1975 Jan-MarVIII 1(75) - VIII 3(75)
1975 Apr-Jun VIII 4(75) - VIII 6(75)
1975 Jul-Sep VIII 7(75) - VIII 9(75)
1975 Oct-Dec VIII 10(75) - VIII 12(75)
1976 Jan-Mar IX 1(76) - IX 3(76)
1976 Apr-Jun IX 4(76) - IX 6(76)
1976 Jul-Sep IX 7(76) - IX 9(76)
1976 Oct-Dec IX 10(76) - IX 12(76)
1977 Jan-MarX 1(77) - X 3(77)
1977 Apr-Jun X 4(77) - X 6(77)
1977 Jul-Sep X 7(77) - X 9(77)
1977 Oct-DecX 10(77) - X 12(77)
1978 Jan-Mar XI 1(78) - XI 3(78)
1978 Apr-Jun XI 4(78) - XI 6(78)
1978 Jul-Sep XI 7(78) - XI 9(78)
1978 Oct-Dec XI 10(78) - XI 12(78)
1979 Jan-Mar XI 1(79) - XI 3(79)
1979 Apr-Jun XI 4(79) - XI 6(79)
1979 Jul-Sep XI 7(79) - XI 9(79)
1979 Oct-DecXI 10(79) - XI 12(79)
Feb Knight Descends On Jones. 1of 4.
Mar Knight Descends On Jones. 2 of 4.
1988 Apr-Jun 3 & 4 of 4.
last of WWN published
ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)
SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation
- Legal Documents
Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer
Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer
the Form of a Slave
In Bible Prophecy
Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer
Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer
of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary
Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear
OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:
Various Studies --
Bible As History - Werner Keller
Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts
Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith
Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson
Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones
"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson
Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen
Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones
Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen
So Much In Common - WCC/SDA
Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy
The MISSION of this site -- is to put the articles from the WWN in a searchable Essay form. It is not our purpose to copy WWN in whole.
Any portion of the thought paper may be reproduced without further permission by adding the credit line - "Reprinted from WWN, Victoria, BC Canada."
Thank you for visiting. We look forward to you coming back.
WWN 1986 Jul - Sep
1986 Jul -- XIX -- 7(86) -- EVIDENCE OF THE REVISION -- Questions on Doctrine -- A Compromise and a Cover-up -- Some of us who lived through "the burden and heat of the day" when the full effect of the SDA-Evangelical Conferences was felt, sometimes forget that the vast majority of the laity and ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church were either not members of the church at that time, or were children and youth who were totally unaware of what was taking place. 1 Thus to cite certain factors from the period of 1955-1960 without documentation leaves a void in the minds of many readers since they honestly do not have background information to evaluate what took place in the controversy which has involved Adventism since that date.
In fact, even though the printing of Questions on Doctrine was large and the circulation widespread, the book today is difficult to obtain and many concerned laypersons do not have a copy available for study and comparison.
In the previous issue of a "Watchman, What of the Night?" (XIX-6), we set forth certain facts involving the publication and release of the book - Questions on Doctrine. A.L. Hudson of Baker, Oregon, in a letter to six people including Walter Martin, revealed a telephone conversation with Martin which clearly indicated that the book - Questions on Doctrine (QOD) was not the original answers given to Barnhouse and Martin in response to the questions they had asked the Adventist Church's leadership, but rather a revision of the answers so as to be more palatable for the laity of the Church. From personal contact with the late Don Neufeld, I was also aware of the same fact. In commenting on the information which I personally had, I wrote: We were able to document a few changes by comparing page 30 in Questions on Doctrine with the article in Eternity, November, 1956, where Martin quoted from the original draft copy. (WWN, XIX-6, p. 2)
Then I suggested to the readers that they should check with the manuscript which the Foundation has made available of the documents on the 1955-1956 SDA-Evangelical Conferences. But many of the readers do not have a copy of QOD by which to make the check. There are a number of other facets to the events which transpired during that time and need to be amplified beyond the brief summary given in the previous issue of WWN. These we hope to enlarge upon in forthcoming issues of the Thought Paper. While we are providing for the readers a complete transcript of the telephone conversation between Hudson and Barnhouse, this will be a good time to discuss the whole picture, such as, the 1888 Message of Righteousness by Faith and the 1958 setting in which it was again brought to the attention of the Church, along with the Church's response.
Immediately following the SDA-Evangelical Conferences in 1955-56, Barnhouse and Martin published a series of articles on the history
p 2 -- and the doctrine of Seventh-day Adventism in Eternity magazine. (The first article appeared in the September, 1956 issue, and asked the question, - "Are Seventh-day Adventists Christian?" This was written by Barnhouse.) Eternity was a monthly journal published by The Evangelical Foundation, Inc., with Barnhouse as Editor-in-Chief, and Walter Martin as a Contributing Editor. In all, five articles appeared, four from September through January, 1957, then in the November, 1957 issue, Barnhouse wrote a final article captioned, "Postscript on Seventh-day Adventism." This final article is a comment on the book - Questions on Doctrine - after it was published, and half of the article is a quotes from the book (pp. 21-25). Barnhouse was playing it "safe." He waited until he could quote from the published book, before writing the postscript. 2 The other three articles were written by Martin . 3 His third article discussed - "What Seventh-day Adventists Really Believe." However, he chose to quote from the answers given to him prior to the publication of the book - QOD, - and thus prior to its revision. (He does reveal that LeRoy E. Froom is the author of QOD, though no authors name appeared when the book was published in 1957.) In the article, Martin quotes at length from the answer given to Question #3. By so doing, we have the evidence of the fact that a revision did take place between the time the original answers were given to Barnhouse and Martin, and the answers were published for the ministry and laity of the Church.
