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ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)
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End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation
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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
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Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary
Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear
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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 1990 Oct - Dec
1990 Oct -- XXIII -- 10(90) -- Editor Calls for: Common Cause With Catholic Hierarchy -- In a current issue of the Adventist Review, an associate editor advocates making "common cause with Catholics" to obtain government aid for parents with children in the church's schools. (August 30, 1990, p. 4) This is known as parochiaide, one aspect of which is either tuition grants to parents who send their children to church operated schools, or tax deductions in the amount spent for such a educational choice. This editor suggests that it would be "prudent" to join hands with the Catholic hierarchy in pressing the case "with our political representatives." Then he adds - "Think how much we stand to gain - as parents and as a church!"
Roy Adams in this editorial - "Getting a Piece of Our Own Pie" - calls the failure of not getting government aid a "chafing injustice." He asks, "Would it not be fair that parents who elect tosend their children to special schools be allowed a substantial tax deduction or rebate for this expense?" Then he wonders why "the silence of Adventists on this issue" which he terms a "puzzling phenomenon." It is evident that Adams needs to attend some adult education classes in American History, especially that phase of our history which deals with the formulation of the American Bill of Rights and the First Amendment. One begins to wonder if he is a American citizen, or what his background really is. His arguments, and stance come right out of the propaganda circulated by the Catholic hierarchy.
The question takes on even greater proportions since it is difficult
for one to perceive that this editorial was written and published without
the full approval of the editor-in-chief, William G. Johnsson. Some word
should be forthcoming in the pages of the Adventist Review from
the editor clarifying the position of the "official organ"of
the Church on this suggested abridgment of the "establishment clause"
of the First Amendment. It would help matters if this clarification would
include the announcement that Roy Adams had been remove from any further
connection with the Church paper.
p 2 -- This serious challenge to the Establishment Clause comes at a time when the forces of religious liberty are hard pressed by the determination of the Reagan appointed Justices to breach what Thomas Jefferson perceived the Establishment Clause to be - a "wall of separation between Church and State." We have sent a photocopy of this article with a cover letter to Dr. Robert L. Maddox, Executive Director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. One of the Trustees of this organization is Bert B. Beach of the General Conference, and listed as a contributing editor of Church & State is Lee Boothby, an Adventist legal expert in Constitutional Law. Among the "Trustees Emeritus" is listed Melvin Adams, also a Seventh-day Adventist.
In the eyes of Adams, his getting "a piece of the pie" has "nothing to do with the separation of church and state." (His emphasis) This again shows his complete ignorance of the American Constitution, and his paranoia over "equal treatment under the law." (Again, his emphasis) With the various crises which the Seventh-day Adventist Church is facing at the present time, the leadership can ill afford such a voice on the staff of the Adventist Review. Nothing short of Adam's removal can be understood as, a reiteration of the Church's historic stand in defense of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. He needs to be f ired forthwith.
The first amendment reads in part - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
In the interest of maintaining a government by the people for the people, education is a vital concern. The government does provide and maintain a public school system. Compulsory educational laws require attendance to a certain age and/or level of achievement, but to parents a choice is granted as to where they wish to send their children. If I, because of my religious conviction, elect to place my children in what is known as a parochial school because of the religious instruction they will receive, then the support of that school is the Church's and my responsibility without government aid or assistance.
In the Everson v. Board of Education case, Justice Hugo L. Black, speaking for the majority stated the broad interpretation of the Establishment Clause as follows: The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force, nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by laws was intended to erect a "wall of separation between Church and State." (Emphasis mine) [Quoted in The Establishment Clause by Leonard W. Levy, pp. 123-124]
Levy also observes that the dissenting Justices in the Everson case, while disagreeing with the majority on the question whether the "wall of separation" had in fact been breached by the practice at issue, concurred with the majority on the historical question of the intentions of the framers and the meaning of the establishment clause. The opinion of Justice Wiley B. Rutledge, which all the dissenting justices endorsed, declared: "The Amendment's purpose was not to strike merely at the official establishment of a single sect, creed or religion outlawing only a formal relation such as had prevailed in England and some of the colonies. Necessarily it was to uproot all such relationships. But the object was broader than separating church and state in this narrow sense. It was to create a complete and permanent separation of the spheres of religious activity and civil authority by comprehensively forbidding every form of public aid or support for religion." (ibid., p. 124; emphasis mine)
This should put the question asked by the associate editor into proper
perspective, and give him a brief lesson in the f ield where it is evident
he is totally ignorant. Perhaps, if he would stop "day dreaming"
- see his last paragraph - long enough to think beyond his own pocketbook,
such selfish orientated suggestions as the abridgment of the wall of separation
between Church and State for his own benefit would not have even been
placed on paper. This editorial represents a dark, sad day in the history
of the Adventist Community.
p 3 -- "From Ireland to the Urals" -- John Paul II's Objective -- The Ecumenical Press Service (EPS) for the period covering August 21-31, 1990, published an "Ecuview" on the Papal perception of Europe as it effects Vatican-Anglican dialogue toward unification of the two communions.- This "Ecuview" consisted of an abridged report found in Ecumenical Trends, published by the Graymoor Ecumenical Institute in New York state. The author of the article in the Graymoor publication was R. William Franklin, a teacher at St. John's University in Minnesota, and an Anglican member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Consultation in the United States. The concern of Dr. Franklin is that Pope John Paul II's view of Europe will "have the potential of leaving the ecumenical movement even more sadly divided and weakened than the arguments over the specifics of ordination and papal primacy." While this was Franklin's thrust, what he revealed concerning the Papal objective for Europe is of vital concern to us. But first some brief historical background on the historical connection between Rome and Canterbury.
Into the picture of what John Paul II envisions for Europe comes Benedict of Nursia (c. 480-553), who established the Benedictine monastic order of the Roman Catholic Church. On a mountain overlooking Cassino, Italy, he built a monastery which for centuries was a chief center of religious life for Western Europe. Pope Paul VI elevated Benedict as "patron of Europe." From this Order, Gregory I who had been an abbot in the Order, sent Augustine (not of Hippo) and his fellow monks to England in 596, establishing the first permanent links between the Church in England and the Roman See. In fact, Augustine became the first archbishop of Canterbury. To this history, Pope John Paul II has appealed in his conversations with the present Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie.
Now we proceed to the objectives of the present pope. "No pope has spoken so often of 'our continent Europe' as has John Paul II. In his inaugural encyclical, 'Redemptor Hominis' of March, 1979, the pope envisaged a uniting Europe in some degree of detente, with cultural and ecclesiastical organizations transcending ideological and political boundaries ... The pope's recent diplomatic addresses are filled with reminders of the papal legacy in achievement of one European culture from Ireland to the Urals." One has only to remind himself of what took place so rapidly in the European Communist world to see to what objectives the present pope has devoted himself from his elevation to the Papal chair till the "iron curtain" which had divided Europe was not only penetrated but pulled aside. Because of his pan-European motivation, the pope established a Pontifical Council of Culture in 1982 with close ties to the Council of Europe. This papal council has "the specific task of addressing the textures of European life at the deep level of economic and political culture."
John Paul II has also created a Council of European Episcopal Conferences. This aspect of the papal objectives for Europe is a new dimension "entirely unique to this pontificate." To this Council, John Paul II clearly stated that the ecumenical task must now focus on Europe. "Continental ecumenism represents 'a necessary dimension of evangelization and a factor in the peace of Europe."' On the eve of the Archbishop of Canterbury's visit to Rome in 1989, L'Osservatore Romano underlined the particular significance of this visit for Europe by stating - "The recurring point is that the re-evangelization of Europe depends crucially on the re-establishing of the full communion of faith and sacramental life. The prerequisite of this is unity at the level of faith which involves the reclaiming of our common heritage." (Sept. 29, 1989) And in the pope's view as explained to Runcie, this meant things as they resulted from Gregory I sending Augustine to England with his band of Benedictine monks. The pope further reminded Runcie during their dialogue that his own visit to Canterbury was a "pilgrimage to the shrine of the martyr, Thomas Becket," the 12th century predecessor of Runcie who had died to protect the ties of the English Church with the Roman See. It was the first thousand years when relations of the English bishops with Rome was uninterrupted which the pontiff wants to be the model for future ecumenism.
Besides his unique emphasis in regard to European ecumenism, and the role he perceives
p 4 -- for the Benedictine monastic order as the "symbol of a united Christian Europe," there is another objective of the Pope in his relationship to this new Europe, and that is, "Ultramontanism."
"Ultramontanism arose in 1820. Its main purpose was to assert the papal supremacy. All religious and moral authority and power should center in the office of the pope at Rome. It asserted that the pope's decisions regarding faith and morals were infallible. The typical Ultramontanist reasoning was that without an infallible pope there can be no Church; without a Church there can be no Christianity; and without Christianity there can be no religion; and without religion there can be no civilized society. The Jesuits were powerful advocates." (A History of the Christian Church [Qualben], p. 367)
Commenting on this aspect of the Pope's objective for Europe, the "Ecuview" in the EPS states - "Building on a papal tradition that can be traced back to the reigns of Gregory I in the sixth century and Leo III in the ninth century, and powerfully restated in the 19th century; ... John Paul II expects the bishop of Rome to lead an ideologically divided Europe in recovery of its common roots in Christian [papal] verities." To understand the force of the papal tradition upon which John Paul II is drawing and its significance, one must note certain aspects of the pontificates of both Gregory I and Leo III.
Gregory I, or the Great, was Rome's greatest pope. He was the last Church Father, and the first medieval theologian. He was the last Roman bishop and the first medieval pope. When he ascended the papal chair, "the Franks had established a national Church which, at best, recognized the pope merely as a moral authority. The Christianized Visigoths in Spain took a similar attitude. The prestige of the bishop of Rome had almost reached a vanishing point in Italy itself. The Church was torn by internal dissentions, while a deep-seated moral corruption prevailed." (Qualben, op. cit., p. 148) But when he died in 604, he had established the power of the Roman bishopric, and his successors assumed the title of pope. Under Gregory I, the Roman See became the acknowledged head of the Western Church. (See Historical Studies, pp. 26-30)
Leo III was the pope who crowned Charlemagne emperor of the Holy Roman Empire on Christmas day in 800, thus setting the legal precedent that the pope alone can confer power upon heads of State. Putting this picture together, one can begin to see the ends to which the present pope is directing his efforts the re-establishment of a medieval papacy, the return of the Dark Ages!
There are also some doctrinal issues involved that should be noted. Gregory I was a theologian, and developed the doctrine of Purgatory, good works, and the mass and the eucharist. In the revival of papal power under Ultramontanisn during the pontificate of Pius IX, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was promulgated, which placed "the Virgin Mary as a mediator and intercessor with God." It must be remembered that the present Pope is a devotee of the Virgin Mary.
Pius IX went further and published a "Syllabus of Errors." "This encyclical refuted eighty serious errors [from the Papal viewpoint], including freedom of conscience, freedom of the press, Protestantism, Communism, Bible societies, civil marriage, free scientific investigation, separation of church and state, non-sectarian schools, and religious toleration. The Syllabus of Errors closed by condemning the claim that 'the Roman Pontiff can and ought to reconcile himself to, and agree with, progress, liberalism, and civilization as lately introduced."' (Qualben, ibid., p. 368) You can put this together and then see what the nature of the time of trouble will be like, and how imminent it is in the light of a projected United Europe which the political leaders and the Pope envision.
When this picture Is placed against the elementary prophecy of Daniel 2 where the iron and the clay are mingled, and we recall the comment that "the mingling of churchcraft and statecraft is represented" thereby, we can see how near we must be to the revelation of the "ten toes" of the image as depicted and enlarged in Revelation 17:12.
Rome Calling -- Pope John Paul II discusses world af fairs on the telephone with George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev at least once a week, according to Prof. Malachi Martin, a Roman Catholic theologian and Vatican insider. In a new, book, The Keys of This Blood, to be published in September by Simon & Schuster, Martin describes how during the crisis over Lithuania's declaration of independence the Polish-born Pontiff and the embattled Kremlin leader had intense conversations, sometimes several times a day. The Pope advised Gorbachev against violence; in return, he counseled Baltic and Ukranian Catholics against "pushing Gorbachev into a corner." As for talks with Bush, Martin says the Pope offers the President informed analyses prepared by the Vatican's intelligence network about developments in Eastern Europe and his personal assessments of the new leaders there as well as in the Soviet Union. ("Washington Whispers," U.S. News & World Report, August 13, 1990, p. 18)
p 5 -- Lutheran-RC Accord -- Three major "Christian" communions dominate Western Europe - Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism and Lutheranism. In the previous article, we noted the approach that is being used by John Paul II toward the Anglican Church in England to achieve his goal of one united religious force in Europe. The reapproachment toward the Lutheran communion which broke away from Rome in 1517 began prior to the pontificate of John Paul II. In 1967, as the Protestant world celebrated the 450th anniversary of Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses criticizing the Roman Catholic Church and pointing to a fresh understanding of God's grace, Roman Catholics met with the Protestants in the celebrations honoring Luther's heroic stand. (World Book Encyclopedia, 1968 Yearbook, p. 468) In the same year - 1967 - an international bilateral commission named by the Lutheran World Federation and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity began working toward the objective of restoring ecclesial communion between the Roman Catholic and the Lutheran churches of the world.
As early as 1972, the international commission's first statement, "The Gospel and the Church" noted that "a far-reaching concensus is developing in the interpretation of justification." (EPS 90.08.83, 2) However, it was the US Lutheran-Roman Catholic bilateral dialogue which produced a statement which permitted a Jesuit priest on the faculty of theology at Gregorian University in Rome to write in Ecumenical Trends - "the consensus does in fact seem to be sufficient for church fellowship between Lutherans and Roman Catholics." (ibid.)
The concensus document - "Justification by Faith" was completed in 1983 after five years of work by the US bilateral dialogue. It was the seventh release of the dialogue. The other six releases "regularly structured by a sharp division between a common statement marking out an area of concensus, and a two-part series of reflections on problems" remaining between the two communions. "Significantly, 'Justification by Faith' is a single document agreed to by all the members." In March of this year, the Administrative Board of the US National Conference of Catholic Bishops authorized the publication of an evaluation of this document on Justification by Faith. The evaluation had been worked out by the Bishop's Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (BCEIA). The bishops acknowledged "that the bilateral commission [did] pioneering work in an area where many, beginning with Martin Luther himself, thought that Catholics and Lutherans were deeply opposed in belief and official doctrine." (ibid., p. 1)
The basic affirmation of the document - "Justification by Faith" - reads: Our entire hope of justification and salvation rests on Christ Jesus and on the Gospel whereby the good news of God's merciful action in Christ is made known; we do not place our ultimate trust in anything other than God's promise and saving work in Christ.
BCEIA in its evaluation declared - "A Catholic can and should affirm this fundamental conviction unreservedly." Not only this, but the bishops find that the twelve doctrinal points listed in "Justification by Faith" accurately express truths which Catholics also espouse. These twelve doctrinal points were, to them, elements of significant material agreement. Five of these were listed by EPS as being original sin and the fall, God's pure initiative to convert the sinner, justification as God's effecting what He promises, faith as trustful and self-involving response to the Gospel, and the fruitfulness of justification in good works." Apart from "original sin" - no doubt the Augustinian view - every Seventh-day Adventist could make the affirmation and declare that he or she also espouses four of these beliefs.
Some questions remain. Will the Pope be as willing as the US Catholic Bishops to endorse this concensus statement worked out in the United States and make it the basis for accomplishing his objective for Europe? The answer would appear to be, Yes. The article written in Ecumenical Trends, as noted above, was written by a Jesuit priest on the faculty of theology at Gregorian University. Further in 1989, twice, at Trondheim, Norway, and Turku, Finland, Pope John Paul II "reminded Scandinavian listeners that in the face of the failure of many Europeans to acknowledge the reality of God, citizens of this [European] continent in particular would do well to face up to how much they have in common in Christianity." (EPS 90.08.84)
For Seventh-day Adventists, this agreement presents a challenge. We need to settle the question of "original sin" once for all time. While we cannot accept the Augustinian view, we cannot continue to ignore the fact that the Bible plainly states of Adam, he "begat a son in his own likeness, after his image." Gen. 5:3) Further, and interestingly, the statement puts works in its proper place as the fruit of justification. BUT, it does not deal with the trust committed to the Church in the sanctuary truth - the final atonement. The reformation begun by Luther cannot be completed by the Advent Movement and the final atonement discarded or ignored. Thus as the final movements unfold before us, we are brought face to face with our own apostasy from the Everlasting Gospel. Our nakedness is self-evident for all to see who are not blind.
p 6 -- LET'S TALK IT OVER -- The writings of "the Messenger of the Lord" were given to serve a very definite purpose. They are not to be used to establish doctrine, the Bible does that; neither are they to be used in a papal context as an inspired interpreter of Scripture, the Bible being its own interpreter. The messages are God-given warnings that we may know how to meet the perils of the last days successfully.
In a "Testimony for the Church" (SG, Vol. II, p. 277), this warning was sounded: "The power of Satan now to tempt and deceive is ten-fold greater than it was in the days of the apostles." I double emphasized one word - "deceive." It needs to be noted repeatedly that each of the three accounts of Jesus' discourse on the Mount of Olives (Matt. 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21) begin with the same warning - "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." (24:4-5) Borrowing from this same discourse (24:23-24), Ellen G. White wrote in 1892: 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." (R&H, Dec. 13, 1892)
While there were "many antichrists" in the days of the apostles (I John 2:18), the power of the "many voices" at the present time to deceive is ten times greater than all of them. They have clothed themselves as "ministers of righteousness" (II Cor. 11:14-15). This should cause us to pause and do some real soul searching. What can we do to keep f rom being deceived?
Again the Lord's Messenger has given us some counsel. After the last sermon she ever presented to a General Conference session, "she moved away from the desk and started to take her seat, then turned and came back, picked up the Bible from which she had read, opened it, and held it out on extended hands that trembled with age. She admonished, 'Brethren and Sisters, I commend unto you this Book."' (EGW, Vol. 6, p. 197) But this is not what the "many voices" sounding today in the community of Adventism are doing. This past weekend a would-be "voice" was lecturing near here. I talked to a brother who had attended Sunday morning (I had been there on Sabbath afternoon), and he told me that all morning long, he could count only two texts from the Bible being used. Who are most likely to be deceived by such "voices"? Those who do not know their Bibles, but are able to cite references from the Writings with facility. Why? Because the "voices" who quote profusely from the Writings are perceived by such to be of God.
Another sophistry prevalent is the self-deception that one can listen to all of the "many voices" sounding in Adventism today and select truth from error. It may be possible for those who make this claim to do so, but very doubtful. The tragedy results when unsuspecting, but trusting invitees, attend meetings sponsored by those who think they stand fast. These guests unable to differentiate, but trusting in "men" - those who invited them - are deceived. At whose hands will the blood ofthese souls be required?
It must be kept in mind that "error cannot stand alone, and would soon become extinct if it did not fasten itself upon the tree of truth." (Evangelism, p. 589) Thus the most dangerous deceivers today of the "many voices" are the ones who have only a small quantity of the strychnine of error laced into their presentations. We have been warned that so closely will the track of error lie beside the track of truth that only minds worked by the Holy Spirit will be able to discern the difference. We should be trembling before our God, praying for "the Spirit of discernment" instead of boastfully believing ourselves secure and sponsoring many of the "many voices" who are confusing the minds of concerned Adventists. Unless we know our Bibles and understand the truth as it is in Jesus, therein revealed, we should tread softly with hesitant steps for fear of being deceived and becoming an instrument by whict others will be deceived.
The counsels placed in God's Word are not merely "bedtime stories" reading material. The counsel of John in his day when "many antichrists" were operating is for us now! He wrote: He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. (II John 9-11)
Remember Paul places "heresies" as one of the "works of
the flesh," in other words, "evil deeds." (Gal. 5:20)
p 7 -- How can we distinguish a true voice from "the many voices." God does not leave Himself without a witness. He has spoken in salvation history. The days of the antediluvians were 120 years; Israel left Egypt on the very day the prophecy given to Abraham was fulfilled. (Ex. 12:41) Christ in announcing His mission declared - "The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand." (Mark 1:15) While prophetic periods ceased to be a test with the fulfillment of Daniel 8:14, fulfilled events as prophesied still indicate clearly God's purposes for His people. A God-sent message now will be in keeping with the way God has operated in salvation history. The "many voices" will seek to devise a way around the import of fulfilled prophecy either by spiritualizing it away, or by projecting a fulfillment of God's purposes as still to come in some awe-inspiring manifestation.
~~~ As a result of a request to see a copy of the tract - "United States in Prophecy" - in last month's issue of WWN, the publisher sent me a number of copies. I also called and talked with him directly. The last half of this 48-page tract contains unmarked quotes from The Great Controversy. The other part is from a tract by Vance Ferrell on the Mark of the Beast.
Now we have a stand-off. The Arkansas Catholic (July 29, 1990),
quoted headline hungry Allabach as stating the tract was "a condensation
of 'The Greater Controversy' (sic), written by the 19th-century Seventh-day
Adventist founder and prophet Ellen G. White." The Indianapolis
Star (July 13, 1990) quoted Shirley Burton, head of the General Conference
Communication Department as calling the tract - without seeing it -"trash."
Burton lost her "cool" and Allabach clouded the issue with his
inaccuracies causing the focus to turn on "devotion" to Ellen
G. White rather than on the change of course in the thinking of the hierarchy
toward the Papacy. The latter factor is
RC-Pentecostal Dialogue Resumes -- The first meeting of the fourth phase of the international Roman Catholic-Pentecostal dialogue took place last month in Emmetten, at the headquarters of the Swiss Pentecostal Mission. Co-chairing the meetings are Kilian McDonnell, a Roman Catholic priest from the US, and Justus du Plessis, a Pentecostal minister from South Africa. (EPS 90.08.75) --- (1990 Oct) --- End ---TOP
1990 Nov -- XXIII -- 11(90) -- The Great Controversy Controversy -- This year has witnessed an intense controversy over the book, The Great Controversy, as well as a wide-spread distribution of the various editions of the book. The book is not only being printed by the denominational press, but various independent ministries are printing the book in paperback editions. Further, this year saw the launching of a campaign to advertise the book in the Time magazine timed to coincide with the 1990 General Conference session. Due to the confrontation at the session between the dissidents and members of the hierarchy, the controversy over The Great Controversy reached a new height and involved what was termed, "condensations" of the book.
