1975 Jan-MarVIII 1(75) - VIII 3(75)
1975 Apr-Jun VIII 4(75) - VIII 6(75)
1975 Jul-Sep VIII 7(75) - VIII 9(75)
1975 Oct-Dec VIII 10(75) - VIII 12(75)
1976 Jan-Mar IX 1(76) - IX 3(76)
1976 Apr-Jun IX 4(76) - IX 6(76)
1976 Jul-Sep IX 7(76) - IX 9(76)
1976 Oct-Dec IX 10(76) - IX 12(76)
1977 Jan-MarX 1(77) - X 3(77)
1977 Apr-Jun X 4(77) - X 6(77)
1977 Jul-Sep X 7(77) - X 9(77)
1977 Oct-DecX 10(77) - X 12(77)
1978 Jan-Mar XI 1(78) - XI 3(78)
1978 Apr-Jun XI 4(78) - XI 6(78)
1978 Jul-Sep XI 7(78) - XI 9(78)
1978 Oct-Dec XI 10(78) - XI 12(78)
1979 Jan-Mar XI 1(79) - XI 3(79)
1979 Apr-Jun XI 4(79) - XI 6(79)
1979 Jul-Sep XI 7(79) - XI 9(79)
1979 Oct-DecXI 10(79) - XI 12(79)
Feb Knight Descends On Jones. 1of 4.
Mar Knight Descends On Jones. 2 of 4.
1988 Apr-Jun 3 & 4 of 4.
last of WWN published
ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)
SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation
- Legal Documents
Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer
Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer
the Form of a Slave
In Bible Prophecy
Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer
Seal of God
Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer
of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary
Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear
OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:
Various Studies --
Bible As History - Werner Keller
Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts
Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith
Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson
Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones
"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson
Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen
Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones
Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen
So Much In Common - WCC/SDA
Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy
As of 2010, all official sites of ALF in the United States of America were closed. The Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Canada with its website, www.Adventist Alert.com, is now the only official Adventist Layman's Foundation established by Elder Grotheer worldwide.
The MISSION of this site -- to put works of the Foundation online.
Any portion of these works may be reproduced without further permission by adding the credit line - "Reprinted from Adventist Layman's Foundation, AdventistAlert.com, Victoria, BC Canada."
Thank you for visiting. We look forward to you coming
WWN 2006 Jan - Mar
Jan 2006 -- XXXIX - 1(06) -- What Jesus Could Not DO -- Editor's Preface -- With this issue, we begin the 39th year of continuous publication. The first issue was mailed in December of 1967, the year that Jesus' own prophecy in regard to Jerusalem was fulfilled. We did not recognize it then for what it was " present truth. " Our understanding was structured by tradition. It is of fact that as the 19th Century closed, James Edson White published a book - The Coming King in which, after discussing its destruction, he took note of Jesus' own prophecy in Luke 21:24. The 1898 edition read: "We also read that 'Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.' Luke 21:24. Jerusalem has never again come into possession of the Jews, and will not until 'the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.' This will be when the work of the gospel is finished" (p.98).
page 5 of this issue is a question from a reader in Romania which came
E-mail to the Web-
p 2 -- What Jesus Could Not Do And Did Not Do -- In the Preface to the Gospel of John, there is found an interesting observation: He came to His own, and his own received Him not (1:11).
This verse reads linguistically in the Greek, according to the gender of the words used, - "Unto His own [ ta idia, "things" - neuter] he came, and His own [ ' oi idioi "people" - masculine] did not receive Him." In recording the experience of Zacchaeus, Luke quoted Jesus as saying, "The Son of man is come to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). The "lost" were as Zacchaeus, "sons of Abraham" (ver. 9). They boasted of their position as "Abraham's seed;" and when Jesus offered them truth, and with that truth freedom, they retorted that they were never in bondage to any man, and bluntly asked Jesus, "How sayest thou, 'Ye shall be made free?'"(John 8:32-33). Greater than any Roman yoke was the bondage of sin. That deliverance is inseparably connected with truth, the merchandise of Heaven. Jesus Himself was the embodiment of truth. He was the Truth (John 14:6). His glory was the fullness of truth (John 1:14). His righteousness was truth, "Pure and unadulterated" (TM, p. 65).
Before there could be an infilling, there had to be a removing. On His first trip to Jerusalem after His baptism and anointing, He entered the temple and cleansed it. In so doing, He ordered: Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise (John 2:16).
In this act and command, Jesus was saying something: 1) The ternple was still God's house in A.D. 27. It had not been rejected. It was still a part of His "things." In its ceremonies and rituals, truth was conveyed. Salvation was still of the Jews (John 4:22).
2) He was stating His objective and mission. Could He get His "people" to become in spirit what He had become in flesh - the fullness of grace and truth. To as many as would receive Him, He would empower (exousia) them "to become the sons of God" (John 1:12).
He confirmed "the covenant with many for one week" (Dan. 9:27) first, through three and one half years of unparalleled personal ministry, and then for three and one half years through those whom He had empowered for service.
His final dictum which followed a second cleansing of the Temple (Matt. 21:12-13) reads: Wherefore, behold I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation.
0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often I would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold your house is left unto you desolate (Matt. 23:34-28).
In three years, from the first cleansing to the second, the temple ceased to be the Father's house, and became a "den of thieves." It was pronounced "desolate" by Jesus Himself.
p 3 -- What did Jesus do? "Jesus went out, and departed from the temple" (Matt. 24:1). He could not turn Israel around.
This desolate Temple with its rituals produced discord in the early church, and was instrumental in cutting short the ministry of Paul. Why? Because the leadership of the Christian Church at Jerusalem could not bring themselves to walk in the advancing light of truth. To the Churches in Galatia, where the Jerusalem controversy spilled over Paul would write: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them and mercy, and upon the (new) Israel of God (Gal 6:15-16).
Postscript One: What Is Hebrews 13:10 -14 Saying? -- It reads: We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 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. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
The imagery and the symbolism of "no continuing city," coupled with "the sanctuary typology" chosen by Paul for the basis of his exhortation "to go forth unto Him," is complemented by the revelation given to Ezekiel called "the visions of God" (8:3). In these visions are revealed how God looks upon the apostasy in Jerusalem; the sighing, crying remnant who are sealed; the judgment to fall upon those who remain "in the city" (9:5-7); and the final departure of the "glory of the Lord ... from the midst of the city" (11:23).
[IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE TRACT, "THE SEAL OF GOD" WHICH AMPLIFIES THE COMMENTS FOUND IN 5T:207-216 ON EZEKIEL 9
Postscript Two: Spiritual Israel -- Adventism has perceived of itself as "spiritual" Israel - a "new" Israel of God in the End Times.
One of the Church's
leading pastors of the past, Elder Taylor G. Bunch, while ministering
at the Battle Creek Tabernacle, presented a series of thirty-six studies
at the Sabbath afternoon vesper services on "the parallels between
ancient and modern Israel in the Exodus and Advent movements."
This was based on the presupposition that the Adventist Movement was
In the Writings is to be found the warning that "modern Israel are in greater danger of forgetting God and being led into idolatry than were His ancient people. Many idols are worshipped, even by professed Sabbathkeepers" (lT:609).
"'many idols" were in 1867, it is evident that today the
Adventist Church is in apostasy; that they have not been true to the
sacred trust committed to them (8T:247); that is, if the Statements
of Belief prior to 1980 accurately stated that "trust."
Yet there are "voices" both within the
p 4 -- Church and on the periphery who are assuring the individual members that the church is going through, that their "message" if accepted would turn the Church around. They seem to believe that they can accomplish for modern "spiritual" Israel that which Christ could not accomplish for literal Israel in His day. There is no question but that the acceptance of Jesus Christ would have turned the Israel of His day around; but they didn't accept, and God didn't force, and their allotted "'times" (Dan. 9:24) expired.
With the expiration of the times of Israel, began "the times of the Gentiles" (Acts. 13:46; 18:6; 28:28). The closing of those times is connected with the proclamation of the "everlasting gospel ... unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue and people" (Rev. 14:6) for the time allotted its proclamation results in the "drying" of the harvest of earth (Rev. 14:15, Gr.).
The closing of the "times of Israel" was set in prophetic time - "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people" (Dan. 9:24). The closing of the "times of the Gentiles" was to be marked by an event (Luke 21:24).
Jesus' Own Prophecy -- It was after Jesus declared that the temple of God's presence was desolate (Matt. 23:38) that He gave his prophetic utterances concerning what that meant for Jerusalem and the event in its history that would mark the close of "the times of the Gentiles."
It was Tuesday of the last week of his life in the form of man. The disciples in a small way sensed the meaning of His judgment on the temple, and as He went out they showed Him the "'buildings of the temple" (Matt. 24:1). His response was quick and concise: "There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down" (Matt. 24:2; Luke 21:6). This elicited further questioning when they reached the Mout of Olives. "Tell us," they asked, "when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming and the end of the world?" (Mat. 24:3). His response is known as "the Great Eschatological Discourse."
general signs, Jesus directed the disciples' attention to the book
of Daniel (Matt. 24:15), and to the core of the time and events that
would mark the destruction of Jerusalem. While Matthew gives the symbolism
from Daniel - "the abomination of desolation" - Luke interprets
the symbolism - "When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies,
then know that the desolation thereof is nigh" (21:20). Further,
Luke marked the words of Jesus which focused on the times of the Gentiles
- "and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until
the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (21:24). It was not the
temple site, but the control of the city that was to mark the fulfilment
of the time allotted for giving the gospel to the Gentiles. And as
there was a period of time between the close of the "seventy
weeks" of Daniel 9:24 in AD 34, and the destruction of Jerusalem
in AD 70, so there has been a period of time between the fulfilment
in 1967 of the sign given by Jesus as recorded in Luke 21:24 and the
present. These two time periods have more than meshed. But if one
should back up the close of the probation for the Jewish nation to
the time when Jesus declared the temple desolate, the periods would
mesh in 2006. No man can know the day or the hour, but one can sense
when it is at the door.
p 5 -- A Question -- From Romania: -- What is in your opinion the event that should be considered the end of the ceremonial system - The Lord's Supper and/(or) Baptism - as symbols of the Christian Dispensation?
Of the symbols noted, it could not be baptism for two reasons: 1) It was used in Judaism before the Christian period. It was practiced by the Jews as a means of receiving proselytes into the Jewish faith. It should be noted that the delegation from Jerusalem who interviewed John did not question the validity of the rite of baptism itself, only his authority for so doing. The question they put was: "Why baptizeth thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?" (John 1:25). Baptism was also practiced by the Essenes in connection with their religious rites. And 2) John records the first cleansing of the temple following Jesus' baptism at which He attested that the temple was still His Father's house (2:16).
The celebration of the Communion Service is a different picture. Jesus had completed three years of ministry. Miracles had been performed by Him that could not be denied, capped by the resurrection of Lazarus. From the decision of the Sanhedrim at the beginning of those three years - "We know that thou art a teacher come from God" (John 3:2) - to the edict of the High Priest following the reserection of Lazarus at the close of those years - "It is expedient ... that one man should die for the people and that the whole nation perish not" (John 11:50) - an unseen line was crossed, and Jesus declared - "Your house - no longer His Father's - 'is left unto you desolate" (Matt. 23:38). Two days later, He inaugurated the Communion service, and declared that the symbols of a new dispensation - the bread and the wine - represented His body and blood of "the new covenant" (Matt.26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20).
A Letter -- From California: -- I am enclosing an article from the Adventist World - NAD edition of the Review for October 2005. This article is supposed to help people better understand "the Trinity" doctrine taught by the SDA Church. What the author gave the reader is a mixture of psychology and Roman Catholic doctrine. On the second page of the article, the author quotes from the book Trinity and Society by L. Boff without identifying ... "L. Boff."
The author of the article in the Adventist World - NAD is Wim Altink, pastor of The Hague and Amsterdam-Ghana Seventh-day Adventist churches in the Netherlands.
The paragraph in context which Pastor Altink quotes from L. Boff reads: The Bible's teaching about the Trinity offers us an important principle: God desires to see both diversity and unity in any entity of which He is a part. The members strengthen one another, drawing from the riches of their differences, as in a healthy church. One author helpfully put it this way: In our experience of the Mystery there is indeed diversity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and at the same time unity in this diversity through the communion of different Persons." [L. Boff, Trinity and Society, p. 3) The church established by Jesus will embrace the diversity God has placed within it.