In parallel columns, we shall give the quotes as found in Eternity, and the same paragraphs as published in QOD. The revisions will be in italics in QOD.
The substitution of "death" for "sacrifice" is cosmetic and merely avoids word repetition when "sacrificial" was added to the text. However, the substitution of "anew" for "afresh," though synonyms has significance. There is a nuance between these two words. The one editing the revision was evidently aware of this. Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary gives as one meaning of "afresh" - "from a new start" - and the meaning of "anew" - "in a new form." This subtle difference of meaning between these two words tells the whole story of the compromise and cover-up in a single nutshell.
The Adventist conferees wished the Evangelicals to believe that they were actually making a "new start" in the formulation of the teachings of the Church, in other words, "afresh." Barnhouse in his article, "Are Seventh-day Adventist Christians?", after reviewing the experience of Hiram Edson the morning following the Great Disappointment on October 22, 1844, from which the perception of Christ entering the Most Holy Place developed after deep searching of the Scriptures, wrote - "Mr. Martin and I heard the Adventist leaders say, flatly, that they repudiate all such extremes. This they said in no uncertain terms." Then stating that our pioneers taught "that Jesus atoning work was not completed on Calvary but that He was still carrying on a second ministering work since 1844," Barnhouse wrote --"This idea is also totally repudiated." And this repudiation is the idea conveyed in Martin's quote from the copy of the answers he received. And this was an "afresh" concept!
In the revision a different story was being told - the death of Christ was a "sacrificial" atonement. Thus the laity could be told that the leaders of the Church were merely stating "anew" our beliefs in a form that could be better understood by the Evangelicals, but nothing had been changed. In fact, when the furor arose over the book - QOD - this is exactly the line used by the hierarchy - it is just a matter of semantics, there has been, no change. Were the doctrines of the Church altered, or is this just an imaginary perception? This we shall pursue in the next issue of WWN.
1 In 1955, the total world membership barely exceeded 1 million members. In 1984, there were over 4 1/2 million members. Further a large number of the 1955 membership have died since that date.
2 A. L. Hudson believes "the cover-up" had begun at this time. See WWN XIX-6, p. 7, col. 2.
3 See document - The Seventh-day Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
p 3 -- Transcript of a Recorded CONVERSATION between A. L. Hudson and Dr. Donald Barnhouse 1958 May 16, Regarding the book QUESTIONS ON DOCTRINE (Continued) -- [In last month's issue, as we closed the first segment of the telephone conversation, Hudson was inquiring about the Adventist Church's desire to be a part of the National Association of Evangelicals. Barnhouse replied that such an idea did not have "any foundation." Hudson then asked about Walter Martin's statement which inferred such. We begin this segment with Barnhouse's comment on this.]
Well I will put it this way: There is no doubt of the fact that
any man who is truly born-again wants to extend the hand to everybody
else who is born again. If he doesn't, he is out of the will of God.
Now, I know that some of the men at Takoma Park are not only saved,
but they want to be led by the Holy Spirit. Now, any man who wants to
be led by the Holy Spirit - Now, this year, the year 1958, I have already
spoken in a Seventh-day Adventist meeting; I held a week of meetings
in the Pentecost Assembly in Missouri; last week I was in the Episcopal
cathedral in Cleveland under the greater Cleveland Federations of Churches,
and I have already preached this year in Northern and Southern Baptist,
Northern and Southern Presbyterian, [?] Methodist church in Kansas City,
and I want to work with the whole body of Christ. If you are born again,
and you are going to be in heaven, then you are my brother. But if you
are a sectarian - I don't know what your attitude is. You called me
up on the telephone and I'm speaking to you plainly although I don't
know who you are at all. But if you are a person trying to stir up trouble,
if you are a person trying to find out if you can sharpen your knife
using me as a whetstone in order that you may try to sink it in some
of the leaders who
are trying to be godly men, then I tell you that you are being led of
the antichrist, and not by the Holy Spirit.
4 -- device of men who
were so scaredy cat that they were walking in a cornfield in order to
keep off the main road. You know this wasn't the Holy Spirit.
You know in your heart, and if you ever take the position, God
is going to nullify your ministry, and at
the judgment seat of Christ, you are going to answer for it.
5 -- beyond
any question, in that book, in taking the position, for example, that
anybody that ever said that it was necessary to keep Saturday in order
to be saved, was wrong. Your book states this. Now, for instance, you
don't hold that keeping Sunday is the mark of the beast, do you?
[Barnhouse led Hudson into a trap at this point.]
Yes, that's right.
6 -- me,
but it is not.
7 -- you were going to
have to admit the seventh day is the Sabbath.
1986 Aug -- XIX -- 8(86) -- THIRTY YEARS OF APOSTASY - 1956-1986 -- This year marks the thirtieth anniversary since the Seventh-day Adventist-Evangelical Conferences were concluded. All the major Adventist conferees have, passed to their rest. On the Evangelical side, Walter Martin Remains. In recent years, he has reminded the leadership of the Adventist Church of the concessions which were made during the Conferences, and which were summarized in the book - Questions on Doctrine (QOD).
