Jon A.Vannoy printed 1982
Part 2 of 4)
42 --- SECTION II -- THE FINAL ACT --
HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR FOR THE FUTURE EXCEPT AS WE SHOULD FORGET
THE WAY THE LORD HAS LED US,
AND HIS TEACHING, IN OUR PAST
ALPHA AND OMEGA OF APOSTACY: AN ATTACK AGAINST THE FOUNDATION PRINCIPLES:
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
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.
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.
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.
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
43 -- time. The Alpha was the beginning of this apostasy. The Omega
is the end of the same apostasy.
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.
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.
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
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
-- 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."
"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.
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.
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
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
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."
-- 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,
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
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.
"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.
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.
following two letters concerning Kellogg reveal even more of his divergence
from the "old landmarks," as E. G. White identified them.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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).
do they mean by "substance," "essence," "nature"?
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
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.
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
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.
day Adventists have somewhat of a problem because the Godhead portion
of their (1980) Twenty-Seven Fundamental Beliefs is very similar
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.
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?
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)
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.
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?
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
49 -- breadth, and deeper, more earnest, unwavering faith
in the leading of the Holy Spirit." -- Series "B"
No. 7, p. 57.
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.
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.
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.
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
50 -- unprepared Seventh-day Adventists will be snared as the Omega
continues to develop.
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.
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.
in favor of giving it [Living Temple] a wide circulation declared:
'It contains the very sentiments that Sister White has been teaching.'"
the points that have been made up to now concerning the Alpha and Omega
of Apostasy, it can be seen that:
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
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.
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
51 -- warning to the watchful that Satan is afoot and will exploit
every opportunity to increase his influence among the remnant people.TOP
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.
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.
the well informed, standing on the platform of truth, will be able to
distinguish the difference between truth and error.
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
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
52 -- taken, existing religious organization would be corrupted
in even greater measure to promote the new objective.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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. 6 The
church triumphant will be free from all earthly entanglements, holding
high the standard of truth, showing the mighty working of God from within
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.
is the Greek, future -- indicative
in the imperative, ofeimi:
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.
III -- OMEGA THE CONTINUING APOSTASY WITHIN THE CHURCH -- THE
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
56 -- and the power of God among Adventists, for both themselves
and their Organization.
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
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.
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?
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
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
57 -- aside
the reproof of the Holy Spirit, his heart and conscience become hardened
and he is in great darkness." -- Ibid.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
60 -- EVANGELICAL
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.
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
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
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.
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
See Movement of Destiny, the section: " From the Author
to the Reader," for full details on long range plans laid in 1930.
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.
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.
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)
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
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
Doctrine, by the Seventh-day Adventists; and on the Evangelical
side, The Truth About Seventh-day Adventists, by Walter Martin.
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
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
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
63 -- Christianity. This action of the Seventh-day Adventists
was indicative of similar steps that were taken subsequently.
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
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.
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:
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."
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
64 -- by
Barnhouse, then pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia,
and Editor-in-Chief of Eternity magazine.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
66 -- who seek to hold views divergent from that of the
responsible leadership of the denomination.'
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.
did Andreasen gain or hope to gain?
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."
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.
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.
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
67 -- '
then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from
another place.' Esther 4:14." -- Letters No. 6,
pp. 16, 17.
POINTS OF CONTENTION: 1.
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:
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,
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.
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
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.
did Crosier say in respect to the completion of the atonement? He made
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.
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.
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.
The atonement was made in the Sanctuary, but Calvary was not such a
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.
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
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.
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.
(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,
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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,
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.
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.
INCARNATION, CHIRST'S HUMAN NATURE: 2.
SECOND POINT OF CONTENTION: The
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.
was fitting that God, for who and through whom everything exists, should,
in bringing many sons to glory, make perfect through suffering
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.
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
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.
did in reality unite the offending nature of man with His own sinless
nature . . . " -- Review and Herald, July 17, (1900)
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)
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,
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
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
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.
-- 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.
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
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."
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.
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
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
simply rewrote what Waggoner had written:
the word was made flesh and dwelt among us." John 1:14.
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."
which Christ voluntarily took upon Himself is best expressed
by Paul to the Phillippians, [Phil. 2: 5-8 margin quoted.]
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
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."
the form of a servant, yet all the while
all the attributes of God, being the Ruler of the universe,
and the One whom all heaven delighted to honor."
75 -- TOP
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
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.
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,
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."
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)
76 -- TOP
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.
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. . .
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
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
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
77 -- TOP
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.
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.
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
-- The above comparisons between Waggoner and Froom were taken from,
Interpretive History of the Incarnation, pp. 85-87 by William
Book is Continued
Which Banner - Part 3 of 4