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Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary

Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear

OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:

Additional Various Studies --
"Saving Faith" - Dr. E. J. Waggoner
"What is Man" The Gospel in Creation - "The Gospel in Creation"
"A Convicting Jewish Witness", study on the Godhead - David L. Cooper D.D.

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

Sanctuary Service, The
- M. L. Andreasen

So Much In Common - WCC/SDA

Spiritual Gifts. The Great Controversy, between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and his Angels - Ellen G. White

Under Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy

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As of 2010, with the official closing of all sites of the ALF in the United States of America, The Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Canada with its website www.Adventist Alert.com is the only official ALF branch established by Elder Grotheer worldwide.

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"Watchman, What of the Night?"

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WWN 1975 Jan - Mar

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1975 Jan -- LIFT UP YOUR HEADS (Out of the Sands) - Times of the Gentiles -- One of the most controversial papers read at the Bible conferences this past year was the presentation by the associate editor of the Review, Dr. Herbert E. Douglass. It was entitled, "The Unique Contribution of Adventist Eschatology." It was "billed" as the explanation as to why we are still in this world, and why the Second Advent of our Lord has been so long delayed. Dr. Douglass, himself, in presenting what he termed, "the harvest principle," stated:      "The reason for the delay in the Advent is contained in the harvest principle."   1

No one, I care not who he may be, nor how sincere his motives and intentions, can arrive at truth, and exclude from consideration those factors which the Lord Jesus Himself stated were to be signs. This the editor in his presentation did, and as a result made some very erroneous statements. He stated categorically that    "Adventists do not see theological importance in . . . the annexation of Old Jerusalem in 1967."  2    Having made this exclusion, he then made this generalization -    "No prophecy concerning world conditions remained unfulfilled a century ago except those that describe events that will take place after God decides His people are ready for these events to take place, such as the latter rain, loud cry, shaking time experiences, and those events which are reactions in the secular world to the unprecedented thrust of the church into the public arena."  1    By so excluding, and by so concluding, Dr. Douglass was able to remove one of the objections which he

p 2 -- noted would be raised by his presentation of the "harvest principle". He admitted that in setting forth this principle as the explanation of the delay in our Lord's return, some would raise the question in regard to the Seventh-day Adventist Church's failure over these lengthening decades. He stated it thus: -      "The question is sometimes raised as to how long the Church's failure can postpone the will and plan of the Lord for the Advent. That is, will there come a time when God's justice will demand that His mercy give way, recognizing that there is a time ' when the inhabitants of the earth have filled up the cup of their iniquity?'"   3   

The pivotal point upon which the Douglass' presentation rests is the exclusion. Does the annexation of Old Jerusalem in 1967 have any bearing on our present position?

The servant of the Lord gave some very specific counsel to editors -counsel which apparently the associate editor overlooked. She wrote in 1901:      In the twenty-first chapter of Luke, Christ foretold that which was to come upon Jerusalem, and with it He connected the scenes which were to take place in the history of this world just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.   4

In analyzing this counsel, it might be argued that the servant of the Lord was merely stating that Jesus, in replying to the disciple's dual question in regard to the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world,   5    was simply mingling signs that would be connected with the two events. There could be some merit in such an argument, for a study of the parallel accounts in Matthew 24, and Mark 13 reveals that this is exactly what Jesus did. But in the specific counsel given to editors, the servant of the Lord singles out Luke - omitting the mention of Matthew and Mark - and specifically states that what was to come upon Jerusalem was connected with scenes to take place just prior to the coming of the Son of man the second time. And it is in Luke only that the specific sign is given that Jerusalem would be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles is fulfilled.    6   Because

p 3 -- Jesus gave the sign, and then in the Testimony of Jesus we are counseled specifically in regard to that which "was to come upon Jerusalem" as recorded in Luke, no student of eschatology (study of last day events) dare exclude this factor from his study, and expect to arrive at truth.

While the inclusion of this specific sign given in Luke gives validity to the very objection which the editor wished to remove by its exclusion, namely, the failure of the church, we should, before pursuing that factor, carefully analyze what is recorded in Luke 21. This we shall do in this thought paper.

It will be impossible to quote verbatim the verses in Luke 21 in such a condensed form as is followed in the writing of these thought papers; therefore, it is suggested that you study carefully the outline noted with your Bible open to Luke 21.