In his recent revised and expanded edition of The Kingdom of the Cults, Martin noted his "special concern" over "the doctrinal upheaval in Adventism." On February 16, 1983, he wrote a letter to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists calling for a "public and official statement for a reaffirming or denying the authority of the Adventist book, Questions on Doctrine."
To this demand, on April 29, 1983, W. Richard Lesher, then a vice-president of the General Conference, and now president of Andrews University, responded. He wrote: You ask first if Seventh-day Adventists still stand behind the answers given to your questions in Questions on Doctrine as they did in 1957. The answer is yes. (p. 410)
In a recent televised confrontation with Martin on the John Ankerberg Show, 1 Wm. G. Johnsson, Editor of the Adventist Review, categorically stated: In terms of the denomination's stand on the book, we have not repudiated Questions on Doctrine. The book went into eight printings, 150,000 copies. - Now that's a lot of copies. It is still used in college classes. (From an official transcript of the Show)
There can be no question as to where the hierarchy of the Seventh-day Adventist Church stands in regard to the book, QOD, and its teachings.
To understand the gravity of the apostasy which occurred in the 1955-1956 SDA-Evangelical Conferences and expressed in the book, QOD, resulting therefrom, one must have a clear perception of the gospel - the good news - committed to the Adventist Movement. This is not "another gospel" but the full and complete gospel. It is a gospel based solely on the merits and work of Jesus Christ. Founded on the typical revelation that God gave to Israel, true Adventists see in the animals slain, a prefiguring of the Lamb of God who "taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) They perceive in the work of both the common priests and high priest, not only the earthly ministry of Jesus, but also His ministry in the Sanctuary of Heavenly Places. (Heb. 8:1-2) They understand with Peter - "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
However, they see clearly - based on the type of the Hebrew sanctuary service - two atonements. The record reads that should an individual - ruler, or common person - sin, he could bring his offering, confess his sin, and "the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him." (Lev. 4::26-31) The message thus conveyed
p 2 -- is that the forgiveness is so complete, that there is an "one-ment" again between the sinner and his God. This was accomplished at the Altar of Burnt Offering. Then on the Day of Atonement, as the congregation of Israel afflicted their souls without the Court, the high priest made "an atonement" for Israel so that collectively and individually they should be "clean from all [their] sins before the Lord." (Lev. 16:30) This was accomplished in type by the mediation of the high priest beginning in the Most Holy place of the sanctuary. (Lev. 16:33) It is referred to as the atonement of "atonements." (Ex. 30:10) Thus the Cross of Calvary prefigured in the Altar of Burnt Offering, and the work of Christ as the High Priest after the Order of Melchisedec prefigured in the annual ministry on the typical Day of Atonement, become the two foci of the gospel committed to the Advent Movement. Both of the foci involve atonement in the fullest meaning of the word.
This basic truth - the full gospel committed to the trust of the Adventist Church, the Adventist conferees denied in the compromise with the Evangelicals. In answer to the question - Since Adventists hold that complete sacrificial atonement was made on the cross, what do they teach concerning the ministry of our Lord as High Priest in heaven? (QOD, p. 369)
they responded - Adventists do not hold any theory of a dual atonement. "Christ hath redeemed us" (Gal. 3:13) "once for all" (Heb. 10:10). (Ibid., p. :390, Emphasis theirs)
This concept is further emphasized in the section on "The Scapegoat." Froom wrote: Only Christ, the Creator, and the one and only God-man, could make a substitutionary atonement for men's transgressions. And this Christ did completely, perfectly, and once for all on Golgotha. (Ibid., p. 400)
If language means anything, this statement precludes any atonement resulting from the final ministry of Christ in The Most Ho1y Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary, unless the atonement of the antitypical Yom Kippur is achieved by human works. But such a position would not accord with the testimony: Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work. (TM 508, emphasis mine)
of this poses certain questions, and to these questions answers are
Observe that the wording - "ministers the virtues of. His atoning sacrifice to us" - is used to summarize the concept that Christ obtains nothing for us in His final ministry in the Most Holy Place.
How then is the literature which has been published
by Adventist presses teaching an atonement to be accomplished by Jesus
in the Most Holy Place of Heaven to be explained?
Note again the wording - this time emphasized, that such wording means a finished atonement on the cross, and no final atonement resultant from Christ's ministry in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary. This language is used to mean a denial of a dual atonement. 2
The use of this new phraseology to deny a final atonement, and to confirm a fully completed atonement on the cross was a part of the "cover-up" to take the edge off of
p 3 -- the compromise. Barnhouse had already gone into print in his publication, Eternity, stating that both he and Martin had heard the Adventist leaders "totally" repudiate the concept "that Jesus' atoning work was not completed on Calvary but instead that He was still carrying on a second ministering work since 1844." (Sept. 1956) Now when the book, QOD, appeared in 1957, this new phraseology appeared. T. E. Unruh, who chaired the SDA-Evangelical Conferences, showed his hand when writing 20 years after these conferences, relates: We came to see that many misunderstandings rested on semantic grounds, because of our use of an inbred denominational vocabulary. Our friends [Barnhouse and Martin] helped us to express our beliefs in terms more easily understood by theologians of other communions. (Adventist Heritage, Vol. 4, #2, 1977, p. 40) 3
Herein was the method used to cover-up the compromise.
