1975 Jan-MarVIII 1(75) - VIII 3(75)
1975 Apr-Jun VIII 4(75) - VIII 6(75)
1975 Jul-Sep VIII 7(75) - VIII 9(75)
1975 Oct-Dec VIII 10(75) - VIII 12(75)
1976 Jan-Mar IX 1(76) - IX 3(76)
1976 Apr-Jun IX 4(76) - IX 6(76)
1976 Jul-Sep IX 7(76) - IX 9(76)
1976 Oct-Dec IX 10(76) - IX 12(76)
1977 Jan-MarX 1(77) - X 3(77)
1977 Apr-Jun X 4(77) - X 6(77)
1977 Jul-Sep X 7(77) - X 9(77)
1977 Oct-DecX 10(77) - X 12(77)
1978 Jan-Mar XI 1(78) - XI 3(78)
1978 Apr-Jun XI 4(78) - XI 6(78)
1978 Jul-Sep XI 7(78) - XI 9(78)
1978 Oct-Dec XI 10(78) - XI 12(78)
1979 Jan-Mar XI 1(79) - XI 3(79)
1979 Apr-Jun XI 4(79) - XI 6(79)
1979 Jul-Sep XI 7(79) - XI 9(79)
1979 Oct-DecXI 10(79) - XI 12(79)
Feb Knight Descends On Jones. 1of 4.
Mar Knight Descends On Jones. 2 of 4.
1988 Apr-Jun 3 & 4 of 4.
last of WWN published
ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)
SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation
- Legal Documents
Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer
Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer
the Form of a Slave
In Bible Prophecy
Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer
Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer
of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary
Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear
OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:
Various Studies --
Bible As History - Werner Keller
Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts
Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith
Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson
Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones
"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson
Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen
Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones
Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen
So Much In Common - WCC/SDA
Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy
The MISSION of this site -- is to put the articles from the WWN in a searchable Essay form. It is not our purpose to copy WWN in whole.
Any portion of the thought paper may be reproduced without further permission by adding the credit line - "Reprinted from WWN, Victoria, BC Canada."
Thank you for visiting. We look forward to you coming back.
WWN 2001 Apr - Jun
Apr XXXIV 4(01) -- A Search for Identity -- Part
4 -- Editor's Preface -- In this issue we discuss another
question asked by Dr. Knight in his search for identity in discussing
"The Development of Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs." He asks,
"What is Christian in Adventism?" and covers the period from
1886 to 1919. While he lists four theological issues flowing from the
General Conference session of 1888, we discuss only two in this issue.
Knight's problem appears to rise from the fact that he does not know the
basic factors in the "everlasting gospel." These we discuss,
giving special emphasis to the fourth theological issue to flow from the
1888 session as listed by Knight - the Incarnation.
The whole issue of the Incarnation revolves around one point, and one
point only. Was there a Divine intervention in the birth of Jesus? Roman
Catholic teaching says, Yes; the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception followed.
All the explanations given by the Evangelicals and others vary only in
degree from this Dogma. In this issue of WWN, we note a certain
theory of this doctrine in Adventism beginning with the Holy Flesh teaching
and continuing down to the current teaching among "historic"
Adventist "voices." Space did not permit us to discuss the current
official teaching of the Church based on the theology of Henry Melvill
which indirectly demands this same emphasis - a Divine intervention. (See,
A Search for Identity, pp. 123-124)
There is a distinct difference between the Incarnate Christ and us. His Divine Identity was and is eternal; while our identity comes from a union between an earthly father and mother. The question centers on what kind of flesh, the LogoV took upon Himself. Was there a Divine intervention which made his flesh different from ours?
p 2 -- A Search for Identity -- Part 4 -- Covering the period from 1886 to 1919 in Adventist Church history, Dr. Knight asks the question, "What is Christian in Adventism?"
Choosing the date 1886, to begin an answer to the question, sets the
stage for the righteousness by faith confrontation at the General Conference
Session in Minneapolis. The closing date, 1919, could be taken for the
Bible Conference of that date; however, Knight indicates that between
1900 and 1920, five theological struggles erupted within Adventism. He
lists these five as: 1) The Holy Flesh Movement in Indiana;
2) The "pantheistic ideas" from Battle Creek; 3)
A. F. Ballenger's rejection of the traditional understanding
of the sanctuary doctrine; 4) The ecclesiology struggle over
church organization; and 5) The extended controversy over
the "daily" of Daniel 8:13. Then he wrote that due to "external
strains" - the conflict in the Protestant world between modernism
and fundamentalism which reached a crisis point in the 1920s - Adventism
would be led into "a third great question of identity" (pp.126-127).
This second question of Identity, "What is Christian in Adventism,"
according to Knight involves doctrinal concepts which "flowed from
the meetings" of the 1888 General Conference Session. He lists four:
1) A re-examination of the ground for settling theological issues;
2) A fuller understanding of righteousness by faith in relationship
to the Third Angel's Message; 3) The doctrine of the Trinity;
and 4) The human nature of Jesus Christ (p.93). Since we
have discussed in
If indeed, the message of righteousness by faith as presented by Jones
and Waggoner at the 1888 General Conference session was the same as was
and is being taught by the "evangelicals;" and the Third Angel's
Message is in "verity" the message of justificaion by faith
(R&H, April 1, 1890), then the "evangelicals" are
preaching the Third Angel's Message. This again reveals Knight's faulty
evaluation of history, and his lack of understanding of what the message
of 1888 was all about.
Further, it is actually the crux of the whole issue which has been raised
in the Church since 1950. The challenge made by Wieland and Short was
that the 1888 Message as brought by Jones and Waggoner was not accepted
by the Church, but was rather rejected in 1888 and has, as yet, not been
accepted, and we might add, not understood. The question might even be
raised as to whether Wieland himself understands the real purpose and
objective of the giving of the message of justification by faith to the
Church in 1888. It is a factor to which more study needs to be given.
However, with the hardening of the lines by the release of the "Report
of the Primacy of the Gospel Committee," both on the part of the
Church and the 1888 Study Committee itself, will not help produce a positive
study of this factor. Actually, it would appear that we are back to "square
one" with more heat than light having been generated.
If this conclusion is valid, then the place to begin is to review Paul's basic gospel. Why? Because at the very apex of the controversy in the apostolic Church over the gospel, he pronounced an anathema or any man or angel who would vary in the slightest the gospel given him by Jesus Christ Himself. What he wrote bears careful review.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ -- To the Church in Galatia, Paul wrote: Though we, or an angel from heaven, proclaim any other gospel unto you than that which we preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again. If any man preach any other gospel than ye have received, let him be accursed. ... I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not of man. For I neither received it of man neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1:8,9, 11,12)
If words have any meaning whatever, Paul is declaring unequivocally that
the Gospel he proclaimed was the only gospel and was received by him through
direct revelation from Jesus Christ. If either a man or an angel declared
another gospel, let that man or angel be accursed (Gr. anaqema
). In simple application, it means that the "everlasting gospel"
carried by the First Angel of Revelation 14 (v. 6) was the same gospel
as had been received by Paul. Further, if either Jones or Waggoner preached
in 1888 a new or different gospel
p 3 -- than that proclaimed by Paul, they were accursed!
The Greek perfect participle
- is in the passive voice, indicating that those saved have been acted
upon instead of doing the acting. It is solely a gift, God's gift. We
might also ask, since through faith, who's faith? In the Galatian letter,
Paul had stated that the renewed life which he lived in the flesh, he
lived "by the faith of the Son of God, who loved [him], and gave
Himself for [him]" (2:20). According to Paul, even his faith was
not his own. This echoes in "the everlasting gospel" of the
First Angel when the final results of all Three Angels' messages are declared
to be a people which "keep the faith of Jesus" (14:12).
However, the faith of Jesus in the life produces something according
to Paul's gospel, - "good works." If missing, it is not then
the true gospel. But specific works are designated - those which God "had
before ordained that we should walk in them." The gospel is to be
a restoration to what man once was, a life in harmony with God. The first
thing that God and man did after man's first day of life, was to enter
into a Sabbath fellowship - God's rest (Gen. 2:2-3). To this rest, Jesus
invites man to return (Matt. 11:28-30). Because the "gospel"
proclaimed by the evangelicals does not lead to this divine objective,
it cannot be the true gospel, as Knight asserts, nor is it the message
of justification by faith emphasized in 1888 by Jones and Waggoner. The
evangelical "gospel" and the Pauline gospel are not the same,
and they will lead to two different ends - the seal of God or the mark
of the beast!
The tragedy of the present conflict in Adventism is that the Enemy has shrewdly devised two ways, one on either side of the narrow way "which leadeth to life" (Matt. 7:14). One is designated as "cheap" grace. One merely says, "I am saved," and lives by that which is "right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25). The other seeks by works to contribute to what God has provided in Christ Jesus. The tragedy is compounded because many in this latter category consider themselves as "historic" Adventists, when in reality they would have been with the opponents of Jones and Waggoner had they been living in 1888.
Jesus Christ -- This designation of our Saviour is found frequently
in the Epistles of Paul either as "the Lord Jesus Christ," or
as "Jesus Christ our Lord" (e.g. Rom. 1:3, 7). In this designation
is a name covering His saving work - Messiah - and what He was - Lord
- and what He became - Jesus - to accomplish that work.
