{cont}

~~~~~
Site
Overview

Search

BLOG
THOUGHTS

~~~~

HOME

Audio

{~~}

~~~~~

Under Which Banner (Part 1 of 4)

CONTENTS: p. 1-3

Under Which Banner p. 4

Foreword p. 5

SECTION I
Under Which Banner?

Romanism in the Seventh-day Adventist Church p. 9

The 1888 Message - The Need For Organizational Reform p. 13

God's Remedy For a Sick Church p. 14

Nature of the Oppisition -- Rejection of the Holy Spirit p . .16

The Real Motive - Preservation of Authority p. 17

The Need For Reorganization

Reorganization 1897 - 1901 p. 21

The 1901 General Conference Session --
A very Short Period of Reorganization
p. 23

Some Positive Action Taken p. 30

The 1903 General Conference

The 1903 General Conference -- A Reversal p. 32

The 1901 Constitution Amended p. 35

Organization after 1903 p. 37

TOP

~~~

Under Which Banner (Part 2 of 4)

SECTION II
The Final Act

The Alpha and Omega of Apostasy - An Attack
Against The Foundation Principles p. 42

SECTION III
Omega -- The Continuing Apostasy Within The Church

The Apostasy p. 54

Diluting the Truth p. 55

The Controversial 1950's p. 57

1888 Re-Examined, the Wieland and Short Protest p. 58

Evangelical Entanglements p. 60

The Martin and Barnhouse Affair p. 61

Questions on Doctrine p. 64

The Andreasen Letters p. 64

Outstanding Points of Contention p. 67

The Incarnation, Christ's Human Nature p. 70.

New Thoughts on the Incarnation p. 71

Changes, Omissions, Alterations p. 73

Under Which Banner (Part 3 of 4)

SECTION IV
The Shaking

The Heppenstall - Ford - Brinsmead Era p. 78

The Strawmen p. 81

Original Sin p. 83

Ralph Larson and the Root of the Problem p. 84

Heppenstall and Original Sin p. 85

Brinsmead's "Contribution" to the Adventists p. 86

The SDA Leadership vs. Desmond Ford p. 89

Ford's Dismissal p. 90

SECTION V
The Golden Calf

Organization in the 1970's - Toward Greater Control p. 93

Preserving the Landmarks - Formation of a Creed p. 96

Into the Abyss-- Following the Leaders p. 100

Under Which Banner (Part 4 of 4)
Which Authority? p. 104

Policy or Truth? Organizational Preservation
No Matter the Cost p. 105

Neal Wilson's Perjury p. 112

SECTION VI
Righteousness by Faith

Christ in you - The True Church p. 115

God's Holy Spirit: Christ in You p. 120

The Seal of God p. 122


SECTION VII
Primitive Godliness

Foundation of the Christian Church in the Age of the Apostles p. 123

Individuality in Religion or
Liberty of Conscience p. 125

Danger of Following the Leaders p. 127

The End of Things p. 128

Voice of the Dragon p. 130

The Gramsci Principle p. 134

The True Church p. 139

END of BOOK

{~~~} top

~~~~~

Bible Study Guides
- William H. Grotheer

ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S
FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)

Publisher of the
"Watchman, What of the Night?" (WWN)... More Info
William H. Grotheer, Editor of Research & Publication for the ALF

- 1970s
- 1980s
- 1990s
- 2000s

SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
"Another Comforter", study on the Holy Spirit
1976 a Letter and a Reply: - SDA General Conference warning against WWN.
Further Background Information on Zaire -General Conference pays Government to keep church there.
From a WWN letter to a reader: RE: Lakes of Fire - 2 lakes of fire.
Trademark of the name Seventh-day Adventist [Perez Court Case] - US District Court Case - GC of SDA vs.R. Perez, and others [Franchize of name "SDA" not to be used outside of denominational bounds.]

top
Manuscripts

Interpretative History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, An
- William H. Grotheer

End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation

Excerpts - Legal Documents
- EEOC vs PPPA - Adventist Laymen's Foundation

Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer

Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer

In the Form of a Slave
- William H. Grotheer

Jerusalem In Bible Prophecy
- William H. Grotheer

Key Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
- William H. Grotheer

Pope Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
- William H. Grotheer

Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer

Seal of God
 - William H. Grotheer

Seventh-day Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
 - William H. Grotheer

SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer

STEPS to ROME
- William H. Grotheer

Times of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
- William H. Grotheer

Remembering
Elder William H. Grotheer

~~~~~
TOP

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:

