1975 Jan-MarVIII 1(75) - VIII 3(75)
1975 Apr-Jun VIII 4(75) - VIII 6(75)
1975 Jul-Sep VIII 7(75) - VIII 9(75)
1975 Oct-Dec VIII 10(75) - VIII 12(75)
1976 Jan-Mar IX 1(76) - IX 3(76)
1976 Apr-Jun IX 4(76) - IX 6(76)
1976 Jul-Sep IX 7(76) - IX 9(76)
1976 Oct-Dec IX 10(76) - IX 12(76)
1977 Jan-MarX 1(77) - X 3(77)
1977 Apr-Jun X 4(77) - X 6(77)
1977 Jul-Sep X 7(77) - X 9(77)
1977 Oct-DecX 10(77) - X 12(77)
1978 Jan-Mar XI 1(78) - XI 3(78)
1978 Apr-Jun XI 4(78) - XI 6(78)
1978 Jul-Sep XI 7(78) - XI 9(78)
1978 Oct-Dec XI 10(78) - XI 12(78)
1979 Jan-Mar XI 1(79) - XI 3(79)
1979 Apr-Jun XI 4(79) - XI 6(79)
1979 Jul-Sep XI 7(79) - XI 9(79)
1979 Oct-DecXI 10(79) - XI 12(79)
Feb Knight Descends On Jones. 1of 4.
Mar Knight Descends On Jones. 2 of 4.
1988 Apr-Jun 3 & 4 of 4.
last of WWN published
ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)
SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation
- Legal Documents
Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer
Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer
the Form of a Slave
In Bible Prophecy
Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer
Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer
of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary
Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear
OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:
Various Studies --
Bible As History - Werner Keller
Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts
Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith
Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson
Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones
"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson
Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen
Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones
Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen
So Much In Common - WCC/SDA
Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy
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WWN 1986 Jan - Mar
1986 Jan -- XIX - 1(86 ) -- ADVENTIST FUTURISTS MEET -- Basic Concepts of Historic Adventism Abandoned -- Jesuit Methodology Adopted -- In a circular letter dated August 21, 1985, Dr. G. Harvey Rue wrote: We had a wonderful session in Lincoln, Nebraska last week. The exchange of ideas was harmonious and profitable. Dr. Price, Richard Lange, Dr. Hauser, Fritz Alseth, Dr. Waggerby, Lon Cummings, Stan Smith, Charles Wheeling, Pat Robinson (Langworthy), Chet Green, several retired ministers and about 75 others attended most of the five-day assembly. A Pentecostal (sic) atmosphere prevailed and all of us received light and broadening ideas on final events.
This session was held on the campus of the University of Nebraska. Some of the discussions from tape recordings have been published in The Layworker (Fall Issue, Oct. 15, 1985). Based on these reports - accepting them as an authentic transcription this Thought Paper is being published.
Robert W. Hauser, M.D. author of Give Him the Glory, appears to have made the final presentation. He told the conference that in his study, he would seek "to condense and to outline the basic concepts upon which I feel we can agree." He began at the very ABC's of Bible prophecy - Daniel 2 - with the emphasis on "the stone cut out of the mountain without hands." (2:45) This stone Hauser declared to be "not only Jesus but also His people." After quoting from Daniel 7, he concluded - "So the kingdom, the stone, is a kingdom of people. But more specifically, we find that it is a kingdom of priests. We are going to be named as kings and priests unto God. And it is this kingdom of kings and priests and this great stone that strikes the image on his feet." (The Layworker (LW), op. cit., p. 35)
The historic position of Adventism on the designation of the stone has been very consistent. In the 1897 edition of Thoughts on the Prophecies of Daniel, Uriah Smith wrote: Time has fully developed this image in all its parts. Most strictly does it represent the important political events it was designed to symbolize. It stands complete upon its feet. Thus it has been standing for over fourteen hundred years. It waits to be smitten upon the feet by the stone cut out of the mountain without hand, that is, the kingdom of Christ. This is to be accomplished when the Lord shall be revealed in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (p. 74)
Speaking of "the stone which smites the image... as having been quarried out of the mountain without hands," George McCready Price wrote in The Greatest of the Prophets: Such a work will be accomplished when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God. Then will be the time when His everlasting kingdom will be set up, and not till then. (p. 82)
The idea that the people of God - the church, the 144,000, priest-kings, or by whatever term one wishes to identify them - constitute the "stone" is borrowed right out of Mormonism, who perceive of themselves as "the stone." In Doctrine and Covenants, it is
p 2 -- stated: The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth until it has filled the whole earth."(65:2)
All Hauser has done is to give this Mormon concept an injection of Jesuitical futurism and apply it to "the remnant of her seed." (Rev. 12:17)
Further, in seeking to give the interpretation plausibility, an association is made between the "stone" of Daniel 2, and the kingdom concepts of Daniel 7. There is an association, but not as Hauser and his fellow futurists have sought to intimate. The distortion of truth comes because the very language of the prophecy of Daniel 7 is overlooked. In Daniel 7, the horn "made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came." (21-22) Then the Judgment was set and the books were opened. As a result "judgment was given to the saints" (v.22) - a legal expression which means that the decision was rendered in behalf of the saints. Then, Daniel saw - "the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." (v.22) And when is that time? Jesus gave the answer to this question which no amount of futuristic speculation can gainsay. He stated: When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations: ... Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (Matt. 25:31-34)
The inheritance - possession - is received only when Christ comes sitting "upon the throne of His glory" with all His holy angels. In the Judgment, it is the Son of man who comes before the Ancient of days to receive a kingdom. The saints receive that kingdom "in Him." The Son of man comes the second time to give the saints the inheritance the judgment awarded them. The prophecy does not say that the kingdom was given to the saints in the judgment, but that judgment was given to them. Then "the time came" for the possession of the kingdom. The text which Hauser quotes (7:27; LW:35) follows the revealed fact of the prophecy that the horn's dominion is taken away, "to consume and destroy it unto the end." (v.26) After "the end" - and only then - do the saints possess the kingdom! They are not "the stone" of Daniel 2. The historic position of Adventism still stands against the attack of the futurists in the Church.
Daniel 8:13-14 -- The second point in which Hauser indicated an agreement among the Futurists involved an understanding of Daniel 8:13-14. In Daniel 8:13, a question is asked - "How long the vision, the daily, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?" (This is quoted with all words supplied by the KJV translators deleted.) To this single question, the answer is given - "Unto two thousand and twenty three hundred evenings mornings; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." (Hebrew & LXX combined) Concerning this single question, Hauser stated: "The answer given to the 2300 day question in Daniel only refers to the cleansing of the sanctuary itself, but that there were three other parts of that vision that were not answered: 1) How long shall be the daily? 2) the transgression of desolation? and 3) the host to be trodden under foot? These three questions are not answered at this point in the vision." (LW:36, emphasis his.)
First it is obvious from the text itself that if the question concerning the "host" is not answered here, then neither is the cleansing of the sanctuary answered, for the text reads - "to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot." That which is represented by the "host" is linked inseparably with the sanctuary - both were "to be trodden under foot"! Not only is the sanctuary to be cleansed at the close of the 2300 prophetic days, but also the judgment is to be "given to the saints of the most High" in that same cleansing. But this is only the beginning of the misconceptions connected with the Adventists futurist's interpretation of this prophecy.
give a touch of credibility to such misconception of the prophetic word,
the Hebrew is introduced to aid the conclusions drawn. In so doing there
p 3 -- of error with truth.
In seeking to unravel the truth from the error, let us first observe certain facts regarding the use of the Hebrew words involved. 1) In Daniel 8 & 9 two different Hebrew words are translated in the KJV by the one word, "vision." These words are ghahzohn and mareh. (The Layworker uses the word, chason for ghahzohn, and mara for mareh. We will follow the transliteration of the Englishman's Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance.) 2) It is true that in Daniel 8 & 9, the 2300 day prophecy is referred to as the mareh, while the vision as a whole - which includes, the ram, the he-goat, notable horn, four other horns, the little horn, the daily, and the abomination of desolation are noted as the ghahzohn.
you the reader might have available the different verses in Daniel 8 &
9 as how these two words are used, we give the following
It is the last use of the word ghahzohn in Daniel 9:24 which is omitted in the discussion by the Adventist futurists. It doesn't fit into the conclusions drawn concerning Daniel 8:13-14. Gabriel in his explanation makes it very clear that during the "seventy weeks" the whole of the vision - ghahzohn - is to be sealed as the segments of the 2300 days - the mareh - unfold in history. Daniel 8 & 9 is one whole piece of cloth which cannot be rent in twain. It is a seamless garment which clothes our Lord's ministry as both priest and victim, and High Priest in the sanctuary above with a revelation of the adversarial forces arrayed against that ministry. Adventist futurists would rend that garment of prophecy and insert as do the Evangelicals, a prophetic parenthesis or seek to reinterpret, the 2300 days in literal time.
