all of the statements of the framers of the Constitution which indicate
the contrary, there was a treaty between the United States and the Barbary,
in which Article 11 expressly stated that the "government of the
United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian
religion." This treaty was made under the presidency of George Washington
and signed into law by President John Adams. The Catholic hierarchy has
never been under any illusion on this point. The Roman Catholic Church
did "recognize" the United States as a "Christian nation"
when in 1892 a Supreme Court Justice said that it was. However, from Pope
Leo XIII's own statement in his encyclical to America, we know that he
recognized "State and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and
The Image speaks as a Dragon -- In Facts of Faith, Christian Edwardson makes this comment on Rev. 13:11: The prophet continues: "He spake as a dragon." ... A nation speaks through its laws. This prophetic statement, therefore, reveals that a great change in policy is to come over our beloved country. The "dragon" is a symbol of pagan Rome, that persecuted the early Christians during the first three centuries. ...
This prophecy also
reveals what influence will be brought to bear upon our lawmakers and
people to produce this sad change. We have already seen that "the
first beast" of Revelation 13:1-10 represents the Papacy, and by
reading the eleventh and twelfth verses we see that the effort of the
lamblike beast will be to cause "the earth and them that dwell therein
to worship the first beast,
p 4 -- whose
deadly wound was healed." That is: The whole trend is Romeward,
therefore it must be Rome that is working in disguise to bring about such
a trend. (p.239)
Papacy was formed by a union of church and state, which resulted in the
persecution of dissenters. An "image," or "likeness"
to the Papacy in America would be a union of church and state, or a co-operation
between them, as in the days of papal Rome. And, seeing it is to be "an
image to the beast," it cannot be the beast itself, but must be an
effort started among Protestants, who desire the aid of the state to enforce
some of their dogmas. (p.302)
The course of history in this Republic which has brought
us to the apocalyptic conditions of the present is precisely in accord
with the above statements. The principle of total separation of Church
and State was under steady assault from the very beginning. The excerpt
quoted above from a letter of George Washington to church representatives
indicates the dissatisfaction of some church people then to the exclusion
of an establishment of religion from the Constitution. The first serious
effort to reverse this wise action of the framers occurred in 1864. An
amendment to the Constitution proposed by the National Reform Association,
known as the Christian Amendment, attempted to have inserted God, Christianity,
and Jesus in the Preamble. Sixty-four other religious measures were introduced
in Congress between 1888 and 1910. At all times it has been Protestants
who have been pressing this agenda publicly. However, the blueprint laid
out by Leo XIII has been followed assiduously by the Catholics. They,
in the words of Christian Edwardson, were: ...
focused on America, not in an antagonistic way, but quietly, in wisely
planned, systematically organized, and well directed efforts along numerous
lines, so as to gain favor among Protestants, and not to be suspected
as propaganda. (p.241)
So successful were the Catholics in gaining favor among
Protestants that the latter sought the former's aid in achieving their
objectives, all unsuspecting of the ultimate goal of Catholicism in the
United States. This is documented in the final chapter of Facts of
Faith (pp. 304-306). It has now culminated in the modem political
movements and organizations that have now imposed the distinct form of
the Image to the Beast on this Republic that was founded on the grand
principles of civil and religious liberty.
Religious Right & Allies Take Over --
The origins of the modem religious right
can be traced back to the failed presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater.
Following Goldwater's defeat a conservative movement known as the New
Right was formed with a declaration of war against communism and a perceived
"movement" which they called "secular humanism." They
believed that this "movement" was trying to steer the U.S. away
from a God centered society to "atheistic socialism." Key leaders
of the New Right were three men from the Goldwater campaign: Richard
Viguerie, Howard Phillips and Paul Weyrich. By the early '70s they had
laid the foundations for a conservative revolution in the United States.
Viguerie built a fund-raising empire with the use of a list of Goldwater
donors. Phillips founded the Conservative Caucus which promoted militarism.
Weyrich obtained financial backing from Colorado beer magnate Joseph Coors
to found the Heritage Foundation. This is a right-wing think tank that
has exercised great influence on Republican presidential administrations
since Ronald Reagan's election in 1980. He also brought into being the
Free Congress Foundation for the purpose of building a right-wing political
movement and electing sympathetic politicians to Congress. Although possessed
of superb organizational skills, the three men did not have a popular
base of support. To remedy this lack, they targeted Democratic working
class voters with social and cultural issues. (See, "Historical
Background of the Religious Right" at http://www.aclu.org/about/right3.html).