The same tack that was used in allaying the the concerns of the laity over the compromises made by the Adventist conferees at the Conferences with Barnhouse and Martin was the same tack used in presenting the new Statement of Beliefs to the delegates at the Dallas session of the General Conference. In the telephone conversation with Barnhouse, Hudson kept noting that what he was hearing from the leaders in Washington - no change in our fundamental beliefs - was not what Barnhouse and Martin were saying in Eternity, that the leadership had "totally repudiated" the "everlasting gospel" as committed to the Advent Movement. Then, when 20 years after the fact, the Adventist version of the Conferences was written, the explanation is given that we were merely trying to express in QOD fundamental Adventism in a way so that the theologians of the world could better understand what we believe.
This is exactly the approach that Elder Neal C. Wilson used in introducing the 27 Statements of Belief for consideration by the delegates at the Dallas session. He said: We are not suggesting changing any belief or doctrine that the church has held. We have no interest in tearing up any of the foundations of historical Adventism.
This document is not designed to do that, nor to open the way so that it can be done. It should be clear that we are not adding anything nor are we deleting anything in terms of historical Adventist theology. We are trying to express our beliefs in a way that will be understood today.
There are a great many individuals, for instance, who write to the General Conference Ministerial Association requesting a simple statement of our fundamental beliefs. We would like to feel that when such a statement is sent to those who are theologically educated or who are proficient in stating Biblical truth simply, they will understand not what they see but rather what we see and what we believe. It is one thing for me to apply a certain set of values and theological-doctrinal principles to a statement and find that it all fits together. Someone else reading the same statement might not perceive the same truth. (1980 GC Bulletin, #5, p. 9, Emphasis his)
BUT - and note carefully - in Section #23, "Christ's Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary," is to be found the following: There is sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. (1980 GC Bulletin, #9, p. 27, Emphasis mine)
NOW COMPARE - this is the same language, merely substituting synonyms, as is found in QOD, pp. 354-355, where the explanation is made as to what is meant when pioneer Adventist writers, including Ellen G. White declared that "Christ is making atonement now." (See p. 2, col . 2) Further, this statement is used in connection with the emphasized concept that when Christ went back to heaven to become High Priest, "it was not with the hope of obtaining something for us at that time, or at some future time." The reason is given - "He had already obtained it for us on the cross," and "now as our High Priest He ministers the virtues of His atoning sacrifice to us." (See also, p. 2, col. 2)
This statement then is a cover up phraseology, whereby we are denying the historical Adventist concept of a final atonement and is so understood by non-Adventists theologians. In 1980, through its official action the General Conference in session, in voting this statement, has denied the everlasting
p 4 -- gospel involving "the hours of God' s judgment" - at which the final atonement will be made.
RECALL - that, on the John Ankerberg Show, taped in December, 1984, and aired just prior to the 1985 General Conference Session, Dr. William G. Johnsson, Editor of the Adventist Review, affirmed that the Church had not set aside the book, QOD, declaring - "Categorically, I can tell you that the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has not repudiated Questions on Doctrine."
During the confrontation with Martin, Johnsson based his position on the 27 Statements of Belief as voted at Dallas, affirming - "No other statements have the authority of the fundamental beliefs. These are our statements of faith." Putting these two assertions together, it is clear that the corporate Church still clings to the repudiation of a final atonement as made by the Adventist conferees in 1955-56.
At the New Orleans session in 1985, Neal C. Wilson raised the issue about the Statement of Beliefs indicating that there had been requests to review some of the concepts as voted at Dallas. He closed the door on any such discussion, remarking - There seems to have been a very favorable world reaction to and acceptance of the Fundamental Beliefs as voted in 1980. ...
Frankly, throughout the past five years there has been no one who has revealed to us that the Holy Spirit has led in making any substantive changes. (1985 GC Bulletin-, #9, p. 17)
Thus the apostasy began 30 years ago continues. The trust of the "everlasting gospel" based as it is in the dual atonement concepts of the Hebrew sanctuary service has been betrayed. To those who have eyes to see, and ears to hear, should sense what the present advocacy of staying in and supporting such a betrayal will mean in the light of the corporate judgment upon the Church. "Men, maidens, and little children, all perish together" with the "guardians of the spiritual interests of the people," but who "had betrayed their trust." (5T:211).
Well did the Lord God say through Ezekiel the prophet - "Woe unto the foolish prophets that follow after their own spirit, and have seen nothing! 0 Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes of the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The Lord saith: and the Lord hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. (Eze. 13:3-6)
1 - 'For a full analysis of the Martin-Johnsson confrontation on the John Ankerberg Show see WWN, XVIII - 9. (Sept. 1985)
2 - M. L. Andreasen tells of a request made to the Ellen G. White Estate Board by two of the Adventist conferees to add "footnotes or Appendix notes" to certain E. G. White books so as to give their "understanding of the various phases of the atoning work of Christ," and thus bring the Writings in line with the assertion in the book, QOD, pp. 354-355. See Letters to the Churches, Series A, #2, pp. 24-26. ( Letters to the Churches)
3 - The available documents on the SDA-Evangelical Conferences may be obtained from the Adventist Laymen's Foundation. (SDA & Evangelical Conferences)
p 5 -- Transcript of a Recorded CONVERSATION between A. L. Hudson and Dr. Donald Barnhouse May 16, 1958 Regarding the book QUESTIONS ON DOCTRINE. (Concluded here)
[In last month's issue, the segment of the conversation ended with Hudson pressing Barnhouse to make public his files telling what the Adventist Church leaders had written to him regarding basic doctrines of the Church. Then Hudson refers to what Martin had also told him. We pick up the conversation at this point.]
