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
Seal of God
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 1982 Jul - Sep
-- XV -- 7(82) --
THE IMMINENCE OF THE END --
PUC Professor Calls
For Its De-emphasis
Campus Chronicle, student paper of Pacific Union College published
an article by Dr. Terrence Trivett of the Biology Department on "The
Second Coming. " (Jan. 28, 1982) A subtitle asked - "Does
imminence influence our behaviour?" In the article, Dr. Trivett
suggested "that our continuing
emphasis upon the imminent return of Jesus may be unwise, for it has
the potential to ultimately threaten confidence in the promise of the
Second Coming itself." He then listed three reasons why
we might consider a de-emphasis of imminence:
.The Weight of Scripture -- As Jesus departed from the Temple precincts never more to return, the disciples showed Him "the building of the temple." To this He responded - "See ye not all of these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." (Matt. 24:1-2) Shocked and amazed, silence reigned among the twelve as they pondered what these words might mean. Finally, when resting in their spot of retirement on the Mount of Olives, four of the disciples ventured to ask Jesus about the when and wherefores of His statement. "Tell us," they said, "when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the world." (24:3) To the disciples the Temple was the center of their religion - their hopes and aspirations were intertwined with its future. Its destruction, in their thinking, could only herald the end of the world. Jesus in His answer did not seek to clarify their thinking, but gave three major events as signs by which His followers might know where they were in the stream of time.
After stating general conditions that were to mark the balance of human history - "nation shall rise against nation" - "there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes" - Jesus directed them to a study of Daniel the prophet." (Matt. 24: 7, 15). When the abomination of desolation should stand in the holy place - or as interpreted by Luke - "when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed by armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh." (Luke 21:20) Here was the first major sign that should mark an imminent event, the destruction of the city and the temple. In the light of this, those who saw and recognized this sign were to "flee to the mountains." (21:21) Responsible Christian living at that point was to obey the command of Jesus and not involve themselves in social reforms or welfare programs.
Completing the outline of His prophecy, Jesus gave a parable of the fig tree concerning imminence and stated - "Verily,
p 2 -- I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away but my word shall not pass away." (Matt. 24:32-35) From this first major event in Jesus' prophecy, and the lesson of the fig tree, we can find a principle of interpretation and understanding in regard to the other two major signs Jesus gave.
In fulfillment of the words of Jesus, Roman armies - the forces of "the abomination of desolation" - under Cestius beseiged the city of Jerusalem in AD 66. Here was the sign, but how were the Christians to flee? Josephus tells us that Cestius "retired from the city, without any reason in the world." (Wars of the Jews, bk II, chapt. xix) Opportunity was created for all who believed the prophecy of Jesus to flee the city. In a few short years - AD 70 - the Romans returned under Titus, conquered the city, and destroyed the temple. The generation which saw the first major sign, saw also its fulfillment. The fulfilled sign marked the imminence of what it foreshadowed.
"After the Tribulation of Those Days" -- Following the fulfillment of the first major sign - the destruction of Jerusalem and its citizens "led captive into all nations" (Luke 21: 24a) - Jesus declared there would be a period of tribulation "such as was not from the beginning of creation" to that time. (Mk. 13:19) Again the disciples' attention was directed to the book of Daniel where the prophecies describe the "little horn" - of Chapter 7 making war with the saints." The period of time - the tribulation of those days - is given as "a time and times, and a dividing of time" or 1260 prophetic year/days, which extended from 538 to 1798 AD. (Dan. 7:21, 25) Jesus declared that unless these days of persecution should be shortened, the elect would perish from the earth. (Mark 13:20) "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light." (ver. 24) Following the cessation of the terrible persecutions marked by "holy wars," the Inquisition, and the massacres of those who refused to bow in allegiance to Rome, but within the time period of Daniel, the Great Dark Day occurred on May 19, 1780. 1 This was to be followed by the Falling of the Stars (Matt. 24:29) The great meteoric display of Nov. 13, 1833, marked the fulfillment of this prophecy of Jesus. 2
To what do these major signs point? In the synoptic Gospels, the verses following the enumeration of these signs in the heavens indicate "the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" for the express objective of gathering together "His elect" from all parts of the earth. (Mark 13:26-27; Matt. 24:30-31;. Luke 21:27) However, a careful study of the prophet Daniel to whom Jesus referred the disciples, indicates another coming of "the Son of man" which prepares for the gathering together of the "elect." The Son of Man is brought before the Ancient of Days in a judgment through which He receives a kingdom and by which vindication is obtained for the "saints of the Most High." (Dan. 7:9-10; 13-14, 22) Thus these major signs point to the hour of God's judgment and the justification of the saints who by earthly powers had been accounted as enemies of established religion. This judgment began in 1844 in accordance with the prophecy of Daniel 8:14. Commenting on this period of time, the messenger of the Lord wrote: While wholly unconscious of their condition and their peril, the church and the world were rapidly approaching the most solemn and momentous period of earth's history, - the period of the revelation of the Son of man. Already had the signs which Christ Himself had promised, - the sun clothed in darkness by day and the moon by night, - declared His coming near. (Spirit of Prophecy, IV, p. 195) 3
Again, the generation that saw the specific signs - the sun darkened, and the falling of the stars - did not pass until the period to which they pointed, commenced.
A Period of Waiting -- In connection with the answer Jesus gave to the disciples on the Mount of Olives, He spoke some parables and gave some illustrations. He told of the evil servant who would say - "My lord delayeth his coming." (Matt. 24:48) He told of the Ten Virgins, who "while the bridegroom tarried" slumbered and slept. (Matt. 25:5) He spoke of the man who traveling in a far country gave his goods to the charge of his servants. "After a long time the lord of
p 3 -- those servants" returned and asked for an accounting. (Matt. 25:19) The delay indicated in these verses has been experienced by the people who in response to the prophecy of Daniel 8:14, proclaimed the Judgment as having commenced in 1844. The fact that we are now 137 years removed from the beginning date, and the Judge has not given "judgment" to the saints nor have they received the expected kingdom, has produced tensions, schisms, and frustration within the body called into existence for the specific purpose of proclaiming the message - "The hour of His judgment is come." (Rev. 14:6-7)
There can be no doubt but that the credibility of the message is at stake as suggested by the PUC professor. However, is this a justifiable reason to abandon the imminence of the return of our Lord? it would be if the two major sign periods were all that Jesus gave. But He gave a third sign which marks the end.
The Final Sign Marks the Imminent Return of Our Lord -- As Jesus was talking about the destruction which was to bring "wrath upon this people" - the Jewish people - His eye swept the future, and He declared - "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21: 24b) As an event marked the close of probation for the Jewish nation - the stoning of Stephen - and heralded the coming wrath on the nation, just so an event connected with the same people would mark the close of His dealings with the Gentiles thus heralding His wrath upon all nations. The second event occurred in 1967, when the victorious Israeli armies once more took possession of the old city of Jerusalem. 4
The fulfillment of this prophecy leaves only one thing left. That is, for Heaven to bring a cessation of human history as we know it so that "the kingdoms of this world ... become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ." (Rev. 11:15) We live today in the very imminence of that great transitional event when time shall give way to eternity. The end of all things is at hand. Responsible Christian living now - even as in the days of the first fulfilled sign - are to recognize fulfilled prophecy and act accordingly. Even as the generation which saw the first sign - Jerusalem surrounded with armies - did not pass till the event foretold came to pass; and even as the generation who saw the sun darkened and the stars fall did not pass away till the period, which these signs in the heavens signaled, commenced; so likewise, we who are living in the full light of the final sign which Jesus gave - this generation shall not pass till all be fulfilled. Jesus indicated that the heaven and earth could pass away, but His words would not pass away but would be fulfilled. Instead then of a de-emphasis, the hour to which we have come calls for a sharp emphasis of the imminence of the end!
