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Feb Knight Descends On Jones. 1of 4.
Mar Knight Descends On Jones. 2 of 4.
1988 Apr-Jun 3 & 4 of 4.
last of WWN published
ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)
SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation
- Legal Documents
Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer
Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer
the Form of a Slave
In Bible Prophecy
Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer
Seal of God
Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer
of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary
Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear
OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:
Various Studies --
Bible As History - Werner Keller
Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts
Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith
Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson
Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones
"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson
Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen
Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones
Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen
So Much In Common - WCC/SDA
Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy
As of 2010, all official sites of ALF in the United States of America were closed. The Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Canada with its website, www.Adventist Alert.com, is now the only official Adventist Layman's Foundation established by Elder Grotheer worldwide.
The MISSION of this site -- to put works of the Foundation online.
Any portion of these works may be reproduced without further permission by adding the credit line - "Reprinted from Adventist Layman's Foundation, AdventistAlert.com, Victoria, BC Canada."
Thank you for visiting. We look forward to you coming
WWN 1978 Oct - Dec
1978 Oct -- THE BATTLE OF THE GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY -- Part 1 -- We in our thinking have come to consider Armageddon to be a battle, while the Scripture is clear that it is the place of the battle. The battle is the battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14) (1) And for that battle, "the spirits of devils" gather the leadership of the whole world "together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." (Rev. 16:16) In this series of studies we shall note three separate, yet interrelated topics. The first study will be merely to direct attention to certain Old Testament texts with brief observations.
In the third chapter of the Bible, we read: Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Gen. 3:1)
In the third chapter from the close of the Bible, this serpent is defined as it is used in the symbolism of prophecy. There it reads: And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. (Rev. 20:2)
The medium which was used to seduce our first parents became the representation of Satan, and that symbol is used for him in the prophecies of the second section of the book of Revelation, save in Rev. 16:13-14, 16, where the spirits of devils are symbolized as "frogs."
In the first gospel promise - also found in the third chapter of the Bible - there is pictured a conflict. It reads: 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)
This promise is symbolized in prophecy as the last section
of the book of Revelation is introduced a woman, with child, is revealed
in vision to John, and standing before the woman is the dragon or serpent
seeking to devour the child as soon as it should be born. But this seed
of the woman - as Michael - enters into battle with the dragon, or serpent,
and overcomes him, so that a voice is heard in heaven saying - "Now is
come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power
of His Christ." (Rev. 12:1-10) This conflict portrayed
p 2 -- in prophecy continues through the prophetic
representations of this second section of Revelation, and climaxes in
the battle of the great day of God Almighty.
Consider now a second text:
it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's
house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted
above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it.
And many people
shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and
we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
And he shall judge
among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their
swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall
not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
0 house of Jacob,
come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.
hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished
from the east and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please
themselves in the children of strangers. (Isa. 2:2-6)
Certain concepts should be carefully noted from these verses
which direct our attention to "the last days." A group of people consider
themselves to be the followers of truth. This people inspired by what
appears to be the exaltation of the "Lord's house" call for a gathering
to the "mountain of the Lord" where they assume "the God of Jacob" will
appear to teach them "his ways" - for they say that "Out of [what they
call] Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
But we must consider that the Law of God has already been proclaimed -
gone forth - from Mount Sinai, and thus any law going forth from a false
"Mt. Zion" would be an altered law. God's response to this proposed gathering,
and the people inspired thus to call such a gathering is clear and distinct
- "Thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob." Interestingly, throughout
these verses, the term "Jacob" - a supplanter, a deceiver - is used rather
than "Israel," which signifies, an overcomer.
Consider now a third verse: How
art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou
cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!
For thou hast said
in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above
the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation,
in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will be like the most High. (Isa. 14:12-14)
p 3 -- In these verses God has revealed the heart of Lucifer - his plans, and his objectives. One of these objectives is especially important as we consider the battle of the great day of God Almighty. Lucifer declares as one if his intents to sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north. In the Psalms we read: Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. (48:2)
Inspiration reveals to us that Satan - that old serpent
- has designs upon Jerusalem. Consider - with Isaiah 2:2-6 - the people
of earth who are deceived by the exaltation of the house of the Lord,
direct a call to go there to receive their religious instruction from
the one they assume to be the Lord, but he is only the God of the Jacobites,
those who deceive and are deceived! An ultimate in deception is here prophesied
to come "to pass in the last days." (Isa. 2:2)
[In the next thought paper, we shall consider the Seven Last Plagues in the light of the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty.]
A FURTHER UPDATE
-- Evidently, the thought paper for August found its way to the
desk of the Editor of the Adventist Review. In the August issue
of "Watchman, What of the Night?" we suggested (pp. 7-8) that those
who might be interested regarding Sandor Palotay, the man who invited
Billy Graham to hold a Crusade in Hungary, write to the Editor of the
Adventist Review, and ask why such a strange silence regarding
this man, who is in our own publications - Voice of Prophecy News,
for example - referred to as a Seventh-day Adventist. I suggested
that if any would receive a reply from Editor Wood to share his answer
with us. Understandably, the Editor does not wish a repeat of the last
time when he wrote behind our back concerning the gold medallion given
to the Pope, and so has decided to write direct. We appreciate this new
approach in communications. His response through his assistant and our
reply to that letter follows:
GENERAL CHURCH PAPER OF THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS
+ TAKOMA PARK, WASHINGTON, D.C. 20012, U.S.A. + TELEPHONE, 202 723-3700
August 7, 1978
Eugene F. Durand
p 5 -- Our Reply: -- COPY
August 22, 1978
Mr. Eugene F. Durand
Dear Brother Durand;
We appreciated your
letter of explanation regarding Sandor Palotay. However, your letter still
leaves some unanswered questions.
1) In the SDA
Year Book (1976), under "Directory of Workers" all credentialed Literature
Evangelists are listed, and are thus classified among the ministers of
the Church. This is as it should be in harmony with the counsel that the
"God-fearing, truth-loving" Literature Evangelist "occupies a position
equal to that of the gospel minister." (Colporteur Evangelist,
p. 15) (The tragedy is that there are so few who qualify with this description
today from the top to the bottom.) In what Year Book was Sandor
Palotay listed as a colporteur?
2) You state
that Palotay is no longer a colporteur, nor a member of the Church. When
and what do the records state was the cause of his dismissal from the
work and the Church?
3) Since you
have access to the RNS to which I have access, you are no doubt
aware that RNS reported that the Council of Free Churches chaired
by Sandor Palotay, includes the Seventh-day Adventist Church. If this
man was such that he was disfellowshipped and removed, from the colporteur
ministry, how is it the Church in Hungary is still under his influence
- an influence evidently great enough that he could represent himself
as an ordained minister and attend the General Council meeting of the
Baptist World Alliance, and invite Billy Graham to Hungary on behalf of
the Council of Free Churches? And the press did not note him as a Baptist,
but as a Seventh-day Adventist!
4) Why have
the editors of the Review waited so long to issue an explanation
- and then only because of the prodding of the Adventist Laymen's Foundation
- when the Voice of Prophecy News carried information almost a
year ago that Sandor Palotay was a Seventh-day Adventist, and the official
organ of the Southern Union Conference stated the same thing in its September,
1977, issue of Southern Tidings?
5) Can it be
that so long as Sandor Palotay's name was associated with Billy Graham
and his Hungarian Crusade with the suggestion that he was a Seventh-day
Adventist, it was expedient to keep quiet so as to reap as many PR column
inches as possible? But since Spotlight focused in on Palotay as
a grasping communist agent of the state, it was better to get part of
the truth out? How about now the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
p 6 --
(Note - As of this
date August 31, as we go to press, we have received no further reply.]
RETROSPECT - A REPORT -- While in Southern
California on a business trip, we were able to hold three meetings regarding
prophecies with significant meaning for the Church today. These gatherings
were arranged by a friend of the Adventist Laymen's Foundation. We appreciated
the excellent response, and the opportunity of meeting many whom we had
known only via correspondence, and also some new folk who are concerned
Seventh-day Adventists, beside friends of past years. From Southern California
we went to the weekend Campmeeting retreat in the high Sierras at Silver
Lake. "Beautiful for situation" - this is the best way to describe the
setting. The chapel where the services were held, framed in a picture
window, the beauty of the lake and a towering rugged mountain which rises
from its shore. Lifted out of the mundane to a contemplation of the Creator
through His created works, the heart is better able to perceive truth.
At this meeting were four who spoke - Elder David Bauer,
Pastor Jon Vannoy, Dr. Kirby Clendenon, and myself. Each was free to choose
his own topic - none knew exactly what the others were going to say -
but each could in sincerity say "Amen" to what the others presented in
their studies. After it was all over, a unity of thought and concept marked
the whole of the chapel meetings. It has been a long time since I have
had opportunity to attend and participate in a meeting so evidently guided
by the Spirit of Truth- so that even though various human voices spoke
- a single voice of truth threaded its way through all the presentations.
God through the Holy Spirit will fulfill the prayer of Christ which He
prayed in John 17. To Him be the glory.
Of course the "brethren" were not happy that these meetings
should take place. Elder David Bauer was called in before the Nevada-Utah
Conference committee for a four-hour session. He was threatened that if
he did not warn folk against attending the meetings, and if he himself
took any speaking appointments at the meetings, he would be disfellowshipped
from the conference church - the conference committee being the ones who
determine who should, and who should not be members of that church. The
pastor of the Carson City
Seventh-day Adventist Church, H. E. Darby, wrote a very unusual
letter to "his" flock. In part it said: This
past week we all received in the mail an invitation to attend a weekend
of meetings at Silver Lake Campground. Speakers for the series include
three former Seventh-day Adventist ministers.
Because one of the promoters of this rally is at present a member of the
p 7 -- local congregation does not mean that these meetings are sponsored by the Carson City Seventh-day Adventist Church, nor do they have the approval of the Conference, Pacific Union or the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. [All emphasis his]
Further in this letter,
he commented, and then asked and answered a question: You
may attend these meetings without hearing one word of heretical doctrine
-- or NEW LIGHT!
We will let those who wish to judge for themselves determine
about the "poison in the pot" - and where and what is the "common pot"
which contains poison. All the messages given at Silver Lake Chapel were
taped with fidelity.
AN INTERESTING SIDELIGHT -- All who have read carefully the Great Controversy are aware of the following sentences: The clergy will put forth almost superhuman efforts to shut away the light, lest it should shine upon their flocks. By every means at their command they will endeavor to suppress the discussion of these vital questions. The church appeals to the strong arm of civil power. (p. 607)
With the letter to the members of the Carson City Seventh-day
Adventist Church was the following: - (on a separate piece of note paper)
PLEASE ATTACH TO THE CHURCH DIRECTORY
-- The Carson City Seventh-day-Adventist Church Directory is the property of the church and is loaned to the members of the church as a sacred trust to be used in church sponsored activities only. Any unauthorized use of the church's mailing list is subject to prosecution by the U S Postal Service. Sorry that this is necessary. Your Pastor, H. E. Darby
p 8 -- AN EXCHANGE OF CORRESPONDENCE --
The Adventist Forum
Association -- COPY
August 19, 1978
Dr. George Rue
Dear Brethren George
Thank you so much,
George, for the tapes of (WWN's) study at the recent meeting. It
would seem that he has presented most of this material in his thought
paper from month to month.
on this and your letter, let me tell you there is scheduled a meeting
of Tom, Bob White, Luther Ross and myself here in Baker beginning September
1st. ... [Deleted part has to do with other personalities]
In my opinion (WWN)
has painted himself into a corner with no place to go -- easily or conveniently.
He says the Jews are NOT GOD'S PEOPLE NOW. He also says they are not a
part of "the nations." Then what are they? When in the history of this
earth has God had His people, the nations, and then a nation that is neither?
It is my understanding
that when God rejected the Jewish nation it became part of "the nations"
from which it was called just as the Seventh-day Adventists who are rejected
of God again become part of either Babylon or the world from which they
were called when they became a part of God's people.
The text upon which
(WWN) builds his whole program has a very simple and easy exposition:
The literal city of Jerusalem was to be possessed by the nations of earth
until their time was fulfilled --at the second advent. At the third advent
the New Jerusalem will take its place. At the present moment it matters
not one whit whether the Israeli or Arab portion of the nations is occupying
Jerusalem. All his evidence about the sad state of affairs in the world
is only too true - but it does not support his position.
The same thing is
true of the Seventh-day Adventist church - but it doesn't support his
position. (WWN) now has the nations all washed up. The Seventh-day
Adventist church all washed up and the Jews no place at all on the face
of the earth.
Obviously a sizable
segment of Seventh-day Adventists are going back into Babylon. Years ago
the head of the School of Theology at WWC moved off campus on Sabbath
to become an Episcopal priest in a nearby town. He was one of my favorite
What did Dave Bauer
do with (WWN) and the other fellow at the meeting. It was my understanding
before the meeting that he was going to "take care of" both of them!
situation is not all this complicated: We are in a transition between
the third and fourth angels' messages. As in previous transitions, part
of the "movement" will move forward and part of it will fall back. It's
just that simple - and awful. This transition will be finalized at the
time the third message reaches its climax - the beast-image issues. We
are probably close to this - but not there yet. (WWN) is running
ahead of God and badly confusing things.
But the church administration
is equally bad on the other side -- refusing to look at the facts of life.
But a lot of them are looking - and they are scared! But to take
(WWN's) - position is certainly jumping out of the frying pan into
So I can't evaluate
administration as (WWN) evaluates them because the evidence simply
is not there; neither can I evaluate (WWN) as administration evaluates
him. He isn't any further on the left than they are on the right.