The next phase of the campaign to rid the nation of "secular
humanism" is noted in this ACLU report, under the caption - "Mobilizing
a New Constituency": In
the mid-1970s Viguerie used his sophisticated direct mail fund-raising
techniques to address another constituency: evangelical and fundamentalist
Christians. Viguerie sought to tap resentment toward Supreme Court decisions
banning prayer in the public schools and establishing a woman's right
to an abortion. His direct mail efforts not only brought money into the
New Right's coffers; they disseminated a steady flow of appeals that encouraged
evangelicals to become involved in politics.
Other new activist organizations also played an important
role in mobilizing this constituency. In 1974 and 1975 a group of key
leaders, including Richard DeVos, president of Amway Corporation, and
Bill Bright, president of Campus Crusade for Christ convened a series
of secret meetings to plan the development of the religious right. This
group published a blueprint for Christians to win elections and a manual
designed to persuade evangelical Christians to adopt conservative positions
on a whole range of issues. Bill Bright subsequently sponsored the "I
Found It," campaign, which used billboards, bumper stickers, and
newspaper ads in a massive effort to expose every person in the United
States to the gospel. Between 1976 and 1980 the campaign spent several
hundred million dollars, much of it raised by Texas billionaire Nelson
Organizations arose to mobilize women by appealing to
"family values" and anxieties about the emerging feminist movement.
In 1972, Phyllis Schlafly founded the Eagle Forum to organize opposition
to the Equal Rights Amendment, which she saw as a threat to the traditional
family. (Schlafly had authored a conspiratorial book titled A Choice
Not An Echo, which had served as the slogan of Barry Goldwater's presidential
campaign.) And in 1979, Beverly LaHaye founded what would become the most
successful New Right women's organization, Concerned Women for America.
Civil rights for gay people emerged as another flashpoint for the Right.
p 5 -- Although usually regarded as a fringe religious
cult, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, or Moon Organization,
played an important behind-the-scenes role in spurring the development
of the New Right and religious right. Direct mail guru Richard Viguerie
has raised money for various Moon Organization groups since 1965. The
principle source of Moon's funding, however, is in Japan, where Moon has
had close connections with the Japanese right wing and prominent members
of the Liberal Democratic Party. Beginning in 1975, a conservatively estimated
$80 million a year began flowing from the Japanese branch of the Unification
Church to the United States. Much of this money went to various New Right
organizations and to Moon's Washington Times, a daily newspaper that since
1982 has served as a sounding board for the New Right. Activists for the
Moon Organization usually work with others on the right through an array
of groups with patriotic-sounding names, such as the American Freedom
Coalition and the anti communist CAUSA. Founded in 1987, the American
Freedom Coalition brought together various elements of the right, including
anti-Communist, anti-abortion, and "pro-family" groups.
The ACLU report describes the organization and work of
Falwell's Moral Majority and its eclipse. Being - Disappointed
with their accomplishments through the Reagan Presidency, religious right
leaders shifted their strategy and tactics to winning offices at the state
and local level and gaining control of local Republican Party organizations.
With the eclipse of Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority, Paul Weyrich and Pat
Robertson worked as allies in both this shift in strategy and this power
Of enormous significance is the ideology driving the agenda
of the religious right. It is an end-times ideology. The ACLU
describes this ideology as 'To Rule and Reign:" The analysis
the religious right is, as many of its leaders say, fighting a war, then
it is a war in which ideas are critical. Conservative evangelical leaders
seek control of political institutions as a means to implement their theological
ideas. And their theology can provide a powerful motivation for political
activism. Awareness of these ideas is essential to understanding their
political tactics and objectives. [IHowever], the religious right is by
no means monolithic; it is divided on certain theological issues and organizational
style. Yet despite these divisions, it has forged a working consensus
on political ideology and strategy.
Further, the Evangelical concept of the "End Times"
enters the picture. The report continues: Belief
in an evangelical religion does not automatically lead to involvement
in public affairs. For much of this century, evangelicals have avoided
direct involvement in politics and instead have focused on saving souls.
Evangelicals' motivations for political activism depend, in part, on their
beliefs about the "end times." Indeed, the most important divisions
within the religious right revolve around beliefs on this issue. There
are two main schools of thought.
