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
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WWN 2002 Apr - Jun
Apr XXXV 4(02) -- "THE HEAVENLY TRIO"
Preface -- This issue will be the last to be devoted solely
to the consideration of "things to learn" and "many, many
things to unlearn." Over the past several months, we have received
from friends and readers documents they have taken from the internet.
These have contained information which reflects on the fulfillment of
prophecy. This data needs to be considered.
In this issue,. we approach carefully the subject of the Godhead in considering
"things to learn" and "the many, many things to unlearn".
There are lines drawn in this doctrinal field. "The secret things
belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong
unto us and our children for ever,..." (Deut. 29:29). We as humans
too often try to penetrate the "secret things" with the result
that we miss the designed relationship which God desires to have with
us as made known in His full and final revelation in Jesus Christ, that
of Father and Son (Heb. 1:2). We mar the simplicity of the things revealed
because we seek to project the human back upon the Divine.
In the preparation of this article, I had to face some of my thinking
which I have expressed in writing previously. I had to "unlearn"
and start learning over again. This is discussed in a "postscript."
The doctrine of God requires that one bring together all available knowledge
as given in the Scriptures about God, and then, even then, draw conclusions
hesitantly after much prayer and study. In this issue we have sought to
bring together relevant Scriptures in regard to the Holy Spirit. We have
by no means exhausted the study. We do hope that it will stimulate you
to relate the prologue of the Gospel of John with the final two chapters
p 2 -- "We
have many things to learn,and many,many things to unlearn." --
The Heavenly Trio -- This is a borrowed title. It does
not convey the Triune concept of Rome, but rather a Tri-Theistic view
of God. In any approach to a study of God, certain factors must be recognized:
When we are willing to recognize our finiteness, and accept the limitations
set by God, simply evaluating the data provided by God in the Scriptures,
we can come as close to the truth about God as is possible. It is the
intent of this study, to move toward that objective, "learning"
and "unlearning" as we go. But first -
Historical Theology -- The monotheistic concept which marks
the Jewish religion came to them through their understanding and interpretation
of the Scriptures entrusted to them. There can be no question that if
there is one thing which God hated above all other abominations it was
the idolatry of the nations with their multiple deities. The Old Testament
is replete with commands forbidding the worship of these heathen gods.
Israel suffered the wrath of God when she compromised and apostatized
from her worship of Yahweh. Indeed, God was and is "a jealous God"
To the followers of Jesus the Messiah, there was entrusted an additional
canon of Scripture, which reveals a co-eternal God - the Word (LogoV
), which came to be flesh (John 1:1, 14). The rejection of Jesus was basically
His claim to be the I AM of the burning bush (John 8:58). If accepted,
it would recognize Two Gods. The conflict revealed in the book of Acts
between the Jewish religion and the Gospel proclaimed by Paul was over
the tenet that Jesus was the Messiah of Israel. See Acts 18:5. This Messiah,
Paul declared to be a God (Rom. 9:5; Phil. 2:6; Heb. 1:8). [Our word,
"Christ" is the translation for the Hebrew word, "Messiah."
See John 1:41] The whole issue of the controversy today over the Godhead,
in summation, is how to relate what is revealed in the New Testament with
the monotheism as perceived by Judaism from the Old Testament.
This is recognized by an Oxford professor, J.
N. D. Kelly, in his fifth edition of Early
He wrote: The
doctrine of one God the Father and creator, formed the background and
indisputable premiss of the Church's faith. Inherited from Judaism, it
was her bulwark against pagan polytheism, Gnostic emanationism and Marcionite
dualism. The problem of theology was to integrate with it, intellectually,
the fresh data of the specifically Christian revelation. Reduced to their
simplest, these were the convictions that God had made Himself known in
the Person of Jesus, the Messiah, raising Him from the dead and offering
salvation to men through Him, and that He had poured out His Holy Spirit
upon the Church. Even at the New Testament stage ideas about Christ's
pre-exstence and creative role were beginning to take shape, and a profound,
if often obscure, awareness of the activity of the Spirit in the Church
was emerging. No steps had been taken so far, however, to work all of
these complex elements into a coherent whole. The Church had to wait for
more that three hundred years for a final synthesis, for not until the
council of Constantinople (381) was the formula of one God existing in
three co-eternal Persons formally ratified. (pp.87-88).
The Monotheism of Israel -- Israel's monotheism is based on the Shema - "Hear, 0 Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord" (Deut 6:4). There are two key words in this Shema which govern its interpretation. The first is elohenu - translated "our God;" and the second is echad, translated, "one." In The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon by Davidson, elohenu is noted as a "noun, masculine plural, with a pronominal suffix in the first person plural" (p. xxxviii). In translation, as in the Shema, it is translated as singular when applied to the God of the Hebrews, and plural when referencing the gods of the
p 3 -- nations. (See for example, Isa. 42:17 & Hosea 14:3)
Is this then not giving the Scriptures a theological translation, rather
than a linguistic translation? Theologically (Jewish theology) the Shema
reads - "Hear, 0 Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord." Linguistically,
it would read - "Hear, 0 Israel, Jehovah our Gods is one Jehovah."
The word, echad,
is first used in Genesis 1:5. In literal translation the last part of
this verse reads - "(It) was evening, (it) was morning, day one (echad)"
Thus in its first use it describes duality in oneness. The second use
with dual force is Genesis 2:24 - "Therefore shall a man leave his
father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they two shall
be one (echad)
flesh." Further, Genesis 1:1 introduces God as
Elohim, plural, who would suggest to an Equal, "Let us
make man in our image,
after our likeness"
(1:26). When Isaiah defines who Elohim
is, he writes: Thus
saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts"
I am the first and the last; and besides Me there is no Elohim.
This designation - "the first and the last" - is carried forward
to the final revelation in the Scriptures, and is applied to the One who
sat upon the throne, "the Almighty" (Rev. 1:8) and to the Lamb
"in the midst of the throne" (Rev. 5:6; 1:10-13; 22:13). Thus
the monotheism of Israel as set forth in the Old Testament, would also
be the "monotheism" of the new Israel as revealed in the book
of Revelation; but it has been corrupted by the Triune concept of Romanism,
and is being corrupted in the current anti-Trinitarianism blowing through
the corridors of Adventism. The Shema of ancient Israel could be the declaration
of faith of modern spiritual Israel if linguistically translated rather
than by theological presupositions.
The Elohim of the Old Testament -- A comparison between the Old and New Testaments reveals the Elohim of the Old. Paul wrote to the Ephesians that it was "God, who created all things by Jesus Christ" (3:9). Hebrews reveals that He through whom God spoke in the flesh was He "by whom... He made the worlds" (1:2). The Genesis record clearly declares that in the beginning when the Elohim created, it was "the Spirit of God" who "brooded (Heb) upon the face of the waters" (1:2).
Peter tells us that "prophecy came not in old time by the will of
man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit"
(II, 1:21). This he writes was "the Spirit of Christ which was in
them" testifying "beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the
glory that should follow" (I, 1:11). The angel Gabriel told Daniel
that in revealing to him what was in "the scripture of truth"
he was stating what was held only by him and "Michael your prince"
(10:21). Later as Christ's angel ("His angel") he would speak
to John on the isle of Patmos. (Rev. 1:1).
In the preface to the gospel of John, the Elohim is revealed by two designations,
the Word (LogoV ) and God (QeoV
). It was the LogoV by whom "all
things were made" (1:3). It was the
LogoV , becoming flesh, through whom God spoke the fullness of
"grace and truth" (1:14).
the Mystery" -- Paul wrote: - "Without controversy
great is the mystery of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh"
(I Tim. 3:16). Our word, "mystery" is a transliteration of the
Greek word used in this text - musthrion.
However, the use of the word in the New Testament does not carry the concept
of incomprehension that is often associated with its use in English. Quoting
J. A. Robinson, Moulton and Milligan, in their Vocabulary of the Greek
New Testament, state that "in its New Testament sense a mystery
is 'not a thing which must
be kept secret. On the contrary it is a secret which God wills to make
known and has charged His Apostles to declare to those who have ears to
hear it"' (p.420; emphasis Robertson's). While God wills that man
should know that the Word was manifest in the flesh and made it a basic
tenet of the Gospel (Rom. 1:1,3-4), there still remains aspects of that
manifestation veiled in mystery as we use the word today.