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

Bible As History - Werner Keller

Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts

Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith

Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson

Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones

"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson

Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen

Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones

Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen

Sanctuary Service, The
- M. L. Andreasen

So Much In Common - WCC/SDA

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

Under Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy

top
~~~~~

UNDER WHICH BANNER?

by Jon A.Vannoy printed 1982

Revised winter 1998-1999

(Part 1 of 4)

 

p 1-3 -- CONTENTS - on Sidebar

p 4 --                      UNDER WHICH BANNER?

  ". . .There is no union between the Prince of light and the prince of darkness, and there can be no union between their followers. When Christians consented to unite with those who were but half converted from paganism, they entered upon a path, which led farther and farther from the truth. It required a desperate struggle for those who would be faithful to stand firm against the deceptions and abominations which were disguised in sacerdotal garments and introduced into the church. The Bible was not accepted as the standard of faith. The doctrine of religious freedom was termed heresy, and its upholders were hated and proscribed. The faithful few decided to dissolve all union with the apostate church. They saw that separation was an absolute necessity if they would obey the word of God. To secure peace and unity they were ready to make any concession consistent with fidelity to God; but they felt that even peace would be too dearly purchased at the sacrifice of principle. If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth and righteousness, then let there be difference, and even war."
--Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 45.


FOREWORD


p 5 -- When I took up a copy of Under Which Banner and re-read it last October (1998), I thought it might be of some worth to update it. After reading it, I was taken aback when I realized how much had happened since its last publication (1982) and how off the mark I was in some of my conclusions, and especially how my own ideas have evolved. So this newer edition - and much of it is new - is offered with the proviso that it be considered tentative and that it's intent is to inspire independent thought and examination. This revision is purely a result of my thinking - which is subject to change - and should be considered in that light.

Increased knowledge of truth demands change, but any change must rest on established truth. Present truth is no different. The passage of time amends it. As an example, the National Reform Movement of the 1870's - 1880's (5T 712) was a vehicle used in an attempt to bring about Sunday legislation at the national level. It no longer exists. If the picture painted in the Great Controversy proves true, something will bring that event to pass; but the vehicle will be different than it was in 1870. The principle will remain the same even though the circumstances change with the passage of time.

The Seventh-day Adventist organization/church, (as with all organizations) has failed its task in the time allotted it. The work of spreading the gospel by the "gentiles" is done, (J. E. White, The Coming King, p. 98 on Luke 21:24) and though human probation has not closed, the harvest has begun. Described herein is the reason for it's (the Adventist Church) failure as I see it and can be summed up in this: Church members -- Adventist and non-Adventist alike -- and their leaders put their full reliance on man, against every plea, every warning to do otherwise. The admonition, "cease ye from man whose breath is in his nostrils," was completely disregarded by all "gentiles" in their own time. As for Seventh-day Adventists, they are now left to abhor the fruit of their own doing,

p 6 -- which they will do in the last fragment of time when they are forced to face, in horror, what they have lost. There is no going back, the die is cast, and those who are led of God will see that separation is an absolute necessity. Spiritual separation precedes physical separation.

The Satanic vehicle for the final domination of the earth is gaining in power; all men are being offered cradle to the grave care by the all powerful State - the offer will in time become compulsory. The choice all people must make in the nearing final clash is between the tangible and the intangible, between dependence on the State that guarantees all human comfort, security and a safe haven; or on the other side, an allegiance to a Being most of us have never seen or heard, who promises certain things that are written in a book (but not by Him), that also claims to be the sure, faithful, and true thing. On the surface God's offer has the appearance of being not all that substantial and ultimately promises to be the source of a great deal of difficulty. But those whom He has chosen know that despite outward appearances, His way is to confound the wise with the foolish.

Referring to Christ, the cry of the French Reformation was, "crush the wretch;" the modern state says no less. But man has a "religious" aspect about him that he cannot deny, and even in this anti-Christian era, that aspect needs to be expressed. And so, earth's people are expressing this need through what can be summarized in the statement: "We all must recognize our essential, universal, spiritual connectedness," and is seen in an unspoken agreement in the expressions of all the world's religions, New Age - Aquarian Conspirators; all Biocentric - Environmentalists, Gaiaists, Witches (black art and white art); Satanists; Humanists, staffers of various governmental agencies (EPA, Fish and Wildlife Service, BLM, US Forest Service etc.) and so on -- many supported in part by the large foundations (Rockefeller Brothers Fund of New York, the Ford Foundation, the Conservation Foundation of Washington, the Heartline Fund, etc.) and various industrialist-philanthropists. It seems that everyone, "small and great, rich and poor, highborn and servant," is involved.

"Except those who are kept by the power of God, through faith in His word, the whole world will be swept into the ranks of this delusion. The people are fast being lulled to a fatal security, to be awakened only by the outpouring of the wrath of God." -- GC 562.

The list could go on and on; however, the point is, there is not a segment of modern society, either religious or secular, that hasn't adopted some variation of that single spiritualistic sentiment these differing groups hold in common, and

p 7 -- SDAs are no exception. In all of it, Christ is the enemy.

Christ said that the generation that saw the fulfilling of His words (Luke 21; Matt. 24; Mk. 13 - different aspects of the same theme) would see "the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." Parse it as you will, it still means what it says.

After Jerusalem was no longer controlled by nations (Gentiles), Christ said there would be certain signs in the heavens that would indicate the nearness of His coming. The accounts of Matthew and Mark are almost identical: "But in those days, after that time of distress, (the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome -- the abomination that makes desolate, of which the prophet Daniel wrote) the sun will be darkened (not the dark day of May 19, 1780 which was a regional phenomena), the moon will not give its light, the stars (meteors/meteorites -- detritus that forms a comets tail) will come falling out of the sky, (not the periodic Leonid meteorite shower that occurred on Nov. 12, 1833) and the powers in the heavens will be shaken." (the planets, as in E.W. p. 41) Luke adds, "There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the turmoil of the ocean and its waves (similar to phenomena at the Exodus, remembered in Psalms 77: 14 - 19) men fainting away with terror and fear at what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." This prediction is not a series of events occurring over a period of years but one great, momentous cosmic event that will be a present sign of deliverance to the chosen ("When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your redemption is near at hand") and a harbinger of doom ("men fainting away with terror and fear at what menaces the world") to the lost. Luke 21: 26, 27.

The cosmic disaster coming upon planet earth, depicted by Christ as preceding his return, could not have occurred before the complete fulfillment of Luke 21:24 and is of such breadth and dimension so as to beggar the comprehension of modern man. It is, by the way, not an isolated occurrence in the history of the earth. There have been, in earlier times, periods of similar cosmic catastrophes on a planet-wide scale, which have been recorded not only in the bones of the earth and in the tales and legends of earth's peoples, but in the sacred script as well. The last two events occurred thirty-four (at the time of Moses and the Exodus and fifty years later in the promised land as recorded in Joshua 10: 11-14) and twenty-six centuries ago (somewhat before the Babylonian captivity) and answer in a large way the planet-wide geological and paleontological enigmas interpreted by science in terms of evolution (uniformity). The real meaning of

p 8 -- the messages of the prophets Isaiah, Joel, Amos and others are records of what actually took place during the last period of world wide, cosmic upheaval. All such past events reveal the manner of earth's future destruction and are a demonstration of the heretofore unimaginable power and authority of the Great Architect of nature, Yahweh Sabaoth, written in the KJV as the Lord of Hosts, Commander of the host of heaven -- the "mighty ones" -- the planets. One ancient inscription, marked in stone, and located on a high place, proclaimed: "Yahweh is our mighty one." This was, no doubt, an expression of the time when God was confused with the heavenly orbs and the reason the reform minded prophets and kings ordered the destruction of "the high places." Pre-exilic Israel and Judah were both astral-worshipers - as were all of earth's people during those times. For His love of Israel, all earth suffered the effects of the Creator's punishment because of their idolatry. Isaiah 43: 1-4.

Moses, a man blessed with the extraordinary privilege of close, personal contact with God, trembled in fear and terror at the scene on Sinai. God is not a parlor magician limited to performing regional acts of illusion. What occurred in Egypt and at the Mount of Law Giving was representative of the planet wide catastrophe then taking place.

To the discerning, Hebrews 12: 18 - 29 forewarns that the upheaval (verse 26) to come will be similar to what has occurred before (verses 18 - 21.) Peter said that the heavens will pass away with a great noise, the earth and everything on it will melt with "fervent heat" (2 Peter 3: 10.) Ellen G. White describes the final planet-wide cosmic catastrophe in this way: "With shouts of triumph, jeering, and imprecation, throngs of evil men are about to rush upon their prey, when, lo, a dense blackness, deeper than the darkness of the night, falls upon the earth [there must be great foreboding of this great cosmic menace prior to its realization, hence men's hearts failing them in fear and intense anger toward the elect who are seen as the cause] . . . Everything in nature seems turned out of its course. The streams cease to flow. Dark, heavy clouds come up and clash against each other. In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters, saying, 'It is done.' "

"That voice shakes the heavens and the earth. There is a mighty earthquake, 'such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.' The firmament appears to open and shut. The glory from the throne of God seems flashing through. The mountains shake like a reed in the wind, and ragged rocks are scattered on every side. There is a roar as of a coming tempest. The sea is lashed into fury. There is heard the shriek of the hurricane,