A Brief Period of Time -- The angel Gabriel told Daniel that "seventy weeks are determined upon thy people. (Dan. 9: 24) This terminated in AD 34 when the blood of the first Christian martyr was shed by the Jewish hierarchy. (Acts 7:59-60; 8:1-4) But prior to this event, Jesus had declared to the Jews - "Behold your house is left unto you desolate." (Matt. 23:38) [It was this statement that set in motion the exchange between Jesus and His disciples which culminated in the giving of His great prophecy of the three major sign-events.] At the time of Jesus' death on the cross, the inner veil of the temple was rent signifying the end of the typical services, and the beginning of the heavenly mediation for the Sacrifice had been provided. Still, the Temple and the city of Jerusalem continued for another 36 years beyond the cutoff date of 34 AD. During this time the individual Jews were able to make a decision - would they ratify the decisions of the hierarchy in regard to the "Son of man," or would they repudiate that decision, and thus free themselves of the corporate guilt of the nation when judgment and wrath would fall upon it in AD 70? This was the message of the Holy Spirit through Peter on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:22-23, 36)
Likewise, there is, in this final sign of Jesus as recorded by Luke, a brief period of time. Luke uses the word, akri(s) (until) twenty times in his Gospel, and in Acts. But in three different places, he combines this word with the relative, hou. One of these three references is the text - Luke 21:24. By noting its use in the other two places where Luke used the hou
p 4 -- with akri, we can see its significance in Luke 24. The first other use reads: But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, until (akri hou) another king arose, which knew not Joseph. (Acts 7:17-18)
The genocide tactics against the Hebrew people did not begin upon the immediate ascension of the new king, as is evident from the record in Exodus. A brief period of time elapsed.
The final use by Luke reads: And while (akri hou) the day was coming on, Paul besought them to take meat. (Acts 27:33)
It is obvious that the expression as used by Luke covered that brief but definable period between the first glimmer of light on the eastern horizon and the full light of day when the sun rises.
By applying the same force to the expression - akri hou - in Luke 21:24, we find that the fulfillment of "the times of the Gentiles" covers a short but definable period of time. The event which marked the beginning of this brief space is given by Jesus Himself - Jerusalem once more under Jewish control. That was in 1967. But how are we to locate the end of this period? I submit for your consideration the following facts of history and prophecy:
1) The power that shall figure largely in influencing the nations of earth to worship the beast which persecuted the people of God during the long period of tribulation foretold, by Jesus is symbolized in "the revelation of Jesus Christ" - which but enlarges His prophetic outline - by the second beast of Revelation 13.
2) This power we have recognized to be Protestant America. While this power soon after the "healing of the deadly would" in 1929, did make approaches toward Rome in the Roosevelt administration by the appointment of a personal envoy to the Vatican in 1937, it was not until 1979 that the handclasp was sealed between a Protestant President and the reigning Pontiff - and that in the White House, the symbolic home of the American people.
Following this national apostasy, America suffered at the hands of Iran its most humiliating defeat in its history. Other events in the history of the Church to whom was committed the final message to the nations of earth confirm the dates of 1967 & 1979 for the period of the akris hou of Luke 21:24. In the words of the Lord to Ezekiel - Evil on evil! says the Lord the Eternal - it is coming, the hour has come, the hour is striking, striking at you, the hour and the end! (Eze. 7:5-6, Moffatt)
1 "The Dark Day, May 19, 1780 - so called on account of a remarkable darkness on that day extending over all New England. In some places, persons could not see to read common print in the open air for several hours together. Birds sang their evening songs, disappeared, and became silent; fowls went to roost; cattle sought the barnyard; and candles were lighted in the houses. The obscuration began about ten o'clock in the morning, and continued till the middle of the next night, but with differences of degree and duration different places. For several days previous, the wind had been variable, but chiefly from the southwest and the northeast. The true cause of this remarkable phenomenon is not known." (Noah Webster's Dictionary, 1869 edition; quoted in Source Book For Bible Students, 1922 edition, p. 133) To this key summary statement can be added many more testimonies of verification from diaries, newspapers, and even the poem, "Abraham Davenport" by John Greenleaf Whittier testifies to the event.
2 "On the night of November 12-13, a tempest of falling stars broke over the earth. North America bore the brunt of its pelting. From the Gulf of Mexico to Halifax, until daylight with some difficulty put an end to the display, the sky was scored in every direction with shining tracks and illuminated with majestic fireballs." (History of Astronomy in the Nineteenth Century, p. 328; Quoted in Source Book, (op. cit., p. 176) See also pp. 175-181 for quotes from numerous authorities.
3 "The period of the revelation of the Son of man." It is interesting to observe that the book of Daniel - the book to which Jesus referred the disciples as they sought meaning to the signs He delineated
p 5 -- speaks of Jesus coming in judgment before the Ancient of Days, as "the Son of man." (Dan. 7:13). This appellation, as given in Daniel and to Ezekiel (3:17), was used by Christ to refer to Himself. (Matt. 16:13) To Him as the "Son of man" all judgment is committed into His hands. (John 5:22, 27) Thus at the beginning of this period the revelation of the Son of man is as One involved in the judgment before the Ancient of Days.
The signs, of which Christ spoke marking the approach to this period are noted in Isaiah (13:9-12) as the signs that will mark the time when the Lord "will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir." Paul speaks of a time when there will be "the manifestation of the sons of God" - those "to be conformed to the image of His Son." (Rom. 8:19, 29-30) The image of Jesus is to be perfectly revealed in a group of people resultant from the final atonement performed by the Son of man as High Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedec.
The final revelation of this period of the Son of man is His coming in the clouds of heaven where every eye shall see Him to gather together His elect. (Matt. 24:3031)
Our spiritual forefathers caught the vision of the significance of this ministry of the Son of man in the heavenly sanctuary at the beginning of the period. It is ours to perceive and grasp its meaning now at the end-time of that same period. Its imminence must be our emphasis!
4 "When the British withdrew from Palestine in 1948, and the Jews and Arabs fought for control of the state, the Jews managed to hold West Jerusalem and proclaimed it the capital of the new state of Israel.
"Yet, tantalizing, the Western Wall remained just beyond reach. [The Western Wall is a fragment of the western rampart of a platform on which the first Temple of Solomon and the second Temple of Herod stood.] Jordan annexed East Jerusalem as well as the West Bank of the River Jordan, a territory that surrounds the city on three sides. For 19 years, a no-man's land separated the two sectors, and the Jordanians refused to allow the Jews to worship at the West Wall.
"When war came in 1967, Israel urged Jordan's King Hussein to stay out of it, promising in return not to attack Jordan. But egged on by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser and other Arabs, Hussein sent artillery shells crashing into West Jerusalem. Israeli soldiers counterattacked, and poured into the Walled City. Their religious fervor was such that many headed directly for the Western Wall, where they paused to pray. For the first time in 19 centuries, the wall was under Jewish control. In annexing East Jerusalem, the Israelis gave its Palestinian Arab inhabitants no say in the matter." (The Readers Digest, March, 1975, p. 132)
[For further study of the subject "The Times of the Gentiles" see Christ of the Revelation, by Dr. J. R. Zurcher, pp. 71-72. (Published by SPA); and The Times of the Gentiles Fulfilled, a monograph published by the Adventist Laymen's Foundation. Order Form.