But when organized
Seventh-day Adventism relates itself to the beast-image issues, and it
cannot avoid this, then, and then only will she experience the corporate
repentance for which Wieland calls or be fully rejected of God as (WWN)
alleges. Actually what is going to happen on the basis of history is that
part will go one way and part will go the other way.
In the meanwhile,
it seems quite clear that every dog is on his own!!
"WATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT?"
August 25, 1978
Dr. George Rue
Dear Dr. Rue;
A letter addressed
to you and Tom Durst dated August 19 from A. L. Hudson was also - a copy
- sent to me. A notation at the top read - "(WWN), Hi, there. Come on
out to the meeting. We'll listen to you also answer you." Interestingly,
I was advised that Hudson called Darby, the pastor of the Carson City
Church asking that if he would go with him, he would come down and attend
the meeting at Silver Lake. But Darby was forbidden by conference order,
and perhaps personal reasons. So Hudson did not come.
p 10 --
The meeting at Silver Lake was unique there was no tearing apart, or debate.
Each presented his own topic - none had been assigned. None really knew
what the others would say, but when it was over, there was an unity of
thought and concept, and each could say "Amen" to what the others had
said. It has been years since I have attended a meeting so obviously controlled
by the Holy Spirit of Truth, where the prayer of Jesus in John 17 was
answered. There was no undue excitement, but there was an enthusiasm born
of enlightenment as truth dawned upon the mind.
Now to Hudson's letter
in particular. In his zeal to undercut and debate - perhaps he would call
it critiquing - but it lacks the documentation and insight that such a
procedure demands - he has overlooked some very basic factors, or has
ignored them in seeking to accomplish his objective.
He ignores the counsel
of the servant of the Lord which clearly states that events concerning
Jerusalem given by our Lord in Luke 21 are associated with the very last
scenes of this earth's history. Counsels to Editors, pp. 23-25.
Further in this testimony, she indicates that in the solemn warnings the
danger signal is lifted, and that this instruction is what the church
and the people of the world need, "for it is present truth." (p. 25) What
gives support to the sacred, solemn warnings is that the prophecy of Luke
21 concerning Jerusalem has been fulfilled, and we have arrived at,"the
last remnant of time" in which the marvelous
workings of Satan are being, and are about to be, fulfilled before our
eyes, if we are not still in Laodicean blindness. (Elder Bauer pointed
out in one of his studies at Silver Lake, that in 1888, the coupling of
fulfilled prophecy regarding the image to the beast with the message of
righteousness by faith was what gave it, its peculiar power and emphasis.)
The fact remains - uncontroverted - that the only thing in Luke 21, concerning
Jerusalem, not found in Matt. 24 and Mark 13, is the prophecy concerning
the "times of the Gentiles." And the servant of the Lord designated Luke
21 when she spoke of Jerusalem in regard to the events at the end!
Further, Hudson makes
quite a to-do about the nations - Gentiles and Jews. He must know, if
he has studied at all, the Biblical concepts on this point. In the Old
Testament, there were only two classes of nations - Israel, God's chosen,
and the other nations, or Gentiles. This concept holds also in the New
Testament, except there is a third factor --the Church, or the "new" Israel.
But the import of Luke 21:20-25 must be understood in the light of the
setting in which was given. Concerning Israel, God had concluded "there
was no more remedy" (II Chron. 36:14-16) and sent them off to Babylon
(or had permitted His servant Nebuchadnezzar to come and carry them off
and destroy the city and temple). While in the period of captivity, God
revealed to Daniel that Israel would have another opportunity - 70 prophetic
weeks would be allotted to them. While God was dealing with Israel in
a special relationship, He was also dealing with the nations, or Gentile
world. This is the message of Daniel 10.
So now we come to Luke 21 - Israel is still officially the chosen people of God, Jerusalem, the city of God. The nations outside Israel were still the Gentiles. In this setting with these given factors, the prophecy was uttered by Jesus, and understood thus by His disciples. Soon the situation would change - 34 AD would take place. BUT - even so - the same Jerusalem, no longer the Holy City, would
p 11 -- in
the events of its history have fulfilled in 66 AD a part of the prophecy
of Jesus, and this event would speak to the professed people of God -
the church in a corporate, material sense. The true people of God would
respond to this sign and the church of God would be delivered from Jerusalem,
though the corporate church of Jerusalem, never would be again.
Jesus did not connect
the times of the Gentiles with the nation of Israel, but with the same
city which was surrounded by Roman armies. This city in 70 AD passed from
Jewish control, and was returned to Jewish control in 1967. This is simply
a matter of history. And Jesus indicated that when this should occur,
the times of the Gentiles would be up, no matter when we would like to
conclude that it will be up. It is not for us to determine the times and
seasons. Under the spirit of prophecy, Jesus uttered what He was given
of the Father, and the Father who keeps all things in His hands, permitted
this prophecy to be fulfilled in 1967. It is left for us to ask and learn
what God means by this event, even as the people of God had to so determine
in 66 AD.
Now back to the times
of the Gentiles in particular. As noted above, God has dealt with the
nations in all times. Some have been weighed in the balances and have
been found wanting in all time. But God has determined in His foreknowledge
when the nations as a whole would fulfill their allotted time. See 5
Testimonies, p. 208, par. 3. Then the times of all nations would be
up - the Jews in 34 AD, the Gentiles in 1967 and then it would be time
for the marvelous workings of Satan, as he prepares the nations of earth
- Jew and Gentile - for the final acceptance of himself as God, and the
final battle of the great day of God in the last remnant of time. See
Testimonies to Ministers. p. 62; Great Controversy, pp.
The same situation
faces us today that faced the church in 66 AD. The headquarters church
was located at Jerusalem; a city which Paul said was in bondage with her
children. Gal. 4:25. To remain there after 66 AD, placed the professed
Christian in the same category with the Jews who had rejected Christ -
for to remain would mean the rejecting of the prophecy of Jesus.
Laodicea is today
in bondage to Babylon - not Babylon, but in bondage to Babylon. Because
of this and its rejection of the counsel given, the prophecy of-Rev. 3:16
has been fulfilled, and God does nothing but He lets us know, and has
given us the sign. Thus the gathering of the 144,000 from Jerusalem (3
Testimonies, p. 266-267) and the placing upon them the name of the Jerusalem
which is above, which is the mother of us all, is the work of the third
angel. (Early Writings, p. 15, 88-89, 118; Gal. 4:26) The fourth
angel only unites his voice to the voice of the third angel. (Early
Writings, p. 277.)
Further, Hudson ignores
the whole message of 5 Testimonies, pp. 207-216. The prophecy of
Ezekiel 9 is connected with the time when the "nations of this age" which
have been recipients of unprecedented mercies, reach the "certain amount
which God has fixed."
p 12 -- The
servant of the Lord states clearly - "The prophet [Ezekiel), looking down
the ages, had this time presented before his vision." (p. 208)
She also states that "Jesus is about to leave the mercy-seat" - He hasn't
left, when the figures reach the predetermined amount. But - "There is
no more pleading of mercy in their [nations] behalf." But what about the
church? A command is given on behalf of "spiritual" Jerusalem - "Go through
the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, (3 Testimonies,
p. 267), and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that
cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst." (Eze. 9; 5 Testimonies,
p. 210) What had the results been for the sighing, crying ones? "Some
who had been dishonoring God, repented and humbled their hearts before
Him. But the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel; although many
still continued the forms of religion, His power and presence were lacking."
5 Testimonies, p. 210.
This is where we are,
and God has given us the knowledge of this through fulfilled prophecy.
We are living in a day when we have seen fulfilled verily before our eyes
a sign which Jesus gave, even as those living on November 13, 1833, saw
fulfilled the sign which Jesus gave concerning the stars of heaven falling.
Let us rejoice and look up for our redemption draweth nigh. This generation
shall not pass till all be fulfilled. Thank God for the sure word of prophecy.
Let us not be moved by detractors, nor former brethren who prefer Laodicean
May the Lord bless
and keep you.
1978 Nov -- THE BATTLE OF THE GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY -- Part 2 -- In this second section of our study of the battle of the great day of God, we shall concern ourselves with an over-all look at the Seven Last Plagues as they relate to this battle.
The Seven Last Plagues are outlined in Revelation 16, and declared to be the judgments wherein "the wrath of God" is filled up. (Rev. 15:1) When these final judgments fall upon the earth, the intercession of Christ has ceased in the heavenly temple. "No man" is able to enter the temple "till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled." (Rev. 15:8) And the only Man who has been able to enter into the presence of God - into that light unapproachable (I Tim. 6:16) - is the "one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." (I Tim. 2:5).
In analyzing briefly each plague, we need to ask ourselves three simple questions: 1) What is the plague? 2) Why is it given? and 3) When was the cause for the plague committed? (for "the curse causeless shall not come." Prov. 26:2)
Plague #1 - ''The first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast and upon them which worshipped his image.'' (Rev. 16:2)
This plague is described as an ulcer breaking out upon the men who had received the mark of the beast, and who worshipped the image to the beast. Now we ask, was the mark of the beast received, and the worship of the beast committed before or after the close of probation? The answer is obvious - "before." In other words this plague is God's response to what men had done in probationary time.
Plague #2 - ''And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man.'' (Rev. 16:3)
Why a plague of blood? The angel of the waters answers -
The powers of earth "have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and [God]
has given them blood to drink; for they are worthy." (16:6) When was this
blood shed? Before or after the close of probation? The answer is again
obvious - "before." In other words
- ''And the third angel
poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they
became blood.'' (Rev. 16:4)
p 2 -- This is the only plague that is compounded.
The reason for this plague is the same as for the second plague. (Rev.
16:5-7) Why will God compound this plague of blood? "By condemning the
people of God to death, they have as truly incurred the guilt of their
blood as if it had been shed by their hands." (Great Controversy,
p. 628) This statement in context refers to the "death decree" issued
against the people of God after the close of probation. By noting references
in Early Writings (pp. 36-37; 282,283), the death decree is issued
because the inhabitants of earth seek to stay the wrath of God, and believe
that the killing of those opposed to the worldwide religious movement
will appease an offended God. This would indicate that the "death decree"
is to be issued between the second and third plagues.
Plague #4 - "And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given him to scorch men with fire." (16:8)
Why a plague upon the sun? Because men have worshipped the
sun, and honored the day of the sun - Sunday. When - before or after the
close of probation? Again the answer is obvious - "before." In other words
this plague is again God's response to what man has done in probationary
Plague #5 - "And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain." (16:10)
This is an unique plague - darkness, that effects the tongue.
Gross darkness has covered the earth (Isa. 60:2) because of the teachings
of the beast, and those who have erected an image to the beast for men
to worship. With the tongue not only is confession made unto life, but
also "all deceivableness of unrighteousness" is communicated to those
who will not receive the love of truth. When did this deceptive darkness
engulf the inhabitants of the earth - before or after the close of probation?
Again the answer is obvious - "before." In other words this plague, too,
is God's response to what man has done in probationary time.
Plague #6 - "And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared." (16:12)
Now why this plague? John is shown: And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (16:13, 14)
Was this gathering together done before or after the close
of probation? If the same principle is applied that applies to all the
preceding plagues, save the third, then the answer must be - "before."
This plague is also God's answer to what man has done in probationary
time. Observe closely the following reference and how Revelation 16:13-14
p 3 -- Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world. ... Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of Spiritualism. He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time. Says the prophet: I saw three unclean spirits like frogs; ... they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." Except those who are kept by the power of God, through faith in His word, the whole world will be swept into the ranks of this delusion. The people are fast being lulled to a fatal security, to be awakened only by the outpouring of the wrath of God. (Great Controversy, pp. 561-562 emphasis mine)
According to this statement, Rev. 16:13-14 is to be fulfilled
in the "last remnant of time." These verses tell of the final great deception
that will take in "the whole world." The inhabitants of earth will not
awaken from their "fatal security" until the pouring out of the wrath
of God commences.
Another reference states the same truth. It reads: In this age antichrist will appear as the true Christ, and then the law of God will be fully made void in the nations of our world. Rebellion against God's holy law will be fully ripe. But the true leader of all this rebellion is Satan clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of God, and deify him. But Omnipotence will interpose, and to the apostate churches that will unite in the exaltation of Satan, the sentence will go forth, "Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her." (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 62)
Since Revelation 16:13-14 will be fulfilled before the close of probation, what then is the place of this battle to which the leadership of the whole world is to be gathered for the exaltation of Satan when he appears as Christ? At what place will the bishops, prelates, and ministers join in the coronation of Satan as the long awaited Messiah? Where will the chorus ring forth from thousands of voices - "Christ has come. Christ has come"? We shall seek to find the answer to these questions in the next thought paper when we analyze Rev. 16:16.
BACK PAGE" -- On the back page of the Adventist Review
(Sept. 7, 1978), was a report on the "Righteousness by Faith Consultation
in Washington." I first heard of this meeting while on the West Coast
for speaking appointments in August. Interestingly, this consultation
coincided with the Silver Lake Weekend Retreat which we reported in the
last thought paper. There was a difference - while we could rejoice in
the unity of the Holy Spirit among the speakers at the Retreat, the report
in the Adventist Review only indicates one agreement - the agreement
p 4 -- Reports on the West Coast indicated that the
meeting would be an attempt to end all controversy presently engulfing
the Church over the subject of Righteousness by Faith. However, the report
in the Adventist Review called it "an exploratory session" and
indicated that the participants would continue to study "until they meet
again" because "many questions remain unanswered."