It is a limited perception of what the judgment is all about - its cleansing and the rendering of the decision in favor of the saints of the most High - which leads to the deceptive speculations in which the Adventist futurists are now indulging. There is a close association between the visions of Daniel 7 & 8 - only two years separated these revelations to Daniel. Different symbolisms are used, but the sequence remains the same. In fact, in Daniel 8, it is specifically spelled out that "the ram which thou sawest ... are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia." (8:20-21) The parallel between the third beast of Daniel 7 with the four heads, and the rough he-goat with the four horns which should come up after the "great horn" was broken, converges the two prophetic visions. This leaves the non-descript beast with the little horn as parallel to the horn of Daniel 8 which seeks to take away the daily, cast the truth to the ground and prospers even to the point of magnifying himself against "the Prince of the host." (8:11-12)
While we in our prophetic interpretation, have pictured the little horn of Daniel 7 as a separate entity - the Papacy - still the prophetic imagery indicates it ever as a part of the fourth beast, coming up out of the beast's head! It is this power in Daniel 7 & 8 which defiles the sanctuary, and the cleansing relates to this power's activities against the "saints of the most High."
Daniel 7, when the judgment convenes, it is declared - "the books
were opened." This phraseology of prophecy carries over to the final
judgment of the great white throne of Revelation 20 (v.12). We must never
forget that the typical service of the sanctuary dealt only with confessed
sins - not all that are written "in the books." Further, an
element is introduced in the services of the Day of Atonement which bind
the cleansing of Leviticus 16, and the judgment scene of Daniel 7 into
the final picture of Revelation 19:20 and 20:11-15. When on the Day of
Atonement after the High Priest had "made an end of reconciling the
Holy, and the tabernacle,
p 4 -- and the altar," the live goat - Azazel - became involved in the final disposition of the sins which had been confessed and thereby transferred. The antitypical reality of this part of the service on the Day of Atonement will be the fulfilment of the prophecy of Revelation 20. The prophecy of Daniel 7 also focuses on this period of time. The "beast" is pictured as being given over to "the burning flame." (7:11) The counterpart of this is the description found in Revelation 19:20.
All that is involved in the reconciling of the Holy, the tabernacle, and the altar is not given in the typical sanctuary services. Other aspects are to be found in the delineation of the Judgment scenes as found in Daniel 7 & 8. Because of this, there is no way that the questions concerning the vision, the daily, and the abomination that maketh desolate can be separated from the cleansing of the sanctuary. It is one vision. It is one issue. It is one truth. It involves the whole of the ministry of Jesus as Saviour and the High Priest. Taken together, the visions of Daniel 7 & 8, with the explanation given by Gabriel in Daniel 9, span the time from Daniel's day to the Judgment when the Son of man comes before the Ancient of days to receive a kingdom at the close of the 2300 prophetic days. The time then comes for the saints to possess the kingdom with their Saviour and High Priest - the Son of man - when He shall come forth as King of kings and Lord of lords. (Rev. 19:11-16)
INFILTRATED -- In the June, 1984, issue of Battle Cry, a Chic publication, an article was published with the title - "Jesuit Priest Confirms Alberto's Claims." The one sending me this article pointed out a sentence copied from the Jesuit priest's letter. It intrigued me when I perceived its significance. However, the sentence appeared to have been abbreviated in the article. While in the Los Angeles area this past summer, I made an attempt to see the letter in full, but was informed that the Australian editor, Sidney W. Hunter, who had authored the article had the letter. I was given his address so that I could correspond with him.
The response from the editor was most gratifying. He sent me a photocopy of the letter as received from the Jesuit. It was received in the Australian office January 17, 1984, and reads as follows:
I have just read the "Crusader" series distributed by your organization. As a teacher and priest at a Jesuit run Church of England school, and a member of the Society of Jesus for many years, I would like to agree on all points with Dr. Alberto.
I can say little as I am writing in secret. I have little time so I must finish.
The main aims of our organization have been directed against a Christian church which we have very thoroughly infiltrated. They are the Remnant Church of Revelation 12:v17 and Rev. 14:v12
I sincerely hope God will guide you in reading this letter. I will endeavor to send more information to guide you. I will sign this with another name, so you will recognize any future letters. Goodbye and God bless.
The emphasis in reproducing the letter is ours. Now, there is only one Christian church which claims to be "the Remnant Church of Revelation 12:17 and Rev. 14:12," and that is the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Naturally, the temptation comes to nominate who these prospective Jesuits might be within the central hierarchy of the Church, and in the periphery, even among the Adventist Futurists. But we must simply let stand on record this alleged thorough infiltration to serve as a warning so that you can with keen perception analyze the things that have taken place in recent years.
p 5 --
[This cartoon is reproduced with permission from The Layworker, October 15, 1985, p. 27.]
COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS -- The above cartoon says much more than its artist intended for it to say; in fact, something very different that it was designed to convey. There is no doubt that Alseth desired to caricature those who would not go along with the supposed "new light" of the Adventist futurists as being immobilized in concrete, while those who would accept the deviations from historic Adventist prophetic understanding are seen as walking in the daylight of the sun's warm rays. Evidently, the "inspiration" that motivated Alseth did not bring to his mind all the Scripture and incisive comments on this point to be found in the Writings of Ellen White. It left him with a half-truth motivation which would only exalt the one who originally dealt in half-truths.
Since many have a difficult time with the Holy Scriptures, let us first note a comment from the Writings apropos to the cartoon. It reads: Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads - it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved - just as soon as God's people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. (SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, p.1161; Ms. 173, 1902, Emphasis mine)
Though caricatured in Alseth's cartoon, who is the one really being sealed? Apparently, many are being shaken out of the truth as they seek to walk in the light coming from the "sun" god!
It is not an accident that in the symbolic delineation found in Ezekiel, chapters 8 - 11, that at the time God arises to take things in His own hands, and orders a mark to be placed on the foreheads of those who sigh and cry about the abominations done in Jerusalem, some of those in Jerusalem have turned from the sanctuary to worship the sun toward the east. (8:16; 9:1-4) In fact, the last-day prophecy of Isaiah indicates that "the house of Jacob" is "being replenished from the east." (Isa. 2:6) The cartoon is significant because it is confessing that those embracing futurism are not walking in the light coming from the sanctuary, but rather have their faces set toward the sun in the east.
ORIGINS OF FUTURISM --
"It will probably come as a shock to many modern futurists
to be told that the first scholar in relative modern times who returned
to the patristic futuristic interpretation was a Spanish Jesuit named
Ribera. In 1590, Ribera published a commentary on the Revelation
p 6 -- as a counter-interpretation to the prevailing view among Protestants which identified the Papacy with the Antichrist. Ribera applied all of Revelation but the earliest chapters to the end time rather than to the history of the Church. (The Blessed Hope, p. 37. Quoted in Bible Student's Source Book, Art. #1256) The futuristic teachings of Ribera were refined and enlarged by the most notable of the Jesuit controversialists, Cardinal Bellarmine, one of the greatest adversaries of the Protestant churches. This Jesuitical method of interpreting the prophecies was adopted by Evangelical Protestantism in the early Century, which time also marks the rise of the Advent Movement.
Adventist Futurists may retort - "We are not teaching what Ribera taught." This is no doubt true, but this is not the point! It is the acceptance of the methodology of Ribera which is the issue. G. Ebeling, a scholar in the area of methods of Biblical interpretation, has suggested that "church history is the history of the exposition of Scripture." (The Word of God and Tradition, 1968) It, therefore, follows that the history of any church or group is also the history of its interpretation of the Scriptures, be it the writings of Paul, or the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. Thus to change or to shift the method used to understand the word of God by a church, or by students within a church, inevitably means a shift in its course, doctrines, understanding of prophecy, purpose and mission. (See Biblical Interpretation Today, p. 1) The Advent Movement's understanding of the prophecies was based securely in the Protestant and Apostolic methodology - that history is but the unfolding of the scroll of Bible prophecy. The Futuristic methodology comes out of the Catholic Counter-Reformation led by the Jesuits. This gives us a clear understanding of the origin of the methodology being used by the Adventist Futurists.