In the gospel of Luke, and the Epistles of Paul are to be found the most
definitive statements concerning the Incarnation in the New Testament.
[One would wish that he could have heard the conversations which transpired
between these two men, Dr. Luke and Paul, over this mystery as they walked
the highways of the Roman Empire, and sailed together the waters of the
Mediterranean] To the Philippians, Paul wrote that He "Who in the
form of God being" ('oV en morfh qeou
'upapxwn ) "Himself
He emptied" ('eauton ekenwsen)
taking the slave form of man (2:6-7). Certain deductions are possible
from this statement:
p 4 -- vest Himself of "the form of God." Thus the
conclusion is inescapable: the Spirit form, whatever it is, is indestructible,
for in that form He could not die.
We could ask, what became of "the form of God" of which the
I AM emptied Himself? There is no definitive statement in Scripture to
answer this question. We stand before a mystery. The curtain is drawn.
How One being in the "form of God" could become man, never to
return to His original "form" again, and yet could declare,
"I am alive for evermore" (Rev. 1:18), remains a mystery.
"I will pray
the Father" -- One of the last promises Jesus made before
going to the Garden of Gethsemane was that He
would pray the Father for a specific gift - "another Comforter"
- allon paraklhton (John 14:16). Whatever
arguments can be advanced over alloV
(another), there can be no question that it is referring to One distinct
from the One making the promise. Jesus called this "Comforter,"
the "Spirit of truth" (v. 1 7). Moments before, Jesus had declared
Himself to be "the truth" (14:6). In his first Epistle, John
would write, "Because the Spirit is the truth" - 'oti
to pneuma estin h alhqeia (I John 5:6). Even as Jesus is "the
Truth" likewise the Spirit is "the Truth." In the Expositor's
Greek Testament, the author of the exegesis on I John comments on
this verse: "Jesus called Himself, 'the Truth,' and the Spirit came
in His room, His alter ego"
(Vol.5, p.195). Thus the Word gave Himself entirely for the redemption
of man. He died in the form of fallen man; He requested His divine presence
be sent to man. "I will not leave you orphans, I will come unto you"
(John 14:18 margin). BUT we stand before a mystery: how accomplished?
The curtain is drawn.
Our understanding of the Holy Spirit must be gathered from the record
of the New Testament. Those who deny that the Holy Spirit is now, since
the Incarnation, a distinct Person of an "Heavenly Trio," consider
that what the New Testament denotes as "the Holy Spirit" is
either just the "power of God," or an "influence"
from God through angelic ministry. It is our purpose in the rest of this
article to list key texts of the New Testament, with as little comment
as possible, and you can ask yourself the question on each text noted: "Does
the assignment to the Holy Spirit of the status of an influence or a power
meet the demands of the text exegetically?" We shall begin with the
references in the Book of Acts inasmuch as on the Day of Pentecost, the
promise of Jesus was answered - "I will pray the Father, and He shall
give you another comforter."
"When the day of Pentecost was fully come," the assembled apostles
and disciples of Jesus in "the upper room," heard "a sound
from heaven as a rushing mighty wind" (Acts 2:2). Next they saw "cloven
tongues like as of fire" which "sat upon each of them"
(v.3). The text then reads - "they were all filled with the Holy
Spirit" (v.4). Up to and including this experience, the revelation
of the Holy Spirit was in symbolism. At the baptism of Jesus, all four
Gospels record the fact that the Spirit "descended in a bodily shape
like a dove upon Him" (Luke 3:22). These changes of divine symbolism
for the Holy Spirit open vistas of contemplation for the seeker after
truth, areas we have little explored.
The experience of Peter and John in Acts 4 is an interesting revelation
of the Holy Spirit. These apostles were arraigned before the same body
which condemned Jesus (vs. 5-6). The response Peter gave to their questioning
was by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He was "filled with the
Holy Spirit" (v.8). The reaction of the Jewish Council when they
"saw the boldness of Peter and John" dare not be overlooked.
"They took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus"
(v. 13). The filling of the Spirit was the impartation of the life and
boldness of Jesus. We might ask, Did the incognito manifestation of the
Spirit in surrendered men fulfil the words of Jesus, "He shall glorify
Me: for He shall receive of mine and shew it unto you" (John 16:14)?
If so, a Spirit filled life reveals Jesus in either boldness and/or meekness.
p 5 -- Acts
5:3-4: Peter said, Ananias, why
hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back
part or the price of the land. Whiles it remained, was it not thine own?
and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived
this thing in thine heart? thou has not lied unto men but unto God.
Observe first, there is recorded an "influence." Satan moved
upon Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, to lie to the Holy Spirit. Is Satan
only an "influence" or is he a fallen angelic spirit being,
exercising a deceiving influence? Dare we interpret Satan as a being,
exercizing "influence," but then deny the influence of the Holy
Spirit as not coming from a Being, but as being the influence itself?
Further, the elevated position of the Holy Spirit in this experience -
"not lied unto men, but unto God" - tells us two things:
1) Lying is done to persons ("men"); and
2) the Holy Spirit is on the level of the Person of God ("unto
Acts 8:26-39: The experience of Philip in making contact with the Ethiopian
eunuch reveals a working relationship between the angels ("ministering
spirits") and the Holy Spirit. It was "the angel of the Lord"
which directed Philip to the desert road toward Gaza (v.26). Once on the
road, it was the Spirit who "said" to Philip, "Go near,
and join thyself to this chariot" (v. 29). It was the same Spirit
who after the baptism of the eunuch "caught away Philip" (v.39).
Now there was in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers:
... As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said,
Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
... So they being sent forth by the Holy Spirit, departed unto Seleucia.
In analyzing these verses, there are background experiences that need to be considered: 1) The revelation of Jesus to Paul on the road to Damascus, and 2) How Paul perceived his calling in the salutations to some of his Epistles. In so doing, it needs to be kept in mind that Luke was in the company of Paul when the book of Acts was being drafted. Luke is most careful to give specific designation as to who of Heavenly beings were acting and/or speaking. It was "Jesus" on the road to Damascus (9:5). It was "the angel of the Lord" who first directed Philip (8:26); the "Spirit" who took charge of all that followed in contact with the Ethiopian court official (8:29, 39). It was "the angel of the Lord" who released Peter from prison (12:7). It was "the Holy Spirit" who took charge of the direction the gospel was to spread in the Roman empire and the timing thereof (16:6-7).
The experience on the Damascus road was a direct intervention by Jesus
Christ. He spoke directly to Paul and identified Himself - "I am
Jesus whom thou persecutest" (9:5). In vision to Ananias, Jesus as
Lord declared that Paul was "a chosen vessel" and He would reveal
to Paul his future (9:15-16). Paul understood well his call to the apostalate.
He introduced his letter to the Galatians writing that this call was "by
Jesus Christ, and God the Father" (1:1). Yet he, in revealing his
calling to Luke, was careful to relate the action of the Holy Spirit at
In the general epistle to the Ephesians, while specifically stating,
there is "one God," Paul also declares that there is "one
Lord" and "one Spirit." Note: There
is. ... one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God the Father of all, who is above
all, through all and in you all. (Eph. 4:4-6).
We need to keep in mind that the very nature of God is "spirit."
God exists in "spirit" as we exist in "flesh." John
quotes Jesus as defining the essence of God as "spirit" - "Spirit
(is) the God" (pneuma 'o
qeoV). He is not as the KJV implies - "a Spirit"
- but rather is "spirit" (John 4:24). The incarnation impacted
the Elohim. While prior to Bethlehem, the Elohim was "the Lord, the
king of Israel," and "the Lord of hosts," (Isa. 44:6);
at Bethlehem and following, there emerges the Spirit. Little do we realize
what a great divide in time and eternity the Incarnation is. However,
it is through that veiled mystery, "that is to say, His flesh"
(Heb. 10:20), we have access once again to God. No longer associated at
the Throne is the Word as He was, but the Word as He became, in a "glorious
body" (Phil. 3:21), still bearing the marks of His humiliation. And
when He comes again as King of kings and Lord of lords, though His vesture
is "dipped in blood," He is still called "The Word of God"
The working relationships of Heaven as revealed in Acts and in Paul's
Epistles, are symbolically represented in the book of Revelation. Because
what is being disclosed is in symbolism, we must tread softly on that
holy ground, lest we fail to understand the reality being represented
in the symbolism. Through an open door, John beheld the Throne Room of
Heaven (Rev. 4:1-2). One was on the throne veiled in dazzling light; before
the throne were Seven Lamps or Torches of fire, which symbolized "the
seven Spirits of God" (4:5). The next scene reveals the same throne
- there is no change in the throne, nor in the One sitting on the throne.