The author of the letter included a copy of a book review of Leonardo Boff's book, Trinity and Society. It was written by Shirley C. Guthrie of Columbia Theological Seminary. The opening paragraph of the book review identifies Boff. It reads: The doctrine of the Trinity is one of those articles of faith all Christians are "suppose" to accept, though many agree with Kant that it provides nothing, absolutely nothing, of practical value. In this book, Brazilian Leonardo Boff, Franciscan priest and professor of theology, joins other contemporary theologians in defending both the truth and practical value of
p 6 -- this doctrine. For Boff, the community of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is not only the truth about God; it is also the "prototype of human community dreamed of by those who wish to improve society," the "model for any just, egalitarian (while respecting differences) social organization."
Present Truth -- On January 27, 1901, Ellen White received a letter from Dr. J. H. Kellogg. The next day she replied. It is filed as Letter 20, 1901 and Manuscript Release 1102, #14, pp. 139-149.
After commenting on her health and need for rest, she speaks of "the Lord's world vineyard" and asks "but where are the workers." She draws attention to the woman of Samaria and the Samaritans, citing Jesus' comments in John 4:35-38. Then she wrote: The coming of these people to Christ was an object lesson to the disciples, and it should teach important lessons to all who are interested in the salvation of souls.
Various lessons to be learned are cited including the character traits of the workers themselves. She would encourage the workers to "strive with persevering energy for the life to come." The degeneracy of the human heart is often times disruptive in worker relationship, and thus hinders the work to be done. She observed that "man cannot change one attribute of his diseased character."
Love to God and love for one another are the two great principles which are to bind us in union with one another and the whole in oneness with Christ in God. The world is discarding these principles. It is catching the sophistries of the great deceiver. If these sophistries are introduced into the church, they will bring discouragement and spiritual ill-health.
These words were written in 1901, and with the passing of a century of time none can deny that this has not happened, and the descriptive phrases used, accurately describe not only the condition in the Church but also have marked many of the independent ministries which have risen since the middle of the previous century. Note the phrases - "Insane efforts to make centers of themselves," and "the natural egotism of the human heart." This is too evident today in all areas where the truth of God is professedly proclaimed.
Almost as a "postscript," the final paragraphs of the letter are written. Attention is directed to the events of the end of time. They read: The time is right upon us when there will be sorrow in the world that no human balm can heal. The flattering monuments of men's greatness will be crumpled in the dust, even before the last great destruction comes upon the world.
The words of Revelation 18 (5-24) will be fulfilled. Is not this description enough to cause all who read it to fear and tremble? But those who do not love the light, who will not come to the light lest their deeds shall be reproved, will not follow on to know the Lord. By their attitude they say, I want not Thy way, Lord; I want my own way.
God has given his object lesson. If the world will not heed, will not the people of God take heed? In the twenty-first chapter of Luke, Christ foretold what was to come upon Jerusalem; 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. Mark the words: "Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be over charged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come upon 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."
This is warning to those who claim to be Christians. Those who have had light upon the important, testing truths for this time, and yet are not making ready for the coming of the Son of man, are not taking heed. ... There is no
p 7 --period of time when spiritual slothfulness is excusable.
Only by being clothed with the robe of Christ's righteousness can we escape the judgments that are coming upon the earth. Let all remember that these words were among the last that Christ gave His disciples. If this instruction were often repeated in our papers and publications, and less space were taken for matter which is not onehundreth part so important, it would be more appropriate. In these sacred, solemn warnings the danger signal is lifted. It is this instruction that church members and the people of the world need; for it is present truth.
In this letter Dr. Kellogg, was directed to only Luke 21, not Matthew 24, or Mark 13, parallel chapters in those gospels. The only difference between Luke and the other gospels as to what was to come upon Jerusalem was stated in verse 24. An event would mark the close of "'the times of the Gentiles - Jerusalem, the city, not the temple, would no longer be under Gentile control. The 20th Century Bible Course, Lesson 5, "Time Running Out" states it succinctly. Question #3 reads:
How long did Christ say that Jerusalem would be trodden down? (verse, 24).
A note follows which reads: Old Jerusalem and the temple site has been occupied largely by Gentile nations until 1967 when the Jews took possession of it in a "lightening victory." This portion of Christ's prophecy was fulfilled in our day!
In 1967 when Israel took Jerusalem, the capital remained in Tel Aviv. However on July 30, 1980, the Knesset (Parliament) of Israel made Jerusalem "the capital of Israel" and "the seat" of all government of the nation. Thus was completed the fulfilment of Luke 21:24.
Feb 2006 -- XXXIX - 2(06) -- ADVENTISTS AFFIRM -- Editor's Preface -- The Fall 2005 issue of Adventists Affirm was well above average. Certain essays were not only informative but timely. We selected three and reproduced them in this issue of WWN, almost in their entirety. Most of the essays should be a "must" reading for every professed Adventist, whether in the church structure, or an independent. The editor, Jerry A. Stevens, a retired General Conference worker, who qualifies himself simply as a "Ponderer of our Changing Times," chose with a few exceptions excellent and qualified men to address the current trends in the steady regression of personal liberty as the United States moves toward the fulfillment of the prophecy given to John on Patmos concerning her.
Three individuals chosen to write the essays received their Juris Doctoral degrees from Georgetown University and the University of San Diego, both Roman Catholic schools of higher learning. One became deeply involved with the University publications while in attendance. The Church does not need Jesuit infiltration when it employs such graduates of their schools to represent it to the United States government.
"The papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy of the latter times ... Shall this power, whose record for a thousand years is written in the blood of saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the church of Christ?" (GC, p. 571)
p 2 -- ADVENTISTS AFFIRM -- A group of Adventist scholars and ministers of the Church organized themselves, a number of years ago, into an "independent" ministry within the structure itself. Their publication, Adventists Affirm "is dedicated to upholding the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and supporting its leadership in upholding those beliefs." Further, "the intent is to: affirm the fundamental beliefs of the church as confessed in the [Statement of] 'Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists.'" One problem is the fact that the leadership of this group has failed to take in the whole picture against the backdrop of events within the Church since 1950.