In the larger school are the "premillenialists."
They believe that Christians will be lifted into heaven en masse - in
what is known as the rapture - before the battle of Armageddon, the final
battle between good and evil. Afterwards, they will return to earth, where
they will "rule and reign" with Christ. Since premillenialists
believe that Christ's return will cause the world to be reformed, they
have little incentive to become politically active and reform the world
themselves. Instead, their primary obligation is to evangelize- to convert
as many non-believers as possible before Christ's return. Overcoming this
disinclination to political activism has been one of the greatest challenges
confronting the leaders of the religious right. In the smaller theological
camp are the "postmillenialists," who believe that Christ will
not return until after Christians reign for a thousand years. Because
they believe that they must literally prepare the way for Christ's return,
their ranks include some of the most committed political activists on
the religious right.
Involved in this picture are the "Christian Reconstructionists:" The
most militant postmillenialists are known as Christian Reconstructionists.
Though a tiny minority on the religious right, their ideas have exerted
an important influence. They stress a literal interpretation of the Bible
and believe that society should be "reconstructed" to conform
to Biblical laws. The most prominent Reconstructionist is Rousas John
(R.J.) Rushdoony, a former Orthodox Presbyterian minister and John Birch
Society activist who has published numerous books and tracts through his
think-tank, Chalcedon, headquartered in Vallecito, California. He and
his son-in- law Gary North (now estranged) are largely responsible for
developing and propagating Christian Reconstructionism's political program.
Rushdoony and North seek to rebuild society according to a biblical blueprint.
Their prescriptions include the death penalty for unrepentant homosexuality,
abortion, and adultery; the abolition of the prison system; which would
be made possible by imposing the death penalty on serious criminals and
forcing less serious criminals to make restitution; the elimination of
sexually explicit materials; schools run entirely by the churches; and
the complete elimination of property taxes. Rushdoony's extreme views
are shared by only a tiny minority of the religious right, but these views
have had a major impact through what is loosely known as "Kingdom"
or "Dominion" theology. According to these theologies, Christians
are mandated by the Bible to take control of all secular institutions
and build the Kingdom of God on earth. Kingdom theology gives evangelical
organizers not only a powerful incentive to become politically active,
but also a long-range social vision which has become the central, unifying
ideology for the religious right.
It is not possible within the limits of this article to mention all of the arms of the religious right movement. Suffice it to say that all of the maior religious right leaders have united in a single political entity called the Council for National Policy. These include the three original founders of the New Right movement, all of the well-known names of the religious right leadership plus some not so well known, all of the multimillionaire funders of the religious right organizations, and a number of leaders of the Republican Con-
p 6 -- gress, among them Dick Armey, Tom DeLay,
and Trent Lott. The Council "is an extremely secretive organization
that meets behind closed doors to strategize and co-ordinate its campaign."
(See: http://www.geocities.com/alanjpakula/triple2.html). Now President
George W. Bush addressed this organization in a secret meeting in October,
1999, and his presidential campaign refused to allow the tape to be released.
However, notes of persons in attendance reportedly indicate that his promises
included restrictions on "special" civil rights, "Christian"
prayer in schools which would be "Christian" or corporate only,
that he would "work hard" to overturn Roe v. Wade, and appoint
only anti-choice judges to the Supreme Court and the federal bench. He
expressed his approval of revoking First Amendment guarantees of separation
of Church and State and freedom of speech. In his view, Christianity is
the only real religion.
There is another powerful right-wing organization, not
directly connected with the religious right. It is the Federalist Society.
Its origins are described by Jerry Landay in The Washington Monthly
(March, 2000): The
Society's origins can be traced back to 1979 - the year before Ronald
Reagan's victory - when a legal scholar named Michael Horowitz published
a tract on the public-interest law movement, exhorting conservatives to
overturn a half-century of liberal dominance of the legal establishment.
This could be done, he wrote, by indoctrinating or winning over succeeding
generations of law students, lawyers, and judges. By definition, the campaign
had to be rooted in the fertile ground of law schools. To Horowitz's good
fortune, Reagan was elected in 1980, and his administration set to work
filling the sails of the Federalist movement.
was taken up with relish by senior members of the new Administration.