Knight in discussing the nature that Christ assumed in His humanity as
taught by Jones and Waggoner, seeks to separate this teaching from their
message of Justification by Faith as given in 1888, and holds it as an
adjunct teaching which they developed following 1888. He had to admit,
however, that in the book, The Gospel in the Book of Galatians
by Waggoner, which was circulated at the session, he did hold that "if
Christ was not made in all
things like unto His brethren, then His sinless life would
be no encouragement to us" (p. 118). Knight also approaches his premise
from another angle. He indicates that while Ellen White commended Jones
and Waggoner "for uplifting the 'divine person' of Jesus," she
gave no such approval of their teachings on Christ's human nature at any
This latter position reveals either Knight's inadequacy in his historical
research or a flagrant attempt to cover up the truth to maintain his agenda.
Ellen White did not have to approve the truth of what Waggoner wrote in
his book in regard to the Incarnation, because she herself taught the
same thing in some of her earliest Writings. Excerpts from these read
as follows: Jesus
also told them that they [angels] would have a part to act, to be with
Him, and at different times strengthen Him. That He should take man's
fallen nature, and His strength would not be equal with theirs. [Spiritual
Gifts, Vol.1, p. 25:1858]
The great work of redemption
could be carried out only by the Redeemer taking the place of fallen Adam.
[R&H, Feb. 24, 1874]
Christ bore the sins and infirmities
of the race as they existed when He came to earth to help man. [Ibid.,
July 28, 1874]
It was in the order of God
that Christ should take upon Himself the form and nature of fallen man.
[Spirit of Prophecy, Vol.2, p 39:1877]
[For further amplification
of the historical data see our manuscript - An Interpretative History
of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist
Church Order Form]
p 4 -- There is no question that both Jones and Waggoner preached after 1888, as a part of the "everlasting gospel," the fact that Christ took upon Himself the fallen nature of man. They were but following Paul who considered this concept as basic to the Gospel given him by Jesus Christ. He begins his great epistle to the Romans with these words: Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, ... concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. [1:1, 3-4]
Incarnate One -- The very doctrine of the Incarnation, by the
Latin name assigned to it (incarnatas),
declares that Christ came in the flesh. The question is, what flesh (and
this includes all that is human) did He take upon Himself? The Scriptures
plainly teach that He was born of Mary (Matt. 1:21; Luke 1:35). The only
flesh she could give was the fallen flesh, as well as the nature, of Adam,
unless - and here is the pivotal point - there was a Divine intervention.
This factor, Knight has not assessed in his Search for Identity.
At the very time that the Seventh-day Adventist Church was forming out
of what Knight describes as "the utter confusion in the wake of the
October 22 disappointment" (p.55), the Papacy issued as one of its
"great words" (Daniel 7:11), the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
Simply, it is an assumption of a Divine Intervention in the Incarnation
of Jesus Christ. The question in any search for Identity must include
the question as to whether God in raising up the Seventh-day Adventist
Church to proclaim the "everlasting gospel" (Revelation 14),
raised them up to proclaim a different "intervention" from Rome,
or to deny that there was any intervention, and thus preach the Pauline
"gospel of God" that Christ "according to the flesh"
was "made of the seed of David"?
Since justification by faith alone and the incarnation of Christ in taking
upon Himself the "seed of David" are parts of but one gospel,
it follows that both aspects would be presented in the messages which
Jones and Waggoner would present, whether at the 1888 Session or at any
subsequent sessions. Knight weighs in on the presentation of the Incarnation
by Jones in his series of sermons at the 1895 Session. At the meetings
Jones preached 26 times on the third angel's message devoting six of them
entirely to the subject of the Incarnation. Of these Knight writes: In
his usual manner, Jones was quite explicit as he put his views before
the delegates. "Christ's nature," he claimed, "is precisely
our nature." "In his human nature there is not a particle
of difference between him and you." Christ did not come like the
first Adam. "but as the first Adam had caused his descendants to
be at the time at which he came." (1895 GCB 231, 233, 436)
There is, Jones claimed, "not
a single tendency to sin in you and me that was not in Adam when he stepped
out of the garden." Christ took our flesh in the incarnation, with
"just the same tendencies to sin that are in you and me. ... All
the tendencies to sin that are in human flesh were in his human flesh,"
yet, "not one of them was ever allowed to appear; he conquered them
all" [ibid. 266, 267].
Thus Jesus, according to Jones,
was born just like every other child - that is with sinful tendencies.
On the other hand, He lived a Iife without sin. He, in fact, showed the
universe that individuals can overcome sin in human flesh. Jesus is an
example in this matter for every Christian. As Jones put it, "In
Jesus Christ as he was in sinful flesh, God has demonstrated before the
universe that He can so take possession of sinful flesh as to manifest
his own presence, his power, and his glory, instead of sin manifesting
itself. And all that the Son asks of any man, in order to accomplish this
in him, is that the man will let the Lord have him as the Lord Jesus did."
In short, Jones pointed out
in 1905, by overcoming sin in human flesh, Jesus had opened a "consecrated
way" for each of His folIowers to do the same. Each can have "perfection
of character. . . in human flesh in this world [Consecrated Way,
84] through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That type of living,
Jones declared in 1897, would make God's people a demonstration to the
universe. Their lives would proclaim: "Here are they that keep the
commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" [1897 GCB 279].
Knight in his continued discussion attempts to show that "all the
delegates at the 1895 General Conference session" did not agree with
Jones. These delegates challenged Jones, not on Scripture, but on what
Ellen White had written. Knight joins them by adding to their original
reference other statements which he gathered from the Writings. This is
quite incongruous with the position which he stated had been established
in 1888 that "'the Bible must be our standard for every doctrine
and practice. ... Here is divine authority which is supreme in matters
of faith"' (p. 97). It should be observed also that Knight in assembling
various statements which he assumes negates the position of Jones [He
has a real antipathy for Jones] he omits a very key reference which reads:
p 5 -- This reference reflects a Biblical tenet which needs to
be carefully considered, even quoting the Biblical source - John 1:14.
It was the pre-existent Eternal Word that "flesh became" ('o
logoV sarx egeneto). He in some mysterious way divested Himself
of what He was and became man with our flesh - the flesh of humanity four
thousand years after the Fall. Paul puts it this way:
Knight lists the short-lived Holy Flesh Movement (1899-1901) as one of the theological struggles which erupted in Adventism during this period in which he discusses, "What is Christian in Adventism?" (See, p. 1 of this issue). While Knight observes that this movement "moved beyond the traditional Adventist interest in character perfection to that of the perfection of the human body before the Second Advent," the issue of the Incarnation did become a crucial point. It taught that there was a "Divine intervention." R. S. Donnell, president of the Indiana Conference and leader of the Movement, wrote a series of articles for the Indiana Reporter, in an attack on what Jones was writing at the time in the Review & Herald: In order to save man, Christ must enter humanity, and because all were sinners, and not a body could be found that was suitable, what had to be done? A body had to be made for the occasion. And so we read in Hebrews 10:5: "A body hath Thou prepared "Me." ["What I Taught in Indiana," p. 9; Article Three]
But Christ was born in a body formed in the womb of Mary. The position
of Donnell is clear: the body' that Christ assumed was prepared of God
in the womb of Mary, a body "unlike the rest of the children of Adam."
In another article, Donnell
stated it this way: Christ's
nature was a divine human nature. A nature which, prior to the new birth,
has not been possessed by a single son or daughter of Adam since the fall.
This translates into the concept that Christ came into humanity "born-born
again," as a result of a divine intervention.
Clearly Jones and Waggoner understood that the choice between truth and
error in regard to the humanity assumed by Christ lies in difference between
His being "made of the seed of David according to the flesh,"
and the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. At the General Conference
session of 1901, EIder E. J. Waggoner spoke at the evening meeting on
April 16. (The next morning a statement would be read to the session that
would end the Holy Flesh Movement) As Dr. Waggoner began his message,
he read a question that had been handed to him - "Was that hoIy thing
which was born of the virgin Mary born in sinful flesh, and did that flesh
have the same evil tendencies to contend with that ours does?" (GC
Bulletin, p. 403). During his message he declared: Let
me show you what there is in the idea that is in this question. ... Did
you ever hear of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the immaculate conception?
And do you know what it is? Some of you possibly have supposed in hearing
it, that it meant that Jesus Christ was born sinless. That is not the
Catholic dogma at all. The doctrine of the immaculate conception is that
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was born sinless. Why? - Ostensibly to magnify
Jesus; really the work of the devil to put a wide gulf between Jesus the
Saviour of men, and the men whom He came to save, so that one could not
pass over to the other. That is all.
We need to settle, every one
of us, whether we are out of the church of Rome or not There are a great
many that have got the marks yet, ...
Do you not see that the idea
that the flesh of Jesus was not like ours (because we know ours is sinful)
necessarily involves the idea of the immaculate conception of the virgin
Mary. Mind you, in Him was no sin, but the mystery of God manifest in
the flesh, the marvel of the ages, the wonder of the angels, that the
thing which even now they desire to understand, and which they can form
no just idea of, only that they are taught it by the church, is the perfect
manifestation of the life of God in its spotless purity in the midst of
sinful flesh. 0, that is a marvel, is it not? [ibid., p.404]
Two days later a confession before the delegates by Elder R. S. Donnell
signalled the demise of the "Holy Flesh" Movement [ibid.,
p. 422]. One would think that with it would have died the teaching of
the doctrine of the Incarnation as had been held by Donnell. Not so; it
is very much alive today in the community of Adventism.