The meeting was chaired by Elder W. Duncan Eva, a Vice President
of the General Conference, and the Secretary was Dr. Gordon Hyde of the
Biblical Research Committee of the General Conference. [Interestingly,
the Chairman of the Biblical Research Committee at the time of the 1974
North American Bible Conferences was Elder Willis Hackett, also a Vice
President of the General Conference. He was not listed as even in attendance
at the meeting. Has he fallen from official "grace"?] The names of the
participants were given. Some are well known and their position clearly
set forth in articles, manuscripts and books. Some are unknown as to their
position on the subject of the consultation, except that they are theological
"lightweights." While neither Brinsmead nor Paxton were present, their
position was represented by Drs. Desmond Ford and Edward Heppenstall.
The report did not indicate that the subject of the Incarnation
was discussed, but it is difficult to conceive how the subject of righteousness
by faith in Jesus Christ could be studied without reference to the Incarnation.
Dr. Ford's wife, Gillian, clearly states, and rightly so, that "a correct
understanding of the human nature of Christ is crucial for a balanced
presentation of Righteousness by Faith." (The Soteriological Implications
of the Human Nature of Christ, p. 2)
The report on the consultation was also informative in
that it was unable to hide the name calling - or to put it more diplomatically
- the labeling that divided the participants of the consultation. Those
who espoused the cause of Brinsmead and Paxton were declared to be venders
of "cheap grace." These proponents of the Brinsmead concepts accused their
"brethren" as being "legalists", who after they give "nominal assent to
the initial need for justification by faith" then become 11 absorbed with
the performance of good works (albeit with acknowledgment of dependence
on the Holy Spirit.)"
In the essays which follow, we shall seek to discuss in a simple way the areas of conflict involved in the consultation, and seek to set forth the basic truth involved in justification, sanctification, and the "perfecting of the saints" in the last generation. In doing so, we shall try to keep in mind the counsel of the angel to Sister White in 1850 - "The angel said, 'Some try hard to believe. Faith is so simple ye look above it." (Testimony date, August 24, 1850, reprinted in California Missionary, Feb. 10, 1901) We need all the blessings which faith can bring, and so we shall endeavor to make it so plain that even a child can understand.
-- In all our discussion of truth, we need to keep before us the
time element, and the warnings and dangers which the child of God faces
in the light of the times to which one has come. At the turn of the Century,
the Church faced the "alpha of deadly heresies" in the publication by
Kellogg of the book - Living Temple.
p 5 --
(Special Testimonies, Series B, #2, p.
50) At that time we were warned of two things: 1) It was absolutely certain
that the apostasy which developed under the "alpha" would increase and
grow stronger, and continue "until the Lord shall descend from heaven
with a shout." (Ibid., #7, pp. 56-57) And 2) The ultimate of this
apostasy was termed the "omega." This was revealed to the servant of the
Lord to be of such a nature that she "trembled for our people." (Ibid.,
#2, p. 53)
Evidence is too strong to deny that we have indeed reached the end-time of human history, and are thus in the time of the omega of apostasy. Certain specific warnings given concerning the "alpha" apply with equal - if not greater - force to us who are now living amid the perils of the omega apostasy. The servant of the Lord called attention to the fact that - The track of truth lies close beside the track of error, and both tracks may seem to be one to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit, and which, therefore, are not quick to discern the difference between truth and error. (Ibid., #2, P. 52)
In Great Controversy, we are warned: So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true, that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested. (p. 593)
Wallenkampf in his book - New by the Spirit (p. 90) - indicates
that as we approach the end, it will be imperative that we be guided by
the Holy Spirit, because quoting Sr. White - he writes - "Falsehood will
be so mingled with truth, that only those who have the guidance of the
Holy Spirit will be able to distinguish truth from error." (Ms.
Because of the very nature of the issues involved in the final conflict, we can make either one of two errors, or possibly both. We can fail to discern "the difference between truth and error," or we can, having discerned the teacher of error, reject the truth which such a teacher has mingled with error to give it plausibility, and in thus opposing such a teacher, find ourselves fighting truth itself. May we then with minds "worked by the Holy Spirit" - our eyes anointed with divine discernment - see the track of truth in its simplicity and beauty.
-- On the morning
of the resurrection, Jesus refused the homage of His people until He had
received the assurance from the Father that His sacrifice on Calvary -
the sacrificial atonement - "had been ample" for the sins of men. (Desire
of Ages, p. 790) This preliminary acknowledgment on the part of the
Father of the sufficiency of the atonement so that He "would receive repentant
and obedient men, and would love them even as He loves His Son," was proclaimed
at the inauguration of Jesus as the High Priest forever after the order
of Melchizedec. "Before the heavenly angels and the representatives of
unfallen worlds," the Father declared Christ's toiling, struggling ones
on earth "accepted in the Beloved" and "justified." (Desire of Ages.
p 6 -- Now what does this "justification" - proclaimed
over nineteen hundred years ago mean to me? This provision was typified
in the sacrificial system of the Levitical ministration of the "sin offering."
We must not forget that this ministry of the Levitical priests "served
unto the example and shadow of heavenly things." (Heb. 8:5) The sinner
brought "a kid of the goats, a female without blemish." (Lev. 4:28) Placing
his hand upon the head of the animal, he confessed his sin, and slew the
victim. That was all that he did. The resulting forgiveness was
achieved by the priest - the sinner was accepted in him, who represented
"the Beloved." (Lev. 4:29-31)
I, too, must come to the Altar of Burnt Offering - the Cross.
"Kneeling in faith at the cross," I have reached the highest place to
which I can attain. (Acts of the Apostles , p. 210) On that mysterious
Victim, I place my sins by confession, and I see as I look up to that
bruised form, that I drove the nails, pierced that holy brow, and thrust
Him through with the spear. But He who died with my sins upon Him, arose
and ascended up on High to become my High Priest and to obtain my acceptance
in Him before the Father.
Rising from the transaction of the Cross, how do I stand?
What does forgiveness mean?
If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ's character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned. (Steps to Christ, p. 67, 1940 ed.)
Again: We are not to serve God as if we were not human, but we are to serve Him in the nature we have, that has been redeemed by the Son of God; through the righteousness of Christ we shall stand before God pardoned, and as though we had never sinned. (Ms. 1, 1892, Review & Herald, June 17, 1976)
Further: It is our privilege to go to Jesus and be cleansed, and to stand before the law without shame or remorse. (Steps to Christ, p. 56, 1940 ed.)
This glorious provision, and standing before God, we are
missing in the hassle concerning justification and righteousness by faith.
How can we call sin by its right name, and name the sinner, even as Nathan
(Prophets and Kings, p. 141), if we ourselves have not been first
justified? How can we point the fallen and vile to the hope of Calvary,
unless we ourselves have knelt there in faith?
This experience and provision is not "cheap grace" nor can
it ever be. It is amazing grace - divine mercy - an expression of everlasting
love - purchased at an infinite cost. BUT recognizing this magnitude of
divine love, does this warrant the conclusion drawn by Paxton, and supported
by Desmond Ford and Heppenstall? Paxton writes: - "From Brinsmead's writings
it is supremely evident that the doctrine of justification by faith alone
is that which casts out any notion of perfection in this life." (Shaking
of Adventism, p. 145) Here is the track of error
p 7 --
which lies close beside the track of truth. Instead of negating the concept
of the perfecting of the saints, it is merely the first step toward its
realization. The same faith that is exercised in justification will be
the same faith that one must exercise in the realization of the gift of
the final atonement.
To deny the perfecting of the saints - as Paxton, Brinsmead, Ford, and Heppenstall have done - leads to only one experience - the commission of the unpardonable sin. In denying the perfecting of the saints in the final generation, is to reject the final work of the Holy Spirit, by which "the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ." (Testimonies to Ministers., p. 506) Yes, 144,000 little christs, if you please! HOWEVER, to mitigate justification by faith alone, because it has been mingled with the errors of Ford and Heppenstall, can also lead to disastrous consequences. A salvation by works syndrome takes over, and we start to interpret the cosmetics of sanctification as righteousness itself. Therefore, we need to address ourselves to the subject of sanctification.
-- Paxton summarizing Luther (The Shaking of Adventism,
p. 45), and backed by Ford (Spectrum, Vol. 9, #3, p. 39) states
that "righteousness by faith" is passive inasmuch as we have nothing to
do with it. It is the righteousness of Christ, and therefore, perfect.
On the other hand, there is what Luther termed "active righteousness"
which results from faith, but is imperfect, for it is the work of sinful
man. The former is termed justification, and the latter sanctification.
Herein lies truth, but derailed to the track of error, becomes falsehood.
To separate the two tracks, and reestablish truth on the track of truth,
we need to take another look at the "man" of Romans 7.
There is no question but that the message of Romans 7 lies
in the heart of the chapters in the book of Romans which present sanctification.
It follows immediately the illustration of the marriage wherein the conclusion
is drawn "that we should bring forth fruit unto God," because of our new
relationship to Jesus Christ. (Rom. 7:4) Desmond Ford is correct in calling
attention to the change in tense of the verbs from Romans 7:9 to Romans
7:14. The "I" was alive without the law once; but that same "I" recognizes
that he still is [am] carnal, sold under sin. Ford is also correct in
pointing out that the "man" of Romans 7 has his will directed always to
the good. (Rom. 7:19) (Ford, Taped Message, LLU Week of Prayer, April
21, 1978) This "man" of Romans 7 "delights in the law of God." (Rom. 7:22)
The Psalmist declares - "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel
of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the
seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord ... The
ungodly are not so." (Ps. 1:1-2, 4) It is most difficult to draw any other
conclusion but that the "man" of Romans 7 is the Christian in his
struggles - the defeats and victories of sanctification. Well has the
servant of the Lord written:
At every advance step in our Christian experience [sanctification], our repentance will deepen. We shall know that our sufficiency is in Christ alone, and we shall make the apostle's confession our own: "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing." [Rom. 7:181 (Acts of the Apostles., p. 561)
p 8 -- We are surely aware of the statement which reads: The religious services, the prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin ascend from true believers as incense to the heavenly sanctuary, but passing through the corrupt channels of humanity, they are so defiled that unless purified by blood, they can never be of value with God. They ascend not in spotless purity, and unless the Intercessor, who is at God's right hand, presents and purifies all by His righteousness, it is not acceptable to God. All incense from earthly tabernacles must be moist with the cleansing drops of the blood of Christ. He holds before the Father the censer of His own merits, in which there is no taint of earthly corruption. He gathers into this censer the prayers, the praise, and the confessions of His people, and with these He puts His own spotless righteousness. Then, perfumed with the merits of Christ's propitiation, the incense comes up before God wholly and entirely acceptable. Then gracious answers are returned. (Ms. 50, 1900 See Selected Messages, bk i, P. 344)
What then is the answer, and wherein is truth? Take your Bibles, and check carefully two things. How often is the word "I" found in Romans 7:9-25, and in the same verses - How often is the "Holy Spirit" to be found? Do the same for Romans 8:1-27. Note the outline which follows:
p 9 -- * -- Personal comment and observation by Paul
Herein is the secret
of the final victory - not the mighty "I", but the Almighty Holy Spirit.
We dare not overlook the fact that the verses in Romans 8:19-27 have eschatological
implications - the whole creation waiteth for "the manifestation of the
sons of God" - those "sons" who are conformed to the image of the Son!
And how are the "infirmities" of the flesh - the fallen nature aided?
"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities" (8:26; See also Heb.
We must never forget, or overlook the statement which plainly states - Divine grace is needed at the beginning [justification], divine grace is needed at every step of advance [sanctification], and divine grace alone can complete the work. (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 508)
And what is the completed work? As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God's grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ. (Testimonies to Ministers., p. 506)
In the light of this, then what is the objective of sanctification? Is it to perfect the cosmetics of the flesh in multiplied adherence to reforms, and outward works of human righteousness and attainments? The answer is clear - yet simple "If we ever attain unto holiness, it will be through the renunciation of self, and the reception of the mind of Christ." (Mount of Blessing, pp. 205-206, 1943 ed.) We conquer through surrender. We win by accepting that which is so alien to human nature the crucifixion of self - the "I" of Romans 7. We read: The Christian life is a battle and a march. But the victory to be gained is not won by human power. The field of conflict is the domain of the heart. The battle which we have to fight - the greatest battle that was ever fought by man - is the surrender of self to the will of God, the yielding of the heart to the sovereignty of love. (Ibid., p. 203)
Only the "mind of Christ" which caused Him to make Himself
void (Phil. 2:7), can bring us to the point where we are willing to be
crucified with Him, thus permitting the Holy Spirit to have absolute sway
in our beings. Thus the incarnation enters into the over-all picture of
righteousness by faith; it cannot be divorced from it. And because those
who are advocating justification by faith alone - true as this is - do
not accept the truth of the Incarnation that Christ took upon Himself
our fallen, sinful nature, they cannot perceive the truth of the perfecting
p 10 -- of the saints. And because those who wish to get "works" into the picture, charge justification by faith alone to be "cheap grace", yet give lip service to the historic teaching of the church in regard-to the incarnation, will also come up missing, because "divine grace alone can complete the work." Our only hope is to be found in this call to prayer: Pray that the mighty energies of the Holy Spirit, with all their quickening, recuperative, and transforming power, may fall like an electric shock on the palsy-stricken soul, causing every nerve to thrill with new life, restoring the whole man from his dead, earthly, sensual state to spiritual soundness. You will thus become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust; and in your souls will be reflected the image of Him by whose stripes you are healed. (5 Testimonies, p. 267)
Perfecting of the Saints
-- In the book of Revelation, the concept of the perfecting of
the saints in the final generation of earth's history is clearly taught.
