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- William H. Grotheer


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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.]


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

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

- William H. Grotheer

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



Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary

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


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

Bible As History - Werner Keller

Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts

Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith

Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson

Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones

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

Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen

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

Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen

Sanctuary Service, The
- M. L. Andreasen

So Much In Common - WCC/SDA

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

Under Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy


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by Jon A.Vannoy printed 1982

Revised winter 1998-1999

( Part 2 of 4)







THE ALPHA AND OMEGA OF APOSTACY: AN ATTACK AGAINST THE FOUNDATION PRINCIPLES: There was a time in the Adventist denomination when interest in events past was such that members formed opinions, took positions, argued points and were deeply stirred by a vital interest in the direction their church was taking.

Most would have agreed that the denomination had endured a period of turmoil in the past but that the problem had been rectified and the church was once again on the right course. A lesser number would argue that the course had been deviated from and the church had not, in all the years since, recovered its direction. Nevertheless, nearly all were cognizant of the events of the past.

Remove the history of a people and they can be led anywhere. So it is with modern Adventists. They do not know the way the Lord has led their forefathers: As a result they, themselves, have no working knowledge of the points of faith established in the past that distinguishes Seventh-day Adventists from people of other religions; and it should be no wonder that they have been so easily lured away by every wind of doctrine. Such a condition makes fertile ground for the establishment and growth of apostasy.

Some consider the greatest difficulty encountered by Seventh-day Adventists was the conflict centered in the dialogue over the righteousness of Christ as brought forth at Minneapolis in 1888, and that the crisis was met and rectified, especially during the years 1901 through 1903. While the crisis of 1888 was the greatest reformatory issue the church has yet encountered, it was not a singular event. It was, however, the one major indicator in a string of events that pointed at the direction the church was taking since it ceased being a movement.

The problem of man and Organization in the place of God was the issue then and it is the issue now. The rebellion that was exposed at Minneapolis and that would not be put away, prepared the way for a condition of apostasy that will not only endure, but gain in strength until the very return of Christ the second

p 43 -- time. The Alpha was the beginning of this apostasy. The Omega is the end of the same apostasy.

The Alpha was an indirect result of collaboration between the Seventh-day Adventists and the Seventh-day Baptists at the administrative level, for working out doctrinal differences in preparation for a merger of the two denominations. J. H. Kellogg took part in those meetings. During that time Kellogg met and married a Seventh-day Baptist woman who never converted to Adventist beliefs. Her influence, together with his association both personally and professionally with other Seventh-day Baptists certainly had a part in the formation of his ideas embodying the Holy Spirit.   3

There is a parallel in this. It will be seen that the Omega, too, resulted from personal contacts from outside the denomination. This occurred between Seventh-day Adventists at the leadership level and highly influential Evangelicals during the 1950's. While these meetings did not take place for the purposes of merger, as with the Seventh-day Baptists, they did have that effect. The purpose and result was to make Seventh-day Adventists considerably "less" Adventist and more acceptable in doctrinal distinctiveness to the Sunday-keeping religious groups.

It is thought that the Alpha of deadly heresies was pantheism. Not so. Pantheism as it is understood today should be more suitably identified as "animism"; and those who adhere to it believe all objects, animals, plants and minerals share the same spirit. That is not what Kellogg concluded to be "Spirit." So what is Kellogg's idea of Spirit?

To know what the Alpha is one must understand the issue. The issue was John Harvey Kellogg's peculiar "sentiment regarding the personality of God," as Ellen White put it. His teaching was considered a very serious threat to the truths established after the passing of time in 1844.

3 -- From a document authored by David L. Bauer while attending Andrews University. An interesting sidelight connected to the Alpha and Omega, and was undoubtedly a large part of the cause for the fractious bickering that later turned to open hostility between the "Kelloggites" and the opposing camps of Daniells and W. C. White, had to do with an affair of the heart. Willie White successfully wooed and married J. H. Kellogg's Seventh-day Adventist girlfriend. It is doubtful that a gilted Kellogg would easily "forgive and forget."

p 44 -- "You are not definitely clear on the personality of God, which is everything to us as a people. You have virtually destroyed the Lord God Himself." -- EGW to JHK, Letter 300, 1903.   4

"The sentiments in Living Temple regarding the personality of God have been received even by men who have had a long experience in the truth . . . That those who we thought sound in the faith should have failed to discern the specious, deadly influence of the science of evil, should alarm us as nothing else has alarmed us. . .Those doctrines, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian economy. . .They make of no effect the truth of heavenly origin, and rob the people of God of their past experiences, giving them instead a false science." -- Series "B" No. 7, p. 37.

It appears that the ideas contained in Living Temple concerning the personality of God were so menacing that if embraced, they would not only "rob the people of God, and of their past experiences," but "sweep away the whole Christian economy and make of no effect the truth of heavenly origin." What did Kellogg write?

"Suppose now, we have a boot before us -- not an ordinary boot, but a living boot, and as we look at it, we see little boots crowding out at the seams, pushing out at the toes, dropping off at the heals, and leaping out at the top -- Scores, hundreds, thousands of boots, a swarm of boots continually issuing from our living boot ---would we not be compelled to say, ' there is a shoe maker in the boot?' So there is present in the tree a power which creates and maintains it, a tree maker in the tree." -- Living Temple, p. 29. (Emphasis supplied.)

Here a paradox presents itself. Ellen White condemned Kellogg's ideas; but Kellogg maintained that he was teaching only that which Ellen White herself had taught for years. The only way to sort this seemingly incongruity into an order that can be understood is to examine what Kellogg meant by, . . ."there is present in the tree a power which creates and maintains it, a tree maker in the tree."

4 -- The source of the exchanges between J. H. Kellogg and the denominational leaders was, in part, taken from, Old Paths, a publication of Smyrna Gospel Ministeries located in Welch, West Virginia. Allen Stump, editor.

p 45 -- During the Autumn Council of 1903, the leading brethren in attendance prevailed upon Kellogg to revise and remove from Living Temple, anything of a theological nature. He agreed, but a few days later He wrote G. I. Butler a letter defending Living Temple with these words:     "As far as I can fathom the difficulty which is found in the Living Temple, the whole thing may be simmered down to this question, is the Holy Ghost a person? You say no. I had supposed the Bible supports this for the reason that the personal pronoun 'he' is used in speaking of the Holy Ghost. Sister White uses the pronoun 'he' and has said in as many words that the Holy Ghost can be the third person of the Godhead. How the Holy Ghost can be the third person and not a person is difficult for me to see." -- JHK to GIB, October 28, 1903.

The "difficulty" in the Living Temple, was that the power in the tree "which creates and maintains it, a tree maker in the tree," as Kellogg identified it, and the "third person of the Godhead," the "Holy Ghost," were synonymous. Mainstream Seventh-day Adventists today might not see much of a problem in that concept of the Holy Spirit expressed by Kellogg in his letter to George Butler, but Seventh-day Adventists of that era had a much different view of the "Godhead." To Adventists of that time the Holy Spirit was not considered to be a separate person at all, it was thought to be the inner nature shared by both the Father and the Son. The following affirmation is typical of the period:     ". . .the Bible uses expressions which cannot be harmonized with the idea that it (The Holy Spirit) is a person like the Father and the Son.

"Rather, it is shown to be a divine influence from them both, the medium which represents their presence and by which they have knowledge and power through all the universe, when not personally present." -- Uriah Smith, R&H, Oct. 28, 1890.

The following two letters concerning Kellogg reveal even more of his divergence from the "old landmarks," as E. G. White identified them.

"He said that all the way along he had been troubled to know how to state the character of God and his relation to his created works. He felt sure he believed just what the Testimonies teach, and what Dr. Waggoner and Elder Jones have taught for years; but he had come to believe that none of them had expressed the matter in correct form. He then stated that his former views regarding the Trinity had stood in his way of making a clear

p 46 -- and absolutely correct statement, but that within a short time he had come to believe in the Trinity and could now see where all the difficulty was, and believed that he could clear the matter up satisfactorily. He told me that he now believed in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; and his view that it was God the Holy Ghost, and not God the Father, that filled all space, and every living thing." -- A. G. Daniells to William C. White, Oct. 29, 1903.