However, the current publication of Adventists Affirm (Vol. 19, #3) is a "must" on the reading list of every Seventh-day Adventist, whether in the structure or out of the structure. This is not saying that every article is in the "must" category, and we shall note why, conscious of the fact that we are making an evaluation based on inadequate data in the publication itself.
In this issue of WWN, we shall take excerpts from several essays appearing in the current issue of Adventists Affirm, that is, as space permits.
The Papacy and American Politics
Since the birth of the United States there has been a desire on the part of the Holy See to exchange ambassadors. Accordingly, the timing was calculated. The result is prophetic. The consequences are serious. On January 10, 1984, upon orders of United States President Ronald Reagan and the "Holy See, the central government of the Roman Catholic Church, represented by The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II," full diplomatic relations were established between these two entities.
"This cordial and cooperative framework did not always exist. In fact it took 208 years for the United States to enter into full diplomatic relations with the oldest international personality in the community of nations" (Thomas P. Melady, The Ambassador's Story - The United States and the Vatican in World Affairs, p. 41.).
In the first few weeks after his election in November 1980, President Reagan appointed William Wilson, his friend from California, as his personal representative to the Vatican. Then something happened that changed the course of history in this regard. President Reagan had a private meeting with the pope in the Vatican on June 7,1982. Many modern historians use this date as the beginning of the "Holy Alliance" between the U.S. and the Vatican. ...
Following this historic meeting with the pope, in the last year of his first term as President of the United States, Ronald Reagan initiated a process for doing what had never been done before - sending a full "ambassador," not just to the Vatican City State but to the "Holy See" - the central government of the Roman Catholic Church!
Reagan's staff, aware of what had happened to potential "ambassadors"
in the past, made an extensive study of the subject. This review included
looking at section 2, article 2 of the Constitution that defines the
president's authority to nominate diplomatic officials, and the responsibility
of the Senate to give its consent. The staff felt convinced that they
could defend the proposed ambassadorship with their interpretation of
the Constitution. In addition, though the legal situation had not changed
(Congress had passed a law in 1868 that had prohibited funding for an
embassy to the Vatican), the domestic political climate had changed
significantly! Popular Protestant evangelist Billy Graham had stated
publicly that he saw a difference in the national Protestant attitude.
p 3 -- would be some opposition, but not of the magnitude of 30 years before.
Ambassador Melady states, "Once he [Reagan] was convinced that the nomination of an ambassador to the Holy See was constitutional and in the national interest of the country, President Reagan approved a move to void the 1868 law which prohibited the expenditure of public funds for an embassy to the Vatican. This action was successful. The relative ease with which this action took place reassured the Reagan White House about proceeding with their project" (Melady, p. 52).
adds these very significant statements: "On January 10, 1984, President
Reagan announced the establishment of formal diplomatic relations with
the Holy See. ... The announcement gave full recognition to the unique
international sovereign role of the pope and his government, not only
"The announeement implied the acceptance of the international law principle that the Holy See is a bona fide international personality. Thus the announcement by President Reagan acknowledged the papacy as a religious organ with international rights and duties. This was not a qualified recognition of Vatican City State. In previous times it would have caused a firestorm of protest. But it immediately became evident, both in tone and substance, that there had been a major change in domestic U.S. political opinion" (Melady, pp. 50,53).
To the average Protestant layman the term "Holy See" has no meaning whatsoever. It is probably not even in common usage among Catholic laymen. The reason for this uncertainty is the unusual "nature of the beast." It would be best, I believe, to get the definition from someone who ought to know. Back again to Thomas Patrick Melady, a Roman Catholic career diplomat and formerly the official Ambassador of the United States of America to the Holy See. His explanation is as follows: The government of the United States has diplomatic relations with the government of the Roman Catholic Church; that is, the Holy See.
"The Holy See is the composite of the authority, jurisdiction, and sovereignty vested in and exercised by the pope and his advisors in the temporal and spiritual direction and guidance of the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world. The Holy See, consequently, is a moral entity; in modern terms, it is the central government of the Roman Catholic Church" (Melady, p. 178).
Why We Must Be Vigilant NOW
I have just begun my third year as marketing director for Liberty magazine. ...
When people ask if I like my job, I say "Yes!" and I do. I explain to them how I've always been interested in the United States legal system in general and religious liberty specifically; and that my first elementary school report I recall writing was on Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor; ...
What I don't usually include is the admission that "I like my job because it is important. It matters ! But it does! Not so much my job uniquely, but the Public Affairs & Religious Liberty office of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a whole. This department matters because religious freedom - Liberty magazine's subtitle and mission - is about people fighting for the right to serve the God they love, as their hearts and the Holy Spirit dictates.
fighting to maintain the wall of separation between church and state,
we ensure our freedom to worship as we believe, to practice our faith
in the manner
p 4 -- in which God has ordained. Liberty's editor, Lincoln Steed, calls our publication "a Christian champion of rights of conscience," and while our publication is celebrating its 100th year of continuous publication this year, I can't imagine a time in America's history when a mouthpiece such as ours has been more critical.
In the last few years we have seen emotionally volatile issues such as same-sex marriage, the public display of the Ten Commandments on government property, and the recent federal judicial nominations bring right-wing religionists into the political arena with full force. And while their agenda may appear to speak to concerns we also have, we cannot support them, as their ultimate goal is church and state collusion.
The September-October issue of Liberty featured an article by Rob Boston, which told of the April 7-8 Washington D.C. meeting for the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Reformation, at which Texas minister, Rick Scarborough, called Supreme Justice Anthony Kennedy "the poster boy for impeachment," due to his votes to support legal abortion, in favor of gay rights, and against government sponsored school prayer. To Scarborough and other conference attendees, these issues define national character, and any judge who does not produce rulings that please the religious right should be impeached, plain and simple.
Probably the nation's most renowned evangelical leader, Dr. James Dobson, is best known for his Christian counsel on matters like marriage and child rearing, and as founder of Focus on the Family, the nonprofit evangelical ministry he began in 1977. During the last presidential election, however, Dobson took a very prominent role - he established "a sister ministry" lobbying organization, Focus on the Family Action, and endorsed his first political candidate, George W. Bush.