The book itself is declared to reveal "things which must" come
to pass. (Rev. 1:1) Among those "must" or necessary things is the revelation
of a "remnant ... which keep the commandments of God." (Rev. 12:17) Further,
in contrast to those who receive the mark of the beast and who worship
the image erected to the beast, there will be a people to whom Heaven
will point and say - Here are the saints; "here are they which keep the
commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." (Rev. 14:12) Nowhere in the
book is it suggested that these saints of the final generation are marked
by merely "trying" to observe the commandments of God; nor is it suggested
that these only "delight in the law of God after the inward man." (Rom.
7:22) No, the "righteousness of the law" is filled full in them - they
keep the commandments of God, because "they walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit." (Rom. 8:4) The same faith that will enable these
of the final generation to have fulfilled in them the "righteousness of
the law" is the faith of Jesus, who declared - "I
can of my own self do nothing." (John 5:30) Lest we conclude that the
perfecting of the saints is synonymous with being "at ease in Zion," the
faith of Jesus included the use of His senses "to discern both good and
evil" (Heb. 5:14), which produced right judgment in all the issues He
faced because He did not seek His own will, "but the will of the Father"
which sent Him. (John 5:30). This will also be the experience of those
who in turn "keep" the faith of Jesus. They will have "this treasure in
earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God" and not
of themselves. (II Cor. 4:7) They will have the "mind" of Jesus. (Phil
This experience is referred to in the Spirit of Prophecy
as "partaking of the divine nature;" "perfecting of the moral image of
God in the character;" and "reflecting the image of Jesus fully." In using
this last conceptual wording, the servant of the Lord wrote:
receive the sea] of the living God, and are protected in the time of trouble,
must reflect the image of Jesus fully. (Early Writings, p. 71)
Now who is Jesus, and when did He become Jesus? The reference does not say - "the
p 11 -- image of Christ, or Michael, or even of God."
Now Michael became "Jesus" at the incarnation. (Matt. 1:21) Jesus is the
name of the One of the Godhead who became flesh. Here again the doctrine
of the Incarnation enters the picture of the "perfecting of the saints."
While the moral image of God is revealed in the characters of the saints,
they are still in the flesh, even as Jesus was made flesh. But as in Jesus
in the flesh - the glory of God, grace and truth, was revealed so that
same glory will be revealed in them. Then will the whole creation behold
"the manifestation of the sons of God." (Rom. 8:19)
Here we are confronted with a theological choice. If Christ,
in becoming man did not partake of our fallen nature, but had a nature
in the flesh different from our nature, then to reflect His image "fully"
there will have to be the eradication of the fallen nature prior to the
close of probation to enable the saints to keep the commandments of God.
This was the error of the "holy flesh" men of Indiana; this was the error
of the Brinsmead teachings of Decade-I. But now, those who will not accept
the historic teaching of the Advent Movement in regard to the Incarnation,
to be consistent, must deny the perfecting of the saints, because we can
never reflect the image of the Jesus they have created in their doctrine
of the Incarnation. Their ladder of salvation does not reach from heaven
to earth - it stops short a rung or two!
Interestingly, the men of Indiana who taught the doctrine
of "holy flesh" taught the same doctrine of the Incarnation as Ford, Heppenstall,
Brinsmead (now), and Paxton, but they took the road of "eradication" while
Ford and Heppenstall deny the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish in
the flesh that which the Spirit accomplished in the flesh-life of Christ.
For in the union of "humanity with divinity: a divine Spirit dwelt in
a temple of flesh." (Youths Instructor, Dec. 20, 1900; 4 Bible
Commentary, p. 1147) And that flesh which Christ took upon Himself
was "fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin." (Ibid.)
And so again, what Ford's wife, Gillian, writes remains true - "What you
believe about Christ's humanity will have a strong influence on what you
believe about Christ's righteousness, and both in turn will influence
your view of Christian perfection." (Ford, op. cit. See page 4)
So we can have reported time after time on "The Back Page"
of the Adventist Review, that certain leading theologians, and
some not so leading theologians of the church have gotten together for
a "consultation" on the subject of "Righteousness by Faith" but unless
they are willing to come to grips with the doctrine of the Incarnation,
they will only be able to agree to disagree. The unity for which Christ
prayed should characterize His saints will continue to be elusive. This
should tell the rank and file of the laity something. When the hierarchy
of the Church continues to permit open heresy to be presented in the pulpits
of the Church and to be taught to the students in our colleges and Seminary,
the Spirit of God is not leading. It is only human leadership.
The Spirit of God leads only according to the Word of God. That word is clear. It reads: Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Rom. 16:17)
And we are told why this inspired counsel should be followed
- "Know ye not that
p 12 -- a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." (I Cor. 5:6) We are also told that in the "last days" men will come "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." (II Tim. 3:1, 5) The power of the "everlasting gospel" produces saints which "keep the commandments of God." And concerning those who deny the power of the everlasting gospel, the word is clear - "From such turn away."
OUR PROBLEM OVER RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH? -- Our real problem
is that we do not wish to see ourselves as we really are. In the morning,
we look in the mirror and what we see we do not like. So we comb our hair,
brush our teeth, and apply certain exterior cosmetics to appear to be
what we wish others to see, and to be acceptable to them in our contacts
during the day. In this daily routine, WE have done something to make
ourselves acceptable to ourselves and others. This gives us a personal
satisfaction and a bolstering of our ego - all attained by our works!
To look at ourselves through the "mirror" of the Word becomes
very painful. We do not want to recognize that our hearts are deceitful
above all things and desperately wicked. (Jer. 17:9) We do not want to
acknowledge that all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. (Isa.
64:6) We do not want to see that from the sole of the foot to the top
of the head, we have but wounds, bruises, and putrefying sores. (Isa.
If by chance we do look long enough at the "mirror" of the
Word to see that this is our real spiritual condition, too often we attempt
a cosmetic approach through meticulous adherence to mere outward reforms
- forgetting that even as the leopard cannot change his spots, nor the
Blacks their skin pigmentation, so also we can not do good who
have become accustomed to do evil. (Jer. 13:23) And to do evil, we cannot
escape - for there is in every man's nature "a bent to evil, a force which,
unaided, he cannot resist." (Education., p. 29)
But we rationalize - this is true, BUT. Even though this
was once my condition, I am no longer in that situation. The mirror is
wrong. I have made a profession of Christianity. I have been baptized.
I have been converted. Why then are we told - "The church needs to be
converted,. . ." (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 64) - if we are
really already converted? Why are we told that when "a soul is truly reconverted,
let him be rebaptized." (Letter 63, 1903; Evangelism, p. 375) Would
this be too humiliating to our proud hearts - to thus confess publicly
that all these pretentious years could be summed up in the confession
- "The good that I would have liked to have done, I did not, but the evil
which I didn't want to do, that I did." (See Rom. 7:19) There is only
one answer, and only one position to take, and that is the place and the
prayer of the publican - "God be merciful to me a sinner." (Luke 18:13-14)
p 13 -- SIGNS OF THE TRENDS -- "We Be Brethren" - The Sabbath Sentinel, official monthly publication of the Bible Sabbath Association, in its January, 1978, issue carried across its center spread the caption - "BSA OFFICIALS VISIT LORD'S DAY ALLIANCE HEADQUARTERS IN ATLANTA." A picture at the bottom of the spread shows Dr. James P. Wesberry, executive director of the Lord's Day Alliance, with his arms over the shoulders of Bishop Terril D. Littrell, President of the BSA, and Eugene Lincoln, Editor of The Sabbath Sentinel. (Lincoln is a Seventh-day Adventist associated with the Southern Publishing Association at Nashville, TN.) The opening paragraph of the article reads: Bible Sabbath Association President Terril D. Littrell and The Sabbath Sentinel editor visited Dr. James P. Wesberry, executive director of the Lord's Day Alliance at the LDA headquarters in Atlanta, GA., on November 28. The meeting was the culmination of correspondence between the Sentinel editor and the LDA officials which began about five years ago. (pp. 12-13)
Is this not reminiscent of correspondence between Unruh
and Barnhouse which preceded the fatal dialogues which led to the publication
of the book - Questions on Doctrine? And what has resulted from
Editor Lincoln's letters to the officials of the Lord's Day Alliance?
The March, 1978, issue of The Sabbath Sentinel was
devoted for the most part to a report of the Lord's Day Alliance Convention
in Atlanta, GA, February 15-16, 1978. It was attended by Editor Lincoln,
and President Littrell of the Bible Sabbath Association. The opening session
began at St. Jude's Roman Catholic Church in Atlanta. The delegates were
welcomed by Monsignor R. Donald Kiernan, pastor of the church. A Catholic
priest, Richard Lopez, lectured on the Roman Catholic position on the
Sabbath. The evening session was closed by "a prayer for ecumenical unity"
by the President of the Lord's Day Alliance, Dr. Charles A. Platt. To
this convention, Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan brought "fraternal greetings
from Rome." And the president of the Bible Sabbath Association, Bishop
Terril D. Littrell gave the "Keynote Address."
Reciprocating this fraternization, the Magazine of the Lord's Day Alliance, Sunday, carried in its January/March, 1978, issue a report of the visit of the BSA officials to its Atlanta headquarters with the same picture carried by The Sabbath Sentinel. Further, an article by Editor Lincoln was also run. AND the title was "We Be Brethren." Enough written? Let those who have been supporting the BSA take second thoughts!
-- The late Pope John Paul I in the weekly general audience of
September 27, reminded Catholics of their obligations to the poor and
recalled the limits his predecessor, Paul VI, insisted should be placed
on private property when poverty is prevalent. To the need of poverty,
one must respond "with justice" stated the pope because "as Pope Paul
said (in his encyclical On the Development of Peoples): 'Private property
does not constitute for
p 14 -- anyone an absolute and unconditional right. No one is justified in keeping for his exclusive use what he does not need, when others lack necessities.'" (RNS, September 27, 1978, p. 7) Guess whose private property will go first when the Catholic hierarchy convinces the governments of earth of the need to enforce the Encyclical of Pope Paul VI? --- (1978 Nov) --- END --- TOP
Dec -- THE BATTLE OF THE GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY --
Part 3 -- The Sixth Plague is the pouring out
of the vial of God's wrath upon "the great river Euphrates; and the water
thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared."
(Rev. 16:12) The cause of this plague is that the "spirits of devils"
symbolized by frogs had gathered the leadership of the nations of earth
to "a place called in the Hebrew tongue - Armageddon." (Rev. 16:13-14,
16) To understand the significance of what this gathering together means,
we must first determine the place to which they are gathered by correctly
identifying the word - Armageddon in the Hebrew language. Thus we must
work back from the English, through the Greek to the Hebrew. The English
word Armageddon in the KJV - is merely a transliteration from the Greek.
In the ARV, this transliteration is more accurately reflected - Har-Magedon.
The Greek is - 'Armagedwn.
The first part of the word - 'Ar - is easily identified. Har is a transliteration of the Hebrew -(Hebrew written) and means "mountain." The second part of the word Magedon - has been popularly identified with Megiddo. But the Bible refers to Megiddo as a "valley" and not a mountain. (Zech. 12:11) And a valley is not a mountain by any stretch of language or imagination. Thus we must turn to a deeper study of the language to determine what mountain is referred to in Rev. 16:16.
In the Hebrew language there are twenty two letters. These are all consonants and are written from right to left. To supply the lack of vowels, since the alphabet contained no vowels, a system of vowel-signs was introduced. However, before the introduction of vowel-signs, certain feeble consonants - Aleph, He, Waw, and Yod - were used to indicate the vowel sounds, and hence were called vowel letters. Therefore, in seeking a word in the Hebrew to equal - Magedon - we must consider only the consonants in the word - Mu (m), Gamma (g), and Delta (d). (The final "n" or Nu (n) is merely a paragogic letter, not unknown in English in such words as "solemn" and "condemn.")
The word in the Old Testament which most clearly meets the requirements of the Greek transliteration - Magedon - is the Hebrew word, Mo'ed (Hebrew written). On the surface there is one problem - the middle consonant, Ayin (Hebrew written). This does not appear to answer to the Greek gamma (g). However, Gesenius states: "While the Hebrew was a living language, this letter [Ayin], which is peculiar to the Semetic tongues, and extremely difficult for our organs to pronounce, seems to have had ... a two fold pronounciation" - a soft and a hard sound. "The harder Ayin, which the Arabs call Ghain, was a harsh sound uttered from the bottom of the throat, accompanied by a certain whirring or whizzing, so as to resemble the letter r when uttered abruptly with a strong rolling. This the Seventy
p 2 -- have usually represented by the letter g [gamma]" in the Greek translation of the Old Testament. (Gesenius, Hebrew & English Lexicon of the Old Testament, p. 737) This can be illustrated by the familiar name - Gomorrah. In the Hebrew it is - (Hebrew written). In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is Gomorra. [G is the capital of g (gamma)] Thus the first letter of Gomorrah in the Hebrew (Hebrew written) is transliterated by the gamma (g) in the Greek. So the Hebrew word - Mo'Ed - would be transliterated into the Greek as Maged(on). The following diagram illustrates the above:
The English -
The Hebrew word, Mo'id (symbol written), which transliterates into the Greek - Magedon - is used nearly two hundred times in the Old Testament and means - "Congregation." In Isaiah 14:13 it is associated with "Mountain" - "the mount of the congregation." Here God reveals through Isaiah the heart and intention of Lucifer - He would seek to "sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north." This refers to "Mt. Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King." (Ps. 48:2) In the book of Revelation it is revealed that the "spirits of the devils" will gather the kings of the earth to the mount of the congregation (HarMagedon) the battle for of the great day of God Almighty. What is to be understood by the symbolism of "frogs" in representing the "spirits of devils"? This we will discuss in the next thought paper.