"So far as Sister White and you being in perfect agreement is concerned, I shall have to leave that entirely between you and Sister White. Sister White says there is not perfect agreement. You claim there is. I know some of her remarks seem to give you strong ground for your claiming that she does. I am honest and candid enough to say that, but I must give her the credit until she disowns it, of saying there is a difference too. And I do not believe that you can fully tell just what she means. . .

"God dwells in us by His Holy Spirit, as a Comforter, as a reprover, especially the former. When we come to Him, we partake of Him in that sense, because the Spirit comes forth from Him; it comes forth from the Father and the Son. It is not a person walking around on foot, or flying, as a literal being, in any such sense as Christ and the Father are -- at least, if it is, it is utterly beyond my comprehension of the meaning of language or words." -- George I. Butler to John Harvey Kellogg, April 5, 1905.

How much clearer can it be? The ". . .delusion which, before the General Conference of 1901, began to take possession of the doctor's mind,"   5     is the delusion regarding the personality of God, which if followed to its logical conclusion would sweep away the whole Christian economy. The Alpha of apostasy is none other than the Roman Catholic concept of God -- the Trinity.

Consider the Roman Catholic notion of God:     "We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the 'consubstantial Trinity.' The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire. . . They are

5 -- From a letter by Ellen G. White to David Paulson, dated October 4, 1903, (Spalding Magan collection pp. 331 - 332), which said in part: "Before I went to the Oakland Conference (GC Session) I realized you were in peril . . . with sorrow I witnessed Dr. Kellogg's influence over you . . . You should have discernment to see the delusion which, before the General Conference of 1901, began to take posession of the Doctor's mind, and which ever since has been gradually gaining ground."

p 47 -- distinct from one another in their relations of origin: 'It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds.' The divine Unity is Triune. . . While they are called three persons in view of their relations, we believe in one nature or substance." -- Catechism of the Catholic Church, (1994).

What do they mean by "substance," "essence," "nature"?

"The Church uses   (I)   the term 'substance' (rendered also at times by 'essence' or 'nature') to designate the divine being in its unity,   (II)   the term 'person' or 'hypostasis' to designate the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the real distinction among them and   (III)   the term 'relation' to designate the fact that their distinction lies in the relationship of each to the others." -- Ibid., pp. 66, 67. "' The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and of the Christian life. God alone can make it known to us by revealing himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.'" -- Ibid. p. 69

They also say:     "The mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic Faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the Church." -- Handbook for Today's Catholic, p. 11.

If Rome is correct in this teaching, then three separate Gods actually originate in the one they call the Father, and the three are actually the Father "revealing himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." They are of the same exact substance even though they are different in person. ". . .The Godhead of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal." -- Catechism of the Catholic Church, p. 70. (Emphasis supplied)TOP

It is said that people love a mystery. If that is the case, there is certainly one in this particular doctrine. If it is difficult to understand, or makes no sense, it is believed to be profound. Profundity in religion seems to be preferred over religion that is logical and easily understood. God's way of man's right standing with Him is spurned because of its out and out simplicity. The clarity and ease of God's way is seen as too good to be true, so the enigmatic route is taken. Why things are that way is the real mystery.

Modern day Adventists have somewhat of a problem because the Godhead portion of their (1980) Twenty-Seven Fundamental Beliefs is very similar to the

p 48 -- Roman Catholic version of the Godhead: "There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal persons." (Fundamental Beliefs, 2). It is ironic that SDA's, in their historical ignorance, think of John Harvey Kellogg as the consummate villain in their far off past. Actually, one might say he was a prophet.

It is true that the Trinity doctrine was not accepted into the denominational framework in Kellogg's time, but a process of leavening entered the mix and, when the time was right, it was adopted as truth. Why does God allow such things to take place?

"God has permitted the presentation of the combination of good and evil in Living Temple to be made to reveal the danger threatening us. The working that has been so ingeniously carried on, He has permitted in order that certain developments might be made, and that it might be seen what a man can do with human minds when he has obtained their confidence as a physician. God has permitted the present crisis to come to open the eyes of those who desire to know the truth. He would have His people understand to what lengths the sophistry and devising of the enemy would lead." -- Series "B" No. 7, p. 36 (1903). (Emphasis supplied)

The above reference provides one a glimpse into the workings of God in behalf of those whom He knows to be His elect. Human religious organization may be a "holding action" allowed by God to exist between those times when He initiates movement. During those intervals of human impetus, the example of man's depravity, the vainglory of his methods, of men following man and the manipulation of minds made possible because of the enthrallment in which the many hold the few -- whom they view as distinct or special in some way -- are exposed, usually by crisis, to those who love God and desire to know His truth. It is a revelation for His elect at the time and for His elect to come.

The Alpha would grow into the Omega of Apostasy, which, in turn, would gain in strength until the end of time -- or as Ellen G. White wrote, would "do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout." (Series "B" No. 7, pp. 56, 57.) Since this growing apostasy among Adventists would continue until the end, how were God's chosen from among them to be shielded from the error?

"We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith, and go forward from strength to increased faith. Ever we are to keep the faith that has been substantiated by the Holy Spirit of God from the earlier events of our experience until the present time. We need now largerTOP

p 49 -- breadth, and deeper, more earnest, unwavering faith in the leading of the Holy Spirit." -- Series "B" No. 7, p. 57.

Not only does the above statement reveal the source of protection from the danger, it reveals its point of attack. Its design was to sweep away the foundation principles of the faith; to cause Seventh-day Adventists to forget the manner in which they were led of the Lord in the past -- to remove from their remembrance their history of the truth, their past experience and their present duty as recorded in the Testimonies.

In this the forces of evil offered a specter, a phantasm, of truth that when accepted, would culminate in the denomination's spiritual, but not necessarily its physical, destruction. The plan of attack involves the following:     "The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in the giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice; but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure." -- Series "B" No. 2, pp. 54, 55.

Into this conflict every true follower of God must enter. His elect must fortify their minds with a "thus saith the Lord" and pray that their powers of discernment be made agile by the inner working of God's Holy Spirit. Caution must be exercised to maintain that vital connection with the Source of all help and all power.

The Omega, like the Alpha, claims to have the support of the Scriptures and the Testimonies, and it was there that many of the more experienced brethren in Kellogg's time were deceived. It will be on this same point, many careless andTOP

p 50 -- unprepared Seventh-day Adventists will be snared as the Omega continues to develop.

"Man's mind, although divinely created, may be worked by another power, as was the mind of Adam; a man who had walked and talked with God. He who foresees all things, could, in His providence, have kept and directed Adam and Eve, if they had heeded the warning against evil. But they allowed themselves to be allured by the seductive influences of Satan's voice. The enemy, speaking through the serpent, lied against God, and bore false witness of the Creator. Satan exalted himself in preference to God. The sinless pair were beguiled, and they believed the false statements made regarding God. So fully were they seduced that they could not discern the power that was leading them into apostasy."-- Series "B" No. 7 p. 53.

"The track of truth lies close beside the track of error, and both tracks may seem to be one to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit, and which, therefore, are not quick to discern the difference between truth and error. . ." -- Series "B" No. 2. p. 52.

"Those in favor of giving it [Living Temple] a wide circulation declared: 'It contains the very sentiments that Sister White has been teaching.'" -- Ibid.

Summarizing the points that have been made up to now concerning the Alpha and Omega of Apostasy, it can be seen that:

1.    The crisis that centered around the issues brought forth during the 1888 General Conference were never satisfactorily met or rectified. The perpetual problem of man being educated to look to man, to trust in man, to expect help from man, kept rearing its ugly head year after year despite the so-called "victory" gained in 1903.

2.    The result allowed the formation of a process of apostasy which promised to sweep away the foundation principles of faith established after the passing of time in 1844, and to blot out the image of God as it was to be seen in His distinctive and separate people.