I know what Martin told me, And I know that he will not answer any letters
in confirming what he told me, but our men are representing -
6 -- never heard about until you told me, this morning.
7 -- Richards. Richards doesn't hold with you.
Cassettes available: THE
AGENDA OF THE JUDGMENT -- A Consideration of the Judgment before the
Ancient of Days after the correction of the Crosier error.
1986 Sep -- XIX -- 9(86) -- THE 1888 MESSAGE IN 1986 -- Can It Still Be Given in the Setting OF 1950 -- In 1888, God chose two "messengers" and gave them a message to bring to the Church in its general session held that year in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ellen G. White told J. S. Washburn 1 the following year when both were in attendance at the Ottawa, Kansas, Campmeeting that the Lord gave E. J. Waggoner special light on the question of "Righteousness by Faith" that He had not given her. Even though she had wanted to bring out this message, she was unable to do so as clearly as Waggoner had done; however, when Waggoner did, she recognized it. This is the reason why she refers to both Waggoner and Jones as "His messengers" (TM , p. 95) sent with "a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message, in clear, distinct lines." (Ibid., p. 93)
This message, except for a brief revival of interest in 1924, 2 lay dormant - and unheeded by the Church at large and its ministry. However, in 1950, at the time of the General Conference Session in San Francisco, God chose two other men to reintroduce the Message of 1888 to the Church. On July 11, 1950, Elders R. J. Wieland and D. K. Short made representations to the officers of the General Conference. Their letter said in part: The President's stirring address last night, calling upon us to guard the faith once delivered to the saints, and to speak forthrightly in defense of it, presents a challenge. With this in mind, it is imperative that we know exactly what it is that should be guarded, for certainly there is great confusion in our ranks today.
This confusion was evident in the "Christ -centered" preaching urged upon us repeatedly in the Ministerial Association meetings of the past four days. These meetings were supposed to set the stage for a mighty revival among God's people at this General Conference session. This "Christ-centered" preaching is expected by its proponents to bring great reformation among Seventh-day Adventist workers the world around.
No one for a moment would disparage the preaching of the true Christ as the center and substance of the three angels' messages. However, in this confusion, it has not been discerned that much of this so-called "Christ-centered preaching" is in reality merely antichrist centered preaching. It vitally affects the outcome of the General Conference session. To make such a statement to the General Conference Committee sounds fantastic. But startling things are not unexpected by the church in the last days. (Emphasis theirs; Quoted in Preliminary Memorandum, p. 3)
Nothing further was done at the session, but subsequently, resulting from a hearing in Washington D.C., these men were asked to write out their contentions, resulting in the manuscript - 1888 Re-Examined. It was left with the "brethren" and Wieland and Short returned to their mission field in Africa. The Defense Literature Committee was asked to render a report on this manuscript. In 1951, this committee responded by rejecting the analysis of the 1888 Minneapolis conference as researched by Wieland
p 2 -- and Short; and denouncing as slander against the Adventist ministry, the charge that the Christ-centered preaching advocated at the Ministerial Association meeting was in reality "antichrist centered" preaching.
Historical Backdrop -- At this juncture of the recital of history, we must leave a discussion of the manuscript, 1888 Re-Examined, temporarily, and note what was happening within the Church and the world. First the world: In 1948, the State of Israel was reestablished. This in itself was NOT a fulfillment of any prophecy of God's word. However, it was an event which contradicted interpretations by Adventist evangelists that Israel would never again be established as a nation. In reality, this event was merely a pre-shadowing of other coming events which were and will be fulfillments of Bible prophecies. .(See Luke 21:24; Daniel 11:45) In other words, the final scenes of earth's history were beginning to take shape. Ellen G. White had directed attention to the importance of events in the history of Jerusalem. She wrote: In the twenty-first chapter of Luke Christ foretold what was to come upon Jerusalem, and with it He connected the scenes which were to take place in the history of this world just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 23-24)
It is significant that she did not cite the parallel records of Jesus' prophecies in Matthew (24) and Mark (13). In Luke, the one prophecy relative to Jerusalem not mentioned by the other two writers is the clear declaration that Jerusalem "shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles (nations) be fulfilled." (21:24) The establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 foreshadowed this coming event. It is against this backdrop that the message God gave Wieland and Short must be evaluated.
The manuscript which Wieland and Short left with the "brethren" was not completely lost on the leadership. Elder W. H. Branson had been elected president in 1950. Mid-term, he decided on a Bible Conference which was held in the Sligo Park Church in 1952. What he said at this conference shows the effect of the representations made by Wieland and Short on his thinking. Further, what was said by another participant connected the Adventist perception of what took place in 1948 with Luke 21:24.
Let, us note first Branson's remarks. He, in closing a study on "The Lord Our Righteousness," stated: To a large degree the church failed to build on the foundation laid at the 1888 General Conference. Much has been lost as a result. We are years behind where we should have been in spiritual growth. Long ere this we should have been in the Promised Land.
But the message of righteousness by faith given in the 1888 Conference has been repeated here. ... Truly this one subject has, in this conference "swallowed up every other."