Shortly after President Bush was re-elected, Dobson told The Denver Post, "If the Republicans do what they have done in the past, which is to say, 'Thanks so much for putting us in power, now we don't want to talk to you any more' they will pay a severe price in four years and maybe two."
Since the 2004 election, Dr. Dobson has leapt full-fledged into the nation's political fray. In a letter earlier this year to millions of his constituents, Dobson promised "a battle of enormous proportions from sea to shining. sea" if President Bush fails to appoint "strict constructionist jurists" or if Democrats filibuster to block conservative nominees.
Dobson worked vigilantly for the defeat of Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, after the minority leader led Democrates in their attempt to block ten of President Bush's judicial nominees, and warned his colleagues in the Senate, "especially those representing 'red' states. Many of them will be in the 'bull's-eye' the next time they seek re-election." When Pennsylvania Senator Arlin Specter suggested that judicial nominees bent on overturning Roe v. Wade would be difficult to confirm, Dobson called Specter a "problem" during an interview on a television program, and claimed "he must be derailed."
"I can't go back, nor do I want to," Dr. Dobson said about his new level of direct partisan engagement in a January 2005 New York Times interview. "I will probably endorse more candidates. This is a new day. I just feel a real need to make use of this visibility."
So why'should this concern us as Seventhday Adventist Christians? Why should we not rejoice at an influential evangelical's efforts to bring values back to a morally debased America? Because of our knowledge of Revelation 13, we know where this path leads! We know the way the story ends, and the clues to the dramatic conclusion are becoming less and less subtle.
to the Focus on the Family Web site at the "Restore the Foundation"
rally on the steps of the State judicial building in Montgomery, Alabama,
5 -- this
opinion on a matter we hold dear: "The separation of church and
state is not in the
This is not the way God works! He does not force or mandate us to love Him, to serve Him. The Desire of Ages states: "Not by the decisions of courts or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men is the Kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ's nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. 'As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.' John 1:12, 13. Here is the only power that can work for the uplifting of mankind. And the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and practicing of the Word of God" (PP. 509, 510).
In the May/June issue of Liberty, which dealt exclusively with the cultural outcry over the government display of the Ten Commandments, Alan Reinach reiterated this idea: "The state alone cannot give us hearts to love God or to love one another. Our real need is not for public monuments in honor of commandments that no one really tries to keep. We need the law written in our hearts."
Comments: Ms. Reid states the issue clearly and forthrightly. As a follower of Christ, no one can condone abortion, same sex marriages and other issues which reflect a morally debased America. Neither can a Christian support the concept that the union of church and state is the right form of government. She stated why - "Because of our knowledge of Revelation 13, we know where this path leads."
A century ago, there was agitation for the enactment of "Sunday Laws." This cause was backed by the WCTU - Women's Christian Temperance Union. Thus to oppose such legislation appeared to be supporting "drinking" with the resulting drunkenness and its affects upon the family. Knowing full well the significance and meaning of the prophecy of Revelation 13, we dare not back the religious right's agenda, and condone the union of church and state or anyone adhering to that position. It is ludicrous to seek to erect in stone a monument to the Ten Commandments, and then not keep them and seek to enact legislation contrary to them. As Ms. Reid quotes Alan Reinach - the only solution, is the law to be written in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
Prophecy Validated by Events
Any non-Adventist who happened to open the May 1851 issue of the Review & Herald could have been pardoned for guffawing at that article by a youthful J. N. Andrews identifying the two-horned beast of Revelation 13:11-17 as the United States. What a crackpot he was! For nothing in American society or world affairs suggested the vaguest possibility of such a development. Especially silly would have been the idea of cooperation between Protestants and Catholics. Nevertheless, "on the strength of prophecy alone" he maintained "that the enforcement of Sunday as the Sabbath would be the point on which the union of church and state would finally be founded in this nation."
that very time in both the leading political parties, a virulent anti-immigrant
and anti-Catholic movement was gathering momentum like a hurricane,
which threatened to sweep it into national office. It had massive support
for candidates favourable
p 6 -- to its cause. In angry reaction to the Irish that were pouring into this country, its members at first observed considerable secrecy and often answered questions by saying, "I know nothing!" For this, they soon earned for themselves the sobriquet of Know-nothings. In 1854, ... these people organized themselves as the American Party. In the same year, some of its members "stole and destroyed the block of granite contributed by Pope Pius IX for the Washington Monument." They reached the zenith of their power in the 1856 presidential election. ...
From the earliest period and for many generations, the Protestants who settled in what would later become the United States of America resolutely rejected popery. Even Maryland, founded by Catholics, soon had a Protestant majority. This general situation persisted for a hundred and seventy years or more. At the time of the Revolution only about one percent of the people of the American colonies were Catholic. ...
Soon additional Catholics began to swell its numbers, first a trickle and then a tide. By 1835, this was noted by Noah Webster, famous for his American Dictionary and also a farsighted man who frequently amazed his friends with accurate predictions about the future. Of Romanism he said, "The latter evil is alarming, and (it) is not improbable that the inquisition may, at some future time, be established in the West." For the rest of the 19th century, however, Catholicism in America was organizationally weak. ... Even in 1948, the papacy laid claim to the allegiance of only 26 million U.S. members. ... Today some 40% of Christians in the United States are said to belong to the Roman Church, which makes it the single largest ecclesiastical system in the country.
Let us also note that in the 19th century America was not a super power. Andrews and those who accepted his explanation were simply interpreting prophecy with faith in the Bible. They could not turn the page of the future to see beyond their century and read about the unprecedented position that the United States would come to occupy in the twentieth century after World War I. This is a vital factor for evaluating the Adventist view of the two-horned beast.
When Benjamin Franklin, "the father of the Yankees," was born in 1706 - precisely a century after the settlement of Jamestown - "the British North American colonies contained 350,000 persons clustering along the Atlantic seacoast and the broad tidewater rivers." To be frank, at that time they were, in the eyes of the mother country, small potatoes: "Almost any tiny sugar island in the West Indies or steaming slave castle on the Guinea Coast was worth more to Britain than any of the mainland colonies." Nevertheless by 1790, Franklin's death year, the United States was already a full-fledged country, with more than four million inhabitants. But still that did not make it a world power. To realize this, we only need to consider that the Revolution, freeing it from British domination, could not have been won without foreign allies and especially the French navy.
