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Under Which Banner (Part 1 of 4)

CONTENTS: p. 1-3

Under Which Banner p. 4

Foreword p. 5

SECTION I
Under Which Banner?

Romanism in the Seventh-day Adventist Church p. 9

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

God's Remedy For a Sick Church p. 14

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

The Real Motive - Preservation of Authority p. 17

The Need For Reorganization

Reorganization 1897 - 1901 p. 21

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

Some Positive Action Taken p. 30

The 1903 General Conference -- A Reversal p. 32

The 1901 Constitution Amended p. 35

Organization after 1903 p. 37

Under Which Banner (Part 2 of 4)

SECTION II
The Final Act

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

SECTION III
Omega -- The Continuing Apostasy Within The Church

The Apostasy p. 54

Diluting the Truth p. 55

The Controversial 1950's p. 57

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

Evangelical Entanglements p. 60

The Martin and Barnhouse Affair p. 61

Questions on Doctrine p. 64

The Andreasen Letters p. 64

Outstanding Points of Contention p. 67

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

New Thoughts on the Incarnation p. 71

Changes, Omissions, Alterations p. 73

Under Which Banner (Part 3 of 4)

SECTION IV
The Shaking

The Heppenstall - Ford - Brinsmead Era p. 78

The Strawmen p. 81

Original Sin p. 83

Ralph Larson and the Root of the Problem p. 84

Heppenstall and Original Sin p. 85

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

The SDA Leadership vs. Desmond Ford p. 89

Ford's Dismissal p. 90

SECTION V
The Golden Calf

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

Preserving the Landmarks - Formation of a Creed p. 96

Into the Abyss-- Following the Leaders p. 100

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Under Which Banner (Part 4 of 4)

Which Authority? p. 104

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

Neal Wilson's Perjury p. 112

SECTION VI
Righteousness by Faith

Christ in you - The True Church p. 115

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

The Seal of God p. 122

SECTION VII
Primitive Godliness

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

Individuality in Religion or
Liberty of Conscience
p. 125

Danger of Following the Leaders p. 127

The End of Things p. 128

Voice of the Dragon p. 130

The Gramsci Principle p. 134

The True Church p. 139

ADDENDUM

Sharing the Divine Nature - Anticipating the New Creation p . 142

END of BOOK

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Bible Study Guides
- William H. Grotheer

ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S
FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)

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

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

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

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Manuscripts

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

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

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

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

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

In the Form of a Slave
- William H. Grotheer

Jerusalem In Bible Prophecy
- William H. Grotheer

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

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

Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer

Seal of God
 - William H. Grotheer

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

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

STEPS to ROME
- William H. Grotheer

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

Remembering
Elder William H. Grotheer

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TOP

BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary

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

OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:

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

Bible As History - Werner Keller

Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts

Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith

Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson

Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones

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

Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen

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

Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen

Sanctuary Service, The
- M. L. Andreasen

So Much In Common - WCC/SDA

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

Under Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy

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UNDER WHICH BANNER?

 

 

by Jon A.Vannoy printed 1982

Revised winter 1998-1999

( Part 4 of 4 )

 

p 104 -- WHICH AUTHORITY?     "The General Conference Committee is the highest authority in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. All other Organizations and institutions that carry the name Seventh-day Adventist have a subsidiary role to the General Conference; and specifically to your question concerning the Pacific Press, the Pacific Press is considered an institution under the control of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists." -- Neal C. Wilson -- Court Reporter's Transcript, p. 0372. (Emphasis supplied)

Is it ever safe for a representative group - a committee - of "spiritual leaders"   23  to frame and issue a statement on the subject of righteousness by faith for the people at large to accept? Does the General Conference Committee, or Neal Wilson, or any group of leaders, or anyone for that matter, ever have the real authority -- authority not usurped -- to appoint such a committee? Wilson said that in the early church the question in Acts 15 was not submitted to a vote by the church members; all discussion ended when the voice of the highest authority - the apostles -- had spoken. Whatever happened to the Protestant principle of individual determination in the manner of worshipping God as led by God?

In the Seventh-day Adventist Church ,which voice is the voice of highest authority? Is it the General Conference Committee, as Wilson said, or is it the General Session of the Church as a whole? Technically and historically, it is the latter; but in actuality, it is the former as the nearly comatose membership allows it to be - a failing of human organization.

But then Wilson's postulation is nothing new, historically the "voice" has been appropriated by the few to achieve their own purposes. During the 1901 General Conference Session Ellen White said that there was a time in the church when the General Conference was considered to be as the voice of God to the people; but that time had passed and they were to build upon a different principle. (1901 GCB, p. 25).

By 1909 she had eased back somewhat and issued a prepared statement for the delegates, then in General Session, which was to clarify what she had said in 1901:

23 -- This is reminiscent of a Roman Catholic conclave in which the College of Cardinals assembled with special authority to decide issues and formulate church law.

p 105 -- "At times, when a small group of men entrusted with the general management of the work have, in the name of the General Conference, sought to carry out unwise plans and to restrict God's work, I have said that I could no longer regard the voice of the General Conference, represented by these few men, as the voice of God. But this is not saying that the decisions of a General Conference composed of an assembly of duly appointed, representative men from all parts of the field should not be respected. God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority. The error that some are in danger of committing is in giving to the mind and judgment of one man, or a small group of men, the full measure of authority and influence that God has vested in His church in the judgment and voice of the General Conference assembled to plan for the prosperity and advancement of His work."  -- 9T 260-261. (The full text of what she said is in these pages and makes interesting reading).

"When this power, which God has placed in the church, is accredited wholly to one man, [or group of men] and he is invested with the authority to be judgment for other minds, then the true Bible order is changed." -- Ibid.

The highest authority in the church is the voice of the General Conference when in full session, and then only when its actions are in harmony with the revealed work of God and not in violation of the individual right of conscience.

Should any man or any representative group of spiritual leaders decide for the whole "practical direction" in studying the "major truths of justification and sanctification" or anything else for that matter? With what authority do leaders such as these speak? Do they speak with authority similar to the apostles as they would have us think? Shall they be judgment for other minds -- minds other than their own? As these men step from the Bible platform in deciding such things, is it safe to follow after them?     "Let every man stand at his post of duty, to act his part for this time and know that God is his instructor." -- 9T 260. TOP

POLICY OR TRUTH? -- ORGANIZATIONAL PRESERVATION
NO MATTER THE COST: --

 

"LEADERSHIP WILL LEAD IN LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING, AND FOLLOWERSHIP WILL SUPPORT THE CHURCH LEADERSHIP UNFAILINGLY, EVEN THOUGH NECESSARILY CRITICAL OF SOME DECISIONS OF THE LEADERSHIP." Walter R. Beach, Adventist Review, October 25, 1979

p 106 -- In the lawsuit involving the Pacific Press and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the Federal Government, the denomination, through its leadership, purposely took a stance that was decidedly papal. If one were not aware of the political nature of the Organization and the maneuvering that takes place in the play and interplay for power and position, one would find Willis Hackett's May 26, 1977 Review article incredible when compared to what was revealed in the lawsuit and the resulting trial involving the Pacific Press.