p 9 -- like the voice of demons upon a mission of destruction. The whole earth heaves and swells like the waves of the sea. Its surface is breaking up. Its very foundations seem to be giving way. Mountain chains are sinking. Inhabited islands disappear." -- GC 635 - 637.

"But before all this happens, you will be seized and persecuted; you will be handed over to the synagogues and to imprisonment, and brought before kings and governors for the sake of my name -- and that will be your opportunity to bear witness. Make up your minds not to prepare your defense, because I myself shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death. You will be hated universally on account of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. Your perseverance will win you your lives." Luke 21: 12 - 19.

-- J. A. V.
TOP

SECTION ONE -- UNDER WHICH BANNER ? -- ROMANISM IN THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH: To examine the intrusion of Roman Catholic thought and practice into the Seventh-day Adventist Church is fascinating and at the same time disappointing, particularly when one ponders what could have been but will never be. The consequence of carrying Rome's baggage is real and everywhere present among Adventists today. To understand the present condition of the Adventist Church and the reasons for the existence of Roman thought and practice within the organized work, one must understand why the Second Advent movement appears to have failed its prophetic destiny. To begin with, one must be able to grasp the fact that the Great Second Advent Movement no longer exists. It has been replaced by a thing called, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the two are not the same.

The Second Advent Movement was of God. Its message, its motivating, driving force, and its organization was because of Him. Human beings were the agents,

p 10 -- not the originators, of that movement and it accomplished only that which God wanted it to. But all of it, the totality of everything that happened, was God's doing; and before the end there will be a revival of primitive godliness, a thing not witnessed since apostolic times, when His people will separate from the earth's religious organizations -constrained by His Spirit to go forth and do His bidding.

On the other hand, organizations are man's doing. They are formed by men for the purposes of men - whatever those purposes may be. Church organizations are no different though they claim a loftier purpose. Each of their originators have alleged their organizations, at least at one time in their histories, to be the repositories of God's truth; but at some point in their existence the lofty perception is forgotten and the perpetuation of organization, for the sake of organization, becomes the all pervading purpose. Men organize in God's name; they originate, give impetus to, then perpetuate, and call it "God's work."

Such was the fate of the Second Advent Movement after the passing of time in 1844. Twenty years passed and the few who remained true to the original ideal, seeing through human eyes, probably sensing a need to hold things together organized along human lines; and the explicitness, yet simplicity, of the Movement became a highly organized, legal, formal, religious denomination
-- the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The relentless grip of men would increase over those sincerely interested in relying on God's direction in His work, to the point where God was moved aside and men came to rely on other men, as we shall see.

The year 1888 was a watershed year in the twenty-five year old church. Matters concerning God had steadily eroded into a condition where the stamp of man was wholly on what was believed to be His work. The church's crisis was compounded by a crisis on the national scene that directly involved the message of the third angel. In a Review and Herald article dated Dec. 11, 1888, E. G. White wrote of the attitude in the church toward the whole matter:    "A great crisis awaits the people of God. Very soon our nation will attempt to enforce upon all, the observance of the first day of the week as a sacred day. In doing this, they will not scruple to compel men against the voice of their own conscience to observe the day the nation declares to be the Sabbath. In view of this, there must be, among God's commandment-keeping people, more spirituality and a deeper consecration to God and a zeal in His work that has never yet been reached, to hold aloft the banner of God's truth."

p 11 -- Speaking more directly of the proposed Sunday legislation (the proposed Blair Amendment to the U. S. Constitution) then before the U. S. Congress, she continued:    "Should our nation abjure the principles of Protestantism to give countenance and sanction to the Sunday law, they will in this act join hands with popery; for it will be nothing else than giving life to the tyranny which has been eagerly waiting and watching its opportunity to spring into active despotism. And now, as this evil is on the point of realization, it is the business of all believers in the Bible to arouse." -- Ibid.

She then directed her words to the Seventh-day Adventists who were remarkably indifferent to what was happening around them, and were apparently content to remain so:    "For years many have sat in calm expectation of this event; and they will not be working out the purposes of God if they comfort themselves with the thought that what is to come will come, and anything that they may do will not prevent it. They should not settle down in an easy, comfortable indolence, thinking that God will shelter his own people in the day of this calamity. This is the time for action, not for indolence and spiritual stupor. Satan is preparing his forces with a power from beneath; and all heaven is in busy activity, ready to work in the interests of those who are awake to the condition of things, and like faithful sentinels, are doing all they can to arouse the people to avert, if possible, the threatened evil." -- Ibid.

It is significant to see from the previous statement that heaven will work, only with those who are awake to the condition of things around them. Her next comment should be even more sobering:    "If our people continue in the listless attitude in which they have been, God cannot pour upon them His spirit. They are unprepared to cooperate with Him. They do not realize the threatened danger and are not awake to the situation . . .

"The peculiar work of the third angel has not been seen in its importance. God meant that His people should be far in advance of what they are today. . . .It is not in the order of God that light has been kept from our people, -- the very present truth which they needed for this time. Not all

p 12 -- of our ministers who are giving the third angel's message really understand what constitutes that message. The National Reform Movement has been regarded by some as of so little importance that they have not thought it necessary to give much attention to it, and have even felt that in so doing, they would be giving time to questions distinct from the third angel's message. What interpretation do they give to the passage which says, ' "An angel descended from heaven, and the earth was lightened with his glory?" ' This is not a time when we can be excused for inactivity. If this work, which was so essential, had been taken up by our ministers, there would be today a far different state of things in all our churches." -- (Emphasis supplied)

Present day Adventists are in a far worse condition spiritually than those who preceded them. The mistakes and attitudes then exhibited and which were perpetuated are responsible for the downward spiral that has destroyed the heart of their message. SDA history is reflected upon by minds veiled and clouded, with no true knowledge of the events that have gone on before. Prophecy is viewed as something that has taken place in the past or will take place in the future, but never in the present. Adventists are so far removed from the firmness of their past history that they teach and preach other things. They entertain euphorisitic ideals of greatness -- of a world movement -- but when reality is faced, their organization has the distinct appearance of just another ecclesiastical empire and they tout the whole thing as God's doing.

In reviewing the progress of the Great Second Advent Movement in fulfilling the divine path set for it, thus far the progress it has achieved is short of the mark. Adventists boast of their achievements and bolster those achievements with statistical reports detailing their phenomenal progress, but the fact cannot be set aside that they are out of sync with their "historic" divine commission. Denominational expansion has superseded ideals that SDA's have always considered their divinely ordered assignment, to proclaim the Three Angels' Messages. With this there is a portion of these messages that has gone unnoticed, which is the part of the whole that enables individuals to comply with its entirety, and it is, rightly, contained in the first message. Seventh-day Adventists emphasize the portion of the message that says: ". . . for the hour of His judgment is come . . ." but the importance of the message is, "Fear God and give glory to Him . . .worship Him . . ." the originator and sustainer of all that is.

The question is, why would these messages start with such an admonition unless humanity was doing otherwise? So attention is directed to first recognize and give God, the Creator and Sustainer, what is due Him -- allegiance first and

p 13 -- foremost, since the whole of humanity has never known what it is to be in allegiance to God, which is the purpose of the three messages -- a final appeal to them to seek their only real security with the Source of it before it is eternally too late.

There was a time when Adventists, for the most part, recognized the Loud Cry as that which offers God as the highest good to all mankind, in opposition to man's striving to make himself secure; and it gives all who embrace it perfect freedom. The freedom offered is freedom of conscience, of the moral sense to know what is good, truthful, and honest; it guarantees those who understand and embrace it freedom from the rules, regulations, unlawful authority and traditions of men. That freedom enables them to divinely fathom the concept that all things come from God; all things are God's, and it is God who must direct moment by moment in each life.

"The creation belongs to God. The Lord could, by neglecting man, stop his breath at once. All that he is and all that he has pertains to God. The entire world is God's. Man's houses, his personal acquirements, whatever is valuable or brilliant, is God's own endowment. " -- E. G. White Manuscript 36, 1890 TOP

THE 1888 MESSAGE -- THE NEED FOR REFORM: The record of failure of the church in 1888 to give the Loud Cry, "Fear God and give glory to Him," and assenting to its soundness, but failing to weave its principles into the work, is validated by the many testimonies given in an attempt to set right that which had gone wrong. The few who embraced that message were overwhelmed by the majority who were caught up in the mechanics of the denomination's Organizational machinery that had become the accepted way for carrying on the work of God; and in adopting such an attitude, they placed the Organizational machinery in the place of God. Referring to that E. G. White wrote:    "The steady progress of our work, and our increased facilities are filling the hearts and minds of many of our people with satisfaction and pride, which we fear will take the place of the first love of God in the soul. Busy activity in the mechanical part of even the work of God may so occupy the mind that prayer shall be neglected; and self-importance and self-sufficiency, so ready to urge their way, shall take the place of true goodness, meekness, and lowliness of heart." 4T, p. 535 (1881)

p 14 -- Eighteen years after the church had been formally organized, its work was seen to be progressing at more than a satisfactory rate in all fields. A willingness to labor was expressed, and activity could be found everywhere. Even though the work seemed, on the surface, to be progressing smoothly, with the Lord's blessing, in reality there lurked a condition which had supplanted God and which could not be allowed to exist if the church was to be an organ for spreading the Three Angel's Messages to the world.