They operated on two tracks - designed to insure that the Reagan Revolution
would well outlast the Reagan Presidency. The first, to reclaim the Federal
courts from liberals, swept an array of conservative scholars and judges
from law schools and state courts onto the Federal bench: the likes of
Robert Bork, Ralph Winter, Antonin Scalia, Richard Posner, Sandra Day
O'Connor, and Anthony Kennedy.
The second track was
even more forward looking and involved the apprenticing of a new generation
of conservative lawyer-intellectual-under-30 to the Reagan apparat.
The Second track was laid with the establishment of the
founding chapters of the Federalist Society at Yale under Robert Bork,
and at the University of Chicago under Antonin Scalia. It has been fair
sailing ever since.
When one looks for a connection between the Catholic Church
and the religious right, it is not to be found primarily in institutional
organization, but rather in a community of interests in specifically defined
areas such as the anti-abortion movement, aid to parochial schools, and
so on. However, in the establishment of the Federalist Society one can
see the fingerprints of the Roman Catholics, whose modus operandi has
ever been to capture the elite of society. Scalia is of course a Catholic.
Bork is believed to be an agnostic, but clearly is subject to a powerful
Catholic influence: his wife is a board member of the Catholic Campaign
for America, which seeks to teach Catholics to bring Catholic values into
With 25,000 members
plus scores of close affiliates nation-wide - including Supreme Court
Justices Thomas and Antonin Scalia, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman
Orrin Hatch, and University of Chicago brain-boxes Richard Epstein and
Frank Easterbrook (also a federal appellate judge) - the Federalist Society
is quite simply the best-organized, best-funded, and most effective legal
network operating in this country. Its rank-and-file include conservative
lawyers, law students, law professors, bureaucrats, activists, and judges.
They meet at law schools and function rooms across the country to discuss
and debate the finer points of legal theory and substance on panels that
often include liberals - providing friction, stimulus, and the illusion
of balance. What gets less attention, however, is that the Society
is accomplishing in the courts what Republicans can't achieve politically.
There is nothing like tile Federalist Society on the left. (Ibid.:
Starting with the New Right in the '70s, this is the pervasive,
entrenched, sinister power that Satan has built up and put into place
for this end time. The total force of all these movements has been concentrated
on seizing the White House for George Bush.
Selecting of a President with a Religious Mission
-- Many political commentators who are uncomfortable
with the notion of religion in government indulge in the wishful thinking
that George W. Bush learned from his father's problems with the evangelicals,
and merely professes Christian faith to secure what has become the base
of the Republican party. But Bush has talked freely about the "spiritual
awakening" that he experienced from a single conversation with Billy
Graham in 1985. He does not describe himself as "born again"
he says, because his faith deepened more gradually than that term implies.
He made a startling statement in a Republican presidential primary debate
that Jesus Christ was his favorite philosopher "because He changed
my life." An article in the New York Times (January 23, 2000)
reported that, far from mere political posturing his belief was "both
a central pillar of his life and critical to his vision for the nation
and the way he would govern." This information came from religious
leaders, friends and Bush himself. The article went on: As
president, Mr. Bush says, he would "look first" to religious
organizations of various faiths, rather than government or secular agencies,
to attack poverty, homelessness and addiction. He has also said he would
not require religious programs to censor their spiritual teachings to
get government aid. He believes that God has a place in government, that
religion has a place in society, and it is not to be marginalized and
put on the periphery as though it is some sort of extra," said the
Rev. Tony Evans, an evangelist and senior pastor of the Oak Cliff Bible
Fellowship in Dallas who prays with Mr. Bush....
p 7 -- But
behind the scenes, some of the nation's most prominent Christian conservatives
are supporters, friends and advisers of Mr. Bush. They say they are confident
he will promote their agenda on abortion and "family values,"
as well as church-state issues. (Emphasis supplied.)
We will probably never know what commitments Bush made
to the Council for National Policy; but the above quotations are proof
enough of his enmity against the separation of Church and State.
Bush had two direct masters in the recent presidential
election campaign - the hierarchy of the Roman Church, and its offspring
the New Right-Religious Right alliance. The Washington Post reported
that about two years earlier meetings began between a small group of conservative
Catholics and Carl Rove, Bush's top strategist, to plan a coalition based
on an alliance of deeply religious, churchgoing Protestants and Catholics.
The article stated: Their
goal was to secure the GOP as the political home of regular churchgoers.