Luke 21:5-7 gives the setting which brought forth Christ's prophetic outline of the future. In verses 8-19 we find general signs, plus what will happen to God's people as a result of their witness for the truth's sake. Beginning with verse 20, and continuing through verse 24 is the specific outline of events which were to occur in regard to Jerusalem - its destruction and its control by Gentile powers till a specific time. Then follows references to major signs in the sun, moon and stars - verse 25 - with a description of the break-up of the nations of earth. In verses 28 -36 is found warning and admonition as how to relate to the fulfillment of the signs that would be observed. In the heart of these verses is found that definite pronouncement of Jesus which has caused much explanation with the lengthening shadows of time. Said Jesus,      "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away."   7      And when all that Jesus said is considered - involving Jerusalem - these words take on new and significant meaning. Consider their import.

Jesus had stated -     "When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh."  8    The Roman armies came in 66 A. D.

p 4 -- Cestius surrounded the city of Jerusalem. Then he suddenly withdrew his Roman legions. To those who understood and believed the words of Jesus, this was the sign of Jerusalem's imminent destruction. They fled the city and the province. Four years later, Titus resumed the siege, and Jerusalem was taken with terrible carnage resulting literally in "days of vengeance." Thus the very generation which saw the specific sign - "Jerusalem compassed with armies" - did not pass away till all things in regard to Jerusalem's destruction were fulfilled!

Jesus gave some other signs - in the sun, moon and stars. He declared -     "The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven. "   9    These signs occurred. The Dark Day was May 19, 1780. The stars fell, November 13, 1833. What did they signify? What were they saying to the inhabitants of the world? Note this illuminating statement from the pen of inspiration:       And while wholly unconscious of their condition and their peril, the church and the world [prior to 1844] were rapidly approaching the most solemn and momentous period of earth's history, - the period of the revelation of the Son of man. Already had the signs which Christ Himself had promised, - the sun clothed in darkness by day and the moon by night, - declared His coming near.    l0 

In 1844, the Son of man came in the clouds of heaven to the Ancient of Days to receive His kingdom.   11    The generation which saw the signs in the sun, moon, and stars did not pass away until the longest time prophecy in the Bible - Daniel 8:14 - which marked the day when Christ would come before the Ancient of Days was fulfilled. The generation that saw the specific signs lived to hear the proclamation that those with eyes of faith saw - Jesus entering into the Most Holy Place for the final atonement. Thus the generation that saw the signs did not pass away until the time of "the period of the Son of man" commenced.

Then Jesus gave one final sign - Jerusalem would be trodden down of the Gentiles     "until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."  6    In 1967, the armies of the

p 5 -- victorious Israeli re-established Jewish rule over Old Jerusalem. So it is to this day, in spite of all the political maneuvering, and another Jewish-Arab War. Whether such will continue is not now the question. The fact is that the sign that Jesus gave as recorded by Luke, has occurred.

In all solemnity read -     "This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled."      The generation that saw the Roman armies surround Jerusalem did not pass away; neither did the generation that saw the major signs in the heavens pass away till Jesus entered His final ministry, and neither will this generation which has now witnessed the return of Jerusalem to Jewish control pass away till all things will be fulfilled, and Jesus will come in the clouds of glory to take the Kingdom awarded to Him in the judgment session before the Ancient of Days. Indeed lift up your heads - your redemption draweth nigh!

After noting the fact that we should consider the twenty-first chapter of Luke, the messenger of the Lord wrote:-      Mark the words:  "Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."   4

1 -- Herbert E. Douglass, "'The Unique Contribution of Adventist Eschatology", p. 15, North American Division Bible Conferences, 1974
2 -- Ibid., p. 6
3 -- Ibid., p. 14
4 -- Ellen G. White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, pp. 23-24
5 -- Matthew 24:3
6 -- Luke 21:24
7 -- Luke 21:32-33
8 -- Luke 21: 20
9 -- Matt. 24: 29
10 -- Ellen G. White, Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, p. 195
11 -- Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

p 6 --   A GRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF THE MESSAGE OF LUKE 21 --

--------66 A. D. ----------------- 70 A. D.

Luke 21:20 -      "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh."