The prophetic Word tells us that the "beast" - the source of Jesuitism - received its power and authority from the "dragon," that old serpent called the Devil and Satan. (Rev. 13:2; 12:9) This serpent is none other than he who deified himself in sun worship as the sun-god. To walk in the rays of the sun from the east - as portrayed in the cartoon - is to walk in Satanic delusions, not "New Light"! Those who walk in the light coming from the sanctuary, noted in Ezekiel 9, "walk in the light as He is in the light" and they can have the confidence that "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son" will cleanse them from all sin, accomplishing in them the objective of "the final atonement." (I John 1:7; Lev. 16:33)
NEW LIGHT -- .How Can We Know? -- The many fanciful interpretations of Bible prophecy being proclaimed by Adventist futurists are being heralded as "new" light. Do we have all the light we need, or is there to be "new" light? The Bible is clear - "Light is sown for the righteous." (Ps. 97:11) True light comes from the source of light - "the Father of lights." (James 1:17) The "seeds" of light which God has sown for the righteous will produce "plants" which will bear continuous "fruit." The light guiding the true believer will never be extinguished, and will lead him at last into the presence of God who dwells "in the light." (I Tim. 6:16) One revelation of that light is indeed Bible prophecy. It is written: We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the star arise in your hearts. (II Peter 1:19)
However, and this needs to be carefully considered, the Bible warns us that "Satan himself is [to be] transformed into an angel (messenger) of light." With him will come "false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles Christ." (II Cor. 11:14,13) In the resulting confusion as these various rays of light crisscross before our vision, how will we be able to distinguish between light from God's throne in the Most Holy Place, and the light emanating from Satan?
For the confusion of these last days - none can deny but that we are in the very midst of this tempest of delusions with gale force winds blowing in cyclonic fury - God has given guidance to His people through the Writings, if we know how to use them. Ellen G. White indicated "new light will ever be revealed on the word of God to him who is in living connection with the Sun of righteousness. Let no one come to the conclusion that there is no more light to be revealed." (CSW, p. 34)
Why is this so? Because, "truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing light." (R&H, March 25, 1890) Further, there is another reason why there will be more
p 7 --light. In the same article of the Review, she wrote - "We do, not claim that in the doctrines sought out by those who have studied the word of truth, there may not be some error, for no man that lives is infallible." (Ibid.) AND she included herself in this position. She stated - "In regard to infallibility, I never claimed it." (Letter 10, 1895: SM, i, p. 37) This should give pause to those who develop their concepts solely from the Writings, and who do not seek truth from the source of truth - the Holy Scriptures.
The guideline by which we are to know how to arrive at "new" light is clearly spelled out and enjoined upon as a duty. Ellen G. White wrote - "The Lord has made His people the repository of sacred truth. Upon every individual who has had the light of present truth devolves the duty of developing that truth on a higher scale than it has hitherto been done." (Andreasen Collection #2, Ms dated March 30, 1897)
Ellen White did not say that advancing fanciful theories and bazaar interpretations of prophecy constituted "new" light, but rather a development of that truth already committed to our trust. If we would spend our time investigating "every point that has been received as truth," we would be richly repaid because we would "find precious gems. And in investigating every jot and tittle which we think is established truth, in comparing [note] scripture with scripture, we may discover errors in our interpretation of Scripture." (R&H, July 12, 1898)
This was the spirit of our forefathers in the faith. William Miller had been used of God in a mighty way, but the pioneers of this Movement discovered errors in his teaching and corrected them. This is our legacy. This should be our approach to the study of Bible prophecy. Instead of throwing out the work and study of men who have been mighty in the study of the Word of God in the Advent Movement, and substitute for their methodology, the Jesuit concepts of interpretation, we should study "that truth" and refine it so that the light will shine in all of its purity. We need not "the torch of false prophecy, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan" (TM, p. 409); but rather that light of sacred truth given to us in the beginning and advanced through careful and prayerful study of the Word of God.
Let us illustrate exactly what we mean. In Daniel 8:20-21, the angel Gabriel clearly stated that the ram represented the kings of Media and Persia, and the rough goat was the king of Grecia, with the great horn being the first king. This is the interpretation given by one who stands in the very presence of God. (Luke 1:19) We do not need the light from the hellish torch of Satan which declares these symbols represent Iran and Syria, NATO and the USA. Such voices are "deceitful workers transforming themselves into apostles of Christ." (II Cor. 11:13)
On the other hand, there are interpretations of Bible prophecy which need further study and correction. As an example, in the first article, we quoted Uriah Smith in regard to the stone of Daniel 2. (See p. 1) He interpreted the toes of the image in such a way that he could write - "It [the image] stands complete upon its feet. Thus it has been standing for over fourteen hundred years." Writing this in 1897, Smith was alluding back to the break-up of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D. However, a careful study and comparison with the prophecy of Daniel 7 shows that three of the ten horns of the fourth beast were plucked up "by the roots," (7:8) leaving only seven. The concept of ten matching the toes of the image does not come into focus again till Revelation 17:12. Another observation about the image is that the same iron which made up the legs continues down to the very toes, though in the feet it is mingled with clay. Would not the Adventist futurists do a better service to truth if they would renounce their Jesuitical methodology, confess themselves to have been deceitful workers, and repent. Then having repented, return to the truth committed to the Advent Movement and help develop "that truth" on "a higher scale than it has hitherto been done"? --- (1986 Jan) --- End --- TOP
1986 Feb -- XIX - 2(86) -- HAVING EYES TO SEE THEY SEE NOT -- "Let them alone: They be blind leaders of the blind"-- Jesus. -- In the Ministry magazine for June, 1985, the editor, J.R. Spangler, published two articles on the Incarnation. One written by Norman Gulley (Benjamin Rand) took the position that Jesus in His incarnation took the unfallen nature of Adam. The other written by Dr. Herbert Douglass (Kenneth Gage) supported the concept that Christ when as a man took the fallen nature of Adam. Then in the August issue of the same journal, each critiqued the other's position.
To adequately discuss the pro's and con's of what was presented in these articles and the response of each to the other, would require a manuscript sized publication, and is thus beyond the scope of this monthly Thought Paper. We refer our readers to the two manuscripts previously released by the Foundation, and which are a part of the 1986 Special Offer. These are - An Interpretive History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and In the Form of a Slave, besides the documentary on The Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, in which the doctrine of the incarnation played a significant role.
In announcing the original articles by Gulley and Douglass, Spangler promised to publish on a percentage basis, the reaction from the field. (June, 1985, p. 24) The response evidently was so great that the editorial staff found they could not respond to each individually, nor even publish segments of the replies received. Therefore in the December 1985, issue of Ministry, they chose to use a question and answer format to cover "the core questions and statements made in the letters" received.
It is Question #2 and the answer given to which we wish to direct this lead article. The question is asked - Why would Ministry publish pro and con articles on a doctrine that has been established in the Seventh-day Adventist Church? (p. 2)
The bottom line to their answer was - "we fail to find any evidence that the church has ever taken a definitive, voted position at a General Conference session on whether Christ took a pre-Fall or post-Fall, sinful or sinless nature. (pp. 2, 25) In this conclusion, the editors hedged their response with the words, "definitive" and "voted" at a General Conference session. Let us examine the historical evidence they presented and see what it says.