Two great opposing powers are revealed in the last great battle. On one side stands the Creator of heaven and earth. All on His side bear His signet. They are obedient to His commands. On the other side stands the prince of darkness, with those who have chosen apostacy and rebellion. (Review, May 7, 1901)
p 3 -- Letter from "Watchman What of the Night" to Elder Pierson --
October 26, 1978
Elder R. H. Pierson,
President General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists
Dear Elder Pierson;
All is not well within
the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and thus when there is a sudden change
in leadership, whether for health reasons or not, questions arise. One
Review (October 19, 1978) reports your trip to the U.S.S.R, and
the next Review (October 26, 1978) announces your resignation.
In my twenty-five
years of ministerial service in the Church, I observed two things. When
a Union Conference hierarchy wished to control the succession in a local
conference where the constituency of the conference could not be taken
for granted, the change was made between sessions by the Conference Committee
so that when the time for the regular session came around a new face was
in the presidency. I have also observed - it was in the Indiana Conference
- where I served for seven years, and sat on Nominating committees, that
a Union President working through the local ministers had plans all laid
to unseat the president upon his return from an extended trip out of the
conference. These experiences observed first hand, and knowing that all
is not well within the hierarchy of the Church causes me to write direct
to you asking that the leadership come clean with the laity, and stop
playing games which are only deceptive devices to try and keep everything
The very nature of
the article which you wrote concerning your trip to Russia only complicates
the picture. You indicated that "the fortunes of the church ebbed and
flowed through the decades that followed" its establishment in southern
Russia. "For some years the church was banned under the Czarist regime,
with the organization dissolved and our churches closed. . . In more recent
years many of our churches have been opened, and Seventh-day Adventists
have been permitted to worship in their sanctuaries on Sabbath and on
other appointed midweek days." (Adventist Review, Oct. 19, 1978,
p. 4) Surely you know that the Czarist regime ended in 1917. What about
the half century till "recent years"? Did not the Communistic government
of Russia ban our churches also? What about the underground church in
Russia? What was your objective in covering the communistic atrocities?
Were you playing "public relations" with the Russians, or seeking to deceive
our people? This kind of a "cover-up" makes one wonder if something else
is not also a cover-up- Do you fear an enlightened laity?
p 4 -- Pierson - 2
Then in the October
26, 1978, Adventist Review, there appeared on pages 10 and 11,
your appeal presented to the Autumn Council. You took your thoughts from
what an Elder and Mrs. Ralph Neall had written describing how a small
group of believers evolve from a "sect" into a "church." After outlining
the process through four generations - descriptive in every way of our
history from 1844 to 1978 - you state:
Brethren and sisters, this must never happen to the Seventh-day Adventist Church! This will not happen to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Elder Pierson, it
has happened! Only one made totally blind by the disease of Laodiceanism
cannot see that it has happened. And the sad truth, which I am sure that
you wish to avoid, is that during your years as chief administrator of
the church, you have contributed to this picture as outlined by the Nealls.
And it is not that
you have not been warned. You placed your imprimatur on the book written
by the late Dr. Froom - Movement of Destiny. This book contained
deadly heresies contrary to the historic teachings of the Church, besides
misrepresentation of the position of Elder E. J. Waggoner, one of the
Lord's messengers in 1888. I wrote to you concerning this, and I am sure
that others called these things to your attention. What did you do about
it? Did you confess to the church that you placed your approbation on
apostasy, and have the book withdrawn?
Last year, Dr. B. Beach as an official representative of the Church had a special audience with the late Pope, Paul VI, and presented to him a gold medallion as a symbol of the Church. Did any of the laity read where your voice and pen was raised against this betrayal of sacred trust? You surely are aware that the servant of the Lord wrote: It is the rejection of Bible truth which makes men approach to infidelity. It is a backsliding church that lessens the distance between itself and the Papacy. (Signs of the Times, Feb. 19, 1894)
Yet you say, this
must never happen to the Adventist Church - my brother, it has happened,
and during your administration!
Further in your appeal,
you counsel the Council in warning that the "omega" is coming. You quote
as to what would have happened if the "alpha" had been successful. But
the "omega" is here. It has come to full bloom under your administration.
Our religion has been changed. A new organization has been established
as per briefs smutted in the California litigation involving the Pacific
Press. Books of a new order have been written. A system of intellectual
philosophy has been introduced. The Sabbath is being mitigated as evidenced
in the writings of Bacchiocchi of Andrews University. In other words -
the "omega" is here! Isn't it time to come clean with our laity and stop
Yours for Truth, (Signed WWN)
p 5 -- A CONUNDRUM -- In the August, 1978, issue of The Sabbath Sentinel, Mr. Eugene Lincoln, the editor, writes: Few Christians take note of the seventh day of each week as being unusual and important. It is not unique at first glance - simply a 24-hour day. But it is important because our Creator called it "my holy day" and He put a bit of His holiness in it. It is the One whom we should honor that makes it important.
This is well stated. But the lead article follows, entitled,
"Sunday: Holy Day or Holiday!" It is written by none other than Dr. Samuele
Bacchiocchi, Associate Professor of Church History and Theology at Andrews
University. Observe very closely what he has written. [So far such an
open supplanting of the Sabbath of the Lord, and the advocacy of the observance
of Sunday, has not as yet appeared in official Seventh-day Adventist publications
to the knowledge of this writer.] It reads: The
growing availability of leisure time made possible by the technological
achievements of our age has altered not only the cycle of six days of
work and one of rest but also traditional religious values such as the
sanctification of the Lord's Day. For many Christians God's
holy day has become a holiday, a day to seek for personal
pleasure rather than for divine presence. This trend has been
apparently strengthened by the reduction of the Sabbath day of rest to
the hour of worship. Even the latter, in some churches, has
been anticipated to Saturday night, in order to accommodate those
who intend to spend their Sunday time in uninterrupted recreational
or business activities.
trend raises crucial questions: Should Sunday be viewed as the
holy day of rest to the Lord or rather as an hour of worship, after which
Christians can freely engage in any type of activity? Is the Biblical
notion of the 24-hour Sabbath-day dedicated to the service of God and
of humanity a relic of a superseded religious superstition, no longer
relevant to modern Christians? It is hard to believe that in our materialistic
age, when the tyranny of things enslaves our lives, we no longer need
a divine institution whose very function is to free us from the world
of matter in order to enable us to freely enter into the peace of God
for which we were made. The greatest need of our tension-filled and anguished-compressed
lives could well be for that Sabbath rest and peace which can restore
and renew us physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Essentially the Christian life finds its fulfillment in a growing relationship with God. That this relationship is enriched especially through the experience of worship and service provided by the Sabbath day is a self-evident truth. This means then that a proper observance of the Lord's day reflects a healthy relationship with God, while a disregard for it bespeaks spiritual decline or even death. If the holy day of rest and worship does play such a vital role in the life of Christians,
p 6 -- then its widespread non-observance
must be regarded as a most crucial problem confronting Christianity today.
his; underscoring mine) From this point Bacchiocchi
asks - "What can be done to help us solve this problem?" He cites the
history of legislation to force proper Sunday observance, and rejects
this approach. He suggests by way of question - "Might not more hopeful
results be expected from educating our Christian communities to understand
the profound meaning and religious experience of Sabbath keeping?" But
then he writes this - "presupposes, however, the existence of Biblical
and historical theological motivations which provide an adequate rationale
to justify Sunday rest and worship." This he denies, and quotes numerous
historical references. Then he asks and answers: Is
there a way out of this predicament? Our proposal - which may appear radical
to some - is to revitalize both the worship and rest content of the Lord's
day, by educating our Christian communities to understand and experience
the Biblical meaning and obligation of the seventh-day Sabbath . . . .
[This is just plain double-talk.]
Our proposal is not to reproduce sic and simpliciter the rabbinical model of Sabbath keeping which the Lord Himself rejected, but rather to rediscover and restore those permanent values so well expressed by Christ's Sabbath teaching and ministry.
Then Bacchiocchi concludes: In our cosmic age the Sabbath could well be the fitting expression of a cosmic faith, a faith which embraces and unites creation, redemption, and final restoration; the past, the present, and the future; man, nature and God; this world and the world to come; a faith that recognizes God's dominion over the whole creation and over human life by consecrating to Him a portion of time; a faith that fulfills the believer's true destiny in time and eternity; a faith that would treat the Lord's Day as God's holy day rather than as a holiday. (Italics his; underscoring mine)
There is only one society that teaches that the end justifies
p 7 -- INTRIGUE ON THE TIBER? -- "Pope John Paul I died at approximately 11:00 p.m., Thursday, September 28 of an heart attack, the Vatican Press Office announced early Friday morning. His reign lasted thirty-three days, the shortest since Leo XI's 26-day reign in 1605." (RNS, Sec. 1, Sept. 29, 1978) The circumstances surrounding the Pope's death caused The Courier Journal, news weekly of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, N. Y., to publish an editorial critical of the Vatican's failure to order an autopsy. This editorial stated: Common sense would have dictated such in the light of the stunning aspect of John Paul's death. It would have satisfied a natural curiosity but more importantly would have headed off the even more ugly rumors of possible foul play that have arisen in some circles. (RNS, Oct. 13, 1978, p. 14)
While the editorial placed the blame for the "ugly rumors"
on "those who take some kind of odd satisfaction in manufacturing the
most scurrilous rumors about the Church and her leaders," calling them
"gossip mongers," it did not tell the readers that leading Catholics in
Italy and Spain were the sources of the charge of "foul play" in the Pope's
Blas Pinar, president of Fuerza Neuva, a staunchly anti-Communist,
proFranco Roman Catholic organization in Spain also called for an autopsy
"as a way of quieting the growing controversy surrounding the different
versions of the Pope's death." ( Spotlight, Oct. 23, 1978, p. 4)
Franco Antico, the secretary general of Civilta Christiana, an Italian
conservative group, is reported to have considered bringing charges of
murder against the Curia, claiming - "We have concrete evidence to back
our demands." (Ibid., p. 5) [But neither this suggestion of Pinar
or action contemplated by Antico will occur. Pope Paul VI in 1975 decreed
that no autopsies could be performed on church dignitaries of the Vatican,
and Vatican City itself is an independent state controlled by the Curia.]
There are "different versions" concerning the death of Pope John Paul I which have given rise to the rumors of foul play and intrigue on the Tiber. In its first report, Religious News Service (RNS) stated: (Sept. 29) The Pope's body was discovered by Father P. John Magee, who entered the papal bedroom at 5:30 Friday morning to find out why Pope John Paul was late for the usual morning service in one of the Vatican chapels. The light in the bedroom was still on and the body of the Pope lay in bed looking, a Vatican press release said, "like a person intent upon reading." In his hand was the 15th century spiritual classic of St. Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ.
Then on October 2, this same source quoting Vatican Radio filed the following news release: "After due investigation," Vatican Radio said, "we are in a position to specify that the Pope when he was found dead on the morning of Sept. 29, was holding in his hands some sheets of paper containing
p 8 -- his personal writings," not a copy of the 15th Century spiritual classic of St. Thomas a Kempis.
Following this release, RNS (October 9) quoted ANSA - the
Italian News agency which had questioned the official Vatican version
that the Pope's body had been found by his secretary, "Irish born Father
John Magee." ANSA declared that Sister Vincenza, a nun of Child Mary Institute
and an old associate of the pope's since his days as Patriarch of Venice,
and who was now one of the papal household nuns, discovered the body.
This was based on information "confirmed" in part by the Pope's brother,
Time (September 11, 1978) featured an article in its "Religion" section, telling "How Pope John Paul I Won." It revealed that on the third ballot, the name of Luciani, Patriarch of Venice, "burst to the fore, falling just short of a majority." Then the article in Time related: The main resistance came from a bloc of ultraconservatives who favored Siri, a fact that encouraged fence sitters to swing to Luciani. So the fourth and final vote was fast - and was speeded further by the Cardinals' decision to dispense with the ritual declarations that were required during the earlier sessions as each man deposited his ballot in the chalice. As the count went on, no other name but Luciani's was read out. There were a number of blank ballots cast by Curialist and conservative bitter-enders.
Herein is the basis
for the suspected "foul play" on the Tiber, and the charge that the Curia
was involved. Pope John Paul I, prior to his election, had stood virtually
alone among the Roman Catholic hierarchs of Italy in his refusal to reach
an accommodation with the Communists which during the reigns of John XXIII
and Paul VI had become known as "Ostpolitik." "As a matter of fact, while
an archbishop, John Paul I had disbanded a Catholic university group which
began espousing the Marxist line." (Spotlight, Oct. 30, 1978, p.
3) Time observes further, Luciani "had never drafted documents
from the dry heart of the Vatican" neither had he "served in the Papal
The reaction of the Communist leaders of Eastern Europe
to the election of John Paul II in contrast to their reaction to the election
of John Paul I should tell us something. RNS
in its "Week in Religion" for November 3, 1978, makes the following
interesting summary: The
ascendancy of a Polish prelate - the first in history - to the papacy
had an immediate impact on Poland's Communist regime. The top leadership
joined rejoicing Polish Catholics in hailing the choice of "a son of the
Polish nation" as the new Pope and said it looked forward to improvement
of relations with the Vatican. ...