Two articles have appeared in the Arkansas Catholic, one a release by the Catholic News Service (CNS) (July 29, 1990, p. 8), reproduced in Commentary (IV-3, p. 6); the other an article by Deborah Hilliard of the local staff of the Little Rock Diocesan paper (Sept. 9, 1990). Both of thes articles involved the controversy in Adventism over The Great Controversy. The latter article concerne the distribution of the 662 page paperback edition by Charles Wheeling and comments quoting Elder Kenneth Wood, chairman of the Ellen G. White Estate. Before commenting on any of the factors involved, the factual evidence needs to be presented first. In a letter dated, September 21, 1990, wrote to Elder Wood as follows: You will find enclosed a copy of an article by Debora Hilliard from the Arkansas Catholic under date of Septembe 9, 1990.
In this article you will find some sloppy journalism. Charles Wheeling is named Charles Wheeler. You are listed a Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as well as the Ellen G. White Estate. However, you are quoted in direct quotes from an alleged telephone call. My question is, have you been quoted accurately and in context, or inaccurately and out of context? If the former, please verify, and if the latter, please give me the correct statements in context.
The points in question are: 1) The books being published do not reflect what Ellen G. White was writing about. 2) The
p 2 -- books are being published without authorization. And 3) These books - condensations at 662 pages? - are "absolute trash."
On October 1, 1990, Elder Wood replied. He wrote: On my desk is a copy of the September 9 Arkansas Catholic, sent to me by Deborah Hilliard soon after it was published. I read it with increasing dismay as I noticed the numerous errors it contained, including the exceptionally influential office assigned to me! However, having been misquoted frequently during the 27 years that I was one of the editors of the Review, I laid the story aside, believing that those who know me would separate truth from error.
Let me say at the outset that I do not impugn the motives of Deborah Hilliard. I believe that she was sincere in what she wrote, even though she printed some inaccuracies and misunderstood some things that I was saying. I think she picked up the word trash from the news reports that circulated in Indianapolis at the time of the General Conference session. You certainly know that I would not speak of The Great Controversy as trash.
What I did object to was Charles Wheeling's retitling The Great Controversy as America in Prophecy. I felt, and still do feel, that it was wrong of Charles Wheeling to reprint the 1888 edition of The Great Controversy without communicating with the Ellen G. White Estate, and giving the book a title that sensationalizes and cheapens the serious theme of the book, which shows the struggle between Christ and Satan throughout the millenniums.
One thing I have learned about trying to make corrections: often they only create further misunderstandings. Elder Nichol recounted an experience that he had had with the back page of the Review before 1955, when I joined the staff. He said that they had published a mistake on the back page and the following week put in a correction. Unfortunately, there was a mistake in the correction, so the next week they tried again but made a further mistake. After three tries he said that they decided to let the matter alone. In general people believe what they want to believe. Friends put the best possible construction on one's words; others give credence to misquotations and inaccuracies.
After reading Elder Wood's letter, it was evident to me that given the article (See p. 4) it was incumbent that I contact Ms. Hilliard and hear her side of the story. I called her on October 5, and she indicated that she had typed Elder Wood's responses as she was talking to him on the telephone. After the publication of the article she sent him a copy. To the date, she had received no response thus assumed the complete accuracy of her report. I noted with her certain technical inaccuracies, such a Wood's position, and Charles Wheeling as Charles Wheeler. She seemed appreciative an did not note a negative attitude. She did recognize that in assembling data from the telephone conversation with Elder Wood, she could have been more specific in noting Wood's remark - "absolute trash" - was in the discussion of the tract, "United States in Prophecy," rather than Wheeling's paperback edition of The Great Controversy under the title, America In Prophecy. As can be observed, the actual paragraph containing Wood's outburst reads- "Wood called the unauthorized condensations of White's book, 'absolute trash."' Wheeling's paperback is not a condensation, but rather the 1888 edition of The Great Controversy.
In discussing the facts regarding The Great Controversy, its various editions, and the events during 1990 in which the book became an issue, it is nearly impossible to objectively review the issues involved because of the highly charged emotional factor. By many the book itself is sacrosanct. Then compound this with the fact that the tract, called "trash" in an off-the-cuff outburst by Ms. Burton, and "absolute trash" by Wood, is a combination of a Ferrell publication and nondesignated quotes from the latter chapters of the book, and you have a volatile mixture. The real issue which finally surfaced - the Church's changing attitude toward the Papacy - is clouded in the emotional veneration for Ellen G. White. Recognizing all of these factors and the risks involved in dealing with such an emotionally charged issue, it is still our conviction that certain facts need to be addressed.
First the advertising in Time magazine: Some who have carefully read it, report that nowhere can one find Jesus Christ mentioned. If this be so, some questions need to be asked. In the book of Revelation from which we draw our Scriptural support that the "remnant" is to have restored to it the gift of prophecy, it is called "the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Rev. 12:17) Then should not Jesus be exalted rather than a dead instrument? If we exalt a human being, dead or alive, is this not idolatry? How much difference is there between this and the exaltation of Mary by Papal Rome? Why then decry the Church's approach to the Papacy while the same approach doctrinally is inherent in the advertisement in Time magazine?
In this controversy over The Great Controvesy there has arisen
the matter of condensations Is not Testimony Treasures a condensation
How do we describe the book - The Story of
p 3 -- Redemption? In the "Foreword" written under the name of the "Trustees of the Ellen G. White Publications," is this paragraph: For some years there has been felt a need, both in America and abroad, for a brief but all-inclusive presentation of this geeat theme, giving in one compact [condensed?] volume the high points of the whole sweep of the story of the conflict of the ages as it was revealed to Mrs. White. This need is now met in this volume, The Story of Redemption, made possible by selecting and grouping in their natural order certain portions of the concise accounts as they appeared in the earlier volumes, long since out of print. As noted in the table of contents, this vivid account has been drawn from Spirit of Prophecy, volumes 1, 3, and 4, The Signs of the Times, and Early Writings (Spiritual Gifts, volume 1). (p. 10)
Would we call this - book, "trash" or "absolute trash." Hardly. The issue from Kenneth Wood's viewpoint is who does the condensing and/or publishing of the works of Ellen G. White. Quite naturally from his position as Chairman of the Board of the E. G. White Estate, he feels that this is a legitimate concern. Further, when Charles Wheeling refuses to enter into an exchange with Elder Wood over the matter something is seriously wrong. Simple Christian courtesy has certain demands on an individual who professes Christianity. One wonders why Charles Wheeling is even interested in producing and distributing The Great Controversy as a paperback edition, given the teachings on prophecy which he has been promoting. The principle of prophetic interpretation used in The Great Controversy is certainly not the apotelesmatic concept promoted by Dr. Desmond Ford, which Wheeling uses.
In connection with the paperback edition which Charles Wheeling is producing, Wood decried his giving "the book a title that sensationalizes and cheapens the serious theme of the book, which shows the struggle between Christ and Satan throughout the millenniums." (See letter quoted on p. 2) Wood has a valid point in this objection. The closest release by title to the objective perceived by Ellen G. White by vision was the set which placed the title - The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan - on four volumes covering the time from the inception of sin, until sin shall be no more. It was not until the 1888 edition that the title was applied exclusively to the present Great Controversy. The present set of books of which the 1911 edition is a part is called in its entirety - "The Conflict of the Ages Series." This does reflect the original intent.
In 1848, Ellen White received her first vision regarding the great controversy between Christ and Satan. Ten years later at Lovett's Grove in Ohio, this vision was repeated and she was instructed "to write it out." (Life Sketches, p. 162) From this basic vision given in 1858 came first Spiritual Gifts, Vol. I to be followed by Volumes III , & IV (Vol. II was autobiographical). This was followed in the years from 1870 to 1884 with the four volume set either published under the title of Spirit of Prophecy or The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan. Then starting in 1888 with the revised Vol. IV of the previous four volume set through 1916 with the posthumous publication of Prophets and Kings emerged what we call "The Conflict of the Ages" series. Keep in mind that for all of these books was just one basic vision in 1858.
It should be obvious by now to any reader of this article that we are faced with various editions of the book - The Great Controversy. So the question arises which edition should we use - the 1884, the 1888, or the 1911? To simplify the question, we can observe that the differences between the 1911 edition and the 1888 edition are largely cosmetic. However, the changes between the 1884 edition and the 1888 edition do present some major difficulties. One brother whose service has been both in the paramedical field and pastoral ministry carefully compared the two editions, page by page, paragraph by paragraph, even noting word alterations. From this painstaking endeavor, he summarized the differences in a copy we have in our library. In the 1888 edition, 186 pages were added, and 38 pages omitted. Behind these changes is a story of a manuscript which has not been published because the Ellen G. White Estate will not release for publication certain key documents upon which this research is based.
In the summer of 1973, D. R. McAdams who was then connected with the
history department of Andrews University spent two months at the White
Estate in Washington D.C. While there he became aware of several manuscripts
which have been accepted as portions of the first draft of The Great
Controversy. The longest of these was composed of 64 sheets of full-sized
writing paper, with 11 pages filling some portion of the back of the sheets.
All was on Huss. (Handwritten autographs of the writings of Ellen G. White
are rare. Unless the Estate is still hiding such copies, the originals
behind the published writings are the typed pages by her secretaries.)
While McAdams notes various historical facets in his manuscript involving
p 4 -- Kellogg and others, our primary focus from this manuscript is the documentation given of events in 1887 involving the 1888 edition of The Great Controversy. In 1887, the White's, Ellen G, W. C. and his wife along with Marian Davis were in Basel, Switzerland, working with B. L. Whitney, who was head of the publishing house there. They were preparing for a French and German translation of the book, The Great Controversy. In a letter dated, April 15, W. C. White wrote to C. H. Jones, manager of the Pacific Press, that "as we criticize the work for translation, we find places where it can be improved for the new English edition. Chapter five is very short and Mother is writing more about Huss and Jerome." (Quoted in Ellen G. White and the Portestant Historians, p. 30; emphasis supplied) In a second letter aated May 18, W. C. White wrote: "... we found parts of the subject that were very briefly treated, because the reader was supposed to be familiar with the subject. Mother has given attention to all these points, and has thought that the book ought to be so corrected and enlarged, as to be of the most possible good to the large number of promiscuous [non-Adventist] readers to whom it is now being offered. And she has taken hold with a remarkable energy to fill in parts that are rather too brief.
Mother has written enough about Huss and Jerome, to make one or more new chapters. She has written something about Zwingli, and may speak of Calvin. The chapter on the Two Witnesses has been doubled in size, and quite a change will be made in the chapter on William Miller. And some important additions are made to "The Sanctuary" chapter. (ibid.)
In the last letter quoted in the manuscript, dated July 21, White writes to Jones as follows: It was immediately after chapter 4, that the largest additions were to be made, and while we were all together, it seemed advisable to devote attention to the corrections and additions to be made in other parts of the book, leaving the manuscripts for chapters 5, 6, and 7 to be prepared by Sr. Davis after Mother had gone from Basel. The work of preparing these is now nearly completed, and will soon be sent to her in England for examination. (p. 31)
McAdams follows these quotes from the W. C White letters to C. H. Jones with a series of questions. They are: Could it be that Ellen White turned over to Marion Davis her rough draft manuscript on Huss (as well as the material on Wycliffe, Jerome and half of the material on Luther, chapters 5, 6, and 7 of the 1888 Great Controversy) to prepare in her absense, only to be sent to her in England for a final examination? Could it be that It was Marion Davis who cut out half of the material in the manuscript I am quoting in this study and added additional pages from Wylie? (ibid.)
To these, we might add two: 1) Could Marion Davis have made deletions from Ellen G. White's handwritten autograph and added additional pages from Wylie's History of Protestantism, without the approval of W. C. White? 2) Does the approval of the written material of another by one possessed of the prophetic gift make such writings inspired? If the answer to #2 is "Yes" then you have to confront the significance of Ellen G. White's approval of the messages of Jones and Waggoner, plus Daniel and Revelation by Uriah Smith. If the answer is "No" then one must face the reality of the 1888 edition of The Great Controversy.
In the light of this controversy over The Great Controversy, there is merit in what Prescott wrote to W. C. White in a personal letter dated April 6, 1915. It read in part: The way your mother's writings have been handled and the false impression concerning them which is still fostered among the people have brought great perplexity and trial to me. It seems to me that what amounts to deception, though probably not intentional, has been practiced in making some of her books, and that no serious effort has been made to disabuse the minds of the people of what was known to be their wrong view concerning her writings. But it is no use to go into these matters. I have talked with you for years about them, but it brings no change. I think however that we are drifting toward a crisis which will come sooner or later, and perhaps sooner. A very strong feeling of reaction has already set in.
Prescott was not a prophet, but he did know some things which have in recent decades come to light. We dare not continue to walk in the darkness of ignorance.
p 5 --Arkansas Catholic, Sep. 9, 1990 -- Anti-Catholic books distributed at Little Rock Intersection -- By Deborah Hilliard -- Little Rock - In the latest round of anti-Catholic activity in Arkansas, a man who a source said refused to identify himself was handing out atiti-Catholic material in late August.
The man was distribuung copies of America in Prophecy, a 662-page reprint of The Great Controversy, a book originally published in 1888 by Seventh Day Adventist "founder and prophet" Ellen G. White. One of at least two un-authorized condensations or reprints of the century-old work, the recently-published book was printed in Jemison, AL, by Inspiration Books East, a company with no listed telephone number. Seventh Day Adventist spokespersons said the book is published by Charles Wheeler,. an independent evangelist and former Adventist whose credentials were pulled by the church's world headquarters in Silver Spring, MD. Wheeler, known to Adventist spokespersons as an evangelist with a penchant for predicting the end of the world, could not be located.
The book lists the author's name as "E.G. White.
The book was distributed near the University of Arkansas at Little Rock campus by a man who refused to identify himself or his affilication, according to one recipient, who said the books were stored on the roadside in a crate-like box.
Kenneth H. Wood, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Seventh Day Adventists General Conference and the Ellen G. White Estate, said that White's 19th-century writings, which accused Catholics and Jews of being religious "harlots," is being manipulated by splinter groups to"cause trouble."
"These people who put a new title [on White's original work] don't reflect what she was writing, said Wood in a telephone interview with Arkansas Catholic. "The Seventh Day Adventists are very much opposed to this kind of thing. These people are publishing these books without any authorization" from the General Conference, he said.
Wood said that splinter groups are "causing trouble" for the 100-year-old church group, a religious body plagued by unfavorable publicity following a verbal fracas at its 55th world convention held in Indianapolis, IN, in July. At the gathering, Adventists clashed in their reactions to anti-Catholic pamphlets distributed in that city by a Tennessee faction of the church. While some Adventists renounced the tract as "trash," others insisted that anti-Catholicism, is a crucial part of traditional Adventist doctrine. The pamphlet called Catholicism a pagan religion and refers to the pope as a."beast."
The people who distribute these things are not really 'trying to understand what Seventh Day Adventist believe, even though they consider themselves to be Adventists," Wood said. He added that he. has tried repeatedly to communicate with Wheeler, who has- refused to return correspondence.
Wood called the unauthorized condensations of White's book "absolute trash."
America in Prophecy contains anti-Catholic material on almost every one of its 662 pages, and reprints White's Century-old warning that unless Protestants wake up to the dangers of 'Rornanism, the Catholic Church will take over and destroy the U.S.
Arkansas has been plagued in recent months by anti-Catholic activity centered around literature and radio spots by "Holy Alamo Church" founder Tony Alamo, a long-time anti-Catholic evangelist currently in hiding from a federal warrant for fleeing a child abuse charge in California. Alamo gained notoriety for refusing to pay employees for working in his church-owned motel and restaurant in Alma, the Ozark town in northwest Arkansas where Alamo claimed his followers worked in exchange for bed and board in the barricaded church compound nearby. --(1990 Nov) --- END --- TOP
1990 Dec -- XXIII -- 12(90) -- IRAQI FALLOUT -- Prophetic Speculation Rife -- Daniel 11 Receives Major Emphasis -- Since the invasion of Kuwait by the forces of Saddam Hussein, the prophetic speculators have been having a heyday. Judging from the number of "junk bond" interpretations being offered, these new versions of prophetic speculation must be proving lucrative. One such speculator who anticipated these current entries into the "bond market" must be rejoicing that his prophetic insights exceeded those of Gabriel. A while back he offered the "junk bond" interpretation that the "he-goat" of Daniel 8 which "came from the west" and "touched not the ground" was the American airforce flying into the Middle East. Most of the recent offerings from the speculator's portfolio focus on the final verses of Daniel 11 defining "the king of the north" and "the king of the south." This emphasis is due to the fact of what has happened in Eastern Europe which permitted such a show of "unity" among the nations of the world over the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
It would be impossible to discuss these various "junk bond" interpretations individually, so from the various ones which have come to our desk, we have chosen one to discuss, and this choice for several reasons. It gives the appearance of scholarship, and uses many quotations from authoritative sources to clothe its error, thus making more deceptive . its "junk bond" interpretation. While the Iraqi crisis is not mentioned, the events which preceded the display of world unity are emphasized based on Daniel 11. These "prophetic insights" were written in a series captioned "Tidings of a Whirlwind," by J. M. Rafferty, side-kick of Ty Gibson, who is one of the "many voices" which the servant of the Lord warned would come to confuse minds at this point in time. (R&H,, Dec. 13, 1892) We have-parts I & II of the series which contains sufficient mis-information for the purpose of this article.
The basic premise upon which this whole "junk bond" interpretation
of Rafferty rests is the identifications of the "king of the south"
and the "king of the north." To give the impression of extensive
linguistic learning, he writes under the sub-heading of "The King
of the South" - "The word 'south' is
p 2 -- derived f rom a Hebrew word which translates 'Egypt' and is biblically referred to as the country of 'Egypt" (Isaiah 30:1-7)." 1 ' It so, happens that.in this reference from Isaiah both the words for "south" and "Egypt" are used., These are two different words and the word for "south" cannot be translated, "Egypt" as Rafferty stated. The word for "Egypt" is Mitzrahyim, while the word for "south" is negev, or the Negeb, which is the name given to the section of Judah lying south of Beersheba. (See Rand McNally Bible Atlas, Map IX, pp. 240-241) This same word differentiation is found in Daniel 11 where Egypt is named in verse 43, and the "king of the south" in verse 40. Now prophetically, the "king of the south" did represent Egypt only because one of Alexander's generals, Ptolemy, took Egypt as his section in the division of the Empire following the death of Alexander the Great.
When Rafferty comes to the "king of the north," this same display of linguistic knowledge(?) appears again. He writes - "The king of the north is represented as Babylon in Jeremiah 25:9. This is in harmony with the Hebrew for 'north' in Daniel 11:40 which is 'Babylonia."' In the first place, Jeremiah 25:9 does not state that Babylon is the "king of the north." It merely indicates that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, was at that time ruling over "the families of the north." The word for "north" is tzahphon, and is the word both in Jeremiah 25:9 and Daniel 11:40, while the word for "Babylon" is bahvel, or Babel; again two different words. Biblically, the "king of the north" does not come into a factor of prophecy until Babylon has long passed from the scene of history as a power. In his zeal without knowledge, Rafferty"s final conclusion is the "king of the south" is really among . "the families of the north" - Soviet Russia to be specific - while the "king of the north" is represented by the Papacy, a "king of the west" in relationship to the prophecy setting. This altering of the basic prophecy of Daniel 8 which prepares the framework for the designations in Daniel 11 of the "king of the north" and the "king of the south" fits well into the headlines of recent months, and thus gives a degree of credibility for what he wrote. At least, it capitalizes on the sensational, even if it is short on truth and long on linguistic error.
On the back page of Part II is found a summary headlined - "Daniel
Eleven and the King of the North." In this block occurs an unusual
"junk bond" offering of insight into prophetic interpretation.
It reads - "It is the Papacy that 'shall enter also into the glorious
land [America]' and cause 'many' to be 'overthrown,' ...". This is
Rafferty interpretation of Daniel 11:41. The only solution to all of this
prophetic speculation is to study carefully the prophecy of Daniel itself
In Daniel 8, an expressed command is given - "Gabriel make this [Daniel] to understand the vision." From this point on to the close of the book, Gabriel is in close communication with Daniel. Daniel had seen in vision a ram, and an he-goat with a notable horn which was broken off. In its place there arose four horns less prestigious, or in Gabriel's words - "not in his power" - that is, not in the power of the "great horn." (8:22) These symbols, Gabriel explains in unequivocal language. The "ram" is declared to be "the kings of Media and Persia." (8:20) The he-goat represented not "the American airforce" but "the king of Grecia" and the great horn "is the first king" or Alexander the Great. (8:21) In his place would stand up four kingdoms which were finally reduced to two, and become in Daniel 11, "the king of the north" and "the king of the south."
The other power in Daniel 8 is the "little horn" which waxed "exceeding great." (8:9) This "little horn" is defined as coming forth "out of one of them" clearly separating the power it symbolizes from being either the "king of the south" or the "king of the north" at any time in history.
To increase our understanding of this factor in the prophecy, we need to consider the phrase, "and out of one of them," from a linguistic viewpoint. in Hebrew, as well as other languages, nouns have gender, either masculine, feminine, or neuter. Pronouns referring to these nouns must also have the same gender as the noun. In Daniel 8:8, the four horns are pictured as extending "toward the four winds of heaven." Then in verse 9, comes the phrase - "and out of one of them" - "horns" or "winds"? In the Hebrew, "horns" is feminine, while "winds" is either feminine or masculine. The pronoun, "them," is masculine which would, refer to "winds" rather than to "horns." However, the SDA Bible Commentary points out that "this phrase presents confusion of gender." (Vol. 4, p. 840) While "them" is masculine, the word for "one" is in its feminine form, thus mixing the genders in the same phrase. So whether out of one of the horns, which can be substantiated by historical documentation, or from one of the four winds which fits the directions emphasized through the vision, the final designation is that this "little horn" is Rome in both its pagan nd papal phases as distinct from the four horns, and not a part of them.
p 3 -- When the pagan phase of Rome is introduced in the prophecy of Daniel 11, it is not designated as either the "king of the south" nor the "king of the north." Daniel 11:19-21 is recognized as describing emperors of Rome, Julius Ceasar through Tiberius, none of which are symbolized as a king of either the south or the north. Thus when the papal phase enters the continuum of the prophecy of Daniel 11, it cannot be considered as either of the two kings. With this factor clearly in mind, the "he" which did "stand in the glorious land" (Palestine and not America" fulfilling Daniel 11:16, Will be the same "he" which shall "enter into the glorious land" as noted in Daniel 11:41, and will be the "he" which "shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain" of Daniel 11:45 - only that the latter "he" will be the second or papal phase of the "little horn" of Daniel 8, or "the king" of Daniel 11:36.