3.    The Omega is the end of that process of apostasy. As not a few were deceived by the assumptions of the Alpha, the Omega should offer no less a

p 51 -- warning to the watchful that Satan is afoot and will exploit every opportunity to increase his influence among the remnant people.TOP

4.    The Omega's direction of attack was seen in the Testimonies to be the same in objective as that of the Alpha. The foundation principles of the Advent Movement, wrought out by prayer and attested to by the manifestations of the Spirit of God, would be the special mark for assault. In the Testimonies the Advent people's past experience is documented; in them God's people are informed of their present duty, and through them light is shed upon their position and work as God's people. The disclosure of truth that was substantiated by revelation just after the passing of time in 1844 also came under assault, but in an unusual way. It would be manipulated in such a fashion as to make it appear to agree with bogus doctrine put forth under Satanic influence. As always with the majority there is an apparent zeal and outward acceptance of truth; but in the end, that which is easy and popular and stiff with policy is preferred not only over the Testimonies but over Scripture as well.

"Satan is. . . constantly pressing on the spurious -- to lead away from the truth. The very last deception of Satan will be to make of no effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. ' Where there is no vision, the people perish.' (Prov. 29: 18) Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God's remnant people in the true testimony." -- 1 SM p. 48

Only the well informed, standing on the platform of truth, will be able to distinguish the difference between truth and error.

"The past fifty years have not dimmed one jot or principle of our faith as we received the great and wonderful evidences that were certain to us in 1844, after the passing of time. . . Not a word is changed or denied. That which the Holy spirit testified to as truth after the passing of time, in our great disappointment, is the solid foundation of truth. Pillars of truth were revealed, and we accepted the foundation principles that have made us what we are --Seventh-day Adventists, keeping the commandments of God and having the faith of Jesus." -- Series "B" No. 7, p. 57, 58TOP

How can the conclusions reached thus far be reconciled with the prediction of the ultimate triumph of the church? Adventists are told that as the end of time approaches, they will not act independently of religious organization. Yet, the warning is plain. Should the old platform be abandoned and a new position be

p 52 -- taken, existing religious organization would be corrupted in even greater measure to promote the new objective.

While removal of the landmarks was not fully implemented in the early 1900's, their removal would take place, bit by bit, as the condition that allowed the Alpha continued to develop. The condition, again, is man ruling in the place of God, man in control, attempting to direct the hearts and minds of those who profess to be God's elect.

The malady persisted, and a process of reorganization was implemented through the Omega. The process of reorganization resulted in the sweeping away of the foundation principles that have made Seventh-day Adventists what they are. One need only to be familiar with Advent teaching of the past -- and not necessarily the distant past -- to be aware that a departure from truth has taken place which can be seen in the church's desire to be like the evangelical denominations as evidenced by the mass adoption of their methods, doctrines, and programs.

Acceptance is sought not only from evangelicals but from the Roman Catholic hierarchy as well. More will be said of this in a later part of this work.

The Advent faith has been changed, and the principles that have sustained the work are accounted as error. The Organization that now exists does not reflect the objectives of even that marred Organization of 1903. The beliefs are different; the principles are not the same. God has become a rhetorical exercise, and real faith and reliance is loaded upon erring, sin-loving humanity instead. The Seventh-day Adventist denomination has become the end and not the means.

"The Lord has declared that the history of the past shall be rehearsed as we enter upon the closing work. Every truth that He has given for these last days is to be proclaimed to the world. Every pillar that He has established is to be strengthened. We cannot now enter into any new organization; for this would mean apostasy from the truth." -- Ms 129, (1905)TOP

Storm and tempest will sweep away the false structure. That which has been constructed on human reasoning and human power cannot endure. Circumstances will bring the Adventist structure to abhor itself when it observes the fruit of its own evil doing, but by then it will be too late. If any religious organization exists in that time and remains loyal to God, and to God only, its people will be standing on the platform of eternal truth. It will not be a religious

p 53 -- organization as popularly conceived; it will be, without doubt, a religious organization from the Head. Man's part in it will not be anything other than extensions and agents of the Head.     The church triumphant will be free from all earthly entanglements, holding high the standard of truth, showing the mighty working of God from within her midst.

6 -- The force of this thought is little conceived of, let alone spoken of, these days. Just prior to His ascension the apostles asked Jesus the question, "Lord, has the time come for you to restore the kingdom to Israel?" Jesus replied, "It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive power of the Holy Spirit which will come on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judea and Samaria, and indeed to the earth's remotest end." Acts 1: 6-8. In essence Christ told His apostles that their place in the workings of God was that of representatives -- extensions, who must be content to act on orders from the Head in complete trust without knowing all the intricacies of why. The injunction, you will be, indicates, with preciseness, the strength of that idea.
Esesqe, is the Greek, future -- indicative in the imperative, ofeimi: to be. The words, "you will be," is more correctly translated, "you must be my witnesses . . . !" The thought projected is the exertion of a superior will over that of an inferior will which results in action on the part of the inferior. Once the will is brought into submission to the will of God, His superior will is exerted to produce action on the part of the individual who, in trust, abandons all in submission to God Who pervades, controls and directs all according to His will. The action done is not the result of human impetus; it is done at the command of God, controlling and directing the human agent. TOP

p 54 -- SECTION III -- OMEGA THE CONTINUING APOSTASY WITHIN THE CHURCH -- THE APOSTASY: To say that there is a process of apostasy, which raised itself up not long after Seventh-day Adventists became formally organized -- which the message of 1888 sought to correct, and that this process of apostasy is developing and increasing and waxing stronger within the Seventh-day Adventist faith, is not to say that the Great Second Advent Movement has failed.

The Movement, as in contrast to the denomination, has the supreme attention of the heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The Movement and the church -- that is the body of Christ -- are synonymous; and it is foreordained to fulfill that which has been entrusted to it -- adding to the body of Christ through the work of ministering to the perfecting and perfection of God's elect. There are no clerics in God's movement, no bosses, no presidents, no chiefs, no mediators, no heads, no lords, except One. All who take their stand under the banners of the three angels are priests and kings under the direct tutelage of the true Lord. All, equally, have their assigned part in the preparation for the return of the Master. They have His personal, undivided attention in their very existence; and in their lives He works all things to their good and for the success of their part in the upbuilding of His body. Nothing in the whole created universe can separate them from His great love.

Because apostasy exists in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, it does not mean that all have become caught in its web. The beginning of this process was allowed, and was exposed, for the express purpose of opening the eyes of those who desire to know the truth. God saw that it was necessary to have an example so that His people could know without a doubt the extent of distortion and falsehood that is employed by the enemy in an effort to spread evil.

In outlining the numerous organizational changes that would take place as the process of apostasy developed, Ellen G. White stated that the Godless structure would be swept away by storm and tempest. When the false structure fails, then truly the plight of the church, as described in Volume Eight of the Testimonies, will reach its fulfillment. The structure is now well along the way in being leavened with its own backsliding. TOP

p 55 -- DILUTING THE TRUTH: The longing to be accepted by the world, and to "labor" for souls by adding to their number through means of their own devising, is clearly seen in the attempt to neutralize many of the doctrines that have made Seventh-day Adventists a distinctive people. Those doctrines of old were a source of extreme offense to the evangelicals and other groups with whom the Adventist leadership had interchange.

By clever re-emphasis, careful omittances and outright insertions, many of the vital teachings that form the foundation of the faith have been rendered impotent to make them less offensive. It was held, in part at least, that the divine commission of Revelation 14 would be received more readily by others if the stigma of being non-Christian and a cult was removed. Such an idea, whatever its intent, is a crafty notion.

The distinctiveness and power of truth has been sacrificed to accomplish an objective that only the truth in its purity has the power to accomplish. Nevertheless many of the more distinct Seventh-day Adventist doctrines were watered down so as to conform with, not only evangelical teachings, but also with the ecumenical fever that has overtaken the world's religions.

The whole idea of truth, and what God desires to be done through truth is set aside for the sake of gaining the favor of those who have moved away from God in their belief systems. In such conniving, truth and the sincere seeker of truth are never considered. The teachings that once put forth truth in a clear and forceful manner are now presented in a much different fashion than God intended them to be, and the resulting corruption has robbed Seventh-day Adventists of the power that God's truth gave them.

The same misguided zeal is at work in this age as was in the early Christian Church. To facilitate the acceptance of Christianity by the pagans, early Christians modified some features of the faith thinking it would lead to their full conversion later. A conversion did take place -- the church was converted to the world. Applying the same principle, the Seventh-day Adventist leadership has, clearly done the same thing. They have substituted the practices and beliefs of modern evangelical Christianity in the place of the foundation principles given the Advent Movement after the passing of time in 1844. TOP

Sow the wind, and you will reap the whirlwind is the old adage. The harvest from such sowing is now, as in the early church, a marked loss of the presence

p 56 -- and the power of God among Adventists, for both themselves and their Organization.