The generation that saw this specific sign, saw the event fulfilled!!!

---May 19, 1780 (Dark Day)--- Nov. 13, 1833 (Falling of the Stars)--- Oct. 22, 1844

Luke 21:25 -     "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars"

The generation that saw these signs also lived to hear the proclamation of what the signs signified - the coming of the Son of man to the Ancient of Days. See Daniel 7:13-14. Also Footnote #10 of the thought paper.

----1967-------------Second Advent of Christ

Luke 21:24 -     "And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled."

"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away." Luke 21:32-33

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."      Luke 21:2. --- (1975 Jan) ---END --- TOP

1975 Feb -- SACROSANCT -- Before pursuing the subject introduced in the January thought paper - we will with the March issue - it has been thought best to do some serious thinking in regard to the present climate in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The 1974 Annual Council held on the campus of Loma Linda University has been heralded as a great spiritual experience, and has been interpreted as evidence that the God of Israel is still with His professed people. Also during the year, the emphasis of the Review & Herald editorial staff has been on Righteousness by Faith and related subjects. The need for "quality" people has been stressed. The Week of Prayer issue departed from its usual format, and featured a series of studies with the same underlying theme. Thus to question, or even to suggest that all is not what it might appear to be, automatically places one in the category as "an accuser of the brethren."

However, there is a question suggested by the servant of the Lord to which we need to give careful study. It reads: -       ARE THE PEOPLE OF GOD NOW SO FIRMLY ESTABLISHED UPON HIS WORD THAT THEY WOULD NOT YIELD TO THE EVIDENCES OF THEIR SENSES.   1   Every manifestation of what appears to be spiritual power or the sensation of a spiritual presence must be subjected to the Word of God. Lest we find ourselves declaring a certain religious ecstasy, generated by one who can cloak himself as an angel of light, to be the power of God. And we must never forget that the warning of the devil coming as an angel of light was written to a church - a truly professed Christian church - which was having great spiritual manifes-

p 2 -- tations without repentance or the putting away of sin. And we have not been promised any insulation from such an experience unless certain conditions are met. In other words, feelings are not a criterion of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Nor is a revival or a reformation to be judged by verbalizing but by concrete actions taken which clean out of the camp of Israel the idols, and those who still cling to them.  2

In suggesting such thoughts the reaction is as intolerant as the leadership of Israel in the days of Christ. Of the Jewish hierarchy it is written - "They would not tolerate the teaching that did not distinguish them as a holy people, a royal nation."   3   Their attitude did not alter the facts, and neither does our attitude alter certain very vital facts. Our first work needs to be that of total and complete corporate repentance, not only for our spiritual forefather's rejection of the Holy Spirit in 1888, but also for our continued apostasy from the basic Adventist truths which we have since 1950 so brazenly flaunted to the world in some of our official publications. And we need to consider carefully that if we continue to disregard the need for a deep repentance that tells our deceived laity the full truth of our apostasy, the spiritual ecstasy which we profess to be experiencing may not be the spirit we ardently hope it to be. It is also possible that the repentance needed if it ever does come might be of the nature of Esau's.  4

It is impossible to escape the fact that what we are saying is taking place does not square with the Word of God. Our present call for revival and reformation must coincide with the examples of the past as found in Bible history.   5    Because of this deep concern that we might know where we are, and that it might be clearly set before the leadership of the Church, the following letter was written to the President of the General Conference. The reply received to this date - January 13,1975 -follows the copy of the letter to Elder Pierson

p 3 --
November 11, 1974

Elder Robert H. Pierson, President
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Takoma Park, Washington D. C. 20012

Dear Elder Pierson;

The latest Review (November 14, 1974) came to my desk this morning. Each reader was asked to respond to the appeal voted unanimously by the "World Leaders in Annual Council" as they spoke to the church through this action. As I read this appeal, I observed it stated "the conviction that the Advent Movement's first priority must be spiritual and theological, not organizational." It added - "The church's mission depends on correct theology."

With this I am in complete agreement. For the past seven years, through the monthly thought papers published by the Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Mississippi, I have been endeavoring to call attention to the theological deviations that have carried the official sanction of the leadership of the church. Several research manuscripts have been published which have focused on one primary area, the incarnation of our Lord.