In 1985, the editors of Ministry printed essays giving two divergent views of the Incarnation, as to whether Christ took the pre-Fall or post-Fall nature of Adam (June, pp.8-21). A year later, T. A. Davis responded with an essay - "Christ's Human Nature: An Alternate View" (June, 1986, pp. 14-16). This alternate view presented by Davis was the exact teaching of R. S. Donnell. Later in that year, leaders of "independent"
p 6 -- ministries assembled at Hartland Institute hosted by
Colin Standish with the objective of arriving at a concensus in regard
to certain key doctrines, one of them being the Incarnation. Leading the
discussion on the Incarnation was Elder T. A. Davis. Only one of the men
present challenged the position of Davis.
Also present at this meeting at Hartland was Ron Spear who had already
embraced the position presented by Davis. In his book, Waymarks of
Adventism (1981), he asked the question, "Did Christ really have
an advantage over me?" He said the answer was both, "yes"
and "no." For the "yes" answer, he stated: Yes,
Christ had an advantage in one sense: He had a sanctified
This is the identical concept as voiced by Donnell. (See page 5, col.
1, last quotation; and compare) As Waggoner so aptly stated, at that evening
meeting on April 16, 1901, "We need to settle it, every one of us,
whether we are out of the Church of Rome or not. There are a great many
who have got the marks yet."
Justification by faith and the Incarnation cannot be separated. These
two doctrines were united in the messages which Jones and Waggoner gave
at the 1888 General Conference session and the following sessions at which
either of them spoke. The emphasis varied from session to session. However,
the emphasis on the Incarnation centered on the fact that Christ assumed
the fallen nature of Adam, accepting the working of the law of heredity.
Any variation from this cardinal point is but a reflection of the Roman
dogma of "divine intervention" which made Jesus "unlike
the rest of the children of Adam" because His mother, Mary, was declared
so to be.
are to pick up any points of this doctrine
A False Premise -- Within
a week, we received from the field a copy of a letter sent E-mail to a
brother in Germany, and two "Dial Daily Bread" messages picked
up by a brother in Australia. They all spoke the same message: Stay by
the ship; the corporate SDA Church will ultimately repent, and go through.
We can understand in part, Elder R. J. Wieland's anguish. He has given
many years of his life calling for denominational repentance, but there
has been none. His hope mounted with the formation of The Primacy of the
Gospel Committee by the Administrative Committee of the General Conference
for the purpose of giving study to "the biblical doctrine of righteousness
by faith," giving particular attention "to the special understanding
of this doctrine as has been advanced over the past fifty years"
by D. K. Short and himself. Now that the final report of the majority
of the committee has been submitted to the General Conference calling
for Wieland to "either shape up or ship out," he has come to
a critical crossroads in his life. (See WWN 1(01), page 7)
Wieland arrived at this critical point by misreading the indicators both
in the Scriptures and the Writings. However, there is no justification
for him to seek to rebuild his hope, and assure his followers that ultimately
the corporate Church will repent and turn around, basing such an assumption
on a faulty exegesis of the Greek text.
Both in the letter to Germany and Dial Daily Bread of February 10, 2001,
Wieland maintained that the message to Laodicea - "I will spue thee
out of my mouth" doesn't mean that, but means rather, "I am
about to spue thee out, but won't do it." He bases this on the Greek
- mellw se emesai ek tou stomatoV mou.
The interpretation hangs on one word, mellw
translated "I will" in the KJV, but which Wieland translates,
"I am about." He cites another use of the same word in Rev.
10:4 - "I was about to write (emellon
grafein) However, mellw is
used 12x in the book of Revelation. In Revelation 3:16, it is in the present
indicative with the infinitive, emesai,
in the aorist or Greek past tense. The only other place in Revelation
where the present of mellw is combined
with the infinitive in the aorist is Rev. 1:19 - "and the things
which shall be hereafter." There is no way you can interpret the
meaning in this verse as "about" but doesn't happen.
To do so in 3:16 is deceptive,
and does not give evidence of Christ's righteousness. [If a reader should
p 7 -- dressed stamped #10 envelope to "Mello," P.O. Box 69, Ozone, AR 728541.
The second linguistic problem which Wieland faces in the message to the
angel of the Church of Laodicea is the change in the use of the pronouns
from the corporate, "thee," and "thou" of verses 15-19,
to the individual "if any man" ( tiV
) in verse 20. This should also be clear: Jesus, after the corporate does
not repent, and He has to spue it out, turns to the individual, "any
one" who will open the door for Him to come in.
A further picture emerges as one analyzes the message to the Church of
Philadelphia (3:11-12). To them Jesus says, "I come quickly."
Evidently, this Church is in existence at the end time. Notice that on
the overcomer is written "the name of my God." In Revelation
14:1, it speaks of the group who have the "Father's name in their
foreheads." Of that group, it will also be said, "Here are they
that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" (14:12).
[Hear our tape - "The Eighth Church of Revelation"]
In the second "Dial Daily Bread" (Feb. 18, 2001), Wieland
was invited to leave "Israel" and go to Greece and find "rest
of soul," but He refused. He would stay in fellowship with God's
professed people, no matter how painful it might be, and bear His cross
there (John 12:20-28). In these last days there is lukewarmness in the
church, there can even be "apostasy IN the church."
Leaving the church is not the solution. The basic idea of the Bible truth of the Day of Atonement is the "cleansing of the sanctuary," not destroying it.
This is plain distortion of the Word of God by a man who is desperate,
and in anguish. Let us note a few of these assertions which Wieland
What did Jesus really say:
"Behold your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you,
Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he who cometh
in the name of the Lord. And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple"
(Matt. 23:38-39; 24:1) Paul wrote specifically to a people facing the
same issue we face today. He stated: "Wherefore Jesus also, that
He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without
the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him
without the camp bearing His reproach" (Heb. 13:12-13;
2) "There can even be 'apostasy IN the church."'
Only eyes totally afflicted
with Laodicean blindness can fail to see that it is the Church that is
IN apostasy. Then who needs to repent? The Church, yes! But what about
those inflicted with this blindness?
3) "The basic idea of the Bible truth of the Day of Atonement is ' the cleansing of the sanctuary,' not destroying it."
I am totally unaware of any teaching that the cleansing of the sanctuary
on the typical Day of Atonement was the type of a cleansing of an earthly
organization. Daniel 8:14 speaks of a cleansing of "the sanctuary,"
but that is the heavenly. It was William Miller who taught that it was
this earth. Paul told the Jewish Christians that had problems over "Israel"
repenting and going through to look up, for in leaving the "Temple"
with its earthly priestly system, they were now "come to mount Sion,
and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem" (Heb.
Isn't this the city the name of which will be inscribed on the overcomers of Philadelphia, and isn't Mt. Sion the place where they will ultimately stand? (Rev. 3:12; 14:1).
Note: We have had reprinted a quantity of Letters to th Churches by M. L. Andreasen. While the cost of printin has risen considerably, we will maintain the price of eac booklet at $3.00 plus postage. Due also to the increase i postal rates, we will not be able to send any publications b priority mail unless requested. The postage to include wit each order is noted on the Order Form. -- (2001 April ) --- End --- TOP
May XXXIV 5(01) -- A Search for Identity --
Part 5 -- Editor's
Preface -- In this issue of WWN, we discuss the
question of inspiration raised by Dr. George Knight, as he asks the question:
"What is Fundamentalist in Adventism?" With this question, he
covers the period from 1919 to 1950. As one carefully examines the Scriptures,
he finds that the Bible cannot be classified as either wholly "verbally"
inspired, or is it all "thought" inspiration. In this issue
we note the gospels of Luke and John, the Pauline Epistles, as well as
the books of Daniel and the Revelation. We find that "inspiration"
varies from book to book. Even within the books themselves, there can
be evidences of both verbal and thought inspiration.
The subject of inspiration fractured Protestantism during the decade
of the 1920s. Naturally, those who held to verbal inspiration embraced
the concept of the inerrancy of the Scriptures. The God who dictated the
text could not err. This led to divisions in major Protestant denominations,
between conservative (fundamentalist) and liberal (modernist) wings. Adventists
of the period held no brief for the beliefs of, nor the direction the
liberals were taking. So while there was a difference of beliefs to be
found in Adventism over inspiration, there was no major cleavage. The
Adventists could come through the 1920s and write into their 1931 Statement
of Beliefs that the Scriptures "were given by the inspiration of
God" and "contain an all-sufficient revelation of His will to
men, and are the only unerring rule of faith and practice."
The Adventist problem, which was a major part of the discussion at the 1919 Bible Conference, concerned the inspiration and authority of the Writings of Ellen G. White. The questions raised then are still with us.
p 2 - The
Search for Identity -- Part
5 -- The next period of time in the history of Adventism
which Dr. Knight discusses, in A Search for ldentity, is from 1919
to 1950. For this period, he asks the question: "What is Fundamentalist
in Adventism?" From the data presented, the same issue which caused
a rift in Protestantism during the 1920s was also an issue in Adventism
during this period but without a visible breach developing. The issue
was over the inspiration of the Bible for the Protestant world; but for
Adventism, not only the inspiration of the Bible, but also the Writings
of Ellen G. White as well.
Reduced to its lowest common denominator, it is a question as to whether
the Bible writers were verbally inspired or whether they in thought perceived,
and expressed that thought in their own words. With the concept of verbal
inspiration there follows the concept of the inerrancy of the Scriptures,
for how can a text, God dictated, be in error in any word?