But a change has occurred.
p 6 -- No longer are seen the Torches of fire, but rather a Lamb
"as it had been slain" possessing "seven horns and seven
eyes" - a part of the
Lamb, but no longer at the Throne having been "sent forth
into all the earth" (5:6). These eyes and horns now symbolize the
Seven Spirits of God as did the Seven Torches of fire. A change had occurred.
While "slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8),
when He came to be flesh, He was proclaimed by John who had come "to
bear witness of the Light" (John 1:7-8), as "the Lamb of God
which taketh away the sin of the world" (1:29).
In our emphasis on the revelation of Jesus in the prologue to the Gospel
of John, we have focused on Him as the Word of God; but there is equally,
in the prologue, the revelation of Jesus as "the Light" He is
"the true light ... coming into the world" (v. 9, RSV). Coming
from the very throne of God, there was in Him life, and the life was the
light of men" (v.4).
While we have not given an exhaustive study of the New Testament texts
regarding the Holy Spirit, we believe that the texts discussed do establish
beyond reasonable doubt that the Elohim of the Old Testament can in the
New Testament be best defined by the designation, "the Heavenly Trio."
No understanding of God can be replete without the mystery of the Incarnation.
While the "how" the Word was made flesh remains shrouded in
mystery, the fact is a reality with all
that resulted. By the coming of the Word in the flesh, death
has been abolished in Him, and "life and immortality" has been
brought "to light through the gospel" (II Tim. 1:10). Over the
new Israel of God, can be pronounced - "The grace of the Lord Jesus
Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with
you all" (II Cor. 13:14).
The Triune Concept
of Rome -- Even with the linguistic translation of the Shema
of Israel and the New Testament revelation of the interrelationship of
Being between the Word made flesh and "another Comforter," the
formula of "one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three
co-eternal Persons" is extolled as truth. See, 1981 Seventh-day
Adventist Church Manual, page 32, article, "The Trinity."
We truly have things to learn as well as things to unlearn.
In the current war on terrorism, the monotheistic belief of Muhammadism
and the monotheism of Babylonian Christianity is being compared. In a
recent issue of Christianity
Today, (Feb. 4, 2002), the question was asked - "Is
the God of Muhammad the Father of Jesus?" In the answer given, Timothy
George, dean of Beeson Divinity School at Stamford University, wrote: From
all eternity before there was a world, before there was anything else,
God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, was - is - in a bond of love and
unity and reciprocity and community that exceeds our ability to comprehend
and describe. (p.34)
Again in commenting on the Nicene Creed, he states: The
one we adore and worship and love in Jesus our Redeemer is of the same
essence as the Father. We are not talking about two different gods. We're
talking about the one God, but the one God who has forever known himself
as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This says to us that the fundamental
reality of God is relationship - its community. If we can ever grasp that,
we'll understand what our fundamental differences are with Islam. (ibid.)
In the new Catechism
of the Catholic Church (2nd Edition), the position of the
Roman Church is summarized in the Athanasian Creed which reads: Now
this is the Catholic faith: We worship one God in the Trinity
and the Trinity in unity, without either confusing the persons or dividing
the substance; for the person of the Father is one, the Son's is another,
the Holy Spirit's another; but the Godhead of the Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit is one, their glory equal their majesty coeternal (par. 266).
In the explanation given in the Catechism, under "The dogma of the
Holy Trinity," it is stated: 1) "The Trinity
is One" (par. 253); and 2) "'God is one but
not solitary.' ... They are distinct from one another in their relations
of origin: 'It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten,
and the Holy Spirit who proceeds.' The divine Unity is Triune" (par.
In the Handbook for Today's
Catholic carrying the official affirmation of the Church,
it is declared: The
mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of Catholic Faith. Upon
it are based all the other teachings of the Church. In the New Testament
there is frequent mention of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
A careful study of these scriptural passages leads to one unmistakable
conclusion: each of these Persons is presented as having qualities that
can belong only to God. But if there is only one God, how can this be?
The Church studied this mystery with great care and, after four centuries, decided to state the doctrine in
p 7 -- this
way: in the unity of the Godhead there are three Persons - the Father,
the Son and the Holy Spirit - truly distinct one from another. Thus, in
the words of the Athanasian Creed: "The Father is God, the Son is
God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three gods but
one God." (pp.11-12)
With this, we face a major problem. If we believe that the Trinitarian doctrine - "there is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons" - then in so doing, we are stating that the Roman Church is based on a foundation of truth. Further, since all of the other doctrines of Rome are based on this Trinity concept, why not return to Rome and follow all her theological reasonings? It is rather ludicrous to hear a Seventh-day Adventist take issue with Rome over her Sabbath to Sunday reasoning, and then shout their belief in her Trinitarian concept.
with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore
it was altogether for [apostle's] advantage
Does the clause -
"sent forth into all
the earth" (Rev. 5:6) - suggest that mysterious attribute
of God - omnipresence?
A question does remain. Why did John omit the word, "given,"
in John 7:39? Was there something he was seeking to set for by this insertion
in explaining what Jesus meant when He said - "He that believeth
on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers
of living water" (ver. 38)? I don't know. Admittedly, the more we
study, the more we have to learn, and very frequently, unlearn. This is
especially true when one studies the revelation in the New Testament concerning
the Holy Spirit.
Consider Hebrews 9:14:
"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal
Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, ..." . Is
this verse saying that through the "Eternal Spirit" the Offering
was without "spot", or that as the Spirit, He made the offering?
The "sacrifice" began at Bethlehem.
Consider the "Letters to the Churches" in Revelation 2 &
3. The messages come from the One, John saw standing "in the midst
of the seven candlesticks" 1:13. (a different Greek word than is
used in 4:5 for "the lamps of fire") Yet the messages close
with the instruction - "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit saith unto the churches" (2:7,11, 17, etc.)
Consider the final chapters of Revelation: a) There
God declares of Himself, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and
the end" (21:6) Likewise, the One whose "name is called The
Word of God" so declares Himself (19:13; 22:12-13); b)
Twice it is stated "the throne (not "thrones") of God and
of the Lamb" (22:1, 3). Just Two of Them.
Only once is the Spirit noted and that with "the bride" (22:7). They speak as one - one voice. Does this reflect the concept that the Word "became one flesh with us in order that we might become one spirit with Him"? (DA, p.388). Does this make the Incarnation with its mysterious impact on the Godhead, the keystone of the arch of redemption? --- (2002 April ) --- End --- TOP
2002 May XXXV 5(02) -- The Call of the Pope & WHO Responded? -- Editor's Preface -- This issue will be primarily devoted to two items: 1) the Papal call to prayer for peace at Assisi in January, and 2) the appointing of B. B. Beach as an Adventist "Statesman" by Roy Adams, an associate editor of the Adventist Review. In as much as Adams introduced Beach as a "Statesman" because of his response to a witness by come dedicated young men at the Seventh Assembly of the WCC in Canberra, capitol of Australia in 1991, and since we covered the incident in the issues of WWN at that time, we review certain high points of this data in this issue. It was Australian Adventism's finest hour of witness, yet a witness which both Beach and Adams deplored at the time. The young men were derided as a part of the "lunatic fringe" of Adventism, instead of being honored by the Church for thier daring proclamation of a truth the Church was raised up to proclaim.