Seventh-day Adventists have from the beginning considered themselves to be God's separate and special people. They have identified themselves with those people described in the book of Revelation who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus. They have held the belief that before Jesus would return, the character He formed while on earth must be reproduced in them.

"Jesus gives us freedom from sin; His life is ' the perfect law of liberty.' By the law is the knowledge of sin, but not freedom from it. (Romans 3:20). The law is holy and the commandment is holy, and just, and good (Romans 7:12), just because it gives the knowledge of sin by condemning it. It is a signpost that points out the way, but does not carry us. It can tell us that we are out of the way, but Jesus alone can make us walk in it; for He is the way. Sin is bondage (Proverbs 5:22.) Only those who keep the commandments of God are at liberty (Psalms 119:45), and the commandments can be kept by faith in Christ." Glad Tidings, pp. 64, 65.

The new and re-emphasized teaching that has surfaced within the denomination distorts the knowledge of the manner in which the character of Christ is to be reproduced in His people. What should one's attitude be toward this evil? Should we sit idle and wait on the Lord? Are we to say nothing? What is our duty?

"When men stand out in defiance against the counsel of God, they are warring against God. Is it right for those connected with such ones to treat them as if they were in perfect harmony with them; making no difference between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not? Though they be ministers or medical missionaries, they have dishonored Christ before the forces of the loyal and the disloyal. Open rebuke is necessary, to prevent others from being ensnared." -- Series "B" No. 2, pp. 9-11.TOP

"To believe that evil must not be condemned because this would condemn those who practice evil, is to act in favor of falsehood. If, after a man has been given many cautions and warnings to save him from his hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong he takes offense, and refuses to accept the message graciously sent him from heaven, and puts

p 57 -- aside the reproof of the Holy Spirit, his heart and conscience become hardened and he is in great darkness." -- Ibid.

"It should be clearly understood that we are not really helping those who are determined to do evil when we show them respect, and keep our words of reproof for those with whom the disaffected one is at enmity. A grave mistake has been, and is being, made in this matter. Shall the servants of Jehovah, into whose heart He puts enmity against every evil work, be assailed as not being right when they call evil evil, and good good? Those who feel so very peaceable in regard to the works of the men who are spoiling the faith of the people of God are guided by a delusive sentiment."

"There is to be a constant conflict between good and evil. Those who are enlightened by the Holy Spirit's power are to strive with every power of their being to snatch the prey from the seductive influences of men who refuse to obey the Word of God, whether they be in high places or in low. Christ's property is not to pass out of His control into the control of the children of darkness."

"If this matter were rightly understood and closely guarded, God's servants would feel a continual burden of responsibility to counterwork the efforts of men who do not know what they are about, because they are enchanted by the delusive allurements of Satan. When God's people are fully awake to the danger of the hour, and work fully on Christ's side, there will be seen a sharp contrast between their course and that of those who are saying, "Good Lord, and good devil;" and we shall see much firmer and more decided work done to counterwork the schemes of satanic agencies." -- Ibid. TOP

THE CONTROVERSIAL 1950'S: It has been asserted that certain issues that resulted in the printing of the book Questions on Doctrine, an involvement of a number of the men in positions of leadership in the of the National Council of Churches, and others in positions of leadership in the evangelical churches, are no longer as important as they were at the time, and that it was at most an overreaction by those who were in opposition to the matter.

It is also contended that over the ensuing years these issues have come to be viewed in their proper perspective, and that those who raised a ruckus by protesting what appeared to be a departure from the previous positions of truth

p 58 -- were members of that minority of "hanger's on" which plague any organization of any size. This minority, it was said, was made up of malcontents, cranks, "accusers of the brethren" and in general, disorganizers.

However, if one views the situation honestly, it is seen that if the issues no longer seems to hold the importance they once did during that period, it is not because they have come to be viewed in their proper perspective, but rather, those who are even vaguely aware of what happened then are sloth in studying the issues for themselves. The result being that they accept without question whatever the current denominational position happens to be at the time.

All Seventh-day Advents profess their desire to know "the truth," and for the most part they probably do; but they demonstrate a disdain for close personal study in anything spiritual. In other words, they are too busy with other things so they sit back and let others determine what is and what is not truth, then accept that rendition as their own.

When a people lose a practical knowledge of how they came to be and do not know the very teachings that define who they are, it should come as no surprise that they can be shaped into anything. The listless, dependent condition of the Adventist membership has been encouraged by their leaders -- leaders who, consciously or unconsciously, have established almost tailor-made false teachings in all of the Adventist churches, a development predicted by Ellen G. White. The forces of darkness know that if the majority can be encouraged to rely on a minority, they need only to concentrate upon the minority to accept and teach error to secure the doom of all. TOP

1888 RE-EXAMINED, THE WIELAND AND SHORT PROTEST: The first explicit objection of any real consequence to reach interested individuals among the members since 1888, regarding the denomination's deviate path, was put forth by returned missionaries, R. J. Wieland and D. K. Short at the General Conference Session of 1950. They compiled a lengthy manuscript entitled, 1888 Re-examined, in which they enumerated causes they felt were responsible for the emergence of doctrinal error and a general spiritual malaise throughout the denomination.

The manuscript was presented to the leadership at the General Conference level, and was in turn soundly rejected. The whole affair was drawn out for more than a decade. During those years correspondence was exchanged between the two camps whereby the General Conference men demonstrated how vacant they were of the principles which formed the very heart of the manuscript.

p 59 -- They were exposed as the ones determined to direct "the work" -- not God. Ultimately both Wieland and Short returned to their respective missions agreeing not to agitate the issue further and to leave the problem to the disposition of Providence.

That these men should have pressed forward more aggressively than they did is hard to say one way or the other. God was obviously leading in the matter as the material did reach others despite professed attempts by them to prevent such a thing from happening.

In 1959, A. L. Hudson (Hudson Printing Co. , Baker, Oregon) ensured that an open discussion of the material in the manuscript took place by publishing it under the title of, A Warning and Its Reception. This published edition was sanctioned by the authors. Copies found their way to a large number of interested individuals and groups, and the subject was thoroughly discussed, which corresponds well with Ellen G. White's Series "B" remark that God permits certain events in the denomination to transpire "to open the eyes of those who desire to know the truth." 1888 Re-examined was a revelation ordained by God to bring to light that nothing had changed for the better since 1888 and that spiritual corruption continued to be "prettied-up" and presented in various denominational programs and then lauded as being successful. TOP

A number of other publications on a similar theme disseminated from the two men, however the force and power of 1888 Re-Examined was lacking in them, and there was usually an accompanying caution that circulation be limited to the "ministry" (preaching) or a select few. Whether or not limited circulation was the real intent is difficult to say, but it did have an effect of diverting the direct wrath of the leadership from these men as being disruptive. In short, an image of their loyalty to the "church and its organization" was projected, and there should be no doubt cast at their loyalty -- especially if one takes into consideration the proposition of "corporate repentance" which they see as the cure for the church and its Organization's backslidden condition.

Generally, 1888 Re-examined made a mark like no other work of its kind since 1888. Considering events leading up to its time of publication and the events that followed, it seems as if their effort was all but the last offer made by God to re-establish the Adventists upon the platform of eternal truth -- the same platform that their leaders were at that time clamoring to step away from. The question is not, "What about Wieland and Short?" It is, "Is what they compiled true?" The answer is a resounding, "Yes!" TOP

p 60 -- EVANGELICAL ENTANGLEMENTS: No thing of consequence is effected without prior groundwork. Any structure that is expected to stand must have a solid foundation. And so it was with the doctrinal changes that were brought about in the 1950's. If the book Movement of Destiny is any indicator of the apostasy that is directing the church presently, the condition (Omega) was sustained by the book, Christ Our Righteousness, (A. G. Daniells) a work begun in 1926 which, according to L. E. Froom, was to be rounded out in historical sequence with a comprehensive portrayal of the Advent Movement from 1844 onward as contained in his book, Movement of Destiny.