UNBELIEVABLE -- A brother in Ohio wrote to the Editor of the Adventist Review requesting that the article by 0. R. L. Crosier "The Sanctuary" - be reprinted once again in the official Church organ. He enclosed a copy of the Crosier article. To this request, he received the following reply:
Dear Brother Zaharie:
Thank you for your interest in publishing the Crosier article in the REVIEW. Elder Wood appreciated hearing from you and wishes me to reply for him.
We are sorry to tell you that we do not plan to republish this article. The truth of the matter is that neither we nor Ellen White endorsed everything in this article, even though she recommended some concepts that it presented. We have in the past and shall in the future publish some articles giving the truth on the sanctuary question that will include the valid points made in the Crosier articles.
(This letter was dated, April 23, 1982, and signed by Elder Eugene F. Durand, Assistant to the Editor.)
p 6 -- Now what did Ellen G. White say about the Crosier article as it appeared in the Day- Star, Extra, February 7, 1846: I believe the Sanctuary, to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days, is the New Jerusalem Temple, of which Christ is a minister. The Lord shew me in vision, more than one year ago, that Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleaning of the Sanctuary, &c; and that it was His will, that Brother C. should write out the view which he gave us in the Day-Star, Extra, February 7, 1846. I feel fully authorized by the Lord, to recommend that Extra, to every saint. (A Word to the "Little Flock", p. 12)
The key sentence from this statement is - "Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleansing of the Sanctuary,&c." It is readily admitted that the article in Daystar, Extra, covered more than just the cleansing of the Sanctuary. It presented the ministry of both apartments of the sanctuary, and related the work of Christ to this ministry.
A careful observation of Ellen G. White's use of "&c." indicates that she covered the whole article as revealing "the true light." In the Universal Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. II, article, "et caetera" (1902 Edition), which is abbreviated as either "etc." or "&c.," the first meaning is "and the rest." While the use of language would indicate the emphasis was on the cleansing of the Sanctuary in the mind of Ellen G. White, it did not exclude the endorsement of the whole article, but rather included it.
In September, 1850, a 48-page Special edition of The Advent Review was published, and among the articles was the one by Crosier on "The Sanctuary." Into the copies of this edition still remaining in 1853, Elder James White tipped a leaf in which he commented - "The article on The Sanctuary, by 0. R. L. Crosier, is excellent. The subject of the Sanctuary should be carefully examined, as it lies at the foundation of our faith and hope."
The present REVIEW editor refuses to reprint what its first editor did! That is, if we understand the use of the word, "we" by Elder Durand to include himself and Elder Kenneth Wood. However, if Elder Durand was using "we" in a collective sense to include the thinking of the hierarchy of the Church since the Adventist Review is the official organ and voice of the Church, the scope of the refusal to reprint the Crosier article takes on much larger dimensions.
This wider aspect dare not be overlooked. The latest "Friendship Issue" of the Adventist Review has a page (11) devoted to "People who believe that ... " followed by 14 points of faith to which a Seventh- day Adventist subscribes. One looks in vain for a single sentence, in regard to the sanctuary, or the high priestly ministry of Christ. The statement is so worded that it is possible that Dr. Desmond Ford could subscribe to it. Is the sanctuary no longer one of the key doctrines of the Church? Is this why Dr Ford has not been disfellowshipped even though he has publicly denied the sanctuary teaching of the Church?
Do we have anything better to look forward to in the change of command in the editorial staff of the REVIEW? Durand suggests in his letter to Brother Zaharie that in the future "some articles giving the truth on the sanctuary question" will be published. But the evidence indicates that the new "editor elect," Dr. Wm. G. Johnsson, has no more appreciation of the historic Adventist teaching on the Sanctuary than Dr. Ford. (See previous WWN, "Postscript II") When the Sanctuary truth is jettisoned as it was believed and understood by our spiritual forefathers, what is left of the Church?
KEEP THE RECORD STRAIGHT -- With reports of religious
freedom in Russia by Billy Graham and other church leaders, plus glowing
reports of Adventist membership growth in Russia (Adventist Review,
May 27, 1982, p. 15), one would be apt to conclude that continued request
for support of the True and Free Seventh-day Adventists in Russia through
prayer and petition is no longer needful. To place the whole picture
in its true perspective we shall recall for your thinking to what appeared
in La Sierra Today in 1979: The
actual schism in the Russian church
p 7 -- didn't take place until the meeting of the Fifth All-Union Congress on the Seventh-day Adventists, in 1924. The leaders of the main Russian Adventist church felt that, in order to bring others to salvation, Adventists must learn to integrate themselves into Soviet society. They issued a statement expressing their full support of the new government: "We are convinced that God, in His providence, has disposed the heart of our unforgettable V. I. Lenin and his closest associates and given them wisdom in the capable organization of the only progressive government in the world. We delegates of the Fifth All-Union Congress of Seventh-day Adventists express to the government of the USSR... our gratitude and sincere support for all the freedoms it has won."
A separate group, led by G. Ostvald, took a position diametrically opposed to that of the organized church. They refused to accept what they called enforced state atheism, refused to register their congregations as required by Soviet law, and exist to this day illegally. The Reformed Adventists prohibited their children from joining state youth organizations such as the Young Communists, and refused military service. They absolutely would not work or attend school on Saturday. Both are required in the Soviet Union. (1979, Winter Issue)
Vladimir Shelkov who had been a Bible Worker for the regular church defected with Ostvald, and finally in 1949 became the Chairman of the True and Free Seventh-day Adventists in Russia. His death in a Russian prison camp in 1980 projected the youthful Rostislav Galetsky into the spot light as the probable successor to Shelkov. However, in July, 1980, Galetsky was arrested. Now a world campaign has been launched for this youthful man of God. The Adventist Laymen's Foundation has joined in this campaign.
We have received a request from an organization based in England for 1500 of our petitions for Elder Galetsky's release. The response of our readers have not come near that amount. We would like to urge and to challenge our readers to match what these non-Adventist friends are doing in behalf of Elder Galetsky. Write today to the Foundation for information if you have not already done so.
NEW STAFF MEMBERS -- The middle of May brought two new families to the Campus. Brother Larry Highsmith comes to assume the responsibility of Manager of Educational Projects for the Foundation. His experience and education equips him well for this work. He will supervise the elementary school program, plan for seminars, and supervise the production of study materials for concerned laymen who are meeting in homes searching for truth and light. He will also join me in answering the ever increasing volume of correspondence - so many of you will be hearing from him. His wife, Frances, a registered nurse, will join him in the letter writing. It seems like a renewal of old times, as Frances was in my Bible classes at Old Madison College.