Nearly two years after the trial, Hackett wrote of the General Conference's concern that the "landmarks" be preserved. Even the article's title, "Preserve The Landmarks" expressed that concern. Remarking on other churches once zealous in the proclamation of the simple gospel, he related that:     "The history of the churches shows that the eroding of faith that occurred did not emanate from bad men or atheistic schemers. Rather, there occured an almost imperceptible decline in the thrust of the gospel on the part of those who claimed to be the gospel's supporters. While their lifestyle remained exemplary, somehow they lost touch with the Spirit of Christ and the Scriptures. An erosion of faith, once begun, often turns out to be irreversible." -- Review, May 1977 (emphasis supplied)

What sanctimoniousness! What a nauseating pretense of virtue! What bald-faced hypocrisy! The machinations of these men were nothing short of organized mendacity to hide the truth and distort the language in order to control the minds of the membership.   24   The same Organizational leaders who claimed such great concern in preserving the landmarks were foremost in tearing them down two years prior. The erosion of faith among Seventh-day Adventists by that time was irreversible. That is not to say that the church could not have recovered its loss; but because the leaders were dedicated to policy, power, and the preservation of the Organization at the expense of "thus saith the Lord;" and since the membership follows leadership without question, and neither were forced by God to comply, so the crucial reversal of direction did not take place.

What did the trial reveal? Beside the obvious reason for the trial, the church's policy of paying female employees less than male employees for identical or nearly identical work, it revealed a complete lack of confidence on the part of the leadership in God's willingness and ability to provide for what they call God's work. The leaders did not trust God. In other words, they were devoid of faith.

24 -- George Orwell originated the "mendacity" phrase in Animal Farm, his 1945 satire on dictatorship. TOP

p 107 -- Their lack of confidence in God is easily demonstrated in the attempt to defend the Organization, right or wrong, at the expense of everything that separated Seventh-day Adventists from the professed Christian world.

The case was tried in the United States District Court, Northern District of California. In the reply brief for the Defendants (Pacific Press,) and in sworn affidavits by Robert Pierson and Neal Wilson, certain facts were revealed that placed the leadership and the Organization they represent clearly off the platform of truth. A few examples are as follows:

On page four of the Reply Brief for the Defendants, the leadership revealed the following position:     "2.   Although it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Viewpoint, and the term 'hierarchy' was used in the pejorative sense to refer to the papal form of church governance, that attitude on the Church's part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative Protestant denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been consigned to the historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned." -- Reply Brief for the Def., p. 4, Civ. No. 74-2025 CBR

For those Adventists who still value the "dated" view of the papacy now consigned to the historical trash heap, the following will be of worth:     "The Roman Church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christ-like garments; but she is unchanged. Every principle of the papacy that existed in past ages exists today. The doctrines devised in the darkest ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves. The papacy that Protestants are now so ready to honor is the same that ruled the world in the days of the Reformation when men of God stood up, at the peril of their lives, to expose her iniquity. She possesses the same pride and arrogant assumption that lorded it over kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. Her spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when she crushed out human liberty, and slew the saints of the Most High." -- GC 571. TOP

p 108 -- Referring to this court case, Robert Pierson sought to quell growing rumors that the church had taken a decidedly "unAdventist" position. Moving to disarm any criticism of the leadership he covered these points:

1.    Is the church above the law? "As stated above, the Seventh-day Adventist Church per se does not feel that it is above the law or that it is not subject to City, State, or Federal laws. Seventh-day Adventists are traditionally law abiding citizens, and the church counsels our members to keep the laws of the land." -- Review, March 24, 1977, Robert Pierson.   25

2.    Does the Adventist ministry have a series of "orders?" "In the Adventist ministry we do not have various "orders" with some "outranking" others. It is true that some have larger parishes than others, but basically we are all in this great cause together, and we would not have it any other way." -- Ibid. (Robert Pierson)

3.    But what does Pierson say in his personal affidavit? "13. The orders of ministry in the Seventh-day Adventist Church include Ordained Ministers, Credentialed Missionaries, Licensed Ministers, Licensed Missionaries, and Credentialed Literature Evangelists. All of these are ministers of the Church, and charged by God with carrying on His work. . . " -- Affidavit of Robert H. Pierson, p. 8 (Civ. No. 74-2025 CBR) and, "14. An ordained minister is authorized and expected to preach the gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and to administer the sacraments. . ." -- Ibid. (Robert Pierson) TOP

Which of the "sacraments" are Seventh-day Adventist ministers to administer? The term sacrament is fundamentally Roman Catholic. It denotes a sign of grace as taught in their doctrinal system.

There are seven sacraments -- Baptism, which takes away original sin, and also actual sin and all the punishment due to them if the person baptized is guilty but repentant. At baptism Catholics become members of the Church, subject to its laws, and capable of receiving other sacraments. -- Confirmation, is the next sacrament, wherein the Bishop extends his hands over those who are to be confirmed, prays that they may receive the Holy Ghost, and, while laying his hand on each person, anoints the forehead with holy chrism in the form of a cross. The sacrament of -- Penance is the rite by which sins committed after baptism are forgiven through the absolution of the priest. -- Holy Orders, another sacrament, gives a full share in the priesthood of Christ, power to offer

25 -- Take note of the position taken by the leadership during the trial which preceded Pierson's Review article: "The church claims exemption from all civil laws in all of its religious institutions; although it seeks accommodation, it draws a line of its own when dealing with Caesar." -- Neal C. Wilson Deposition, pp. 74-77, 79

p 109 -- Mass, to forgive sins and so on. -- Matrimony and Anointing of the Sick are fairly self-explanatory.

The sacrament Pierson was referring to was the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Of all the error Seventh-day Adventists were set apart to oppose, it is the Holy Eucharist, and all it represents. According to Roman Catholic theology, it is a sacrament and a sacrifice. Under the appearances of bread and wine, Christ is said to be literally contained, offered, and received. The Holy Eucharist also involves the sacrifice of the Mass in which Christ offers Himself time after time at the beckoning of a priest in what they term an unbloody manner.

"The Mass continues the Sacrifice of the Cross. Each time Mass is offered, the Sacrifice of Christ is repeated. A new sacrifice is not offered; but by divine power, one and the same sacrifice is repeated." -- (New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism-The Holy Eucharist.)