If successful, they would create a political party dominated by those
seeking to advance an agenda of moral re-generation, with a core committed
to ending legalized abortion, promoting premarital abstinence and attacking
sexuality in the movies and on television. (Oct. 28, 2000)
Significantly, the coalition move coincided with a decision at the 1998 conclave of the National Conference of Bishops to make banning abortion the top political priority of the Roman Church. Flowing from this decision, the Catholic hierarchy "sharply ratcheted up its political activity during the 2000 elections," according to a report in Church & State (December, 2000). The report by the editor, Joseph L. Conn, stated that, "While the news media focused its attention on the partisan posture of the Christian Coalition and some African-American churches, the political activities of the Roman Catholic Church, the nation's largest religious denomination, went little noticed." Bush established close personal relationships with the Catholic hierarchy during the election campaign. Conn reported that on the final weekend of the campaign Bush met in private with Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia, who is "one of the most right-wing partisan prelates in the country." It is not clear how successful the hierarchy was in its political activism on behalf of Bush. Gore won 50 per cent of the Catholic vote (down from 53 per cent for Clinton in 1996) to Bush's 47 per cent (compared to Bob Dole's 37 per cent in 1996.) Considering the report by Church & State of the intense pressure on the Catholic laity from pulpits across the nation, it is surprising that Bush failed to get the majority of their votes to win a clear victory. This can be credited in part to an independent streak in the Catholic laity of America. Perhaps it is also a reflection of the uneasy union between the Religious Right and the Catholic laity? Nevertheless the damage is done, and there has been a break-through of enormous magnitude. Can the tide of battle be turned for a little while before the end? Time will tell.
What George Bush has done from the day of his inaugural
ceremony through the ensuing two weeks so loudly proclaims his antipathy
to separation of Church and State that mention of his high-handed accession
to power is almost redundant However, the power struggle in Florida, and
its outcome, belie the amiable image that he seeks to project while waging
war against the constitutional rights of the people. Whoever was the true
winner of Florida's electoral votes, the crucial point is that all of
the votes were never counted. Despite the propaganda to the contrary released
by the Republicans and believed by a majority of Americans, according
to the polls, there were persistent, reliable reports that they feared
Gore would have won either a full recount in the selected counties or
a full statewide recount It was truly alarming to see the undemocratic
forces that were unleashed by the party in the Florida contest. It was
an exercise in raw political power against the will of the majority of
voters in the nation. It was accomplished by determined action and threats
on the ground in the counting process.
It was advanced in the Florida legislature and the U.S.
Congress. There were vicious attacks on the Florida Supreme Court in the
exercise of its rightful jurisdiction as the ultimate interpreter of Florida
law, combined with unprecedented appeals for intervention by the federal
courts. There was no genuine federal constitutional question involved
in the post-election controversy. The equal protection clause of the Constitution
was rejected by a Federal District Court and the Federal District Court
of Appeals as a basis for halting the counting of undervotes. The U.S.
Supreme Court did not take up that ground on the first appeal, but the
conservative majority seized on the clause in the second appeal to hand
down a decision that they said must not be taken as a precedent for any
other case. Ironically, the equal protection clause had been enacted to
benefit newly emancipated slaves, but by its application in the present
case it was mostly the votes of their descendants that were discarded.
It was a win at all costs strategy in which the conservatives on the U.S.
Supreme Court became deeply involved. All of this was done by Republicans
who had been preaching for years that we are a nation of laws and not
men! This was an awesome manifestation of the very spirit of the beast.
The Scripture says, "Saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast ..." Rev. 13:14 (part 2.) Amazingly George Bush was declaring it throughout his campaign, and somehow precisely what he was saying did not get through to millions of Americans, who would never have given him their vote if they had known. The term "compassionate conservatism" was not a promise to soften the harsh, laissez-faire policies of the Republicans which favors the affluent in our society. Only those who were familiar with the name Marvin Olasky, and his books, The Tragedy of American Compassion (1992) and Renewing Compassion (1996) could have had any idea what was involved. Only those who were aware of another Olasky book, Compassionate Conservatism. What It Is,
p 8 -- What It Does, and How It Can Transform
America, for which George Bush wrote a foreword and an appendix could
have had any inkling what the nation was in for if Bush was elected. Bush
calls Olasky "compassionate conservatism's" leading thinker.