Knight quotes an action taken by the 1883 General Conference session
which declared that "the light given by God to His servants is by
the enlightenment of the mind, thus imparting the thoughts and not (except
in rare cases) the very words in which the ideas should be expressed"
(p. 135). In Appendix C of Selected Messages, bk iii, p.454, is
to be found a copy of a letter written by W. C. White to L. E. Froom in
1928. In this letter White alleges that the concept of verbal inspiration
was introduced into Adventism by W. W. Prescott when, as president of
Battle Creek College, he "presented in a very forceful way"
the position of the Swiss clergyman, Francois Gaussen. White claimed in
this letter that the acceptance of this view by the students in the college,
and others, including Elder Haskell "has resulted in bringing into
our work questions and perplexities without end, and always increasing."
Carried over in application to the Writings of Ellen G. White only added to the problem in Adventism. How could there be a revision of anything dictated by the Holy Spirit? Yet in 1911, The Great Controversy was revised. This provoked a reaction from those holding to a concept of verbal inspiration. It also elicited a comment by Prescott, who had changed his views on inspiration, to say at the 1919 Bible conference, "For instance, before Great Controversy was revised, I was unorthodox on a certain point, but after it was revised, I was perfectly orthodox." (Knight, p. 136). During the decades to follow various leaders moved back and forth between the two views. Knight rightly noted that the 1931 Statement of Beliefs did not reflect the verbal view, though its primary author was F. M. Wilcox, for 33 years editor of the official organ of the Church and one holding to verbal inspiration. It read: That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God, contain an all-sufficient revelation of His will to men, and are the only unerring rule of faith and practice.
To draw a line and state categorically that the whole Bible was verbally inspired, or to state that "the writers of the Bible were God's penmen not His pen" (thought inspiration) is difficult in application. Various books of the Bible do not fall into one category or the other. Consider:
Gospel of Luke -- Luke enters the picture of Apostolic history
at Troas during Paul's second missionary tour. See Acts 16:8-10; the pronoun
"we" is used, and continued to be used till Paul arrived in
Rome. Acts 28:16. (See also II Tim. 4:11). He is listed among the Gentile
believers who accompanied Paul rather than those who were "of the
circumcision" in Col. 4:10-14. We can conclude that he was a Gentile
convert to the Christian faith, whether directly, or was first a Jewish
While the recognized author of both the Gospel that bears his name, as
well as the book of Acts, there is no evidence that Luke personally knew
Jesus during His earthly ministry. In the preface to his Gospel, he indicates
that while he had "perfect understanding" of the events which
took place in the life of Jesus, he states that he received this knowledge
from those who "from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers
of the word" (1:1-3). Basically then, Luke's Gospel is a gospel based
on careful research gathered from "eyewitnesses."
We might ask as to when this research was made since he was with Paul from the middle of the Second Missionary journey to the end of Paul's life in Rome. The most reasonable assumption is that during the two years Paul was retained by Felix in Ceasarea (Acts 24:27), Luke gathered his "notes" by making contacts with those who witnessed the things Jesus did and said. However, there are within the gospel of
p 3 -- Luke records of events and recorded ecstatic utterances
of individuals moved by the Spirit which do not fit under the category
of "thought inspiration."
The Gospel of Luke, more than any of the other Gospels, gives events
connected with beginnings of the incarnate life of Jesus. Further, he
details the beginnings of the life of John rather than beginning with
the ministry of John, as do the other Gospels. In this history, he gives
verbatim the words of what is known as the Magnificant of Mary (Luke 1:46-56)
as well as the exact words of Elizabeth, which provoke this response from
Mary (1:39-45). He also records the exact words of Zachariah upon the
birth of John as he lifted up his freed tongue in prophecy (1:67-79).
To say that he interviewed Zacharias and Elizabeth, who were elderiy at
the time of John's birth, some fifty years later defies all reasonable
assumptions. Further, one would have the problem of recall on the part
of John's parents even if alive at the time. The only answer is verbal
inspiration given to Luke for at least that part of the Gospel.
Further, there are two very insightful parables found in Luke not found
in the other Synoptic gospels, which teach distinctly the gospel as given
to Paul (Luke 17:7-10; 18:10-14a). This raises some conjectural possibilities:
Was Paul taught these by Christ (Gal. 1:12) and he told Luke? Or were
these teachings of Jesus discovered through research on Luke's part? If
so, why are they not contained in the other Synoptics? Or were these given
by direct inspiration to Luke?
of John - We have in previous issues of "Watchman,
What of the Night?" discussed the uniqueness of the fourth Gospel.
It is called a didactic Gospel rather than a synoptic. It emphasizes what
Jesus said rather than what He did. It contains long passages of verbatim
quotes from Jesus' conversations, discussions with His ecclesiastical
adversaries, even His prayer before going into the Garden of Gethsemane
(John 17). Written late in the first century, possibly the last bbok of
the New Testament to be written, it defies the assumption of thought recall
on the part of John. He could readily remember the incidents, but with
none of the modern methods of recording available to him, to write the
exact words of Jesus sustains the concept of verbal inspiration.
This is not saying that every word of the Gospel was Spirit dictated,
for a careful reading indicates otherwise. For example, the record of
the night conversation of Jesus with Nicodemus. He could well have interviewed
Nicodemus and obtained information on that conversation. But John added
comments on this experience (3:16-21) which comes well within the concept
of thought inspiration. One can also find in this gospel explanatory interjections
such as John 2:21-22; 4:2, 8; 7:39; 19:31. The doctrinal position on which
form of inspiration is the valid concept cannot be too narrowly drawn.
& the Revelation - These two books give us an interesting
insight into the doctrine of inspiration. To both Daniel and John, via
the ministry of the same angelic being (Dan. 8:16;
Furthermore, in these prophecies were specific times indicated. For example
"the time and times, and the dividing of time" (Dan, 7:25),
the 2300 "evenings and mornings" (8:14) as spoken to Daniel,
and to John the the first period noted as "a thousand two hundred
and threescore days" (12:6) as well as "forty and two months"
(13:5). This revelation would have to be more than mere "thought
inspiration" and reveals rather "verbal" inspiration.
Peter makes a very interesting comparison in regard to prophecy. After
citing his experience on the Mount of Transfiguraton where he saw the
"majesty" of Jesus, and heard the very voice of God, he writes,
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy" (II:1:19). Even
as God directly spoke, and the transformed majesty of Jesus was visibly
seen, so also was the reality and authority of the prophetic word.
of Paul - In these Epistles, we have the prime example of thought
inspiration. Even though Paul indicates that he was caught up to the third
heaven, or paradise, and
p 4 -- heard "unspeakable words" (II Cor. 12:2-4); and
even though he quoted words of Jesus not found in the gospels (Acts 20:35),
he was careful to differentiate between what he wrote in harmony with
the divine viewpoint, and his own judgment. In writing to the Corinthians,
he could state, "I speak this by permission, and not of commandment"
(I:7:6); and then "to the rest speak I, not the Lord" (v.12);
also noting in some of his counsel, "I have no commandment of the
Lord: yet I give my judgment as one that has obtained mercy of the Lord
to be faithful" (v.25).
Yet in proclaiming the gospel, Paul would tell the Galatians that "the gospel that was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ" (I:11-12). As one reads these letters to the churches, he is conscious of the personality of the one writing as revealed in the book of Acts; yet at the same time senses the Source of the divine truth being written. The writings of Paul truly reveal him as the "pen man" of the Divine thought.
In Summary - There is no way that one can categorize the whole of the Bible as either being the product of verbal inspiration, or that it was wholly by Divine influence working on human thought. It is as was stated in the first Statement of Beliefs drawn up in 1872: The Holy Scriptures, of the Old and New Testaments, were given by the inspiration of God, [and] contain a full revelation of his wiIl to man, and are the only infallible rule of faith and practice.
- As a result of this division of thought in the matter of
Inspiration, Knight could write: A
second issue in the area of inspiration during the 1920s was the continuing
temptation to do theology from Ellen White and to make her equally authoritative
with or even superior to the Bible. [pp. 138-139]
In considering this issue, we need to ask ourselves what language really
meant as the founders of this movement expressed themselves in the first
Statement of Beliefs in 1872 quoted above. Did they really mean that the
Bible contained a "full revelation" or was it so incomplete
that something had to be added? Was the Bible, as they stated, "the
rule of faith and practice," or is there an additional "infallible
rule" for faith and practice?
There are men today who professing to be leaders in "historic"
Adventism are deceiving concerned laity on this very issue. They are not
holding to that which true historic Adventism held. Why? They just do
not know the Scriptures, and therefore, cannot bring their theology into
harmony with truth as revealed in those Scriptures. They are fearful,
lest the light from the sacred Word would lead them into understandings
of truth they do not want to accept. This has become a tragic day in the
community of Adventism.
The source documentation used by Knight, in discussing this issue, is
from the long stored verbatim report of the 1919 Bible Conference. He
quoted W. E. Howell,
who chaired at least the section of the Conference which discussed the
Writings, as stating, "the spirit of prophecy says the Bible is its
own interpreter" (p.140). To this A.