How does Christ being sacrificed many times from the same sacrifice compare to scripture? Notice with Rome the "benefits" of the original sacrifice are not "applied," rather, the original sacrifice is repeated - truly, another mystery of Rome!

"For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. "Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. "Hebrews 9:24-28 (see also Hebrews 10: 8-14.)

"The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that

p 110 -- God's hand had directed the great Advent Movement and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of His people." -- GC, p. 428

"It is those who by faith follow Jesus in the great work of the atonement who receive the benefits of His mediation in their behalf, while those who reject the light which brings to view this work of ministration are not benefited thereby. . . The condition of the unbelieving Jews illustrates the condition of the careless and unbelieving among professed Christians, who are willingly ignorant of the work of our merciful High Priest. In the typical service, when the high priest entered the most holy place, all Israel were required to gather about the sanctuary and in the most solemn manner humble their souls before God, that they might receive the pardon of their sins and not be cut off from the congregation. How much more essential in the antitypical day of atonement that we understand the work of our High Priest and know what duties are required of us." -- GC, p. 430-431

"The passing of the time in 1844 was followed by a period of great trial to those who still held the advent faith. Their only relief, so far as ascertaining their true position was concerned, was the light which directed their minds to the sanctuary above. Some renounced their faith in their former reckoning of the prophetic periods and ascribed to human or satanic agencies the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit which had attended the Advent Movement. Another class firmly held that the Lord had led them in their past experience; and as they waited and watched and prayed to know the will of God, they saw that their great High Priest had entered upon another work of ministration, and following Him by faith, they were led to see also the closing work of the church. They had a clearer understanding of the first and second angels' messages, and were prepared to receive and give to the world the solemn warning of the third angel of Revelation 14." -- GC, p. 432 TOP

Was the term "sacraments" used inadvertently? If this were the case then it would have been an isolated incident, but it was not. To profess to administer the sacraments and the use of such terminology was to accomplish certain desired effects. There is, throughout the transcript of the trial, a very obvious attempt to convey the impression that the

p 111 -- Adventist church and its form of organization is very similar to the Roman Catholic organization. Not only is the idea of the "sacraments" employed repeatedly, but the term hierarchy, referring to the Adventist leadership, was used to achieve the same results.

In the Pacific Press brief the idea of hierarchy is clearly brought forth:     "In their zeal to deny the organization and structure of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in order to be enabled to deny the authority of the General Conference committee, the intervene-plaintiffs fall into the error of teaching false doctrine, which is contrary to the doctrine and practice of the Church. Thus, Mrs. [Lorna] Tobler [one of the plaintiffs -- the other was Meri Kay Silver] swears ' I have frequently heard the term "hierarchy" used among Adventist[s] [sic.] when reference is made to the Roman Catholic system, of which I have always been taught that Adventists strongly disapprove. I have never heard the term "hierarchy" used to describe Adventist ministers, as it is done in the defendants' [Pacific Press] brief. . . .and I find it strange and contradictory to all I have ever learned in Adventist schools and churches.'

"In several ways this illustrates the dangers incurred by an individual church member who presumes to deny the authority of the duly constituted officials and governing bodies of the Church. In the first place it is true that for a period in its history, the Seventh-day Adventist Church had an aversion to Roman Catholicism and especially to the papal form of church government -- an aversion shared by virtually all Protestant denominations. While, however, Adventist doctrine continues to teach that church government by one man is contrary to the Word of God, it is not good Adventism to express, as Mrs. Tobler has done, an aversion to Roman Catholicism as such.

"The term 'hierarchy' or 'hierarchical' has no such adverse connotation in Seventh-day Adventist theology as Mrs. Tobler suggests." -- (Reply Brief for the Defendants, pp. 29-30)

Another example of this Romanistic theme can be observed in the Organization's argument that the government does not have the power to regulate the wage practices of a religious institution.

p 112 -- "The wage policy of a church cannot be determined by government. The wage policies of religious institutions vary greatly: some religious orders require backbreaking labor under a vow of poverty, while a teen-age guru is reported to enjoy six Rolls-Royces and a bushel of rubies."

"Those who work for the Seventh-day Adventist Church respond to a religious vocation in exactly the same sense as does a cloistered nun. Man's law is by its very nature not applicable." -- Opening Brief for the Defendants. Civ. No. 74-2025 CBR, p. 89-90 TOP

NEAL WILSON'S PERJURY:     In reviewing the trial record and the differing responses of the leadership to the charges put forth by the Federal Government, it is clear that the motivating decision to oppose the wage discrimination charges brought against them was not because of so-called "constitutional breaches" so much as it was a thinly disguised attempt to preserve the authority they thought was being threatened.

Of all the leaders involved in the Pacific Press lawsuit, it appears that Neal Wilson, in his zeal to establish a claim to the authority he saw as being challenged by the Federal Government, went well beyond the trust conferred upon him as a leader by making a series of statements of a highly contradictory nature. Those statements seriously compromised the position and work of the Seventh-day Adventist people.

Robert Pierson attempted to pass off these and other palpably false statements as an effort initiated by attorneys who were not Seventh-day Adventists to present the denomination's side in language they felt would be better understood in the courtroom. (See Adventist Review, March 24, 1977, p. 7.) But the question remains, who gave them the authority to make such statements? Only the leadership had the authority to authorize such statements, and the name that appears most in giving this authorization is that of Neal C. Wilson.

It is Wilson who gave the authority for the statement that     "it is not good Seventh-day Adventism to express, as Mrs. Tobler has done, an aversion to Roman Catholicism as such." (Reply Brief, p. 30.) It was his authorization that allowed their attorneys to state that the traditional Seventh-day Adventist aversion to Roman Catholicism had been TOP

p 113 -- consigned to the historical trash heap. (Reply Brief, p. 4.) He authorized the statement that:      "On the one hand, we insist that the church is carrying out the Commandments of God, preaching the Good News to all peoples, animated by the Great Commandment to 'love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself.'