Today the United States, with almost 300 million residents, has a population of seventy-five times as in Benjamin Franklin's time and sits athwart a continent. A map by Guy Fleming that superimposes its territory - excluding Alaska - on the Roman Empire in Hadrian's day reveals a similar size. But the might of America is almost unimaginably greater. It seems as though it may soon be able to impose its will on our entire planet. But a hundred and fifty or even a hundred years ago this was still unthinkable.
NOTE: Professor de Kock's article contains several sections more which space prevents us from including in this issue. Due to their importance, we shall make them a part of the March issue of WWN.
p 7 -- Other Essays -- Among the other essays of note in the current issue of Adventists Affirm is one authored by Gregory W. Hamilton, president of the Northwest Religious Liberty Association. He draws the picture of the war on terrorism as a clash of civilizations. He quotes Franklin Graham in The Name: "Christianity and Islam are eternal enemies locked in a classical struggle that will end with the Second Coming of Christ." Then Graham adds: "The war against terrorism is just another conflict between evil and The Name," meaning Jesus. On this Hamilton comments: "Franklin Graham may be rather blunt in his assessment, but he is at least partly right. There is a fundamental theological competition between Christianity and Islam, a spiritual struggle over the path to salvation of men's souls. What Graham and many Christians do not realize is that Muslims and Christians alike are preparing to receive a counterfeit Jesus. Both expect this Jesus to establish a millennial reign of peace on Earth" (PP. 46, 47).
Another Essayist, Alan J. Reinach, Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Pacific Union Conference wrote insightfully: "Just as the Reformation discovery of the Gospel of justification by faith was linked to developing concepts of liberty of conscience, so, too, in the end of time the religious oppression associated with the 'mark of the beast' results from a repudiation of the Gospel. True Biblical worship cannot be compelled because it is the voluntary response of the soul toward a loving Creator. 'Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.' James Madison expressed this premise in his Memorial and Remonstrance: religious practice '... can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.'
"Revelation 17 portrays the church as a harlot because she trades intimacy with her divine lover, Jesus Christ, for the power of the kings of the earth. This is spoken of, prophetically, as her adultery. It is especially critical for those who agree with the church's political agenda to recognize the prophetic danger of the pursuit of political power. Those who are most sympathetic to the pro-life and pro-family agenda of the church are most susceptible of being deceived. The pursuit of political power is a direct result of the corruption of the Gospel. Only the genuine Gospel has the power to transform lives. The church responds to moral and social decay by a renewed emphasis on political power because she has lost her spiritual power. The source of spiritual power is found in the Gospel and in the sanctuary" (p. 61).
Note: Three of the other selected essayists received their J.D. (Juris Doctor) degrees from Roman Catholic Universities, Georgetown, and San Diego. One, Dr. James Standish, son of Pr. Russell Standish, was deeply involved in Georgetown University activities both as president of a university forum, and editor of a school journal (See page 38). Now he represents the Seventhday Adventist Church to the U.S. government and serves as Executive Director of the North American Religious Liberty Association. He that has eyes to read, let him read and take note. --- (2006 Feb) ---End --- TOP
2006 -- XXXIX - 3(06) -- Benedict
XVI and the
The second article in this issue of WWN is the concluding section of an article adapted by Adventist Affirm from the working manuscript of Edwin de Kock's, to be, three volume insightful and well documented book, Christ and Antichrist in Prophecy and History.
p 2 -- Benedict XVI and the Catechism -- In L'Osservatore Romano (27 April, 2005), which reported the installation service of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI, there was given a biographical summary of his life. Noted as one of "his many outstanding achievements" was the preparation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (p. 7).
The second edition, which was revised "in accordance with the official Latin text," contains two prefaces by John Paul II. The first is the Apostolic Letter, Laetamur Magnopere, in which the Latin Typical Edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is approved and promulgated. It contains some interesting data. The Catechism project was initiated at the request submitted in 1985 "by the Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that a compendium of all Catholic doctrine regarding faith and morals be composed" (p. xiv). In 1986, John Paul entrusted a commission of Cardinals and Bishops chaired by Cardinal Ratzinger to prepare the draft of the catechism requested by the Synod Fathers. Six years later the second preface was written, Fidei Depositum, in which it is stated: The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved June 25th last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church's faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illuminated by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church's Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. May it serve the renewal to which the Holy Spirit ceaselessly calls the Church of God, the Body of Christ, on her pilgrimage to the undiminished light of the Kingdom (P. 5).
It should be observed that the doctrine set forth in this new Catechism is claimed to be based on three sources: 1) Sacred Scripture, 2) Apostolic Tradition, and 3) that which the pope proclaims ex cathedra. Further, this "catechism is not intended to replace the local catechisms duly approved by the ecclesiastical authorities, the diocesan Bishops and the Episcopal Conferences" (p. 6). It is given "that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching catholic doctrine and particularly for preparing local catechisms" (p. 5). In its arrangement of doctrinal matter it follows the traditional order followed by the Catechism of St. Pius V (1566-1572) presenting the material in four parts, one of which is the Christian Way of Life. This is outlined beginning with an explanation of the Ten Commandments (p. 4).
Article 3 - The Third (Fourth) Commandment is divided into two Sections, "I. The Sabbath Day" and "II. The Lord's Day."
six paragraphs under the Sabbath day make the following assertions:
p 3 -- mercies and a day to honor God. "The Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath" (Mark 2:28) (2168-2173).
The second section -"The Lord's Day" is divided into five subsections and prefaced by Psalm 118:24 - "This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
The first subsection - "The Day of the Resurrection: the new creation" - is defining. It reads: Jesus rose from the dead "on the first day of the week." Because it is the "first day," the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the "eighth day" following the Sabbath, it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ's Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's day - Sunday (2174).
For authority, St. Justin Martyr is quoted: We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish Sabbath, but also the first day] when God separating matter from darkness made the world; and on this day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead (ibid.).
The second subsection sets forth Sunday as the fulfilment of the Sabbath. It reads: Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ's Passover, Sunday fulfils the spiritual truth of the Jewish Sabbath and announces man's eternal rest in God (2175).