The first Statement of Beliefs was published in 1872 at Battle Creek. Article II stated among other concepts that the "Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, ... took on Him the nature of the seed of Abraham for the redemption of our fallen race."
p 2 -- This phraseology was repeated in every Statement of Beliefs published in Church papers and Yearbooks from that date through 1914. When it first appeared in the Yearbook (1889) the Statement was prefaced by the following paragraph: Seventh-day Adventists have no creed but the Bible; but they hold to certain well-defined points of faith for which they feel prepared to give a reason "to every man that asketh" them. The following propositions may be taken as a summary of the principle features of their religious faith, upon which there is, so far as is known, entire unanimity throughout the body. (p. 147)
If the Statement expressed what was believed with "entire unanimity throughout the body," there was no need for any "voted" action by a General Conference in session. The very fact it was included in the Yearbook, did by that fact give it official status. The Yearbook contained "the statistics of [the] denomination, the proceedings of [the] General Conference, T. and M. [Tract and Missionary] Society, and other associations, the financial condition of [the church's] institutions, [the] General and State Conference constitutions, a good calendar, and full directories of all Conferences and various societies throughout the country." (Quoted in SDA Encyclopedia, Rev. Ed., p. 1336)
It is merely a technical point which the editors of the Ministry are seeking to hide behind when they require that Belief to be official must be voted by a General Conference in session. Such a requirement is only of recent origin, and the editors know that fact. (See page 2, col. 3 of the December, Ministry) However, the editor's comment on this Statement in regards to the incarnation Christ is absolutely incredible. They write: Although church leaders and members may have generally agreed as to a particular view on the nature of Christ, the statement itself, which quotes from Hebrews 2:16, does not specifically delineate whether Christ had a "sinful" or "sinless" - pre-Fall or post-Fall - nature. (Ibid., p. 2, col. 2)
The second Statement of Beliefs examined in the Ministry was the one which appeared in the 1931 Yearbook, and was included in the 1932 Church Manual. This Statement on the Incarnation read: That Jesus Christ is very God, being of the same nature and essence as the Eternal Father. While retaining His divine nature, He took upon Himself the nature of the human family, ..."
This remained the "voted" belief of the Church until 1980, when the apostate Statements of Beliefs voted at Dallas, Texas, made no reference to the nature that Christ took upon Himself in becoming man. While no direct comment can be found in the remarks by the editors of Ministry on this 1931 Yearbook statement, the general conclusion which was drawn on our doctrinal history in this area leads to the assumption they do not consider the phrase - "the nature of the human family" - as stating which nature Christ took upon Himself in the incarnation. This is incomprehensible!
word, family, comes from the Latin - familia
- meaning household which included servants as well as kin of the householder.
(See Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary) Other dictionaries
give the following definitions:
It was after Adam and Eve fell into sin that children were born to them - that the "family" began. The record is clear that while Adam at his creation was formed in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), Seth born after the Fall was begotten in the likeness and image of Adam. (Gen. 5: 3) It has been thus that all the "human family" have been begotten, and the 1931 Statement of Beliefs declared that Christ in being born in flesh "took upon Himself the nature of the human family." And this is not definitive on the nature assumed!! Where did the editors go to school?
I have a granddaughter, Jessica, who is in the second grade. I decided to try out a test on her to see what her response would be. The test was drawn up as follows: "He [Jesus] took on Him the nature of the seed of Abraham for the redemption of the race ..." ( )
retaining His divine nature, He [Jesus] took upon Himself the nature of
the human family, ..." ( )
p 3 -- The statement does not tell which nature He took in the Incarnation."
I explained to her that "Incarnation" referred to the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem. She asked what "nature" meant. I told her, the word stood for "what one is." Her older brother added his comments and helped her to understand the meaning of the word. I reread the sentences to her, and in each instance she chose #2 as the statement which reflected the meaning of the wording our spiritual forefathers used in the Statements of Belief in defining the nature assumed in the Incarnation.
The editors of the Ministry need to either resign, retire, whatever, and return to the classroom. It is evident at what grade level they should begin.
The Simplicity of the Incarnation -- Incarnation means the act of coming into the flesh - the human nature and form. A. T. Jones in commenting on John 1:14 - "And the Word was made flesh" - asked the question - "Now what kind of flesh is it?" Then in answering the question, he asked another and amplified the answer. He said: What kind of flesh alone is it that this world knows?
Just such flesh as you and I have. This world does not know any other flesh of man, and has not known any other since the necessity of Christ's coming was created. Therefore, as this world knows only such flesh as we have, as it is now, it is certainly true that when "the Word was made flesh," He was made just such flesh as ours is. It cannot be otherwise. (1895 GC Bulletin, p. 232)
The text which Jones commented upon is a balanced statement. "The WORD was made flesh." Paul also makes the same assertion - "GOD was manifest in the flesh." (I Tim. 3:16) In these key statements we find the essence of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and the major difference between Him and ourselves. It is a point that dare not be overlooked. We are not GOD, and never shall be. We did not have a pre-existence, He did. We had a beginning, but He who became man at Bethlehem had no beginning. He merely changed His form of Being to accomplish he redemption of man.
"Paul speaks of this manifestation in human flesh as a mystery. He writes - "Without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness, God was manifest in the flesh." While our word, mystery, is a transliteration of the Greek word, musterion - the same word Paul used - in the New Testament, it carries a different meaning from how we use the word. "In its New Testament sense a mystery is "not a thing which must be kept secret. On the contrary it is a secret which God wills to make known and has charged His Apostles to declare to those who have ears to hear it." (The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, p. 420, Emphasis theirs) Thus when proclaiming the incarnation of our Lord, we need to keep the same balanced emphasis of the New Testament - The WORD - God - was manifest in the flesh. Yes, the nature of that flesh needs to be, and can be, clearly understood, but with this the fact, it was God who came and dwelt in that flesh.
The question is asked - How can we span the distance between the mighty God and a helpless child? And yet the Creator of worlds, He in whom was the fulness of the Godhead bodily, was manifest in the helpless Babe in the manger. Far higher than any of the angels, equal with the Father in dignity and glory, and yet wearing the garb of humanity! Divinity and humanity were mysteriously combined, and man and God became one. (Signs, July 30, 1896)
Herein lies the mystery - using the English sense of the word. The how of that union of God and man is mysteriously enshrouded in the omniscience and power of the Highest. (Luke 1:35) The "infinite cost " and the "painful process" (Ms. 29, 1899 ) which Heaven devised for the redemption of the lost race should cause us to bow in humble awe, and confess not only our unworthiness, but also our inability to attain to the great Pattern exemplified in such a sacrifice. (2T:549)
He who became Jesus, in the Old Testament was known variously as Michael, the Lord God, the great I AM - the Self-existent and ever-existent One. As such, He existed in "the form of God." (Phil. 2:6) At Bethlehem, that One "emptied Himself" of the form of God, and took on Him "the form of a bondslave." (Phil 2:7 ARV margin) The word "form" in both phrases - "the form of God" and "the form of a slave" - is the same Greek word, morphe. Even as He had a form of existence which He shared with God, so likewise, in becoming man, He shared the same slave form as possessed by man. "In all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren." (Heb. 2:17)
Adam was not created a slave. He became a slave by yielding to the adversary of God. Christ took upon Himself the slave form of man, "degraded and defiled by sin." (4BC:1147); but while "experiencing in Himself the strength of Satan's temptation," (R&H, March 18, 1875), knowing "how strong are the inclinations of the natural heart" (5T:177), He did no sin.* (I Peter 2:22) His "likeness" to "sinful flesh" was so identical that He could "condemn sin in the flesh." (Rom. 8:3)
Here the mysterious "how" again enters the picture. How could Jesus, taking "upon Himself fallen suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin," accomplish the feat so that God could say - "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" (Matt. 17:5) - and the adversary could not challenge the conclusion? Two confessions of Jesus in His humanity answer the question: "I can of mine own self do nothing." (John 5:30)
The Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works." (John 14:10)
Having "emptied Himself" of the powers of God, Jesus realized how impossible it was to break the bondage to which man had yielded himself; therefore, He so completely surrendered Himself to the will and power of God, that all the desires arising from the flesh He assumed - and they did arise (Matt. 11:20-26) - could not manifest themselves in word or deed. Such must be also the confessions and surrender of all who would imitate the Pattern.
p 4 -- JESUS AS PRIEST AND HIGH PRIEST -- For years I had puzzled over a series of references in the Writings of Ellen G. White which affirmed that while on earth, Christ officiated as a priest. One such reference reads "Christ emptied Himself, and took the form of a servant, and offered sacrifice, Himself the priest, Himself the victim." (The Southern Watchman, Aug. 6, 1903) Other references including this same phrase can be found in Acts of the Apostles, p. 33, Desire of Ages, p. 25, and Letter 192, 1906. This does not exhaust the list.
I was also aware that A. T. Jones had written in The Consecrated Way: In the manifestation of Christ the Saviour it is revealed that He must appear in the three offices of prophet, priest and king. (p. 3) ... As He was not that priest when He was on earth as that prophet; so now He is not that king when He is in heaven as that priest. (p. 4, Emphasis his)
Besides this there is the article by Crosier on the "Sanctuary" which stated emphatically - "He could not, according to Heb. viii, 4, make atonement while on earth. 'If he were on earth, he could not be --a Priest.' The Levitical was the earthly priesthood, the Divine, the heavenly."