"On the other hand, we insist that in doing its holy work, the church is free to ignore, even to flout, measures which bind all others." -- Brief for Appellants, p. 78

It was Wilson who allowed that,     "the Church claims exemption from all civil laws in all of its religious institutions; although it seeks accommodation, it draws a line of its own when dealing with Caesar." (Wilson Deposition 74-77, 79.) He authorized the statement that:     "As an organized religious denomination the Seventh-day Adventist Church insists that it is ' wholly exempt' from the cognizance of Civil Authority, and that slight entanglements, practical exceptions, and 'reasonable adjustments' are not to be tolerated." Appellant Brief, p. 80

Compare the above statement to a remark in Volume 9 of the Testimonies:     "We should weed out from our writings and utterances every expression that, taken by itself, could be so misrepresented as to make it appear antagonistic to law and order. Everything should be carefully considered, lest we place ourselves on record as encouraging disloyalty to our country and its laws." -- 9T, p. 238

In Wilson's personal affidavit he continued his perjury by flatly stating that:     " 60.   A Seventh-day Adventist School is not a mere alternative to, or substitute for, a public school or nondenominational private school education. It is a religious endeavor carried on in a religious atmosphere. The religious mission so far pervades the educational institution that Seventh-day Adventist schools do not accept governmental aid." -- Wilson Affidavit, p. 31, par. 60, dated Feb. 6, 1976. (Emphasis supplied.) TOP

p 114 -- Yet in the Review of November 27, 1975, a few months prior to the above statement, Editor, Kenneth Wood, recounted the action of the 1972 Annual Council that was held in Mexico City which "adopted a new policy on church-state relationships in the United States. That policy established guidelines under which church-operated educational institutions could accept government aid." Thereafter, at each succeeding Annual Council a report was presented that revealed a growing dependence on government "subsidization."

"The amount of support received from the government and from the church was almost equal last year -- $14,979,859.53 from the government; $15,161,360.29 from the church. Capital funds (one-time grants) totaled about $905,000, while money for operating totaled more than $4,600,000. Loans and scholarship funds totaled nearly $7,800,000. Of the approximately $13 million received by Loma Linda University, $8 million came from the government; $5 million from the church." -- Review, Nov. 27, 1975.

Comparing Wilson's February 6, 1976, Affidavit with Wood's 1975 Review article, is it possible that Neal Wilson, as North American Division Head, was absent from the 1972 Annual Council Meeting and had, therefore, been unaware for a little over three years of the highly controversial action taken there, establishing for the first time guidelines for accepting government aid?

The aforementioned differences in the public testimony of Neal Wilson are a mere sampling of a long list of perjurious statements -- statements too plain and numerous to be termed inadvertent mistakes or passed off as courtroom jargon. Such statements reveal a thirst for power and position, that begets not only a loss of credibility, but more importantly, does not represent those traits of character that should be in a leader of a denomination that claims to keep the Commandments of God.

Do Seventh-day Adventists have a "first minister" as Robert Pierson called himself and those who after him would hold the position of General Conference President? Does the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church administer the "sacraments" as Pierson professed? And is the leadership correct in portraying the church as an ecclesiastical organization with "orders of ministry?" Are those who choose to work in the denomination placing themselves in the same position as "cloistered

p 115 -- nuns?" Do Adventists have a hierarchy; and does it, or does it not, have an adverse connotation in the church? Is the church exempt from all civil laws in all of its religious institutions as it claims? Has the Seventh-day Adventist church consigned its anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint "to the historical trash heap" as the leadership suggests? Is it, or is it not, "good Adventism" to express an aversion to Roman Catholicism? If these things are true, and the leadership has sworn in Federal Court as to their truthfulness, then the Organization is steeped in apostasy. But if those things are not true, then the leadership perjured themselves and should have been dealt with according to the laws of the land. In either case, they proved themselves false and did their brethren in the faith a great injustice.     "A BACKSLIDING CHURCH NARROWS THE DISTANCE BETWEEN ITSELF AND THE PAPACY." -- EGW, Signs of the Times, Feb. 19, 1894. TOP

SECTION VI -- RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH --

 

WE ARE THE CHURCH. THERE IS NO OTHER CHURCH THAN THE ASSEMBLY OF THOSE WHO HAVE THE WORD OF GOD AND ARE PURIFIED BY IT. - MARTIN LUTHER

CHRIST IN YOU, THE TRUE CHURCH:     It is a great mistake to limit the gospel message to any particular segment or piece of doctrine. Its broadness and all encompassing nature is such that one should never regard whatever facet under consideration as the whole, but as a piece of the whole. To segmentize the gospel and then pigeonhole the result strips it of its dynamism. Because of this failing, the revelation of God's Way of planting His nature in fallen, but redeemed mankind has become confused and many times lost.

The "open secret" hidden from the ancients was revealed when the Son of God became a human being, to save human beings, which in turn, by their intrigues, promptly set about to conceal it. But God will not be denied. His word will not return to Him empty.

"It makes me happy to be suffering for you now, and in my own body to make up all the hardships that still have to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church, of which I was made a servant with the responsibility towards you that God gave to me, that of completing God's message, the message which was an open secret hidden for generations and centuries and has now been revealed to his holy people. It was God's

p 116 -- purpose to reveal to them how rich is the glory of this open secret among the nations; it is Christ in you, your hope of glorification." Col. 1: 24-28.

Sin is not guilt as in original sin -- it is a condition. It exists because by "one man sin entered the world." Humankind have a condition perpetuated in them from the first man. A man might not want the condition, but he has it. Because of the gift of God, through the other "one man," Jesus Christ, the way is made clear to be free of sin.     "One man's offense brought condemnation on all humanity; and one man's good act has brought justification and life to all humanity." Romans 5: 18.

Acts of sin reveal the existence of an inward condition that only God has the remedy for, and is affirmed in the text:     "For in the good news God's way for man to be in right standing with Him is uncovered, the Way of faith that leads to greater faith. . ." Romans 1: 17.     The problem with mankind is their fondness for reckoning their way as superior to God's Way. TOP

Consider Adam, who was created pure with a disposition that was harmonious with God. There was no inclination in him to do anything contrary to the will of God. He was a free moral agent with freedom to make independent choices in regard to his mode of conduct in association with his Creator. It was his nature to be a trusted citizen under the sovereignty of God; one who freely chose to honor and esteem his Maker as due the devotion asked of him. In short, Adam exercised complete freedom of will.

When the opportunity came for Adam to choose whether or not to submit to God, he exercised his free will to ignore his Maker's command, and by that choice he separated himself and all those who would come after him from God to suffer the penalty of his offense. A part of that penalty was the loss of free will. Hence Paul's remark in his letter to the Romans:     "And human nature has nothing to look forward to but death, while the Spirit looks forward to life and peace, because the outlook of disordered human nature is opposed to God, since it does not submit to God's Law, and indeed it cannot, and those who live by their natural inclinations can never be pleasing to God." (Emphasis supplied.)

In the King James version the word "enmity" is used in describing the natural condition of humanity in its connection to God. Humanity in its natural state is the enemy of God. Enmity is the feeling or condition of hostility, hatred, ill will, animosity and antagonism. It has, at its root, the idea of loathing someone or something to the point of being nauseous -- a condition seen, in varying degrees, in all unrepentant humanity.

p 117 -- "The moment the workmanship of God refused obedience to the laws of God's kingdom, that moment he became disloyal to the government of God and he made himself entirely unworthy of all the blessings wherewith God had favored him.