"They are more ready for active labor than for humble devotion, more ready to embrace in outward religious service than in the inner work of the heart. Meditation and prayer are neglected for bustle and show." -- Ibid.

The solution to the problem was, not to rely on the form and mechanical operation of organization, but depend completely upon the Spirit and power of God. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts." -- Zech. 4: 6 TOP

GOD'S REMEDY FOR A SICK CHURCH: The tendency to rely on organization waxed stronger despite repeated entreaties by Ellen G. White:    "Now it has been Satan's determined purpose to eclipse the view of Jesus and lead men to look to man, and trust to man, and be educated to expect help from man. For years the church has been looking to man and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore, God gave to His servants a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angle's message, in clear, distinct lines." -- TM p. 93.

Then at the 1888 General Conference held in Minneapolis, God, in an unanticipated way, offered the solution to the problem of man's dependence upon man. It came not through the "duly constituted leadership" -- the status quo, but from an unexpected and, as it turned out, unwelcome source.

"The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God." -- TM 91, 92.

p 15 -- Again, the reason was: "Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person." Ibid. Ellen White continued to identify the message:     "All power is given into his hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure." -- TM p. 92.

E. G. White then presented the "matchless charms" of Christ as the only remedy for the self-reliant Adventists.

"The uplifted Saviour is to appear in His efficacious work as the Lamb slain sitting upon the throne, to dispense the priceless covenant blessings, the benefits He died to purchase for every soul who should believe on Him. John could not express that love in works; it was too deep, too broad; he calls upon the human family to behold it. Christ is pleading for those for whom He paid the redemption price of His own blood. Centuries, ages cannot diminish the efficacy of this atoning sacrifice. The message of the gospel of His grace was to be given to the church in clear distinct lines that the world should no longer say that Seventh-day Adventists talk the law, the law, but do not teach or believe Christ." -- Ibid.

"This is the testimony that must go throughout the length and breadth of the world. It presents the law and the gospel, binding the two in a perfect whole." -- Ibid. p. 94.

When this testimony and others like it are read, only words are seen; and if by chance they happen to be conceptualized, it is done so within the narrow, limits of human prejudice. When it was written that, "All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting [not imputing] the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent . . ." no mark is made on the mind as to the infinite possibilities that are freely offered and are there for the taking --with no strings attached, but the offer is rejected for the tangible, for what appears as the sure, human way of doing things. Union with the divine is passed by for human "know-how" and "can-do." TOP

p 16 -- NATURE OF THE OPPOSITION -- REJECTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: There was no flaw in the message given, no weakness that would serve to invalidate it, so the message itself was not criticized directly -- but the messengers were.

"Some have turned from the message of the righteousness of Christ to criticize the men and their imperfections, because they do not speak the message of truth with all the grace and polish desirable." -- RH, May 27, 1890.

It was held that because of the "rough exteriors" of the messengers, especially Jones, their message was not acceptable.

"Let no soul complain of the servants of God who have come to them with a heaven-sent message. Do not any longer pick flaws in them, saying, ' They talk too positive; they talk too strongly.' They may talk strongly; but is it not needed?"

"Minister, do not dishonor your God and grieve His Holy Spirit by casting reflections on the ways and manners of the men He would choose. . . .He sees the temperament of the men He has chosen. He knows that none but earnest, firm, determined, strong-feeling men will view this work in its vital importance, and will put such firmness and decision into their testimonies that they will make a break against the barriers of Satan." -- TM pp. 410-413 (1898)

Like criticism of God's men was expressed openly throughout the denomination. But the real motives for rejecting the message were never actually exhibited openly. The leadership was determined to maintain "the old truths" in opposition to the new light. The effects of such actions were far more serious than was supposed.

"No one must be permitted to close the avenue whereby the light to truth shall come to the people. As soon as this shall be attempted, God's Spirit will be quenched." -- Ms. 15, (1888)

"The Spirit of God is departing from many among His people. Many have entered into dark, secret paths, and some will never return. They will continue to stumble to their ruin. They have tempted God, they have rejected light. All the evidence that will ever be given them they have received, and have not heeded. . .Yet many have listened to the truth

p 17 -- spoken in demonstration of the Spirit, and they have not only refused to accept the message, but they have hated the light. These men are parties to the ruin of souls. They have interposed themselves between the heaven-sent light and the people. They have trampled upon the Word of God and are doing despite to His Holy Spirit." -- TM pp. 90-91, (1896) TOP

THE REAL MOTIVE -- PRESERVATION OFAUTHORITY: Again, those foremost in denouncing the messengers -- therefore the message -- were predominately in positions of leadership.

" Twenty years ago God sent to the Seventh-day Adventist denomination the message of the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, to deliver them from any appearance of liability to the charge of legalism. This righteousness of God, which is by faith, was then treated with contempt by the administration of the organized work of the denomination. By the then president of the General Conference, it was flouted as ' the much vaunted doctrine of justification by faith.' At Minneapolis, at the 1888 General Conference, the administration did its very best to have the denomination committed by a vote of the General Conference to the covenant of 'Obey and Live,' to righteousness by works. The attempt failed then; but from that day till this, that spirit and that element have never ceased the endeavor; though when they found that they could not accomplish it just then, they apparently and professedly accepted righteousness by faith. But they never did accept it in the truth that it is. They never did accept it as life and righteousness from God; but only a "doctrine" to be put on a list or strung on a string with "other doctrines," and preached as a "subject," with other doctrinal subjects." -- A. T. Jones, The Everlasting Gospel of God's Everlasting Covenant, p. 31.

The reasons for such hostility must be considered in view of the absence of freedom of conscience within the organized work. Acceptance of the 1888 message meant a complete reassessment of the principles through which the work had come to be directed. The many doing the work were answerable to the few in positions of control, and the work, progressing rapidly as it seemed to be doing, was, in actuality, bogging down.

Christ in His dispute with the Jewish leadership rejected their form of worship, denouncing it as a religion of their own making. Such worship could bind no

p 18 -- one to God. He accused them of teaching for doctrine the commandments of men, being more interested in maintaining their authority over the people -- preserving the religion and the nation -- than in teaching God's truth.

There was little difference between the problem God sought to correct among Adventists in 1888 and that among the Jews two thousand years ago. The papacy operates by the same principles. As a result, organizational leadership essentially holds the keys to heaven and hell in the minds of those who conform to various forms of religious practice. Rome claims the prerogative of God -- the power to bind the individual conscience. Outward compliance to religious fiat is held up as proof of individual fidelity to the codified ideals of denominational Organization, no matter which denomination. Humanity, as a result, becomes anesthetized to the prompting and directing of God's Spirit.

It is not natural for man to worship God. He has no predilection to worship in accordance with God's directing, and because of this disposition, man's own idea of worship is locked into the minds of other men. The same evil disposition encouraged the formation of the papacy, and Roman principles are not limited to Rome. Popery represents the natural course of man and will exist in any church if allowed. Ellen G. White encountered the same problem among Adventists throughout her entire ministry.

The intolerance toward freedom of conscience in the church, and the despotic proclivity of those in positions of trust, have plagued the visible  1    church throughout the ages. Now, the message that was to go to the world, to draw its people into an awareness of their need of Christ as their highest good, to bring them away from worship of their own devising, to encourage them to recognize and place their whole reliance upon the Originator and Sustainer of all that is, came to the very ones who were themselves to bear the message. They needed to be put right and brought to worship in the manner of God's own choosing. They, too, needed to come to depend upon God's unlimited ability to literally do all things.

"For years the church has been looking to man, and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered." -- TM p. 93.

1 - There is one church only and it is not visible in the sense of this world's visible religious organizations. The tendency of a few to lord it over their brethren does not and cannot occur in the true, as yet invisible, chruch.

p 19 -- "Let me entreat our state conferences and our churches to cease putting their dependence upon man and making flesh their arm. Look not to other men to see how they conduct themselves under the conviction of the truth . . . Our churches are weak because the members are educated to look to and depend upon human recourses." -- Ibid., p. 380.

"For years there has been a growing tendency for men placed in positions of responsibility to lord it over God's heritage, thus removing from church members the keen sense of  the need of divine instruction and appreciation of the privilege to counsel with God regarding their duty." -- Ibid. , pp. 477, 488.

"A strange thing has come into our churches. Men who are in positions of responsibility, that they may be wise helpers to their fellow workers, have come to suppose that they were set as kings and rulers in the churches, to say to one brother, do this; to another, do that; and to another, be sure to labor in such and such a way. There have been places where the workers have been told that if they did not follow the instruction of these men of responsibility, their pay from the conference would be withheld." Ibid. , p. 477, 488.

This, then, was at the heart of the matter. The 1888 message was to establish freedom of conscience in the hearts and minds of the Advent people. How could they carry a message to the world if it was a thing foreign to them? Not only were God's people to come into working order as expressed in the ideal of the message, but it was to show in its practical application as well.

The last four statements show that:    1.   The church had lost sight of Jesus, and in doing so had lost their first love.   2.   As a result of losing sight of Christ, the church had to look to herself for authority in the form of her leadership. To fill the void, she laid hold of the "arm of flesh" and embarked upon a course that took her farther and farther from the reason for her existence.   3.   This had the evil effect of bringing to the surface that which lurks in many of us -- the desire to compel and control the reason (and if not the reason, at least the actions) of others.   4.   The end result was the assumption of those in positions of trust to feel that they were authority personified; and they acted as "kings and rulers" over their brethren. Economic regiment was imposed to assure the subjection of their brethren to themselves. It was a text book lesson in how to overrule the Spirit of God and crush freedom of conscience.