How was all this to be reconciled? Even as Asaph, it was necessary to go "into the sanctuary of God" to understand the priestly work of Jesus our Lord. (See Ps. 73:17) In Leviticus is to be found the Law of the Sin Offerings as to what and who was to bring which for his sin. There were four categories. Two involved corporate sin; and two involved individual sins. (Leviticus 4) When the High Priest in his official role sinned in such a way as to bring guilt on the whole congregation, the blood was brought into the sanctuary through the ministry of the High Priest himself. (4:3 NKJV, 4:4-5) Likewise if the whole congregation sinned, the same procedure was followed. The High Priest - "the priest that is anointed" - officiated. (4:13-18)
When the Law specified the ritual for individual sins, two things changed. The blood was not brought into the sanctuary, and the ministry was performed by a common priest. (4:25,30) However, an additional factor was added. The priest who offered the sin offering for the individual had to eat of it, thus bearing the iniquity in himself. (Lev. 6:25-26) The result to the individual - ruler or common person - was that "an atonement" was made and the sin was "forgiven." (Lev. 4:26, 31, 35) For the individual the whole of the work was done in the court.
This service for the individual typified the earthly ministry of Jesus in the court of earth. Laying aside the "form of God" and taking the slave form of man, He partook of our fallen nature. He officiated in giving Himself as the Lamb without spot - a "most holy" sin offering. (Lev. 6:25)
While on earth, Jesus demonstrated His priestly service for the individual. To the man stricken with palsy, Jesus declared - "Thy sins are forgiven thee." The caviling Jews considered this blasphemy, but Jesus, reading their minds, declared - "That ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (He said to the sick of palsy), I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house." (Luke 5:18-26)
completed His work as priest, and having offered sacrifice - whole and
complete - Jesus ascended into Heaven to minister His blood as High Priest
in the tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man. It is this contrast
that is noted in Hebrews 8:1-4. Being a minister of the true tabernacle
in the presence of the Majesty in the heavens, He could not and would
not do service in the temple on earth, because that service was only typical
- an example and shadow. (Heb. 8:5) His was the reality both as a Priest
during His earthly ministry, and as the High Priest during His heavenly
those who wish to pursue this study further, you can obtain our cassette
"The Agenda of the Sanctuary." See Order
p 5 -- Adventist Futurists to Meet Under "Mantle" of the Virgin Mary -- We received the following announcement
SEMINAR ON END TIME EVENTS
The same announcement informed us further:
AND PANEL MEMBERS INCLUDE:
Our request for identification of the Saint Mary's Center was answered by a "Mission Statement" which read as follows: St. Mary's Center is a Catholic facility offering Franciscan hospitality to groups and individuals of all ages, of all faiths and creeds; allowing a re-creation of spirit under the mantle of Our Lady to occur within the hearts of all who visit; and providing the means for Christian educational activities. (Drawn up by the St. Mary's Advisory Board, March 1983)
The Adventist Futurists having divorced themselves from the historic Protestant interpretation of prophecy and accepting in its place the Jesuitical methodology of Futurism, now propose to advance that study under the "Mantle" of the Virgin Mary. What "re-creation of spirit" will they receive? What "spirit" will be present in such an institution?
Of course the Futurists have not been the first to use this facility. The same paper which headlined the "Mission Statement" was happy to show a picture of "The Seventh-day Adventist Marriage Encounter couples" enjoying their "cook's abundance and variety of food. It is interesting that in this advertising "Bulletin," only the Seventh-day Adventist church is mentioned by name of all the groups using the facility.
No other Protestant Church is named in this explanatory "Bulletin" except the Baptists, who as a matter of historical record operated it for a period four years - 1978-1982. When the Franciscan sisters acquired possession again in 1982, they began a new type of program. Franciscan sister Grace Monroe moved to St. Mary's and with "the advice, guidance, and assistance of many residents" of the surrounding area "devoted endless hours to returning the facility to a Catholic building in atmosphere and appearance." All "Catholic" items which had been stored in the friary of the Franciscan fathers were brought out in the mammoth task of restoration.
It is in this atmosphere that the Adventist Futurists will bring forth their advanced Jesuitical interpretation of prophecy.
Comment: It is significant that of all the Protestant denominations, only the Seventh-day Adventists were named and pictured as using the facility. Further, the group pictured were participants in the Church's Marriage Encounter Program. This adds to the significance for the program was borrowed from the Catholic Church even to the adaptation of its logogram.
This was taken from a brochure published for the Catholic Dioceses of Central California advertising their Marriage Encounter program.
It must be kept in mind the emphasis on devotion to the "Virgin" has been given added impetus because of the regard with which the present Pope, John Paul II, gives such worship. The sainted doctor of the Roman Catholic Church, Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, declared in his book - The Glories of Mary: All graces are dispensed by Mary, and that all who are saved are saved only by the means of this Divine Mother it is a necessary consequence that the salvation of all depends upon preaching Mary. (pp. 7-8)
Now come the Adventist Futurists, who are using the prophetic methodology of the Jesuit Ribera, to this facility - a facility dedicated to the elevation of Mary and with the objective of "allowing a re-creation of spirit under the mantle of Our Lady." This should alert and alarm all sincere believers in historic Adventism who have been deceived by the speakers and panel members in other meetings which they have conducted in other places. The deep aversion of true Protestantism to Roman Catholicism is muted when its programs and prophetic hermeneutics are espoused.
p 6 -- NEPOTISM? -- [Nepotism - favoritism shown to a relative (as by giving an appointive job) on the basis of relationship.]
The Saga of N. C. "Ted" Wilson -- At the 1985 General Conference session, "Ted" Wilson, son of the General Conference president, was elected Secretary of the Africa-Indian Ocean Division. Ten years ago in 1975, his name first appeared in the Yearbook (p. 702) as a licensed minister serving in the Greater New York Conference (p. 29). The 1976 Yearbook carries the same data. In the Review and Herald (Oct. 21, 1976, p. 24) a news article by Elder Neal C. Wilson, then Vice President of the General Conference for the North American Division, told of a new organization to be under the Division jurisdiction and known as Metro Ministries for New York City and the adjacent metropolitan area.
The 1977 Yearbook lists Metro Ministries with a Board of Directors, chaired by Neal C. Wilson with two Vice Chairmen, Elder J. L. Dittberner, president of the Atlantic Union, and A. J. Patzer, Wilson's Administrative Assistant (31). The administration of Metro Ministry was composed of E. W. Hon, "a veteran evangelist and health educator retired from Australia," as Director. N. J. Satelmajer is listed as associate director with "Ted" Wilson as assistant director. Both Satelmajer and Wilson had been "pastors in the Greater New York Conference prior to this appointment."
The 1978 Yearbook again noted "Ted" Wilson as a licensed minister (p. 826), this time holding that license from the Atlantic Union Conference (p. 40), but still serving as the Assistant Director of Metro Ministry. During this year a change took place, for the 1979 Yearbook lists "Ted" Wilson as an ordained minister of the Atlantic Union Conference (p. 847). He has also become the Director and Treasurer of Metro Ministry with A. J. Patzer chairman of the Executive Committee of Metro. It must be kept in mind that Neal C. Wilson had become president of the General Conference with Patzer continuing as his administrative assistant.
The first director of Metro Ministries, E. W. Hon, became a member of the faculty of Weimar Institute. The Associate Director - Nikolaus Satelmajer - was given the office of Secretary-Treasurer of the New York Conference, thus clearing the way for "Ted" to take over as Director.
The 1980 Yearbook entries remain the same for both "Ted" Wilson and the administration for Metro. In 1981 a change was made in the chairmanship of the Executive Committee. Elder C. E. Bradford took over from Patzer. (Yearbook, p. 36) Here also is a factor that must be kept in mind. Elder Bradford was Wilson's hand picked successor to be Vice President for the North American Division, and he still operates as Wilson's "side-kick."
In the 1982 Yearbook, the Metro Ministry is no longer listed. We are unable to find any "write-up" in the Review telling of its demise as was written when it was organized. However, the Adventist Review (Dec. 10, 1981) carries the following entry under its column - "To New Posts" - Norman Clair (Ted) Wilson (N.Y.U. '81), to serve as ministerial association and health director, Africa-Indian Ocean Division, Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Then again in the Adventist Review (May 31, 1984) young Wilson is listed as "returning to serve as ministerial associate director, health director, Africa-Indian Ocean Division." (p. 20)
Rewards for Those Who Assisted? -- The record indicates that "Ted" Wilson was ordained in 1978 (Review, Sept. 28, 1978, p. 23). The recommendation for ordination, if regular procedure was followed, would originate with the Board of Directors of Metro Ministry chaired by Neal C. Wilson, and then approved by the Atlantic Union Committee chaired by J. L. Dittberner.