In the fourth paragraph the suggestion is found that as a result of the 1973 Annual Council appeal "the spirit or individual and corporate repentance" followed. Of this, I am totally unaware even though I have been following closely the Review, and attended one of the Bible Conferences which were held this year.

We still have among us many copies of the book, Questions on Doctrine. It states plainly that "this volume can be viewed as truly representative of the faith and beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (p. 9) Yet it contains much heresy which has been pointed out on numerous occasions while I know that it has been voted not to reprint the book, nevertheless, I have yet to read a single confession from the leadership of the church wherein they repent for foisting upon the people of God, the errors that are contained therein. To my knowledge, not a single individual involved in the writing of this book has been brought before a committee of the church on the charge of heresy, and those that are still living are being sustained by the sacred tithe. Is this corporate repentance?

Then there is the book - Movement of Destiny. In the Foreword of this book you have written -"Movement of Destiny is a must for every worker, every theological student, and every church officer - in fact, for every church member who loves this message and longs to see it triumph in the near, very near future." Yet this book contains historical inaccuracies. This has been documented in the manuscript by Elders R. J. Wieland and D. K. Short, entitled - "An Explicit Confession…Due the Church". Through various thought papers, I have called your attention to the theological errors which are heretical to the historical position of the church in the areas of the atonement and the incarnation. I have documented where the author with the approval of sixty scholars of the church misrepresented the writings of E. J. Waggoner. Yet to this day, I have not seen or heard where you or any of the others involved have repented, and confessed to the people of God wherein you recommended that

p 4 -- they read and accept theological apostasy.

Now it may very well have been that you placed your approval on the book and the work of the committee which supervised its publication through ignorance. But whether through ignorance, or by deliberate choice, how can one ask the church to endorse the concept that the top priority of the church is spiritual and theological, and that there is a need for "correct theology" when you have not repented of your approbation of incorrect theology? Does the Spirit of God testify with such a spirit?

Then we might add to this, the special edition of the Review on Righteousness by Faith. As recent as the last issue of the Review, our church members were asked to give this publication wide circulation (see page 7). Yet this special number contained various heretical concepts, along with a "white-wash" of the failure of the 1888. While the servant of the Lord specifically stated that the Holy Spirit was rejected in 1888 by the leadership (See Series A, pp. 20,21) the article by C. Mervyn Maxwell declared - "So marvelous were the fresh new emphases that some of the delegates actually resisted them as too good to be true." We also learned that we can now say - regardless what the Spirit of Prophecy states -"I am saved!" Further, according to the lead article the issue is not theological after all, just a matter of knowing the Person, and letting Him dwell in us, rather than Christ abiding in us through His Word.

You should know also that there have come to my desk letters from long time members of the church with a rich Adventist heritage concerned over the articles appearing in the Week of Prayer issue for 1974. One study followed closely the article in the special Righteousness by Faith edition and sought to encourage the expression that we could say -"I am saved." It quoted the Spirit of Prophecy counsel, and interpreted it directly opposite to its real meaning. My brother, our laity are not all blind. They see these errors of theology making their way into the church's teaching. The call to repentance, and revival, and reformation has a hollow echo to such. We need to see real confession on your part, and the others who took a leading part in the apostasy of the past decade, to come clean before God's people. Let that which was done in secret be secretly repented, but that which has been openly endorsed, let it be openly repented. Our people need to know where the leadership of the church has taken them under the guise of a call to revival and reformation.

There are some very serious questions that need to be explored. We are told - "In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had." (8T 247) This is no conditional prophecy. This is the decreed purpose of the Eternal. Has this occurred? If so, what was the decision? God does nothing except He lets us know. (Amos 3:7) If it has not taken place, how near are we to this evaluation? Are we watching the unfolding of the scroll of Bible prophecy so that we can know what is transpiring in the Supreme Court of the Universe? I suggest that these questions need to concern us, and we need some answers.

May the Lord guide us by the truth as it is found in Jesus our Lord, which is the basis of our rich spiritual heritage.

Sincerely yours, (Signed) W.H. Grotheer

p 5 --
November 18, 1974

Letter to WWN:

Just a note to let you know that your letter of November 11 has arrived.

Elder Pierson is in the Inter-American Division and will not be returning to the office until the latter part of December.