The report that was given in the Australian Record noted a factor that has been largely ignored - the conditions which surrounded the witness which revealed the working of the Holy Spirit. In retrospect, no one who is honest, can give accolades to Dr. B. B. Beach when his conduct and condemnation of the young men before the WCC Assembly reveals conduct which does despite to the Holy Spirit of God (Heb. 10:29). This peerless witness by the young men was considered "crude" by both Adams and Beach. Did not the religious leadership of Jerusalem so consider the birth of Jesus? He was cradled in a cattle feeding trough, yet He was the truth and grace of God in flesh appearing. There is no question but what the sign said, which was floated over the WCC Assembly was once believed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It was also true that that belief had been abrogated two years prior in a legal brief approved by the leadership of the Church.
The question remains. On that hot summer day in Canberra, with whom was the Spirit of God revealing himself to be, the young men or the so called Adventist "Statesman"? This factor dare not be overlooked. If the young men, then who the other?
p 2 -- "When they Shall Say, Peace" -- Before reciting the Angelus on Sunday, January 20, this year, Pope John Paul II explained his call for a Day of Prayer for Peace on Thursday, January 24 at Assisi. He observed, "after the tragic attack last 11 September that we never forget, and with the threat of new conflicts, believers feel the urgency to intensify their prayer, for peace, because it is above all the gift of God." Then he stated: This is the spirit in which, the Day of Fasting was observed last 14 December, with great consensus, and in the same spirit, the Day of Prayer for Peace will be held in Assisi this coming 24 January. Representatives of the different Christian denominations and of other religions will take part. Thus we will repeat the experience of 27 October 1986 when, for the first time, within the wall of the city of St. Francis, the representatives of all the world religious gathered together to raise to Heaven a fervent plea for peace. (L'Osservatore Romano, 23 January 2002)
The pope noted that since that first encounter of "the representatives of all the world religions" in Assisi, "a new spirit - often called 'the spirit of Assisi' - has guided interreligious dialogue and links it indissolubly to the commitment to justice, the protection of creation and to peace," Will this come to mean that any one who refuses to dialogue with any power or entity he believes to be teaching contrary to the Word of God, will be categorized as a part of the network of terrorism? Under a cloak of peace, will the perscecutions of the past, be revived?
In this brief message, the Pope, was quick to follow with the assurance that The Day of Prayer for Peace does not in any way indulge in "religious syncretism." "In fact," he adds "each religious group will pray in a different place in accord with its own faith, its own language, its own tradition, and with full respect for the others." The factor that bound together the paiticipants at Assisi on January 24 was "the certainty that peace is a gift of God," and that each believer is called to be a peacemaker. (Ibid.) There is no questiew but that "peace" is a gift of God, and we are to be "peacemakers." Where is the line to be drawn? "Can two walk together, lest they be agreed?" (Amos 3:3). A new word has been invoked into the ecumenical picture. After citing the organizational plans to he used at Assis, the Pope declared: On this basis, not only men and women of different affilations can collaborate, but indeed must engage in defending and promoting effectively the recognition of human rights, and indespensable condition for authentic and lasting peace. (Ibid. Emphesis his: bolding mine.)
There is given in Micah a "last day" prophecy involving "peace" under the guidance of religion with the comment that "all people will walk everyone in the narne of his god" (4:1-2, 5). Did we see a beginning fulfilment of this ancient prophecy in the development of "the spirit of Assisi"? It was plainly obvious that the ones who gathered on January 24 did not worship the same god!Among the "participants" were: Sikhs, Buddhists, Shintoists, Jainists, Zoroastrians, a Confucian as well a representative of a traditional African religion. Beside these were Muslims, adherents of Judaism, various Orthordox Patriarchs, including the ancient churches of the Near East, and Churches, Ecclesial Communities, Federations, Alliances, Organizations of the Western World as well as an array of Roman prelates.
In the issue of L'Osservatore Romano which followed the Day of Prayer for Peace at Assisi were pictures of the assembly. One thing that stood out was that the Pope alone occupied center stage. While the major participants of the world's religions were seated as "wings" to the Papal chair, the spacing, however, was such that the uniquenss of the Pope's position spoke loud and clear. The arrangement was in the form of an "arrow" and at the tip of the arrow, the Pope sat. The "deadly wound" has not only been healed, but the Vatican outreach and influence is the greatest it has been in all papal history.
The headline of this issue of L'Osservatore Romano read - "Assisi a Milestone toward Civilization of Love." The key item of the day was the afternoon's session at which the 10 sectioned "'Committment to Peace" was read parageraph by paragraph by various representatives of the world's religions, the first paragraph being read
p 3 -- by Dr. Conrad Raiser of the WCC, and the Pope concluding the committment with these words: Violence never again! War never again! Terrorism never again! In the name of God, may every religion bring upon earth Justice and Peace, Forgiveness and Life, Love! (30 January 2002, pp. 1-2)
The next day, the Pope invited the 200 plus religious leaders who participated at Assisi to have lunch with him at the Vatican which he termed "my own home." He declared, "the door of this house is open to all people, and you come to this table not as strangers but as friends." A "strictly vegetarian meal without alcohol" was served so as "to respect everyone's traditions." The religious leaders sat at ten tables while the Pope, surrounded by the 12 patriarchs and the heads of the delegations, sat at the central table. It appears as reported in the official organ of the Vatican that every aspect including the lunch in the Papal residence was arranged to project the Pope, not as "first among equals," but as first.
In the call to pray for peace at Assisi by the head of the Papacy, not only is the prophecy of Revelation 13:3 clothed with greater significance, but also a statement becomes pregnant with renewed meaning. It reads simply: When religious teachers are pointing forward to long ages of peace and prosperity, ... then it is that sudden destruction cometh upon them, and they shall not escape. (PP, p. 104; compare with 1 Thess. 5:1-3)
We might ask, "Does the 'pointing' indicate an accomplished fact, or is the 'pointing' to an objective desired as at Assisi - a 'Civilization of Love'?" If to the latter meaning, then we are much nearer the "sudden destruction" than we would like to be. Well might the call of Amos be heeded, "Prepare to meet thy God, 0 Israel" (4:12).
The call to prayer at Assisi by the Pope will not be the last call to inaugurate a "'Civilization of Love." While the religious representatives were sharing a meal the following day with the Pope at the Vatican, the Italian press made an assessment of the previous Day of Prayer. La Stampa of Turin iridicated that the Pope wanted "the meeting at Assisi 'to demonstrate the risks facing humanity and the need to form a united front to promote dialogue and prayer. ' " La Republica of Rome expressed the hope "that the next inter-religious summit would take place in Jerusalem." (ENI Bulletin, Number 02, Feb. 6, 2002, p. 7)
Adventist "Statesman" Responds to Papal Call -- In the January 30, issue of L'Osservatore Romano, there was listed the names of the "Two Hundred Religious Leaders" who joined "the Holy Father in Assisi to Condemn Terrorism." One name that appeared (p. 4) was Dr. Bert B. Beach, but not as representing the Adventist Church, but as the "General Secretary of the Conference of Secretaries of the Christian World Communions" (CWC). However, with the Seventh-day Adventist Church "being actively represented at the annual meetings" of the CWC, and with one of its own ministers serving as Secretary of this quasi-organization, the Church was indirectly represented at the Assisi gathering with the Pope. Some members of the CWC, such as the World Baptist Alliance, and World Methodist Council, sent representatives direct.
This quasi-organization was formerly known as the World Confessional Families, and it was through this organization, that B. B. Beach, as its Secretary, presented the gold medallion, as a symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, to the then reigning pontiff, Paul VI, in 1977.
An article in the Adventist Review, wirtten by an Associate Editor, presenting B. B. Beach as a peerless Adventist Statesman, appeared two months prior to the Assisi meeting. A number of these events from three decades past were reviewed in the article. One is led to wonder if the article was purposefully planned to condition the impact of Beach's attendance at Assisi at the call of the Pope. God didn't call him there; another power is pictured in Revelation as calling ecumemcal gatherings. We shall note some of the details of the "Cover Story" by Roy Adams in the Adventist Review, November 8, 2001.