It was Dittberner who signed the Partnership agreement which has developed in what is termed "The Pawtucket [R.I.] Nursing Home Scandal." The laity who are still investigating this "scandal" should look into a possible correlation between the ordination of "Ted" Wilson and the halfhearted cooperation of the NAD prexy. [See WWN, 1983 Apr -- XVI - 4(83)]
At the Dallas General Conference session the Africa-Indian Ocean Division was created with Elder Robert J. Kloosterhuis as president. At the 1985 New Orleans Session,
p 7 -- Kloosterhuis became a General Vice President and appointed by Wilson to chair the Andrews University board. Adventist Currents (Oct., 1985, p. 21) comments: Kloosterhuis was not a particularly successful administrator as president of the Africa-Indian Ocean Division, and he seemed more qualified for a general field secretaryship than the exalted office he received.
Some Unanswered Questions -- In 1980, an Elder G. S. Valleray was elected Secretary of the Africa-Indian Ocean Division. Why was the Treasurer, J. J. Nortey, made President at the New Orleans session rather than Valleray? Did Valleray retire, or were their health reasons - or some other reasons?
At the New Orleans session, the African delegations came through loud and clear that they wanted representation at the General Conference officer level. Finally an Elder Matthew A Bediako, president of the West African Union - a Union in the Africa-Indian Ocean Division -was elected as a General Conference Field Secretary. Why of all the leaders in Africa, and with no Division experience, was Bediako moved to Washington? Was he a viable candidate for the position of Secretary of the Division? Was the same policy followed in elevating "Ted" Wilson to be Secretary of the Division as was followed in making him Director of Metro Ministry - removal of all other viable candidates so that he is the lone choice left? --- (1986 Feb) ---End---- TOP
1986 Mar -- XIX - 3(86) -- "These Latter Days" -- Pope John Paul Engrossed in Study of Eschatology -- A full-color photo on the program booklet at Assumption College's academic convocation, September 10, 1985, featured an American flag intertwined with the flag of the Holy See. At the special convocation, this Roman Catholic college in Worcester, Mass., conferred honorary doctorates on Pio Laghi, Pro-Nuncio to the United States, and William A. Wilson, U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, who is also a Catholic.
In reporting this convocation, Joseph L. Conn, managing editor of Church & State (Nov, 1985), quoted Wilson in his acceptance speech. Wilson, noting that the diplomatic exchange between the United States and the Holy See had gone beyond the mere effort to collect political information, declared it had now developed into "a quest for morality." Then he added: In these latter days, we have consciously entered into a quest to recognize and to understand the role of religion in international affairs. (p. 4)
It is true in the speeches made at this convocation not only by Wilson, but also by Pio Laghi and Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, the emphasis was on the religious aspect and objective of the diplomatic exchange between the United States and the Vatican. In fact, Laghi quoted Pope John XXIII who asserted that the "Holy Church which I represent is the Mother of Nations, of all nations." (Ibid., p. 5)
Cardinal Law, in praising the diplomatic exchange, called it a "breakthrough of those false stereotypes and empty fears that are fanned by prejudice." He expressed hope that there would be "other breakthroughs" where "the religious mind and sentiment and the best principles of this nation can be yoked together for the common good." (Ibid.) In other words, this convocation called for a union of church and state in the United States, with the church part being the Roman Catholic church. BUT, why did Wilson refer to these times as "these latter days"?
In 1984, the Granada Publishing Limited of London, England, published a book The Year of Armageddon - by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts. These men have authored nine other books, among them Pontiff, with a total global sales in excess of 36,000,000 copies. However, strangely this book is not yet available in American bookstores; and the report is that if and when released in the United States, there will be sizeable deletions. (As late as December, while on a trip East, I checked with book stores, and found that one chain's listing did not include this book, though it listed other books by these authors) This book is written in diary-entry form covering one year in the activities of the Vatican -
p 2 -- 1983. Describing the actions of the Pope on that New Year's Day, the authors write: This morning, when he was awoken, at five o'clock, his first action, as it is every morning, was to kneel on the prie-dieu near his bed and pray before the icon of the Blessed Virgin on how best to fulfil the momentous task God, through her, has given him. At seven o'clock, another part of his daily habit, he offers a second such prayer while he celebrates Mass in his private chapel in the apartment. (p. 32)
Following Mass, Pope John Paul II on this New Year's Day hurried to his study to scrutinize a folder bearing just two words Sommario (Summary) and Segreto (Secret). The authors of the book detail the description of the Pope's study, and give some insight as to why the bookshelves contain the books they do. Their fascinating account reads: The study bookshelves offer a further clue to the many changes which have occurred in the pope's personality during the past year. Where once there were only uniform rows of leather-bound editions of the classics and the works of theologians and philosophers, these have been joined by copies' of the International Defence Review and the Defence Management Journal, as well as books with such arresting titles as The Problems of Military Readiness, Military Balance and Surprise Attack: Lessons for Defence Planning. Beside his encyclicals bound in white calf they include the original draft of Laborem Exercens (On Human Work), a powerful evocation of the right to have meaningful employment under just conditions, including the right to organize unions - is a scrapbook of letters from Solidarity members in Poland saying what a comfort they found the encyclical ...
Close to the encyclicals are books dealing with a subject that now rivets the pope: eschatology, the study of biblical teachings which argues that God will inaugurate His Kingdom on earth through a series of 'happenings' to close an age. John Paul believes with a fervour which sometimes astonishes even his personal staff that, possibly before the end of the century, something 'decisive' may sweep the world. Could it be pestilence, a second Black Death? Or drought or famine on an unimaginable scale? Or nuclear war? He frequently now fears the latter; perhaps, he has been known to ponder, he has been cast in the role of head of the Church during what could be the final decade of the world before it is permanently blighted by a nuclear holocaust.
The need to purify and unify the Church before this awesome time of final judgment occurs helps explain why John Paul has felt it a pressing duty to make so many arduous trips outside Italy, bringing his message to over 100 million people on five continents. He has expounded the great themes of Christianity, generated trust and goodwill even among non-believers and made himself the very visible foremost Christian leader of the age; an astute amalgam of priest, storyteller and missionary. (pp. 32-33)
The Pope's interest in eschatology was reflected in his Apostolic Letter issued at the close of the Jubilee Year of Redemption. In it he combined the concept of peace with "the question of Jerusalem." After reviewing why the adherents of the three great monotheistic religions Christian, Jew and Muslim look to Jerusalem, he called it - "the Holy City," the Pope wrote: "Jerusalem stands out as a symbol of coming together, or union, and of universal peace for the human family." He declared that he longed for the day when all "taught by God" would listen to His message of peace and reconciliation so that whether Jew, Christian, or Muslim, each could greet the other "in the city of Jerusalem with the same greeting of peace with which Christ greeted the disciples after the resurrection: 'Peace be with you.'"
Concluding this Apostolic Letter "Redemptionis Anno" - John Paul II wrote: This peace proclaimed by Jesus Christ in the name of the Father who is in heaven thus makes Jerusalem the living sign of the great ideal of unity, of brotherhood and of agreement among peoples according to the illuminating words of the book of Isaiah: "Many peoples shall come and say: 'Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.'" (Isa. 2:3) (L'Osservatore Romano, April 30, 1984, p. 6ff.)
must be, kept in mind that Isaiah 2:2 declares - "And it shall come
to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall
be established in the tops
of the mountain's" - a clear prophetic inference of the church upheld
by the states of earth - and that "many people" will call for
a gathering to the mountain of the Lord "for out of Zion shall go
forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."(Isaiah 2:2-3)
The Law has already been proclaimed from Mount Sinai. What universal law
would be considered that it should be proclaimed
p 3 -- We have before us the evidence that the present Pope is absorbed in the study of last day prophecies. From his own Apostolic Letter there is indication which of the prophecies is attracting his attention. At the Convocation at Assumption College, the very words - "these latter days" - were associated by the American Ambassador to the Vatican with a purposeful "quest to recognize and understand the role of religion in international affairs."