We have given all too little thought or attention to papal thinking in
regard to the Middle East
The objectives of Papal Rome call for the internationalization of Jerusalem. On June 30, 1980, the Holy See lodged with the Security Council of the United Nations, a letter published the same date In the L'Osservatore Romano which set forth "the position of the Holy See concerning Jerusalem and all the holy places." This became Security Council document S/14032. In this document, a resolution on Palestine approved by the UN, Nov. 29, 1947, is noted along with a "special statute" for the city of Jerusalem drawn up by the Trusteeship Council, April 14, 1950 in harmony with the resolution of the UN. It calls for a "corpus separatum" for "Jerusalem and the surrounding area" administered by the Trusteeship Council of the UN. This is the Vatican position. It is totally at cross purposes with the perspective and the law of the State of Israel.
John Paul II clearly outlined the Papal view and significance of Jerusalem in an Apostolic Letter published in L'Osservatore Romano, April 30, 1984. He wrote: Before it was the city of Jesus the Redeemer, Jerusalem was the historic site of the biblical revelation of God, the meeting place, as it were, of heaven and earth, in which more than in any other place the word of God was brought to men. ...
p 4 -- Indeed, in so far as she [Jerusalem] is the homeland of the hearts of all the spiritual descendants of Abraham who hold her very dear, and the place where, according to faith, the created things of earth encounter the infinite transcendence of God, Jerusalem stands out as a symbol of the coming together, or union, and of universal peace or the human family. ...
I think of and long for the day on which we shall all be so "taught of God" (Jn 6:45) that we shall listen to his message of peace and reconciliation. I think of the day on which Jews, Christians and Muslims will greet each other in the city of Jerusalem with the same greeting of peace with which Christ greeted the disciples after the resurrection: "Peace be with you" (Jn 20:19). ...
This peace proclaimed by Jesus Christ in the name of the Father who is in heaven thus makes Jerusalem the living sign of the great ideal of unity, of brotherhood and of agreement among peoples according to the illuminating words of the Book of Isaiah: "Many peoples shall come and say: 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths"' (Is 2:3).
Consider, whom does the Bible indicate will be the prime earthly force in the final events of human history? Who was the one who drew back the iron curtain which had separated Europe for decades? What is this power's objectives for Jerusalem? Read the above paragraphs from the Pope's Apostolic Letter once again. Note that he is basing his objectives on the prophecy of Isaiah 2:3. Open your Bible and read all of the verses of the context verses 2-6. When are these verses to be fulfilled? - "It shall come to pass in the last days."
Observe, the Pope looks for a time when mankind shall once again be taught of God, and perceives Jerusalem as the place where the word of God was brought to man - "where the created things of earth encounter the infinite transcendence of God." Now read the last part of verse 3 what he envisions will happen again "for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." - Ask yourself, what kind of a law, and what word would go forth should he and the one whom he represents be the "movers"? And they will be!
God plans to have a city of peace as the center of the whole united earth for "the spiritual descendants of Abraham." It is called the New Jerusalem. Now note again what is the pope's objective for, "all the spiritual descendants of Abraham." Herein is the tale of "two cities" as amplified in the book of Revelation, but God calls the "Jerusalem" promoted by the "beast" who carries the woman, "Babylon the great." (See Rev. 17:2-5) Instead of so much prophetic speculation with "junk bond" interpretations, we need to know the prophetic word and watch as the scroll unrolls. And it is now unrolling!
1 -- A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament by William Gesenius under the word, negev, meaning "south" cites its use in this one reference as poetically referring to "Egypt." The Modern Reader's Bible which seeks to separate prose from poetry translates verses 6 & 7 as poetry under the title - "An Oracle of the Beasts of the South." The use of the term, "king of the south" in Daniel 11 must be understood, not poetically, but prophetically which was the Ptolemic Kingdom, or Egypt. END
p 5 --Postscripts -- Section I --THE GREAT CONTROVERSY CONTROVERSY -- In WWN (XXIII-11), we printed two letters in an exchange of correspondence between Elder Kenneth Wood and myself due to an article appearing in the Arkansas Catholic which quoted Elder Wood as calling "unauthorized condensations of White's book "absolute trash. "' From the article in the Little Rock diocesan voice, the book which caused the editor, Ms. Deborah Hilliard, concern was the 662 page reprint of The Great Controversy by Charles Wheeling under the title, America in Prophecy. What threw me a curve was the fact that I could not perceive a 662 page book as a condensation of The Great Controversy . In this I was wrong. The reprint by Wheeling omits the historical section following the first chapter, and is thus a condensation.
The tract on the other hand which caused the furor in Indianapolis is really not a condensation, but rather a selected compilation from The Great Controvresy plus some of Ferrell's material. This changed picture requires that we return to the drawing board and start over again. Actually, Wood in his letter was ambiguous, simply writing - "You certainly know that I would not speak of The Great Controversy as trash." But did he actually tell Ms. Hilliard that Wheeling's reprint was "absolute trash"? The context of Wood's statement as given in the Arkansas Catholic would so indicate. The fact that Wood did not even seek to correct any part of the article which was sent to him by Ms. HiRiard, leaves the ball squarely in his court.
A telephone call last evening from the publisher of the tract - "United States in Bible Prophecy" - indicated that he intends to pursue, the matter further by writing directly to Elder Wood. At this point, Wood has few options left over this matter. He is between the rock and hard place. If and when we receive further word, we shall share the same with our readers.
In the article in the last issue of WWN, we also quoted from a letter written by Prescott to W. C. White concerning the method "practiced in making some of [Ellen G. White's] books." Note that Prescott did not say "all" - only "some" and he laid the blame squarely on W. C. White. This issue has now reached a point of no return, and the Estate needs to come clean on the whole issue, sharing with the laity of the church all of the facts involved in the production of the Ellen G. White books, especially the Conflict of the Ages, series. A current issue of a paper published by a far right independent ministry in Australia calls in question - with documentation - certain aspects of The Desire of Ages, as does a series of articles in the Ministry. (October & December, 1990) The air of question and doubt needs to be completely cleared so the work which God assigned to Ellen G. White as a "messenger with a message" [her words] might still be the blessing God intended it to be, so that she, though dead, yet speaketh.
There is another reprint of The Great Controversy under the auspices
of the ASI which was called to my attention when on a recent quick trip
to the Northwest. Since the previous article in WWN, I have received
a copy. It is a part of the Happiness series of books. But in this book,
The Great Controversy Ended ..., there is no author's name! In
the back is an 800 telephone number with the Voice of Prophecy address
given under the name - New Life. The brother who sent me the book
The present agitation for distributing The Great Controversy,
whether the 1884, 1888, or 1911 editions, arises from counsel given back
in the early 1890's that the book needed to be widely circulated. As with
most of Ellen G. White's counsel given, we are years behind in carrying
it out, and then when it is carried out, we forget all about the "time"
and "place" factor
p 6 -- which she Indicated needed to be observed. (SM, bk. i, p. 57) A careful consideration of The Great Controversy clearly indicates that it was written with the view that the final events would take place in that century, and had the 1888 Message been accepted and proclaimed, the end would have come quickly. But the Message wasn't accepted and proclaimed, and thus there must be considered the results of the altering of the Divine purpose as in the case of ancient Israel. (Numbers 14:34 margin) Were we not told in 1901 - the beginning of a new century that "we may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel"? And we are here, not just forty but almost another hundred!
Israel was to have gone into the Promised Land at Kadesh-barnea, but they did not. They went in at Jericho under a different leader, and the conquest of the land of Canaan was accomplished by different means than God had originally planned. It is true that some decided to reject and resist God's direction to the wilderness for forty more years. (Numbers 14:40-45) We might ask a question that would be well to ponder now in the light of ancient Israel's experience: Does our zeal exceed our knowledge in the present wholesale distribution of The Great Controversy? Should we be called to give an account before a Court of Justice a few years down the road, and you were asked some questions about the book, could you defend your present zeal? It is one thing to distribute, it is another thing to know what you are distributing. While this brief follow-up article is a "postscript" to our previous presentation, the whole story is not yet in!
We refuse to recognize that we are now removed about 100 years from the time we should have gone into the Kingdom. We will not candidly observe the world in which we now live as compared to the world of the 19th century, and ask ourselves the question - "How will Revelation 13 be fulfilled now in the light of the changed scene, and our past failure?" Revelation 13:18 begins with the words, "Here is wisdom." Neither will we consider what Ellen G. White wrote after she wrote The Great Controversy : "The Bible, and the Bible only, gives a correct view of these things. Here are revealed the great final scenes in the history of our world, events that already are casting their shadows before, the sound of their approach causing the earth to tremble, and men's hearts to fail them for fear." (PK, p. 537)
Postscripts -- Section II --THE JOHN MARIK CASE -- In "Let's Talk It Over" (XXIII-9, p. 6) we quoted from a letter received from a layperson in the Northwest who was concerned about partial reporting of facts in any given case, and cited the John Marik case as a specific example. This person indicated that the defense counsel never entered a stay of sentence because he wanted "the warrant issued and the pastor arrested for the negative publicity it would create against" the church.
Dr. Glenn D. Toppenberg of Lenoir, North Carolina, sent a copy of this section of "Let's Talk It Over" to Max A. Corbett who defended John Marik. (It was unnecessary as Mr. Corbett is on the mailing list by his own request) On September 5, 1990, Corbett replied to Toppenberg's letter giving his side of the story. In the interest of full reporting, I will quote from a copy sent to me by Corbett, the pertinent facts involved from his viewpoint. Corbett wrote: The person making this comment has undoubtedly, been influenced by the widely circulated report of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which is a fact, that a stay could have been requested in such instance, and thus John Marik's imprisonment avoided. But, the picture presented by the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a misleading one, for they should be fully aware of the fact that the Defendants in the Hawaii Case were not in a financial position to secure a stay. That fact has not in the remotest sense even been touched. Such a stay can only be obtained by posting a supersedeas bond, and if you are unable to post one, the remedy of a stay is illusory. Such a bond is required by Rule 62(d) for the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and Rule 8(b) of the Rules of Appellate Procedure. [Then Corbett notes the fee rates and continues]
But the fee rates are but part of the matter. The bonds holders must be personally indemnified, and secured by the letters of credit from a recognized bank, and the letters of credit backed by collateral ample to satisfy the bank. ... Considering that the attorney's fees were awarded to Plaintiff for $13,929.21, and fines assessed of $500/day, total assessments at time case was reversed were $272,929.21 . The fee alone for this amount would be $1,682.50. Defendants were not in a position to post such a fee, much less provide for the letter of credit and backing collateral.
This now raises some new questions due to the report circulated at the time about funds solicited on the West Coast (and perhaps elsewhere) for Marik's defense. If this report is correct, then where is the accounting of the funds collected? Surely more that $2,000 was contributed to this defense fund. Why could not these funds be used to post and provide for the supersedeas bond? This question, therefore, remains open, and due to the issue made of the Marik Case, all the facts should be placed on the table.
p 7 -- LET'S TALK IT OVER -- A serious malady is afflicting many groups and individuals numbered among concerned Seventhday Adventists. The evidence of the existence of this illness could be called the Athenian Syndrome. The description of this syndrome is found in Acts 17:21, which reads: For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing."
Paul came to Athens with the gospel which was the power of God unto salvation. He was so convinced that the message he bore was the only true gospel that he unhesitatingly wrote to the Galatians: Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Gal. 1:8)
But when Paul arrived at Athens and began to proclaim this word of God's
grace, the Epicureans and the Stoics said, "What will this babbler
say?" (Acts 17:18) They then made arrangements for him to speak on
Mars Hill. But these men had been so taken up with hearing this concept
and that concept, this theory and that theory, that when the word of eternal
life came to them, they were unable tc perceive the truth as it was in
Jesus Christ. Their powers of discernment, which they
We are to "prove all things" and "hold fast to that which is good." (I Thess. 5:21) But we are also to "trust in the Lord with all [our] heart; and lean not on [our] own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5) The bottom line of this counsel is that we dare not trust a man, even our ownselves, but lean wholly on the Lord. This means prayerful, and deep searching of the Word of God, the Bible.
If the Bible had not given to us so clear a warning of what we can expect
in these final days of all human probation, then the seriousness of the
Athenian Syndrome would not be so acute. The Scripture plainly tells us
that we can expect "seducing spirits and doctrines of devils"
to entice us from the true faith. (I Tim. 4:1) These "seducing spirits"
- deceitful workers - transform themselves into "the apostles of
Christ." (II Cor. 11:13) Then we create for them our own "Mars
Hill" to hear
God in His great mercy for the remnant living in an hour when every wind of doctrine is blowing at gale force through the corridors of Adventism gave us special counsel through His chosen "messenger." We were warned that at a certain point in time, when "there will be a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith," there will also be "many voices" confusing the minds of God's people professing to have "great light" and "truth." (R&H, Dec. 13, 1892) Dare we entertain these "many voices" providing them with a "Mars Hill" from which to disseminate their deceptive and confusing "babblings"? Would it not be better to search the Word of God, and when obvious error is found in the writings and teachings of these "voices" which contradict the plain basics of truth, know that this is one of those "many voices" predicted to come at this time. Need we then to continue to entertain that voice and promote its deceptive babbling?
Let us be specific. We know what is called the "new theology" as far as the atonement and the incarnation is concerned, but the element which is basic in the "new theology" is also rampant in the field of understanding the prophecies of God's word. When a "voice" teaches contrary to the very explanation that Gabriel gave to Daniel, why should we continue to hear that "babbler"? Or when "voices" come with a scheme of "time setting" based on an Old Testament agricultural program given to Israel for implementation in the land of their possession, and nothing of this concept is to be found in the book of Revelation, God's final testament on prophecy, should we listen to it?
Let us rather on our knees ask God to heal us from the maladies indicated by the Athenian Syndrome, and with sincerity of heart seek that truth He has for us in the message of the final atonement.
have a sleepless adversary,
p 7 -- --- (1990 Dec) ---End---- TOP
1990 -- COMMENTARY -- Vol. IV #1 -- "Do You See What I See?" -- Editorial -- The prophecies of Daniel and Revelation focus on the workings of "the mystery of iniquity" under various symbols: "the little horn," "the beast," "the woman in scarlet." Paul defines it as "the man of sin" who is energized by the power of Satan. (II Thess. 2:3, 9 ) We have been counseled that "all need wisdom carefully to search out the mystery of iniquity that figures so largely in the winding up of this earth's history." (TM: 118)
In this first issue of the Commentary for 1990, Reid C . Granke traces for us what he sees of the working of that power in the life and politics of the United States and Europe. He will complete what he sees and how he evaluates what he sees in the second issue.
We were taken by surprise by the sudden turn of events in Eastern Europe. Christianity Today, (Feb. 19, 1990, p. 40) quotes a new saying among Eastern European emigres living in the United States that runs something like this - "Poland took seven years to achieve freedom, Hungary took seven months, East Germny took seven weeks, Czechoslovakia took seven days, and Romania took seven hours." But Granke in his article, . quoting as his source David A. Yallop, indicates that more than seven years were involved in the "revolution" in Poland. For a considerable time, monies have been flowing through the Vatican Bank to the cardinals in Poland for the aid of Solidarity. Cardinal Wojtyla, now Pope John Paul II, was involved then as now. These monies came from American sources, and stolen moniies by the chairman of Banco Ambrosiano in Italy. How these monies were manuevered from international banks into the Vatican account is also delineated in the documentation. (pp. 4-5)
Through recent propaganda concerning the Sunday Law question coming out of Illinois, the minds of concerned Adventists have been diverted from key comments that Ellen G. White made about the end times and the involvment of the United States and the Papacy. In this zeal without knowledge, the vital principle of "time and place" has been ignored in evaluating statements coming from the pen of Ellen G. White. For example, in 1888, she wrote that "by legislative enactments," a Sunday law, will be enforced, and that this "national apostasy will be followed by national ruin." (R&H, Dec. 18, 1888) However, in 1910, she wote that "when the state shall use its power to enforce the decrees and sustain the institutions of the church" an image to the papacy will have been formed and then "there will be a national apostasy which will end only in national ruin." (ST, March 22, 1910) These two statements some twenty years apart are not saying the same thing even though the article in the Signs is discussing the Sunday-Sabbath issue. But who is taking time to discover what happened in those twenty years which altered the picture? To fail to do so leads to a deceptive emphasis on the Sunday Law question.
As early as 1891, Ellen White warned that when "the rulers of the land will rank themselves on the side of the man of sin - it is then the measure of guilt is full; the national apostasy is the signal for national ruin." (GC Bulletin, Vol. 4, #19, p. 259) This was literally fulfilled on October 6, 1979, when the present pope entered the White House and at a reception attended by every branch of the American goverrmnt, blessed all present with the permission of President Carter. (RNS, Oct. 8, 1979) Brother Granke notes in his viewing how the Catholic Church worked ironically for the election of Carter's successor, Ronald Reagan, and what has resulted. Reagan, in his eight years in the White House, did more to advance the objectives of the Papacy than all prior presidents starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt who appointed a personal ambassador to the Vatican.
In the second installment of his article, Granke will tell of the Catholic church's view of capital punishment. Here in this judicial district of the State of Arkansas, we have had a prime example of this Catholic dogma and its working. On December 28, 1987, one, Ronald Gene Simmons, went on a rampage in Russellville, killing two people. An investigation by the County Law Enforcement Officers at his home near Dover revealed that during the Christmas holidays, he had killed 14 members of his own family, some as they entered the home with their families for the planned festivities. On June 27, 1988, he was sentenced to die by lethal injection. He waived all appeals and asked that he be executed speedily.
At this date, he is still alive and in prison on death row. The sentence has not been carried out. Why? A lawyer from Morrilton, Arkansas, Mark S. Cambiano, intervened on behalf of the Arkansas Churches for Life, a non-profit religious organization apposed to capital punishment. Louis J. Franz, a member of the Vincentian Community, a religious order of the Catholic Church, residing in Star City, Arkansas, sought to become a Court appointed "Friend" of Simmons. In talking to Franz by phone, the priest stated that the Arkansas Churches for Life was "basically" Roman Catholic. The Little Rock Diocese was involved along with his religious order and the Episcopalian (Anglican) Church of Arkansas. This position of the Catholic Church in the light of the "death decree" noted in Revelation is incongruous.
We need to broaden our perceptions and come to realize that there is more involved in the "decrees" and "institutions" of Rome than just a "national" Sunday law. The "image" could be formed before our very eyes, and because of the deceptive use of the Writings by some who disregard "time" and "place" and by their propaganda, we be totally unaware of what has already taken place. It is time to anoint our eyes with eyesalve so that we can see. Reid Granke is trying to help us see what he sees.
p 2 -- "Do You See What I See?" -- Reid C. Granke -- There's a Christmas song which asks the question, "Do you see what I see?" It, of course, talks about the first coming of Christ. I find the title to this song interesting because even though Bible prophets such as Isaiah and Daniel foretold with telling accuracy the coming of the long looked for Messiah, only a small handful of people were even aware of His coming when He did come! What's more, the Jewish people did not seem to be particularly concerned! More amazing yet is that of all the people who should have been aware of His coming and welcomed Him were the Jewish clergy, and they didn't! We have things happening in the world today which relate to Bible prophecy concerning Christ's second coming to which virtually everyone seems to be oblivious. Had not certain traumatic incidents occurred in my life, I, too, might not have noticed some of these things happening. We tend to get so wrapped up in our own little worlds that we rarely stick our heads out to see in which direction the currents of life are carrying us.
We live in a world of misinformation. Newspapers, magazines, radio and television are constantly feeding our minds with contradictory and false information. Reasons for presenting misinformation vary from innocent errors to intentional fraud for purposes of monetary, political or religious gain. Unfortunately, the world is full of shysters who are continuously trying to deceive the people for the purposes of exploiting them. Exploitation - that's the name of the game! Big businesses do it shamelessly and even openly. Organized religious entities do it shamelessly also, but attempt to be more discreet and cunning about it so that people are not aware of what is happening. There are many masters of the trade.
My roots are in Adventism reaching back four generations, and I am a former employee of the Adventist Church. I can speak from experience about individual and corporate fraud within the halls of Adventism. My life has been permanently ruined as a result of my working experience with some devious and ruthless people in the Adventist organization. In spite of all the calamity that has come upon me and my family from Adventism, and moreover how hideous the corruption is within the organization, I have to say that the corruption is not just child's play but rather baby's play when compared to the corrruption which has been perpetrated by the Vatican throughout all ages and is even continuing today. What amazes me to the point of incredulity is why people in general and Adventist in particular do not realize what the Roman Catholic Church is doing in the world now and has done these past few decades! In this article, I will discuss some of my observations which the reader my or may not have noticed. The observations and views expressed are solely mine and may or may not represent the view of the Adventist Laymen's Foundation.
In this article, I will touch on my observations in point form. While leaving you to draw your own conclusions about my observations. I will not shy away from expressing my conclusions. May the Good Lord be our guide in making accurate and meaningful observations and drawing correct conclusions.
The Vietnam War -- In a recent study regarding the reasons the United States involved itself in the fighting in Vietnam, I learned some very interesting things which I believe directly relate to the Roman Catholic Church in its interrelationship with the United States Government. I will first summarize some of my observations and then give the reader my conclusions regarding these observations. After wading through a number of books on the subject of the Vietnam War, I found two books that squarely and honestly dealt with the issue of why Americans were there in the first place. These books are:
1) The Illuatrated History of the Vietnam War, written by Brian Beckett, and published by Gallery Books (An imprint of M. H. Smith Publishers, Inc.) 1985, 112 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016. Mr. Beckett studied Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and then took an MA in War Studies at.King's College, University of London. He has been researching and writing about military matters for many years and is the author of Wepons of Tomorrow, and the inventor of The Pentagon Game, a board-game based on the Vietnam War.
2) Kennedy in Vietnam (American Vietnam policy (1960-1963), written by William J. Rust, and published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1985 (copyright 1985 U.S. News & World Report, Inc.) The following are Some comments that have been made about this book:
"The best study of this period that I have seen by anyone. It is strictly accurate, very complete and in my view thoroughly satisfactory and a splendidly written account." - Paul M. Kattenburg, Professor of Government and International Studies, University of South Carolina and author of The Vietnam Trauma In American Foreign Policy,1945 -1975.