-- Beach marks as "the big event in his
p 4 -- invitation of F. D. Nichol, then editor of the Review, to attend the second session of Vatican Council II. He was at the time serving as education director of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division of the Church. In Rorne, Beach established contact "with prominent Catholc leaders as well as 1eaders of the WCC." Two officials of the WCC Visser't Hooft, General Secretary, and Lukas Vischer head of the Faith and Order Commission, were observers at the Council. Vischer became a good friend to the extent that he and Beach co-authored a book published originally by the WCC, So Much In Common. No one can truly say he is informed on ecumenical trends which have taken place both and within and without the Church since then, which involved the Church, unless he has given it careful reading. Major changes which occurred in the Church's Statement of Beliefs as voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980, find their source there.
The final chapters of the book discuss officially sanctioned
conversations between the WCC, and the SDA Church. One section, "Results
Obtained" lists among other things, the following:
The CWC -- Just what is the Christian World Communions? This is the first question asked in a letter dated October 11, 1977, to Elder M. S. Nigri, then a vice president of the General Conference, by Azenilto G. Brito, Editor of 0 Atalaia published by the Church's Brazil Publishing House. When the Portuguese edition of L'Osservatore reporting B. B. Beach's visit to the Pope reached Brazil, the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement made capital of it. Brito's letter to Nigri was to get the facts. Nigri in turn sent the letter to Beach for an answer. Beach replied (Letter dated Nov. 15, 1977) to the six questions asked by Brito in a three page letter. He wrote in regard to the first question - "This conference is not an organization. There is no constitution and there are no dues to be paid. It is simply an informal and unstructured forum which gives representatives of the various World Confessional Families the opportunity for consultation and the exchange of useful information." Beach then lists some of the "families" (World Communions): Lutheran World Federation, Baptist World Alliance, World Methodist Council, World Reformed Alliance, Roman Catholic Church, Salvation Army, and Anglican Consultative Council. Beach himself represents the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and serves as secretary of the CWC.
Beach mentions to Brito that as secretary he is responsible "for preparing the agenda and handling the minutes or report of the conference" but suggests to Brito, "there is no usefulness in giving any publicity to this fact." In a letter dated April 1, 1975, from the Faith and Order Commission of the WCC, it was stated that the Commission "relates to that conference in a consultative manner." Does one counsel a non-entity? Are minutes and an agenda prepared for just a yearly "chit-chat"? CWC is best described as a quasi-organization, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a part of that organization and represented by Dr. Bert B. Beach, its secretary.
The Gold Medallion -- Dr. Beach told Elder Brito that most of the annual meetings of the CWC take place in Geneva, where the WCC offices are located, but in 1977, the annual meeting was scheduled for Rome. He anticipated seeing Pope Paul VI, and planned to pres-
P 5 -- ent him with a gold medallion, which is also given by the General Conference to some of the public dignitaries who visit the headquarters of the Church.
The idea for this medallion was conceived by the Director of the Department of Communications of the General Conference so as to be a part of a series of medallions being prepared by the Presidential Art Medals, Inc., of Vandalia, Ohio, symbolizing the "Great Religions of the World." The medallion was designed and sculptured by Ralph J. Menconi. Mr. Menconi came to Washington and visited with the committee set up by the department to discuss what the medallion might incorporate.
There is no question but that the committee envisioned a medallion expressing the basic teachings of the Church. The obverse or front side seeks to depict the Second Coming of Christ, but does not reflect the Biblical picture of a conquering Christ leading the armies of Heavens, but rather a risen Lord receiving the veneration of angels. One cannot be sure whether Christ's feet are resting on the earth behind some clouds, or not, a key factor in the Biblical description of the Second Coming. The reverse or back side of the medallion seeks to set forth the Sabbath as well as the Cross of redemption and the Bible as the basis of doctrine. While the other commandments are listed by number only, the Fourth Commandment has inscribed below it "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." The Roman Catholic Church - noting it as the Third Commandment - admonishes: "Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day" (The Convert's Catechism of Christian Doctrine, page 49). No difference, except in numbering. The core of Adventist teaching regarding the Fourth Commandment is that "the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord our God." That is absent.
The real issue is what the Medallion is perceived to be, and to whom it was given. In the Review of August 11, 1977 (p. 23), W. Duncan Eva, a vice president of the General Conference, reported on the presentation of the medallion to the Pope. He wrote, "the medallion was a gold-covered symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." Eva was serving as president of the Northern European Division when the first contacts had been made by Beach with the WCC and gave his full blessing and administrative support to what was taking place.
To give the medallion to various foreign political leaders who visit the General Conference offices is one thing, but to take the medallion and place it as "a symbol" of the Church in the hands of one designated in the Scriptures as "that man of sin. . . the mystery of iniquity" (II Thess 2:21, 7) is something significantly different. This is no light matter that can be passed off as simply a "missionary" witness. The witness to cardinal concepts of the Church an the medallion is blurred by Catholic sculpturing. Beach's participation in the CWC is open to question if the Church is what it professes to be, the spiritual Israel of God. Israel was "to dwell alone" and "not to be reckoned among the nations" (Numbers 23:9).
Two years prior to the giving of the medallion, the Church in a court case before the Federal judiciary acknowledged a change of belief which served to justify Beach's presentation. In a legal brief submitted in the case, EEOC vs. PPPA, the Church affirmed: Although it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint, and the term "hierarchy" was used in a perjorative sense to refer to the papal form of church governance, that the attitude on the Church's part was nothing more than the manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative protestant denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been consigned to the historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned. (Excerpts Legal Documents, p. 41; emphasis supplied)
A Peerless Witness -- Roy Adams prefaced his eulogy of Beach with an incident which occurred at the Seventh Assembly of the WCC in Canberra, Australia in 1991. It was there that Adams claimed he perceived of B. B. Beach as "an Adventist statesman," It was a hot afternoon, and the Assembly was in plenary session. The side doors of the auditorium were opened to permit as much air as possible to pass through the building. Taking advantage of this
p 6 -- opportunity, some young men entered the assembly with a large banner which read, "Seventh Day Adventists believe THIS PROPHESIED ROMEWARD UNITY IS THE SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST." To this banner were attached helium balloons which carried it to the upper reaches of the auditorium. When first reporting this incident in the Adventist Review (May 2, 1991, p. 10), as a reporter in attendance at the WCC Seventh Assembly, Adams had written that he had found himself "deeply embarrassed and sickened by this crude and unethical tactic." Let Adams bear in mind that he could not have been as sick as some have become in reading certain of his editorials in the Adventist Review. Adams' problem is that he has been so long drunk on the wine of error, that a taste of truth causes him to become nauseated. There was more to this incident than merely a "public relations" incident. The facts as they unfolded dare not be overlooked.
The Australian Record, the official organ of the South Pacific Division, gave some very interesting data concerning this incident. With Beach and Adams at the Assembly was Elder Ray Coombe, the Director of the South Pacific Division's Communication Department. He reported the events in the March 23, 1991 issue of the Record. The Assembly was discussing at the time a report on the Vatican-WCC Joint Working Group (JWG). The reaction to the banner was mixed according to Coombe. Some were amused, and some were angered but "other observers generally agreed that the demonstration had been cleverly carried out." Then Coombe made this telling comment: It could not have been more perfectly timed. Even delegates within the plenary session could not have predicted the time when the report of the JWG would be considered. There is no way the demonstrators could have known that the closer links between the WCC and the Roman Catholic Church were being discussed at the very moment that they released their banner (p. 10).
This should tell any honest soul something. If no man knew, and the timing was perfect, Who knew? Who directed by His Spirit, and ordered events of nature so that doors were wide open at the moment so that the finest hour in Australian Adventist witness might be made? Neither Beach nor Adams sensed the Spirit's working. Beach in his reaction before the WCC Assembly sought to disassociate himself from the young men who planned and executed the witness by stating - "Like other churches, we have our dissidents and people who use their liberty in inappropriate though somewhat comical ways." Men who were "sickened" by and who publicly deplored what they considered to be "crude," though evidence points to the working of the Holy Spirit, are still functioning in high places in the Church.
A reader in New South Wales responded to Coombe's report in the Australian Record. Questions were asked: Was the hand at Belshazzar's feast "moral and ethical"? Was John the Baptist following ethical practices when he called the leaders of the church "vipers and hypocrites"? Jesus Himself referred to them as "whited sepulchres." Was this polite? When was the invitation extended to Elijah to present his case through "proper channels"? (May 4, 1991, p. 3).