The Soviet Union, the power behind Poland, took special notice of the new Pope, in contrast to the way it handled the news of the election of his predecessor, Pope John Paul I. Soviet television gave full coverage to the newly-elected Polish Pope's first public appearance. ... When John Paul II's predecessor, John Paul I, was elected, Soviet television confined
p 9 --
itself to a terse announcement. Several newspapers in the Soviet Union
also published stories about the selection of John Paul II, again, in
contrast to the way they handled the election of John Paul I, either ignoring
it or simply mentioning the bare fact.
Significantly, Soviet Communist Party Chief, Leonid I. Brezhnev, who took no official notice of the election of John Paul I, sent a congratulatory message to John Paul II, expressing wishes "for fruitful activity in the interest of the relaxation of international tensions and of friendship and peace among peoples."
In the next thought paper, we shall discuss John Paul II and "Ostpolitik."
PALOTAY UPDATE - A RUN AROUND -- In the
October issue of "Watchman, What of the Night?' we published a
letter from Elder Eugene F. Durand, assistant to the Editor of the Adventist
Review, regarding Sandor Palotay, president of the Council of the
Free Churches of Hungary. In the letter we were told that Palotay was
no longer a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, though at one
time he had been a Literature Evangelist. In our reply to Elder Durand,
we asked - "What do the records state was the cause for his dismissal
from the work and the Church?" In a letter dated, September 21, 1978,
he replied - "As to the cause of his dismissal, I would suggest you write
to Elder Alf Lohne of the General Conference. We do not have this information,
but he might. I would suggest that you also write to him regarding our
relationship to the Council of Free Churches and Sandor Palotay."
This we did quoting the above from Elder Durand. On
October 31, Elder Lohne replied to our letter as follows: The
information I have on Sandor Palotay is just about the same as you have
already received from Elder Durand.
The Euro-Africa Division, in whose territory the Hungarian Union is located, would be the best source of information regarding our church's relationship to the Council of Free Churches in Hungary.
Is the General Conference unaware of what the Church is
doing in Hungary? Does the editorship of the Adventist Review,
who still consider the paper as the official organ of the Church, lack
the knowledge of what is taking place in the worldwide Church? Perhaps,
the answer can be found in part in what Elder Durand stated in his letter
of September 21 - "You ask why the Review did not explain the false
information carried by the Voice of Prophecy News and the Southern
Tidings. It is simply because it is not our job to police other publications.
We have our hands full trying to keep the Review accurate." And
we must sympathize with the editors in this when every wind of doctrine
is blowing through the Church at the present time.
But we still must wonder - what is being covered up, and what does the leadership of the Church not want the laity to know?
p 10 -- SIGNS OF THE TRENDS -- POLISH CATHOLICS GREET BILLY GRAHAM WARSAW (CP) - American evangelist Billy Graham was welcomed yesterday by the Polish Catholic Church, which is opening its doors for the first time to his crusade for Christ. "We are happy that you will preach in several cities in Catholic churches, where the overwhelming majority of listeners will be Catholics," Bishop Wladyslaw Miziolek told Graham at Okecie Airport. Miziloek is chairman of the committee on ecumenism of the Polish Catholic Church. Toronto Star, October 7, 1978
MASONIC LODGES GIVE TO CATHOLIC NUNS -- DUNEDIN, N. Z. (RNS) Masonic Lodges in Otago Province have given $5,000 to aid the Roman Catholic Order of the Little Sisters of the Poor in its campaign to build a hospital and a new home for the nuns. It was not the first donation to a Roman Catholic cause by the lodges here. They have previously given a television set to the sisters' home, made a grant to Catholic Social Services, and helped Roman Catholic children through a school bursary system set up in 1922 to assist the families of World War I soldiers. Religious News Service, Oct. 13, 1978
EASTERN ORTHODOX, AND PROTESTANT LEADERS RECEIVED BY JOHN PAUL II VATICAN
CITY (RNS) -- Pope
John Paul 11 ended a meeting here with over 40 Anglican, Eastern Orthodox,
and Protestant church leaders by asking them all to clasp hands in two
circles of silent prayer. "This should symbolize the unity we seek," the
newly invested Polish Pope told the group.
At this meeting following his investiture, the Pope told
the Church leaders to convey to all those they represent "that the Catholic
Church's commitment to the ecumenical movement as solemnly expressed by
the Second Vatican Council is irreversible.... Your presence here demonstrates
in effect our common determination to establish ever closer links among
us and to overcome the divisions inherited from the past -- divisions
which are, as we have already said, an intolerable scandal and an obstacle
to the proclamation of the Good News of the salvation given in Jesus Christ.
The Pope prayed that the "Spirit of Love and of Truth may give us the gift of finding ourselves often and ever closer to one another in profound communion in the mystery of Christ our one Saviour, our one Lord. May the Virgin Mary be for us an example of this submission to the Holy Spirit, who is the most profound Mover of the ecumenical attitude. May our answer be like hers, 'I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to me."' Religious News Service, Oct. 23, 1978
p 11 -- NOVEMBER
DEVOTION SCHEDULE OF ADVENTIST HOSPITAL
ME (ALFNS) Parkview Memorial Hospital is owned & operated by the Northern
New England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Morning Devotions schedule
HOSPITAL - MORNING DEVOTIONS - NOVEMBER
Wednesday I Pastor
Earl, French, Assembly of God, Brunswick
p 12 -- ADVENTIST
INVOLVEMENT IN GRAHAM'S CRUSADE IN POLAND -- Christianity
Today (Nov. 3, 1978, "News" section) told of tensions between the
Catholics and Protestants over the Billy Graham meetings in Poland. "A
historic attitude of distrust between the two groups" was noted. But as
the meetings progressed, Protestant leaders seemed to change their minds.
Protestants had interpreted Catholic involvement as "an intrusion and
an attempt to dominate." "The Catholic attitude in the past has been 'unfriendly'
according to Seventh-day Adventist president Stanislaw Dambrowski, but
he said the situation looks better in the light of the Graham visit."
The Seventh-day Adventist church has an "observer status" in the Polish
Ecumenical Council, one of the sponsors of the Graham Crusade. The article
in Christianity Today reported that the church "supported the Graham
According to Edward Plowman, author of the Christianity
Today report, the high point for the evangelistic tour was reached
in a meeting held in the modern Catholic Cathedral in Katowice. Before
a near capacity crowd, Diocesan bishop Herbert Betnorz welcomed Graham,
and called the rally "the greatest ecumenical gathering ever held in the
region." Commenting on the meeting itself, Jozef Danch who heads student
work in the diocese stated that "what happened at the cathedral tonight
was of the Holy Spirit."
Was this "Spirit" truly the Holy Spirit, or was it of the spirits mentioned in Revelation 16:14? The editorial staff of the Adventist Review owes the laity of the church a full disclosure and an unadulterated report of the church's participation in the Billy Graham Crusade in Poland. What contacts and involvements took place between the Adventist leadership in Poland and the Catholics so that the President of the Polish Adventist church could be quoted in Christianity Today as an authority on the improved Catholic-Protestant relationships?
A COMPARISON OF CORRESPONDENCE FROM THE CURIA ON THE SLIGO --
"Dear Brother "A"
"It is Elder Pierson's
wish that I reply for him to your letter of June 20. We are always pleased
to do our best to answer questions that come to us from different parts
of the field.
"First, you inquire concerning a visit by Dr. Beach to Pope Paul. This was not an official visit by the church. The church did not ask him to make this visit, . . .
"Very cordially yours,
p 13 -- Letter
"Now to the questions
of your letter of January 18.
1. The Northern Europe-West Africa Division Committee authorized Brother Beach's trip to Rome and it was understood that the visit to the Pope with representatives of the World Confessional Families was a probability....
"Sincerely your brother,
Comment: Perhaps, Elder Webster is correct in the light of Elder Pierson's sworn affidavit in EEOC vs PPPA case before the United States District Court of Northern California. Elder Pierson swore - "I am Robert H. Pierson, an ordained minister of the gospel, and president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which is the Seventh-day Adventist Church, ..." Perhaps the Northern Europe-West Africa Division Committee was acting unilaterally, and not for the Church. Perhaps! --- (1978 Dec) --- END --- TOP
1978 May -- Special Report -- Audience with Pope Paul VI -- RE: - Audience with Pope Paul VI by Official Representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church -- Introduction -- On May 18, 1977, Dr. B. B. Beach, Secretary of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, along with other representatives of the religious bodies which form the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional Families [Churches] had an audience with Pope Paul VI. The Pope welcomed these men as "representatives of a considerable portion of Christian people" and he sent the greetings of the Papacy through them "to your confessional families." (Religious News Service, May 19, 1977. See p. 8 of this Special Report) Elder W. Duncan Eva, a vice president of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, reported that on this occasion, Dr. Beach presented the Pope a medallion which "was a gold-covered symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (Review, Aug. 11, 1977, p. 23) Concerning this meeting, Religious News Service (RNS) stated that Dr. Beach "noted that the audience with the Pope marked the first time in history that the Seventh-day Adventist Church, through an official representative, had met with a Roman Pontiff." The leadership of the Church is seeking to play down this event. The Editor of the Adventist Review, Kenneth H. Wood, in a letter dated Feb. 22, 1978, wrote to a layperson stating - "I am personally very well acquainted with Dr. Bert Beach and have discussed with him this visit. Even though the visit may look sinister ... the visit was entirely innocent and meaningless so far as any relationship goes between SDA's and the Catholics." In this Special Report, we shall present documented facts - primary, not secondary - concerning the background of this audience between Pope Paul VI and Dr. B. B. Beach - then leave with you, the reader to draw your own conclusion. These documents will consist of official publications of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Catholic newspapers, Letters addressed to me personally, and Letters and Statements from the files in the General Conference offices.
This admonition of
Paul to Timothy - "commit thou to faithful men" - is basic if
the message given to any people or movement is to remain pure and viable.
To this Church was committed the trust of the Three Angel's Messages of
Revelation 14: 6-12. Of this fact it is written:
P 2 -- In
a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchman
and light-bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning message
for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the word
of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import, - the proclamation
of the first, second, and third angels' messages. There is no other work
of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their
The most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals have been given us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be our work. The world is to be warned, and God's people are to be true to the trust committed to them. (9 Testimonies, p.19)
The Second Angel's
Message declares -
"Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made
all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." (Rev.
14:8) How was this understood by the spiritual fathers of this
Church to whom the giving of this message was committed? We read: This
message was understood by Adventists to be an announcement of the moral
fall of the churches in consequence of their rejection of the first message...
The term Babylon, derived from Babel, and signifying confusion, is applied in Scripture to the various forms of false or apostate religion. But the message announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to some religious body that was once pure, and has become corrupt. It cannot be the Romish Church which is here meant; for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries. But how appropriate the figure as applied to the Protestant churches, all professing to derive their doctrines from the Bible, yet divided into almost innumerable sects. (Spirit of Prophecy, IV, pp. 232-233)
The Third Angel's Message warns - "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God." (Rev. 14:9-10a) How was this understood by our spiritual fathers? We read: The image is made to the first or leopard-like beast, which is the one brought to view in the third angel's message. By the first beast is represented the Roman Church, an ecclesiastical body clothed with civil power, having authority to punish all dissenters. The image to the beast represents another religious body clothed with similar power. The formation of this image is the work of that beast whose peaceful rise and mild professions render it so striking a symbol of the United States. Here is to be found an image of the papacy. When the churches of our land, uniting upon such points of faith as are held by them in common, shall influence the State to enforce their decrees and sustain their institutions, then will Protestant America have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy. (Spirit of Prophecy, IV, p. 278)
Here in this quotation
is a sentence which needs to be pondered long - "When the churches
of our land, uniting upon such points of faith as are held by them
in common, shall influence the State to enforce their decrees and sustain
p 3 -- institutions,
then will Protestant America have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy."
This does not exempt any church - "the churches of our land"
- but does picture an ecumenical movement - "uniting upon such points
of faith as are held by them in common." Certain direct results
are pictured - "shall influence the State to... sustain their institutions"
- government aid.
These are the messages and warnings entrusted to the Church. Our spiritual fathers committed this heritage to those whom they thought to be "faithful men." How is this commitment being handled by the church leadership today?
TO ROME -- In
1973, the World Council of Churches (WCC) published a paperback book entitled
- So Much in Common (SMC). This book contained "Documents
of Interest in the Conversations Between the World Council of Churches
and the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (p. 1) One of these "Documents"
outlines the history of the conversations from their inception in 1965
through 1969. It will be seen that the events which transpired during
these years finally led to the meeting of the Conference of Secretaries
of the World Confessional Families in Rome, which in turn provided the
setting for the audience which Dr. B. B. Beach had with the Pope as an
official representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Step One: Strange as it may seem, these yearly consultations were an indirect byproduct of Vatican II. In fact, while in Rome in connection with the Vatican Council a WCC staff member and an Adventist representative came to the conclusion that an informal meeting of a small group of Seventh-day Adventists with an equal number of representatives from the World Council of Churches would fulfill a useful purpose. (SMC, p. 98)
Step Two: The first meeting was held in 1965, the participants being selected by the two organizers. Thus, the conversations got under way on a completely informal basis and were held under the sole responsibility of the participants. (Ibid.)
It should be carefully
noted that up to this point the conversations between the Seventh-day
Adventists and representatives of the WCC were strictly an individual
matter, and did not carry any official recognition from the Adventist
Church nor the WCC.
Step Three: Subsequent meetings have become somewhat more formal, in the sense that the employing bodies of the SDA participants have authorized and financed their presence and the executive committees of the three Adventist Divisions involved have given their blessing by facilitating the selection of the SDA representatives; the World Council of Churches has defrayed the expenses of its group. The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has been kept informed regarding the meetings, though it has taken no direct, active part
p 4 -- in the Consultations, except through its three European Divisional branch offices. (Ibid.)