For authority St. Ignatius of Antioch is cited.
The third subsection - "The Sunday Eucharist" - is based in Canon Law. It reads: The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. "Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church" (2177).
The fourth subsection - The Sunday obligation - is also founded in Canon Law and reads: The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass" (2180).
The final subsection - "A day of grace and rest from work" - carries an ominous overtone. It reads: "In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Churches holy days as legal holidays" (2188).
This discussion of the Third (Fourth) Commandment is followed by a section - "In Brief." The first four "summaries" read: "Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Deut 5:12). "The seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord (Ex. 31:15).
[Note - no reference is cited from the Law of God as He spoke it from Mt. Sinai or wrote it in stone]
The Sabbath, which represented the completion of the first creation, has been replaced by Sunday which recalls the new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ.
[No Biblical reference given]
The Church celebrates the day of Christ's Resurrection on the "eighth day," Sunday, which is rightly called the Lord's day.
[Vatican II Document cited]
"Sunday ... is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church."
[Canon Law is referenced]
position is in contrast to previous Catechisms published under the imprimatur
and nihil obstat of papal authority. For example, The Convert's Catechism
of Catholic Doctrine by Peter
p 4 -- Geiermann C.SS.R. not only carried the official recognition, but also received the Apostolic blessing of the reigning Pope, Pius X.
reads (p. 50):
catechism first published in Scotland, and then later republished in
New York contains the following question and answer:
We need to keep in mind the date of authorization for work to begin on this Catechism - 1986. A decade prior Samuel Bacchiocchi finished his doctoral studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. His dissertation From Sabbath to Sunday was not only published by the University Press in 1977, but also received the imprimatur of the rector of the university. In the dissertation Bacchiocchi drew the conclusion: Paganism suggested to those Christians who had previously known the day and the cult of the sun, the possibility of adopting the venerable day of the sun as their new day of worship since its rich symbology was conducive to worship the True Sun of righteousness who on that day "divided light from darkness and on the day of the resurrection separated faith from infidelity." Christianity, lastly, gave theological justification to Sunday observance by teaching that the day commemorated important events such as the inauguration of creation, the resurrection of Christ and the eschatological hope of the new world to come. It appears therefore that Jewish, pagan and Christian factors, though of differing derivation, merged to give rise to an institution capable of satisfying the exigencies of many Jewish and pagan converts.
In the light of these conclusions we aught to consider now those questions raised at the outset regarding the theological legitimacy of Sunday observance and its relevancy for Christians today. Our study has shown (we hope persuasively) that the adoption of Sunday observance in place of the Sabbath did not occur in the primitive Church of Jerusalem by virtue of the authority of Christ or of the Apostles, but rather took place several decades later, seemingly in the Church of Rome, solicited by external circumstances. ... This means, to put it bluntly, that Sunday observance does not rest on a foundation of Biblical theology and/or of apostolic authority, but on later contributory factors which we have endeavoured to identify in our present study (p. 309).
his "Acknowledgments" Bacchiocchi gives special thanks to
the Most Reverend Professor P. V. Monochino for having allowed him "to
reconsider the whole question of the genius of Sunday observance, especially
after he had just directed the dissertation of C. S. Mosna on this very
topic." In the end, the dilemma of both Catholics and Protestants
for the basis of Sunday observance is noted by Bacchiocchi, who quotes
Mosna, who in turn had recognized the same dilemma in his dissertation.
Bacchiocchi concluded: It
is noteworthy ... that Sunday liturgy and rest were patterned only
gradually after the Jewish Sabbath. In fact, the complete application
of the Sabbath commandment of a bodily rest to Sunday was not accomplished
before the fifth and sixth centuries. This corroborates our contention
that Sunday became the day of rest
p 5 -- and worship not by virtue of an apostolic precept but rather by ecclesiastical authority exercised particularly by the Church of Rome. In the past this explanation has been regarded virtually as an established fact by Catholic theologians and historians (p. 310) ...
This traditional claim that the Church of Rome has been responsible for the institution of Sunday observance, though widely challenged by recent Catholic (and Protestant) scholarship, has been amply substantiated by our present investigation. How does this conclusion affect the theological legitimacy and relevancy of Sunday observance? For those Christians who define their beliefs and practices exclusively by the Reformation principle of sola Scriptura, to observe Sunday as the Lord's day not on the authority of Scripture but of the tradition of the Church, is a paradoxical predicament. As well stated by John Gilmary Shea, "Protestantism, in discarding the authority of the Church, has no good reasons for its Sunday theory, and ought logically to keep Saturday as the Sabbath."
A dilemma, however, exists also for the Roman Catholic Church, inasmuch as she has enjoined Sunday observance traditionally by invoking the authority of the Sabbath commandment (p. 311) ...
This justification of Sunday observance on the basis of the Sabbath commandment raises important theological questions: How is it possible to maintain that the Sabbath "has been fulfilled and abolished in Jesus" and yet at the same time enjoin Sunday observance by appealing to the same fourth commandment (third commandment according to Catholic reckoning) be legitimately applied to Sunday when it is the seventh and not the first day of the week that the commandment demands to be kept holy? C. S. Mosna, conscious of this dilemma, in the conclusive of his dissertation proposes that "it would be better to renounce seeking a foundation for Sunday rest in the ancient Sabbath precept."
On what ground then can Sunday rest be defended? Mosna finds a "fundamental reason" in the fact that the Church "influenced Constantine's decision to make Sunday a day of rest for the whole empire, and this undoubtedly in order to give the Lord's day a pre-eminent place above the other days. Therefore, Mosna argues that the Church "can claim the honor of having granted man a pause to his work every seven days." This explanation harmonizes well with the traditional claim that Sunday observance "is purely a creation of the Catholic Church." But if Sunday rest is an ecclesiastical-imperial institution, how can it be enjoined upon Christians as a divine precept? (p. 312).
When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger came to the place for discussion of the Fourth Commandment (Catholic Third) in the new Catechism, he too, had to face this dilemma. He and his appointed committee wrote that "the Lord's Day" was the day of the Resurrection: the new creation. They invoked what Bacchiocchi noted as "'Biblical testimonia" drawn from the Old Testament references to the numbers eight and one [par. 2174], which Bacchiocchi declares was based on unwarranted criteria of Biblical hermeneutic and was in time abandoned (p. 309).