Froom asserts that he was warned by Daniells that in the portraying of the Advent Movement there would be difficulties to be surmounted, . . . "certain theological wounds" would have to heal and attitudes of some would have to be modified. "Possibly it would be necessary to wait until certain individuals had dropped out of action before the needed portrayal could wisely be brought forth." This would take many years.

That was in 1930. Years passed -- years of preparation for the new portrayal of the Advent Movement. It was during these years that the Omega was gradually effected which can be seen in the publishing of a new line of literature. Froom's Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, a four volume work encompassing Adventist history in relation to the past history of the Christian church in the field of interpretative prophecy, played an important part in the new line of literature. TOP

Other things had also taken place. The year 1931 saw the issuance of a statement of Fundamental Beliefs. This represented an action taken that was not voted upon by the church in General Session. The extended effect of such a thing is multiple, and none of it good. The Baptismal Certificate of 1941 set forth the Act of Atoning Sacrifice as completed on the cross -- "in right relation to Christ's Priestly Mediation." Bible Readings was revised in 1949 by D. E. Rebok which "expunged" the sinful-nature-of-Christ "misconception." These, together with other "corrected" denominational declarations led to a succession of contacts from outside the church.

The results of following the blueprint agreed upon in 1930 paid off with contacts from not only different Evangelical Protestants, but from Jews and Catholics as well.   7  Nothing of lasting consequence resulted from these contacts, except that

7 -- See Movement of Destiny, the section: " From the Author to the Reader," for full details on long range plans laid in 1930.

p 61 -- it encouraged the leaders to press on. It was not until contact was established in 1955 with Dr. E. Schuyler English, editor of the evangelical Our Hope magazine, that real progress in establishing lasting fellowship with the evangelicals was made. It is interesting that the initial contact was made because of a "misunderstanding" on the part of the Evangelicals as to the true position of the Adventists regarding the nature of Christ during the incarnation.

The Evangelicals were relying on information gleaned from writings published prior to the 1949 revision of Bible Readings, which, according to L. E. Froom and others, was never the position held by the majority of the "Church." This opened the way for dialogue, and Froom wasted no time in establishing it. In an exchange of letters with Dr. English, which he termed as "profitable," he was able to show that the old "Colcord" minority-view note in Bible Readings -- contending for the sinful, fallen human nature of Christ -- had years before been expunged because of its error, and he offered "incontrovertible evidence" in support of this claim.

The evangelical Dr. English is credited with "manliness" and a "true Christian spirit" in admitting that he had been mistaken and would take the necessary steps to rectify those mistakes through the columns of Our Hope magazine. What was it that they agreed upon? Dr. English held the following view of the nature of Christ during the incarnation:     "He [ Christ ] was perfect in His humanity, but He was nonetheless God; and His conception in His incarnation was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit so that He did not partake of the fallen sinful nature of other men." -- Movement of Destiny, pp. 468, 469. (Emphasis supplied)

What did Froom declare that most Seventh-day Adventists believe? ". . .we in turn assured him, [that] is precisely what we likewise believe." He then listed a number of excerpts from the Testimonies in support of his proposition." -- Ibid. p. 470 TOP

THE MARTIN AND BARNHOUSE AFFAIR: By 1956 the exchange between Adventists and Evangelicals had progressed to such a level that many Evangelicals considered Adventists to be "truly Christian" and proceeded to publish this finding in two of their leading publications, Our Hope and Eternity. It is significant that during the exchanges (Froom-English) touched upon previously, a series of eighteen conferences with other Evangelical leaders was taking place. These conferences would result in an agreement to publish simultaneously two books: Questions on

p 62 -- Doctrine, by the Seventh-day Adventists; and on the Evangelical side, The Truth About Seventh-day Adventists, by Walter Martin.

How did these conferences come about? A look at Eternity magazine explains that clearly; and the book Movement of Destiny will fill in the missing names and places and also corroborate the account given the affair in Eternity magazine:    "A little less than two years ago it was decided that Mr. Martin should undertake research in connection with Seventh-day Adventism. We got in touch with the Adventists saying that we wished to treat them fairly and would appreciate the opportunity of interviewing some of their leaders. The response was immediate and enthusiastic.TOP

"Mr. Martin went to Takoma Park, Washington, D. C. , the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist movement. At first the two groups looked upon each other with great suspicion. Mr. Martin had read a vast quantity of Adventist literature and presented them with a series of approximately forty questions concerning their theological position. On a second visit he was presented with scores of pages of detailed theological answers to his questions. Immediately it was perceived that the Adventists were strenuously denying certain doctrinal positions which had been previously attributed to them. As Mr. Martin read their answers he came, for example, upon a statement that they repudiated absolutely the thought that seventh-day Sabbath keeping was a basis for salvation, and denial of any teaching that the keeping of the first day of the week is as yet considered to be the receiving of the anti-Christian "mark of the beast." He pointed out to them that in their bookstore, adjoining the building in which these meetings were taking place, a certain volume published by them, and written by one of their ministers, categorically stated the contrary to what they were now asserting. The leaders sent for the book, discovered that Mr. Martin was correct, and immediately brought this fact to the attention of the General Conference Officers that this situation might be remedied and such publications be corrected. This same procedure was repeated regarding the nature of Christ while in the flesh, which the majority of the denomination has always held to be sinless, holy, and perfect, despite the fact that certain of their writers have occasionally gotten into print with contrary views completely repugnant to the Church at large. They further explained to Mr. Martin that they had among their number certain members of their "lunatic fringe" even as there are similar wild-eyed irresponsibles in every field of fundamental

p 63 -- Christianity. This action of the Seventh-day Adventists was indicative of similar steps that were taken subsequently.

"The next phase of the discussion moved into August 1955, to a place in the country outside Philadelphia. There, four of the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist thought came for a two-day conference in the home of the editor-in-chief of Eternity, Donald Grey Barnhouse. Here they, together with Mr. Martin and Professor George Cannon of the Nyack Missionary College, spent two full days going over the approximately one-hundred pages of the Seventh-day Adventist answers to Mr. Martin's questions.TOP

"The seven of us worked through the Adventist statement for two days. Mr. Martin had further conference with the Adventist leaders in Washington, D. C. , and in Glendale, California. He was invited to preach in two of the largest Adventist churches in the country, and spoke to their theological seminary and to the employees of the "Voice of Prophecy" broadcast. In May 1956, the same group of Adventist leaders returned to my home in Pennsylvania for another two-day conference." -- Eternity, January, 1957.

According to Barnhouse the findings of those conferences needed to be generally distributed to the public, which would be done by publishing simultaneously two companion works: Questions on Doctrine, and The Truth About Seventh-day Adventists. Barnhouse continues:

"Mr. Martin's book on Seventh-day Adventism will appear in print within a few months. It will carry a foreword by responsible leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist church to the effect that they have not been misquoted in the volume and that the areas of agreement and disagreement, as set forth by Mr. Martin, are accurate from their point of view, as well as from our evangelical point of view. All of Mr. Martin's references to a new Adventist volume of their book, which will appear in print simultaneously with his work. Henceforth, any fair criticism of the Adventist Movement must refer to these simultaneous publications." -- Ibid.

The account that is given in Movement of Destiny, beginning on page 476, neatly rounds out what Barnhouse reported in Eternity. It started when the President of the East Pennsylvania Conference, T. E. Unruh, listened to a series of radio broadcasts featuring studies on the book of Romans. These studies were given

p 64 -- by Barnhouse, then pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, and Editor-in-Chief of Eternity magazine.