" An indispensable source for those studying the Vietnam era." - Former Richard Nixon.
" I have no doubt that this will be a valuable contribution to the history of our involvement in Vietnam. A careful and dispationate account of these years has long been needed." - Dean Rusk.
These two books will be my primary sources for this section of the article. While this study is by no means exhaustive, it is an honest attempt to determine the truth and the facts of the matter. These references have allowed me to do so. Instead of the usual footnoting I will simply cite the books (by abbreviation) and pages for each point made. "IH" will stand for The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War, and "KV" will refer to Kennedy In Vietnam. Here are facts that I learned:
p 3 --Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem and his Government --
1. Diem seriously considered entering the Catholic priesthood before deciding to go into politics. (IH pp. 33-34)
2. He remained not only a devout Catholic but was regarded as a *zealous" Catholic. (Ibid.) ,
3. Diem lived in the United States for a while in the early 1950's. He met with, and gained the favor and support of a number of prominent Roman Catholic clergymen and politicians. Among them were Francis Cardinal Spellman and then Massachusetts Senator, John F. Kennedy. (IH p. 34; KV p. 5)
4. Diem's older brother, Ngo Dinh Thuc, was am ordained Catholic priest and during Diem's presidency was Archbishop of Hue. (IH pp. 69-60)
5. Diem gained his position of power by devious and fraudulent tactics with a fixed election. (IH p. 34; KV P. 7)
6. His presidency was dictatorial, corrupt and oppressive even though his government was made out to be a good democracy by the American press and by the Kennedy administration. (Ibid.)
7. Diem presented himself as being anti-communist to gain American support for his goverment but imprisoned any opposition even if not Communist. Again the American press and goverment indicated to the American people that only Commnism was being suppressed by his goverment. (IH p. 34)
8. The CIA built Diem's power base and then helped maintain it for him.(IH p. 36)
9. Diem's spitfire sister-in-law, who was very actively involved in the Vietnam government of Diem, sponsored a "family bill" for the Vietnamese which imposed Catholic-style strictures on marriage, divorce, and sexual relations. This was a deliberate use of force for the promotion of Catholic concepts. (KV p. 11)
10. Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc, Diem's brother, placed a ban on the display of religlous flags in an effort to curtail Buddhist activities in Vietnam. This precipitated a protest on May 8, 1963 which resulted in the killing of at least seven demonstrators by government troops under the command of a Catholic deputy province chief. (KV p. 94)
11. Diem with the support of his brother attacked Buddhist's pagodas on August 21, 1963. His Combat Police and Special Forces, which were CIA trained, arrested and imprisoned more than 1,400 Buddhist monks and nuns thus stripping the Buddhists of most of their leadership. (IH p. 60; KV p. 107)
12. Diem's primary Vietnamese support was from fellow Catholics and his aid programs always favored Catholic villages (IH p. 59- 60)
13. His reign as president was totally dependent on the
support of the United States government -- financially and otherwise.
14. Diem who at f irst did not want American combat troops
fighting for fear of the U.S. government meddling too much in his country's
affairs, later wanted and expected heavy combat support from Kennedy's
administration. (KV pp. 34. 38)
15. Diem and his brother were finally assassinated in a coup d'etat after he lost the political support of many of his officers because of his dictatorial policies.
16. Diem's downfall was at least passively supported by the CIA after Diem would not back down from his oppressive (religious) stance which was proving embarrassing to the Catholic American President and his administration.
John F. Kennedy and his Administration
1. President Kennedy is known to have been a devout Roman
Catholic, and the first Catholic president of the United States.
2. Kennedy was acquainted with and a friend of Ngo Dinh
Diem, who was himself a zealous Catholic. (IH p. 34. KV
3. Kennedy and his administration were fully aware that
Diem's government was corrupt, dictatorial and oppressive both religiously
and politically. (IH p. 34, KV p. 98)
4. The Kennedy administration and the American press portrayed
Diem's regime as a democratic and good government fighting to save his
country from communism, knowing full well that it was a lie. (IH
5. Kennedy and his administration's choice to head up the
"Black Psyche" warfare in Vietnam was Brigadier General Edward
G. Lansdale. The idea behind "Black Psyche" is to plant a (false)
rumor which is untraceable and turns the listener against the subject.
(IH p. 36; KV p. 22)
p 4 -- 6. Among the devious and destructive tactics Lansdale
used was the destruction of crops with fungi not only to bring physical
hardship upon the Vietnam people but also to exploit the superstitious
minds of the Vietnamese peasantry into thinking that God was against the
Viet Cong and North Vietnamese government. Lansdale used many other false
rumors to gain support for Diem's Catholic government. (KV pp.
21-22) "Assassination was also a feature of Lansdale's bag of
7. Despite Kennedy's reluctance to send American combat troops into Vietnam, it was his leadership that actually set the stage for their entry onto Vietnamese soil. The Johnson administration simply carried through that which had already been set by the Kennedy administration. (IH p. 63)
My Conclusion -- In my opinion about 58,000 Americans lost their lives in Vietnam as a result of a Catholic-led American government which was intent on maintaining a corrupt and oppressive Catholic dictatorship. This support was given under the guise of fighting the spread of Coamnism in the world and in the Far East. The Kennedy administration intentionally lied to the American people to gain support for his Vietnamese program. The American news media was, by-in-large, supportive of the Kennedy's administration's lies. I believe that Diem, apart from his personal lust for power, was religiously motivated to spread and, where he felt it was necessary, to force Catholicism on his people. I cannot believe that John Kennedy was not aware of Diem's motivations both selfish and religious.
Further, the fact that Kennedy was supportive of the Diem regime makes me conclude that Kennedy was ideally supportive of promoting Catholicism in Vietnam. However, as noted from the facts, Diem's aggressively oppressive policies became embarrassing to the Kennedy administration. The reason, I believe, Kennedy became embarrassed and concerned about the public's awareness of Diem's oppressive regime is because he realized that a large portion of the American public were still sensitive about having a Catholic president who might appear to show any propensity to a religious oppression. The fact that Kennedy was supportive of Diem could be easily interpreted as being sympathetic to religious oppression fo rthe purposes of promoting Catholicism if the truth of Diem's administration were clearly known to the American people.
I believe Kennedy's concerns were not that he was supporting oppressive means to further Catholicism but that his concerns were 1) to protect his own selfish political career, and 2) not to damage the efforts of his church to propagate Catholicism in the United States. At that time, the Roman Catholic Church did not have the power base to implement any oppressive actions on the Amer ican people. To try to do so without that base would be counterproductlve to their ultimate aims - to dominate America and the world.
The Mafia and the Vatican -- Richard Hammer in his book, The Vatican Connection, shockingly describes how Dective Joseph J. Coffey, Jr. (a devout Catholic) of the New York City Police Department traces (just shy of) a billion-dollar fraudulent securities crime to the doorsteps of the Vatican. Hammer names prominent Mafia bosses, German financiers, and Vatican personnel who were involved in this elaborate fraud scheme. He tells of the connection between the Vatican bank and the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, and how Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, who has been nicknamed, "God's Banker," was involved in Italy's biggest bank failure. This book - The Vatican Connection - is a 1982 Charter Books publication (New York), and worth careful reading.
The book, however, that picks up where The Vatican Connection left off is the book by David A. Yallop. In God's Name. (Bantam Books Publication, New York, 1984) This book is to be highly recommended to all who are diligent seekers of truth wanting to know what is happening in the religious world. In addition to giving some well researched facts about the murderous death of John Paul I with a very thorough background as to whom might have conmitted the crime, Mr.. Yallop explains the interrelationships between the Free Masons, the Mafia, the CIA and the Vatican. Not only is this book facinating reading, it is startling!
Mr. Yallop tells of how the Vatican has been actively evading Italian taxes. This involves huge sums. He goes into extraordinary detail of how the Mafia figures such as Michele Sindona worked together with corrupt international bankers as Roberto Calvi, Free Mason sects called P2, Opus Dei, and Archbishop Paul Marcinkus of the Vatican Bank (I0R) to bring vast sums into the Vatican coffers. The Vatican bank was (and could still be) used to launder illegal Mafia monies. Yallop tells how the P2 Grand Master Licio Gelli was a puppetmaster "with few thousand strings from which to select. Strings appear to have led everywhere: to the heart of the Vatican, the White House, to presidential palaces in a wide range of countries." (p. 313) Gelli was intimtely involved in the fraudulent international banking schemes which so greatly benefit the Vatican.
Concerning Opus Dei, Yallop writes: Opus Dei is a Roman Catholic organization of international scope. Though its actual membership is relatively small (estimates very between sixty and eighty thousand), its influence is vast. It Is a secret society, something that is strictly forbiddea by the Church. Opus Dei denies that it is a secret organization but refuses to make its membership list available.It was found by a Spanish priest, Monsignor Josemarie Escriva de Balagner, in 1928. It is a part of the extreme rIght wing of the Catholic Church, a political fact that has ensured that the organization has attracted enemies as wall as members. About 5% of Its members are priests; the others are laypersons of both sexes. Although Opus Dei has members from many walks of life, it seeks especially to attract those from the upper classes, including young professionals with potential to rise to positions of power. Dr. John Roche, an Oxford University lecturer and former member of Opus Dei describes it as "sinister, secretive, and OrweIIian." ...
No one, however, should doubt the total sincerity of the Opus Dei membership. They are equally devoted to a task at wider significance: the take-over of the Roman Catholic Church. That should be a cause of concern not only to Roman Catholics but also to everybody else. Under Pope John Paul II, Opus Dei has flourished. ... One of his first acts after his election was to go to the tomb of the founder of Opus Dei and pray. (pp. 265/266)
p 5 -- If not shocking enough, here is more. When Cardinal Montini, later Pope Paul VI, was trying to raise money for an old people's home, Mafia figure Sindona stepped in and raised the entire amount. "What Cardinal Montini may not have known is the $2.4 million were supplied to Sindona very largely from two sources: the Mafia and the CIA.
Former CIA agent Victor Marchetti has revealed: In the 1950s and the 1960s the CIA gave econonomic support to many activities promoted by the Catholic Church, from orphanges to missions. Millions of dollars each year were given to a great number of bishops and monsignors.One of them was Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini. It is possible that Cardinal Montini did not know where the money was coming from. He may have thought it was coming from friends. (p. 108)
Yallop also observes - "The CIA never initiates policy; it merely implements or attempts to impliment presidential instructions." (p. 123) Consider this in the light of the CIA's activities in the Vietnam involvement under Kennedy.
The P-2 Organization -- In 1963 one Licio Gelli joined a conventional Masonic Lodge in Italy. He rose rapidly to a third-degree membership which permitted him to lead a lodge. He received a comission by the then grand master to form a group which was given the name "Raggruppamento Gelli P2." Concerning the P2 led by Gelli, Yallop writes: On the surface P2 was and still is a fanatical insurance policy against potential Communist govornments. Excluding Italy, there are still branches functioning in Argentina, Venezuela, Paraguay, Bolivia, France, Portugal, and Nicaragua. Members have even been active in Switzerland and the United States. Moreover, P2 interlocks with the Mafia in Italy, Cuba and the United States. It interlocks with a number at military regimes of Latin America and with the CIA. It reaches into the heart of the Vatican. Apparently, the central common interest of all these elements is a hatred and fear of communism.
In fact, P2 is not a world conspiracy with the aim of preventing the spread of Marxism or its many variations. It is an international group with a number of diverse aims. It combines an attitude of mind with a community of self-interest. its main goal being not the desstruction of a particular ideology but the acquisition of unlimited power and wealth and the furtherance of self. These goals hide behind the acceptable face of "defenders of the free world." In the world of P2, nothing is free. Everything has a price. (pp. 116-117)
Concerning another man completely under the control of Gelli, Roberto Calvi, chairman of Banco Ambrosiano, Yallop writes of his activities: Millions went secretly and illegally to aid Solidarity in Poland. This particular transaction was a mix of money that Calvi had stolen and Vatican Bank funds collected from the Catholic faithful." (p. 312)
Yallop also implicates in this activity, Wojtyla, now Pope John Paul II. We today see the f inal outcome in the revolution that has shaken Eastern Europe.
Yallop, in passing, comments about David Kennedy who became Treasury Secretary in the Nixon cabinet. Prior he was chairman of the Continental Illinois, the bank through which the bulk of Vatican Incorporated's investment in the U.S. stock market was channeled. It was also through this bank that Cardinal Cody of Chicago diverted thousands of dollars to his friend Marcinkus in the Vatican Bank. Marcinkus would then divert the money to the cardinals in Poland.
The Catholic Church through the P2 was active in helping Ronald Reagan to be elected president. Yallop notes that P2 grand master, Licio Gelli was an honored guest at the  presidential inauguration. (p. 315)
International financial schemes devised by Calvi involved Marcinkus and the Vatican Bank. Here is how it worked: The Vatican Bank received huge annual payments for providing the facilities for the Knight (Calvi) to operate a gigantic international fraud. This money was paid in a variey of ways. All Vatican deposits with Ambrosiano banks received interest at least 1% higher than for the other depositors. Another method was for Ambrosiano to "buy"shares from the Vatican. On paper the Vatican Bank would sell a block of shares to a Panamanian company at a price approaching 50% more then the shares were actually worth. The shares never leave the Vatican portfolio, and the bank that Marcinkus controlled would be millions of dollars better off. The Panamanian company, usually with a capital of only a few thousand dollars, would borrow millions from Banco Ambrosiano in Nassau, where Marcinkus was a director. The Nassau branch would have been loaned the money initially by the Luxembourg company (Calvi's shell holding company), which in turn borowed the money from international banks. (p. 146)
My Conclusions -- For years I suspected that there was a connection between the Mafia and the Vatican. Now we have at least two authorities who have documented well the interface between the two. I would term the connection as the Mafia being the right arm of Catholicism in regards to financial matters. What I had not suspected was the interrelationship between the CIA and the Vatican - a very interesting and alarming discovery in its own right. I could not help but wonder who really controls the CIA - the U.S. government or the Vatican. It certainly seems that the U.S. government is doing the biddings of the Vatican whatever the case may be.
Catholics In Power In the United States -- From what I can observe about America politics, it eems that an unusually high proportion of government leaders are Roman Catholics. And of those who are not, a large proportion are sympathetic to Catholicism. Further, I believe that many persons are for practical purposes, Catholics in spirit, even though they do not realize it. Let me explain some of the reasons for these conclusions.
1) Several years ago, I became friends with a young securities broker from the Kidder Peabody Co. in Spokane, Washington. He was quite religious and actively involved with his church - the Episcopalian or Anglican. I did not realize it until he told me that Anglicans are referring to themselves as "Anglo-Catholics" these days. On Friday, September 29, 1989, England's Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, traveled to Rome for four days of talks with Pope John Paul II on the subject of formally uniting the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches.
p 6 -- Consider what this would mean for the Protestants of Northern
Ireland if the Anglicans formally became Roman Catholics? The Catholic
controlled news media often indicates that the Catholic Irish are looking
for "the unification of Ireland." What they are really meaning,
of course, is the total conquoring of the island for Catholicism. If the
two churches formally unite (under Roman Catholicism), what will happen
to the Protestant Irish? If British protective troops would be withdrawn
and Northern Ireland left to a fully armed IRA, would not Protestantism
be wiped out? How long would Catholicism put up with a conscientious Protestant
who resisted becoming a Catholic because of a deep belief that to do so
would be uniting with the Devil? Right now there
John F. Kennedy was the first official Roman Catholic president of the United States, but have you thought about the fact that we now have an Anglo-Catholic president? Keep in mind also that George Bush was at one point in his career head of the CIA. Did you notice that the first overseas trip Bush made as President of the United States was to Europe, and his first stop was Rome and the Vatican? On his second trip to Europe, the first two countries visited were predominately Raman Catholic - Poland and Hungary. After leaving these two countries, he attended a conference of Western European leaders and aggressively promoted financial aid for them. On his return to the United States, he then recommended to Congress substantial aid for them. Out of whose pockets will this aid come? American citizens!
2) As noted above, the Catholic Church was active in getting Ronald Reagan elected president. When one considers that through Reagan, two Roman Catholics were appointed to the United States Supreme Court, it is easy to see the nature of the payoff. His first appointee, Sandra Day O'Connor, is soft on Church-State separation. Keep in mind that another Justice, Byron White, was appointed by John F. Kennedy. This forms the basis of my next comments.
3) Three of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court, Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Brennan, are officially and practicing Roman Catholics, although Brennan is a liberal Catholic and stands stiffly for the separation of Church and State. Let us consider some of the recent Supreme Court rulings:
a) The Desecration of the Flag Issue. All three Catholic Justices voted that it was okay to burn the symbol of the United States - its flag.
b) The Abortion Issue. Note the Justices who were ready to scrap the prior Roe v. Wade decision - Rehnquist, White (Kennedy appointee) , Scalia and Kennedy. Sandra Day 0'Connor was the swing vote that will now allow the States to limit a woman's right to have an abortiom. Her vote kept the Roe v. Wade decision from being completely overturned. Scalia reportedly was the primary moving factor in this key judicial reversal, and was quite critical of Justice O'Connor for not going all the way in the reversal.
c) Both Justices Scalia and Kennedy have made statements which indicate that the wall of separation between church and state needs to be opened or removed. As noted above, the United States through the CIA has already provided much assistance to the Roman Catholic Church. The next step is to make it official. Think of the consequences!
d) The Next Big Issue - The Right to Die. Will the Catholic and pro-Catholic Justices deny people the right to die when they are clinically dead? We should be watching for this decision.
4) Becoming aware of local city, county and State politics, I took cognizance of the high proportion of the people in these governmentals strata that were Roman Catholics. My state, Wisconsin, one of the highest taxed states in the Union, has some of the strictest abortion laws, some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, and when I consider these have been set up through Catholic politicians, I have become quite alarmed. My city, Madison, does not allow handgun sales within the city limits. How is this for flagrantly violating Article II of the American Bill of Rights which reads - "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." (I will discuss the gun control issue in depth later. There is more to it than just an "emotional" hating of guns because of traditional Adventist indoctrination.)
Have you noticed that in almost all countries that are predominately Catholic, that the economic conditions are at the low end of the world's scale, while the most affluent are the predominately Protestant countries of Northwstern Europe (plus Japan)? In those predominately Catholic countries, almost invariably you have a small, super rich class and a mass poverty class. The middle class is virtually nonexistent. There are a number of people who are becoming aware that the United States' middle class is shrinking. More are becoming a part of the lower class while a few select rich are becoming super rich. It has now become quite fashionable in business to exploit the public. The old Protestant Work Ethic, for the most part, has already been replaced by the exploitation ethic.
Who are responsible for this? Can they be identified? I believe so, if this factor were carefully studied. Basically, the super rich, the country's law makers, the court system and administrators are responsible. But who are these people? I do not know who all they are, but I have begun taking some notes. As near as I can ascertain most TV and movie "stars" are produced by either Jews or Catholics, primarily Catholics. What about the ridiculously overpaid sports personnel? I have been noticing a growing number of these people crossing themselves before they get up to bat, or perform athletically. More and more players are wearing crucifixes. Certainly someone needs to make this aspect a matter for serious research.
p 7 -- There are Statistics available as to whom among the nation's governors, senators, congressmen are Catholic. Wouldn't it be interesting to learn the religious makeup of the Federal Reserve Board! It would also be of interest to know the religious backgrounds of all the board members of, say the ten to twenty largest business corporations in the nation! This should become a quest of same reader whose circumstances permits such a research project.
5) Getting elected to any public office requires vast amounts of money these days. It has been said, "Dollars buy votes." When one considers the vast amounts of money that the Mafia has at its disposal, we can easily see how these people can influence elections in this country. When a financial "fat cat" is in power, he tends to make laws that perpetuates his wealth while he gives lip service to helping the poor.
Combine with this the wealth and influence of the Catholic Church and one can realize the tremendous political influence it wields in this nation. Virtually every presidential candidate makes an appearance before American bishops of the Catholic Church at an extravagant dinner during the campaign. One needs to take note of recent intimidation tactics by the Catholic clergy on the elected members of Congress and other government officials with regards to the abortion issue. State Senator John Amri from Birmingham, Alabama, stated, "I'm not as interested in getting re-elected as I am getting into heaven." [Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin), Dec. 6, 1989, p. 8] To say the least, a very revealing statement indicating how he will vote on the abortion issue. To be concluded. [Vol. IV, Number 2]
About Reid C. Granke -- Reid C. Granke was bom in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and was nurtured in the Adventist Church by his mother. His maternal great grandmother was the first person to accept the Three Angels' Message in the little village of Saratov, on or near the Volga River in the area of Kraft, Russia. Elder L R. Conradi was the minister instnmaental in the conversion.
Brother Granke entered denominational employ in 1972 as a Trust Officer with Loma Linda University. After four years with LLU, he served in the same capacity in the Wisconsin Conference before "accepting a call" to the Upper Columbia Conference as Associate Treasurer and Associate Trust Director. It was in this capacity that he confronted the Davenport scandal calling the attention of those responsible to the questionable security of the money advanced to Davenport. He was transferred to the Pacific Union Conference as Assistant Secretary/Treasurer in the Association. Subsequent events of his life are a report in their own right, and we would hope that he will give this personal account with documentatioin in a future article.
In our exchange of correspondence over the above article regarding some editing, Brother Granke's comment as to why he had written a certain way is worth noting. Under 3a, p. 6, his original draft read: Desecration of the Flag Issue. All three Catholic Supreme Court Justices voted that it was okay to desecrate the symbol of the United States Constitution - the U.S. flag.
As you can see, in editing, I deleted the Word, "Constitution." Granke's response to my deletion tells us something, and tells us something about him. He wrote: While tha United States flag does indeed represent the United States in a broad general way, it is particularly important to me as a naturalized American citizen that the flag represents the freedms of the United States Constitution. I am sure most American citizens born in this country do not give it any thought, but it is of utmost importance to me. In my making that statement as I did, I was trying to make the readers aware of that significance. I would never have become a U.S. citizen were it not for the significance of the Constitution.
Letting Granke tell you why, is better then simply restoring the word back into the text.