Cordially yours,
(Signed) (Miss) Margaret Fuller, Secretary to Elder Pierson

1 -- Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 625
2 -- II Chronicles 15:8,16
3 -- Ellen G. White, Review & Herald, January 24,1899
4 -- Hebrews 12:16-17
5 -- II Chronicles 15:1-16; II Kings 28:1-25

"THE SEAL OF GOD" TRACT - The chapter - "The Seal of God" from Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, pp. 207-216 - has been printed by several in various formats over the past few years. One press printed it in connection with the chapter from the same volume - "The Testimonies Slighted." This was a semi-facsimile reproduction with very expressive pictorial notations in the margins. Another publisher included the chapter in his provocative compilation under the title - Seventh-day Adventism at the Crossroads.

We chose the form we used - facsimile reproduction with marginal notations, and only the one chapter -for several reasons. We believe this chapter can stand alone giving its unique message to the Church. The very time element - "Jesus is about to leave the mercy-seat of the heavenly sanctuary" - lifts it from the context of the era in which it was written, and gives it prophetic significance.

This chapter clearly differentiates between groups so that one can readily grasp in what group he is, and how God views the attitudes and actions of that particular group. That it contains a warning message for the laity of the Church, no honest heart can deny. True it does not present the hierarchy of the Church in a very favorable light, but after all God is no respecter of persons. Jesus is the faithful and true witness regarding the Laodicean state. And this chapter is from the Testimony of Jesus to the Church!

p 6 -- During the 4th Quarter of this past year, we studied the Gift of Prophecy to the Remnant Church through the ministry of Ellen G. White. The letter which follows illustrates the wide gap between the theory the leadership wishes the laity to accept so that their authority will not be questioned, and the actual reaction to the Spirit of Prophecy when a specific section from the Writings is given to the people for study and consideration. Here is the letter:

Letter to WWN:

October 28,1974

Thank you much for sending my studies on "The Seal of God." I have given them out at last. I purposely waited a few weeks as we have a new Pastor, Elder Haines, and Elder Bauer thought it best to wait a short time.

I gave a number of them out at our Lake Tahoe church a week ago Sabbath. The next day Elder Haines called me and reprimanded me, asking me at the time to promise not to ever do that again. I told him I wouldn't promise but I probably wouldn't. Well, he said I am advising you not to but I'm not threatening you. I could tell he almost did though. Now today more than a week later, I received another call from him. He told me that Elder Streifling told him that if I didn't make that promise that the alternative is that I am no longer welcome to attend church up here. I don't know where I will go as I am alone and though God is very good to me in supplying all my needs as they arise, I don't have money for gasoline to travel out of Streifling's jurisdiction.

Elder Bauer told me I could tell Elder Haines that I would make the promise on one condition, that being that he sit down with me and go over the paper very carefully telling me what is wrong with it. Also that I request the presence of Elder Bauer. If he refuses that but agrees to go over it with me that I should use the tape recorder . . .

Yours truly,
(Signed) Jeanne D. Colston

P.S. Please pray for me. Maybe soon I can order more of "The Seal of God" and on rare occasions visit other S. D. A. Churches and hand them out.

NEW PRINTING - A Warning and Its Reception - a facsimile reproduction of the original document -1888 Re-Examined - by Elders R. J. Wieland and D. K. Short. ... The correspondence and committee reports have been omitted as irrelevant, since no evidence to this date has been produced by the General Conference committees appointed to study the manuscript which would invalidate a single basic premise of the manuscript. .-- (1975 Feb )---END--- TOP

1975 March -- THE HARVEST PRINCIPLE -- In the January thought paper, we called attention to a presentation at the 1974 Bible Conferences by Dr. Herbert E. Douglass entitled - "The Unique Contribution of Adventist Eschatology." This paper presented what is now being accepted as the reason for the delay in Christ's Second Coming. Concisely stated by the author it reads -    "The reason for the delay in the Advent is contained in the harvest principle."  1     This thought paper will examine this principle, and the application made by Dr. Douglass.