Unruh contacted Barnhouse and commended him on the Biblical soundness of his presentations on the righteousness of Christ. Out of this initial contact with Barnhouse, Walter R. Martin requested representative material as to our doctrinal positions which would be included in the book he would write on the doctrinal errors of the Seventh-day Adventist faith, "But he wanted to be fair, he said, and to have the full facts before writing - and so asked for our cooperation." Movement of Destiny, pp. 476, 477

This led to the Takoma Park conferences. Also conferences were held in Reading, Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and New York City over a period of eighteen months. Two of the most important meetings took place at the home of Barnhouse, near Philadelphia. It was at the Takoma Park meetings that the Evangelicals were given the first answers to their doctrinal objections and perceived that the Adventists were asserting an entirely different position than they had held before. Ibid. pp. 478, 479 TOP

QUESTIONS ON DOCTRINE: The result of the meetings between the Adventists and the Evangelicals was the supposed need for a published disavowal on the part the Adventists of the "erroneous" views that had been held in the past by certain individuals and minorities and a clear assertion of the "true" Christian beliefs that the denomination had always held. This was necessary if Seventh-day Adventists were to be considered "true Christians." Now that "certain individuals," who would have objected to such goings on, had "dropped out of action," and "certain theological wounds" had been healed and a modification of attitudes had taken place, the needed disavowal of minority and individual views and a firm declaration of "our" true position could be brought forth. This, in part, came with the printing of Questions on Doctrine. -- Movement of Destiny, pp. 17, 483, 484.

THE ANDREASEN LETTERS: But not all those who would object had dropped out of action. As rumors of fraternization grew, an old and respected leader and educator, M. L. Andreasen, stepped forward and lodged a firm protest against the errors that were being disseminated in Questions on Doctrine and other publications. His protest came in the form of Letters to the Churches, which were contained primarily in six booklets dealing with those established points of doctrine that were under attack from those who were then in positions of

p 65 -- leadership. The "Letters" were entitled, "The Incarnation - was Christ Exempt?;" "Attempted Tampering;" "Downgrading Mrs. White;" "Why Not a Hearing?;" "Inherited Passions;" and "The Atonement." In these letters Andreasen not only exposed the fraternization that had been taking place between our leaders and the evangelicals, but he also drew attention to the attempts to alter the writings of Ellen G. White to fit the new theology.

In May, 1957, Andreasen obtained some of the official minutes of the White Estate Board of Trustees that revealed the scheme to alter Ellen G. White's writings:     "I was dumbfounded when I read this official document, and doubly perplexed when I learned that this plan had the sanction of the leadership and was approved procedure. This would mean that men could freely attempt to have insertions made in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy that would vitiate or change the intended meaning of what Sr. White had written. What assurance could we then have that the books being published were the unadulterated teaching of The author, and that they were not 'remedied and corrected' as were other books according to the account in the Eternity Extra of September, 1956?TOP

"While I felt uneasy at what the men had attempted to do, my real concern was the realization that this had been approved by the administration, and was henceforth to be accepted policy. Men could now go to the White Board, and with its approval, have inserted explanations and notes secretly and privately before anyone would find out what was happening. And they could do this with the assurance that if anyone learned of this and revealed what was being done, the administration would deal with such and threaten them; unless they ceased their 'activity.'" -- Letters, No. 5, "Why Not a Hearing," p. 1.

What was the official reaction to Andreasen's revelation? On December 16, 1957 He received an ultimatum: "They (the officers) therefore request that you cease your activities." Three days later: "This will place you in plain opposition to your church and will undoubtedly bring up the matter of you relationship to the church. In view of all this, the officers, as I have previously written, earnestly ask you to cease your activities." -- Letters, No. 4, pp. 10, 11.

"Let the reader ponder this. We have a sane leadership according to their own estimation. We have also a lunatic fringe of wild-eyed irresponsibles. This sane leadership is determined to put the brakes on 'any members

p 66 -- who seek to hold views divergent from that of the responsible leadership of the denomination.'

"I could not believe this when I first read it. Here I was, for fifty years an honored member of the church, having held responsible positions. But if I dared hold ' views divergent from that of the responsible leadership of the denomination,' I became a member of the ' wild-eyed irresponsibles' who constituted the 'lunatic fringe' of the denomination; and without a hearing, I was ordered to cease my activity or feel the 'brakes' applied." -- Ibid. pp. 10, 11.

What did Andreasen gain or hope to gain?

"I have been asked what I expect to accomplish. I am not out to win any argument. I am a Seventh-day Adventist minister whose work is to preach the truth and combat error. The Bible is mostly a record of the protest of God's witnesses against the prevailing sins of the church, and also of their apparent failure. Practically all protesters sealed their testimony with their blood, and the church went on until God intervened. All Paul hoped was that he might 'save some.' 1 Corinthians 9:22." (Emphasis supplied)

"Practically all the apostles died martyrs, and Christ they hanged on a tree. It took forty years before the destruction came. But when God intervened He did thorough work.

"This denomination needs to go back to the instruction given in 1888, which was scorned. We need a reform that will not permit a few men to handle finances, as it is now being done. We need a reform that will not permit men to spend millions on institutions not authorized by the vote of the constituency, while mission fields are suffering for want of the barest necessities. We need a change in the emphasis that is given to promotion, finances, and statistics. We need to restore the Sabbath School to its rightful place in the work of God. We need to put a stop to the entertainments and suppers that are creeping in under the guise of raising money for good purposes. We need to put a stop to the weekly announcements in church that are merely disguised advertisements. This list could be greatly enlarged.

"But all these, while important, are after all only minor things. We need a reformation and revival most of all. If our leaders will not lead in this,

p 67 -- ' then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place.' Esther 4:14." -- Letters No. 6, pp. 16, 17. TOP

OUTSTANDING POINTS OF CONTENTION:    1. THE ATONEMENT: The Evangelical view of the atonement is that it was completed on the cross, and the work of Christ stopped at that since the cross was enough; and the Evangelical Barnhouse was convinced that Adventists, too, held this view of the atonement. He quoted L. E. Froom as saying:

"Only Christ, the Creator, the one and only God-man, could make a substitutionary atonement for man's transgressions. And this Christ did completely and perfectly and once-for-all on Golgotha." -- Eternity, January, 1957.

His statement is true in that Christ was the only possible one able to make a substitutionary sacrifice for mankind. His death was sufficient, once, for all; but here Froom's sophistry came into play as he urged the idea that Adventists believed that there was nothing to be done beyond His "substitutionary atonement" on Golgotha.

The same idea is continued in Questions on Doctrine, (page 381) where it says:     "[Jesus] appeared in the presence of God for us . . . But it was not with the hope of obtaining something for us at that time or at some future time. No! He had already obtained it for us on the cross." And in the two chapters in Movement of Destiny entitled, "Deity" and "Atonement" Attain Destined Place - No. 1 and "Deity" and "Atonement" Attain Destined Place - No. 2, beginning on page 493, Froom laboriously strives to project the same concept -- that the atonement was completed on the cross. He dissected the Testimonies in support of his idea. But was what he wrote true? One of the earliest publications that had a large part in establishing teaching on this subject was a small tract entitled A Word to the Little Flock. It contains an article dated April 21, 1847 written by Ellen G. White. Toward the end of the piece she make a very significant statement in regard to the Sanctuary:     "I believe the Sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days is the New Jerusalem Temple, of which Christ is a minister. The lord showed me in vision, more than one year ago, that Brother Crosier had the true light on the cleansing of the Sanctuary; and that it was His will that Brother Crosier should write out the view which he gave us in the DayTOP

p 68 -- Star Extra, February 7, 1847. I feel fully authorized by the Lord to recommend that Extra to every saint." A Word to the Little Flock, p. 12.

What did Crosier say in respect to the completion of the atonement? He made six points:

1.    If the atonement was made on Calvary, by whom was it made? The making of the atonement is the work of a Priest; but who officiated on Calvary? -- Roman soldiers and wicked Jews.

2.    The slaying of the victim was not making the atonement: the sinner slew the victim; after that, the Priest took the blood and made the atonement.

3.    Christ was the appointed High Priest who would make the atonement; and He certainly could not have acted in that capacity until after His resurrection. We have no record of His doing anything on earth after His resurrection which could be called the atonement.

4.    The atonement was made in the Sanctuary, but Calvary was not such a place.

5.    He could not, according to Hebrews 8: 4 make the atonement while on earth. "If He were on earth, He should not be a Priest." The Levitical was the earthly priesthood -- the Divine, the heavenly.