You will observe on p. 6, col. 1,, par. 4. Brother Granke notes among the affluent countries, "Plus Japan." On this he comments in a letter: I don't know whether you went to include some comnent which would expoand the significance of the fact that Japan is included as one of the wealthy nations. William Manchester's book of General Douglas MacArthur clearly shows that (Protastant) MacArthur was primarily responsible for tearing down the fuedal society that existed before World War II and established not only a democratic government but put land ownership back into the hands ot those who worked the soil. While Catholicism has historically blossomed in feudal style settings where it could manipulate everyone, MacArthur revolutionized Japan giving It its base for wealth today. So it is Protestant ideals that have brought material wealth to those countries who now possess it.
We might ask - is America's decline due to the fact that we no longer have a Protestant and Republic form of govemment? --- End --- 1990 -- COMMENTARY -- Vol. IV #1 -- "Do You See What I See?" -- TOP
1990 -- COMMENTARY -- Vol. IV # 2 -- The ABC of Bible Prophecy -- EDITORIAL -- Bryan W. Ball in his book - The English Connection - has a chapter on " The Great Almanack of Prophecy." He borrows this concept of "almanack" from the Puritan scholar, Joseph Mede, one of the most learned and renowned academics of his age. Mede urged Christians to recognize the importance of time in Scripture, and referred them to the "sacred calendar and great almanack of prophecy, the four kingdoms of Daniel, which are a prophetical chronology of time." (p. 193) Mede is further quoted as declaring the first two dreams and/or visions found in the book of Daniel as "the ABC of prophecy" (p. 201) This emphasis is necessary to avoid speculative interpretations of the book of Revelation. Hugh Broughton, a rabbinical scholar and Reader in Divinity at Durham, who wrote on both Daniel and Revelation said of the latter in 1610, "I must advise the reader to learn Daniel before he learn this book.* (ibid.) The petceptions and advice of these Puritan scholars need to be heeded today within Adventism, both on the periphery as well as at its heart.
The futuristic speculation being projected on these books by such men as Hauser and Wheeling, as well as by others, with the resultant deceptions could be avoided by simply noting that the two first dreams and/or visions in Daniel are indeed the ABC of all Bible prophecy. The desire to understand the unrolling of the prophetic scroll is commendable, but to substitute human speculation for the prophetic base given in the two prophecies of Daniel 2 & 7 is to turn the rays of prophetic light into death rays of darkness.
On the other hand, within the heart of Adventism, there has been either a denial of the light revealed in Daniel 7 regarding the identity of "'the little horn," or we have sought to tone down the designation given in the prophecy of Daniel. In regard to the latter approach. C. Mervyn Maxwell, in his book, God Cares, Vol. 1, writes after listing the identifying marks of "the little horn" of Daniel 7: Only one entity really fits all eight of these identifying marks - the Christian church which arose to religiopolitical prominance as the Roman Empire decIined and which enjoyed a special influence over the minds of men between the sixth and the eighteenth centuries.
To call this Christian church the "Raman Catholic" Church can be misleading if Protestants assume that the Roman Catholic Church of, say the sixth century was one big denomination among others, as it is today. Actually the Roman Catholic Church was virtually the Christian church in Western Europe for about a thousand years. Because of this early universality, both Protestents and Catholics mayh regard it as the embodiment of "our" Christian heritage, for better or for worse. (p. 127, emphasis his)
Does Maxwell not realize that the prophetic symbolism clearly indicates that the "little horn" came up in the fourth beast, and never ceased to be rooted in that beast, ever drawing its nourishment and life from the beast! It can never be considered from God's viewpoint as a "Christian" church as Maxwell has considered it. It is ever the Roman Catholic Church!
Perhaps it was such thinking as displayed by Maxwell - his book was published by the Pacific Press - which led the Seventh-day Adventist hierarchy in the legal case of EEOC v. PPPA to declare to the Federal Court: It is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church whan the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint, and the term "hierarchy" was used in a perjorative sense to refer to the papal form of church governance, that attitude on the Church's part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which now has been consigned to the historical trash heap so for as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned. (Civ. No. 74-2025 CBR, "Reply Brief" submitted in US District Court for Northern District of California. Footnote #2.) [Excerpts Legal Documents (EEPC vs PPPA)from which the above quotation is taken can be obtained from the Foundation The documents are facsimile reproductions from court records.)
While the beginnings of this change in the Seventh-day Adventist Church attitude can be traced to the deletions made in the 1931 Statement of Beliefs in which not only the statement on the nature and purpose of prophecy was removed, but the reference to "the man of sin, the papacy" was deleted. The current expressed attitude began in earnest when the senior Maxwell (Arthur S. of Bedtime Stories) returned from Vatican II Council having attended the session as the editor of the Signs on a press pass. He stated in a sermn at the University Church in Loma Linda. after telling of the supposed changes in the Roman Catholic Church: Well, I must close. I've kept you much too long, but I feel this very sincerely that we. as a people, must re-think our approach to these deer people. We must re-think our approach to our Roman Catholic friends. How can we reject an outstretched hand and be Christians? How can we say that they belong to antichrist when they reveal so many beautiful Christian attitudes? Does this schock you very much? I hope it does! ...
p 2 -- Now, there's one other thng. These things are going to make us think, they really are - this is a new situation. I think that a lot of our preachers are going to have to throw away a lot of old sermons. You and me - lot of old sermons. I have scrapped a lot of them already. You know what I think is going to happen? We cannot go on preaching about these dear people like we did thirty, forty, fifty years a go. We simply can't do it. The facts are against us. How can we go and talk about them persecuting, burning the Bible when they're not doing anything of the sort? ("The Outstretched Hand," Present Truth, No 3, 1968, pp. 13-14)
This attitude was passed from father to son as evidenced in the book, God Cares, Vol. 1. But this subtle and devilish influence has not stopped there. Mervyn Maxwell's influence has in turn had its effect on R. J. Wieland and caused the two men who sounded a warning in 1950 to rewrite and tone down their original manuscript. The one who applauded this tone down was none other than Mervyn Maxwell himself. (See Ministry, Feb., 1988. p. 63) And the end is not yet. The full consequences will only be realized in eternity.
The ABC of Bible Prophecy -- The dream of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2) and the night vision of Daniel (Chapter 7) constitute the ABC of Bible prophecy. These two chapters form a single outline of what is now mostly fulflled. The outline is further detailed by the other prophecies in both the rest of the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation. These two prophecies begin with Babylon as a world empire and extend to the time when this world again is returned to its rightful allegiance. The dream of Nebuchadnezzar was adapted to the thinking and contemplation of this pagan king, and focuses on world empires until the time when "the God of heaven" sets up His eternal kingdom on this earth. The vision of Daniel, while including the same world empires, presents the flow of history as it concerns "the saints of the most High."
Daniel 2 is not a conditional prophecy. God made known "to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain and the interpretation thereof sure." (2:45) We are not left in doubt as to when this dream began to be fulfilled. To Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel said - "Thou art this head of gold." (2:38) It is not necessary for the purposes of this article to detail this dream, but rather note a key revelation. The fourth kingdom represented by the iron, though having a point - the ankles - whereat it appears as mixed with clay, continues to the very tip of the toes. (2:42)
Daniel 7 is important because it gives a prophetic outline which permits the student to identity in history the "little horn" as the Papacy.
Certain general details need first to be considered before the specifics of Daniel's night vision are considered. These beast symbols follow each other in succssive order, and do not appear simultaneously upon the world scene. "The first was like a lion" (7:4) "And behold another beast, a second, like unto a bear" raised itself up "on one side." (7:5) "After this" Daniel beheld another, "like a leopard." (7:6) And "after this" he saw "a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible." (7:7) Further, he was told that "these great beasts, which are four, are four kings which shall aarise out of the earth." (7:17) The words, "king" and "kingdom"are used interchangeably by the heavenly interpreter. (See 7:23)
How are we to arrive at the point of beginning? Does the "Lion" represent Babylon even as the head of gold? This vision was given in "the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon" (7:1) which means that most of Babylon's history as a "great" kingdom was in the past. It had already risen out of the earth, and the text reads, "shall arise." In the Hebrew, there are but two tenses of the verb - the perfect, and the imperfect by which the future is expressed. In Daniel 7:17, the imperfect is used. But the Hebrew imperfect does more than express future time as does our English future tense. "The Hebrew imperfect ... expresses the unfinished, what is coming to pass, and is future; but also what is continuing and in progress at any period of time, even in the past." (Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, 17th ed., p. 227) The 7th Chapter begins where the 2nd Chapter did, with Babylon.
p 3 -- Daniel in wanting to know about the vision was not primarily concerned with the first three "beasts." He recognized the symbol of the lion with eagle's wings. He saw it every day in the mosaics and sculptured works of Babylon. It was the "national" symbol of Babylon. Even the prophet Jeremiah used that imagery where foretelling the coming of Nebuchadnezzar to desolate the kingdoms to the east of Judah. (49:19, 22, 28) But Daniel was concerned about the fourth beast. He said - "Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast." (7:19)
This "fourth beast" not only follows the Grecian leopard - in the distant past for us - but Daniel also sees it continuing "till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame." (7:11) This iron-toothed monster, like its parallel symbolism in Nebuchadnezzar's dream - the legs of iron - continues likewise to the end. But in it and from it comes another symbol - a "little horn" which instead of "beastly" features has "the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things." (7:8) It must be kept distinctly in mind that the teaching of the vision is that this "horn" finds its source in, is nourished by, and is never separated from, this non-descript beast.
The "1ittle horn" is described as corning up "among" the ten homs which were also to arise out of the beast. (7:24) In the interpretation, it was stated the "'little horn" would arise "after" the ten homs were in place. (7:24) In its ascendancy, three of the first horns would be uprooted. (7:8) The record of history reveals that this prophetic detail was fulfilled by one power only, the Papacy. Thus the continuing "iron" of Daniel 2, and the iron-toothed monster with its humanized little horn of Daniel 7, represents both pagan and papal Rome. It is telling us that though "Christianized," the Papacy is still Roman - the Rome of Christ, Paul and all the other martyrs of the early centuries of the Church. Further, it is still the Rome of the Dark Ages, and though presently robed in white, counseling the rulers of earth, it is still ready again "to wear out the saints of the most High."
There is a continuum in this Prophecy which needs to be carefully considered.
In the vision itself which is detailed in Daniel 7:1-14, 21-22, the sequence
in symbol is that following the pagan phase of the iron-toothed monster
comes the "little horn." The "1ttle horn" is allotted
power for "a time and times and a dividing of time." Then "the
judgment shall sit." (7:25-26, 9) In Daniel 7, the vision to verse
8 covers the time from Babylon till 1798, the close of "the time
and times and the dividing of time." Dardel 7:9-10 pictures the opening
of the judgment in 1844 (8:13-14) with its objective to
At the time "the judgment was set, and the books were opened," Danid in vision "beheld then because of the great words which the horn spake." (7:11) During the "time and times the dividing of time" - the prophetic 1260 day/years - the horn had spoken "words against the most High." (7:25) [The word, "great" is supplied in the text] Now he speaks "great words." Though deprived of the temporal power since 1798 which he once possessed, the Papacy spoke forth in the realm of the spiritual wherein in reality is the basic conflict - the battle between truth and error. (See John 8:44)
Ten years after the time given in prophecy for the judgment to be set, the Papacy issued its dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854. This assured the fact that the doctrine of the Incarnation would be a key issue in the final contention over truth. To the Advent Movement raised up by God to proclaim the messages of theThree Angels of Revelation 14, God committed the truth of the incarnation that Christ in entering humanity took upon Himself, the nature of fallenman. The documentation of this fact can be verified from several sources. For one see - An Interpretive History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The conflict over this doctrine has been evidient in the history of the Church. First the aberrant movement in Indiana at the turn of the century revolved on the doctrine of the Incarnation. Their perception of the nature Christ assumed in humanity was such that it was dubbed the "Holy Flesh" Movement. While the leadership of the Movement did not accept the Papal explanation for Christ's "holy flesh," they did teach that Christ's humanity was different from the rest of the sons and daughters of Adam by declaring that God prepared for Him a special body in which to dwell while on earth.
p 4 -- In the controversy over the doctrine resulting from the SDA-Evangelical confences of 1955-1956, the compromise over the doctrine of the incarnation on the part of the Adventist conferees was in the forefront. See Andreasen's Lettes to the Churches. Now at the present time, through the Church's leading publication, the doctrine of the incarnation has again become an issue. (See WWN, XXIII - 5 & 6) Each individual needs to answer the challenge by E. J. Waggoner to the delegates at the 1901 General Conference session when the Holy Flesh Movement was confronted - "We need to settle, everyone of us, whether we are out of the church of Rome or not." (Sermon, April 16, 1901, 7 p.m., GC Bulletin, p. 404)
In 1870, the "great words" of the "little horn" were again heard in the dogma of Papal infallibility. In this papal action the "teaching magisterium" of the Pope was confirmed. He was infallible in his supreme pronouncements in the matters of doctrine. The Bible needs to be interpreted to the common man, and that interpretation would come through the pope. The Catholic Church's position is that "an infallible Bible without an infallible living interpreter is futile." ( The Faith of Millions, p. 138) Tragically, many a concerned Seventh-day Adventest have cast "the messenger of the Lord" into the same role as given the Pope that of being an infallible interpreter of the Scriptures.
There is a second aspect to the Dogma of the Infallibility of the Pope. It gave to him " the immediate and sovereign jurisdiction, under all of its aspects over all the pastors and the faithful. The devil was not content to have his vicegerent alone proclaim this working policy, but he has succeded in infultrating the Movement God extablished with these same concepts. the record of our own church history documents his success and the warnings given concerning such policy.
In 1901, when Ellen G. White arose and addressed the General Conference session in Battle Creek, she declaired referring to the officers of the Church - "That these men should stand in a sacred place, to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be, - that is past." (1901 G.C. Bulletin, p. 25) Many have latched onto this statement with the emphasis on "that is past." But note - "as we once believed." That is past! We believed an error. we now to return to the foundation, "and to build upon a different principle." (ibid.) The result was, a new Constitution was formulated, simple, short and direct, without the office of a president - no pope or kingly potentate. But 1901 was followed by 1903, and the 1901 Constitution was thrown out. Before the new instrument was voted, P. T. Magan warned the delegates that "the principles which are to be brought in through this proposed constitution, and in the way in which they are brought in, are the same principles, and introduced in precisely the same way, as they were hundreds of years ago when the Papacy was made." (1903 GC Bulletin, p. 150)
Ellen G. white reacted to this new order of things established by the 1903 General Conference. She declared that the church was "now being leavened with her own backsliding." (8T:250) She had previously from Australia sought to correct the drift into this state by warning that the hierarchical manifistations of authority reaching down even to the local conference presidents was "following in the track of Romanism."(TM. p. 363) The hope that had arisen in 1901, was jettisoned in 1903, and "backsliding" began in earnest. But not only did the Lord's messenger warn of this apostasy from the princples of truth, but she specifically called for denominational repentance and conversion. (8T:250) [Tragically, today the call for such a repentance is directed at the wrong issue, a message rather than the church having accepted papal dogma as a working policy]
On November 1, 1950, another dogma was promulgated. Pius XII "solemnly pronounced the dogma of the Corporal Assumption of the Virgin Mary." This gives validity to spiritistic manifistations as far as Rome is concerned. Let it be noted that this dogma was proclaimed on All Saints Day. This was not a coincidence. What is significant for us is the time of this pronouncement - 1950 - bringing us down in the prophecy of Daniel 7 to our own day when the controversy between truth and error began in earnest within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The climax was reached in 1980, when the General Conference at Dallas voted a new 27 Statements of Belief which differed radically in parts from what had been previously held, setting forth concepts alien to historic Adventism.
But back to the prophecy of Daniel 7. After Daniel heard the "great words which the horn spake," he then saw one "like the Son of man" come to "the Ancient of days." To the Son of man was given "dominion and glory, and a kingdom." (7:11, 14) In the continuity, the Son of man did not come at this point to investigate the record of the lives of those who were to make up the kingdom, but to receive the kingdom that was His and to share it with "the saints of the most High."(7:27) While we have given study and consideration to the fact that when the judgment was opened, the great High Priest entered the Most Holy Place of the Heavens, we have not considered the implications of this prophecy which adds the inference that Christ performed a work, and at a point in time returned to the Heavenly Court to receive the results of its adjudication "given to the saints fo the most High" against "the little horn." (7:21-22) While the previos study was based on the type outlined in Leviticus 16, we failed to carry forward the implications of the prophecy of Daniel 7. Such a study would involve a careful investigation of the meaning and significance of what is called "the final atonement." Since it is evident from the prophecy in connection with Leviticus 16, that "the Son of man" is returning from a mission on which He was sent as a result of the "judgment" being set, we must ask about the nature of such a "mission."
p 5 -- In the type, the high priest on the day of atonement was clothed from head to ankle with the holy linen garments. (Lev. 16:4) We have falled to connect this fact with the sanctuary imagery of Ezekiel 9, where there is depicted a movement from the "most holy" and a command to "the man clothed in linen." The final revelation of this section of the four-part "visions of God" given to Ezekiel discloses that "the man clothed in linen" returns and reports the matter saying, "I have done as thou has commanded me." (9: 11) What was He commanded to do, and therefore, what did he accomplish? This is a study in itself, a study opened by a clearer understanding of Daniel 7.
"DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?" -- Part 2 -- Reid C. Granke -- Catholic Propaganda -- The Catholic propaganda machine is a really big issue to pursue - one that should have the thorough and lengthy attention of a good research book. Even though I will not be able to give the reader that kind of material in thk article, I could not let the matter go by without at least making a few observations. I have already discussed the successful misinformation or propaganda regarding the Vietrum War and former President John Kennedy (the most overrated president in United States history). Now let's deal with some current issues.
Have you noticed more and more TV news reports are including interviews with prominent Catholic public figures and priests? Have you noticed that more and more stories are being selectively picked and slanted to a certain philosophy than ever before? The issues which are presented to the American public for emphasis are chosen by a select group of people with a certain religious and social philosophy. Note the frequency with which they are presented, the number of times only one side of an issue is presented and the other side ignored. For example, CBS aired an anti-gun program, "Guns of Autumn," a little while back without charge to anti-gun factions. But, when the NRA tried to buy air time to rebut many inaccuracies and distortions of the program, CBS refused. This leads me to the next comment.
1) Gun Control: Isn't this an unusal topic for traditional Adventists to discuss arid consider? This issue reminds me of the trick questions the Pharisees presented to Christ. These types of questions and issues appear as having only two extreme positions. If you take either position, you loose. A traditional Adventist will automatically tend to take the position that all guns should be abolished in North America. Why then even consider the questionm? Right? There is more than meets the eye at first glance. If you are not careful, you will be taken in by the surface issues just like millions of othes have been, and are being taken in.
Whether Adventists want to admit it or not, one of the basic raasons
why we as Americans have the rights of freedom of speech, movement and
religion that we do, is because of the very significant and totally overlooked
provision in the Bill of Rights commonly referred to as the 2nd Amendment
- "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms .. " Whether
we own or keep a firearm in our home is irrelevant to the importance of
the issue. The fact that Americans are Constitutionally protected in that
right holds political/religious domination of the country at bay. Take
away the right of the people to own and carry guns and you set the stage
for a dictatorship!
The taking away of guns was one of the first steps taken by Hitter to gain complete control of Germany. It is the underlying philosophy that has been applied in Communist countries, and it is the same approach used by all totalitarian governments in the world.
Whether you abhor guns or not, if you vote for, or even go along with, zealous gun controllers, you are helping to give away our national freedoms - which will inevitably mean even the freedom of speech and religion. Sometimes we resist wanting to believe the truth when it seems so contridictory to what we have been taught in Adventism, but it is important that we honestly and openly consider this very vital matter. I have come to the conclusion that perhaps the most significant consideration as to why we should not bear arms in wars waged by the United States is not just because of the general commandmen - "Thou shalt not kill" - but because we cannot always believe what our own govemment is telling us about why we are fighting in the first place. I have often wondered what many people would think if they realized that their sons, brothers and other loved ones were killed for the purpose of promoting Catholicism in Vietnam! The Roman Catholic church has done an astonishingly effective job of camouflaging that "little" fact.
2) Abortion: This is another trick issue that is not what it appears to be on the surface. There is no question, it is wrong to have a casual abortion just to get rid of evidence of an immoral affair, for economic expedience, or just plain conventence! That is the surface issue - the emotional one that allows religionists to manipulate the unwary. What lurks behind, however, is a very important constitutional issue - the forcing of another person's moral judgments on you whether you agree with them or not! This is one of those issues where the Roman Catholic church crosses the line between separation of church and state. Keep in mind that not all abortions are immoral. One of at least two things wrong with the Ronm Catholic position is that it is extreme. There am extenuating circumstances which may make it advisable to have an abortion for the child's sake as well as for the parent's sake - particularly the woman's sake. Let we give you a personal experience: My wife and I had to face the issue of whether or not to abort a potentially defective child when my wife contracted German measles during the first few weeks of pregnancy with our second child. That was the most difficult decision of our lives! Adventist doctors at Loma Linda University told us that there was at least a 25% (Possibly up to 50%) chance that the child would be deformed both physically and mentally. They all advised us to abort. Because my wife and I could not emotionally bring ourselves to that decision, we decided to go ahead with normal delivery and I prayed for the best. In fact, I told the Lord that if the child would be normal both physically and mentally, let the child's affliction come upon me. if necessary. The child is now seventeen, and not only healthy and normal in every sense of the word, but she is a wonderful young lady with a great deal of potential. What about me? Whether a coincidence or not, I have become totally deaf - one of the most common afflictions of rubella babies.
p 6 -- The point about abortion is this. Nobody has a right to take away the decision of whether or not to abort a child but the mother of that child! Whether she makes a right or wrong decision is between her and God. Nobody else! Only the father of that child should have a say in the matter, but it should be left totally to the woman bearing that child to make the final decision. Until the child is born, it is a part of her own body - thus her decision! This is where the Catholic church wants to take away those God-given rights of women and make it their's. This theft of rights and the resulting confusion it brings is causing havoc in our nation today. Former Surgeon General Koop has publicly stated the same group who oppose contraceptive devices is the one who is ung the antiabortion issue. Do we need to say more to identify those people?
The final thing that the reader needs to remmnber is that the Uidted States Constitution should not, and does not, guarantee that certain religious/philosophic views are to dominate the lives of others! On the contrary, our nation's fathers well realized the importance of separation of church and state in protecting the religious freedoms and basic God-given rights of its citizens. The role of the clergy should be to reason and even plead with the person to make the right moral decision, but not to force them into doing what the cleric thinks is right.