A decade has passed, and to my knowledge neither Beach, nor Adams have given an answer to these questions. Now Adams reviews the events of that day and the response given by Beach to the Seventh Assembly of the WCC in Canberra, writing: His articulation of the Adventist Church's position and how we viewed the rude interruption of the council's legitimate business truly did us proud. And as the international delegation broke out into sustained applause when he finished, in my mind I said: There goes an Adventist statesman. (Adventist Review, November 8, 2001, p. 8; emphasis his).
This cover story has a subtitle - "Sometimes a group does not recognize they have a treasure in their midst." Would it not have been more accurate to have reported, that it was a sad day when representatives of the Church failed to recognize the working of the Spirit of God and sought to blunt its intrusion. Instead of exalting a man, a confession of guilt in rejection of the Spirit would have been more apropos.
Adams further blurs the facts by writing that Beach "secured permission to address the delegates, a rare privilege for someone in his special observer category" (ibid.). Whether this is a statement based in ignorance, or an intended cover up we are unable to discern. In the listing of "Who's Who" at the WCC Seventh Assembly,
P 7 -- the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is listed as being represented by Dr. Bert Beach as a "Delegated Representative." In a letter dated "5 June 1991" from the General Secretariat, Seventh Assembly office the status "delegated representatives" is defined: "Delegated representatives" are persons representing organizations with which the WCC maintains relationship, such as associate councils of churches, certain world ecumenical organizations, etc. They have a right to speak in plenary but not to vote. (emphasis supplied)
In a second letter dated "15 July 1991,"the same office stated - "The churches which send a delegated representative to the assembly are associate member churches of the WCC." It was not Beach's "statesmanship" that secured for him the opportunity to speak, but a recognized right inasmuch as the SDA Church is an associate member of the World Council of Churches.
On that memorable day in 1991, the Spirit of God was not only sending a message of what "the spirit of antichrist" was to the Seventh Assembly, but also a warning of where associate membership in the WCC had taken the SDA Church. It went unheeded and was even defied by the "Adventist Statesman." Now at the call of the Pope to come to Assisi, this "Statesman" - this "treasure" of the Church - responded!
Those desiring copies of the pictures showing the arrangement of the seating at Assisi, as well as the documentation of Dr. B. B. Beach as a participant, may send a self addressed stamped #10 to P. 0. Box 69, Ozone, AR 72854, marked "Assisi."
One Issue Only -- In the great controversy between Christ and Satan, there is but one issue, and that is truth. Jesus declared that the devil "abode not in the truth," and he is the Father of all who do likewise (John 8:44). The deceptive power of the mystery of iniquity overwhelms because "the love of the truth" is not the motivating factor in the life (II Thess. 2:10). If we are not born of the Spirit of truth, His workings often embarrass us. We consider them crude and inappropriate.
At the heart of genuine Christianity is the cross, on which was crucified Him who declared of Himself, "I am the truth" (John 14:6). In so doing, the Jewish hierarchy sealed the fate of the Jewish nation. Is there any difference between what the Jewish leaders did, and what is done when the Church alters or abridges the truth entrusted to it?
Think on These Things -- "The papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy of the latter times ... Shall this power, whose record for a thousand years is written in the blood of saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the church of Christ?" -- Great Controversy. p. 571
"It is the rejection of Bible truth which makes men approach to infidelity. It is a backsliding church that lessens the distance between itself and the papacy." -- Signs, Feb. 19, 1894. --- (2002May) --- End ---TOP
2002 Jun XXXV 6(02) -- 'O AnomoV "He in whom all iniquity has , as it were, fixed its abode."- Thayer -- Editor's Preface -- On the way to Jerusalem, having completed his third missionary tour, Paul's ship anchored for a period of time at Miletus. He sent for the elders of the Church at Ephesus some thirty two miles away. Sensing that he would not see them again, he alerted them to some perils the Church would face. He said plainly that after his departure, "grievous wolves" would enter in among them, "not sparing the flock," and from among themselves men would arise,"speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:29-30). This dark future weighed heavy on his mind. To the Thessalonians he had written about this "mystery of iniquity," and named it "the Wicked one" (KJV) who would enter the very temple of God energized by Satan himself. We have chosen that name in its Greek form for the lead article in this issue, and given the documented evidence to justify the designation, 'o anomoV.
As I study some Scripture in detail, or some facet of our Church history
gives me a new concept, I make note of these insights. Two such concepts
appear in this issue under "random thoughts." They are not complete,
and I would hope that in your study of the same, you will enlarge on them
further. The fifth "landmark" has intrigued me. How close is
it to the statements: "As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven
begins here" (DA, p. 331): and "The Spirit of God, received
into the heart by faith, is the beginning of the life eternal" (ibid.
p. 388). What is the difference between, "eternal life" and
"life eternal." Is it "extent" and "quality"?
Things which are taking place in America before our very eyes, dare not
be overlooked. Politics, yes; but also fulfilling prophecy! (See "News
Note" page 7)
p 2 -- 'OAnomoV
-- This Greek
name is found in Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians. In full context,
this section of Paul's letter reads: For
the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will
let, until he be taken out of the way ["only there is one that restraineth
now, until he be taken out of the way" (ARV)]. And then shall that
Wicked ('o anomoV ) be revealed, whom
the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy
with the brightness of His coming. Even him, whose coming is after the
working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with
all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish because they
received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for
this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe
a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had
pleasure in unrighteousness. (2:7-12).
In these verses, the word translated "iniquity" in the phrase,
"mystery of iniquity" is a feminine form (anomia)
derived from the word, avomos
which word is translated in verse 8 as "Wicked." The word itself
is the Greek word for "law" (nomoV)
with an alpha privitive (a) prefixed
which negates it, hence, "lawlessness," as used in the ARV,
"the mystery of lawlessness" and "the lawless one."
However, Thayer in his Greek-Engllsh Lexicon of the New Testament
takes the meaning a step further and renders, 'o
"he in whom all iniquity has, as it were, fixed its abode."
The context justifies such a translation because this lawless one's coming
"is after the working of Satan" (v. 9). The word used in the
Greek for "working" ( energeian
) can be transliterated into the English word, "energy." Farrar
Fenton in his translation, The Holy Bible in Modern English, renders
this verse - "This outlaw's arrival will be accomplished by the energy
of Satan with all powers and signs, and terrors of falsehood."
With this linguistic background, it is not difficult to associate other symbols of Bible prophecy as to who this power is in whom all iniquity has fixed, as it were, its abode. In Revelation 13, the first beast is described as receiving "his power, and his seat, and great authority" from the dragon (v. 2) "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan" (12:9). It is against this beast, that God raised up a people to sound the warning that "if any man worship [this] beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God" (14:9-10).
Returning to Paul's letter to the Thessalonians, we find that this "mystery of iniquity" was already working in his day, and that it would continue until Christ would come the second time. Observe also that one of the marks is "the deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish" and the reason given - "because they received not the love of the truth" (ver. 10). This should give us pause to consider what is taking place at the present time. The connecting links between II Thessalonians and Revelation 13, and the links between Daniel 7, and the same chapter lead to but one conclusion - "the mystery of iniquity," the "lawless one," the "little horn," and the "beast" are all Biblical symbols of but one and the same power, the Papacy.
The Mystery of
Lawlessness -- We had just completed the above, and were reviewing
back issues of The Catholic World Report [CWR], a conservative
Roman Catholic publication, received by the Foundation Library, so as
to state accurately the lawlessness which permeates the Papacy, when the
April 1, 2002 issue of US News & World Report arrived in the
mails. The cover questioned - "Can the Church save its soul?"
The title on the article declared "Catholics in Crisis," with
a subtitle indicating that crisis to be the "continued revelations
of sex-abuse scandaIs and cover-ups.-" (p.51). An insert article
noting the pope's annual pre-Easter letter, "which referred obliquely
to a widening scandal that has cast 'a dark shadow of suspicion' over
the priesthood," thus breaking the Papal silence over the crisis,
asked,"But will he act?" (p.52).