G. Daniells, who was conducting a "round-table talk"
type of discussion, replied: Yes,
but I have heard ministers say that the Spirit of Prophecy is the interpreter
of the Bible. I heard it preached at the General Conference some years
ago, when it was said that the only way we could understand the Bible
was through the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy. [From a transcription
of the 1919 Bible Conference]
To this J. N. Anderson commented: "And he also said 'Infallible
Interpreter.'" (According to an insertion by Knight, the "he"
was A. T. Jones)
Knight in his book ascribes
this last remark to a J. M. Anderson. It is possible that this initial's
error was in the transcription of the Bible Conference itself, and Knight
did not check close enough to detect the error. In the list of delegates
to the Conference, there is no J. M. Anderson, but only a J. N. Anderson
who was teaching at Union College, Biblical Languages and Missions. When
I attended Union College Elder Anderson was my Greek teacher. While the
first year was spent learning the language, the second year Greek class
was utilized in reading key portions of the New Testament. Elder Anderson
had a unique way of teaching. In the reading of the Greek text he would
play the "devil's advocate," unbeknownst to us students, in
interpreting the text. I know on many occasion, we would think he was
a rank heretic as he cornered us in our traditional interpretations.
Elder Anderson retired at the
close of my junior year, and being the senior reader in the Department
of Religion, I was assigned to his former office and desk. It had a roll
top desk with numerous "pigeon" holes which he had not cleared
out I looked through the papers, and found some most interesting and informative
documents. Some of them stimulated my thinking for years to come.]
Now over eighty years away from this Bible Conference, we face the same
questions and issues. It appears that we are no closer to a solution today
as they were back in 1919. It seems that we cannot separate
p 5 -- the Book which defines the "Gift" of prophecy, from the gift itself. Neither do we appear able to distinguish between the authority invested in the gift in contradistinction to the authority of the Sacred Scriptures. We declare in our Statements of Belief that the Holy Scriptures are "the only infallible rule of faith and practice" (1872) or "the only unerring rule of faith and practice" (1931). Yet knowing full well that Ellen White herself stated "In regard to infallibility, 1 never claimed it" (SM, bk. 1, p. 37), some still seek to make what she wrote an infallible interpretation of the Bible.
There is merit in what Knight has set forth as one factor in a search for identity and it is echoed in his question, Are we "a people of the Book or a people of the Books?" (p. 138) Until this is resolved, there can toe no genuine forward motion, and it needs to be addressed quickly for time is running out.
a "Hair-Line" Interpretation of Scripture a Sound Basis for
Truth? -- In the previous issue of WWN (pp.6, 7),
we discussed what we believed to be a false premise taken by Elder R.
J. Wieland regarding Revelation 3:16. In response to a letter which we
wrote regarding his "Dial Daily Bread" messages, he replied
by sending a previously prepared question and answer sheet. In the question,
he asks, "What is the correct rendering of what Jesus said?"
referring to Rev. 3:16. In the answer was a must unique paragraph. It
bottom line is whether Christ has finally, irrevocably rejected the "angel
of the church of the Laodiceans" when understood as the leadership
of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. On this hair-line interpretation
of Revelation 3:16 the issue seems to lie whether you and I should stay
in the church and pray and work for corporate and denominational repentance.
The question really resolves itself into the question as to whether the
interpretation given by Wieland is "hair-line" or linguistically
unsustainable. He cites the translations, NIV, Rotherham version, NRS,
The Twentieth Century New Testament, Young's and George Berry Literal
Translations as translating the KJV of Rev. 3:16 - "I will spew thee
out of my mouth" - as "I am about to vomit you out." The
question is not that Jesus is "about" to do it; but rather does
He do it?
There can be no linguistic challenge to the fact that the basic meaning
of mellw is "to be about to do
anything" (Thayer, p.396). However, in Rev. 3:16, the word,
mellw is connected with the infinitive,
emesai (to vomit) which is in the
aroist (Greek past) tense. This has a bearing on the interpretation of
mellw. To say that while Jesus may
be "about to vomit" He doesn't, violates the interpretation
that the infinitive in the aorist tense demands. The respected Grammarian,
Romans 8:18 - For I
reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared
with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
proV thu mellousin doxanapokalufqhnai -
literally, "with the about
glory to be revealed" [George Berry]; "with the glory
about to be revealed" [Young].
Galatians 3:23 - But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
eiV thn mellousin pistin apoklufqenai
"to the being about faith to be revealed" [George
Berry]; "to the faith about to be revealed" [Young].
I Peter 5:1 - The elders
which are among you I exhort, whom am also an elder, and a witness of
the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall
All we need to do is to ask ourselves some simple questions. Did the "about to be faith" of which Paul spoke in Galatians materialize? Will the "glory" that is "about to be," noted by both Paul and Peter, really come to pass? Then the answer to the question regarding Rev. 3:16 - "Will Christ spue out Laodicea?" - is the same, for the rare linguistic structure used elsewhere in the New Testament is the same as used by John in quoting Jesus. The so-called "hair-line" issue comes down to whether the resurrected Lord knew enough Greek to correctly state Himself, or whether John didn't hear Jesus correctly and misstated what He said. We might even approach this "hair-line" issue from another angle. Perhaps Jesus talked to John on the Isle of Patmos in the Aramaic in which they communed when they walked together during His incarnate life, and John failed to translate it correctly into the Greek. Ridiculous!
p 6 -- Really, it is not a "hair-line" decision. It is a linguistic decision based on a rare use of mellw with the Greek aorist (past tense) in the New Testament. The linguistics clearly indicate that when Jesus said, He would vomit out Laodicea, that He will do. The evidence is that He has done so.
Postscript to "The Search for
Identiy" -- One of the most tragic evaluations, yet
true, which Dr. Knight makes in his book, A Search for Identity,
is the portion of a paragraph quoted in this issue. See "A Fall-Out."
(p.4). He re-emphasized this fact as he concluded this evaluation. He
of the great tragedies of Adventism during the 1920s is that the historically
and theologically valid positions Daniells set forth [at the 1919 Bible
Conference] was not the one that most Adventists would follow in subsequent
decades. Rather, it was the position advocated by Holmes, Washburn, and
Wilcox that would dominate the movement as all too often Adventist laity
and clergy alike used the writings of Ellen G. White in such a way that
the "lesser light" of her works became "the greater light"
in practice rather than the Bible. That tendency along with a proclivity
toward verbalism and strict inerrancy dominated Adventist theology in
the decades following 1920. In essence, Adventism which had started out
as a people of the Book had become more a people of the "books."
Adventists had forgotten their own history on the topic. [p 141].
Just as we finished the section, "A Fall-Out" in writing this
issue, we received in the mails a copy of The Remnant Herald (March,
2001) which illustrated this very point that Dr. Knight was making. In
an article, "Pr. Sequeira and the 1888 Study Group," the editor
sets forth his opposition to Elder Jack Sequera's teaching in regard to
"forensic justification." (Let me make it clear that this brief
comment is not discussing that subject. We are noting the format of the
editor's response). His article regarding Pr. Sequera's teaching began
with quotations from "the books", and was followed by the statement,
"The Bible is equally plain:" (p. 974). Then some Bible references
are noted, but before the article is completed, the editor reverts back
to the "books."
If the Bible is "equally" as plain, and declared to be the
"greater light," why not use that greater light first? Further,
if truly basking in the "sunlight," of the Bible, what need
is there for us to walk in the "moonlight"? Ellen G. White herself
plainly stated - "You are not familiar with the Scriptures. If you
had made God's word your study, with a desire to reach the Bible standard
and attain to Christian perfection, you would not have needed the Testimonies"
(Life Sketches, p. 198). James White, her husband made the relationship
very clear. In an early Review & Herald (April 21, 1851), he
Christian is therefore duty bound to take the Bible as a perfect rule
of faith and duty. He should pray fervently to be aided by the Holy Spirit
in searching the Scriptures for the whole truth, and for his whole duty.
He is not at liberty to turn from them to learn his duty through any of
the gifts. We say that the very moment he does, he places the gifts in
a wrong place, and take an extremely dangerous position. (p.70).
Ellen White is as "equally plain." She wrote: God
will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible and the Bible
only as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all
reforms. [Spirit of Prophecy, W, p.413; emphasis supplied]
If we really believe in our historical foundations, why not stay on the
firm platform of truth and proclaim our faith from that platform. The
problem today in the Community of Adventism among the siren "voices"
on the fringe, is that they do not know the Word of God, as Ellen White
said, and therefore, are seeking to lead concerned Adventists by the "flashlights"
(torches) of their own manipulations of the "books," rather
than leading them into the sunlight of God's Holy Bible.
Indeed, we do need to get our "Identity" straight, but such
denial of the primacy of the Scriptures as evidenced in The Remnant
Herald article is not helping the confused people of God. A time of
test is just before us, but the answer which we will be required to give,
will need to come from the Book, not the "books" as helpful
as they could be as "lesser" lights, when we are groping in
the darkness because of our own Laodicean blindness.
- With different administrations in place in both the United
States and Israel, the question of the move of the American embassy from
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has come into focus once again. When ex-President
Clinton first ran in 1992, he advocated the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem,
but never acted on his promise during his eight years in office. President
Bush also made a campaign promise to do the same.
In a news release that some friends gave me this past
p 7 -- week (March 15) from the WebTV Network, Secretary of State
Cohn Powell is quoted as stating on March 7, that Bush intends to keep
a campaign promise to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This
move "would lend support to Israeli claims to the city as its undivided
capital," the report stated.