Television Shows and Movies -- A few years ago, I heard an Adventist minister who was with one of the Union Conferences in the Seventh-day Adventist church, tell the group asambled for a staff worship meeting that television shows are an evil influence on us. Wow, I had not heard an Adventist minister speak up about the evils of TV in many years since the 1950s In fact! Very interesting! But as I listened, only generalitles were being expressed. Nothing specific was cited as being evil. It seemed like a vague, mysterious something that no one was able to identify. Yet it was there.
A few months ago, one of the major TV networks (CBS as I recall) in one of their documentaries brought to light that regular TV entertainment shows such as mysteries, detective stories, westerns, etc., are used to teach people morals. Well, Isn't that interesting? I had been taking note of the moral lessons that were being generated by these programs, and now for the first time (to my knowledge) it was being publicly admitted that there was "a method behind all the madness."
Next time you watch TV, take note of what morals the show is trying to get across to the viewer MacGyver is always trying to tell the public that guns in-and-of themselves are evil. They are an evil entity. In that show they are not the inanimate destructive devices or tools that in reality they are. They are personified as having a character of evil in-and-of themselves. The bad guy is always the one who has the gun in that show. It never seems to have occurred to the writer and producer that like other destructive devices such as bulldozers, shovels, axes and scissors, guns can be and are used in a protective way. Most other shows such as "Spenser" - "Matlock" - "Hunter" - "In the Heat of the Night" - seem to be saying that it is only okay for policeamen and military to have guns. Those "moral" lessons are, of course, setting the stage for a police state.
In January 1989, NBC in their series "In the Heat of the Night"
showed a play where a Black man, who was involved (as a get-away driver)
in an armed robbery, was sentenced to death. It was not clear as to why
he was sentenced to be executed, but one was left to assume that it was
not just for being a get-away driver in a robbery. But, by vague inferences
the fellow was made out to be a pretty nice guy who "was getting
a bum rap." The audience was made to feel sorry for him because
That January "In the Heat of the Night" show was also doing
some else of great significance. It was distorting and misusing Bible
texts to teach its brand of morals to the viewers. Since most of the readers
of this article will be Adventists or former Adventists, they will be
famillar with the Bible text where Jesus said to Martha, "I am the
resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live
Have you noticed more and more instances of priests and nuns being used as characters in TV productions? More and more photographic shots are being taken in Catholic churches and schools. More and more shows are showing people with crucifixes hanging around their necks or on the walls of their homes and offices. Whose morals and codes of life are being promoted in these productions?
p 7 -- Some Miscellaneous Thoughts to Consider -- 1. When one analyses the Vietnam War matter, one can see that it was a "no lose" situation for the Roman Catholic Church. If South Vietnam (and the United States) had won the war, then there would have been hundreds of thousands of Buddhists subject to a Catholic regime. With the loss of Vietnam itself came the massive Immigration of Vietnamese Catholics to the United States to help load the electoral scales in favor of the Catholic Church. The influx of Mexicans and other Central and South American peoples into this country is working also to the same end - helping elect those public "representatives" who favor Catholic ideals.
2. If the United States' Constitution were to be effectively
annulled and Americans lose their freedoms, it would undoubtedly have
a profound effect on other nation. Canada whose economy is
3. What kind of freedoms are likely to be lost? When one studies the history of the old Roman Empire and the succeeding "Holy" Roman Empire one can see patterns of similarity. In ancient Roman times, peoples were allowed to worship their own gods as long as the ultimate or supreme loyalty to the Emperor was foremost. Similarly, the history of the Romn Catholic Church reveals the same policy. People who are "converted" in "Third World" countries are allowed to keep their pagan superstitions so long as their ultimate pledge of allegiance is to the Pope and his local representatives. The "Holy"Roman Empire can be very accommodating to those who will yield allegiance to the pope. To the Biblical Christian, however, it can only mean oppression.
4. Where are otherchurches in their closeness to unification with Catholicism? Judging from the staunch, passionate support for Catholicism from some local Baptists with whom I am acquainted, it would seem that they have already united in spirit although not in corporate being. Where are the Lutherans in this issue? According to the Ecumenical Press Service (EPS) news bulletin 88.02.158, Lutherans and Catholics have completed a "working paper" (started in 1967) on "Asertaing the Wide-Ranging Agreemmt on Justifation."
As the reader will recall the issue of justification by faith was the basic theological issue which set Luther at odds with the Papacy. This bulletin, incedentally,coincides with a radio news broadcast I overheard in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, about 18 years ago which said that Luthern and Catholic theologians were simply waiting for their congregations to catch up.
Further, according to the EPS (89.08.46): SASKATOON - Effective in October, the Evangelical Luthern Church in Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada are to begin a relationship of "interim sharing of the eucharist." This follows official judgments by the governing bodies of each denominaton that in the other "the gospel is preached and taught." Besides eucharistic sharing, the relationship is to include joint programmes in evangelism, social action, and Bible study; shared facilities; and regular intercessions for the other. The agreement is patterened after a similiar one in effect in the United States since 1982.
With both the Anglicans and Lutherans moving toward Rome andraand to one another, what does this mean? Note the following EPS report: SACRAMENTO - About 1000 people came to the Roman Catholic cathedral here for a 90-minute, ecumenical baptismal liturgy. During it, four children - Roman Catholic, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Luthern - were baptized, each after the custom of his or her tradition. But, observed liturgy planners, the baptisms took place "under one roof, in the water of one font, knit together by one liturgy, celebrated, in the power of the Holy Spirit, by one people." Preacher at the liturgy was Kathleen Hurty, associate general secretary for the regional and local ecuminism on the general staff of the [US] National Council of Churches.(89.08.42)
The emphasis is "under one roof" and the water from "one font." But under whose roof, and from whose font?
With Communism in Eastern Europe collapsing, Catholicism is rushing in
to fill up the vacuum.
So now that we have reviewed all these details, where are we? Jesus said: "But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
"And He told them a parable 'Behold the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near.
"Even so you, too, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
"Be on guard, that your hearts may not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day come on you suddenly like a trap; for it wilI come upon aII those who dewll on the face of all the earth.
"But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:28-36 NASV) --- End --- 1990 -- COMMENTARY -- Vol. IV # 2 -- The ABC of Bible Prophecy -- TOP
1990 -- Commentary -- Vol. IV, #3 -- "Contemporary" Adventism -- Editorial -- The fallout from the confrontation at Indianapolis between the dissidents and the church hierarchy over private publications of the Writings of Ellen G. White, or parts of them, continues. In the September issue of WWN (XXIII-9(90)), we called attention to the comments of a headline hunting dissident and the off-the-cuff outburst of the Communications Director of the General Conference, both of whom spoke without knowledge of the tract in question - "United States in Prophecy." In the article - '"Quiet Diplomacy'" - we quoted from the Arkansas Catholic that the Church requested the Vatican to send "an official observer to the conference." (The article as it appeared in the official organ of the Diocese of Little Rock is reproduced on p. 6 of this issue of Commentary.) The 1990 GC Bulletin had noted in the introduction of T. J. Murphy to the delegates that he was present representing "the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity." (#7, p. 8)
Now another article has appeared in the same Diocesan paper (Sept. 9, 1990). I have the article before me as I write through the courtesy of the same brother who supplied the previous one. This one is captioned - "Anit-Catholic books distributed at Little Rock intersection." However, this was "a 662-page reprint of The Great Controversy, a book originally published in 1888 by Seventh-day Adventist 'founder and prophet' Ellen G. White," according to the article. The book is renamed, America In Prophecy, and published in Jemison, Alabama, by Inspiration Books East. The article refers to Charles Wheeling as "Charles Wheeler" and evidently the writer tried to contact him for comment, but indicated, he "could not be located."
Contact was made with Elder Kenneth Wood of the E. G. White Estate. He, too, affirmed that he had tried repeatedly to communicate with Wheeling but he "has refused to return correspondence." This is evidently par for the course since I, too, have had a similar experience. One wonders, of what is he afraid? One dealing uprightly in truth should have no fears.
But what is amazing is what the Arkansas Catholic quoted Wood as saying. He used the same language as Ms. Burton, calling "the unauthorized condensations of White's book, 'absolute trash.'" before further comment on Wood's alleged outburst, I will write to him for varification as to whether the Diocesan paper quoted him correctly. I hope that since he was a bit disturbed that Wheeling did not reply to his correspondence, he will not follow Wheeling's example in answering my inquiry.
There is much more at stake for Adventists than merely this exchange with the Catholics. The most recent article in the Arkansas Catholic (see article below) would indicate that the edition of Great Controversy which Wheeling is printing for distribution is the 1888 edition. The 1888 edition when compared to the 1884 edition has 186 added pages, and 38 omitted pages. Keep in mind there were no visions on the subject given between 1884 and 1888. Also there is a manuscript - Ellen G. White and the Protestand Historians: The Evidence From an Unpublished Manuscript on John Huss - which has been held up because the White Estate will not release certain documents. This document casts much added light on the 1888 edition. Wood might better serve the cause of truth by authorizing the release of the essential documents to allow for its publication. All of this present surge to distribute The Great Controversy, to print condensations of it, and to run advertisements in Time magazine about it, might be better laid to rest until all the facts are in. And if one still has the urge to distribute from a "crate-like box," he had better ask himself which edition he is distributing.
Then there are other equally as important questions which could be asked, - and which we will address in another editorial, or in the regular monthly feature - "Let's Talk It Over."
July 29,1990, page
8 -- Indianapolis
(CNS) A Seventh-day Adventist faction from Tennessee mailed an unknown
number of anti-Catholic booklets the week of July 8 to homes in Indianapolis,
where 2000 gathered for the denomination's 55th world convention July
Shirley Burton, a spokesperson for the denomination, told the Indianapolis Star daily newspaper the tract was "trash." The pamphlet, "United States in Prophecy," calls Catholicism a pagan religion and refers to the pope as a beast.
Some Adventists attending the convention demanded a retraction of Burton's remark and claimed that anti-Catholicism is a crucial part of traditional Adventist doctrine.
John F. Fink, editor of the Criterion, Indianapolis archdiocean newspaper, "The Seventh-day Adventists have a history of anti-Catholicism, like manly other Protestant religions in lthe U.S. during the 18th and 19th centuries."
However, the main body of the Church has moved away from an anti-Catholic position. The new position of co-operation with the Catholic Curch was exemplified by the invitation from Seventh-day Adventists to the Vatican to send an official observerto the conference.
Rev. Thomas J. Murphy, director of the Indianapolis archdiocean office of ecumenism, acted as the Vatican observer. He addressed the conference July 10.
The tract, distributed by the Adventist Layworkers Affiliate of Tennesseeand printed by Coming Events of Portland, TN, also characterized those who celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday as "disobedient to God's Holy Law."
Seventh-day Adventists consider binding the Hebrew Testament prescriptions of Saturday as the Sabbath, as well as Hebrew Testament law on tithing and diet.
Neither the tract's distributor nor its publisher was represented at the conference. Herbert Ford, news director for the denomination, told the Indianapolis Star that Adventists who want to cling to the church's historic anti-Catholic beliefs represent only about 1,000 of the church's 750,000 North American members.
Other Adventists contend those nubers are larger than the church is willing to admit, claiming that hundreds came to Indianapolis to meet in hotel rooms across the city.
Fred Allaback, land independent evangelist from Mount Vernon, OH, said the "Prophecy in the United States" is a condensation of "The Great Controversy," written by 19th-century Seventh-day Adventist founder and prophet Ellen G. White.
White's book, Allaback said, warned against the evils of the papacy and feared the Catholicism would become the official religion of the U.S.
Ford said that "there is a little fear" among Adventists who live in nations where Catholicism is strong.
is the rejection of Bible truth which makes men approach to infidelity.
p 2 -- "Contemporary" Adventism -- It surprises me at times when I reread previously studied material what "trees" I see when before, I had only observed the "forest" as a whole. In 1977, T. E. Unruh discussed the SDA-Evangical Conferences which he had chaired some 20 years earlier. This report was published in Adventist Heritage, Vol. 4, #2. What caught my eye as I reread this report a few weeks ago was his comment on the answers which had been prepared by the Adventist conferees in response to the questions asked by the late Water Martin. It stated: The document by this time [asthe formal conferences ended] had grown to some sixty questions and answers, and was beginning to be thought of as having book possibilites - a definitive statement of contemporary Adventist theology, in convenient reference book form. (p. 41, emphasis supplied)
To this end a committee was appointed by the then president of the General Conference, R. R. Figuhr, to be chaired by himself. The committee was composed of the chief officers of the General Conference - A. V. Olson, W. B. Ochs, L. K. Dickson, H. L. Rudy, J. I. Robison, W. R. Beach, and C. L. Torrey - the Editor of the Review & Herald, F. D. Nichol; and the Adventist conferees - T. E. Unruh, R. Allen Anderson, L. E. Froom,and W. E. Read.
The perception which caught my eye, as emphasized above, was that this book was to be considered "a definitive statement of comtemport Adventist theology." In Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, "contemporary" is defined as "coming into being during the same period of time." But the laity of the Church were not told this until 20 years after this "new theology" was created by the Adventist conferees and apporved by the officers of the General Conference. When the book was published, the readers were told: The replies [to Martin's questions] were
prepared by a group of recognized leaders, in colse counsel with Bible teachers, editors, and administratos. The goal was to set forth our basic beliefs in termonology currently used in theological circles. This was not to be a new statement of faith, but rather an answer to specific questions concerning our faith. It was natural that these answers would come within the framework of the official statement of Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventist which appears in the Church Manual. In view of this fact, these answers represent the position of our denomination in the area of church doctrine and prophetic interpretation. ...
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 represetative of the faith and beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (Questions on Doctrine, pp. 8, 9, emphasis theirs)
The "Statement of Beliefs" referred to in the above quotation is the statement formulated in 1931, and confirmed by the General Conference in session in 1946 with slight "cosmetic" modification. It is interesting to note that Figuhr resisted to the end of his administration any suggestion that the Statement of Belliefs be altered to reflect the "contemporary" theology of the book - Questions on Doctrine. In fact, the 1931 Statement was actually reproduced in the book, prior to any questions, asked by the Evangelicals, being answered. (see pp. 11-18)
A comparison between two statements, and the concepts of the book in two critical areas are of interest. The Statement on Jesus Christ in the 1931 Statement reads: That Jesus Christ is very God, being of the same nature and essence as the Eternal Father. While retaining His divine nature He took upon Himself the nature of the human family, lived on earth as a man, exemplified in His life as our example the principles of righteousness, attested His relationship to God by many mighty miracles, died for our sins on the cross, was raised from the dead, and ascended to the Father, where He ever lives to make intercession for us. (Emphasis supplied)
The book on the above underscored clause reads: Although born in the flesh, He was nevertheless God, and was exempt from the inherited passions and pollutions that corrupt the natural descendants of Adam ["the human family] (Questions on Doctrine, p. 383)
The 1931 Statement does not contain the word, "atonement" in a theological sense, but is found once in designating the 10th day of the 7th month in referring to the services of the earthly sanctuary. That statement reads: That the true sanctuary, of which the tabernacle on earth was a type, is the temple of God in heaven, of which Paul speaks in hebrews 8 and onward, and of which the Lord Jesus, as our great high priest, is minister; that the priestly work of our Lord is the antitype of the work of the Jewish priests of the former dispensation; that this heavenly sanctuary is the one to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days of Danield 8:14, its cleansing being, as in the ty, a work of judgment, begining with the entrance of Christ as the high priest upon the judgment phase of His ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, foreshadowed in the earthly service of cleansing the sanctuary on the day of atonement. This work of judgment in the heavenly sanctuary began in 1844. Its completion will close human probation.
The book - Questions on Doctrine - teaches - "Adventists do not hold any theory of a dual atonement. 'Christ has redeemed us' 'once for all.'" (p.390)
p 3 -- The Barnhouse Evaluation -- In the same year that the SDA-Evangelical Conferences were concluded, Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse, who had hosted one of the conferences in his own home, published in Eternity magazine, of which he was editor, an article asking and answering the question - "Are Seventh-day Adventists Christians?" In this article, he reviewed the experience of Hiram Edson on the morning following the Great Disappointment. Noting that while Edson and another man were walking through a cornfield, Edson was convicted that Christ entered the Most Holy Place to complete His work of priestly ministration rather than coming to cleanse the earth. Of this experience, Barnhouse wrote: It is to my mind, therefore, nothing more than a human, face-saving idea! It should also be realized that some uninformed Seventh-day Adventists took this idea and carried it to fantastic leteralistic extremes. Mr. Martin and I heard the Adventist leaders say, flatly, that they repudiate all such extremes. This they have said in no uncertain terms. Further, they do not believe, as some of thie r earlier teachers taught, that Jesus' atoning work was not completed on Calvary but instead that He was still carrying on a second ministering work since 1844. This idea is also totally repudiated. They believe that since His ascension Christ has been ministering the benefits of the atonement which he completed on Calvary. (Eternity, Sept., 1956, p. 44)
When Elder M. L. Andreasen read this article, his reaction was dismayed unbelief. In his Letters to the Churches, he reviews his reaction, referring to the article as the Eternity Extra. [If you haven't read these Letters for a long time, it would profit you to reread them once again.] He wrote: When I first read in the Extra that our leaders had repudiated the doctrine of Christ's atoning work in the heavenly sanctuary since 1844, and had substituted for this "the application of the benefits of the sacrificial atonement He made on the cross," I could not believe it, and idid not believe it. When I was told that even if I read in "the writings of Ellen G. White, that Christ is making atonement now," I am not to believe it. I wondered, "What
are we coming to?" The atonement was made 1800 years ago, our leaders say. Sr. White says the atonement is going on now. Questions on Doctrine says it was made 1800 years ago. The Ministry says the atonement on the cross was final. Whom or what am I to believe? To me, to repudiate Christ's minstry inthe second apartment, now, is to repudiate Adventism. That is one of the foundation pillars of Adventism. If we reject the atonement in the sanctuary now, we may as well repudiate all Adventism. ...
At this juncture it occurred to me that perhaps the Eternity men had regretted what they had written and retracted, or would retract, all they had written. So I wrote to Eternity, asking if they still published the Extra. They answered that they did. The article being copywrighted, I then asked for permission to quote them. I received this answer: "We are glad to give you permission to quote from the article, 'Are Seventh-day Adventists Christians?' and would appreicate you giving credit to Eternity when you do this." This letter was dated Philadelphia, Pennsylvaia, May 2, 1958, and signed by the editor.
This was twentymonths after the article had first appeared in Eternity. If at any time during those twenty months our leaders had protestd, if they had made a demurrer, in honesty the editor would have warned me not to use the material, and not to quote these statements, But the editor did no such thing. He was glad and willing for me to use the material, willing to stand by what the Extra had published, willing for me to quote them. It is fully five years since the discussions began, and three years isnce the Extra was published. For this long time I have been waiting for our men to deny the charges, and rebuke the evangelicals for publishing such a a deformation of our entire leadership. But I have heard no protest. (Letter #4, pp. 5-6)
Why no protest? Why could Elder Andreasen obtain no satisfactory answers? Twenty years later, after Andreasen is dead, Unruh tells why teh "brethern" did not protest the article in Eternity. He wrote: In August 1956 [one month prior to publication of the article], Russell Hitt, the managing editor of Eternity, came to Washington to go over with us the long-awaited Barnhouse article repudiating his former position on Adventism. Supporting articles by Martin, to follow in Eternity, were also gone over. We were given permission to quote or otherwise refer to these articles. (Unruh, op. cit., p. 42)
Simply stated, Barhhouse did quote the Adventist leaders correctly. They did sell the Church down the river, and betrayed the sacred trust committed to God's chosen people of Earth's last hour. There is a Biblical parallel to this deception of the laity by the hierarchy. The Jewish Church leadership had given over the very Truth of God into the hands of the Romans. God intervened and resurrected the the Prince of life. Note the planned deception of those church leaders: Some of the watch [at Jesus' tomb] came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the tings that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying, Say ye, His, disciples came by night, and stoel him while we slept. And if it came to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported amonthe Jews until this day. (Matt. 28:11-15)
p 4 -- From "Conterporary" to "Modern" -- The changing picture now takes on another hue and "contemporary" Adventism emerges into "modern" Adventism with a de-emphasis. As noted in the "Introduction" to Questions on Doctrine, the book not only answered questions on theology, but also discussed "prophetic interpretation." (See p. 1, par.5) In this latter area, the book maintained the old fundamental Adventist teaching regarding the papacy. It unequivocally declared that papal Rome "trampled and desecrated the provisions of God's sanctuary in heaven, by taking away knowledge of, and dependance upon Christ's 'daily,' or continual, ministry as High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. ... And it has imposed the authority of the visible pope in place of Christ, who guides and directs His church by His own designated vicegerent or representative, the Holy Spirit." (pp. 257, 258)
The little horn of Daniel is clearly identified as a prophetic symbol of the Papacy (p. 334), and the "exceeding great" horn of Daniel 8 is set forth as imbracing both pagan and papal Rome. (p. 337) An excellent Scriptural defense is made against the identification of the horn of Daniel 8 as Antiochus Epiphanes. Over all, the prophetic interpretations involving sections of the book of Daniel that are discussed in the book - Questions on Doctrine - reflect sound and fundamental Adventist teaching. But today resulting from the confontation between Adventist dissidents and spokesmen for the Church at the General Conference session in Indianapolis, a new position has been staked out. Summarizing the statements of the Church's news director, Herbert Ford, the Indianapolis Star reported that "though Adventist officials concede the history of the denomination has an anti-Catholic bent, they said the modern church is trying to move away from that stance." (July 14, 1990, Sec. B, p. 1) How has this happened? To answer this question is the main thrust of this issue of the Commentary.
There are two streams in our recent history which are meeting today in one great river, and both streams started from the same source - Vatican II Council of the Roman Catholic Church. One could be called the Maxwell Creek and the other dubbed the Beach Creek.