p 20 -- Rejection of the 1888 message revealed an aversion and a refusal of those in positions of trust to give God control. Christ is the only safe guide for the conscience. God's Holy Spirit must be allowed to develop the religious conscience and direct each member of Christ's body. Christ is the Head of His Church; He is the motivating force directing each member in edification of His body.

"Do we individually realize our true position, that as God's hired servants we are not to bargain away our stewardship? We have an individual accountability before the heavenly universe to administer the trust committed to us of God. Our own hearts are to be stirred. Our hands are to have something to impart of the income that God entrusts to us. The humblest of us may be agents for God, using our gifts for His name's glory." -- TM p. 362

"The goodness, mercy, and love of God were proclaimed by Christ to Moses. This was God's character. When men who profess to serve God ignore His parental character and depart from honor and righteousness in dealing with their fellowmen, Satan exults, for he has inspired them with his attributes. They are following in the track of Romanism." -- Ibid.

"Those who are enjoined to represent the attributes of the Lord's character step from the Bible platform, and in their own human judgment devise rules and resolutions to force the will of others. The devisings for forcing men to follow the prescriptions of other men are instituting an order of things that overrides sympathy and tender compassion, that blinds the eyes to mercy, justice, and the love of God. Moral influence and personal responsibility are trodden underfoot." -- Ibid.

"The righteousness of Christ by faith has been ignored by some; for it is contrary to their spirit and their whole life experience. Rule, rule, has been their course of action." -- Ibid. p. 363.

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." Mercy and love and wisdom are to be found in God; but many who profess to know Him have turned from the One in whom our hope of eternal life is centered and have educated themselves to depend upon their erring and fallible fellowmen. They are crippled spiritually when they do this; for no man is infallible, and his influence may be misleading. He who trusts in man not only leans upon a broken reed and gives Satan an opportunity to

p 21 -- introduce himself, but he becomes lifted in his estimation of himself and loses the sense of his dependence upon God. Just as soon as man is placed where God should be, he loses his purity, his vigor, his confidence in God's power. Moral confusion results, because his powers become unsanctified and perverted. He feels competent to judge his fellowmen, and he strives unlawfully to be a god over them." -- Ibid. p. 376. TOP

THE NEED FOR REORGANIZATION -- REORGANIZATION 1897-1901: Writing in 1896 from Cooranbong, Australia, E. G. White set the tenor of the time. The message is addressed to the leading brethren in America:     "Oh if I could have the joyful news that the wills and minds of those in Battle Creek who have stood professedly as leaders, were emancipated from the teachings and slavery of Satan, whose captives they have been for so long, I would be willing to cross the broad Pacific to see your faces once more. But I am not anxious to see you with enfeebled perceptions and clouded minds because you have chosen darkness rather than light." -- TM p. 396.

In repeating what may seem as material already covered, it is important to know that in the above mentioned counsel was instruction on the various points by which reform would come.

"The Lord has placed no man as judge, either of the pen or voice of God's workmen . . .Suppose the statements of others do not agree with our ideas. Shall we, for this, pronounce them heresy? Shall we, uninspired men, take the responsibility of placing our stakes, and saying, 'This shall not appear in print?' . . . Will we ever realize that the consciences of men are not given into our command? If you have appointed committees to do the work which has been going on for years in Battle Creek, dismiss them; and remember that God, the infinite God, has not placed men in any such positions as they occupied at Minneapolis, and have occupied since then." -- TM pp. 293-295.

"How sad my heart aches to see presidents of conferences taking the burden of selecting those whom they think they can mold to work with them in the field. They take those who will not differ with them, but will act like mere machines. No president has any right to do this . . . Many presidents of state conferences do not attend to that which is their work -- to see that the elders and deacons of the churches do their work in the

p 22 -- churches, by seeing that a faithful tithe is brought into the treasury." -- Ibid. pp. 304-305

"The arrangement that all money must go through Battle Creek and under the control of the few men in that place is a wrong way of managing. There are altogether too many weighty responsibilities given to a few men, and some do not make God their counselor. " -- Ibid. p. 321

"The churches would realize one hundredfold more of the workings of the Holy Spirit if ministers would educate all to bear in mind that they have a God nigh at hand, and not afar off, and that they can honor God by seeking Him for help and wisdom just where they are. They will then have ability which will strengthen the General Conference." -- Ibid. p. 326

A popish strand can be seen throughout the whole, centering on the same problem -- man asserting himself over his fellowman, man taking the place of God, man hostile toward freedom of conscience and individuality in religion. It was the penchant of many in leadership positions to impose upon those they considered to be subject to them the dictates of their own wills. Anyone whose thoughts conflicted with the plans of the leadership were not considered; in fact, questions were raised as to their faithfulness -- not to the truth, but to the Organization and its leadership. Those who would not differ with them were chosen because they would move with machine-like precision at command.

The control of those in positions of trust, who were convinced they were to be guides of the whole, only served to confuse the work God wanted done. Inspired counsel continually appealed to the workers in all positions not to depend on their fellowmen but rather look to God as their source of strength, the only one able to effectively coordinate His work.

When those who claim to be of the Remnant people place their trust in something, or someone, other than God, they have, in truth, violated the first commandment. Can they, then, justly claim to be God's commandment-keeping people? If they are not keeping the commandments, how can they say they have the faith of Jesus? And how are such a people ever to be able to give what they claim to be their divine commission -- the Loud Cry? Will their unfaithfulness force God to wait until they come to their senses before He allows last day events to proceed? Did he wait for ancient Israel or Judah or the Jews of Christ's time to "come into working order" before He allowed events to proceed? Or have the "nations," Seventh-day Adventists included, been allotted a proscribed measure of time and when that time has run its course, will other measures come

p 23 -- into play? Is God waiting for Seventh-day Adventists, in their present organized condition, to come to "obedience" before He orders the return of Christ? God waits for no one, and the person who thinks that God is waiting for humanity does not understand the prophecies of Daniel nor has he read Luke 21: 20-28. TOP

THE 1901 GENERAL CONFERENCE SESSION -- A VERY SHORT PERIOD OF REORGANIZATION: Conditions for the free development of the work under the guidance of the Spirit of God continued to worsen after the Minneapolis meeting. It is the burden of the book, Testimonies to Ministers, to reprove Adventist church leadership for oppressing their brethren and for the disunity and disorganization brought into the work by their policies.

While the Organizational machinery was humming along it had become so man centered and corrupt that the only way left to salvage it was to completely overturn and reorganize it along the lines revealed in 1888. For there to be change, reformation would have to occur on a denominational-wide basis, from top to bottom, involving every phase of the work.

In an unedited pre-session presentation in the library of Battle Creek College during the 1901 General Conference Session E. G. White, again as in 1897, stressed the need for reorganization. After the session was called to order and opened for business, Mrs. White was recognized to address the assembled brethren. She appealed to them to do the things that should have been done "years ago, especially ten years ago," when they were assembled in Conference, when the Spirit of power came into their meeting testifying that God was ready to work for His people if they would come into "working order."

"The brethren assented to the light God had given; but there were those connected with our institutions, especially with the Review and Herald office and the Conference, who brought in elements of unbelief, so that the light that was given was not acted upon. It was assented to, but no special change was made to bring about such a condition of things that the power of God could be revealed among His people.

"Year after year the same acknowledgment was made, but the principles which exalt a people were not woven into the work. God gave them clear light as to what they should do and what they should not do, but they departed from that light; and it is a marvel to me that we stand in as much prosperity as we do today. It is because of the great mercy of our God,

p 24 -- not because of our righteousness, but that His name should not be dishonored in the world." -- EGW, 1901 General Conference Bulletin, p. 23.

After presenting the Christian's inheritance from the first chapter of Peter, she continued:    "To gain this inheritance, you must be incorruptible and undefiled. You are not to be perverted in any way from the straight lines which God has laid down." -- Ibid.

Then she asked the question:    "Why, I ask you, are men who have not brought self into subjection allowed to stand in important positions of truth and handle sacred things? They have grown to the stature of men, but they have brought with them their childish tendencies. God does not want any such thing. He has made provision for all to have in them the grace of Christ. No others will enter heaven. There has been one rebellion there, and there will not be another. We have been given an opportunity to get rid of every kind of rebellion. -- Ibid.

"Many of you have been educating yourselves to talk with human beings instead of talking with God. You have built up barriers against the principles that should have been carried into every part of the Lord's vineyard. . .There are those here that have traditions, and they stand just as the Pharisees stood. Notwithstanding, they may say that unity and love, compassion and tenderness are correct principles; yet in their own line of practice they cling to the old traditions.' You are to stand by the old traditions,' they say. But what we want is God's traditions. We want to have the living principles of heaven brought into our lives. -- Ibid. p. 24.

"I would rather lay a child of mine in his grave than have him go there (publishing work) to see these principles mangled and perverted. Oh, my very soul is drawn out in these things! Men who have not learned to submit themselves to the control and discipline of God are not competent to train youth, to deal with human minds. It is just as much an impossibility for them to do this work as it would be for them to make a world. That these men should stand in a sacred place to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be, that is past. What we want now is a reorganization. We want to begin at the foundation and to build upon a different principle." -- Ibid. p. 25. (Emphasis supplied.)