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 because those who have spoken here have had the advantage of much more added light shining forth from the hundreds of pronouncements on this subject in the writings of the Spirit of prophecy which those who spoke back there did not have.
The light of justification and righteousness by faith shines upon us today more clearly than it ever shone before upon any people.
No longer will the question be, "What was the attitude of our workers and people toward the message of righteousness by faith that was given in 1888? What did they do about it?" From now on the great question must be, "What did we do with the light on righteousness by faith as proclaimed in the 1952 Bible Conference?" (Our Firm Foundation, Vol. II, pp. 616-617)
During the 1952 Bible Conference, Elder A. S. Maxwell noted among the unfulfilled signs still before God's people were "Developments in Palestine." He said: The recent dramatic restoration of the nation of Israel has focused the attention of mankind once more upon Palestine. ...
There is one prophecy concerning Palestine that we should all be watching with special care. Said Jesus, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Luke 21:24.
For nineteen centuries Jerusalem has been trodden down of the Gentiles. It is still trodden down of the Gentiles. ... Victorious as were the forces of Israel in every other part of Palestine, they failed to take the most dazzling objective of all. Mysteriously they were held back from achieving this most cherished goal, this culminating triumph, as by an unseen hand.
What could be the reason? Only that the times of the Gentiles are not yet fulfilled. (Ibid., p. 230)
p 3 -- Today this is no longer an unfulfilled prophecy facing God's people, but a fulfilled prophecy calling for understanding and response by God's people. If, therefore, events were taking place in 1948 which would lead to the fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus - and it was so recognized at the 1952 Bible Conference - then the call for the renewal of the Message of 1888 in 1950 is inextricably connected with events both in secular and our church history as they fulfill prophecy. The Message of 1888 was to prepare a people not only to stand in the day of the Lord, but a people to bear the final witness of the grace of God as manifest in the final atonement. Thus as the final events approached, God sent "messengers" calling for a renewal of this message.
On to 1955-1956 -- Elder W. H. Branson told the delegates to the 1952 Bible Conference that the key challenge arising from this conference was - "What did we do with the light on righteousness by faith as proclaimed in the 1952 Bible Conference?" What did they do with it? A careful study of the various messages given at the conference reveal that historical and fundamental Adventism was upheld by most of the speakers. But in three years, we entered into conferences with the Evangelicals and denied the unique trust God committed to the Advent Movement - the final atonement. When the book, - Questions on Doctrine was published, it stated emphatically - Adventists do not hold any theory of a dual atonement. "Christ hath redeemed us" (Gal. 3:13) "Once for all" (Heb. 10:10). (p.390, Emphasis theirs)
As a result of the publication of this book, A. L. Hudson, then local elder of the Baker, Oregon, Seventh-day Adventist Church, drew up a Supporting Brief to a proposed resolution to be presented to the delegates at the 48th General Conference in 1958 at Cleveland, Ohio. 3 In this Supporting Brief, attention was called to the manuscript - 1888 Re-Examined - as the basis for the explanation as to why this denial of basic Adventism occurred. (p. 30) It was clearly shown that if the message of warning given by God's "messengers" in 1950 had been heeded, the apostasy of 1955-1956 would not have taken place. The Adventist conferees would have been able to distinguish between the true Christ ministering in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary and the false christ of the Evangelicals. Thus the Message of 1888, and the setting in which it was given in 1950 cannot be separated from the apostasy of 1955-1956. Though completely antithetical, they are united inseparably because of events in the history of the Adventist Church. The Adventist conferees rejected the true Christ, and accepted the false just as Wieland and Short warned in their manuscript. To preach the Message of 1888 now in the 1950 setting without reference to the events which followed is to advocate the untenable position of calling for God's people to embrace the true Christ, and yet support and adhere to the false christ embraced by official Adventism.
The Official Adventist Position -- When the book - Questions on Doctrine - was published, it was stated in its introduction: The writers, counselors, and editors who produced the answers to these questions have labored conscientiously to state accurately the beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists. But because of the very nature of the Seventh-day Adventist Church organization it is impossible to consider this book a denominationally official statement of doctrine, as the term "official" is understood in many church circles. No statement of Seventh-day Adventist belief can be considered official unless it is adopted by the General Conference in quadrennial session, when accredited delegates from the whole world field are present. The statement of Fundamental Beliefs as mentioned above is our only official statement. The answers in this volume are an expansion of doctrinal positions contained in that official  statement of Fundamental Beliefs. Hence this volume can be viewed as truly representative of the faith and beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (pp. 8-9, emphasis supplied)
In 1980 a new Statement of Beliefs was voted by the General Conference in session. 4 While there are those who question the adequacy of Statement #23 - "Christ's Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary" - they still ask - - - "Where is the denial of the 'final atonement' to be found in 1980 Statement?" Herein lies the fatal deception perpetrated upon the Church in Questions on Doctrine, it is clearly stated that: When, therefore, one hears an Adventist say, or reads in Adventist literature - even in the writings of Ellen G. White - that Christ is making atonement now, it should
p 4 -- be understood that we mean simply that Christ is now making application of the benefits of the sacrificial atonement He made on the cross; that He is making it efficacious for us individually, according to our needs and requests. (pp. 354-355, emphasis theirs)
The very emphasis placed here by Leroy Froom is significant. He writes that when we speak of Jesus "making atonement now" - in other words, a final atonement - we mean that Jesus is merely making application of the benefits of an atonement completed at Calvary - no two atonements!