Elder Arthur S. Maxwell, then editor of the Signs, attended Vatican II as a member of the press corps. His reaction upon his return was taped and transcribed from a report he gave at Loma LInda, called "The Outstretched Hand." (Present Truth, 1968, #3) He was impressed by the Pope's opening speech at the final session - "It was a beautiful speech" - so much so that he suggested it could be given at a General Conference session, indicating "it might be better than some we've had." He asked - "Do you know what his subject was?" - and answered, "Love." He then quoted a paragraph and commented: You know, the whold thing was a picture of the church loving humanity. Now, we've got to adapt our thinking a bit. There was no condemnation here of Protestants, no suggestion of a persecution of anybody, but love, unfeigned love for everybody - the separated brethern and people who don't belong and all people of all faiths and religions. Very, very wonderful change and a very, very significant change. (p.4)
At the close of the report, Maxwell summarized: I do feel this very sincerely that we, as a people, must rethink our approach to these dear people. We must rethink our approach to our Roman Catholic friends. How can we reject an outstretched hand and be Christians? How can we say that they belong to antichrist when they reveal so many beautiful Christian attitudes? Does this shock you very much? I hope it does! I just hope that it shocks you, because we need to be shocked into a new, more friendly, more loving attitude towards these dear people. (p. 13)
Then he made a suggestion: Now, there's one other thing. These things are going to make us think, they really are - this new situation. I think that a lont of our preachers are going to have to throw a way a lot of old sermons. You and me - a lot of old sermons. I scrapped a lot of them already. You know what I think is going to happen? We cannot go on preaching about these dear people like we did thirty, forty, fifty years ago. We simply can't do it. The facts are all against us.How can we go and talk about them persecuting, burning the Bible when they're not doing anything of the sort? We've just got to get some new sermons, haven't we? Sure have! (p. 14)
This suggestion, his son has taken seriously. In the book - God Cares, Vol. I, Dr. Mervyn Maxwell, tones down the prophetic implications of the "little horn" of Daniel 7. Prefacing his identification of the "little horn," Maxwell sets forth what he calls four principles." and then summarizes as follows: With these four principles in mind - (1) that there is more than one antichrist, and we are here trying to identify not "the" antichrist but only the little horn; (2) that in Daniel 7 God purposly presented a one-sided picture of Rome as a terrible beast in order to emphasize His displeasure at persecution; (3) that the New Testament, like the Old, foretold persecution for the church; and (4) that the New Testament also foretold serious apostasy within the church - we are ready to proceed with the eight identifying marks of the little horn. [These are given with varifying verses from Daniel 7. Then his comments continue.]
Only one entity fits all eight of these identifying marks 0 The Christian church which arose to religio-political prominence as the Romen Empire declined and which enjoyed a special influence over the minds of men between the sixth and the eighteenth centuries.
To call this Christian church the "Roman Catholic" Church can be misleading if Protestants assume that the Roman Catholic Church of, say, the sixth century was one big denomination among others, as it is today. Actually the Roman Catholic Church was virtually the Christian church in Western Europe for about a thousand years. Because of this early universality, both Protestand and Catholics may regard it as the embodiment of "our" Christian heritage, for better or for worse. (pp. 126-127; emphasis his)
p 5 -- It should be noted that Maxwell, Emeritus Professor of Church History at Andrews University, is moving through various circles of Adventism with his "accomodation philosophy." In 1988 during the 1888 Centennial Celebration, he was on the West Coast speaking at the John W. Osborn Lectureship Series, which was distinctly a "liberal" conclave. Maxwell was a key organizer of the Andrews University celebration which included Elder R. J. Wieland in the program - the only celebration to do so. Then a the pre-General Confrence meeting of the Adventist Theological Society - which proclaims itself as the conservative voice in Adventist theology, Maxwell was among the speakers. So that you might understand the contrast between the West Coast meetinga dnthe ATS meeting in Indianapolis, Dr. William G. Johnsson, Editor of the Adventist Review spoke at the West Coast meeting, but did not even attend the ATS meeting. Keep in mind also that it was Mervyn Maxwell who lauded Wieland and Short's compromised revised edition of 1888 Re-Examined in a Book Review appearing in the 1888 Centennial issue of the Ministry. (Feb. 1988, p. 63)
The second stream is much more devious, and the final flow of that branch has not as yet been fully felt. Its "headwaters" are revealed in So Much in Common. Dr. B. B. Beach, who co-authored the book telling of the contacts between Seventh-day Adventists and the World Council of Churches, begins the recital by stating : "Strange as it may seem, these yearly Consultations are an indirect by-product of Vatican II" (p.98) These Conversations began in an informal manner in 1965 - keep this date in mind - with Beach and the WCC member, presumably, Dr. Lukas Vischer, the other co-author of the book, So Much in Common, each selecting conferees. The Adventist participants were chosen by Beach from the three European Divisions of the Church. The 1965 Conversations started with a broad overview, but focused on the "beliefs and aims of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (p. 99) The next year, the executive committees of the three Adventist European Divisions authorized and financed the expenses of each of their respective conferees. Each meeting was held part time at the WCC headquarters in Geneva, and the rest of the time at the nearby Seminaire Adventiste at Collonges, just across the border in France.
By 1967 - another key date - progress was sufficently evident, that in the first Quarter's issue of Ecunemical Review, the official journal of the WCC, an article on Seventh-day Adventists appeared. This article contained 49 footnotes, 28 of which were from Questions on Doctrine. (See So Much in Common, pp. 57-68) Responding to this article, an Associate Editor of the Review & Herald suggested, that while the Adventist Church could not become an official member of the WCC, they would be willing, if invited, to be a part of the Faith and Order Commission. Within weeks, the Central Committee of the WCC appointed a Seventh-day Adventist theologian to the Commission. The first Adventist appointee was Dr. Earle Hilgert of Andrews University who has been followed by Dr. Raoul Dederen, also from Andrews, who is still serving.
Another result of these Conversations with the WCC has been participation in the meetings of the Secretaries of the World confessional Families - churches who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Beach who has represented the Church at these meetings became oSecretary of the secretaries. It was in this capacity that he presented "a gold-covered symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church" into the hands of Pope Paul VI on May 18, 1977. (Review, August 11, 1977, p. 23) The trip to Rome, and the giving of the medallion wsa authorized by the executive cinnuttee of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division.
Two years prior to this, the first major revelation of the Church's changing attitude toward Catholicism came in a Brief submitted by the Church in the EEOC v. PPPA legan suit in Federal Court in California. A REply Brief dated March 3, 1975, in a footnote, stated: Allthough it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint, and the term "hierarchy" was used in a pajorative sense to refer to the papal form of chruch governance, tht attitude on the Church;s part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative protestant denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been consigned to the historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned. (Emphasis supplied)
Leaving the Church's "modern" position on Catholicism, we return to the "union" with Rome via the WCC. We need to carefully consider the significance of the appointment of an Adventist theologian to the Faith and Order Commission of the WCC. The same year, - 1967 - that an Adventist was appointed, the Central Committee of the WCC also appointed a Catholic theologian, and instituted a "Joint Working Group" between themselves and the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC, "a fellowship of churches," is striving to realize the goal of visible Church unity. Now note, what arm of the WCC is especially involved:
"To assist the churches towards this goa, the Faith And Order Commission of the World Council provides theological support for the efforts the churches are making towards unity. Indeed the Comission hs been charged by the Council members to keep always before them their accepted obligation to work towards manifesting more visibly God's gift of Church uhity. So it is that the stated aim of the Cmmission is 'to proclaim the oneness of the Church of Jesus Christ and to call the churches to the goal of the visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship, expressed in worship and common life in Christ, in order that the world might believe.' (By-Laws)" (BEM, Faith and Order Paper No. 111, pp. vii-viii; emphais supplied)
p 6 -- At this point a word of caution must be stated. The Seventh-day Adventist Church not a member of the World Council of Churches, but it is in such close working relationship with the WCC that it is difficult to discern that it is not a member. The WCC publicaiton, Directory of Christian Council, closes with a section, "Ecumenical Relationships." This reads in part: In addition to the relationships with regional and national councils of churches mentioned above, the WCC is in working relationship with many Christian World Communions, including the ... General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, ... (p. 244)
One has only to read the Indianapolis General Conference session Bulletin to note the warm relationship existing between the Church and the WCC. Joan Campbell, director of the US office of the WCC, in addressing the delegates stated: I bring you the warmest greetings from the World Council of Churches and from the member churches around the world. You a re a beautiful group of people, young and old, many colors, many cultures, and yes, many langauges. Your church is one of the few in which the mix of people is truly remarkable. When I was at your worship service yesterday, it seemed as though it was my own time of worship, as well as yours. And it said to me that there are many things that we hold in common - that there is, in fact, one Lord, one God and Father of us all. So as fellow Christians, like those Pentacost people in the earliest days, we look as one another and say that we hold all things in common. (Adventist Review, July 10, 1990, p. 6)
The 27 Fundamental Statements -- Into this stream enters the beginnings of the 27 Fundamental Statements of Belief which were finally voted at the 1980 GC Session in Dallas, Texas. In a letter to the editors Spectrum, (Vol. II, #3, pp. 60-61), Bernard E. Seton, now retired, tells how that in 1965 - the date noted above - he wrote from Berne, Switzerland, to lthe General Conference expressing his convictions that the 1931 Statement of Beliefs "needed revision both from a theological and literary point of view."The administration of the General Conference still under Figuhr replied that no such need was percieved by them.
In 1965, both Seton and Beach were the Sabbath School secretaries of their respective divisions. It was the year that the informal talks with the WCC began in which the "beliefs"of the Church were a major part of the discussions. While all attempt, so far, have been evaded to obtain the identity of the Adventist conferees at the first informal meeting and the subsequent Conversations involving the WCC and the Seventh-day Adventists, the circumstantial evidence suggests that Seton was one of lthose conferees. The simple comparison which we made at the beginning of this article contrasting the 1931 Statement with the book, Questions on Doctrine in two major areas is enough to envision what lthe SDA conferees faced in the first meeting when the WCC theologians scrutinized the statement and were shown the book - Questions on Doctrine - from which they finally quoted in writing up the Adventists in their Ecumenical Review.
Now a word about Seton, whose real name is Sparrow, not Seton. Why he changed his name is not known, and he is not related to the Sparrows who have served the Church in South Africa, at least to the knowledge of one member of the family, unless in the distant past. In 1966, Seton became Secretary of the Northern European Division and also carried the Secretariat of Public Relations.In 1969,he was president of the British Union, and Beach had assumed the responsibilityof Public Affairs for the Division along with his duties. In 1970, at the General Conference, he was made an Associate Secretary, and found one of his tasks to be Secretary of the Church Manual Committee. During the next five years, he was able to effect revisions in the Church Manual. Being returned to the same officeand same responsibility at the 1975 GC Session, he began work toward the revision of the Statement of Beliefs. This was realized at the 1980 session, at which session, Seton retired - his task completed.
Behind the 27 Statements of Belief, there is much that does not meet the eye. The original statementwhich was voted by the 1979 Annual Council for recommendation to the 1980 session was formulated by the theologians at Andrews University. An ad hoc committee appointed to effect a revision of the 1931 Statement had by mid-1979 completed a limited revision. At this point, Seton suggested that the committee get input from the theologians at Andrews. The men at Andrews ran with the "ball" producing an entirely new formulation. When this statement voted by the Annual Councilhit the field, reaction set in. The Statement, as formulated, contained sprinklings of what could be percieved as Roman Catholic terminology and theology. Baptism and the Lord's Supper were declared to be "sacraments." The ordinance of humility - feet washing - would be considered "a means to seek renewed cleansing." One of the services performed by the church's clergy would be "the ministry of intercession."(Adventist Review, Feb.21, 1980, pp.8-10) Instead of letting history take its course, two well-meaning ministers on the periphery of the Adventist Community, with more zeal than knowledge, llaunched a crusade against the Statement as voted by the 1979 Annual Council. This confused the issue and caused the statement as voted at Dallas to become vague in crucial areas, rather than clear-cut as to the drift the Church was taking.
There was one area that wasn't touched because these zealots had no knowledge of what was involved. Having the documentation, I believed it wise to keep silent so that the results could be clearly recognized. The Constitution of the WCC, Article I "Basis" reads: The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior 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. (So Much in Common, p. 40)
The 1980 Statement of Beliefs reads: 1 ) The Church - The church is the community of believers who confess Jeseus Christ as Lord and Savior. 2 ) The Trinity - There is one God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons.
p 7 -- These docrinal formulations had never appeared in any previous statement of beliefs published by the Church in either the Church Manual or Yearbook.
At the 1990 indianapolis session, the Church took another step and brought the Baptismal vow into conformity on the doctrine of the Triinity. The prior Baptismal Vow had asked the question - "Do you believe in God the Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit?" (Church Manual, 1981 edition, p. 61) Now this same question reads - "Do you believe in the one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal Persons?" (Adventist Review, July17, 1990, p., 15) All other changes in the Vow were merely 'cosmetic."
This concept in the 1980 Statement of Beliefs and now the first commitment of the Baptismal Vox goes beyond the Constitution of the WCC to the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 381. A book used as a text - Early Christian Doctrines - after discssing the problems faced by the apostolic church of integrating Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit into the Jewish concept of "One God" stated: 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 existing in three co-equal Persons formally ratified. (pp. 87-88)
What is the significance of this? In 1888 the WCC celebrated its 40th anniversary. Already in 1982, the Faith and Order Commission's study on Baptism, Euchrist and Ministry (BEM) had focused attention on sacramental questions which prevent visible unity. Now as the WCC begins another decade, the focus is shifting to doctrinal unity. The report reads: If BEM can be described as a search for a new way to aproach sacramental questions that divide churches, so as to promote unity, a second Faith and Order study is seeking to discover whether Christians today can confess their faith together ecumenically.
This study "Towards the Cmmon Expression of the Apostolic Faith Today," will not write a new ecumenical confession of faith. Rahter, it asks whether churches today can "witness to, confess, live out and celebrate in common ... the same apostolic faith that was expressed in Holy Scriptures and summarized in the creeds of the early church."
For the study, the Faith and Order Commission has chosen the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of A.D. 381 - already officially recognized by many churches - as a summary of the apostolic faith. (One World, #132, p. 15)
The Seventh-day Adventist Church, due to the actions of the 1980 and 1990 General conference sessions has already completed their confession of the Church Council of A.D. 381, which is to be used for a worldwide confession of faith and unity. We need to keep in mind that it is on the Faith and Order commission of the WCC that Adventism and Catholicism meet, The Faith and Order Paper #!!!, BEM, considered particularly noteworthy "the fact that the Commission also includes among its full members theologians of the Roman Catholic and other churches which do not belong to the World Council of Churches itself." (p. ix) This includes the Adventist, and was so listed on the back cover of the published paper.
How shall we relate to all of this?
Paul told the elders of Ephesus: For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your ownselves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after themselves. (Acts 20;29-30)
Ellen G. White wrote on December 4, 1905: One thing it is certain is soon to be realized, - the great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger, and will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout. We are to hold fast the first priinciples of our denominated faith, and go forward from strength to increased faith. (Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 56-57)
How apropos the words of Paul to Timothy - "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust." (1Tim. 6:20)
Hold fast the form of sound sords, which thou has heard from me, in faith and love which is in Jesus Christ. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy lSpirit which dwelleth in us." (II Tim. 1:13-14)
is just what prophecy declared that she would be,
--- END --- Commentary -- Vol. IV, #3-- "Contemporary" Adventism -- TOP
1990 -- Commentary -- Vol. IV, #4 -- The Incarnation In the Final Conflict -- Editorial -- In conjunction w ith the report of the 1990 Annual Council in the Adventist Review (Nov. 1), the Editor, Dr. William G. Johnsson, wrote that "it's time to press together in the North American Division." (p. 4) He observed that "the message God entrusted to us in this generation is the everlasting gospel in a judgment-hour setting." Then he defines this gospel: 'This good news focuses on Jesus, the God-man, and Saviour and Lord. It exalts His saving death world"s only hope for deliverance from the bonds of sin - and His soon return.
All of this is true, but there is something lacking. While the atoning death of Christ did and does provide for our forgiveness, the mediation of that blood provides also for our cleansing. There can be no complete deliverance "from the bonds of sin" until final atonement produces the "first fruits" of that deliverance which shall be when Jesus shall come the second time and breaks the power of death setting the "harvest" of captives free. It is this full message which was entrusted to the Church, but which has been betrayed.
Johnsson continues by stating - "We are a body, a family; we must have 'ground rules' for functioning. The 27 fundamental beliefs, voted by the. General Conference in session in 1980, set out those ground rules for our commmon message and common mission." Here is where the problem begins for that voted statement signalled the culmination of 25 years of deviations and compromises which produced the present discord within the Adventist Community. While Johnsson indicates that the 27 fundamentals are not set in stone, he emphasizes that "no individual or group within the church has authority to define what Adventists believe. The church as a whole decides through its duly constituted delegates from around the world, who provide balances. We need each other (ibid., emphasis his) Then he cites as an example the doctrine of the Incarnation as it pertains to "the human nature of Jesus" - the very subject of this Commentary.
Johnsson gives his analysis of what the 27 fundamentals state on this point. He writes: Our fundamental beliefs make clear that Jesus, God's eternal Son, became fully human, was tempted in all points, but remained sinless. But they do not attempt to spell out His nature beyond this."
However, in this analysis, Johnsson does so, define - Jesus "became fully human." He wrote too much for nowhere in the 27 fundamentals is it stated that Jesus "became fully human or man." It does say - He "became ... truly man." If "fully human," Jesus became a sinner for this is the hallmark of all human beings in a world of sin.
The real problem is not what is said in Statement #4 - "The Son" - it is what is not said, that was said in previous statements of belief.
In all the published statements of belief from 1872 through 1914, the statement on Jesus Christ read in regard to the nature He assumed in the Incarnation - "He took on Him the nature of the seed of Abraham for the redemption of the fallen race." The Battle Creek Church statement of 1894 read - "He took on Him the nature of man, for the redemption of our fallen race." Even the 1931 Statement, appearing for the first time in the Yearbook for that year, and ratified at the 1946 General Conference session read - "While retaining His divine nature, He took upon Himself the nature of the human family." How is it that after 1950, we can no longer define the nature which Christ assumed in entering the realm of humanity?
It is the doctrinal statement that has changed, not the truth once held by the people to whom God committed the "everlasting gospel." Should one who really believes that God did commit the truth to the Church as it once was, be quiet and give lip-service to apostasy by omission? The Editor indicates that "for nearly 10 years" he has been burdened and troubled by the fragmentation of the church in North America." Evidently, he has not considered that he is a part of the problem, and offers no solution. Surely his denial of the basic sanctuary truth when he wrote his doctoral dissertation at Vanderbilt University was not a contributing factor to the health of the Church over which he now manifests distress.
We can say, Let us "preach our fundamental beliefs - which center in Jesus" - but if we do not accept the fact that Jesus, as the Son of man, began at the Incarnation, how can we understand His death, and His victory, for both stemmed from that event at Bethlehem. If He had not laid aside aspects of the "form of God" He could not have died, thus providing the sacrifical atonement. If He had not "condemned sin in the flesh," then His life was but a pretence, and the victory cry that rang through Heaven - "Now is come salvation and strength" - would have had a hollow sound.
Yes, let us preach the "gospel of God," the gospel "concerning His Son... our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh."
p 2 -- ~~~ The 1901 General Conference session was not only the session when a major overhaul of the church structure was attempted, but also the session at which the "holy flesh" teaching was confronted, and the messenger of the Lord put a period to the Movement in Indiana. Pernetrating through the issues generated by this aberrant movement to its heart and core, one doctrine emerges - the doctrine of the Incarnation. This movement was the first attempt by the enemy to alter the trust commutted to the Advent Movement and open the way for the Church to be moved toward Rome.
On the evening of April 16, 1901, Dr. E. J. Waggoner was scheduled to preach. He chose as his text, a key text of the leaders of the Holy Flesh Movement - Hebrews 10:4-10 - "A body hast thou prepared Me." After reading the Scripture, he indicated a question had been given him to answer. It read - "Was the holy thing which was born of the virgin Mary born in sinful flesh, and did that flesh have the same evil tendencies to contend with that ours does?" Waggoner told the delegates that in the very question itself was the idea of the Immaculate Conception. Then he stated: We need to settle, every one of us, whether we are out of the Church of Rome or not. There are a great many that have got the marks yet ... Do you not see that the idea that the flesh of Jesus was not I ike ours (because we know ours is sinful) necessarily involves the idea of the immaculate conception of the virgin Mary? Mind you, in Him was no sin, but the mystery of God manifest in the flesh, ... is the perfect manifestation of the life of God in its spotless purity in the midst of sinful flesh." (1901 GC Bulletin, p. 403)
That there would be no question as to what he was talking about, he plainly stated - "the idea of sinless flesh [in] mankind is the deification of the devil." Then he continued: The flesh will be opposed to the Spirit of God so long as we have it, but when the time comes that mortality is swallowed up of life, then the conflict will cease. Then we shall no longer have to fight against the flesh, but that sinless life which we laid hold of by faith and which was manifest in our sinful bodies, will then by simple faith be continued throughout all eternity in a sinless body. That is to say, when God has given this witness to the world of His power to save to the uttermost, to save sinful beings, and to live a perfect life in sinful flesh, then He will remove the disabilities and give us better circumstances in which to live.
Dr. Waggoner concluded his sermon by warning - "We must not be presumptious. We can never get so much of the life of God that we can dispense with it, and live by ourselves alone. Now and in all eternity we do live only by the faith of the Son of God."
Almost a half century passed before a frontal attack was again made on the Church's teaching in regard to the Incarnation. The second time, it was the altering of the book - Bible Readings in 1949. But once the breach was made in Adventist theology through the altering of the doctrine of the Incarnation, the inroads of apostasy have been rapid, and the drift toward Rome prominent. In forty years - a Biblical generation - we have moved from the historic Adventist teaching on the nature Christ assumed in humanity to the point where the leadership of the Church made request to the Vatican itself for an observer to be sent to the General Conference session in Indianapolis.
Not only is this drift foward Rome apparent in the teachings and action of the Maryland based Church, but also the voices on the periphery of Adventism who have adopted and sponsored the "holy flesh" concept - Jesus came "born, born-again" - echo the teachings of Rome mingled with their theological presentations. This can be documented from the publication of Our Firm Foundation, and in public lectures given on the "New Birth" based on John 3.
The Incarnation In the Final Conflict -- The first intimation of the nature that Christ would assume in the incarnation was given in a declaration of war which began the conflict on earth between Himself and Satan. As the guilty pair who had precipitated this conflict stood before the One who was to be their Redeemer, they heard Him respond to the unprovoked attack of Lucifer by cursing the serpent and promising - "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Gen. 3:15) Gesenius translates this verse from the Hebrew as - "He shall crush thee as to the head, and thou shalt bruise Him as to the heel, by thy bite." It was to be a bruising conflict, but in the end, the head of the serpent would be crushed - and by Whom? The seed of the woman.