Brother Harold Smith, and his wife Debra, also joined the campus program the middle of May. Brother Smith will assume the responsibility of the Agricultural program, while his wife will assist in stenographic needs. Young Todd joins his parents here, while Jason and Stephanie round out the Highsmith family. Already the boys are busy in work (and play) activities including the garden. --- (1982 Jul) --- End --- TOP
1982 Aug -- XV -- 8(82) -- THE PATH OF THE JUST -- "The path of the just is as a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" Prov. 4:18 -- In Adventist evangelism during its golden era - 1940-1955 - this text was the basis of the appeal to those sincere seekers of truth still in the communions termed as Babylon. Those who attended the great evangelistic crusades were told that there was more light and truth beyond what their spiritual forefathers had perceived - be that father, Luther, Calvin, or Wesley. They were told that the purpose of God for their lives was to walk in that additional light coming to them from the Word of God. They were to embrace God's "Everlasting Gospel" as was being proclaimed in the fulfillment of Revelation 14:6-14 by the Adventist evangelists.
Quoted was the charge of John Robinson, pastor of the Pilgrims, as they left Leyden, Holland, to sail for the New World in 1620. He stated: "The Lord has more truth yet to break forth out of His Holy Word. I cannot sufficiently bewail the condition of the reformed churches, who are come to a period in religion, and will go at present no farther than the instruments of the reformation. Luther and Calvin were great and shining lights in their times, yet they penetrated not into the whole counsel of God. I beseech you, remember it - 'tis an article of your church covenant - that you be ready to receive whatever truth shall be made known to you from the written Word of God." (Quoted in Source Book for Bible Students, p. 528, 1922 edition)
Now this very argument is being used on the laity of the Adventist Church, and is being supported by the Editor of the Adventist Review. During the month of December, 1981, a series of articles from the pen of Dr. Alden Thompson, professor of religion at Walla Walla College, captioned, "From Sinai to Golgotha" were published. The gist of these articles was that Mt. Sinai represented an imperfect perception of truth, and that Calvary brought a full revelation of God in respect to the Law. Scripturally, we are told that revelations prior to the coming of the Son of man, were through prophets "fragmentary" and incomplete. (Heb. 1:1 NEB) Dr. Thompson carries this concept a step beyond and indicates that in the revelations given through Ellen G. White, this principle also applies. In other words her latter writings more closely accord with the revelation of the Cross than her earlier writings. These articles evidently produced a strong reaction both pro and con, for in the July 1, 1982, issue of the Adventist Review another group of articles appear which Elder Kenneth Wood in a preliminary editorial describes as a "P. S." - postscript to the previous series.
However, in heading this editorial explanation, Elder Wood connects this whole concept into the framework of the 1980 Statement of Beliefs which was voted at
p 2 -- the Dallas Session of the General Conference. He wrote: "At the 1980 General Conference Session the delegates adopted a document that set forth 27 fundamental beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists. Last year the REVIEW published a special issue containing brief essays on each of these beliefs (July 30, 1981). The REVIEW stands solidly with the church in accepting these fundamentals of the faith." (p. 3)
What the laity of the church for the most part do not know, of which Elder Wood should be well aware, is that the same identical argument presently being advanced by Dr. Thompson was the argument used by the men who sought to impose upon the church the compromises agreed to in the infamous Barnhouse-Martin Conferences during the SDA-Evangelical dialogue. To this point I can write from personal experience for I was there! I heard Elder R. Allan Anderson state before the workers of the Indiana Conference during a campmeeting while T. E. Unruh was president, that prior to 1888, the church was in a formative period doctrinally, and the writings of Ellen G. White also reflected the same immature understanding of truth, but after 1888 - called the "great divide" (Movement of Destiny, pp. 74-75) - Adventist theology was perfected and brought into harmony with the "eternal verities" as held by Christianity in general. It is quite astounding that this fact was not discovered until 1958, some 70 years later. Then, strange as it may seem references were found in the writings of Ellen G. White written after 1888 which tended to support the compromises made with the Evangelicals in the areas of the incarnation and atonement. Editor Wood knows all of this, too. Now why does he seek to deceive the laity in this editorial that the 1980 Statement of Beliefs as "amended" is evidence that the path of the just is as a shining light, shining more and more unto a perfect day? The 1980 Statement of Beliefs confirms the apostasy at the "Jordan" perpetrated by those who committed whoredoms with the Evangelicals.
Before discussing specifics, we need to review some vital concepts enunciated in the Word of God on this very point. The Word of God is declared to be the only source of truth. "Thy word is truth," declared Jesus. (John 17:17) Further, He promised to pray the Father to send forth "the Spirit of truth." (John 14:17) And "when, He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13) The Spirit did come, and the New Testament is the result of that revelation of truth. There is for each generation what is termed, "present truth." (II Peter 1:12) This revelation is consistent with basic truth revealed prior thereto, but through the unction of the Holy Spirit receives a special emphasis at a given point of time. It follows, therefore, that at some point in human history, all truth and all special emphasis must find its final revelation. That point could only be the generation in the end-times of human history.
It is at this point, we need to pause and consider. The Spirit of truth has warned that "in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." (I Tim. 4:1) Thus we are confronted with the decision as to whether changes in the basic teachings committed to the final movement of all time - the Advent Movement - constitutes a growing perception of truth, or are rather a departure from the truth. Lest there be any misunderstanding on the part of the reader, let it be said at this point - Elder Kenneth Wood, and the Adventist Review perceives of the changes in the doctrines of the Church as formulated at Dallas as advancing light, while the editor of "Watchman, What of the Night?" views these changes as a departure from the historic teachings committed to our trust, and thus cold, naked apostasy from the truth.
G. White also has something to say in regard to a "great divide"
occurring in 1888, or whether the foundation was laid prior thereto.
At the time of the Alpha apostasy, she asked - "What
influence is it that would lead men at this stage of our history to
work in an underhanded, powerful way to tear down the foundation of
our faith, - the foundation that was laid at the beginning of our work
by prayerful study of the word and by revelation? Upon this foundation
we have been building for the past fifty years.
p 3 -- Do you wonder that when I see the beginning of a work that would remove some of the pillars of our faith, I have something say?" (Special Testimonies, 6, #2, pp., 57-58) Fifty years prior to 1904 does not take one to what is called "the great divide" - 1888 - but rather to the years following 1844, when the firm foundation was placed upon which the Advent people were to walk. Keep in mind that "building" upon that foundation is not tearing it down and restructuring it!
At the same time Ellen G. White asked the above question, she also wrote - "We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth?" (Ibid. p. 55) It is interesting to observe that following the sifting of the Alpha apostasy, there appeared in the 1905 Yearbook, the same statement of beliefs which had been placed in the same publication in 1889 following the 1888 Session. The preface read: "The following propositions may be taken as a summary of the principle feature of their religious faith upon which there is, so far as is known, entire unanimity throughout the body." (Emphasis mine)
the reader might see what the real issue is in the present editorial
of the REVIEW, let us note what Dr. Thompson wrote and illustrated
in rebuttal to his critics. He declared: "As
a result of reconsidering the story of the prodigal son
[A part of the Sinai to Golgotha series],
I see some broader implications that I believe are particularly significant
choosing his illustration from the doctrines of the Church, Dr. Thompson
could not have chosen a better, which points up the apostasy, and where
it is leading. It concerned the teaching of the pioneers in regard to
the doctrine of God. On this point from the very beginning there was
complete and unquestioned unanimity. In every statement of beliefs,
from the 14 page, 1872 tract, which Dr. Thompson quoted from (See box,
Ibid. p. 9) to the 1931 Yearbook statement, there was complete
and entire unanimity on this doctrine. These statements in regard to
God declare: "There
is one God, a personal, spiritual being, the creator of all things,
omnipotent, Omniscience, and eternal, infinite in wisdom, holiness,
justice, goodness, truth, and mercy; unchangeable, and everywhere present
by his representative, the Holy Spirit.