Herein is a very
subtle situation which permits the leadership in Washington to say to
the laity of the American Church sector who might inquire,that the General
Conference is not involved with the WCC. But through their divisions in
Europe, direct consultations were being carried forward with the full
approval and financial blessings of the respective executive committees
who were chaired by a Vice President of the General Conference voted to
serve as President in their respective divisions. From fifteen to twenty
participants have taken part in the five Consultation meetings from 1965
- 1969. The Adventist members have included "SDA church leaders and
educators." (Ibid. p. 99) "The Consultations [were] held
on the basis of equal footing, each yearly meeting taking place part of
the 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
Step Four: A very useful product of the Conversations is the statement regarding the SDA Church which was published in January, 1967, issue of the Ecumenical Review. [A journal of the WCC]
With this began a very interesting series of events. Following the publication of this document prepared by the assistant director of the WCC Secretariat on Faith and Order, R. F. Cottrell, an Associate Editor of the Review - the "Official Organ of the Seventh-day Adventist Church" - reviewed this document and then told why the Church did not officially join the WCC in a series of three editorials (March 23; March 30; & April 6, 1967). But in the concluding editorial, Cottrell invited the Church into the back door of the WCC. Here is what he wrote: It is with no small measure of regret that SDA's do not find it possible, as an organization, to be more closely associated with others who profess the name of Christ. On the other hand, if the Secretariat on Faith and Order, for instance, were to invite SDA's to appoint someone competent in that area to meet with their group from time to time and represent the SDA point of view, we could accept such an invitation with a clear conscience. (Review, April 6, 1967, p. 13)
This "back door"
was quickly opened. Dr. Earle Hilgert, then Professor of New Testament
at Andrews University was appointed by the WCC Central Committee to serve
as a Seventh-day Adventist on the Faith and Order Commission. His place
is now filled by Dr. R. Dederen, also of Andrews University. Herein is
a tricky relationship that must be carefully worded to give the whole
truth and nothing by the truth. The SDA Church did not appoint
the Adventist representative to the Commission, but it did approve
the selection by the Central Committee of the WCC. Thus the leadership
of the Church can say, we are not members of the Faith and Order Commission.
the Conversations got under way, it has become the accepted procedure
for the SDA Church to be represented at various WCC meetings, including
the Assembly, by observers. These observers have not been present pro
p 5 -- forma, but have taken an active interest in the meetings attended. An additional step was taken when the General Conference, as a world confessional body or church, was represented by an advisor in Canterbury at the 1969 meeting of the WCC Central Committee. (SMC, p. 101)
The hierarchy in Washington can write in the Adventist Review, and in letters to the laity that the Church does not belong to the WCC - and technically this is true - but how can we honestly leave the impression that we are not deeply involved in the work and procedures of the WCC when we attend the General Assemblies not pro forma, but as active participants, and when we have an advisor present at the meeting of the Central Committee of the WCC. And if we send advisors to the Central Committee meetings, what should prevent the WCC from sending advisors to the General Conference Committee meetings? It should be noted further that "As a kind of corollary to the Geneva Consultations, Consultations began in 1969 in the United States between Seventh-day Adventists and a WCC appointed group." (SMC, p. 101) Have the laity been given a report of these meetings in the Review?
These Consultations are filtering down to the national level in Europe. The same document reports: It is interesting to note that the contacts on the WCC level have, to some extent, filtered down to certain national levels. As examples one can mention the SDA contacts with the British Council of Churches, the Finish Council of Churches and the office of the German Arbeitsgemeinshaft Christlicher Kirchen in Deutschland. (SMC, p. 101)
Step Six: Since 1968 the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists have been actively represented at the annual meetings of "Secretaries of World Confessional Families." This participation is largely the result of the WCC/SDA Conversations and contacts that were made at the time of the Uppsala Assembly. (SMC, p. 100)
What is this "organization"? What is its relationship to the World Council of Churches? We shall answer the second question first. Robert Welsh of the Commission on Faith and Order of the WCC wrote under date, April 1, 1975 from Geneva, Switzerland - "With regard to Dr. Beach, he is the Secretary of the Annual Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional Families. Faith and Order relates to that conference in a consultative manner." Dr. Beach himself states "The bodies represented there [at the Conference] are between 12 and 15 world organizations such as the Lutheran World Federation, the Baptist World Alliance, the World Methodist Council, the World Reformed Alliance, the Roman Catholic Church, the Salvation Army, and the Anglican Consultative Council." (Letter to Pastor A. G. Brito, dated, Nov. 15, 1977) In another paragraph in the same letter, Beach declares - "I would like to make it clear that this conference is not a part of the World Council of Churches." However, RNS (May 19, 1977) quoted the president of the Conference, Bishop John Howe, as stating - "we have been able to decide how we shall work together more with the World Council of Churches in understanding the ecumenical role that all of us have."
Now to the first
question - Beach
denies that this conference is an organization
p 6 -- since he states it doesn't have a constitution, nor are dues paid into it. However, he writes: I have been representing our church at this meeting for 9 years now and our involvement consists simply in attending the meeting and participating in the discussions and exchange of information. For the past few years I have served as Secretary of the Conference (this means that I am responsible for preparing the agenda and handling the minutes or report of the Conference). There is no useful purpose in giving any publicity to this fact, but I do mention it for your information." (Letter to A. G. Brito, op. cit.)
We shall let the
reader decide the question as to whether there is an organization - officers,
agenda, minutes! But please do not give publicity to this fact, it will
serve no useful purpose!
was our involvement in the Annual Conference of "Secretaries of the
World Confessional Families" that led to the audience with the Pope.
The Catholic Church joined this conference the same year as the Seventh-day
Adventist Church, and it has been represented at these annual meetings
through the Vatican Secretariat for Unity. Beach, himself has written
- "Since this year's meeting  was held in Rome, it was felt
that it might be appropriate to have a meeting with the Pope, who is the
head of Vatican State and the religious leader of well over 500 million
people in the world." (Letter to Brito, op. cit.) In a letter
dated, March 3, 1978, Elder W. Duncan Eva noted in a very clear manner
- "The Northern Europe-West Africa Division Committee authorized
Brother Beach's trip to Rome and it understood that the visit to the Pope
with representatives of the World Confessional Families was a probability."
This "probability" was so sure that the medallion given was
"paid for from Departmental expense funds of the Northern Europe-West
Thus the beginnings of what appeared to be an "innocent"
dialogue between individuals of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and
persons connected with the WCC ended up in a formal audience with the
Pope by an official representative of the Adventist Church who presented
to the Pope as a "symbol" of the Church, "a gold-covered"
medallion. (Review, August 11, 1977, p. 23). Well did the servant
of the Lord write: Who
can truthfully say, "Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments
are unspotted by the world"? I saw our Instructor pointing to the
garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare
the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: "Can you not see how
they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of
character? 'How is the faithful city become an harlot?"' (8 Testimonies,
It was by departure
from the Lord, and alliance with the heathen, that the Jewish church became
a harlot. (GC, P. 382)
p 7 -- Footnote
- Every quotation in the preceding topic - Steps to Rome - from the book
- So Much in Common - is from a single document entitled - "The
World Council of Churches/Seventh-day Adventist Conversations and Their
Significance." It was written by none other that Dr. B. B. Beach,
himself. The book - So Much in Common carries an "Introductory
Statement" signed cojointly by Dr. Beach and Dr. Lukas Vischer of
the Faith and Order Secretariat of the World Council of Churches. This
book may he obtained by writing either to WCC, 150 route de Ferney, 1211
Geneva 20, Switzerland, or Room 439, 475 Riverside Dr. New York, NY 10027.
(Keep in mind that these addresses were current as of date of publication
committee, or church official authorized the audience with Pope Paul VI,
and the presentation of the medallion overlaid with pure gold?
is my understanding that all gold and silver issues of this medallion
were serially numbered. What was the serial number given to the Pope?
your article, and the RNS press release, this audience and presentation
was made in conjunction with Dr. B. B. Beach's attendance at the Conference
of Secretaries of the World Confessional Families. Who gave the authorization
for this trip and paid the costs of travel to attend?
4) While the cost of the medallion was only nominal - $45.00 as stated by Miss Hetzell - from what funds was this taken?
On March 3, 1978,
I received the following reply regarding these questions from Elder Eva:
He wrote: Now
to the questions of your letter of January 18.
Northern Europe-West Africa Division Committee authorized Brother Beach's
trip to Rome and it was understood that the visit to the Pope with representatives
of the World Confessional Families was a probability.
Beach does not know the serial number of the medallion presented to the
Pope and I am not able to ascertain it here.
question is covered in the reply to your question 1.
4. The medallion was paid for from Departmental expense funds of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division.
"The papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy of the latter times... shall this power, whose record for a thousand years is written in the blood of saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the church of Christ?" Great Controversy, p. 571.
p 8 -- RELIGIOUS NEWS SERVICE
FOREIGN SERVICE - 9 - THURSDAY, MAY 19, 1977
Addresses World Confessional Families Group
PURSUIT OF UNITY IS PLEDGED BY POPE PAUL
VATICAN CITY (RNS) -- Pope Paul, receiving participants of the Conference of Secretaries of World Confessional Families, urged unceasing pursuit of the goal of "full unity in Christ and in the Church," despite "all obstacles."
"It is a joy for us to receive such an important group and to welcome you to the See of Peter," said the Pope. "In you we greet representatives of a considerable portion of Christian people and through you we send greetings of grace and peace in the Lord to your confessional families."
The Conference, a grouping of Anglican, Protestant, Orthodox, Old Catholic, and other Christian church bodies, which was formed in 1957, met in Rome (May 16 - 18) for the first time.
The Vatican Secretariat for Christian Unity and the Seventh-day Adventists became regular participants in the Conference in 1968.
"'We are pleased," Pope Paul told the Conference participants, "to give expression in your presence to our common faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the one mediator with the Father, the Saviour of the world.
"Yes, brothers, with the Apostle Peter we proclaim that there is salvation in, none else, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
The pontiff went on to remark that "on her part," the Catholic Church is solemnly committed by the Second Vatican Council to "an ecumenism based on increased fidelity to Christ the Lord and on conversion of hearts.
"At the same time she realizes that nothing is so foreign to ecumenism as a false conciliatory approach. Strengthened by the power of God's work," he urged, "Let us then, despite all obstacles, pursue the goal of full unity in Christ and in the Church..."
Later, in Vatican Radio interviews, two officers of the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional Families, expressed satisfaction with the Rome meeting. Bishop John Howe, secretary general of the Anglican Consultative Council, who is president of the Conference, said it had been "a satisfactory meeting" because "we had secretaries here from the world organizations of nearly all the Churches, including the (Vatican) Secretariat for Unity." "It was a brotherly discussion," said the Anglican prelate, "and we have been able to decide how we shall work together more with the World Council of Churches in understanding the ecumenical role that all of us have."
p 9 -- Dr. Bert Beach, the Conference secretary, who is secretary of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, noted that history that the audience with Pope Paul marked the first time in history that the Seventh-day Adventist Church, through an official representative, had met with a Roman pontiff. Dr. Beach also said it had been "a pleasure" to be able to attend the Conference meeting in Rome, and that the meeting had provided "a good opportunity" for reflecting on "the work that has been accomplished" by the Conference since its founding.
Picture of Adventist Review August 11, 1977 (847) page 23; The article about the Book, Medallion Presented to Pope is written out below.
Medallion Presented to Pope ( script from article above)
-- In connection
with a recent consultative meeting of secretaries of World Confessional
Families held in Rome, B. B. Beach, secretary of the Northern Europe-West
Africa Division, one of the 15 participants and the only Adventist in
the group, presented a book and a medallion to Pope Paul VI on May 18.
The book presented was the Adventist missionary book Faith in Action, and the medallion was a gold-covered symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The medallion is an engraved witness to the Adventist faith in Christ as Creator, Redeemer, and soon-coming Lord, in the cross and Bible, and in the lasting validity of the Ten Commandments. While the other commandments are represented simply as Roman numerals, the words of the fourth - "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy" - are written out.