6.    Therefore, He did not begin the work of making the atonement, whatever the nature of that work may be, until after His ascension, when by His own blood He entered His heavenly Sanctuary for us. Facsimiles, p. 45. TOP

In Desire of Ages, Ellen G. White clarifies this idea even more. On pages 136 and 137 she says of John the Baptist: "He did not distinguish clearly the two phases of Christ's work -- as a suffering sacrifice, and a conquering king." What are these two phases? On one side we find that sins will "stand on record in the Sanctuary until the final atonement;" (referring to 1844) and "at the final atonement, the sins of the truly penitent are to be blotted from the records of heaven." Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 357, 358. In the Great Controversy, Ellen G. White establishes the "old" teaching of the final work of atonement:     "Thus those who followed in the light of the prophetic work saw that, instead of coming to the earth at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844, Christ then entered the most holy place of the heavenly Sanctuary to perform the closing work of atonement preparatory to His coming." -- Great Controversy p. 422.

p 69 -- But, in the book Movement of Destiny, Froom used similar statements by Ellen White in such a way as to give the impression that the atonement was completed on the cross and that there was no need for any further work.

"He (Christ) planted the cross between heaven and earth; and when the Father beheld the sacrifice of His Son, He bowed before it in recognition of its perfection. 'It is finished,' He said, ' The atonement is complete.'" -- (Review and Herald, Sept. 24, 1901.) Movement of Destiny, p. 516.

"When Christ expired on the cross, crying with a loud voice, 'It is finished,' His work was completed." -- (Signs of the Times, August 16, 1899) Ibid.

In the writings of Ellen G. White the atonement, taken as a whole, is not a completed action that took place upon the cross and ended there. Only the sacrificial aspect of it was completed, and the work of Christ as High Priest in administering the benefits of His sacrifice did not begin until after He had ascended to heaven.

Whatever confusion exists in regard to understanding the work of the atonement stems from, again, the failure to differentiate between its two phases. The first phase was that of a suffering sacrifice. The Son of God is presented as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. His sacrifice included His incarnation -- the assumption of humanity (that is, fully human and fully divine); His temptation and ordeal in the garden; His death on the cross; and His resurrection. TOP

In His humanity Christ was to work out a righteous character as a pattern for man to follow. With the same human nature of those around Him, He was to demonstrate that fallen man could do what He did. He would present mankind regenerated, as a new creature in Him who would then be received and loved by the Father as the Father loves His Son. When Jesus said, "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do," Ellen White comments:     "He had wrought out a righteous character on earth as an example for man to follow." -- Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 3, p. 260.

The first phase of the atonement was completed with His death and resurrection. With His ascension the second phase of the atonement began:     "After His ascension our Saviour began His work as High Priest . . . In harmony with the typical service, He began His ministration in the holy

p 70 -- place; and at the termination of the prophetic days in 1844 . . . He entered the most holy to perform the last division of His solemn work, to cleanse the Sanctuary." -- Ibid. , Vol. 4, pp. 265, 266.

Cleansing of the Sanctuary involves much more than what it seems on the surface. It is not the "mechanical" rite typified by the Levitical service in the time of ancient Israel. It is an event of such magnitude that its totality is beyond human comprehension, and people are only able to glimpse shadows of its majesty. It involves the removal of sin and sinners and setting things right in God's kingdom. It is the time when God demonstrates His miracle of miracles, the transformation of His elect from glory to glory into the perfect image of His Son. It is the time when the nature of the Divinity is infused into the cleansed nature of the human, in effect creating a new order of beings in the precise image of their Elder Brother -- in substance and in character, divinity combined with humanity. It will be done, there is no doubt, God will be "all in all," He has spoken it. This is the final work of the at-one-ment. When it is accomplished, it will indeed be finished.

Jesus Christ, as one of us, in our human nature, laden with the sins of the world, in our flesh, in this world, a lifetime, lived a life "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners," and "was made" and ascended "higher than the heavens." And by this He has made and consecrated a way by which, in Him, every believer can in this world, and for a whole lifetime, live a life holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners; and as a consequence be made with Him higher than the heavens. -- A. T. Jones, Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection, p. 83, 84. TOP

THE INCARNATION, CHIRST'S HUMAN NATURE:    2. SECOND POINT OF CONTENTION: The Incarnation. Again, the first phase of the atonement involved the Saviour coming to earth as a human being -- a man, and not a man in the sense of Adam before the fall, but as mankind at its lowest point.

It was the Father's will that man, though weakened by several thousand years of sin, share in the divine nature, and it became Christ's place to show fallen mankind the way.

"It was fitting that God, for who and through whom everything exists, should, in bringing many sons to glory, make perfect through suffering

p 71 -- the leader of their salvation. For consecrator and consecrated are all of the same stock; that is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers.

"Since all the children share the same human nature, he too shared equally in it, . . . For it was not the angels that he took to himself; he took to himself the line of Abraham. It was essential that he should this way be made completely like his brothers so that he could become a compassionate and trustworthy high priest for their relationship to God, able to expiate the sins of the people." Hebrews 2: 10, 11, 14, 16, 17. (New Jerusalem Bible)

Jesus Christ with the nature of Adam in the pureness of his creation, free from the effects of sin, would have been no example to anyone. For Him to have had the nature of Adam even after the fall would have proved little. It is not enough that Adam follow His example, but that mankind at its lowest level resist evil and live in perfect obedience to the requirements of the Father in the same way as He resisted evil and perfectly obeyed His Father.

"Christ did in reality unite the offending nature of man with His own sinless nature . . . " -- Review and Herald, July 17, (1900)

"In Christ were united the divine and the human -- the Creator and the creature. The nature of God, whose law had been transgressed, and the nature of Adam, the transgressor, meet in Jesus the Son of God, the Son of man. " -- 7 Bible Commentary 926, (1901)

"Think of Christ's humiliation. He took upon Himself fallen, suffering, human nature, degraded and defiled by sin. He took our sorrows, bearing our grief and shame. He endured all the temptations wherewith man is beset. He united humanity with divinity: a divine dwelt in a temple of flesh. He united Himself with the temple. ' The word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,' because by doing so He could associate with the sinful, sorrowing Sons and Daughters of Adam." -- 4 Bible Commentary 1147, (1900) TOP

NEW THOUGHTS ON THE INCARNATION: The same events that began in 1955 involving the atonement also involved the old teaching of the incarnation -- perhaps to even a greater degree. It will be remembered that Dr. E. Shuyler English wrote in the Evangelical publication Our Hope, that Seventh-day Adventists disparaged the person and work of Christ by teaching that in His humanity He took our sinful, fallen nature. English took the position that in Christ's conception He was

p 72 -- overshadowed by the Holy Spirit so that He did not partake of the fallen sinful nature as other men.  8

On this note, the ever ready L. E. Froom entered into correspondence with English and assured him that his position on the human nature of Christ was "precisely what we likewise believe." It is interesting to note that during the conferences between the Adventists and the Evangelicals  9  , an article appeared in the September, 1956 issue of The Ministry, the official organ of the Seventh-day Adventist Ministerial Association, which devoted several pages expressing that the human nature of Christ was the same as that of Adam before he fell. The author of the article was Roy Allen Anderson, editor of the magazine and head of the Ministerial Association of the General Conference. It should be noted that Anderson was also one of the participants in the conferences between the Adventist leadership and the Evangelicals.

Nearly a year later, in April 1957, another article appeared in The Ministry, this time by Elder W. E. Read, who the previous year was also a participant in the conferences with the Evangelicals. The significant thing about this article, besides extending the new view on the nature of Christ, was that they coined the word "vicarious," which then became the pivotal word in interpreting Christ's life as a man. He stated that Christ bore our weaknesses, our temptations, vicariously, in the same way He bore our iniquities. (Ministry, April 1957.) All dealings with the subject of the incarnation, as dealt with by those who held the Evangelical view, have since been one with the understanding that Christ TOP

8 -- Heb. 2 makes the point that since all men share the same human nature, Christ too shared equally in it. Dr. English's position that the Holy Spirit overshadowed Christ at His inception is true, but he also postulated that it was also the reason Christ did not take the same nature as the rest of humanity. That is not true. His nature is the example of fallen human nature combined with and controlled by the Divine moment by moment. Because Christ took fallen human nature does not mean that He yielded to its depravity. What He is now, is what the redeemed are to become.