p 25 -- "according to the light that has been given me -- greater strength must be brought into the managing force of the Conference. But this will not be done by intrusting responsibilities to men who have had light poured upon them year after year for the last ten or fifteen years, and yet have not heeded the light that God has given them. . .Here are the very words that we want to bring into our life practice. The men that have long stood in positions of trust, while disregarding the light that God has given, are not to be depended upon. God wants them to be removed. He wants a new life element brought into the publishing institutions. There are those who have stood as managers and yet have not managed after God's order. Some have served on committees here and committees there and have felt free to dictate just what the committee should say and do, claiming that those who did not carry out these ideas were sinning against Christ." -- Ibid. pp. 25, 26. (Emphasis supplied.)

She then spoke of the example set by the children of Israel. In desiring to be like the other nations they thought they should have a king -- not God -- over them. Their history records the disastrous results of that choice, and it was, she emphasized, not to be the experience of modern Israel. As to control of the work she said:     "Now I want to say, God has not put any kingly power in our ranks to control this or that branch of the work. The work has been greatly restricted by the efforts to control it in every line. Here is a vineyard presenting its barren places that have received no labor. And if one should start out to till these places in the name of the Lord, unless he should get the permission of the men in a little circle of authority, he would receive no help. But God means that His workers shall have help. If a hundred should start out on a mission to these destitute fields, crying unto God, He would open the way before them. Let me tell you, if your heart is in the work, and you have faith in God, you need not depend upon the sanction of any minister or any people; if you go right to work in the name of the Lord, in a humble way doing what you can to teach the truth, God will vindicate you. If the work had not been so restricted by an impediment here, and an impediment there, and on the other side an impediment, it would have gone forward in its majesty. " -- Ibid. p. 26.

During this same conference A. T. Jones also had much to say in regard to the way the organized work had been handled in the past and of better methods in

p 26 -- which to conduct it in the future. In an evening sermon he spoke to the delegation concerning organization from the Head:     "God's organization must come from the Head, which is Jesus Christ, the head of the church; and it reaches to the individual. Now see the step that was taken in General Conference today. I want you to see how certainly that can never stop until it has reached each individual and brought him face to face with God, to stand there alone only with God. There was presented today, and endorsed, an appeal of local self-government in a certain place. Very good. And then it was said here that that was to be adopted in other parts. Very good. And when that district shall be organized, there will be a local self-governing district; but the same process must go farther -- each Conference must be a self-governing local conference, and each church must be a local self-governing church, and each individual must be a local self-governing individual. But no man in this world can be a self-governing individual except as God in Jesus Christ is his Head, and the man is governed by the power of God. The only self-government, true self-government, in this world is a man standing in the liberty wherewith Jesus Christ has made him; free, master of his worst self and living in the divine self, which is Jesus Christ. Then he has met the enmity, the evil, and has it underfoot; and there he stands in the heavenborn liberty with which God has made him free, -- a free, self-governing individual, as God made him to be in the beginning, and as He makes him to be when He makes him again."

"Now do you see that this step that we took today never can stop short of that? Is not that plain enough? Then, brethren, the thing for each one in this Conference to do is to get there just as quickly as possible. Each one, then, must have set up in himself, and must be in himself, a local self-government, to the glory of God. But no man can ever do that, as I have said, except by the power of God in him; and no man can do that and remain a local self-governing man except he stands alone with God, apart from everyone else, and everything else, in the wide universe. Now that does not separate him from all other people. Our truest unity with other people is our whole loneliness with God. Our truest fellowship, our sincerest love, our tenderest sympathy, reaching out to all people is found only in standing absolutely alone, separate from all other things, with God."

"I say again, the step taken today should never stop until every Seventh-day Adventist is brought face to face with God. And for what shall we be

p 27 -- brought face to face with God? To find our bearings, which we have been exhorted to find. And having found our bearings, then let God in Christ be the Head, and the grand organizer." -- GCB, 1901, p. 103.

In an earlier talk, Jones used the organization of the human body as an illustration for the correct organization of the church.

"This organization in which we ourselves are, our bodies which God has made us, He has presented before us an everlasting illustration of the organization of the church. And it is exceeding carelessness, and from that, blindness, that cannot see the organization of the church, what it must be, when every day each one carries about with him and is constantly using, this body, which is composed of many members. Every one of these members is actuated by the head; and no two of them ever come into quarrel, ever have any difference of opinion, or act in contrary ways. Or if they should by any means act in contrary ways, as the hands do to break a string, it is only apparently; they are actually pulling together. You simply cannot have schism in the body which God has organized from the head. So then, since God calls for reorganization, let not a soul here be afraid that there is going to be confusion, or schism, or anything of the kind. There is no danger whatever except among those who hold not the Head." -- GCB, 1901, pp. 41, 42.

Then he asked:     "Who is the church? -- Those who look to the Head; those who are joined to the Head. Then there is no difference how many members there may be, though we are only on one side of the earth, and another on the other side of the earth, we two members will move together, and act together, because the Head, Christ Jesus, the Lord, is organizing both. His will actuates both. He is the one who is doing that in both." -- Ibid.

The abuse of authority was the central issue of reorganization. Since the work had been impeded in all fields by such abuse, a sound understanding of true authority, and from what source it originates, was critical to the discussion. Jones continues:      "Position, place, never give authority. Authority qualifies for the place. . . I will say it again; it must be a watchword for everyone in the conference. Position never gives authority. Whomsoever God has called to the president of the General Conference the next term, when he shall have

p 28 -- been chosen and shall stand before us here elected, he will have no more authority than he has right now. And we do not yet know who he is. Place, position never bestows authority. But authority that a man already has from God, which God has put upon him: and if he has not that authority before he enters the place, he has not the authority when he is in the place. The view that place gives authority is precisely the principle of papal infallibility. The pope is not infallible before he is elected. Nobody claims that. He is only a cardinal before he is elected; but as soon as he is elected, then he is infallible; then he is inspired by the Holy Ghost because he holds his place. That is the papacy." -- Ibid.

Jones then fixed correctly the source of true authority:      "Christianity is that God clothes men with authority; and whether they have any place or position or not, it is all right, they have authority. . .The man who is connected with the Head, the man who serves God, the man who lives in Jesus Christ, can never lose his place; for his place is with Jesus Christ, under the wings of the Almighty, and he is same. Where was Jesus' authority? -- when He did not have any position or place? How could He have authority? It was in the truth which He preached from God. All men's authority, all true and right authority in this world comes to him through the truth of God which he receives." -- Ibid.

Jones then used Christ's contrast between the princes of the Gentiles and the princes of God.

"' The Princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you.' What do the princes of the world do? They exercise authority. Now God has never given to any man in His church authority to exercise authority. That is the difference between the princes of the world and the princes of God; for we are princes of God. The princes of the world exercise authority; the princes of God have authority, and it exercises itself. Then there is no dominion among the princes of God. There is no lordship. . . there is none of the kingly spirit which was described to us. No, there are no territorial boundaries among the princes of God, -- that this is my conference. It is God's. So, the princes of this world who have no real authority exercise authority. The princes of God have true authority but exercise no authority. The princes of God have authority, and that is enough to suit them; and God takes care of the rest so that no one is greatest, but only one is Master, and all of us are brethren." -- Ibid.

p 29 -- After instruction from E. G. White had been given to the delegates in regard to the imperative for change in Conference management, A. G. Daniells moved that the usual rules and precedents for arranging and transacting the business of the Conference be suspended and that a General Committee be appointed which would constitute a Central Committee to do the work of the Conference in preparing that which would be brought before the delegates. (GCB, 1901, p. 27.) After the motion was reread, opportunity was given the delegation for questions.

W. W. Prescott, seeing the folly of a select few doing the work of the whole, had this interesting comment:     "Would not this proposal constitute a committee, the majority of whom would be the same persons that we now have in office? If it would, I cannot see that this particular combination would remove the difficulty." -- Ibid. p. 28.

Daniells arose to the defense of his motion:      "It is true that persons who are named for this committee are holding offices on different boards in different parts of the world, but it also provides that others shall be called in to join these brethren in their work." -- Ibid.

Seemingly defiant of the instruction from Mrs. White that God wanted all who stood in positions of trust, in positions of leadership and had disregarded the light sent them, to be removed from their posts, Daniells made this bizarre comment:     "If I understand correctly, one leading feature of the instruction given us is the change of methods, the change of manner of doing, the way of preparing our business, the way of dealing with things and not that men altogether are to be swept away. It is not a condemnation of men as men, but of methods and principles which must be swept away." -- Ibid. p. 28.

"It seems to me that we are not called upon to sweep away every man who has held a position during the last two years, but we are to sweep away every wrong principle under which we have been working." -- Ibid.

p 30 -- Satisfied with that, Prescott yielded the floor to Dr. E. J. Waggoner, who was then recognized from the Chair. Waggoner stated:     "Without making any strictures upon the motion, or saying anything regarding the propriety of it or the membership of it, it seems to me that we are in great danger of going over the same road in a different rut." -- Ibid.