With the change of Prime Ministers in Israel, and the formation of a
"Unity" government, another solution for the control of the
old City of Jerusalem could resurface. Shimon Peres will serve as Foreign
Minister in the government headed by Ariel Sharon. It should be remembered
that this same Peres, who as Foreign Minister in the government of the
late Yitzhak Rabin, sent a letter to Pope John Paul II by his friend,
Mark Halter, which according to Halter would "hand over the sovereignty
of Jerusalem's old city to the Vatican. Jerusalem (would) stay the capital
of Israel, but the Old City (would) be administered by the Vatican. ...
The [old] city would have an Israeli mayor and a Palestinian mayor both
under the control of the Vatican." (Jewish Press, Sept. 2,
While the change of government in Israel, and the intent of the Bush
administration stabilizes the jurisdiction of the old city of Jerusalem
under Israeli control, it also moves us one step closer to the fulfilment
of Daniel 11:45 - "And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace
between the seas in the glorious holy mountain." This in turn moves
us face to face with the hour when "at that time shall Michael stand
up" (Daniel 12:1).
Faced as we are with "managed news releases," and propaganda
of every description on the Web site making every assertion suspect, we
perhaps need to give serious reflection to a report appearing in the Free
American Newsmagazine, July 2000, which stated concerning the Jesuits
- "Their ultimate goal is the rule of the world, with the Pope of
their making, from Solomon's rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. That's their
ultimate goal" (p.10). Whether, this goal will be realized or not,
the prophecy in Daniel does indicate a papal presence in Jerusalem at
the close of probation. The "glorious holy mountain" is so defined
The ascendancy of the "Religious Right" in American politics
signalled a pro-Israel policy, but
not in accord with the revelation of Scripture. The religious
base of this "Right" perceive of the modern State of Israel
as still the nation of God's choosing, and its re-establishment in 1948
as a fulfilment of prophecy. They are unmindful of the fact that Jesus
said, the temple had been left desolate of the Spirit of God (Matt. 23:38),
and that He has chosen a new Israel to be His people (Gal. 3:29; 6:16).
On the other hand there are those in the Community of Adventism who are
so "spiritually illiterate" that they fail to see that Jesus
Himself designated "old" Jerusalem to be a "sign of the
times" whether to the apostolic Church, or to His final people. Jesus
told His apostles on the Mount of Olivet, that when they would see "Jerusalem
compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh"
(Lk.21:20). This event in Jerusalem's history in 66 AD, heralded its destruction
in 70 AD. In the same prophetic discourse, speaking of the same city,
Jesus declared - "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles,
until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (v. 24). This return
of Jerusalem to the control of Israel occurred in 1967, and the city was
annexed to Israel in 1980 with the Knesset of Israel declaring the united
city, the undivided capital of Israel.
As Dr. J. R. Zurcher wrote in his book, Christ of the Revelation: Jerusalem
is both the beginning and the culmination of Jesus' prophecy. ... So having
predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews
"into all nations," Jesus declared, "Jerusalem shall be
trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled"
[Luke 21:24; emphasis his]. ...
Jerusalem here constitutes the last sign of the times by which the Lord shows us that the history of this world is coming to its climax and that the restoration of all things is at hand. [pp. 71, 72] --- (2001 May) --- End ---TOP
Jun XXXIV 6(01) -- The Search for Identity -- Part
6 -- Editor's Preface -- To those Adventists whose connections
with the Church go back to the 30's and 40's of this past century, the
name of M. L. Andreasen stands for a devoted Christian scholar and theologian.
He was a saintly person in whose presence you felt at ease. yet conscious
that he knew the God you wished to know better. His legs were short, and
his body long, so that when he would speak to ministerial groups sitting
down, which he often did, the toe of one shoe touched the floor, and the
other shoe crossed over the heel of the first shoe. He spoke with a Danish
accent but with precise English diction.
Knight has much to say negatively about Andreasen, even though he admits
that it is "impossible to overestimate the influence of M. L. Andreasen
on twentieth century Adventist theology." The one theological concept
with which Knight takes major exception was the doctrine of sinlessness
which the "last generation" living must confront. Andreasen
taught the doctrine clearly and forcibly. In this issue of WWN,
we discuss Andreasen's teaching; Knight's problem with it; and then apply
the principle which Knight himself set forth in the first chapter of his
book, "the dynamic nature of truth."
Because of questions raised by readers regarding the special issue on
the "Image to the Beast," we have written a Biblical Analysis
of the subject within the context of the prophecies which form a unit
with Revelation 13, where the "image" is introduced. This section
of Revelation also focuses on the doctrine of "the last generation."
The final article is on the "commandments of God." Is sin an
act, one's nature, or both, and what did Jesus say?
p 2 -- The
Search for Identity -- Part
6 -- When we began this series of critiques on the
book, A Search for Identity by Dr. George R. Knight, we cornmented
on the cover designed for the publication. As we have reached the final
chapters, it is obvious that those designing the cover truly sensed the
emphasis of the book. Looming largest among the portraits displayed of
the men and woman of Adventist history, was A. T. Jones, next was M. L.
Andreasen, then came Ellen G. White. These three, Knight links together
in their influence on the course of Adventism in the 20th Century, especially
on how both Jones and Andreasen interpreted Ellen G. White.
Knight's antipathy toward Jones was evident in the book, From 1888
to Apostasy, written in 1987. Now his almost equal dislike for Andreasen
comes through in this book. As he concludes the discussion of the question,
"What is Fundamentalist in Adventism?" he devotes a section
to "The Crucial Role of M. L. Andreasen and His 'Last Generation'
Theology." He wrote: It
is impossible to overestimate the influence of M. L. Andreasen on twentieth-century
Adventist theology. His theological package is so central to modem Adventist
development that a person is forced to respond in one way or another to
it. Individuals and groups in the church either agree with his theology
or they react against it. Neutrality is not an option for those who understand
his teachings. [p.144].
It goes without question that Knight abandons the neutrality usually
manifested by an objective historian and reacts negatively to Andreasen.
His special vendetta is directed against the chapter, "The Last Generation,"
in Andreasen's book, The Sanctuary Service. He also seeks to link
Andreasen and Jones and include Ellen G. White in the process, He surmises: We
should also point out that Andreasen's chapter indicates an extremely
heavy reliance upon his understanding of the thought of Ellen G. White
even though be does not directly quote her even once. He was apparently
following the methodology advanced by A. T. Jones. Jones had claimed in
1894 that the only "right use of the Testimonies" is "to
study the Bible through them, so that the things brought forth in them
we shall see and know for ourselves are in the Bible; and then present
those things to others not from the Testimonies themselves, but from the
Bible itself. Whether Andreasen had picked his methodology directly from
Jones or Whether he had acquired it indirectly from him through the way
Adventists were doing theology in the 1930s and 1940s is open to debate.
In his next chapter, "Adventism in Theological Tension," Knight
again launches an attack on Andreasen. He cites an article by Donald Grey
Barnhouse, editor of Eternity, who asked the question, "Are
Seventh-day Adventists Christians?" This article was the result of
the SDA-Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956. Commenting, Knight wrote: In
that article, with apparent approval of L. E. Froom and R. A. Anderson
(leaders of the General Conference Ministerial Association) Barnhouse
publicly relegated M. L. Andreasen (Adventism's leading theologian in
the 1930s and l940s) and his theology to "the lunatic fringe"
of Adventism and implied that Andreasen and his type were "similar"
to the "wild-eyed irresponsibles in every field of fundamental Christianity."
In the article by Barnhouse, Andreasen is not named as one of the supposed
"lunatic fringe." The placing of Andreasen in this category
by Knight had to come from personal contacts with the Adventist leaders
named or recollections gathered from interviews with individuals directly
involved in the discussions between the Adventists and the Evangelicals;
or it reflects his personal antipathy for Andreasen and his desire to
"smear" his character. This is a revelation of the corruptness
of the human heart in vindictiveness and jealousy of a man whom all have
to admit exerted great influence in the Church. The question can be asked,
that if Knight really wanted to be objective as an accurate historian
ought to be, why did he not document the source of his inclusion of Andreasen
as a part of the "lunatic fringe" of Adventism? Rather he places
himself in company with those who wished to defame Andreasen. It is further
evidence that Knight has an agenda which he wants to accomplish in the
publishing of this book.
Before discussing Andreasen's "last generation" theology which
so disturbs Knight, some personal observations are in order. Soon after
my mother and I accepted the Truth, we attended the Sabbath services of
a campmeeting held on the grounds of the Nevada Sanitarium and Hospital
in Nevada, Iowa, the headquarters of the Iowa Conference at that time.
The speaker for the morning Hour of Worship was M. L. Andreasen. In announcing
his sermon topic, he said, in his Danish brogue, "I want to acquaint
you with the Father."
Decades later, I was to see that he knew that Father very intimately. Following the SDA-Evangelical Conferences and the release of the book, Questions on Doctrine, Andreasen's strong opposition to the "sell-out" was answered ad hominem, by claiming that he was senile. I decided while on vacation to visit Elder Andreasen at his home in California to determine for
p 3 -- myself if such a charge had any validity. I invited my
brother-in-law, to accompany me on the visit. We found him very alert,
and the time spent was most edifying. When we were about to leave, my
brother-in-law excused himself briefly, but while out, Elder Andreasen
inquired about his spiritual state. I told him, and then when he returned,
we all knelt in prayer. I was made fully conscious that he knew that Father.
His prayer for the Church he loved, for us in his home, and my brother-in-law
in particular, went far beyond the ceiling of the room to the very throne
of the Infinite. He was God's man for the hour even in retirement.
During the years of my ministry, first in New Mexico, and then later
in Indiana, Andreasen was the key speaker and teacher at Worker's Meetings.