[It must be observed that while the prophecy of Isaiah does indicate an exaltation of the church and a gathering in Jerusalem from which a law will go forth, this same prophecy states that God is not in this call of "many people." He has forsaken these people "because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers." (Isa. 2:6)]
Both Wilson and his counterpart, Laghi, at the convocation emphasized that the relations between the U.S. and the Vatican had passed from a "'listening post' mentality" with the gathering of information as its chief objective to "a quest for morality." Laghi indicated "that most of his time is spent on church affairs, not diplomatic relations with the US Government." (Church & State, Nov., 1985, p. 5) It is true that Laghi is not only Pro-Nuncio from theVatican to the US Government, he is also the apostolic delegate charged with handling communications between the American Catholic Church and the Vatican. But with the shift of emphasis as to the purpose of the diplomatic exchange, Laghi 's role in "church affairs" could mean more than merely the affairs of his own church!
It must also be remembered that one of the chief arguments pressed in the debate to place an ambassador at the Vatican was the fact that much needful information would accrue to the US Government from such a diplomatic exchange. While the Vatican Secretariat of State still receives "highly sensitive political, economic and ecclesiastical information" from its network of over one hundred nuncios, pro-nuncios and apostolic delegates, Thomas and Morgan-Witts point out in their book that rather than John Paul's network for information gathering, it was the CIA station chief in Rome who first informed the Pope of Andropov's fatal illness, and it was the same intelligence officer who informed John Paul of his death. (The Year of Armageddon, p. 382)
These same authors illuminate the very heart of papal influence in the affairs of nations when they write: John Paul, probably more than any other modern pope, has made sure the activities of the Roman Catholic Church are known in nearly every nation and have a bearing on most aspects of human life.
Noting that Eugene Rostow, former Reagan advisor on arms control, "maintained that any discussion of the Church's international role must include both its spiritual and temporal dimensions, these writers continued: John Paul's actions perfectly illustrate the point. In the wake of the assassination attempt he has shown renewed determination to promote the Holy See's sway at an international level. Building on the truism that the Church has for centuries exerted a profound and incalculable spiritual and cultural influence in many parts of the world, shaping the minds of men and the impulses which govern their decision-making, he has inextricably entwined Catholicism and modern-day politics. ...
He is not working alone, of course. Great though his personal influence is, it remains small when compared with the power of the Church as a whole. Not only is its organization dedicated to the moral and spiritual education of Catholics and indeed western society at large, the Church is also a powerful voice in the political awareness of the West. (Ibid., p. 273)
The Convocation at Assumption College was one more evidence of this fact.
FACTORS -- The
authors of The Year of Armageddon give some deeper insights into
the US-Vatican relationships. They write - "It is the CIA which dominates
the intelligence knowledge of the Vatican." (p. 220) Then they give
some history: From
that day, almost forty years ago, when one of the founder members of the
CIA, General William 'Wild Bill' Donovan, was received in audience by
Pius XII and decorated with the Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Sylvester,
the oldest and most prestigious of papal knighthoods, an award given to
only one hundred other men in history, who 'by feat of arms, or writings,
or outstanding deeds, have spread the Faith, and have safeguarded and
championed the Church': from that day Donovan bowed his head before the
Pope, the CIA has
p 4 -- remained ensconced, virtually without interruption, as the prime intelligence advisor to successive pontiffs. (Pp. 220-221)
[Actually, General William H Donovan was the head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the first US Intelligence Agency. It was created in 1942 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt for the purpose of obtaining information about enemy nations ,and sabotaging their war potential and morale. In 1945, President Harry Truman transferred various parts of the OSS to the State Department and the old War Department. Under the National Security Act of 1947, the OSS was replaced by the CIA. The question still lingers -What did Donovan do during the brief life of the OSS, (1942-1945) to merit the prestigious papal knighthood bestowed upon him by Pope Pius XII?]
The evening following the day in 1983 on which Pope John Paul II gave an audience to a delegation from the People's Republic of Bulgaria (Bulgaria was implicated in the attempt to kill the Pope), the authors of The Year of Armageddon decided to spend some time "appraising the current role of the CIA" in the pontificate of John Paul II. They had accumulated much source material from many sources - Cardinal Franz Koenig of Vienna, Major Otto Kormek of the Austrian Intelligence, Kriminalhaupkommissar Hans-George Fuchs of the BKA in Wiesbaden, Archbishop Alibrandi of Dublin, and a number of people working in the Vatican. They also had published documents their researchers had gathered for them. Their own special data marked "highly confidential", which only they see, gathered from ambassadors accredited either to Italy or the Holy See was before them. Based on this information they concluded: The CIA is as close to the pope as the telephone which is never far from the reach of its present director, William J. Casey. He has, if anything, advanced the long-standing and intimate relationship which ' Wild Bill' Donovan formed with the papacy.
Casey, more than any other director since then, has systematically developed the CIA's ties with the Vatican. Apart from the distressing and short-lived period following the assassination attempt, the CIA has retained its position as John Paul's main guide through the murky world of secret intelligence. (p. 221)
Then comes the revelation - We remind ourselves Casey is a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a vaunted Vatican order which dates from the Crusades when 'warrior monks' served as the fighting arm of the Catholic Church. (p. 222)
The CIA Rome is "the working level" at which the agency relates to the Papacy. Two European ambassadors reminded Thomas and Morgan-Witts that it was one thing for CIA Rome to send a weekly briefing to John Paul, but unacceptable for the Station Chief to have daily access to the pope's office. This is solved by using the Order of the Knights of Malta. By so doing, Casey has opened up a sophisticated conduit which allows the CIA, on an indirect and informal basis, to exchange ideas and opinions with the pope. Casey does not even have to pick up the telephone. "There are powerful emissaries in the order who can convey the CIA's views to John Paul, in that essential "informal" way which distances the agency from the Papacy ... And, if none of them is going to Rome, then Casey has a Knight on the spot. He is William Wilson" the American Ambassador to the Holy See. (p. 223)
The CIA is also developing links with one of John Paul 's favorite secret societies, Opus Dei. In Chile, this society receives direct financial support from the CIA. Thus the Central Intelligence Agency could still reach John Paul II if unable to do so either through the regular channel, CIA Rome, or the Knights of Malta.
The picture is not complete unless we know something about the Knights of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and Opus Dei. This we shall pursue in the following articles.
OPUS DEI -- This Roman Catholic Lay Order founded in Spain in 1928 now consists of "a zealous orthodox network of 74,000 lay Catholics and 1,200 priests spread across 40 nations." Opus Dei, meaning in Latin, "Work for God," has now become "one of the most influential, controversial movements in Roman Catholicism." (Time, June 11, 1984) Called by detractors, "the Holy Mafia," it nevertheless enjoys the backing of John Paul II.
Its founder, Josemaria Escriva, a Hospital Chaplain in Madrid, Spain, "received an instantaneous vision of the Opus Dei concept as church bells began to ring." Its objective was to lead the laity to play an important
p 5 -- role in the church. In 1946, Escriva moved the movement to Rome where he died in 1975. In 1981, the Vatican took the first steps toward his canonization. The elevation to sainthood would vindicate the movement as created "under divine inspiration."
Opus Dei "offers the church a corps of well-educated, disciplined, profoundly devoted Catholics, who as laity in ordinary jobs, can penetrate society in ways that priests cannot ... A 1979 Opus memo reported that members around the world work, among other things, at 487 universities and schools, 694 newspapers and periodicals, 52 TV or radio stations, 38 publicity agencies and twelve film companies." (Ibid.)
A Vatican correspondent for the Spanish newspaper, El Pais, says that John Paul likes Opus' "activism, their anti-communism, their internal compactness where no plurality of ideas exist. He likes their total submission to Rome." (RNS) An air of unremitting doctrinal conservatism pervades the organization. A member of the Opus Dei General Council declares "We are among the most committed defenders of the notion that undebatable truth exists. Doctrine is not debatable, and when doubts arise over what is binding truth, the final word is the Pope's and not some theologian's." (Time, op. cit.)
As unnerving as it may be to liberal Catholics, the members of Opus Dei represent to John Paul, an ideal for today's lay church member. "There is speculation that the organization will gradually fill the traditional role of the Jesuits as an elite vanguard ready to do the bidding of Pope and church." (Ibid.)