"The Harvest Principle" is Biblically based. Jesus taught -     "The harvest is the end of the world."  2    In the book of Revelation, Christ is pictured sitting upon a white cloud holding in His hand a sharp sickle. An angel from the temple calls to Him -     "Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of earth is ripe."   3    Turning to the Spirit of Prophecy, we find that the divine Husbandman is looking for a harvest - the reproduction of "Himself in the hearts and lives of His followers."   4    When this is realized,     "He will come to claim them as His own."   5    The conclusions by Douglass are rightly stated.      "Historic Adventist theology" consists of two points in this regard: -    1)    "Jesus delays His coming, waiting for a quality people to whom He may impart the immeasurable power of the latter rain;" and    2)    "God has left His church in the person of Jesus an Example of the quality people for whom He is waiting."   6    But have all the factors been considered?

p 2 -- Closely associated with the principle of the harvest is the fact that it is God who gives the increase. Paul clearly enunciated this factor. He wrote: -      "Neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase."    7    "The growth and perfection of the seed rests not with the husbandman. God alone can ripen the harvest."  8    It was God's design that through the agency of the church this ripening of the harvest should be accomplished. He set His hand to bring about this objective through the message of righteousness by faith that He sent to the Church in 1888. Of this message it is written -     "The present message - Justification by Faith - is a message from God; it bears the divine credentials, for its fruit is unto holiness."  9

The supreme question of this present hour, and one to which one must find the answer is - Does God still plan to use the agency of the Church in its present corporate state for the accomplishment of this objective, or has He chosen to take the reins into His own hands to accomplish the objective through other agencies and means? This is no idle question. It is fraught with eternal Consequences.

Douglass in his presentation states what we all theoretically believe.      "The principle of conditional prophecy recognizes that the promises and threatenings of God are alike conditional."   10    God has made great promises to the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a corporate body. We dwell at length on these. But He has also made some threatening statements. It is written -      "If her [Seventh-day Adventist Church] spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence, 'Found wanting.'"   11

To this principle of conditional prophecy, Douglass adds a reciprocal. He states -      "The correlate to the principle of conditional prophecy is the principle of the harvest - that God will wait for the maturing of Christian character in a significant number of people as the chief condition determining the time of the

p 3 -- advent."   10    He then concludes that      "the mission of highest priority in the Seventh-day Adventist Church"      is first      "to produce the rich harvest of men and women who truly represent Jesus, thus vindicating the honor, justice, and love of God."  12    By so concluding. He rejected the question which he himself suggested would be projected, to wit,     "how long the Church's failure can postpone the will and plan of the Lord for the Advent. That is, will there come a time when God's justice will demand that His mercy give way, recognizing that there is a time when 'the inhabitants of the earth have filled up the cup of their iniquity'?"  13    Thus, "the harvest principle" as defined by Douglass can be made to delay the coming of the Lord, and theoretically, extend the Second Advent into future generations of time, depending on the decision of the Church.

Every sincere and devoted Seventh-day Adventist whose heart is attune to the Spirit of God must ask seriously the question - What factors, if any, have been overlooked in the presentation of "the harvest principle" as the answer to why we are still here in this world?

The work of the Church was clearly defined. Those who understood what happened in 1844 - that their great High Priest entered upon another work of ministration -      "were led to understand also the closing work of the church, and were prepared to receive and give to the world the warning of the third angel of Revelation 14."  14    Now the work of the Third Angel      "is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner."   15    In other words, the Third Angel is the angel of the harvest, to prepare a people to reflect fully the image of Jesus. This work was committed to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and defined as "the closing work of the church."

God intended to finish the work through His church following 1888. But He warned through His servant -     "All heaven is represented to me as watching the un-

p 4 -- folding of events. A crisis is to be revealed in the great and prolonged controversy in the government of God on earth. Something great and decisive is to take place, and that right early. If any delay, the character of God and His throne will be compromised."   16

There has been a delay. We can write and say all we want, but we cannot erase the fact that with each passing year, the credibility gap in our doctrine of the Investigative Judgment widens. To have God in judgment one hundred and thirty years looking over records, making decisions when the deeds of each mortal have been entered with unerring accuracy by angels with all accounts current, is to test the most credulous mind. To so assume gives validity to the charge that Barnhouse made indicating that our doctrine of the sanctuary was a face-saving device to cover the disappointment of 1844.   17    Let's face it; in the continuing delay, we have compromised the character and throne of God. In the government of God on earth - His church - there has been a great & prolonged controversy over the message of righteousness by faith. This controversy has been heightened in the last decades since 1950 with the introduction of false doctrines regarding the incarnation, the atonement, and the remnant. Is God going to sit idly by and wait for the accomplishment of what is now called "the harvest principle"?