Further, when discussing the "Priestly Ministry of Christ," Froom declares it to be a "glorious" thought that Jesus has now "entered the 'holy places,' and appeared in the presence of God for us." Now note carefully - But it was not with the hope of obtaining something for us at that time, or at some future time. No! He had already obtained it for us on the cross. And now as our High Priest He ministers the virtues of His atoning sacrifice to us. (p. 381, emphasis theirs)
Here is expressed the two sides of the same coin - the coin which denies two atonements. One side reads - "Jesus as High Priest obtained nothing for us when He entered the Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary, and He obtains nothing for us now as He ministers in the Most Holy Place." The other side of the coin reads - Jesus as our High Priest is merely "making application of the benefits of the sacrificial atonement He made on the cross."
Which side of this "coin" was voted at Dallas for the laity to read? Note the language of Statement #23 which reads in part: There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers in our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross." (Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, p. 43, 1981 edition, emphasis supplied)
It should be obvious to the simplest mind that the Seventh-day Adventist Church in General Conference session has officially voted the denial of a final atonement. This is what the message of 1888 was all about, a message to prepare a people for the final atonement. Thus indirectly the official action of the Church at its Dallas session was to nullify the Message of 1888. It is therefore, ludicrous to tell people to come out to hear and to embrace the Message of 1888, and to tell them at the same time to remain loyal, to an apostate organization which has officially denied the final atonement. Such is deception reaching its zenith!
The Message of the Manuscript -- When Wieland and Short wrote their manuscript, they called for a "denominational repentance." This was based upon a very specific testimony in the Writings. The call read: It is now abundantly evident that "we" have traveled the road of disillusionament since the Minneapolis meeting of 1888. Infatuation with false teachings has taken the place of clear, cogent, heaven-inspired truth, as regards "righteousness by faith." By the hard, humiliating way of actual experience with counterfeit, Israel has brought herself to the time when she is ripe for disillusionment. The simple faith to believe, which was spurned at Minneapolis, is now replaceable with the bitter tears of humble repentance, occasioned by our history. The following prophecy has been fulfilled, and awaits only its realization by the church: Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself. (8T:250)
Such an experience will be a repentance very similar to that of Mary Magdalene, whose faith and love were spoken of by the Saviour as that of the model Christian. The genuine repentance of heart-broken love is righteousness by faith. (A Warning and Its Reception, p. 242. The above was written in 1950)
In the second appraisal of the Wieland-Short manuscript brought about by the prodding of A. L. Hudson, the General Conference responded to this call for "denominational repentance." It was stated: The solution proposed, of the denomination making confession of the mistakes of men in the 1880's and the 1890's and of a denominational repentance, is not possible nor would an attempt to do so be of value. (Ibid. p. 259, Emphasis supplied)
This response was in 1958. Already the book, Questions on Doctrine, had been published (1957) which denied the final atonement. There was thus no way the General Conference could turn around (repent) and accept the genius of the 1888 Message. Since they still
p 5 -- maintain the positions held in the book and have voted it a part of the doctrine of the Church, all response on the part of the hierarchy of the Church to the Message of 1888 is mere lip service. This only adds to the ludicrousness of the situation. Who is trying to fool who? But the sad, sad part is that the "messengers" whom God raised up to call for a denominational repentance are now playing the same "games."
The basis as found in the Writings justifying this call for "denominational repentance" dare not be overlooked. The chapter from which this quotation was taken is entitled - "Shall We Be Found Wanting?" - and the "WE" is the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a corporate entity. Of the Church as a corporate entity, the Messenger of the Lord wrote: In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on 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. (Vol. 8. p. 247)
The wording indicates a future time - "is to be" - "will be." The fact that the church is to be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary is unequivocal. Only the decision to be rendered was prefaced with an "if." In 1903 at the "now" time of the testimony, it was dated, April 21, 1903, the church was "being leavened with her own backsliding." If she would repent, then the verdict from the sanctuary would not be "Found Wanting."
However, the Church as a corporate body has not repented; has refused to repent, and further has made a part of her voted doctrine a denial of the final atonement. What decision only, can God now render? How then can we continue to hold out a false hope to God's people in 1986, and ask them to ignore all the events since 1950?
In the 1900's the two, "messengers" whom God chose to bring the message of righteousness by faith to His people in 1888, veered off course in one direction, now in the 1980's, the two "messengers" whom God raised up in 1950, are veering off course in the opposite direction. May God have mercy on these men who were called of God in 1950.
1 - "Interview with J. S. Washburn at Hagerstown, Md., June 4, 1950." This interview is signed by Washburn with the notation by him - "True Report of Interview."
2 - In response to an action of the Ministerial Association Advisory Counsel, voted at Des Moines, Iowa, October 22, 1924, Elder A. G. Daniells produced a book captioned, Christ Our Righteousness. In this book, he noted that through the Writings of Ellen G. White, "information is furnished regarding developments in connection with the giving of the message and its reception and also its rejection, and it is quite necessary to become familiar with this inspired information in order to understand better our present situation. It would be far more agreeable to eliminate some of the statements given by the Spirit of prophecy regarding the attitude of some of the leaders toward the message and the messengers. But this cannot be done without giving only a partial presentation of the situation which developed at the Conference, thus leaving the question in more or less of mystery." (pp. 58-59, 1926 edition)
3 - It was in connection with this General Conference session that A. L. Hudson and this Editor first met Wieland and Short. Hudson had been in correspondence with them in Africa, and we were also in contact. After learning that both Wieland and Short were planning to be at the General Conference, he asked me if I would drive to Cleveland and see if a conference of the four of us could be arranged. If so, he would fly back to Indiana where I was serving as a pastor at the time.