The current crisis is over child abuse by pedophile prone priests. It
erupted in the Catholic diocese of Boston over the court case against
a defrocked priest who "was facing 84 separate lawsuits and two criminal
trials arising from complaints that he had sexually abused young boys
repeatedly during his priestly career." The problem was that this
priest's conduct was known at least 15 years before he was finally removed;
but his ecclesiastical superiors just moved him from one parish to another,
and covered up his continued abuse of
p 3 -- young boys. This cover-up finally reached to the level
of Cardinal Bernard Law, the American prelate with the most seniority
in the College of Cardinals. (CWR, March 2002, p.36). The report
in US News & World Report documents that this behavior is widespread
and ranges across the nation involving not only parish priests but also
monsignors and bishops. The cover-up also involved other Cardinals than
just Bernard Law.
A year and six months prior to the revelations involving the Boston diocese,
CWR, had published an essay by a Catholic chaplain connected with
the Marine Corps and Navy, who was then serving at Pearl Harbor. The essay
was captioned, "The Gay Priest Problem." It was prefaced by
a report which appeared in the Kansas City Star which noted that
"AIDS has quietly caused the death of hundreds of Roman Catholic
priests in the United States, although other causes may be listed on some
of their death certificates." The newspaper article further claimed
that "the death rate of priests from AIDS is at least four times
that of the general population" The response from the Kansas City
Bishop of the Roman Church, Raymond Boland, was, "The AIDS deaths
show that priests are human" (CWR, Nov., 2000, p.52).
The report in the Kansas City Star came from an Associated
Press release on a series of articles by Judy L. Thomas. In her interview
with Bishop Boland, he explained that he never asks a priest how he got
AIDS, just as two years prior when he was diagnosed with cancer of the
colon, no body asked him how he got it. To this, Chaplain Shaughnessy
wrote in his Essay: Most
of us would see such a response as culpably wilful refusal to face up
to a grim reality. By the same token, when we are urged to pretend that
there is room for doubt as to how most priests contract AIDS, we can be
sure that our gaze is being intentionally diverted from the ugly and indisputable
facts: a disproportionately high percentage of priests is gay; a disproportionately
high percent of gay priests routinely engages in sodomy, often tolerated,
and sometimes abetted by bishops and superiors. (ibid.)
The Chaplain cites a book by a Roman priest, Donald B. Cozzens, The
Changing Face of the Priesthood, in which the author asks, if the
Catholic priesthood is on its way to becoming a "gay profession."
He writes that this "is a devilishly difficult question to ask, first
because almost no one in the hierarchical ranks wants anything to do with
it." Then in the essay he quotes from a letter written by South Africa's
Bishop Reginold Cawcutt which was penned in response to a rumor that Cardinal
Joseph Ratzinger's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was about
to issue a letter prohibiting the acceptance of gay seminarians. (The
part of this letter used by the Chaplain, if quoted as written would have
made it unprintable. We have modified it further. Still its vulgarity
comes through.) Modified, it reads: Kill
[Ratzinger]? Pray for him? Why not just (----) him??? Any volunteers-ugh!!!
... I do not see how he can possibly do this - but ... if he does, lemme
repeat my statement earlier -- that I will cause lotsa (----) for him
and the Vatican. And that is a promise. MY intention would be simply to
ask the question what he intends doing with those priests, bishops (possibly
"like me") and cardinals who are gay. That should cause (....)
enough. Be assured dear reverend gentlemen, I shall let you know the day
any such outrageous letter reaches the desks of the ordinaries of the
world. (ibid., p.53)
The Chaplain observed that when the report on the Catholic priesthood and AIDS appeared in the Kansas City Star, from all sides one heard the complaint "Why doesn't somebody do something?" As noted above, the US News and World Report, in comment on the pope's reaction to the problem, questioned, "But will he act?" Or perhaps the question should be asked, "Does the Roman Church have enough non-gay clergy to sustain the hierarchical structure of the Church should all the gays from cardinals to bishops be defrocked?" Shaughnessy noted that ten years ago, the liberal National Cathollc Reporter quoted a Jesuit priest as saying from his experience, "I assume priests are gay until proven otherwise." Thayer's definition of 'O AnomoV takes on new meaning as the scandal within Romanism unfolds.
The Curia -- In
February 1999, Kaos Editions in Italy published a book, Via col vento
in Vaticano, which gave the public, Catholic and non-Catholic, its
first look by direct testimony of a group of high-ranking Vatican prelates
"regarding the vices, corruption, and intrigues of the Roman Curia."
The authors used the pseudonym, "Millenari," to cover their
revelation. Translated into English, it is published in To-
p 4 -- ronto, Ontario, Canada by Key Porter Books, Ltd. under
the title of Shroud of Secrecy, the story of corruption within
The authors state plainly: The
power in the Vatican Church originates in and emanates from the Secretariat
of State. The Curia preserves itself by training its members, who have
been chosen because they are supported and favored by influential superiors.
. . . The Cardinal Secretary of State, assisted by his deputy and entire
internal and external service, wields the power to determine who is accepted
into the Curia.
Everyone knows that the Pope
is the head of the Church; however, he doesn't personally govern it. He
relies on the honesty of others to fairly govern the Church, particularly
his Secretary of State, who governs the rest of the Roman Curia and, at
times, the Pontiff. (pp.56-57)
A marginal footnote defines the "Curia" as the body of tribunals
and offices through which the Pope governs the Roman Catholic Church (p.14).
While the footnote gives the theoretical arrangement of the power structure
in the Church, the prelates who authored the book reveal the actual workings
of the Curia.
Inside and connected with the Cover of the book is a summary of not only
the background for its publication but its contents. This summary reads: Centuries
have passed, secularism seems to have a strong hold on our world-view,
but the Vatican still rules the practices and doctrines of more than a
third of the world's people - with an arguably iron fist. And yet, the
all-powerful Vatican remains a mystery to those outside its wall. Until
Shroud of Secrecy offers
an insider's account of intrigue, sex, and corruption within the Vatican.
It is the first treatise of written protest from within the Church since
1517, when Martin Luther posted his historic 95 theses on a church door
in Wittenberg, Germany. Written by a small group of Vatican prelates who
call themselves the Millenari, its publication breaks a code of silence
that has allowed impropriety and hypocrisy within the Roman Catholic Church
The Millenari's main concerns
are rampant careerism within the Vatican hierarchy, a secretive and corrupt
selection process for bishops, Freemasonry within the Vatican walls, and
the lack of an employee union. Their charges are supported by extensive
anecdotes. Consider the priest who smuggled a suitcase of cash into Switzerland;
the priest who was married by Papal sanction to the sister of a Vatican
official and then boasted about his access to secure information; the
priest who engaged in homosexual acts and was moved and promoted to cover
up the scandal.
Published in Italy in 1999
under the title Via col vento in Valicano, the Millenari's work
is now the target of a Vatican-led effort to cease publication and distribution.
It has also become a runaway best-seller. The one author who has publicly
acknowledged his role - 72 year-old Monsiguor Luigi Marinelli - has endured
incredible hardship as a result. He was ordered to appear before the court
of the Vatican State. He refused, daring the Vatican to pursue him in
the secular courts. Now, isolated from his friends, he suspects that his
phone is taped. ...
The publishers of Via col vento Vaticano have written an afterword specifically for this edition, bringing the readers up-to-date on the events that have occurred since the book's release.
The Millenari are a
group of Vatican prelates who wish to remain anonymous due to their fear
of repercussions from the book's publication. The only author to come
forward is 72-year-old retired Vatican prelate Monsignor Luigi Marinelli.
Marinelli worked for many years in the Vatican department of the Congregation
of Eastern Churches. He was recruited to the writing team by an unnamed
Vatican official who had heard Marinelli criticize the inner workings
of the Vatican. Marinelli is now under investigation by the Sacra Romana
Rota - court of the Vatican State. He has been honored by France's Freedom
of the Church award.