Waggoner suggested that before they entered into anything like routine business, they should at that moment seek the Lord diligently to know what thing would be right for them to do. He continued:     "We say we should have a representative body. But the representative body is here. I cannot say that that thing would be done if we would begin straightaway; I cannot say it would not. For my part, I do not know. But here is the representative body. Why should this representative body, the first thing, centralize and put the business into the hands of some committee to prepare and execute instead of doing the thing for which it was sent here to do?" -- Ibid.

It is astonishing that in spite of E. G. White's counsel that God wanted the "men that have long stood in positions of trust" removed, Daniells twisted what was said and interpreted it to mean, "the manner of doing, the way of preparing our business, the way of dealing with things and not the men," were to be removed. Daniells' motion was passed after a brief period of discussion.

Leaders, apart from God, first shape the manner of doing things according to their own wisdom which, in turn, taints the work and workers. Whatever attempt is put forth to correct the manner of doing things can accomplish nothing if the men responsible for the corruption are allowed to remain.

It remains ironic that a centralized body was formed, by men God wanted removed, to do the work of reorganization on principles which, if justly understood, were diametrically opposed to centralization in any form. TOP

SOME POSITIVE ACTION TAKEN: The need for reorganization on right principles was acknowledged and had momentum for the moment regardless of the conniving of the old guard, who were anxious to maintain things as they were. So action was taken by the general session that constitutionally started things in the right

p 31 -- direction and changes were initiated that shifted the structure of power from the few at the head of the work to a wider base at the union and local levels.

A significant departure from what was the norm should be noted: There was no provision made for the position of President of the General Conference. A chairman would preside over the enlarged committee with the prohibition against any one man serving as chairman for more than twelve months. The members of the committee also had the option of selecting another of their number to be chairman of the board should the acting chairman become unacceptable for any reason.

The thrust of the conference was to break the power of those who envisioned themselves as imbued with authority and who utilized it to rule their brethren. It was done by action of the General Conference in session -- by action of voting -- by constitutional legislation, which is fine as far as it goes; but the only real change that is effective is done in the human heart.

The change in the constitution, which in theory set down guidelines for the administration of the business of the Organization and its conduct, could not be put into practice unless the human agent was willing in spirit (and in the Spirit) to abide by those guide lines; and if that person were willing to, in spirit, do this, it spoke, first, of a certain molding from above.

Much could probably be said concerning the changes that were made -- changes that, had they been put into practice, might have led to still further changes that could have simplified the work even more and finally established it under the full control of God's Spirit. That, of course, is the ideal; reality and human nature are quite another thing. Primitive godliness and human nature unaffected by the Spirit of God are at war with each other. One is steeped in faith the other is mired in self-reliance.

Nevertheless, the Spirit of the Lord was present at the conference, and the things initiated under God's direction prompted the following response from E. G. White:     "We have been trying to organize the work on right lines. The Lord sent His angels to minister unto us who are heirs of salvation, telling us how to carry the work forward. This is not our work. God has brought it about."

"I was never more astonished in my life than at the turn things have taken at this meeting. This is not our work; God has brought it about.

p 32 -- Instruction regarding this was presented to me; but until the sum was worked out at this meeting, I could not comprehend this instruction. God's angels have been walking up and down in this congregation. I want everyone of you to remember this, and I want you to remember also that God has said that He will heal the wounds of His people."

"Who do you suppose has been among us since this Conference began? Who has kept away the objectionable features that generally appear in such a meeting? Who has walked up and down the aisles of the Tabernacle? The God of heaven and His angels. And they did not come here to tear you in pieces, but to give you right and peaceable minds. They have been among us to work the works of God, to keep back the powers of darkness, that the work of God designed should be done and should not be hindered." -- GCB, 1901, pp. 464 - 468.

Despite this, the Conference was, as she said in another place, the greatest disappointment in her life. TOP

THE 1903 GENERAL CONFERENCE -- THE 1903 GENERAL CONFERENCE -- A REVERSAL: During the period leading up to and including the reorganization (1897 - 1901) A. T. Jones, in particular, saw a glimmer of the end to which God was directing the church. If the hand of the Lord can be seen in the work of the 1901 General Conference, then the new Constitution , seen in the guidelines worked out during the Conference, revealed in part the thing God wanted done. And that end could only be what God, by causing the 1888 message to go forth, was trying to advance in the church -- the righteousness of Christ, which is, in reality, the third angel's message, the message of individual dependence and accountability -- heart, mind, soul and spirit, to God alone.

The practical application of these concepts throughout 1901 and 1902 resulted in a proposal to reverse the reformatory steps taken. This occured at the 1903 General Conference session. The minority of the Committee on Plans and

p 33 -- Constitution presented a protest, in writing, against any reversal of the 1901 Constitution.

"The minority of your Committee on Plans and Constitution beg leave to submit that the Constitution proposed by the majority of the Committee appears to us to be so subversive to the principles of organization given to us at the General Conference of 1897 and 1901, and embodied in the present Constitution and this, before that Constitution or the organization according to it, has ever had adequate trial. We therefore recommend that the Constitution of 1901 be given a fair trial before it be annihilated." GCB, 1903, pp. 146, 147.

Those who supported the minority position were striving to retain at least two important principles that were included in the 1901 Constitution. First, they believed that the shorter the Constitution, less regulation was possible -- a freer working atmosphere would lead to more efficient organization. As it was stated in the Minority Report, the proposed "new" Constitution would be a reversal of that. Second, the principle of "self-government," subject to the Spirit of God, covered in depth by Jones, was the primary factor if the 1901 Constitution was to operate effectively.

"The Conference Committee governs for itself, acts for itself, attends to its own business, and lets other people's business alone. The Union Conference Committee itself is a self-governing committee. It governs itself, not the conference, not any of the churches, nobody in the conference. The General Conference Committee is to be a self-governing committee, not to govern any other conference, or anybody at all but itself. And this Constitution opens the way for the committee -- I do not say that the members intended it -- it opens the way for them to encroach and govern somebody besides themselves. What I am after is that we shall have a constitution that shall everlastingly make that thing impossible; and the present Constitution does it." -- Ibid. P. 154.

The work of the committee was then outlined:     "What is the work of the committee for? What is its work? Its work is to work, and not to try to boss somebody else that is at work, whether conference committee, Union Conference Committee, General Conference Committee, or what not, and not try to superintend somebody else at work, but to work, so that, when the committee meets, we meet as a committee. We study the work each one comes in from his field, and in

p 34 -- committee he reports the conditions in his field, reports the needs of that field, and then all report. We study it together, and discuss together, -- our own work, and somebody else's. Then, when the committee is adjourned, we go out to carry on our own work, and not try to see whether somebody else is doing his work right. And when one of the committee men out in the field meets a crisis, he does not sit down and write up to somebody at headquarters, and ask him what he shall do. He calls in responsible men in that place, in that community, who are upon the ground, and counsels with them, brings them into the work, and gets them interested in the work and carries on the work there with the men who are there." -- Ibid. p. 155.

The power of the Committee to direct or regulate the work, beyond that of counseling, was non-existent under the 1901 Constitution. On that point, a question was asked of Jones, "What would you do with a man that could not preach just as the committee thought he should?" He replied:     "Let him preach the gospel. I do not know what is in that question; but you all know what to do. A man is not to preach for the committee; he is not employed by the committee; he does not belong to the committee. He preaches for Jesus Christ; he belongs to Jesus Christ; and the committee must belong to Jesus Christ, and to serve Christ, and let the other man alone, and let him preach the gospel which Christ gives." -- Ibid. p. 156.

Those in the majority rebuffed the minority report with the following points: First, the idea advocated by the minority less regulation would not result in a more perfect organization but rather a state of utter disorganization, "much like that which we started with in the first place." Secondly, the quorum of the General Conference Committee was not to be called to control the general work but rather to meet with the available members in a particular area for the purpose of counsel relative to the work in that area; and, thirdly, as expressed by G. I. Butler:     "The difficulty in all these things, I believe, is in regard to the principles being put into practice by the men that are placed in office. If they are the servants of God, if their hearts are fully submitted to Him, if they have enough of that beautiful and important grace of humility, which is the foundation of every grace, and have the fear of God before them, if they have sufficient respect for the Testimonies of the Spirit of God not only to believe those that seem to favor their views, but to believe those that do not meet their views, or do not quite see into, and will work and counsel

p 35 -- with our brethren, and follow out the principles that are taught in the Testimonies, I cannot see a particle of danger in our old system of organization." -- Ibid. p. 163.

The essence of this assertion is that it is not a constitution, or any particular system of organization that allows departure from right principles, or that would prevent such a departure from gaining entrance into the work of God, but rather the principles of character at the heart of an individual which are revealed in the fruit of his doing that determines how any constitution is viewed and how any organization is operated. It is the spiritual condition of the men involved that determines the direction of the work.

The basis of the complaint offered by the minority in favor of less regulation, and a constitution worded to secure, as much as possible, such a condition, was indicative of past abuses practiced by those in control. If the natural heart refused to be controlled by the Spirit of God, then there must be some protection offered the suborned from such abuse; and a constitution allowing less regulation was seen as a vehicle -- though imperfect -- in which this end might be partially achieved. TOP