"This was the position of the human race after man divorced himself from God by transgression. Then he was no longer entitled to a breath of air, a ray of sunshine, or a particle of food. And the reason why man was not annihilated was because God so loved him that He made the gift of His dear Son that He should suffer the penalty of his transgression. " -- EGW Ms 36, 1890. TOP

Knowing the absolute helplessness of fallen humanity to be anything other than a race of beings who were inwardly and outwardly in rebellion, God activated His long established plan by which He would literally save man from himself. Abraham's sacrifice is one lesson in the plan to save "men."
The story is rife with symbolism: Commanded by God to offer his only son as a sacrifice, Abraham took wood for the fire and "loaded" it on the young man. He carried the knife and fire for the offering himself. As they set out for the mountain, Isaac said to his father that they had wood, fire and the knife for the offering, but no lamb. Abraham's reply was a prediction of what God intended to do:     "My son, God himself will provide the lamb for the sacrifice." -- Genesis 21: 8

When the Lamb did arrive, He stated His purpose. Reading from Isaiah Jesus said:     "The Spirit of the Lord is on me for Jehovah has anointed me. He has sent me to bring the news to the afflicted, to soothe the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, release to those in prison, to proclaim a year of favor from Jehovah." Luke 4: 18; Isaiah 61: 1, 2.     God, through Christ, would free man from his sinful condition.

Those who labor under the opinion that they must, by their own free will, surrender first to God before they receive strength to render obedience to God's requirements are bound still -- blind, sitting in darkness in the prison house of sin. (See Isa. 42: 5-7) Human nature exists, not in its original state, but imprisoned by the power of evil. It is separated from God, the source of all good, by a natural bent of will to self-love and sin. A man's actions are determined within himself, before he acts, by his corrupt nature. Good and evil cannot spring from the same source, and that makes man void of the ability to correct his own affliction. His only hope is God. TOP

Salvation is God's doing, not man's. It is His gift. God gives, man receives. The free will (the disposition) of unregenerated mankind is opposed to faith, and

p 118 -- whatever is not of faith is sin. It is an illusion encouraged by Satan to keep those who fancy themselves as possessing it, bound in chains of self-righteousness. Only God can restore in man the free will which he, ironically, with the last act of his free will, surrendered.

Free will or freedom of choice boils down to the question of merit. If man at anytime and to any degree in his natural state chooses to serve God, then there is merit in that act which places God in the position of owing those who exercise their freedom to choose.     "It is not what a person wants or does that makes him acceptable to God but only whether or not God extends him His grace." Romans 9:16.     Only those whom God chooses are prepared for His kingdom.

"Men are educated to think that if a man repents he shall be pardoned, supposing that repentance is the way, the door, into heaven that there is a certain assured value in repentance to buy for him forgiveness. Can a man repent of himself? No more than he can pardon himself." -- Ms 36, 1890.

"There is danger in regarding justification by faith as placing merit on faith. When you take the righteousness of Christ as a free gift, you are justified freely through the redemption of Christ. What is faith? ' The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' Heb. 11:1 It is an assent of the understanding of God's words which binds the heart in willing consecration and service to God, who gave the understanding, who moved the heart, who first drew the mind to view Christ on the cross of Calvary. Faith is rendering to God the intellectual powers, abandonment of the mind and will to God, and making Christ the only door to enter into the kingdom of heaven." -- Ibid. TOP

If there is anything in man's salvation that could be initiated by him, he could claim a right to heaven and God would be placed in the position of a debtor, obligated to man for his part in his redemption. In His part as debtor, God would also be required to relinquish His sovereign right to choose who would and who would not be in His kingdom.

That is not the case.     "Do you despise the rich blessings of his goodness and patience in enduring evil? Are you ignorant that it is the graciousness of God that brings you to a change of thought and feeling; to reversal and reform?" (Romans 2:4)     The driving force in this verse is two-fold. The first presents God as patient in enduring evil, but for a purpose. His toleration of it is not passive; He allows it while He actively brings some to repentance, and the picture given is not so much the image of a shepherd "leading" his sheep (who follow their

p 119 -- master because they know Him) but that of a drover driving a herd of cattle (who do not know Him) in a direction only He knows. The herd has no idea of their direction, or destination, let alone how to get there. Only the drover knows.

The immediate "destination," of course, is repentance; and after the individual is brought to that discernment, he is not left to struggle on his own. God continuously gives him not only the strength, but the will to obey, and for the best of reasons - that His purpose be completed - which is the forming of Christ in us, our only hope for glorification:     "For it is God who continues to give you power to both will and to accomplish his purpose." Philippians 2: 13

"The Lord Jesus imparts [not imputes  26  ] all the powers, all the grace, all the penitence, all the inclination, all the pardon of sins, in presenting His righteousness to man to grasp by living faith -- which is also the gift of God." -- EGW --Ms 36, 1890 TOP

The only work required is that which Jesus called the work of God:     "Jesus gave them this answer, this is the work of God, that you believe in the One He has sent." (John 6:29)     Even belief is from God, and together with belief the faithful must fearlessly maintain, by a firm grasp, their first confidence to the end. In other words, one must not only believe in Christ but persevere in belief to the end. Paul expressed it by saying,     ". ..striving towards the goal of resurrection from the dead. Not that I have secured it already, nor reached my goal, but I am pursuing it in the attempt to take hold of the prize - for which Christ took hold of me. Brothers, I do not reckon myself as having taken hold of it; I can only say that forgetting all that lies behind me, and straining forward to what lies in front, I am racing towards the finishing-point to win the prize of God's


26 -- It is important to make the distinction between impute and impart when considering what God is desirous of extending to humankind. To impute implies attributing to one person something derived from another. In theological terms the righteousness which is Christ's and originates in Him is, in a judicial sense, attributed to fallen but repentant mankind who have none of their own. The righteousness is not theirs, it is Christ's. To impart means for one to grant or to give a share of something to another so that it becomes his. Again in theological terms, Christ shares His righteousness with His chosen so it literally becomes part of them. When EGW wrote that the Lord Jesus imparts all the powers, all thegrace, all the penitence, all the inclination, all the pardon and the gift of faith, those things are not merely attributed to His chosen, they are in reality made part of them. Christ shares His nature (which embodies all those things) with His people so that it, in reality, becomes fully theirs. Accordingly they are enabled to render God what is rightfully due Him of their own volition. That is how the redeemed will be enabled to stand before God without an Intercessor.

p 120 -- heavenly call in Christ Jesus. So this is the way in which all of us who are mature should be thinking, and if you are still thinking differently in any way, then God has yet to make the matter clear to you. Meanwhile, let us go forward from the point we have each attained." Philippians 3: 11-16. (Emphasis supplied)

The last sentence is remarkable, and it is at the heart of gaining the prize that Paul speaks of. And the prize is, again, glorification, which is attainable only if Christ is formed in the individual. TOP

GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT -- CHRIST IN YOU: One thousand seven hundred years ago Christians were murdering each other in large numbers. The fight was over who had the correct teaching on the nature of the Son. The two warring factions are represented today by what is known as the Western Church and the Eastern Church (the Latin -Roman and Greek Churches.)