The depth of his perception of the Bible, and yet the simplicity of his
explanation challenged my thinking as no other man, in all of the years
of my ministry for the Church, ever did. Yet because he dared to stand
up and challenge the compromises by those seeking worldly acceptance,
he was defrocked by the Jesuitical oriented president of the General Conference,
R. R. Figuhr. Now in this book by Knight, he is exhumed, retried and "burned
at the stake."
Now let us turn our attention to Andreasen's theology of the "Last
Generation." Briefly it is this: God will have
a people who will live lives in the last generation free from sinning,
and in so doing, will vindicate God before the universe. This group of
people will be alive when Jesus comes the second time and thus will be
translated without seeing death. This perception is based on certain texts
of Scripture found in Revelation 14. In this chapter a group designated
as the 144, 000 stand with the Lamb on mount Sion, "having the Father's
name written in their foreheads" (v. 1). It states that these "were
redeemed from among men (v.4). This had been interpreted by James White
as meaning, "not out of their graves; no, no, - 'from
among men.' They must, therefore, be the living saints who
are changed to immortality at the coming of the Lord" (R&H,
May 9, 1854). Further, it is declared that "in their mouth was found
no guile ( yeudoV ): for they are
without fault before the throne of God" (v.5). This text does not
indicate when this state of "no guile" was achieved, nor how;
but it does suggest that they passed an investigation - "was
found no guile." Then as a result of "the everlasting
gospel" (v. 6), a group, designated as "the saints" ('agioi),
are declared to be keeping (not trying to keep) "the commandments
of God and the faith of Jesus" (v. 12). This makes a strong Biblical
basis that God has a special objective for those who will be translated
when Jesus comes the second time, in other words, "the last generation."
Knight ignores this evidence, and throws it all out because he maintains
that Andreasen teaches an achievement of the goal by human effort "closer
to the pre-1888 theology of the Butler/Smith faction" rather than
a "grace oriented interpretation" of salvation as presented
by Ellen G. White. (p. 151). Again Knight's bias against Jones and Waggoner
comes through for they led in the presentation of a "grace oriented"
message in 1888 and after. However, one will find Andreasen
writing in his Letters
to the Churches
(No.6, p.14) this: The
final demonstration of what God can do in humanity is made in the
last generation who bears all the infirmities and weaknesses which the
race has acquired through six thousand years of sin and transgression.
A simple recognition of the eschatology of the book of Revelation demands
the conclusion which Andreasen drew. John was shown a point in time when
all intercession would cease in the "temple" of God; yet time
would continue "till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled"
(15:8). With no intercessor in God's presence, what lives must be evidenced
by the "saints"? The only answer is lives in perfect harmony
with "the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" (14:12).
How can this be realized? "Not of works, lest any man should boast."
To state it plainly, God is not looking for 144,000 perfect people to
vindicate His name by their righteousness, but rather 144,000 sinners
who recognize their spiritual poverty, through whom He may manifest His
power to make them living "saints."
Knight's agenda in writing this biased historical review of doctrinal
concepts under the guise of a search for identity comes through in his
recognition of Andreasen's influence on Adventist teaching and then his
attempt to completely denigrate him without noting the Biblical evidence
which sustains Andreasen's basic position. If Andreasen's position in
any facet cannot be sustained Biblically, then let Knight point it out;
but to ignore certain Biblical eschatological concepts which sustain Andreasen's
basic premise on "the last generation" is unconscionable for
a professor of church history at the Church's Theological Seminary.
Knight, in the very first chapter of his book, noted "the dynamic nature of 'present truth."' In setting forth this fundamental premise, he quoted extensively
p 4 -- from Ellen
G. White. However, it is interesting to note carefully how
he quoted and what he eliminated in so quoting which would have a bearing
on his premise. In the section on "The Pathway of Progressive Understanding"
(pp. 24-28), he quoted from Counsels
to Writers and Editors,
p.37 which states: God
and heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never
have to give up a cherished view, never have an occasion to change an
opinion, will be disappointed.
Does this mean that when I perceive aspects of what I have held to be
truth to be wrong, and need modification, that I throw the whole thing
out? In other words, throw out the "the baby with the bath water?"
No! Knight omitted the topic sentence which begins the paragraph he quoted.
That sentence reads - "We
have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn."
What then should have been Knight's approach to the teaching of
Andreasen that was such an anathema to him? If he thought Andreasen was
teaching a "works" oriented approach for the perfection of the
saints in "the last generation," then correct that. But why
throw out the Biblical basis for a unique "last generation"?
Rather, learn and unlearn as the suggested counsel indicates. That would
be true "progressive understanding." However, one cannot arrive
at truth when he begins with an agenda to accomplish an objective, right
It is impossible to arrive at a true evaluation of the "last generation"
concept without consideration of another issue which Knight reintroduces
in discussing the theology of Andreasen. He wrote: A
fourth concept underlying Andreasen's theology is the teaching of Jones,
Waggoner, and Prescott that Jesus became incarnate in flesh just like
Adam after the Fall with all of its sinful tendencies. Thus Jesus can
in every way be our example in developing a perfect life (p.145).
First, one must understand the full import of the "last generation"
concept as given in the Revelation "which God gave to Jesus to shew
unto His servants things which must
... come to pass" (1:1). In that revelation, it is clearly stated
that there will be "holy ones" who will "keep the commandments
of God and the faith of Jesus" prior to the Second Advent (14:12,
14). In other words, while manifesting in life's deeds that they no longer
sin, nevertheless they still live in the "vile body" (Phil.
3:21) with all of its tendencies to sin.
This impacts on one's understanding of the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
If Christ took a human nature exempt from its fallen tendencies, then
the "holy ones" of the "last generation" would attain
a victory greater that Jesus Himself attained. This contradicts the very
Revelation itself. In Chapter 12, the "male child" (Gr.), with
all that that implies, as the Messiah (Christ) accomplished "salvation"
and vindicated God - "the kingdom of our God" was affirmed (vs.
5, 10). How then were Christ's "servants" to relate to this
monumental victory? They overcome the devil "by the blood of the
Lamb," (not by their works and good deeds). It was for them to give
"the word of their testimony," loving "not their lives
unto the death" (v. 11). The "last generation" is no exception.
Are their lives in harmony with the commandments of God a demonstration
to vindicate God, or are they a demonstration of the power of God in a
fallen nature that has sinned, when He takes to Himself His "great
power" and reigns? (11:17). In other words, they are trophies of
His great and final revelation of the gospel's saving power through Jesus
Christ! Does not the "everlasting gospel" of the Three Angels
reveal how the victory of the "saints" is to be realized? (Rev.
14:6, 12). Is it not of God, rather than of men?
To another prophet were revealed the details of the "how."
Zechariah saw the high priest Joshua "clothed with filthy garments"
(3:3) standing before the angel of the Lord with Satan at his right hand
"to be his adversary" (3:1; margin, Heb.). The command was given:
"Take away the filthy garments from him" (v.4). Here came the
moment of truth. To loose his garments would leave him naked. To cling
to them he would remain clothed in filthiness. Joshua could not clean
the filthiness of his garments, nor could he clothe himself, once he was
stripped naked. While the command to take the filthy garments was given
to "those that stood before the Lord," it was the Lord who promised
to take care of the mortifying situation. He said, "Behold I have
caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with a
change of raiment (v. 4). All that Joshua had to do was to "swallow"
his pride, and yield to the "work" of those that stood before
the Lord. Little have we understood the work of those "ministering
spirits" who minister to those who "shall be heirs of salvation"
The results to Joshua are clearly stated: 1) A "fair mitre" was set upon his head (v.5). 2) He would "judge (God's) house, and "keep (the Lord's) courts" finding his place "walk(ing) among (those) that stood by" (v. 7). This closely parallels the description of the work and place of the "saints" defined in Revelation as the 144,000 (7:15). Further, these victors through surrender and humiliation, a conundrum from a human
p 5 -- viewpoint, are declared to be "men wondered at"
or as the margin reads - "men of wonder" or a sign" (Zech.
3:8). The attainment is not what they did, except surrender, but what
God could do for them in a final confrontation with Satan by surrendering.
This is the Biblical basis for the "final generation" concept.
Also in his chapter, "Adventism in Tension," Knight itroduces
the challenge of Elders Wieland and Short in regard to the Church's rejection
of the Message brought by Jones and Waggoner at the 1888 General Conference
Session. After commenting very briefly on some of the "positive insights"
involved in the challenge, Knight turns to "their problematic aspects."
He writes: For
one thing, they teach the concept of righteousness by faith set forth
by Jones and Waggoner is greater than and different from the understanding
of the Reformers and evangelical Christianity. (p. 82)
This should not be the issue by which to judge Wieland and Short's theme.
In the premise held by Knight in the very first chapter of his book on
the dynamic nature of present truth, that truth is an advancing truth,
then it should be expected that Jones and Waggoner would be in advance
of the Reformers' perception. That is not the question. The judgment should
be based on the factors of the gospel revealed to Paul by Jesus Christ
Himself (Gal. 1:11-12). To teach contrariwise would be to be accursed
(v.8). This whole issue is reduced as to why this message was given through
Jones and Waggoner. In fact, this is the paramount question to be answered.
The evidence is clear that prior to 1888, the ministry of the Church,
for the most part, were preaching a faith plus works plan of salvation.