It was the 1931 Statement of Beliefs which first introduced the concept of the Trinity, a term found in neither the Bible nor the writings of Ellen G. White.
Dr. Thompson in seeking to show the growth of spiritual perception in these statements of belief, cites the fact that some of the early 'pioneer leaders believed that Jesus Christ was a created being. It is true that Uriah Smith wrote in Thoughts on Revelation that Christ was "the first created being." (p. 59, 1865 edition) However, E. J. Waggoner took the position that "we know that Christ 'proceeded forth and came from God' (John 8:42), but it was so far back in the ages of eternity as to be far beyond the grasp of the mind of man." (Christ and His Righteousness, p. 9) What then did these pioneers do with their various shades of understanding of God? In their statements of belief, they simply reflected the simple teaching of the Bible as stated by Paul - "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." (I Cor. 8: 6)
Whence came then the concept as expressed in the 1980 Statement of Beliefs - "There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons"?
In a book sold in the Textbook section of the Loma Linda University Book Store is to be found this statement on the doctrine of God. It reads:
p 4 -- "The doctrine of one God, the Father and creator, formed the background and indisputable premise of the Church's faith. Inherited from Judaism, it was her bulwark against pagan polytheism, Gnostic emanationism and Marcionite dualism. The problem for theology was to integrate with it, intellectually, the fresh data of the specifically Christian revelation. Reduced to their simplest, these were the convictions that God had made Himself known in the Person of Jesus, the Messiah, raising Him from the dead and offering salvation to men through Him, and that He had poured out His Holy Spirit upon the Church. Even at the New Testament stage ideas about Christ's preexistence and creative role were beginning to take shape, and a profound, if often obscure, awareness of the activity of the Spirit in the Church was emerging. No steps had been taken so far, however, to work all these complex elements into a coherent whole. The Church had to wait for more than three hundred years for a final synthesis, for not until the council of Constantinople (381) was the formula of one God in three co-equal Persons formally ratified." (Early Christian Doctrines, pp. 87-88, Emphasis mine)
On what basis do we perceive as an advance in spiritual perception and understanding, the altering of our Statement of Beliefs from a simple Bible formulation on the nature of God to a formulation of a Church Council some three hundred years after Christ? But this is not the end of the matter.
In the Constitution of the World Council of Churches under "Membership," there is prescribed that "Those churches shall be eligible for membership in the World Council of Churches which express their agreement with the Basis upon which the Council is founded. . . ." That "Basis" is spelled out in Section I, which reads - "The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures and therefore seek to fulfill together their common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit." But we have not only incorporated the very language into our Statement of Beliefs regarding God as required by the Constitution of the WCC, but we have added a section on "The Church" which has never appeared in any previous Statement. Into that new section we have incorporated the "confession" called for in the Constitution of the WCC. Our statement reads - "The church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour." (Adventist Review, May 1, 1980, p. 25)
Now the retiring editor of the REVIEW, having published the meanderings of Dr. Thompson, suggests that the 1980 Statement of Beliefs is a reflection of progress in spiritual perception. Does Elder Wood perceive this ploy to be the means of ending his editorship in a blaze of glory? Is it not rather holding forth from his editorial pulpit, the hellish torch of false doctrine, "kindled from the hellish torch of Satan"? (See TM, pp. 409-410)
The path of the just is indeed a light, shining more and more unto the perfect day, but it is not a light which contributes to the tearing down of the firm platform structured for the people of God, and putting in its place a different platform. Should we not, therefore, as suggested by the servant of the Lord, "repudiate everything" not in harmony with the truth committed to our trust from the very beginning? And this means the 1980 Statement of Beliefs voted at Dallas, Texas.
p 5 -- AN ADVENTIST WATERGATE -- In the January, 1982, issue of "Watchman, What of the Night?" (p. 3), we noted the Cease and Desist Order issued by the Attorney General of the State of Michigan against the General Conference and the Lake Union Conference. This Order alleged that the Church's publishing arm - HHES and the Book Centers combined, conspired, and agreed "with one another to restrain and monopolize trade and commerce of Seventh-day Adventist literature and articles as well as religious literature and articles distributed by others." We also noted for you in the same issue that pursuant to this Order, Dr. Derrick Proctor, Associate Professor of Psychology at Andrews University, who owns and operates a book store in Berrien Springs, Michigan, filed his own suit in Federal Court alleging that HHES not only refused to sell to him SDA publications, except at retail prices, but also directly or indirectly exerted pressure on other publishing firms not to sell to him except under similar terms.
In the April issue of the thought paper (p. 6), we reported how the officials at Andrews University placed a gag rule on the editors of the student paper which prohibited their further publishing or commenting on the Proctor case. The editors of The Student Movement had published Proctor's itemized attempts to reach an understanding with the Church's leadership without resorting to redress in the Courts. In that issue, we gave you the address of Dr. Proctor (P. 0. Box 146, Berrien Springs, MI 49103) so that you could obtain for yourself his paper wherein he listed the contacts and the results of those contacts with the officers of the General Conference and other entities of the Church's organizational structure.
We have been informed by very reliable sources that on the night of May 6, 1982, the Library and Education Services building, which houses the book store, was broken into, Proctor's office riffled, and a quantity of stock removed from the building. In connection with this incident, the police have arrested John Bernet an eighteen year old employee of the HHES in the Lake Union, and the son of the Union Publishing Department Secretary. Information available to us indicates that young Bernet entered alone into the building and ransacked Proctor's office. Then to make it look like a burglary went and gathered some of his friends to help him remove items of merchandise from the building. With Bernet, the law officers arrested five others who have been charged with entering without breaking with intent to commit larceny. None of those arrested have any previous police record. Bernet in plea-bargaining with the prosecutor has pled guilty to the charge of "conspiracy to enter without permission," a lesser crime in Michigan than "breaking and entering."
Interesting in this case is the fact that an attorney in the firm of Boothby, Huff, and Yingst was retained to defend young John Bernet. These same attorneys represent one of the defendants in the suit filed by Proctor in Federal Court. Further, Mr. Huff is Vice President for Legal Affairs at Andrews University, and represented the Lake Union in an earlier action.
Dr. Proctor, anticipating such a possibility that his office and desk would be subjected to such a criminal search, placed all the documents vital to his Federal suit in a more secure location, and thus nothing was taken which would aid the Church by the destruction of Proctor's evidence against them. Proctor has stated that he was hopeful "that the church will not continue to defend the actions of those who engage in questionable activities so as to prevent the distribution of Bibles and other religious books." He further said - "I am also hoping that the church will use its influence as soon as possible so that the stolen items will be returned."
GREAT SEARCHER OF HEARTS KNOWETH EVERY SIN COMMITTED IN SECRET,
p 6 -- SILVER LAKE - WEST -- When the concept of a Silver Lake gathering was born, it had as its objective to set before the concerned people of God, the issues facing the Adventist Church. The young men who organized and arranged for these meetings are to be commended for their attempt and service rendered in this area. We here at the Adventist Laymen's Foundation considered it a privilege to be invited to participate in this outstanding attempt to awaken the Church. This year neither Pastor Jon Vannoy, nor Dr. Kirby Clendenon will be sponsoring Silver Lake - West.