Constantine the Great, in AD 325, assembled the combatants at Nice, a short distance south of Constantinople, (Istanbul in present day Turkey) in an attempt bring peace to the empire and unity to the church; but the schism, more cultural than anything, was permanent. The Eastern Church had established more precise concepts of the older "subordination/emanation theory" which held that the Son was a "generation" (eternal generation) of the original divine being. Such was the position of Arius who maintained that the Logos had a beginning, a moment when he did not "as yet" exist.

Athanasius in the West opposed that idea with his theory of "unity of essence," or two divine original essences without beginning and independent of each other --initially a dyarchy not triarchy. The Trinity would come some fifty-five years later. Athanasius prevailed at the Council, and the Nicene Creed was born (AD 325). TOP

In AD 381, the Council held in Constantinople altered the Creed formulated in 325 and added the Holy Spirit as the third member of the "Godhead." Still, centuries passed before the present day concept of a "(third) person," sharing the essence of the other two Gods, became established.

What was the "historic" Seventh-day Adventist view of the Holy Spirit? Uriah Smith probably said it best in a Review and Herald article dated, October 28, 1890:     "But respecting this 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.

p 121 -- "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."

In the midst of the brutal controversy between Arianism's "separation of essence" in the Diety, and those who followed Athanasius in renouncing the Arians by adhering to the idea of "unity of essence," (and who formed the doctrine of a "Triune God" because of their opposition to Arias) there were a few men on hand of a less savage nature who did not engage themselves in the contest with the same ferocity as the others around them.

One of those men, Hillary of Poictiers, advocated that believers remain fast by the simple Christian doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit, which, he said the Bible furnishes no information for exact logical definitions. He also believed there to be no exact definitions concerning the relation of the Holy Spirit to the Father, as he found concerning the relation of the Father to the Son; nor could he find the name of God used referring to the Holy Spirit.

Gregory of Nazianzen, whom modern Catholics refer to as "The Theologian," said in the year 380,    "Some of our theologians consider the Holy Spirit to be a certain mode of the divine agency, others, a creature of God; others, God himself. Others say, they do not know themselves which of the two opinions [Arius or Athanasius] they ought to adopt, out of reverence for the holy Scriptures, which have not clearly explained this point." -- Neander, General History of the Christian Religion and Church, Vol. II, pp. 418--420.TOP

What is "God's Holy Spirit?" Without being too narrow in definition, It appears to be God's own Spirit, His gift to believers, because it is in His Spirit that we are enabled to participate in His nature; which could not happen if the Holy Spirit were a separate person.

The words of Jesus, (John 14:16) "I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Comforter (Paraclete) to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth. . ." is thought of as proof of the Holy Spirit as being a separate person, the "third person" of the Trinity. The Greek words, "allon paraklhton" ("allon parakleton") translated as another Comforter, another Advocate, another Counselor, another Protector has at least two possible renditions: one that is the same but different in concentration or intensity, or one that is different or diverse as in a person.

p 122 -- The Paraclete appears to be one that is the same, different only in intensity (power, force, strength, concentration, depth.) It could not be otherwise as, "there was no Spirit [given] as yet because Jesus had not been glorified." John 7:39. It is interesting too, that it was not until after He had been glorified that He "breathed His Spirit" on others. His Spirit is  the breath of life.

When the Spirit came in fullness of power, it was in super addition to   27   -- that is, more of the same, but limitless in every aspect. Christ in His unglorified state was limited as are all human beings; but after he was glorified, His new, expanded state of being allowed the plan of God to enter the final phase of securing the regeneration and transformation of mankind so that they would be prepared by the indwelling of Christ through His, now expanded Spirit to be given part in the divine nature. "And in the manner that we have borne the exact image of the earthly, we shall also bare the exact image of the heavenly." Heavenly -- that is, "epouraniou" (epouranioo), unearthly in essence and character. 1 Cor. 15:49. In 2 Cor. 3: 16-18, the following occurs:     "whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. [The veil is that which prevents the inner transformation necessary to be harmonious with God.]  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, with faces unveiled, continue to reflect like mirrors the glory of the Lord, are being transformed [in essence and in character] into his own image -- from glory to glory -- since it [transformation] comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." TOP

Parkhurst defines the Comforter/Advocate in this way:     Paraclete; to call to oneself, implore the assistance of, also to comfort; one who pleads the case of another as applied to Christ, our intercessor, or advocate, as in John 2:1. ". . .we have an advocate (paraclete) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." Christ is God's chosen way, His exclusively appointed Advocate, the only One through whom men are prepared to take part in the Diety. In short, there is only one Comforter/ Mediator/Advocate (1 Tim. 2:5), Jesus Christ, who personally dwells in  His people by His own Spirit --not a third god or person. This is the meaning of another Comforter. TOP

THE SEAL OF GOD:     Briefly, God's plan is an outworking of events foreseen by Him from eternity. The "open secret" -- God's Way of man's right standing with Him -- revealed now to His people is seen to be the formation of Jesus Christ, by His Spirit, in those whom He chooses to glorify. It is in   28    His

27 -- As in Parkhurst: Either diverse, different or in super addition to.