At the General Conference in 1888 and after, these men called for a righteousness
which is by faith, and a response motivated by a love for Christ for what
He did for man.
The facts of life are simply that not only as man cannot provide the means of his redemption, neither can he live the life required by God of Adam prior to the Fall. The attempt is merely filthy garments covering a vile body. If then there was to be a "last generation" which "kept the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus," the same experience which is involved in justification, must also be involved in sanctification. If man can produce a goodness by which God justifies him, then he can do the same in order to be sanctified. However, if justification is found in the simple prayer, "God be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:13-14), then sanctification is recognizing the fact that I need to be stripped of my filthy garments, and accepting in their place the garments provided by Christ. This process is totally the work of God in a surrendered soul. We have to learn the first, justification, which is by faith, before we can learn the second, sanctification, which too, is by faith. See I Cor. 1:30-31.
BIBLICAL ANALYSIS -- The Image
to the Beast -- The call to those "that dwell on the
earth" to make an image to the beast" (Revelation 13:14) is
preceded by much prophetic symbolism. This symbolism must be noted if
a correct Biblical understanding of the "Image" formed is to
be achieved. This symbolism begins with the 12th chapter. In fact, Revelation
12:12-17 is the outline which is enlarged in Chapters 13 and 14. While
chapter 12:1-11 is devoted to the victory of the "Seed" of the
woman over the dragon, the balance of the chapter covers briefly the conflict
between the dragon and the woman till the revelation of the remnant of
her "seed which keep the commandments of God" (ver. 17). This
"seed" is again interjected into the prophecy (Rev. 14:12),
where they are called "holy ones."
Upon the victory of the "Man-child" (12:5), the dragon came
down in "great wrath" for his time had been circumscribed. John
recorded a voice in heaven speaking with finality. This voice directed
its message to three different groups (12:12). To
the "heavens, and ye that dwell in them." They were to rejoice.
Why? Because the dragon prevailed not; "neither was there place found
anymore in heaven" for him (12:8). But to the "inhabiters"
of "the earth and of the sea" a woe was given. This division
of the "inhabiters" is significant. It is symbolic and has a
bearing on what follows in the unfolding of the prophetic outline. The
first beast of Revelation 13 "rises up out of the sea" (13:1),
while the second beast comes "up out of the earth" (13:11).
The non-descript beast coming out of the sea combines the symbolism of Daniel 7 in the reverse order as it was given to Daniel - leopard, bear, and lion (13:2; cmp. with Dan. 7:12). It is related to the dragon before it, having "seven heads and ten horns" (12:3; 13:1). This is papal Rome, and the "sea" is the "Old World" or Europe in which it arose. (A more restrictive interpretation could be that "the sea" repre-
p 6 -- sents the Mediterranean Sea, known as "The Great Sea"
in Bible times. Rome in both of its phases, Pagan and Papal, arose in
the Mediterranean World.) One of the heads of this beast was to be "slain"
(13:3, Gr. margin), and yet it would be resurrected. This becomes a key
factor in the interpretation of the "image to the beast." The
worship of, and the image of, was of the beast after its resurrection.
The second beast comes up out of the earth as the first beast goes into
captivity and is slain. (13:10) The date for the captivity of the Papacy
is easily determined -1798 - when Berthier, under orders from Napoleon
took the Pope a captive from Rome to France where he died in exile. The
Papacy was extinct. (See Facts of Faith, pp.57-60 for documentation)
The nation that was arising away from the turbulence of the European "sea"
was the United States in a "New World," symbolized as "the
The description of the beast is of import. It was to be "lamb-like"
with "two" distinct and separate horns of power. In Daniel,
the Papal phase of Rome was a single horn exercising both religious and
political dominion. Further, this second beast is designated as a "false
prophet" (Rev. 19:20), which deceives by the "miracles"
he performs. A descriptive miracle is borrowed from the Old Testament
- the fire which consumed the sacrifice in answer to Elijah's prayer (13:13).
In other words, this is a false Elijah, and not the one predicted in Malachi
4:5-6, but will have overtones of the first with a special agenda, restoration
of family values.
Often this "false prophet" is interpreted as "apostate
Protestantism." However, we need to keep in mind that the mainline
bodies of Protestantism began in the area of "sea" - Europe,
and not the United States. Coming from the "earth" it must represent
a new form of Protestantism. It is this "false prophet" that
urges those "that dwell on the earth" to make an "image
to the beast" that was resurrected. (13:14). This suggestion is removed
in time from the events in Europe that brought about the "deadly
wound." Further, it is given as a democratic suggestion. The populace
are to make an image. The way the populace speaks is by its voting power.
The United States did not begin as a democracy, but as a republic. It
became truly a democracy with the implementation of the one man, one vote
The healing of the "deadly wound" from a political point of
view began in 1929 when Mussolini signed with the Papal Secretary of State,
Cardinal Gasparri, the historic Roman Pact. The pope once more became
a civil ruler. This was followed by the attempt of the appointment of
an American Ambassador to the Vatican by President Franklin D. Roosevelt,
which ended with a personal representative, Myron C. Taylor, being sent.
Under Carter, the Pope was welcomed to the White House; and under Reagan,
there was an exchange of Ambassadors facilitated in part by Billy Graham.
Then came the revelation of a secret working between the American government
and the Papacy toward the demise of the Communistic government of Russia.
Under John Paul II, the wound of 1798, has been completely healed. We
can therefore look for the formation of the image of the resurrected "head."
During this same period of time when secret workings were transpiring
between the US government and the Vatican, a new form of Protestantism
was making its presence felt. It is covered by the term, "The Religious
Right." The names, FaIwell, Robertson, and Kennedy, through their
TV ministries, loom large. It was Robertson who "reached across the
gulf to grasp the hand" of the late Cardinal O'Connor of New York.
Two other TV Ministries, either now defunct, or greatly limited, due to
moral indiscretions, represented a group who now have a representative
in government in the person of the Attorney General of the United States.
Couple with this Dr. Dobson's Focus on the Family and his ability to marshal
thousands of voters to bring pressure on either the executive, or legislative
branch of the American government, and you have a volatile mix.
Regardless of what political persuasion one may be, this last election
in the United States saw the forces of the Religious Right say to those
that dwell on the symbolic "earth" to elect a certain candidate
as President of the United States. Among the first executive orders issued,
Bush set up a Religious Office in the White House, which President Jimmy
Carter told Pope John Paul II upon his visit there, was the "symbolic
home" of all the American people (RNS, Oct. 8, 1979). The
establishment of such an office is a first in American history of Church
Some may wish to question the meaning of the term, "earth"
in Rev. 13:14, and broaden its application to include the whole world.
It is true that the Greek word for earth, gh,
does have that meaning, the literal physical earth. However, if John had
wished to change the symbolic use to a literal word, meaning all the peoples
of the inhabited earth, he would have used the word, oikoumenh.
But he didn't, thus it is best to hold to the symbolic meaning in this
p 7 -- The
Commandments of God -- Prominent in the identification
of the "last generation" of God's people is the fact that they
"keep the commandments of God." Besides this is added the fact
that they also "keep... the faith of Jesus" (Rev. 14:12). Jesus
in the upper room surrounded by His chosen apostles, said to them: "He
that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me"
(John 14:21). Do all these references to the "commandments of God"
refer to the Ten Commandments as proclaimed from Sinai? Are the "commandments"
of Jesus different, an addition to the Ten?
By the analogy of Scripture, we can conclude that He who spoke in the
flesh was also He who spoke from the summit of Sinai. According to Paul,
He who was with Israel in their wilderness wanderings was Christ (I Cor.
10:4, margin). Since Christ did give specific commandments which had not
been precepts before His enunciation of them, such as the washing of feet
prior to the communion of the bread and cup (John 13:14-15), what then
is the relationship between the "commandments of God" and the
"commandments of Jesus"?
It is in the sermon on the Mount that the contrast can be noted, and
the full definition of sin perceived. There on the latter Mount, Jesus
declared, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou
shalt not commit adultery" (Matt. 5:27). In the act was the manifestation
of sin. But Jesus probed the matter more fully, "But I say unto you,
That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery
with her in his heart" (v. 28). Here all the world stands guilty
before God, and sin is revealed in its complete dimension. Not only by
the act is sin revealed; but the very nature of man is corrupt and must
be cleansed so as to be in God's presence. Jesus declared from the same
Mount, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God"
(5:8). This man cannot do - cleanse himself.
Here enters, "righteousness by faith." This righteousness comes
only in and through Christ. It was His faith which achieved it. He manifested
perfect faith in the Father to keep Him from sin while bearing in His
flesh the fallen nature of Adam. "He condemned sin in the flesh"
(Rom. 8:3). He placed Himself in the hands of the Father as He entered
the shadows of the second death to pay the penalty for all sin (Luke 23:46).
In the same act is manifest a faith in fallen man that they would accept
His sacrifice and mediatorial power to become once more what He, the Creator,
intended them to be in the first place.
The Holy Spirit is also
a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant
that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put
my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them. And their
sins and iniquities will I remember no more (Heb. 10:15-17). The
redemption in Christ Jesus will go to the very core of the sin problem
- the thoughts and the intents of the heart. Now
where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin (v. 18).
When this occurs, the "last generation" will have come. The
"holy ones" will "keep the commandments of God and the
faith of Jesus." The "men of wonder" will appear as their
"iniquity" is removed "in one day" (Zech 3:8-9).
therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into
is needed at the beginning,
--- (2001 Jun) --- End ---