Information we have received indicates that very few, if any, of the original participants will be involved in this year's meeting as scheduled. Those who advocate fanatical extremes, and whose practice involves spiritistic methods are, according to reports, to be the leading lights at this year's gathering. It is true, no doubt, that much practical information will be given. But when are we going to learn the simple lesson from the book of Genesis that the enemy will never abandon the most successful method he ever used - the mingling of good and evil. So those who do choose to attend should be aware of the risks involved.
It is always painful when one must take a stand involving deception being practiced on God's children in the name of the Lord. Many sincere folk do not perceive the deception and thus consider the one warning them as being unduly severe. God has revealed through the gift of prophecy, just what our emphasis should be in this hour, and our failure to walk in that light invites the forces of darkness to come in and take over, disguised as messengers of righteousness. See II Cor. 11:13-15.
"The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord, and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. ... Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the 144,000 who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God's professed people. This is forcibly set forth by the prophet's illustration of the last work under the figure of the men each having a slaughter weapon in his hand." 3T: 266 --- (1982 Aug) --- End --- TOP
1982 Sep -- XV -- 9(82) -- WHAT IS AN OFF-SHOOT? -- Name Calling Not a New Art! -- There is a sentiment among the rank and file of the laity of the Church; that is, among those who have not embraced the heretical teachings of Dr. Desmond Ford, nor have bought the plagiarism charges of Elder Walter Rea, that anyone who differs with the hierarchy is an "offshoot,"and anything which does not carry the official imprimatur of the publishing Committees of the Church is an "offshoot" publication. This is not new, nor peculiar to these present times. The charge of "offshoot" has been a favorite smear tactic used by religions leaders in their attempt to blind the eyes of sincere seekers of truth, and to keep those who might wish to investigate truth from doing so.
An "offshoot" by definition is "a side root or branch from the main stem of the plant." The first "offshoot" was Lucifer. Jesus told it very simply as to why he became an "offshoot" - "He ... abode not in the truth." (John 8,:44) And in the same breath, Jesus charged the religious leaders of His day as being of their "father the devil." They were the true off-shoots of Christ's day, that is, if the criterion by which judgment is to be made is truth. And why? Jesus emphatically stated - "He that is of God [the main stem] heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." (John 8:47) In other words, "offshoots!"
This charge by Christ stung these self-appointed guardians of orthodoxy. They said to Him - "Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil." (verse 48) Calling Christ a Samaritan was the worse epithet they could use to cause the rank and file of Israel to have nothing to do with Jesus, for the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. (John 4:9) To this they now added thou "hast a devil." In so doing they sought to toss back the charge upon Jesus that He abode not in the truth. Jesus ignored the charge of being a Samaritan, but emphatically denied the allegation that he was possessed with a devil, and stated why - "I have not a devil; but I honor my Father." (John 8:49)
Herein was the basic difference between Himself and the religious leaders of His day. These leaders and spiritual guardians of the people would not believe Jesus nor the message He brought from God. Why? Jesus revealed the answer by asking on another occasion, a question - "How can ye believe, which receive honor one from another, and seek not that honor that cometh from God only?" (John 5:44) When we seek the honor and prestige that men can give, rather than seeking to uphold the truth and honor of God alone, we will compromise truth so as to gain the favor of men. At that point we become "offshoots"
The Jewish leadership played the "offshoot" name calling to the hilt. After the encounter with the Jews as to who was of the devil, or who had a devil, Jesus performed a miracle by giving sight to one who had been born blind. It being on the
p 2 -- Sabbath day, "eyebrows" were raised. The former blind man was brought before the Pharisees. One segment after hearing the testimony stated of Jesus - "This man is not of God." He is an "offshoot" Some were not quite so sure because here was a miracle that could not be gainsaid. (John 9:1-16) However, as the issue became more intense, they closed ranks behind the one argument which seemed to keep everybody in line. To the former blind man they haughtily responded - "We be Moses' disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not whence He is." (verses 28 & 29) In simple words, they sought to picture Jesus as having so far departed from the norm which they defined a "Moses" that they could not even perceive if He ever had been associated in the same concepts they professed. And He never had. That was why He was where He was, and they were where they were. If He had sought honor of men, and had been willing to look to them for the guidance of His Mission, they would have readily accepted Him. Had not Nicodemus stated their original evaluation of Him, when he said - "We know that thou art a teacher come from God." (John 3:2)
ancient guardians of orthodoxy find their counterparts today in those
who profess to acknowledge the historic Adventist beliefs, while they
adhere to the compromises represented in the books - Questions on Doctrine
and Movement of Destiny. They further confess their allegiance
to the Statement of Beliefs which reflects the heresy of these books and
continues the compromise so as to be accepted by the World Council of
Churches when they think the time is ripe to cast their lot with that
Council. Those who expose this departure from the truth are labeled as
There is an interesting parable that Jesus told which should cause us to consider very carefully as to who really is an "offshoot" In connection with His delineation of the signs which would mark the end times of human history, Jesus also gave some illustrations to help clarify the issues that would be involved with those end times. One such illustration is the parable of the Ten Virgins. [I am well aware of the fact that the early pioneers in the Advent Movement applied aspects of this parable to the experience associated with the summer of 1844. (See Second Advent Review, June 9, 1851, Paris, ME, p. 1f) However, in 1896, Ellen G. White commented - "My mind was carried into the future, when the signal will be given, 'Behold the bridegroom cometh; go,ye out to meet him.'" (R&H, Feb. 11, 1896)]
Jesus pictured the Ten Virgins as all together in one group - albeit, all asleep. Suddenly at midnight, a voice is heard from outside the sleeping virgins calling, 'Behold the Bridegroom, go ye out to a meeting of Him." (Matt. 25:6 Gr.) Suddenly there is an arousement. All trim their lamps - they all perceive the nearness of the end! But five find they are short of oil - spiritual perception - and their lamps start to flicker in the final waiting period. These go to those who merchandise in the things of God - the hierarchy, the so-called guardians of the spiritual interests of the people. The other five - the wise virgins - go out to a meeting with their Lord. There is separation! Who are the "off-shoots"? The wise or the foolish?
While the foolish turn to the venders of spiritual merchandise, the Bridegroom comes, and they that are ready go in with Him to the marriage, and the door is shut! (Matt. 25:10) Again who are the "off- shoots"?
sure that the venders - the hierarchy - would console the foolish with
the idea that the wise left them because they would not listen to them,
the venerable supporters of orthodoxy. These venders in heavenly wares
urge the foolish - "Stay with the ship; those others are very foolish;
they have become "offshoots" But while the foolish consider
themselves so wise by placing their trust in men, the door is shut against
them, and when they knock, the Lord confesses woefully, I know you not."
Who then are the real "offshoots" if you are really serious
p 3 -- "Look Who's Talking" -- The Indianapolis Star, the leading newspaper of Indiana, published on the front page of its Section. B, Sunday, July 11, 1982, an article captioned - BOOK SELLER CLAIMS CHURCH IN CONSPIRACY. Then on page 2 of the same section, there was to be found a brief commentary by the Star's City Staff as a part of a feature section - "Behind Closed Doors" - captioned, "Look Who's Talking." To appreciate the force of the comment, one must review the first article. We quote salient paragraphs.
"A legal squabble on a church member's right to compete with Seventh-day Adventist bookstores has created a web of intrigue in a hub of church activity in southwest Michigan.