28 -- en-- a Greek preposition translated as "in," indicating direction. "In" is not out, alongside, over, under, near, around, through, by, to, past, etc. A person, place or thing must have the

p 123 -- Spirit that they have been    29    "marked" or "sealed." This marking or sealing is not to be seen as an external stamping or marking done by a third party as the Trinity doctrine encourages. The Holy Spirit does not stamp its approval -- It is the stamp of approval. The seal or stamp is the presence of God and the presence of Christ by their Spirit dwelling in those chosen by them to share in their divine nature. How can God not recognize Himself?     ". . .for the Spirit explores the depths of everything, even the depths of God. After all, is there any man who knows the qualities of himself except his own spirit, within him; and in the same way, nobody knows the qualities of God except the Spirit of God." 1 Cor. 3: 11. TOP

SECTION VII -- PRIMITIVE GODLINESS --

 

AND MOSES SAID UNTO HIM, ENVIEST THOU FOR MY SAKE? WOULD TO GOD THAT ALL THE LORD'S PEOPLE WERE PROPHETS, AND THAT THE LORD WOULD PUT HIS SPIRIT UPON THEM. Numbers 11:29

FOUNDATION OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN THE AGE OF THE APOSTLES:     The desire of Moses that the Spirit of God might rest upon all, and that all might be prophets, was a prediction that was to be realized through Christ. It was by Christ that a fellowship was established upon the basis of the equal relationship of all mankind to God. God, as the divine source of life to all, was removed from within the confines of the Old Testament; and the development of the higher life in Christ was brought to its fullness. The concept of an earthly priesthood that had served as a medium for the development of the plan of redemption was no longer possible.

The office of the priesthood was, as it had existed since the time of Moses, empowered to guide other men. It had the exclusive duty of providing for the religious wants of the people of God. The priests served as mediators, and it was through them that all others were to come into connection with God -- such

28 -- continued -- facility to "contain" in order for something to be "in" he, she, or it. Romans 8: 9, 10 says that the Spirit of Christ must live in us; the Spirit of God must make its home in us -- It must dwell in us or we are notHis. When Jesus says to some, "I do not know you," even though they have professed His name, it is because He will not recognize those who are void, in their person, of His Spirit.

29 -- See "marked" or "sealed" in Ephesians 1: 11 and 4: 30; the original language indicates action finished in past time. The result continues into the present. TOP

p 124 -- a system could find no place within Christianity. In establishing the concept of the relationship of the individual to God, or freedom of conscience, that which separated men from God was removed, as was the barrier that separated men one from another. Christ, as High Priest for all mankind was the fulfillment of the earthly system. In the establishment of Christianity He is the personal Mediator for all, and only through Him can all become reconciled to God. In so doing, Christ makes all who embrace this concept a priestly and spiritual people. There is one King, one Guide, and one Teacher, through whom all are taught of God. There is one faith, one hope, one Spirit that enlivens all. Under Christ all are citizens of the heavenly kingdom; and though strangers in this world, they are endowed with power from above.

When the Apostles applied the Old Testament idea of the priesthood to Christianity, it was done to demonstrate that no such visible priesthood could find a place in Christianity. Since individual access to God through Jesus Christ had been opened to all believers, all by their union with Him, became themselves, priests and kings, consecrated to God. Their calling was to dedicate their lives to God as a thank offering for the gift of redemption. They were to publish abroad the power and grace of Him who had called them out of darkness into marvelous light. Their lives were to be one continual priesthood, one spiritual worship springing from faith worked by love, one continuous testimony for their Master.

Christianity's advancement was not to be the duty of one select group of Christians; it was to be the immediate concern of each individual. Everyone, from the position assigned him by the invisible Head of the church, was to cooperate in advancing Christian principles by the special gifts which God had bestowed upon him. These gifts were expressive of the individual nature, a nature renewed and ennobled by the Holy Spirit. Primitive Christianity allows for no distinction between clergy and laity. All are equal, all are brethren, all as Christians are to show by their temperament and disposition that they are animated by the Spirit of God, not the spirit of the world.

The basis of the Christian principle is that no one individual, or group of individuals, is to be the chosen organ or organs of the Holy Spirit to guide the whole. All are to cooperate -- each in his particular position, with the gifts granted him by the Spirit, one supplying in the area where another lacked -- all are to be individually united in the Spirit for the advancement of Christianity. All, enlivened by the Spirit, are to serve as organs mutually helping each other for the common end, edification of the body of Christ. TOP

p 125 -- INDIVIDUALITY IN RELIGION OR LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE:     The idea of man's universal rights, of universal religious freedom and liberty of conscience, were alien to the views of the ancient world. The concept of the state was the highest idea of ethics, and man's highest good came from within the state. As a result, the development of other beneficial things pertaining to humanity was made dependent on this concept. Thus the religious element was thoroughly entwined with the political so that there were no religions other than state religions, and no gods but national gods. Only Christianity could overcome this principle of antiquity; a principle that is an active part of our modern age.

It is Christianity only that can release man from bondage of other men. This release came in the application of primitive godliness, which recognizes Christ as the highest good of mankind -- encompassing all good within Himself.

"Jesus Christ came into the world to set men free, and to plant in their souls the genuine principle of liberty -- liberty actuated by love, liberty too honorable to allow itself to be used as an occasion to the flesh or for a cloak of maliciousness, liberty used by a conscience enlightened by the Spirit of God, liberty in which man may be free from all men, yet made so gentle by love that he would willingly become the servant of all in order to bring them to the enjoyment of this same liberty. This is freedom indeed. This is the freedom that Christ gave to man; for ' whom the Son makes free is free indeed.'

"In giving to man this freedom, such an infinite gift could have no other result than that which Christ intended; mainly, to bring them to everlasting, unquestioning, unswerving allegiance to Him as the royal benefactor of the race. He thus reveals himself to men as the highest good, and brings them to Himself as the manifestation of that highest good, and to obedience to His will as the perfection of conduct." -- Great Empires of Prophecy, p. 346

Much has been said and written concerning the early Christians and the message that they carried to the world a message that was of such significance and force they were accused of turning the world upside down. What was the message? It was a message that, when understood and accepted, released them from the domination of other men and their systems of religion and government. It was not intended to change their physical state of affairs as much as it was revolutionary in freeing the individual conscience from all the contrivances of other men to interrupt allegiance to the Creator. TOP

Christianity actuates all who embrace it to renounce their dependence upon man, in whatever form it may take -- the state, the church, individuals, or any combination thereof, and to show forth God as the highest, all-encompassing good. Christians can give no possible allegiance except it is first given to God.

p 126 -- Christianity affirms the principle of true liberty, the right of conscience and the right of the individual. To the Christian, the Word of God states with total authority:     "Fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Eccl. 12: 13.     God, as revealed in His Son, is the highest concept of all that is good, and His will as expressed in His law is the highest concept of all that is right. God is supreme in all things.

Christianity asserts the right of the individual to decide for himself which things pertain to God, as God leads him, and then to worship according to the dictates of his conscience.