The Conference of World Confessional Families usually meets once a year. It is not an organization, but an informal, unstructured forum for consultation and the exchange of useful information. W. D. EVA (Review, August 11, 1977)
p 10 -- GLAS KONCILA -- ADVENTISTI PRIVI PUT KOD PAPE -- Translation: ADVENTISTI (Adventist) PRIVI (First) PUT (Time) KOD (By or To) PAPE (Pope)
On Wednesday, the 18th of May, Pope Paul received in Separate audience participants of the Secretarial Conference of the United Church World. The group was accompanied by Bishop John Howe, Chief Secretary of the Anglican Assembly Council and Mr. B. B. Beach, Chief Secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This is the first time a representative of this religion has met with the Pope who was thus presented with a gold medal. Upon their greeting, Paul VI answered:
"I am happy that we may receive such an esteemed group and express welcome from the Throne of Peter. In you, we greet representatives of the greater part of Christian believers and through you send greetings of God's mercy to your religious churches. I am glad that we may express in your presence our common faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only Intercessor with the Father and Redeemer of the World. Yes, brothers, with the apostle Peter we proclaim that there is salvation in nothing else. 'For there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved'(Acts 4:12.) As concerns us, at the 2nd Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has sacredly engaged itself in ecumenicalism, established in and arisen out of faith in Christ our Lord and in the conversion of hearts. (UR 6-7) Strengthened by the power of God's word, let us continue, in defiance of all obstacles, to walk toward our goal of complete unity in Christ and in the Church."
p 11 -- The Secretarial Conference of the United Church World was established 20 years ago by Bishop John Howe, Chief Secretary of the Anglican Assembly. The present Secretary of the Conference and Chief Secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist church, Mr. Beach, submitted to Radio-Vatican an announcement in which he distinctly emphasized the importance of that first meeting of an Adventist with the Pope. He is quoted as saying, "It is a distinct honor to be present as Secretary of the Conference in an audience here in Rome with the Holy Father upon which I presented to the Pope a book describing the work of the Adventist Church throughout the world."
and Comments -- This article taken from the Catholic Biweekly
published in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, gives the Catholic version of what took
place. The name of the newspaper - Glas (Voice) and Koncila (Council)
- can be interpreted as the Voice of the Council. In the upper left corner
of the "Slag" which appears on page 1 of the newspaper are the
words - Novo Lice Crkve - (only a blur on the copy as printed on page
10). A literal translation reads - "New Face Church" - but in
conversational English - "The New Image of the Church." In other
words, this newspaper reflects the spirit of Vatican II, and gives from
that viewpoint how the Catholic Church viewed the audience with the Pope
by the Secretaries of the World Confessional Families, which included
Dr. B. B. Beach of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
One notes that the
newspaper referred to Dr. Beach as "Chief Secretary of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church." This is not strictly correct, but an allowable
technical error in the light of how Dr. Beach is presented in the publication
of the WCC - So Much in Common. In two different places (pp. 92,
102) the notation appears - "Dr. B. B. Beach, General Conference
of Seventh-day Adventists, is secretary of the Department of Public Affairs,
Northern European Division, United Kingdom." This was in 1973, and
in the 1976 Yearbook, he is listed as carrying the additional responsibility
of Secretary of the Division. From the Catholic viewpoint, there is no
question but they considered B. B. Beach as speaking for the Seventh-day
Adventist Church in an official capacity. This event was also covered
in L'Observatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper. (This
is confirmed by a letter dated, October 11, 1977, written by Azenilto
G. Brito, San Paulo, Brazil, to the General Conference. We have not been
able to secure a copy of this news item appearing in the official Vatican
daily. Any help will be appreciated.)
Naturally, the hierarchy
in Washington are doing everything in their power to play down this event
as something "entirely innocent and meaningless." These are
the very words of the Editor of the Adventist Review, Kenneth H.
Wood, in a letter previously quoted. He wrote to a layperson - "I
am personally very well acquainted with Dr. Bert Beach and have discussed
with him this visit [to the Pope]. Even though it may look sinister ...
The visit was entirely innocent and meaningless so far as any relationship
goes between SDA's and Catholics."
This does not square
with the following facts:
p 12 -- p.
8 of this Special Report) Thus the representative of the Adventist Church
is in yearly fellowship with the representative from the Vatican Secretariat
for Unity. Only heaven, and the parties themselves know what has been
discussed between them. Further there must be kept in mind that Pope Paul
told the Secretaries of the World Confessional Families (Churches) that
despite "all obstacles" these leaders should unceasingly pursue
the goal of "full unity in Christ and in the Church." And the
Pope meant the Catholic Church! It dare not be overlooked that the Catholic
Biweekly - Glas Koncila - quoted Beach as stating over Radio-Vatican
that it was a distinct honor to have had "an audience here in Rome
with the Holy Father." Beach did not have to refer to the
Pope as "the Holy Father."
And there remains
the nagging question - How was it that when the Gregorian Pontifical University
- the alma mater of popes and cardinals - opened its doors to a first
non-Roman Catholic in its 425 year history, that individual was enrolled
as a Seventh-day Adventist? And why is it that a Jesuit - with all that
that Order has stood for in its history - signed the Preface to the published
edition of that individual's dissertation?
2) The former
Associate Editor of the Review wrote in an editorial about a conference
he attended at Notre Dame University following Vatican II. He stated:
new ecumenical climate is opening up countless opportunities for dialog
with people of other faiths, both for a clearer understanding of their
point of view and for sharing our own convictions with them ...
It has been my privilege to participate in several such conferences. One of these was the International Conference on Theological Issues of Vatican II at Notre Dame in March, 1966. There for an entire week the leading theologians of the Catholic Church from North America and Europe, with a liberal sprinkling of Protestant, Orthodox, and Jewish theologians, shared their mutual convictions. My seatmates to the left were Henri de Lubac, leading French theologian, and Archbishop John F. Dearden of Detroit, since then elected president of the National Council of Catholic Bishops. To my right were Father Bernard Cooke of Marquette University, and Yves Congar, another French theologian. (Review, March 23, 1967, pp. 12-13)
3) In the Silver-Tobler legal case involving the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the legal counsel for the Church submitted to the court a Brief which stated: Although 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 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 protestant denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been assigned to the historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned. (P. 4, footnote #2, Docket Entry #84: EEOC vs PPPA C-74-2025 CBR)
Further in the same brief: While, however, Adventist doctrine continues to teach that church government by one man is contrary to the Word of God, it is not good Seventh-day Adventism to express... an aversion to Roman Catholicism as such. (p. 30)
Think it through - Can you conceive of the associate editor of the Review sharing his conviction that the Pope was the "man of sin" - the antichrist of prophecy with Archbishop Dearden? Or had he lost this historic Adventist conviction? If he truly held to it, he would not have been there in the first place. There is no record of Christ being present during theological conferences involving the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Herodians. Maybe Cottrell's attendance at the Notre Dame conference was only "entirely innocent and meaningless" as Wood asserts.
p 13 --
Medallion - - -- --- - --FRONT - - -- -- -- -- - -- -- -- -- -- -- --- -- -- -- BACK -- -- -- --
The above is a photocopy
of the gold medallion given by Dr. B. B. Beach to Pope Paul VI, along
with the Adventist missionary book - Faith in Action. This medallion
was designed and sculptured by Ralph J. Menconi of the Presidential Art
Medals, Inc., of Vandallia, Ohio. It was issued by this company in 1973.
The suggestion for
the Seventh-day Adventists to be included among the "great religions
of the world" in the series planned by the Presidential Art Metals,
Inc., was made by Miss M. Carol Hetzell of the General Conference Department
of Communications. Mr. Menconi "visited our world headquarters here
and talked with our committee that had been set up to suggest what the
medallion might incorporate (Letter from M. Carol Hetzell, Dec. 29, 1977)
As can be seen from
the above pictures, an attempt was made to incorporate certain basic Adventist
teachings. The front in depicting the Second Coming of Christ does not
portray the usual representation of His coming - when He shall send His
angels to gather together the elect to meet the Lord in the air. Rather
the angels are pictured in "Catholic" fashion adoring a risen
Lord. On the back the IV Commandment is abbreviated, while the other commandments
are only numbered. We must keep in mind that the true Adventist emphasis
in regard to the Fourth Commandment is "the seventh day is the Sabbath
of the Lord thy God." The Catholic Church in its catechisms - while
noting it as the Third - admonishes - "Remember that thou keep holy
the Sabbath day." (The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine,
by Peter Geirermann, p. 49) Thus the testimony on the medallion is somewhat
The medallions of the Great Religions of the World were issued as follows:
p 14 -- This is quoted from the brochure - "Great Religions of the World" - prepared by the Presidential Art Medals., Inc. The prices represent the 1973 figure. The price in 1978 as quoted to us via telephone was - Bronze, $5.00; Silver, $35.00; and Gold, $95.00. The Silver and Gold issues were serially numbered.
Again the cost of this medallion is being played down by the editorial voice in Washington. The Editor of the Adventist Review would have the laity believe that all Beach did was to obtain a trinket from a Dollar Store for the Pope. In his letter dated February 22, 1978, he wrote: "Representatives of the General Conference have given this medallion to heads of state and other dignitaries all around the world. We have one here in our office. It costs somewhere between $5 and $10, I believe." Either the Editor is naive; or else he is "sloppy" in his research of facts; or else he is seeking to mislead the laity. Yet he tells this layperson - "When questions are raised do not depend on secondary sources such as (WWN) newsletter. Write directly to us or the General Conference and we will be happy to give you the facts." We will let the readers of this Special Report determine where the documented primary sources are to be found, and where they will obtain managed news releases.
We freely admit that when we first read of the gold medallion being presented to the Pope, we thought it was struck for the occasion, and wrote asking questions from this assumption. We were told that it had been produced by the Presidential Art, Medals, Inc., but were not told where in Ohio to locate the company. We used available research procedures and obtained the information direct. We found when supplied with brochures from the company that the prices vary depending when purchased. If the medallion given to the Pope came from the medallions first purchased by the Church in 1973, then the price would have been $40.00; but if ordered for the occasion of the presentation to the Pope in 1977, then the price would have been in the neighborhood of $95.00 as was quoted to us. Thus the price was nominal and the issue is simply that this gold medallion was presented by Beach to the Pope as a "symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (Review, Aug. 11, 1977, p. 23.)
SOME UNANSWERED QUESTIONS -- In the letter which Dr. B. B. Beach wrote to A. G. Brito in Sao Paulo, Brazil, dated November 15, 1977, he stated: I am enclosing a brief statement regarding the meeting with the Pope. This statement (with one or two small modifications) appeared some time ago in the Review and Herald.
We have reproduced
this statement on the next page. (You will observe that the word, "audience"
- is struck through and over it is written - "meeting.") By
carefully comparing this brief statement with the news item appearing
in the Review for August 11, 1977, p. 23 (p. 9, Special Report),
it can be seen that this is the basis for the Review news item.
In a letter to Elder Eva, dated February 24, 1978, we sent a copy of this
statement, and asked him - "Who made the change from "audience"
to "meeting"? Did Beach in submitting the material to you, or
did you do it,
p 15 -- or authorized it done?" Eva refused to answer this in his letter dated March 3, 1978.
STATEMENT REGARDING MEETING WITH THE POPE -- In connection with a recent consultative meeting of Secretaries of World confessional Families held in Rome, a group of fifteen participants had a special audience ( this was crossed out and put "meeting" in its place) with the Pope on May 18. Among the participants was one Seventh-day Adventist, Dr. B. B. Beach of the Northern Europe - West Africa Division. This was not the first time that an Adventist has met a pope. In meeting with the head of the Vatican State and leader of some five hundred million Catholics, Dr. Beach had the unusual opportunity of presenting to the Pope the Adventist missionary book Faith in Action and a gold-covered medal (this was crossed out and put "medallion" in its place) of the SDA Church. The latter represents an engraved witness to the Adventist faith in Christ as Creator, Redeemer and soon-coming Lord, in the cross and Bible and the lasting validity of the ten commandments. While the other commandments are listed as roman numerals, the words of the fourth "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy" - are especially highlighted.
The Conference of World Confessional Families meets usually once a year. It is not an organization but simply an informal, unstructured form for consultation and the exchange of useful information.
We asked one further question in our letter dated February 24, 1978: Why was the sentence - "This is not the first time that an Adventist has met a pope" - omitted? What were the other times, and under what circumstances? Have there been frequent audiences involving officials of the church in their official capacities? If not frequent, what contacts have been made between our church leaders and the Pope and for what purposes? Since the official newspaper of the Vatican has noted this audience in regard to the Seventh-day Adventist participation as of special note, and RNS through its Vatican correspondent marked it as "the first time in history" that the Seventh-day Adventist Church through an official representative met with the Pope, have the other contacts been secret and private
p 16 -- so that only certain members of the hierarchy know of them? These things need to be clarified.
In his reply, Elder
Eva refused to answer these questions. He stated - "We feel no burden
to give you the detailed information you ask for and I have not tried
to do so nor to answer the further questions of your letter of February
24." Thus it has neither been affirmed nor denied in regard to other
contacts between the Adventists and the Pope or Vatican officials. Beach
writes in his "Statement Regarding Meeting with Pope" - "This
is not the first time that an Adventist has met a pope." The Review
news item deleted this sentence. Yet Beach as reported by RNS in a Vatican
radio interview declared,the audience "marked the first time in history
that the Seventh-day Adventist Church, through an official representative,
had met with a Roman Pontiff," How does one put this all together?
We know of one other recorded meeting with the Pope that appeared in the Review with pictures. (May 30, 1968) It shows Pope Paul VI giving a souvenir medal to Dr. Lief Kr. Tobiassen. Pictured with Tobiassen are Elders R. R. Hegstad, Editor of Liberty, and Pierre Lanares, Religious Liberty Secretary of the Southern European Division. These men were a part of "A 34-member International Church-State Study Commission, sponsored by Andrews University, the International Religious Liberty Association, and the Religious Liberty Department of the General Conference." (Review, May 16, 1968, p. 16) Hegstad in telling of the meeting with the Pope writes: While in Rome the Adventist Study Commission experienced the pomp and ceremony of a papal audience in St. Peter's. It was hardly a private audience: some 5,000 shouting and clapping pilgrims were around us. Members of our group were seated not far from the high altar, which is in the midst of the serpentine Bernini columns, which, in turn, are under the central dome of St. Peter's. After the general audience, during which the Pope spoke for some 20 minutes on his year-old encyclical Populorum Progressio, L. Kr. Tobiassen, Pierre Lanares, and I were introduced to the pontiff. Dr. Tobiassen told him of the purpose of our study commission and of the countries we were visiting. I then mentioned our pleasure at finding material progress toward religious liberty in Spain, where the religious liberty schema of Vatican II is having good effect. (Ibid. P. 17) --- (1978 May -- Special Report -- Audience with Pope Paul VI) ---END ---