He also says, "Compassion demands personal help and accountability,
yet when delivered by big government it came to mean something very different"
Bush further states in the Foreword: Government
can do certain things very well, but it cannot put hope in our hearts
or a sense of purpose in our lives. That requires churches and synagogues
and mosques and charities.
the ideology of Olasky's 1992 book was enthusiastically embraced by Newt
Gingrich and his congressional allies to form the basis for "The
Republican Revolution." They emphasized economics and smaller govemment;
but "compassionate conservatism" is, above all, the blueprint
of a plan to, "Tear down that wall of separation" between Church
and State, Olasky's own phrase spoken in a lecture, "What Is Compassionate
Conservatism and Can It Transform America?" delivered before the
Heritage Foundation on July 11, 2000.
As alarming as current events are, there is cause for
greater alarm because the opening wedge of "mcompassionate conservatism"
has already been enacted by Congress as a part of the 1996 welfare reform
legislation. It was sponsored by then U.S. Senator John Ashcroft, now
George Bush's Attorney-General. This devout Pentecostal has a well documented
hostility towards many of our cherished constitutional freedoms, most
notably the wall of separation between Church and State. Charitable Choice
frees religious organizations from the requirement that government subsidized
services be provided in a secular manner, and usually through a separate
legal entity. Sadly, even Al Gore stunned civil libertarians by endorsing
Charitable Choice in May, 2000, stating that dispensing a little religion
along with a hot meal or job training is a good idea, and government should
support it. As reported by ABC News, Rev. James Dunn, executive director
of the Joint Baptist Committee put it well: We've
got a whole lot of people who are going to take the money and try to win
people to Jesus with it. They are going to take it and use it to undergird
their overall mission. It's who we are today as a Christian people. We
don't distinguish between our do-gooding and our good-talking. We can't
separate them because we sincerely believe when you are feeding someone
who is hungry, you should be telling him about Jesus, too. There is nothing
evil about that. That's the way the contemporary Christian understands
the gospel. But we had better not take tax dollars to do it because
those tax dollars were not paid to help my church win converts or to proselytize.
With non-Christians present at Bush's inaugural ceremony,
his presidency started with the promotion of Christianity in the opening
and closing prayers. Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell said in the closing benediction,
"in the name that's above all names, Jesus the Christ. Let all who
agree say amen," to the certain discomfort of many. Bush included
in his speech a promise to give "Church and charity, synagogue and
mosque ... an honored place in our plans and laws.
(Emphasis supplied.) Then, within the first two hours of his presidency,
he made a proclamation declaring January 21, 2001, a "National Day
of Prayer and Thanksgiving to God."
All of this has been followed during his first week in
office by actions on abortion, and an education package sent to Congress
with inclusion of voucher funding for religious and other private schools.
(CONCERNING ABORTION, IT IS OF GREAT SIGNIFICANCE THAT THE "RIGHT
TO LIFE" MOVEMENT IS BASED ON THE CATHOLIC DOGMA OF THE IMMORTALITY
OF THE SOUL, AND THE CONDEMNATION OF THE UNBAPTIZED ABORTED FETUS TO AN
ETERNITY IN LIMBO.)
On January 29, Bush unveiled a new White House Office
for promoting government aid to "faith-based" organizations
(i.e. churches) as a part of a major "faith-based" social service
initiative. This is a man with a purpose - and in a hurry! Barry W. Lynn,
executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church &
State declared: Bush
is throwing the massive weight of the federal government behind religious
groups and religious conversions. The President appears to believe that
the government should use religion to solve all the nations social problems.
This approach strikes at the heart of the religious freedoms guanteeded
by the First Amendment. (See http:www.au.org/pr126O1.htm.)
The "wall of separation" between Church and State has been breached by Congress in the Charitable Choice legislaton and now by a broader executive order. The nation has been set inexorably on course towards the ultimate fulfilment of Revelation 13. Is the Image to the Beast now fully formed, or must the full force of the tyranny and persecution first be manifest? One must come to his own conclusions. There is one certainty - prophecy has and will continue to be fulfilled. Our Lord stated that these things "must shortly come to pass" (Rev. 1:1). As this nation teeters on the brink of the extinction of democracy and the freedoms we have dearly cherished, we have only one hope of survival. We must place all our trust and confidence in Christ whose mighty arm will deliver His people out of their affliction. --- Special 1(01) --