"Berrien Springs, Mich., is the home of the Lake Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the denomination's regional organization. It is also the home for two church-operated academic institutions - Andrews Academy, a high school, and Andrews University. ...
"AND IT IS home for Derrick Proctor, a Seventh-day Adventist who sells religious books and materials - including those distributed by his church - from a business called Library and Educational Services. For 21 years, his business has suffered. Proctor contends it's because the church conspired with his suppliers to cut off his flow of materials because he undersold church book stores by huge margins. ...
"The Michigan attorney general's office investigated Proctor's complaint and found 'sufficient reason' to believe church parties were in violation of the Michigan Trusts, Monopolies and Combinations Act. ...
"A antitrust suit against the church and several of its branches - including the church's top organization in Indiana is pending in US District Court at Chicago. ...
"THE CHURCH and its lawyers have refused to answer questions about the litigation. But in written court arguments, the church maintains that its 'self-contained distribution network' of religious books and materials as protected by First Amendment rights separating state affairs from those of the church. ...
"In recent weeks, [Proctor's] business was burglarized... The burglary - in which several cases of Bibles and other materials valued at more than $1,000 were stolen - smacks of dirty tricks as much as it does religious irony. In June, six persons were arrested, including John D. Bernet. The man's father, John S. Bernet, is publishing director for the Lake Union Conference and director of the conference's Home Health Education Service. The conference and education service are defendants in Proctor's $1.7 million lawsuit.
"AS PUBLISHING director, Bernet supervises the operations of church bookstores, also known as Adventist Book Centers. The bookstore operators deal directly with the suppliers who, Proctor says, were instructed not to sell to him. Conference officials said the young Bernet has been employed in its education service division for about eight months as a 'part-time student worker.' He recently was graduated from Andrews Academy . ...
"JOHN S BERNET refused to answer questions about his son or his son's working status at the Lake Union Conference. In the May 6 edition of the Berrien Springs Journal Era, he denied that he or the church were involved in the break-in."
Proctor is quoted in comment - "When the son of a Lake Union Conference publishing director and a church employee breaks into a business, there's a lot of questions we would like to have answered."
the book selling problem, Proctor was denied a paid leave of absence from
Andrews University where he teaches psychology. On this point the news
article reports: "HE
ALLEGES the university arbitrarily - and discriminately - interpreted
a faculty work policy 'that clearly say' teachers are eligible for paid
leaves of one quarter after they have worked seven quarters, or two quarters
leave after 14 quarters, or three quarters leave after 21 quarters...
'I have worked here 23 quarters and have taken only one regular
p 4 -- leave. I'm eligible for a total of three quarter's leave.
"PROCTOR PLANS to appeal the decision to a grievance committee composed of five university professors. He says he is the only teacher that he knows of who has been denied a paid leave under that interpretation of the faculty work policy. He also notes that the Adventist Book Store at Berrien Springs - another defendant in the lawsuit - employs the wife of Richard W. Schwarz, vice president of academic affairs at Andrews University and the man who denied his leave application.
"SCHWARZ DID NOT respond to a reporter's invitation to discuss the university's ruling."
on this information, the staff of The Indianapolis Star commented.
These comments lay bare the mercenary aspects of the hierarchy of the
Church, and their total disregard for the counsel of the Messenger of
the Lord which they so ardently profess to uphold - with one exception,
where they believe it will protect them from exposure of the corrupt policies
they are following. We reproduce the article as published: Look
who's talking -- Most religions have choice phrases from doctrine
that instantly are recognizable to the faithful.
When men of the Press - without the knowledge of the truth which we profess to have - can see the hypocrisy of the hierarchy of the Church, isn't it time for the laity to awaken from slumber - trim their lamps, and "go out" to a meeting of the Bridegroom instead of continuing to support such merchandising of the truth of God?
THE COUNSEL -- "The truth must not be muffled now. Plain statements must be made. Unvarnished truth must be spoken in leaf lets and pamphlets, and these must be scattered like the leaves of autumn." (9T:231)
books were being sold at low prices, some being especially reduced for
the occasion, many were purchased, ...
"Our tracts should be offered by the hundred at what they cost, leaving a little margin to pay for packing, or wrapping for the mail, and directing ... Sell where people are able and willing to purchase, and where they are not, give them the books." (lT:690)
p 5 -- The Church of Liberal Borrowings -- Plagiarism and fraud charges rock the Seventh-day Adventists -- (This article is from the Religion section of Time magazine of August, 1982) -- The 3.8 million-member Seventh-day Adventist Church is normally the most doctrinally placid and prosperous of faiths. Lately, however, it has fallen into unaccustomed uproar. For starters, church members are suing Adventist officials in an Oregon court for fraud and breach of fiduciary trust, stemming from the 1981 bankruptcy of fellow Adventist Donald Davenport, a Los Angeles developer.
The suit charges that without adequately checking Davenport out, Adventist clergy blithely invested church trust funds with him and urged church members to make their own investments. As his empire collapsed, Davenport supposedly used newly raised moneys to cover payments due to previous investors. In the end, church agencies dropped a cool $21 million, and individual Adventists may be out as much as $20 million in the debacle. On top of this, the church has been hit by a second scandal: the charge that the theological writings of its most important figure, which rank second only to the Bible, may have been plagiarized from other authors.
Of the two scandals, the second could prove the costlier, as it calls into question the integrity of the church's teachings. Prophet Ellen G. White (1827-1915) rallied the group that became known as the Adventists following the "Great Disappointment" of Oct. 22, 1844, the date when thousands of Protestants expected the Second Coming (or Advent) of Jesus Christ to occur. When it did not, White, a "messenger" of God and interpreter of the Bible, said she received a vision explaining that on Oct. 22 Christ had entered a new "sanctuary" in heaven to begin "investigative judgment" of the lives and works of believers. Then White reported a second vision that confirmed the necessity of Saturday worship (hence the name Seventh-day Adventists). Followers came to regard White's numerous visions and books as divinely inspired interpretations of the Bible, as well as a guide to proper views on everything from vegetarianism. (pro) to Darwinism (con).
Now a growing number of Adventists are having their doubts about White's teachings. In the late 1970s, Desmond Ford, a prominent Australian theologian who was teaching at the church-run Pacific Union College in California, made the case that White's "sanctuary" explication of 1844 no longer stood up in the light of the Bible, and that "investigative judgment" undercut the whole basis of Protestantism: belief in salvation by God's grace apart from good works. This prompted the founding of a dissident bimonthly, Evangelica, based in Napa, Calif. Before long, the church forced the resignation or expulsion, by one count, of 120 Adventist clergy and teachers. Ford was defrocked in 1980.
Ford's challenge was mild, however, compared with the bombshell dropped by Walter T. Rea of Patterson, Calif. A veteran pastor, Rea, in the course of Ph.D. research, stumbled across some long-buried writings by forgotten divines that matched huge swatches of Prophet White's books. Accusations of this general nature had arisen before but had been argued away by Adventist officials. Rea was the first to document the vast scale of such borrowing (from 75 assorted books on history, doctrine and the Bible). Last April, Rea issued his full findings in a bitter book titled The White Lie. In it he concludes that the "plagiarism" undermines belief not only in the prophet's divine inspiration but also in her basic honesty. One Adventist, Delbert Hodder, a pediatrician and teacher at the University of Connecticut, has offered an altogether different explanation. When White was nine years old she was hit in the head by a rock and seriously injured. Hodder speculates that her visions were the result of "partial-complex seizure," a malady related to epilepsy.