An Afterword --
It is difficult in the light of these revelations of the corruption
in the Roman Church and the prophecy in Paul's letter to the Thessalonians,
to comprehend the actions of B. B. Beach at the Seventh Assembly of the
WCC in Canberra, Australia. With his right as a "Delegated Representative"
of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to speak at Plenary sessions of the
Council, he remained silent as the discussions of the working relationships
between Rome and the WCC were under consideration, until young men moved
by the Spirit of God bore their witness. Then he vented his consternation
p 5 -- It is true that in 1991, the present data was not available. While not as overwhelming as the current revelations are, there were available, however, publications and witnesses to the corruption within the Roman hierarchy, which sustained the prophecy of God's word, that the Papacy was indeed 'O AnomoV. Observer status is one thing, and reporting that which is observed is necessary, but mingling and fellowship which leads to a rejection of truth, and a denigration of the Spirit's workings is another. Then to use the episode in Australia as the point of reference to anoint B. B. Beach as an Adventist "Statesman" reveals a corruption of editorial integrity to maintain truth as was committed under the Third Angel's Message of Revelation 14: 9-10.
While defrocking has been the recourse used in some cases in the Roman hierarchy, there needs to be a removal from official position and influence in the Adventist Church, those whose eyes are so blinded to truth, that they join in condemning the movings of the Spirit of God, and give accolades to those who publicly do so.
Great I AM -- In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word
"angel" in the KJV, also means, "messenger;" even
as in the New Testament, the Greek word, aggeloV
, from which we derive the word, angel,
can be also translated, "messenger."
In Hebrews the question is asked concerning angels, "Are they not
all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be
heirs of salvation?" (1:14). However, in the Old Testament, there
is a more profound meaning to the word, than is attached to the word,
"angel" in English. Gesenius in his Hebrew Lexicon notes
that in various references of the Old Testament, which he cites, the Divine
appearance is called, "the angel of Jehovah," and then following
in the same reference is called simply, "Jehovah." He then comments
- "This is to be so understood, that the angel
of God is here nothing else than the invisible deity itself,
which thus unveils itself to mortal eyes" (p.570, ninth edition,
An example of this use of the expression, "the angel of the Lord"
is to be found in Exodus 3 in the revelation of God to Moses at the burning
bush. The text reads: And
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst
of the bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and
the bush was not consumed" (v. 2).
When Moses turned aside to see the marvel, "the Lord" (Heb.
JHWH spoke to
him and declared Himself to be the God (Heb. Elohe,
singular) of his fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." (vs. 4-6).
In the conversation that followed between "the Lord" and Moses,
the question of the "name" by which God was to be called, surfaced.
The response was, "I AM THAT I AM," with the specific instruction,
"Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent
me unto you" (v. 14).
The instruction was repeated: You
shall say to the children of Israel Jehovah (JHWH), the God of your fathers,
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent
me to you: this is My name for ever, and this is My title from generation
to generation. (Jay Green, Interlinear Hebrew Bible, Vol.I)
During the confrontation with Pharaoh, God spoke again to Moses regarding
His name. Pharaoh had questioned, "Who is Jehovah, that I should
hearken unto His voice to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah, and moreover
I will not let Israel go" (Ex. 5:2, ARV). To this response and Pharaoh's
high handedness God said to Moses: I
am Jehovah: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as
God Almighty (El Shaddai); but by my name Jehovah I was not known to them
Soon Pharaoh and all Egypt would know who Jehovah was - God Almighty;
but to the children of Israel He would be: "I am Jehovah your God,
who bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians" (6:7,
ARV). He would come down to deliver. From His high majestic Throne, He
would condescend to deliver His people from the enslavement of sin. He
would be their I AM (John 8:58).
In the revelations of God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob various attributes
of God are revealed which reflect His power and might but which also
p 6 -- blend with His verbal name, I AM, and His purpose in regard
to Israel. To Abraham when he was ninety-nine years of age, God appeared
and declared: I
am the Almighty God (El Shaddai): walk before me and be thou perfect (Gen.
With this revelation, God associated His covenant. He said, "I will
make my covenant between Me and thee" (v.2). "I will establish
my covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations
for a everlasting covenant" (v. 7). It is also of interest to observe
that the placing of God's covenant ("My covenant") with Abram,
there came a name change, from Abram to Abraham, thus enlarging the scope
of the one to one covenant He had made with Abram previously (15:18).
When Isaac blessed Jacob before sending him to Padanaram, he blessed him
in the name of "God Almighty" (Gen. 28:3). However, when God
spoke to Jacob as the "Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God
of Isaac" (v. 13), He presented Himself as standing "above"
a ladder which had been "set up on earth" and reached "to
heaven" (v.12). By that "ladder" He would come down to
deliver "the seed of Abraham" as "the Son of man."
(John 1:51; Gal. 3:29). Yet, John in his gospel reveals the incident when
Jesus, the Son of man, claimed to be the "I Am" (John 8:58).
His Gospel is replete with revelations of Jesus Christ as the I AM.
The crisis in Galilee which decimated Christ's following revolved around His claim as "I AM the living bread which came down from heaven" (John 6:51). His claim to be the I AM (John 8:58) was prefaced with the revelation of Himself as "I AM the light of the world" (8:12). His uniqueness as the only means of salvation - the true ladder - was illustrated in another parable, with the claim, "I AM the door" (10:9). He carried this a step further, stating, "I AM the good shepherd" (10:11). The crowning miracle of His ministry - the resurrection of Lazarus - followed His claim, "I AM the resurrection and the life" (11:25). To His disciples in the upper room, He summarized the whole revelation of His life - I AM the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (14:6). This Self-Existent One ("I"), Ever-Existent One (AM), "The first and the last" who set up the "ladder" by the sacrifice of Himself, declared to John, "I ... was dead" but "the Living One I am for evermore" (Rev. 1:18).
Fifth Landmark -- If the historical data available on the
1888 General Conference Session is accurate, the discussion of the message
of righteousness by faith as brought by Jones and Waggoner to the conference
was more than a mere exchange of ideas. Some of the delegates rejected
the light from heaven "with all the stubbornness the Jews manifested
in rejecting Christ." Their minds "were fixed, sealed against
the entrance of light, because they had decided it was a dangerous error
removing the 'old landmarks' when it was not moving a peg of the old landmarks,
but they had a perverted idea of what constituted the old landmarks"
(Ms. 13, 1889).
Five landmarks are listed. The fifth one reads: "The
nonimmortality of the wicked is an old landmark" (ibid.) This
is more than saying that one rejects the doctrine of the immortality of
the soul. It is accepting by faith the words of Christ which span the
abyss of death. Jesus promised: "He
that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting
life, and shall not came into condemnation; but is passed from death unto
life" (John 5:24).
The word translated "is passed" metabebhken
is the Greek perfect indicative - an accomplished fact. The phrase, "from
death unto life," is more emphatic in the Greek (ek
tou qanatou eiV thn zwhu) "out of the death into the life."
It is ours by faith, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of
things not seen.
On the other hand, "no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him"
(I John 3:15). "The soul that sineth it shall die" (Eze. 18:20).
He that "sent" Christ is able "to destroy both soul and
body in hell" (Matt. 10:28). In the creation of man, it was the intent
of God, that "the living soul" (Gen. 2:7) live forever. Man's
decision thwarted God's intent. The provision of the redemption that is
in Christ Jesus "hath abolished death, and hath brought life and
immortality to light through the
p 7 -- gospel" (II Tim. 1:10). Thus he who accepts the gospel
- the incarnation and resurrection of Christ - "hath everlasting
life" and is passed "out of death into life." The landmark
stands - "The nonimmortality of the wicked is an old landmark."
"According to Santorum, Kennedy was not the nation's first Catholic
president. That distinction, he said, belongs to George W. Bush, a Methodist."
Continuing, he said, "From economic issues focusing on the poor and
social justice, to issues of human life, George Bush is there. He has
every right to say, 'I'm where you are if you're a believing Catholic."'
To understand the force and implication of what the Senator
said, one must review some past history. A century ago, Leo XIII occupied
the Papal throne from 1878-1903. Several of his encyclicals were devoted
to social issues which involved the relationship between church and state.
He considered separation of church and state as a "fatal theory."
(The Liberal Illusion, p.9) The record clearly indicates that Leo's
attention was directed toward the United States. In a letter dated October
14, 1894 from Rome, it read,"The United States of America, it can
be said without exaggeration, are the chief thought of Leo XIII."
To a visting American, a few days prior he had said, "But the United
States are the future; we think of them incessantly." This thinking
bore fruit in
Rome never changes, only its face changes.