"Retired Jesuit Superior General Pedro Arrupe was once quoted as having said that when Jesuits look at Opus Dei, it is 'like a mirror in which we see reflections of what we were in the past and of what we should no longer be."' (RNS)
There are developing links between the CIA and Opus Dei. "In Chile, where the order has the tacit support of many bishops, Opus Dei receives direct financial support from the CIA. The agency has also reportedly provided Opus Dei with evidence of Jesuits who challenge papal pronouncements and who are involved in political causes the CIA opposes. Further, we have been told it was the CIA who suggested to John Paul that he should encourage Opus Dei to begin working in Poland" (The Year of Armageddon, p. 224)
WHO ARE THE KNIGHTS OF MALTA? -- This is the caption of the lead article in the National Catholic Reporter of October 14, 1983. The subtitle of this article in "the independent Catholic newsweekly" reads - "Behind the charity, a rightist Catholic 'old boys' network."
[All direct quotes will be from the National Catholic Reporter unless otherwise noted - Editor]
Within the Roman Catholic Church, there is a liberal element and this independent Catholic newsweekly appears to speak for it. On the other hand, there is a conservative core which the National Catholic Reporter pictures as centering in the Order of the Knights of Malta, "the oldest chivalric order in existence, dating back to the Crusades when 'warrior monks' formed the military vanguard of the Catholic Church." Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts, as they close their one year report of the Papacy in their book, The Year of Armageddon, include a chapter they title "Towards Tomorrow." In this chapter, they write: Papal diplomacy, the political core of a highly centralized bureaucracy, has more than at any other time in its 500 years of very active history, become involved with international events.
The procedures for doing so remain the same - a well established mixture of international, constitutional and canon law, theology and conscience.
But under John Paul, papal politics no longer oscillate between conservatism and liberalism. They are firmly committed to the right. (p. 379)
p 6 -- "SMOM [Sovereign Military Order of Malta] represents the cutting edge of right-wing Catholicism in the US, a hidden mating ground where the Catholic church and the US ruling elite intersect. These links suggest a greater US/Vatican interrelationship than is generally considered the case." This fact is what makes the CIA-Papal connections, the U. S. -Vatican diplomatic exchange so critical. Further, because members of the Order of Malta are in key positions it necessitates that we know what this Order is and its objectives.
The SMOM has two faces. Most knights of the Order "insist that SMOM is simply a charitable organization." The Encyclopaedia Britannica notes that "since its first beginnings it has never ceased to serve the poor, and sick, and from the early 19th century the order, in all its forms, has continued to discharge this Christian work in accordance with its own splendid tradition." (Vol. 19, p. 838, 1958 edition) Martin A. Lee, author of the article in the National Catholic Reporter, tells of the charitable activities the knights - operation of "modern clinics, research centers, leprosariums and schools for the deaf and blind" - but adds "charity typifies only the public face of SMOM. In private ceremonies, the knights have decorated Nazi spies and CIA operatives."
In 1798, Napoleon took the island of Malta, and the knights long rule of the island came to an end. After the expulsion from Malta, the knights ceased to be a territorial power. However, Lee writes: Although SMOM has no land mass other than a small headquarters in Rome, this unique papal entity mints coins, prints stamps, has its own constitution and issues license plates and passports to an accredited diplomatic corps. ...
Elected to a life term subject to papal approval, the Italian grand master of the order, Fra Angelo de Morgana di Cologna, holds a rank equal to a cardinal and is recognized as a sovereign leader by 47 nations. ...
Pope John Paul II recently upgraded the Vatican's recognition of SMOM to full diplomatic relations.
The Knights of Malta have their own national holiday, "which they celebrate with much pomp and circumstance. Each year on St. John's day, June 24, SMOM members dress in black capes and scarlet uniforms, wave swords and flags with the eight-pointed Maltese cross." The Order's "annual formal visit to the Vatican [is] to renew its allegiance to the Holy Mother Church." (The Year of Armageddon, p. 222) "When Casey, Buckley, Luce and others dress in medieval garb, these modern crusaders rekindle the mystical mission to defeat all enemies of their notion of church."
"The Order's real power derives from the lay members scattered throughout five continents. Nobility forms SMOM's backbone, with nearly half of its 10,000 continuents belonging to Europe's oldest and most powerful families. ... The SMOM's US section has approximately 1000 members - including 300 'dames' who hail from society's upper crust. ... Its roster includes many of the corporate establishment's movers and shakers."
The membership list of corporate executives and personnel includes, Lee Iacocca of Chrysler, Barron Hilton of the hotel chain, Francis X. Stankard of Chase Manhattan Bank, William Simon former treasury secretary and energy czar and now currently a director of Citicorp, and Martin E. Shea an executive vice-president of Morgan Bank. Shea is the SMOM's secretary in the US"At Morgan Bank's New York headquarters is a telex which links SMOM/US to SMOM headquarters in Rome."
"Today one corporation stands out as the center of SMOM in the US - W. R. Grace & Co. J. Peter Grace, company chairman, is president of the US SMOM." On the board of W. R. Grace are eight knights, including John D. J. Moore, "who was ambassador to Ireland under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford," and Felix Larkin "former Department of Defense general counsel."
"Other SMOM members have CIA connections. Clare Boothe Luce, former ambassador to Italy, is a Dame of Malta. She currently serves on the president's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which oversees CIA covert operations." As already noted, the present CIA Director, William Casey, is a knight, as was also John McCone who ran the CIA in the early 1960s. Other knights have links with the intelligence community. Among these are William F. Buckley, Jr., "former CIA operative, current National Review editor and political consultant to another right-wing Catholic. William P. Clark, Reagan's [former] national security advisor; James Buckley, his brother a former US Senator from New York and now serving as under secretary of state for security assistance.
p 7 -- "Deceased members include Joseph Kennedy (father of the Kennedy clan - although none of the Kennedy brothers joined the order)" If the Kennedy brothers are members of the liberal Catholic element in the Church as it appears they are and were, could this shed some light on questions still unanswered in regard to President John F. Kennedy?
Another deceased member was John J. Raskob, formerly General Motors board chairman and a major financier of the Democratic party. Raskob was one of the 13 founding SMOM members in the US. He was serving as "treasurer of the SMOM's US component when he was implicated in a military plot to seize the White House in the early 1930s. (The goal was to turn President Franklin Roosevelt into either a Mussolini-type strong-man or a figurehead. But the scheme was exposed when General Smedley Butler, US Marine Corps commander, blew the whistle on Raskob and coup plotters.)"
This raises some questions as to what took place following this abortive coup? Did Roosevelt see the "light"? In 1939, he appointed Myron C. Taylor as his special envoy to Pope Pius XII. Although not a Catholic, Mr. Taylor received the Knights of Malta's highest award of honor - the Gran Croci Al Merito Conplacca. Then when a full diplomatic exchange took place between the US and the Vatican, the ambassador appointed by Reagan was a member of the SMOM.
In 1948 another person received the Knight's highest award of honor. He was General Reinhard Gehlen, "who ran Adolph Hitler's spy operation against the Soviet Union. ... In the late 1940s, Gehlen and his well developed spy apparatus - staffed primarily by ex-Nazis - were incorporated into the fledgling CIA. Gehlen later became the first director of the BND (the West German CIA), which provided a substantial percentage of NATO's raw intelligence during the cold war."
Another interesting footnote to history involving Roosevelt after he saw the "light" was an operation known as "Operation Underworld." The late Cardinal Francis Spellman served as the "grand protector and spiritual advisor" to SMOM's US wing. "In the early 1940s, Spellman served as an intermediary in secret negotiations between the Roosevelt White House and high-level organized crime figures... FDR promised to release mob chief Lucky Luciano from prison if the mafia could guarantee the protection of American ships based on the eastern seaboard that were vulnerable to German attack.
"Spellman turned to his mob contacts in New York to arrange the deal after seeking permission from Pope Pius XII. He went on to serve as Pope Pius' right arm and was a staunch supporter of US military involvement in Vietnam."
In 1946, the SMOM gave an award Croci Al Merito Seconda Classe - "to James Jesus Angleton, who ran counter-espionage operations in Rome for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA. Angleton later went on to head what has been described as the CIA's 'Vatican desk.'
"According to an ex-CIA official, Angelton was in charge of an extensive spy network that included priests behind the iron curtain who passed information on a regular basis to the office of the papal secretariat which, in turn, maintained a liaison relationship with the CIA. Angleton also assisted CIA analysts in preparing intelligence briefings on matters pertaining to the Holy See, such as profiles on leading papal candidates.
"As chief of the CIA's super-secret counter intelligence staff, Angleton was involved in a wide range of covert operations, including mail opening and spying on domestic dissidents in the US"
The SMOM is an Order from the Dark Ages come to life in the 20th Century. ---(1986 Mar) ---End---