We might ask - was this spoken to the woman before she fell, or as she stood in her fallen state? The answer is obvious - the seed of the fallen woman would bruise the serpent's head. If she had not yielded to the serpent's suggestion and rejected the word of God, there would have been no need for this promise or declaration of war. The whole question and issue revolves around humanity in a fallen state. One who would come through the process of human birth would destroy the power, dominion, and kingdom of Satan. Thus was revealed the mystery of the ages, God was to be manifest in the flesh, and He accepted the only flesh available to Him in which to be manifest - the fallen!
The key actors when this first intimation of the nature of the incarnation was given in the Garden of Eden appear again in Revelation 12. We see the woman, the seed, and the serpent. Again there is war. The serpent stands before the woman "to devour her seed as soon as it was born." (v. 4) She brought forth a child, a man. This word for "man" is not anthropos, a man in the generic sense, nor aner, a husband, but arsen, the male sex. Michael did not come into the world bereft of the forces and powers which drive and surge through mankind. To restore the kingdom of God, to crush the serpent's head, Jesus "condemned sin in the flesh," at the very fountainhead of its strength. (Rom. 8: 3)
The prophecy of Daniel 7 reveals to us that in the final struggle of the conflict of the ages, the nature of the incarnation would be
p3-- projected to the forefront of the battle. In the vision given
to Daniel, he is brought down
The first great word of "the little horn" after 1844 was in 1854, when it promulgated the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. This Dogma stated: We define that the Blessed Virgin Mary in the first moment of her conception, by the singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from every stain of original sin.
Cardinal Gibbons in his book, The Faith of Our Fathers commented on this dogma as follows: Unlike the rest of the children of Adam, the soul of Mary was never subject to sin, even in the first moment of its infusion into the body. She alone was exempt from the original taint. (p. 171, 88th edition)
The setting of the Judgment in the sanctuary above was paralleled with an announcement on earth that that hour had arrived. (Rev. 14:6-7) God raised up a movement on earth to give the Three Angels' Messages. To this movement, He restored the prophetic gift to guide in the final conflict. The first vision of the great controversy was given to Ellen G. White in 1848. This was repeated ten years later with instruction that it was to be written out. (Life Sketches, p. 162) The first book to appear in obedience to this instruction was Spiritual Gifts, Volume I. Chapter III was captioned "The Plan of Redemption." In this chapter, Jesus' conversation with the unfallen angels is noted as well as Satan's boast to his cohorts. Note carefully both and the indicated common point of reference. Ellen White wrote: Jesus also told them [his angels] that they should have a part to act, to be with Him, and at different times strengthen Him. That He should take man's fallen nature, and His strength would not be even equal with theirs. (p. 25; emphasis supplied)
Satan again rejoiced with his angels that he could, by causing man's fall, pull down the Son of God from His exalted position. He told his angels that when Christ should take fallen man's nature, he could overpower Him, and hinder the accomplishment of the plan of salvation. (p. 27; emphasis supplied.)
Thus at the very beginning of the final conflict between truth and error, the religion of the Bible and the religion of fable and tradition, there was projected into the forefront of that conflict, the doctrine of the incarnation - the nature Christ assumed in His humanity. Now we must direct our attention to the struggle within God's final movement as the enemy has sought to introduce a false perception of the nature Christ assumed in the incarnation.
The Conflict Within the Movement -- Those whom God called to bring
the Message of
As the time approached for the Centennial Celebration of the 1888 message, Dr. George R. Knight attempted to close in on A. T. Jones and "cut him down to size." In his book, From 1888 to Apostasy, he disassociated the doctrine of the Incarnation as taught by both Jones and Waggoner from the 1888 message. Claiming that recently discovered documents - "two booklets of notes that W. C. White took during the meetings" - reveal what Jones and Waggoner actually preached at the 1888 Minneapolis session. Commenting on these records, Knight wrote: None of these records demonstrates that the divinity of Christ, the human nature of Christ, or "sinless living" were topics of emphasis or discussion at the 1888 meetings. Persons holding that these topics were central to the theology of the meetings generally read subsequent developments in Jones and Waggoner's treatment of righteousness by faith back into the 1888 meetings. (p. 37)
Subsequent to the celebration, a new book by Knight was published - Angry Saints - in which he modifies the position he took in 1987. Discussing the 1895 General Conference session, Knight now writes: At this juncture we should note that the emphasis of Jones and Waggoner on the post-Adamic nature of Christ was a developing one. While being somewhat evident in Waggoner's theology as early as 1887, it gradualIyassumed more prominence in the early 1890s as their focus shifted. What was being preached, in terms of emphasis, in 1895 was not the emphasis in 1888 from what we can discover from the available records. To read that emphasis back into the Minneapolis meetings is not supported by the historical records. (p. 129)
Notice carefully Knight's way out of the corner he boxed himself into
in his 1987 book. Having to admit what Waggoner believed in 1887, just
what he wrote in 1890, he dismisses the
p 4 -- association of' the doctrine of the Incarnation with the message of Christ's righteousness by the phrase, "in terms of emphasis." This is really "begging the question." When I conducted a series of evangelistic meetings - and I have conducted many in my ministry - I had in mind the whole of the message which I intended to present.. However, I did not emphasize, nor even mention, the observance of the seventh day of the week, the first night of the meetings. Is this saying that because of not doing so, that I did not believe the Sabbath was a part of the whole message which the series of evangelistic meetings would convey, and that in my thinking it was a developing process? True it was a developing process in the minds of the non-Adventist hearers who would make a decision, but not in my mind as the evangelist. Other issues were in the forefront at 1888, and upon these the attention was focused. It is very probable that all present believed the Incarnation in the same way. It was not an issue, and thus not emphasized. In succeeding years, the doctrine was related to the message of Christ's righteousness.
In 1895, Jones made the doctrine of the Incarnation very clear in total opposition to the consequence envisioned in the Catholic Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. He stated: One man is the source and head of all human nature. And the genealogy of Christ, as one of us, runs to Adam ... All coming from one man according to the flesh, are all of one. Thus on the human side, Christ's nature is precisely our nature. (1895 GC Bulletin, p. 231)
In commenting on John 1:14, Jones asked a question - "Now what kind of flesh is it?" Then asking another, he amplifies the answer: What kind of flesh alone is it that this world knows? Just such flesh as you and I have. This world does not know any other flesh of man, and has not known any other since the necessity of Christ's coming was created. Therefore, as this world knows only such flesh as we have, as it is now, it is certainly true that when "the Word was made flesh," He was made just such flesh as ours is. It cannot be otherwise. (ibid., p. 232)
In 1897, Jones became editor-in-chief of the Review. Two years later, the Holy Flesh Movement began in Indiana. A campmeeting in 1900 held in Muncie, Indiana, was attended by S. N. Haskell. On his return to Battle Creek, he wrote two letters to Ellen G. White the same day, September 25, and both in regard to what he saw and heard in Indiana. In the second letter, Haskell wrote: Their point of theology in this particular respect [the incarnation] seems to be this: They believe that Christ took Adam's nature before he fell; ...
Given Haskell's agitation over the matter, it is inconceivable that he rested the matter in just two letters to Ellen G. White, for in less than two months, Jones began a series of editorials captioned "The Third Angel's Message" and sub-headed, "The Faith of Jesus." In the Review and Herald, November 13, 1900, Jones announced, "Next week, we shall begin a study of the faith of Jesus as it is in Jesus himself, a study of God manifest in the flesh, as in Jesus himself." In the last article of the series, December 25, Jones wrote: "We see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death." Therefore, as man is since he became subject to death, this is what we see Jesus, in His place as man. Therefore, just as certainly as we see Jesus lower than the angels unto the suffering of death, so certainly it is by this demonstrated that as man, Jesus took His nature of man as he is since death entered; and not at all the nature of man as he was before he became subject to death. (p. 824)
The "Holy Flesh" Response -- To the position of A. T. Jones, R. S. Donnell, president of the Indiana Conference and leader of the Holy Flesh Movement, took radical exception. He, at the time, was writing a series of articles in the Indiana Reporter. It was like a debate between himself and Jones. While, Jones did not name him, Donnell did note Jones' last editorial by name. The series of articles by Donnell asked the question - "Did Christ Come in Sinful Flesh?" He later published these in 1907 in tract form with the title, What I Taught in Indiana. Noting the title he had given the articles originally, he commented in a preface: Why I was charged with teaching "Holy Flesh" I know not, unless it was that in my article[s], as well as in the pulpit, I took the negative side of the question." (p. 1)
Following his resignation from the conference presidency in 1901, the incoming president wrote to Donnell and asked him a series of questions involving his teachings. On the subject of the nature Christ assumed in the Incarnation, Donnell responded: Christ's nature was a divine human nature, a nature which prior to the new birth, has not been possessed by a single son or daughter of Adam since the fall. (ibid., p. 20)
The nature of Adam before the fall is here equated to the nature received in the "new birth." Christ took that nature; He came born, "born-again." This position on the Incarnation held by the men involved in the Holy Flesh Movement is again being taught and promoted in the community of Adventism. Elder Thomas Davis in his book, Was Jesus REALLY Like Us?, wrote - "Of Mary, Jesus was born, 'born-again.'" (p. 30) Ron Spear teaches the same "Holy Flesh" doctrine in his Waymarks of Adventism - "He [Jesus] was born with the nature that becomes ours when we are born again." (p. 39, original 2nd Printing) [Spear goes even further and blasphemously injects a Mariology reflecting Romanism - "In the prenatal experience, while in her womb, Christ was inheriting Mary's love for God." (ibid.) Was not Jesus, God manifest in the flesh? Is not God, love? Why did He need to inherit love for God from Mary? But then Spear adds - "He [Jesus] saw God through His mother." As our Example, if this be so, do we have to go to God through Mary?]
Further in 1986, Dr. Colin Standish hosted a conference at Hartland Institute where this "holy flesh" teaching was promoted. And both Davis & Spear were present with Davis taking the leading role in the presentation.
From 1900 to 1950 -- The position set forth by A. T. Jones on
p 5 -- Incarnation in His messages during the 1890s and as Editor of the Review was reflected in the Sabbath School lessons from 1902 through 1914. Here is a sample quote from the First Quarter's Lessons in 1913: By assuming sinful flesh, and voluntarily making Himself dependent upon His Father to keep Him from sin while He was in the world, Jesus not only set the example for all Christians, but also made it possible for Him to minister to sinful flesh the gift of His own Spirit and power for obedience to the will of God. (p. 15)
Into this picture must come the 1914 edition of Bible Readings for
the Home Circle, and this for two reasons. The chapter - "A Sinless
Life" - went to the very heart of the purpose of the
The second reason is that Froom in Movement of Destiny dubbed
this view of the Incarnation
1950 and On -- We come now to a very key time in the "great controversy" over the concept of the Incarnation - 1950. In 1948, Israel had become a nation; the World Council of Churches had been formed; coming events were casting their shadows before. The Incarnation truth had been altered in Bible Readings. A change had taken place in the leadership of the General Conference; W. H. Branson was elevated to the presidency. Two missionaries to Africa revived the message of 1888 in a documentary presented to the General Conference Committee. This document called not only for denominational repentance, but the doctrine of the Incarnation was clearly set forth, and the view held by the men of the "Holy Flesh" Movement in whatever guise it might be presented to be Baal worship. In the manuscript they wrote: He [Jesus] took upon Him sinful nature, in which "dwells no good thing," and had to die to self just as His followers do in following Him. The "likeness" was not a mere appearance, but reality. (1888 Re-Examined, original edition, p. 157, emphasis theirs)
In answer to the challenge of Elders Wieland and Short over the 1888 Message of Righteousness by Faith, midway through his term An 1952, W. H. Branson convened a Bible Conference at the Sligo Park Seventh-day Adventist Church. Much historic Adventism was presented in this Bible Conference, but no study was given on the Incarnation. In reviewing the presentations as published in two volumes of Our Firm Foundation I fouind one comment. H. L. Rudy, in his presentation on "The Mediatorial Ministry of Jesus Christ," stated: As the Father's representative He must fulfill all righteousness. Every day of His humiliation in sinful flesh was a day of suffering. It was in the days of His flesh that He "offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears." ... Not once did the temptation to shed this body and return to His Father leave Him. (Vol. II, p. 17)
The confusion and conflict within Adventism today over the doctrine of the Incarnation which blunts their witness in the warfare against the great words of "the little horn" is the result of the compromises during the SDA-Evangelical Conferences in 1955-1956. Whether we place the "immaculate conception" in reference to Mary, or one generation later in relationship to Jesus, the end result is the same as to the nature Christ assumed in the Incarnation. The production of the SDA-Evangelical Conferences - Questions on Doctrine - teaches that Christ took fallen human nature "vicariously" even as he bore our sins, and not something "innately" His. (pp. 59-60) The book emphatically states: "Although bom in the flesh, He was nevertheless God, and was exempt from the inherited passions and pollutions that corrupt the natural descendants of Adam." (p. 383; emphasis mine)
The choice of the word, "exempt" was not an accident, but the very word used by Cardinal Gibbons in defining the immaculate conception - "She [Mary] alone was exempt from the original taint." (See p. 2, col. 1) This book has never been repudiated, and as late as 1983 was officially reaffirmed.
In the most current book on Adventist teaching, Seventh-day Adventists Believe..., a book which discusses each of the 27 Fundamental Statements of Belief as voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980, the teachings of an Anglican preacher are hailed as "the orthodox doctrine" on the Incarnation. (Footnote #13, p. 57) His position is actually quoted in the body of the book itself. It reads: Thus "Christ's humanity-was not the Adamic humanity, that is, the humanity of Adam before the fall; nor the fallen humanity, that is, in every respect the humanity of Adam after the fall. It was not the Adamic, because it had the innocent infirmities of the fallen. It was not the fallen, because it had never descended into moral impurity. It was, therefore, most literally our humanity, but without sin." (p. 47) [By "innocent infirmities," Melville, the Anglican clergyman meant, hunger, pain, and sorrow.]
Here is semantic verbage which leaves the doctrine of the Incarnation in the same state as given in Questions on Doctrine without the use of the strong word, "exempt." Even the Roman Church would accept that Mary also had the "innocent infirmities" as defined by Melville. No one holding the Biblical concept that Christ took upon Himself fallen human nature would teach that he descended into moral impurity, but that He did live a sinless life in that fallen nature.
In preparation for the 1988 Centennial of the 1888 Message, Wieland and Short published a revised edition of their original manuscript,1888 Re-Examined. In this they toned down their original teaching on the Incarnation, omitting from the new edition the whole emphasis of the True Christ vs. The False Christ both in modern Babylonian teaching and in comtemporary Seventh-day Adventist teaching. A book review in the special issue of Ministry for the Centennial Celebration said this concerning Wieland and Short's revised edition: You may not agree with everything in it, but this book deals with an important topic. It is a crusading book. The original was almost too intense to read. But the new edition speaks lovingly of wayward brethren,
p 6 -- hopefully of an erring church, and thankfully of God's invitations to repent.
Mercifully, no mention is made of "corporate repentance" and very little of the "sinful nature of Christ," terms that have been stumbling blocks to many erstwhile Wieland and Short admirers. (Feb., 1988, p. 63)
The Apostle Paul realized that the gospel he preached was "unto the Jews a stumblingblock" (I Cor. 1:23), but at no time did he tone down that gospel to accomodate some erstwhile admirers he might still have had among his kinsmen. When we so crave the acceptance of men rather than that acceptance which comes from God only (John 5:44), we place our feet in slippery paths and. thus lead others down a wrong pathway into a fatal delusion.
Biblical Teaching Old Testament -- In the dream given to Jacob as he was enroute to the home of his mother's people, God not only revealed the nature of the promised Incarnation, but also the results which it would provide. Jacob "dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it." (Gen. 28:12) This ladder represented "the Son of man." (John 1:51) Through the Incarnation - "set up on the earth" - communication between God and man is restored. The Lord "stood above" the visionary ladder, and spoke to Jacob in blessing and promise. When he awakened, Jacob was afraid, and said, "How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." (28:17) Truly in the Incarnation, we find the house of God, for "the Word was made flesh and tabernacled among us." (John 1:14 Greek) Further, as Jesus stated, "no man cometh unto the Father" except by Him. (John 14:6) He is the Gate to heaven.
To remove that ladder by so much as a rung from the earth is to deny
to the children of dust access to the Father and shut to fallen, sinful
and sorrowing humanity the gate of Heaven. This is exactly wht the leadership
of the Church has done in the compromises of the SDA-Evangelical Conferences
while still professing to be the voice of God to the people. A false christ
has been created, no
Moses, in reviewing for the children of Israel God's leading and instruction, reminded them that God would "raise up unto [them] a Prophet from the midst of [them] of [their] brethren like unto [him]. (Deut. 18:15) He re-emphasized it quoting the words of God directly - "I will raise up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee." (v. 18) The coming prophet was to be their flesh and blood, their brother. He was to be like Moses, sharing a common humanity with him.
Through the prophet Isaiah, God revealed that the nature of the Coming One was to be so identified with humanity that those proclaiming the good news would ask - "Who hath believed our doctrine?" (53:1 margin) "For He shall grow up as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. (v. 2) A "root out of a dry ground," yet "a tender plant" - the mystic ladder was set up on the earth. "Think of Christ's humiliation. He took upon Himself fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin." (YI, Dec. 20, 1900; 4BC: 1147)
Biblial Teaching - New Testament -- When Gabriel announced to
Mary that she was to be the mother of the promised Seed, Prophet, and
Messiah, she asked, "How shall this be?" (Luke 1:34) The answer
given by Gabriel has been the source of much discussion and used to give
a wrong perception of the Incarnation. The Greek text reads literally
- "And answering, the angel said unto her, a Spirit holy shall come
over thee, a power most high shall cover thee: wherefore also the holy
Further, the definite Greek article is omitted before "Son of God." Yes, Jesus was the Son of God, but in the same way that He became the Son of man, so also we as sons of men may become sons of God. We receive "the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba [that is], Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." (Rom. 8:15-16) God acted "in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." (Heb. 2: 10) And when was that suffering? "In the days of His flesh ... He suffered." (Heb. 5:7-8) As stated at the 1952 Bible Conference by H.L. Rudy, "Every day of His humiliation in sinful flesh was a day of suffering." (See p. 4, col.1) The identification of Jesus with human flesh was so close and complete that He, though called the Son of God, was a Son of man.
The Incarnation cannot be dismissed lightly and the nature that Christ assumed in that Incarnation brushed aside as unnecessary controversy because Paul declared the very natture Christ took to be a part of the gospel of God. He wrote: Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, ... concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh." (Rom. 1:1, 3)
This cannot be dismissed with the suggestion that Paul in this text was merely writing about Christ's royal descent, because the contrast is made with His character as "the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness." the "spirit of holiness" is the thought in opposition to "the flesh." There is no one who
p 7 -- has the audacity to assert that David had the nature of Adam before the fall! That only which David was able to transmit was a part of the "temple of flesh" to which Christ united Himself in becoming Jesus. This is declared to be a part of "the gospel of God." Paul wrote to the Galatians - "Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:8) Today, a fallen angel from heaven is verily through leading instrumentalities of the Adventist Church and on the periphery of Adventism preaching a perverted gospel concerning the Incarnation.
Paul as he continued his exposition of the gospel of God to the Church at Rome declared that God sent "His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh." (Rom. 8:3) Jesus Christ came not only in the flesh, but in, the likeness of sinful flesh. If Paul had intended to convey that Jesus took the nature of Adam before the fall, he would not have used the word, "sinful," for not until after the fall was there any such flesh or nature. Paul couples this coming of Christ in "the likeness of sinful flesh" with the fact that Jesus concerning sin "condemned sin in the flesh," the very flesh He took in becoming man. The "flesh" Christ took contained all the potential to sin, but while such a flesh in us breaks forth into acts of sin, in Him, there was no response. He maintained His eternal integrity.
There are some who would argue over the word, "likeness," having us believe that what Christ took only appeared as in the fallen state, having the innocent infirmities, but was not the fallen nature in reality. The word, "likeness" in the Greek is homoiomati. This same word is used by Paul in Philippians 2:7 - "in the likeness (homoiomati) of men." Would we say that Jesus only appeared to be man, but was not really so? Even as He was in the "likeness" of men, so also was He in the "likeness" of a flesh of sin.
Consider next the complete text in Philippians 2:5-7 - "Christ Jesus who in the form of God subsisting, not robbery He considered it to be equal with God, but Himself He emptied, the form of a slave taking, in the likeness of men becoming." (Literal translation) Here Paul in proclaiming "the gospel of God" declared that Christ Jesus changed from the "form of God" to the "form of a slave" when He came "in the likeness of men." God did not create Adam a "slave form" but one after His own image. Adam perverted his created form into a slave form when he sinned. This form, Adam passed on to his descendants; and after four thousand years, Christ entered humanity accepting the working of the great law of heredity. Emptying Himself, He accepted the only form of man that existed when born of Mary - a slave form.
With this metamorphosis from"the form (morpe) of God" to "the form (morphe) of a slave," called "the mystery of godliness" (I Tim. 3:16), Paul invites us to consider another "mystery." He wrote, "Behold I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed." (1 Cor. 15:51) The "slave body of our present existence will not be the body of the resurrection or translation. Our "vile body" will "be fashioned like unto His glorious body." (Phil. 3:21) However, our identity will not be destroyed, we will merely change the form in which we will function and subsist. Likewise, Christ whose preexistence was in "the form of God" stepped out of that form, and accepted "the slave form" of man, ever retaining and preserving in that slave form His holy and undefiled Identity.
"The word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God
was manifest in the flesh,
From a Reader: First of all, let me both commend and thank you for the Commentary on "Contemporary" Adventism. I think you have given a clear, penetrating assessment of a major - if not THE major - problem within the church today. "Contemporary" Adventism accepts and promotes theological pluralism on righteousness by faith, Christology, the heavenly sanctuary, and prophecy, to name only a few areas. A major result of this theological pluralism has been a progressively closer relationship with the ecumenical movement (the ultimate example and expression of theological pluralism). The acceptance of theological pluralism at many levels within the church has also resulted in the church being divided into four camps: (1) evangelical, (2) liberal, (3) celebration, and (4) traditional." A house divided against itself cannot stand. -- Hagerstown, MD. --- 1990 -- Commentary -- Vol. IV, #4 -- The Incarnation In the Final Conflict -- END --