The answer is - NO! Through Ezekiel, God revealed Himself as arising from the cherub "whereupon He was", and going to the threshold of the sanctuary ordering the sealing work to begin for the church.   18    It must never be forgotten that those who are sealed have written on their foreheads their destination -"New Jerusalem".  19    Thus two things stand out clearly from the prophecy of Ezekiel. The city of Jerusalem - the church in the prophetic symbolism of the book of Ezekiel - does not receive the seal; it does not go through. Neither do all who dwell in her midst, but those only who sigh and cry for      "all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof."  20

p 5 -- This work is defined in contradiction to the closing work  of  the church as the closing work  for  the church. When this takes place there are two distinct groups of people;    1)    "the true people of God", and    2)     "God's professed people." Note carefully how these two groups and the work for the church are described:      The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord, and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God's professed people.   (21)

If the church were in a position to accomplish the work assigned to her - the giving of the message of Revelation 14, to prepare the harvest of earth - she would not have to have a special work done in the midst of her - the gathering of the 144,000 who will glorify and give honor -to the Throne of God, and who will not compromise God's character in the final struggle of earth. In the light of this, can we not see why the servant of the Lord wrote: -     "Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand"  22    - and not -     "Let us strive with all our power to keep our names on the church records of God's professed people."      One record is written in heaven, and the other is recorded on earth.

Is there a time indicated when we can know that God has taken the work into His own hands, removing from His professed people their responsibility of the closing work of the church, and instituting the closing work for the church, the sealing time of the 144,000? - We shall give consideration to this in future thought papers.

1 -- Herbert E. Douglass, "The Unique Contribution of Adventist Eschatology", p. 15, North American Division Bible Conferences, 1974
2 -- Matthew 13:39
3 -- Revelation 14:14-l5 ("the" omitted before "earth")

p 6 --
4 -- ) Ellen G. White, Education, p. 106
5 -- Ellen G. White, Christ's Object Lessons, p. 69
6 -- Douglass, op. cit., p. 29
7 -- 1 Corinthians 3:7
8 -- Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers, p. 508
9 -- Ellen G. White, Review & Herald, September 3,1889
10 -- Douglass, op. cit., p. iv
11 -- Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 8, p. 247
12 -- Douglass, op. cit., p. vi
13 -- Ibid., p. 12
14 -- Ellen G. White, Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. IV, p. 272
15 -- Ellen G. White, Early Writings, p.118
16 -- Ellen G. White, Special Testimony read by A. T. Jones, Review & Herald, June 21,1892
17 -- Donald G. Barnhouse, "Are Seventh-day Adventists Christians?", Eternity, September 1956. Barnhouse wrote -"The latter doctrine ["the investigative judgment"], to me, is the most colossal, psychological, face-saving phenomenon in religious history!"
18 -- Ezekiel 9:3-4
19 -- Ellen G. White, Early Writings, p. 15
20 -- Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 212; See also Vol. 3, p. 267 -"Mark this point with care: …"
21 -- Ibid., Vol. 3, p. 266
22 -- Ellen G. White, Review & Herald, March 9, 1905 (7 Bible Commentary, p. 970)


NOTES AND COMMENTS -- Erratum - Footnote #10 in the November, 1974, Thought Paper should read -     "Ellen G. White, In Heavenly Places, p. 163"

Available -Fundamental Principles of Health Reform. This is a sixty-one page facsimile reprint of an original publication dated, 1916, Takoma Park. It contains a Pledge all were asked to sign in regard to Health Reform, and the reason for so signing. Write to Reformation Herald Publishing Association, P. O. Box 749, Monterey Park, Calif., 91754 for further information. Prices for single copies, and quantity orders will be supplied.

Bauer Tape - A second taped message entitled -"Wilt Thou Be Made Whole".

NEW PRINTING - A Facsimile reprinting of 1888 Re-Examined by Elders R. J. Wieland and D. K. Short . --- (1975 Mar ) --- END---

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