9 -- During these conferences it became evident to the Evangelicals that the Adventist leaders were strenuously denying certain previously held doctrines. When Walter Martin pressed the question involving one of these doctrines -- the nature of Christ during the incarnation -- our leaders assured them that the majority of the denomination had always held the humanity of Christ to be sinless, holy, perfect -- despite the fact that certain writers of the denomination had gotten into print with contrary views completely repugnant to the Church at large. They explained that as with all fields of fundamental Christianity, they too, had among their numbers certain members of the "lunatic fringe" and wild-eyed irresponsibles. It was said that it was this minority that put forth those false ideas. To clear it up, and since Adventists were now doctrinally united, a book would be jointly issued with the Evangelical, The Truth About Seventh-day Adventists, stating once-for-all our position on those issues. The book was, Questions on Doctrine, authored in part by L. E. Froom.

p 73 -- "vicariously" bore those things that fallen man must bear. "Vicarious" used thus is the imagined participation in the experience of others. -- Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary. TOP

CHANGES, OMISSIONS, ALTERATIONS: The Bible Readings Omission: As it is recorded in Movement of Destiny, in 1949, Elder D. E. Rebok was requested by the Review and Herald to revise Bible Readings for the Home Circle. Under the question, "Where did God, in Christ, condemn sin and gain victory for us over temptation and sin?," it is interesting to compare the two publications. First the 1914 edition of Bible Readings:      "God, in Christ, condemned sin, not by pronouncing against it merely as a judge sitting on the judgment seat, but by coming and living in the flesh, in sinful flesh, and yet without sinning. In Christ, He demonstrated that it is possible, by His grace and power to resist temptation, overcome sin, and live a sinless life in sinful flesh."

Rebok's 1949 revision:     "God, in Christ, condemned sin, not by pronouncing against it merely as a judge sitting on the judgment seat, but by coming and living in the flesh, (omission) and yet without sinning. In Christ, He demonstrated that it is possible, by His grace and power, to resist temptation, overcome sin, and live a sinless life in the (omission) flesh."

Perhaps the most glaring account of the lengths that those who purport the view that Christ had a sinless human nature will go to establish that view in the teachings of the Adventist Church, is seen in the rewriting of the doctrinal history of the church's teachings by L. E. Froom and recorded in the book Movement of Destiny. Froom recognizes the Minneapolis General Conference as towering above all other conferences, before or since.

"The epochal Minneapolis Session stands out like a mountain peak, towering above all other sessions in uniqueness and importance. It was a distinct turning point. Nothing like it had occurred before, and none since has been comparable to it. It definitely introduced a new epoch." - Movement of Destiny, p. 187.

He also recognized that one of the principle speakers at the conference was Dr. E. J. Waggoner, whose talks were taken down in shorthand and later published

p 74 -- in the books, Christ and His Righteousness; and the Gospel in Creation; and the Glad Tidings. In bringing forth Waggoner's teachings, as they apply to the subject of Christ's human nature, Froom found that he could not harmonize them with the position that he held. Clearly, the position Waggoner (also A. T. Jones) presented was that which Froom, Anderson, Read, and others had denounced as the position held by the "lunatic fringe" and "wild-eyed irresponsibles." How could this problem be rectified? TOP

He simply rewrote what Waggoner had written:


"And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us." John 1:14.

No words could more plainly show that Christ was both God and man. Originally only Divine, He took upon Himself human nature, and passed among men as only a common mortal, except those times when His Divinity flashed through, as on the occasion of the cleansing of the temple, or when His burning words of simple truth forced even His enemies to confess that "never a man spake like this man."

The humiliation which Christ voluntarily took upon Himself is best expressed by Paul to the Phillippians, [Phil. 2: 5-8 margin quoted.]

The above rendering makes this text much more plain than it is in the common version. The idea is that, although Christ was in the form of God, being "the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person" (Heb. 1: 30), having all the attributes of God, being the Ruler of the universe and the One whom all


12. BECAME FLESH TO BEAR OUR SINS AND REMEEM. -- The next logical step is set forth in the section 5 ("God Manifest in the Flesh.") Waggoner quotes John 1:14 as affirming that in the incarnation "Christ was both God and man. Originally only Divine, He took upon Himself human nature." (p. 24) He lived on earth as a "Mortal."



Having taken the form of a servant, yet all the while




"having all the attributes of God, being the Ruler of the universe, and the One whom all heaven delighted to honor."

p 75 -- TOP

heaven delighted to honor, He did not think that any of these things were to be desired, so long as men were lost and without strength. He could not enjoy His glory while man was outcast, without hope. So He emptied Himself, divested Himself of all His riches and His glory, and took upon Himself the nature of man, in order that He might redeem him. And so we may reconcile Christ's unity with the Father, and the statement, "My Father is greater than I."

It is impossible for us to understand how Christ could, as God, humble Himself the death of the cross; and it is worse than useless for us to speculate about it. All we can do is to accept the facts as they are presented in the Bible. If the reader finds it difficult to harmonize some of the statements in the Bible concerning the nature of Christ, let him remember that it would be impossible to express it in terms that would enable finite minds to grasp it fully. Just as the grafting of the Gentiles into the stock of Israel is contrary to nature, so much of the Divine economy is a paradox to human understanding.

Other scriptures that we will quote bring closer to us the fact of the humanity of Christ, and what it means for us. We have already read that "the Word was made flesh," and now we will read what Paul says concerning the nature of that flesh: [Romans 8: 3, 4


Divesting Himself of these powers, He "took upon Himself the nature of man, in order that He might redeem him. (P. 25) To accomplish this, He became obedient "even to the death of the cross."





The transcendence of it all is an unfathomable truth, beyond the "human understanding" of "finite minds." (P. 26)




As to His humanity, Christ in the "likeness of sinful flesh." (Rom. 8: 3,4)

p 76 -- TOP


A little thought will be sufficient to show anybody that if Christ took upon Himself the likeness of man, in order that He might redeem man, it must have been sinful man that He came to redeem. Death could have no power over a sinless man, as Adam was in Eden; and it could not have had any power over Christ, if the Lord had not laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Moreover, the fact that Christ took upon Himself the flesh, not of a sinless being, but of a sinful man, that is, that flesh which He assumed had all the weaknesses and sinful tendencies to which fallen human nature is subject, is shown by the statement that He "was made of the seed of David according to the flesh" David had all the passions of human nature. He says of himself, "Behold I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." Ps. 51: 5.

The following statement in the book of Hebrews is very clear on this point: [Heb. 2: 16 - 17 quoted.]
If He was made in all things like unto His brethren, then He must have suffered all the infirmities, and been subject to all the temptations, of His brethren. Two more tests that put this matter very forcible will be sufficient evidence on this point. . .

This is much stronger than the statement that He was made "in the likeness of sinful flesh." He was made to be sin. Here is the same mystery as



God "laid on Him the iniquity of us all." He "took" all the



"weaknesses" of man, "suffered all the infirmities" of man. (P. 26, 27)




More than that, He was actually "made" - vicariously - to "be sin for us," that we "might be made the righteousness of God in him." (II Cor. 5:21) On this Waggoner comments:



"Here is the same mystery as that the Son of God should die. The spotless Lamb of God, who knew no sin, was made to be sin. Sinless, yet not only counted as a sinner, but actually taking

p 77 -- TOP

that the Son of God should die. The spotless Lamb of God, who knew no sin, was made to be sin. Sinless, yet not only counted as a sinner, but actually taking upon Himself sinful nature. He was made to be sin in order that we might be made righteousness. upon Himself sinful nature. He [sic] was made to be sin in order that we [sic] might be made righteousness." (p. 27, 28) Such was the exchange -- our sins for His righteousness.

It is little wonder that the following book review of Movement of Destiny alerted the reader to the very thing that had been demonstrated in Froom's prevarication of Waggoner's work in Christ and His Righteousness.

". . . the reader must always be on the alert when studying Froom, asking himself whether he has given a full account, or whether important aspects have been neglected, or misrepresented.

"Movement of Destiny seems to be the work of the General Conferences' 'defense committee to put all things straight,' with Froom serving as untiring preacher and organizer of the material." -- Spectrum, Autumn 1971.   10

10 -- The above comparisons between Waggoner and Froom were taken from, Interpretive History of the Incarnation, pp. 85-87 by William H. Grotheer.

This Book is Continued

at: Under Which Banner - Part 3 of 4

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