How then did Ratzinger obtain his authority? Either he had John Paul II write, or he wrote for him, the Apostolic Letter, Dies Domini which was dated May 31, 1998. Thus the authority for the worship on Sunday rests in the Roman Catholic Magisterium. While the bold assumption of previous Catechisms is not apparent, the source remains for the commanded celebration of the Eucharist on Sunday - the Church of Rome, not the Scriptures.
As a special issue of WWN, (#2, 1998) we discussed "The 'New' Theology of the Papacy regarding Sunday." It may be seen on our Web Site: www.AdventistAlert.com/aawwn/ninty/eight-od.htm#sp2; OR you may obtain a copy by sending a request to the office, P. 0. Box 69, Ozone, AR 72854. Please include $1.00 to cover postage and handling.
p 6 -- Prophecy Validated by Events -- Edwin de Kock (Continued from WWN XXXIX - 2(06), p. 6) -- In the last part of the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century, Ellen G. White, whom Seventh-day Adventists regard as an inspired writer, enlarged on the prophecy about the two horned beast. To the explanations of Andrews, Smith and others, she added startling predictions, which were oddly at variance with the facts of her time - though nowadays they are from a secular point of view, becoming perfectly credible.
As long ago as 1888, in The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan, she declared: "The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of Spiritualism; they will reach across the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience. In those days, Protestants would as soon have shaken hands with the Devil."
Even more amazing for that day and age was the following prediction from the same book: "'When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image to the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result."
In 1900, she made another remark that was quite astonishing. "'As America, the land of religious liberty, shall unite with the papacy in forcing the conscience and compelling to honor the false Sabbath, the people of every country on the globe will be led to follow her example."
From the perspective of that date, this was simply ridiculous, for the United States was not, as it has since then become, a planetwide superpower. Only five years earlier, as Barbara Tuchman points out, its navy had "exactly one battleship in commission," because America was still following George Washington's advice to mind its own business and avoid international adventures after the European pattern.
But a departure from this philosophy was already under way, with Theodore Roosevelt - first the Rough Rider in the war over Cuba during 1898, and afterwards United States President - leading the charge. In the late 19th century he was being strongly influenced by two men, an historian [Brooks Adams] and a naval strategist [A. T. Mahan]. ...
In 1901, on the threshold of the 20th century, after McKinley's assassination, Theodore Roosevelt became president and vigorously espoused imperialism as a basis for America's greatness. "Brooks became the president's confidential advisor, consulted almost daily on all manner of affairs. Behind the Square Deal was Brooks Adams, reiterating to Roosevelt the need for the control of capital, the control of labor, in preparation for expansion and war. His influence is traceable in Roosevelt's seizure of the Panama Canal Zone, his response to Russia's threat to Manchuria, his mediation in the Russo-Japanese War, and much else that is otherwise puzzling in the Roosevelt foreign policies."
But even so, at that time the United States was still far from being an actual superpower. The greatest political entity on earth continued to be the British Empire, with the Germans in second place. The command centers of the world, in military as in cultural matters, lay along the North Sea which separates England from France and Germany - not west of the Atlantic.
Is tru'e that already in 1898 America had made a dramatic entry onto
the international stage, laying the groundwork for a greater possible
role in the coming century. ... In that crucial year, the United States
demolished the western remnants of the Spanish Empire. Supporting the
ill-treated Cuban people and the rebels in their desire for independence,
she defeated Spain and
p 7 -- sank its entire fleet. In the aftermath, America acquired Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. She also finally made up her mind to annex Hawaii.
Nonetheless, she was not then nor would she for many more years be in a position to command, much less compel, the entire planet to follow her lead in anything. She certainly was not yet involving herself in the affairs of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Therefore, as Graham Ross points out, until the outbreak of World War I, the great powers were generally still considered to be Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Austro-Hungary, and Italy.
As for the United States, the Europeans "tended to underestimate her potential as a world power. She had a navy but only a small volunteer army that could have no influence on a short European war. In coal and steel production she was far ahead of the European powers and her exports were increasing in a faster rate; but her economic expansion owed much to European investment and she was still on balance a debtor to Europe. Only in a lengthy war would her latent strength come into play."
The power shift that endowed America with a brand-new status in global affairs took place as it entered into and determined the outcome of World War I. "Only with the help of the United States were Britain, France and Italy able to defeat the central powers."
Ellen White had died almost two years, before, on July 16, 1915. She could therefore not have witnessed in her lifetime how America broke the deadlock of the Great War, enabling the Allies to defeat the mighty Germans, and how World War II would virtually bring a repeat performance. Afterwards, for more than forty years, the United States would prevent the Soviet Union from overwhelming Western Europe as well as the planet.
Like others in those days, Ellen White could not from her own experience have known that her country was, at least in human terms, to become the arbiter of destiny or even hear people talk about "the American Century." For her and her contemporaries, the stature and might of the United States as a global super power did not yet exist, and neither did the ecumenical re-approachment between Protestants and Catholics as a major force in contemporary politics.
In those days, it was all a matter of faith in Bible prophecy. For us, it hardly requires imagination (Adventists Affirm, Fall 2005, pp. 25-27).
The author of the above article, Edwin de Kock, M.A., Theo.
Dip. is a writer, editor, poet and professional educator. He taught
as a college teacher for more than 35 years in South Africa, South Korea
and the United States. He is the author of the insightful and well-documented
book, Christ and Antichrist in Prophecy and History. When completed,
it will comprise at least three volumes. The above article was adapted
from the working manuscript.
8 -- "Like
his predecessor John Paul II, Benedict XVI was present at all four sessions
of the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965. Whereas Karol Wjtyla
took part as a bishop, the young Joseph Ratzinger did so as a theological
expert. During and after the council he taught successively at the universities
of Bonn (1959-1963), Munster (1963-1966), Tubingen (1966-1969), and
Regensburg, until he was appointed Archbishop of Munich in 1977. In
1981 he became prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,
a post he held until the death of John Paul II in April 2005. -- First
Things, Feb., 2006, p. 24