In the contact, it was learned that Wieland planned to attend the Seminary at Berrien Springs that summer, and Short was coming to Indiana to visit relatives. The four of us had a conference in Marion, Indiana. It was a Spirit-directed fellowship as we shared a common conviction that the 1888 Message should be promoted in the light of events that were taking place in the Adventist community. Hudson was encouraged to continue his publication and enlarge its scope. This he did. This Editor wrote for him under the pen name of Ben Ezra II. Wieland and Short desired to maintain their "vow of silence," and did so until each retired from regular service. However, correspondence continued over the years between the group on a one to one basis until in recent months. Hudson expressed his conviction in a letter dated, July 12, 1986, in which he wrote: I could hope that some kind of a face-to-face communication could take place between the four of us [again] and maybe a handful of others, but unless it occurs in an atmosphere of Christian love, the meeting would be a curse, not a blessing."
4 - An interesting parallel of historical events continued from 1948 when Israel was reestablished as a State, and the call came to the Church for a denominational repentance in 1950 by Elders Wieland and Short. For the Church the culmination was reached in Dallas, when at the General Conference session on April 25, 1980, a Statement of Beliefs was voted denying the "final atonement." In 1967, the forces of Israel took Jerusalem, but it was not until July 30, 1980, by action of the Knesset, that the Capital was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thus closing the final segment of "the times of the Gentiles," bringing to complete fulfillment the prophecy of Jesus as found in Luke 21:24.
p 6 -- AN OPEN LETTER TO ELDER R. J. WIELAND -- June 18, 1986
R. J. Wieland
Dear Elder Wieland;
Your name as well as that of Elder D. K. Short's has come to represent 1888 to this generation of Seventh-day Adventists. And rightly so, because God called you,both as "messengers" in 1950 to warn the church of its need for corporate repentance. You grasped this concept and quoted the warning in Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 250. (See A Warning and Its Reception, p. 242)
Today, as you are now seeking in a public way to proclaim the message of 1888 which was to have been so given in 1950, you are ignoring all that has taken place in Adventism since that time, even the other part of the key warning on which you based your message in 1950. (8T:247) Some are receiving a strong impression that now because you are safe in your retirement security, and that some of "the brethren" are now giving you some public recognition in exchange for your refusal to consider the implications of what has transpired in Adventism since 1950, you are now doing what you know you should have done in 1950. Be that as it may, the issues involving the 1888 Message and the present cannot be longer avoided, but must be clearly set forth. Because of this, I am suggesting an open Forum discussion at which you and I address the issues.
Forum could be organized by you appointing a moderator, and I choosing
one, and the two select a third. These three moderators with us could
work out the details as to time, place, and format of the discussion.
I am suggesting the following key issues as a part of the Forum discussion.
You may wish to add others. These are:
II. How does the prophetic warning in Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 247 relate to us today? 1
III. What is the significance of the prophetic testimony found in the Review & Herald, December 13, 1892. 2
IV. Are the two different Hebrew words translated in Daniel, "take away" as applied to the "daily," antonyms or synonyms?
forward to your positive reply, I remain in the interest of truth, pure
Wm, H. Grotheer, Editor
- "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
p 7 -- experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, bestowed on 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." (Vol. 8, p. 247)
2 - After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation, and minds will be confused by many voices crying, 'Lo, here is Christ, Lo, He is there. This is the truth, I have a message from God, He has sent me with great light.' Then there will be a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to pull down the pillars of our faith." (R&H, Dec. 13,.1892)
[Editor's Comment: This letter was sent as dated with a cover note asking for any comment which Elder Wieland might have regarding it, or any suggestions he might wish to make. As of this date - July 18 - there has been no response. This entire Thought Paper will be sent in advance to Elder Wieland and certain others, except for possible late announcements, prior to being released to our readers. We do not seek to work behind the backs of the "messengers" God chose in 1950. Our desire is to update the Message of 1888 in the light of events which have taken place in Adventism since 1950.]
MANUSCRIPT OF FOUNDATION -TIMES OF GENTILES FULFILLED - PLACED ON HIERARCHY "INDEX" -- By action of the Church Board of the Central Seventh-day Adventist Church of Bakersfield, California, a young man is to be disfellowshipped at a meeting called for July 20, 1986. [This is being written, July 18] Along with the letter notifying this young man of the intended action was a page captioned - "Questions for Marvin Richardson." If he did not answer the questions the way the Church Board controlled by Elder Wellesley Muir, a former youth leader, thinks they should be answered, the decision will be final, Marvin Richardson will be - "Disfellowshipped!"
Question #4 is very interesting - "Do you agree with the teaching found in a publication called Time of the Gentiles Fulfilled?" The answer which would assure Marvin's continued membership in a church which denies the final atonement must be - "No."
Perhaps you would like to see how you would answer this question after reading the manuscript. Write for a copy.
In sending us the material from Elder Muir, Brother Marvin wrote - "Prophecy is being fulfilled in our day. Read John 16:2. ... Please have me in your prayers so that God will keep me faithful to the end.
they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,
--- (1986 Sep) --- End ---