THE 1901 CONSTITUTION AMENDED: When all was said and done, the amended Constitution was voted upon and adopted, thereby reversing the work of reform initiated by the Spirit of God in the years 1888 through 1901. If the will of God for His people, and His work done on this earth by them, is expressed in the voice of the General Conference when in session, then which voice is correct? The voice of 1901 or the voice of 1903? Both claim to be right, and yet they are directly opposed. The reforms of 1901 are attested to by E. G. White as being heaven-inspired. Where is there similar testimony, or any testimony, in regard to the actions taken in 1903 as being heaven-inspired?

Volume Eight of the Testimonies contains a letter written by E. G. White that is found under the chapter heading, "Shall We Be Found Wanting?" It describes the condition of the church at the time of the General Conference session that year. It is dated April 21, 1903:     "Our position in the world is not what it should be. We are far from where we should have been had our Christian experience been in harmony with the light and the opportunities given us, had we from the beginning constantly pressed onward and upward. Had we walked in the light that has been given us, had we followed on to know the Lord,

p 36 -- our path would have grown brighter and brighter. But many of those who have had special light are so conformed to the world that they can scarcely be distinguished from worldlings. They do not stand forth as God's peculiar people, chosen and precious. It is difficult to discern between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not." -- 8T, p. 247.

"In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence: ' Found wanting.' By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged." -- Ibid.

"Who can truthfully say: 'Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments are unspotted by the world?' I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: 'Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character? How is the faithful city become an harlot?' whence the divine presence and glory have departed! For this cause there is weakness, and strength is lacking." -- Ibid. p. 250.

What occured in 1903, at the General Conference, that made the church, the "faithful city, become a harlot?" What made God's house a "house of merchandise" and "a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed?"

There is no mystery if one is willing to view the state of affairs in the church at that time. Humanity demonstrates again and again, with appalling regularity, a penchant to shove God aside and establish themselves, in His place, at the head, as rulers and sovereigns.

In turning away from the reformatory steps taken in 1901 the leadership set the church on a course that could end only in ruin. God's revealed will, heaven's established principles, the idea that God can best direct His work and His workers, practices that were to be woven into the work, were brazenly set aside because human nature unaffected by the Spirit of God cannot trust God. A. T. Jones spoke on the matter of control:

p 37 -- "One object of the Organization under the Constitution [1901] that we had was that the work should be unified, and that the Conference Committee should be the unifying agency instead of the controlling agency; it would be an advisory and unifying agency of the different departments of the work of the cause." -- GCB, 1903, p. 165.

E. A. Sutherland:     "Now it seems to me the thing we are to fear more than anything else in this is the danger of centralization and consolidating. It is a fact that during the last two years, in spite of everything, there has been a tendency to centralize. . .and we know that the work has been retarded because of that spirit." -- Ibid. pp. 167, 168.

E. G. White:     "God's hand must hold every worker, and must guide and control every worker. Men are not to make rules and regulations for their fellowmen. The Bible has given the rules and regulations that we are to follow. We are to study the Bible and learn from it the duty of man to his fellowman. ' The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.' " -- Ibid. p. 87.

If the reversal that took place during the 1903 Conference was a step in the right direction, as some say, another question must be answered. Why, after that Conference, did Mrs. White call for reformation? As with all such calls, the promise of blessing is conditioned on obedience:     "Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself. When she resists the evil and chooses the good, when she seeks God with all humility and reaches her high calling in Christ, standing on the platform of eternal truth and by faith laying hold upon the attainments prepared for her, she will be healed. She will appear in her God-given simplicity and purity, separate from earthly entanglements, showing that the truth has made her free indeed. Then her members will indeed be the chosen of God, His representatives." -- 8T, p. 250. (Emphasis supplied.) TOP

ORGANIZATION AFTER 1903: By 1907 the Organization of Seventh-day Adventists was firmly committed to a policy of control and denominationalism. Individuality in

p 38 -- religion was in decline. An example of this drift may be seen in the Review and Herald, dated May 2, 1907 in an article dealing with organization. This article was one in a series which was indicative of the contest between J. H. Kellogg and the General Conference administration, with A. G. Daniells firmly ensconced as president and well along the way in establishing a dynasty that would hold the denomination in a vice-like grip into the 1920's.

The Review and Herald article, entitled, "The Order and Organization of the Apostolic Church," sought to draw a parallel between the apostolic system of organization and the organizational system of the Seventh-day Adventists. The work of Peter and the other apostles was cited, and then this eye-opening conclusion was reached:     "'And it came to pass, as Peter went throughout all parts he came down also to the saints that dwelt at Lydda.' His work by this scripture seemed to be going about through "all parts," visiting the "saints" and preaching in new places. But Jerusalem was his headquarters. He was one of the elders there. Therefore, in Peter, as in leading brethren now whom God is using, these companies of believers were united in the Holy Ghost as brethren banded together to carry the gospel into all the world." R & H, May 2, 1907. (Emphasis supplied.)

It is a mania, among those who organize apart from God's order, to be unified. It is the one unchanging maxim in all of their writing and speaking. Since it is impossible for them to do this inwardly, as it would be done in the Spirit, they attempt the same by force -- by the codification of doctrinal belief. At the same time, attention is directed to the leading men in whom they say "God" uses to unify believers in the Holy Spirit. Christ as Head of His body, the church, is wholly usurped in the true spirit of Rome.

As the Review and Herald writer (cited above) attempted to show that the Seventh-day Adventist Church was organized along the lines of the Apostolic Christian church, A. G. Daniells, in a turn-around, published an article in the Review and Herald, dated two weeks later, extending the idea that the Organization of the Seventh-day Adventists resembled, not the Christian, but the Mosaic:     "This comparison might be carried still further, but what has been pointed out will prove sufficient to make it plain that there is a very close resemblance between the simple, complete, and efficient system of organization provided by Moses, and the organization worked out for the

p 39 -- remnant church called out by the threefold message of Revelation 14: 6-14." RH, May 16, 1907.

A. T. Jones, with his usual lack of euphemisms, responded with the following:     "There is, then, no possible room for question that the form of organization of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination is professedly that of the Mosaic order. And this to the exclusion of the Christian order..."

"The truth is that the Mosaic order of organization was no more for the direction and the government of the church in New Testament times, than that Moses himself is for the direction and government of the church in New Testament times. Moses himself was for the Mosaic or Old Testament times."

"To go back to Moses and to the Mosaic order for any such purpose as that which is set forth in that official statement as to the organization of the Seventh-day Adventist, is nothing else than to abandon Christ and the Christian order wholly." -- A. T. Jones, An Appeal, p. 34 - 35.

The legacy of 1903 is among Adventists even today. Ask any Adventist what the Church's organization is modeled after and he will most likely say, the Mosaic order. And so, confusion reigns. Moses' veil is still in place. What was in its infancy then, has fully matured. The Movement has become a church. Its working apparatus has mutated into a formal, legal, corporate entity. Gone is the time when its only creed was the cry of Luther, "Sola Scriptura," -- the Bible alone. Its sole reason for existence was the uplifting of humanity by the declaration of a very special message; but that high calling could not be maintained and a downward spiral began. Church and Organization became confused in people's minds; Organization deviated from the path God set before it and polluted the church in the process. The "thing" ceased its primary objective of service to that of being served.

"The religion of Christ is neither inter-national nor national, nor denomin-national. It is individual and universal. And in every denomination, and in no denomination, as well as in every nation, he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted with Him." -- An Appeal, p. 20.

Denominationalism extends its control over the means and manner in which working for God is done. Individuals who desire to give God service are

p 40 -- crowded into the narrow confines of human rules and regulations, and the latitude that the Spirit of God needs to develop in them is greatly restricted. God's influence upon them is much diminished. The delight and satisfaction derived from serving Him is sullied. Religious freedom is lost.

The cry, "God's work must be organized if anything is to be done," is a clear signal that those who make that cry, and to some extent those who respond to it, have no faith that God Himself is capable of organizing and directing "God's work."

On page six of the October 4, 1906 edition of the Review and Herald, an article appears which was taken from the Interior, a Presbyterian journal. It was quoted:     "Let the descendants of the reformers, who love the Work, love God above any word of man, hold steadfastly to the Protestant vantage ground. Let us never suppose we can buttress the testimony of the Bible by the dictum of the church."

The Review and Herald then shot back this barbed retort:      "This is, the platform of the Advent Movement.   2   A consistent adherence to this principle will result in a return to all those truths which were perverted or lost during the time when human authority took the place of divine commands. If the dictum and the tradition of the church should be set aside, the Lord's Sabbath would be observed by every Christian believer. What glorious results would follow if Presbyterians as well as other professed Protestants would be true to the Protestant principle."

With the sole exception of the Sabbath (and it is lightly regarded), conditions have, with certainty, devolved in the Adventist church to the point that if the same statement were made today, it could only be termed to be the basest hypocrisy.

2 -- It is interesting that Seventh-day Adventists, even at this time, still considered their effort to be a "movement" as opposed to a "denomination." The concept of a movement -- an entity with no real visible structure -- has been set asidfe for the idea of a "world church" -- highly structured and visibly organized.

p 41 -- Blank page.

This Book is Continued

at:  Under Which Banner - Part 2 of 4

©2001-2017  TOP