Prodded by Rea, the church has been forced to give ground. Last month, Ministry, its magazine for clergy, conceded that White's use of "outside sources" was "much more extensive" than Adventists have realized. Admitted Ministry: "Sometimes she used material nearly word for word without giving credit." Most shocking of all, "She utilized the words of prior authors in describing words she heard spoken while in vision. In a few instances, she uses the writings of a 19th century source in quoting the words of Christ or of an angelic guide."
Despite these admissions, Church President Neal Wilson holds to the position that a prophet's thoughts can be divinely inspired even though they are not original. And loyal Adventists have taken to defending White's plagiarism as acceptable practice, arguing that parts of the Bible too were compiled from preexisting sources. The church's last General Conference, in 1980, confirmed White as a latter-day prophet whose "writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth."
report on the church's investigation of White's sources is due next year.
Meanwhile, in the second edition
of his book Rea plans to charge that White's last and most important works
were actually fabricated by Adventist pioneers when she was senile. Whatever
the outcome, Georgetown University Ethicist Roy Branson, editor of Spectrum,
an independent journal for church liberals, says flatly that Adventists
will no longer be able to appeal to White as "the final authority
on a whole range of issues, including biblical and theological interpretation
and life-style." If so, the Seventh-day Adventists would seem to
have lost a resource more precious than the millions that went down the
drain. -By Richard N. Ostling. Reported by Jim Castelli/Washington
and Dick Thompson/San Francisco
p 6 -- COMMENT ON TIME ARTICLE -- In recent months articles have appeared in the secular and religious news media telling of the crisis within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. None have been as deadly as the article by Richard N. Ostling in Time (August 2, 1982). This we have reproduced on the previous page. The revelations have been centered on the financial losses due to the Davenport fiasco, and the involvement of high church officials in the speculation of church funds including the tithe. As noted in Time over $40 million will have gone down the drain - funds either placed by the Church leadership, or by individual members urged to do so by Church ministers who were themselves reaping high interest rates on personal loans for encouraging the laity to invest with Davenport.
The second area covered in these press revelations has been the literary borrowing of Ellen G. White. Into this picture has been projected the research of Walter Rea, and his bitter book, The White Lie. However, as noted in Time, his contemplated second edition, if freed from its bitterness, will be much more devastating than even the first edition could have been, had it been written in a scholarly manner free from the bitterness so self-evident even to a casual reader. But by far the most shocking exposure of the writings of Ellen G. White came from the hierarchy itself. Ministry (June, 1982), edited by J. Robert Spangler, head of the Ministerial Department of the General Conference, gave photographic documentation as also noted in Time, where, in certain of the writings attributed to "My guide" and " I saw," other sources were quoted and paraphrased. (p. 11) An explanation of this type of borrowing has been attempted by Ron Graybill of the E. G. White Estate in a recent Adventist Review (July 29, 1982, pp. 4-6).
The most serious aspect of the Time article as well as with the other media releases wherein doctrinal matters were discussed is the erroneous inference that the basic teaching of Adventism is founded in the writings of Ellen G. White. These non-Adventist writers have no way of knowing but must rely on the sources they contact either within the hierarchy, or from the liberal wing of the Church. From the article in Time, it is evident they did make contact with one from the liberal wing - Dr. Roy Branson, editor of Spectrum, and a member of the faculty of the Jesuit Georgetown University.
The doctrine which is most seriously attacked is our sanctuary teaching regarding its cleansing in 1844. Time stated Ellen G. White "received a vision explaining that on Oct. 22, Christ entered a 'sanctuary' in heaven to begin 'investigative judgment' of the lives and works of believers." The facts are simply this - the basic understanding of the sanctuary in relationship to the heavenly ministry of Christ was formulated from the study of the Bible during the winter of 1844-1845, by three men, Hiram Edson, 0. R. L. Crosier, and F. B. Hahn in Western New York. The results of this study, Crosier wrote out and published in the Day-Dawn, a small Millerite paper. The next year Crosier with the endorsement, of Edson and Hahn, published an enlarged exposition on the sanctuary, in the Day-Star Extra, February 7,1846. At no time during these studies was Ellen Harmon ever present, nor did she contribute via a vision. She had not even been out of the New England area at this time.
Many a concerned Adventist has believed the reference in Special Testimonies, B, #2, pp. 56-57, refers to the establishment of the sanctuary teaching. This is not so. It refers to later meetings which included Edson, and among others, Joseph Bates. Ellen White indicated, "my husband" was present, and James White did not become her husband until August 30, 1846. Not only this, Ellen Harmon did not meet Bates until 1846. (Life Sketches, p. 95)
While certain aspects of our faith came about as indicated in Special Testimonies, the basic sanctuary teaching came from the Bible and the Bible only. This needs to be clearly understood. It is true that Ellen G. White endorsed Crosier's work as from the Lord. (A Word to the "Little Flock" p. 12) - BUT our fundamental pillar of faith was built by serious study of the Word of God. Our faith is Biblically defensible, and no matter how much goes "down the drain," it still stands.
p 7 -- THE ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION -- The publisher of "Watchman, What of the Night" is the Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Mississippi, Inc., chartered in the State of Mississippi, and registered to do business in the State of Arkansas. The operational center of the Foundation is located on a 90 acre campus in the Ozarks, some twenty miles north of Lamar, Arkansas. A sister Foundation has been chartered in Canada - The Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Ontario, Ltd., P. 0. Box 117, Thorne, Ont. POH 2J0. Both foundations are empowered by the respective governments under which they operate to issue tax-deductible receipts.
These foundations are supported solely from gifts and donations. At no time do we solicit monies either by mail, nor through the thought paper for any project. We believe that any work truly of the Lord will be sustained by men and women moved by the Spirit of the Lord to contribute. No human motivation or appeals are necessary. God is well able through willing human instrumentalities to provide for His work. And He has! We need only increased faith!
The primary thrust of the Foundation is research and publication of that research. We believe that the laity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church need to be informed of what is taking place in its midst by leaders who profess to be its spiritual guardians. Through a monthly thought paper - "Watchman, What of the Night?" - we have and are endeavoring to keep the laity informed. When the first issue was sent out in December, 1967, we little dreamed that present events as revealed in Time could or would occur. We knew theological apostasy had taken place. We had lived through its beginnings. But unknown to us - we are no prophets - were things known to God about the workings and dealings of the hierarchy. These God has now brought to view so that all may see for themselves. Sad, what we see.
There is a brighter picture. "An earnest voice" has been raised to not only awaken the sleeping virgins, but also to point them to the fact they cannot depend upon the venders in spiritual things, but must go out to a meeting of the Bridegroom. We intend that the pages of this and all future thought papers shall join in this message of "earnest voices" to be sounded to the ends of the earth - "Behold the Bridegroom!"
Prophecies given by Jesus have been fulfilled. Luke 21:24 is now past history. We stand on the very verge of the fulfillment of Daniel 11:45 - and after that - "At that time shall Michael stand up." (Dan. 12:1) There are testimonies uncorrupted by men's manipulation given through the Messenger of the Lord which speak to this very hour. These we need to heed. Consider Test. Vol. 5:207-216; Vol 8:247f. --- (1982 Sep) --- End ---