"Each intelligent creature owes to the Creator all that he is. Accordingly, the first principle of government is, ' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.' This is pronounced by the Lord to be the first of all commandments. It is not the first of all the commandments because it was the first one that was ever given, but simply because it exists in the very nature and existence of every intelligent creature, and so inheres in the nature of things as soon as a single intelligent creature exists. It is the first of all commandments in the supreme and most absolute sense. It inheres in the nature and the relationship of the first intelligent creature and stands as complete in the case of that one alone as though there were millions; and stands as complete in the case of each one in the succession of future millions as in the case of the first intelligent creature, as he stood absolutely alone in the universe. No expansion, no multiplication of the number of the creatures beyond the original one can ever, in any sense, limit the scope or meaning of that first of all commandments. It stands absolutely alone and eternally complete, as the first obligation of every intelligent creature that can ever be. And this eternal truth distinguishes individuality as an eternal principle." -- A. T. Jones, Individuality in Religion, pp. 108-110.TOP

When a second individual comes into existence, there comes into being another relationship -- the relationship of one to another and it is one of absolute equality.

"And in the subjection and devotion of each to the Creator, in the first of all possible relationships, each of these honors the other. Therefore, in the nature of things, in the existence of two intelligent creatures, there inheres the second governmental principle, mutuality of all the subjects as equals. And this principle is expressed in the second of all the commandments,

p 127 -- ' Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.' Each, himself, alone, in his own individuality, is completely subject and devoted first of all to the Creator; because to Him he owes all. And in this subjection and devotion to the Creator first of all, each honors every other intelligent creature as his equal. . .This second eternal truth, equally with the first, distinguishes individuality as an eternal principle." -- Ibid. pp. 111, 112.

Individuality in religion, or freedom of conscience, is one of the principles of Christianity upon which the government of God has always rested. And it is because of the loss of individuality through the systematic oppression of man over man in church relations that Christ came to re-establish it upon its original and heavenly basis.     "Therefore, without Christianity in its original and native purity, there cannot be true individuality." -- Ibid. p. 116.

"But in the interests of despotism the very name of Christianity was perverted. And through long ages of ecclesiastical imperialistic tyranny, men were again systematically robbed of every vestige of individuality. In the Reformation, God again restored men to Christianity and individuality; but Protestantism hardened in forms and creeds; and every form and denomination of Protestants has denied, and done all that it could to destroy, Christian liberty and individuality." -- Ibid. pp. 108-118. TOP

DANGER OF FOLLOWING THE LEADERS:      One individual, or group of individuals, at the head of the whole might too easily operate as a check on the free development of the life of the church. The free cooperation of individuals and their dependence upon God is vital. One man, or a few men, upon whom everything depends would acquire too great an importance for the good of the whole and would become the center about whom all would tend to gather. The immediate effect of this situation would be to obscure the sense of the common dependence of all upon God, who, alone, ought to be the Center.

In the final days of earth's history, its inhabitants are being offered two directions to take; the familiar, the tangible, the visible, the corporeal offer of security by men and their institutions, or the offer of security from someone and something most people have never seen or heard. The choice has always been between the seen and the unseen, the tangible and the intangible. The difference at the end will be the intensity of the conflict between the two forces, and to those who follow earth's leaders, it will prove to be fatal.

p 128 --THE END OF THINGS:

 

"THE WORLD IS NO MORE READY TO CREDIT THE MESSAGE FOR THIS TIME THAN WERE THE JEWS TO RECEIVE THE SAVIOUR'S WARNING CONCERNING JERUSALEM. COME WHEN IT MAY, THE DAY OF GOD WILL COME UNAWARES TO THE UNGODLY. WHEN LIFE IS GOING ON IN ITS UNVARYING ROUND; WHEN MEN ARE ABSORBED IN PLEASURE, IN BUSINESS, IN TRAFFIC, IN MONEY-MAKING; WHEN RELIGIOUS LEADERS ARE MAGNIFYING THE WORLD'S PROGRESS AND ENLIGHTENMENT, AND THE PEOPLE ARE LULLED IN A FALSE SECURITY -- THEN, AS THE MIDNIGHT THIEF STEALS WITHIN THE UNGUARDED DWELLING, SO SHALL SUDDEN DESTRUCTION COME UPON THE CARELESS AND UNGODLY, AND THEY SHALL NOT ESCAPE." GC 38. TOP

The people on this earth have run out of time. Similar statements have been made through the years, so much so that few think that such a thing might actually happen, particularly in their lifetime. Bible prophecy, if it is believed, is thought of as something that has happened or will happen. Current or "present truth" is either not comprehended or ignored. Contrary to this prevailing flaw, something quite different appears to be happening. In 1898 James Edson White wrote in his, The Coming King,   30   that:

"The siege of Jerusalem was protracted for months. When the city was finally taken, the Roman soldiers were so exasperated by the determined resistance of the Jews, that the city and temple were given over to pillage, destruction, and fire. The inhabitants were butchered without regard to age or sex. Josephus states that 'eleven hundred thousand' perished at this time, and that ninety-seven thousand were carried away captive. How accurately this fulfills the Saviour's prophecy as quoted before from Luke 21: 24.

"We also read that 'Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.' Luke 21:24. Jerusalem has never again come into the possession of the Jews, and will not until ' the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.' This will be when the work of the gospel is finished." -- The Coming King, pp. 97, 98. (Emphasis supplied)

Wm. H. Grotheer's, "Bible Prophecy Seminars" of Ozone, Arkansas have published an interesting and informative study on this subject. A few selected thoughts from their pamphlet follows:     "In 1952, a world-wide conference was held in the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church. Elder Arthur Maxwell, then editor of the Signs of the Times, presented a paper, ' The Imminence of Christ's Second Coming,' in

30 -- Review and Herald Publishing Co., 1898, 290 pages.TOP

p 129 -- which he directed the attention of the ministry of the Church to Jesus' prophecy in Luke 21: 24. He said:

 

' The recent dramatic restoration of the nation of Israel has focused the attention of mankind once more on Palestine. Many Christians have mistakenly permitted themselves to believe that the return of thousands of unconverted Jews to their native land is in fulfillment of the promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not realizing that, since the death of the Son of God on Calvary, there is no salvation, nor any eternal homeland, except for those who believe in Him and accept His sacrifice. However, there is one prophecy concerning Palestine that we should be watching with special care. Said Jesus, " Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21: 24). . . '

"Having directed the ministers of the Church from around the world to this neglected prophecy of Jesus, Maxwell then observed that a principle God applied to the Amorites might well apply in this instance, only on a wider scale. He declared:

 

' Centuries ago Israel was not permitted to enter Palestine for a certain time because  " the iniquity of the Amorites' was 'not yet full ''  (Gen. 15: 16); that is, not until the probationary time allotted to the Amorites had run out. It may well be that the same principle applies today, on a wider scale. If so, then Jerusalem is to remain trodden down by Gentiles till the probationary time of all Gentiles has run out. If this be correct, how much hinges upon the fate of this ancient city and the power that occupies it!'

So said Maxwell in 1952. The pamphlet continues:     "Now we are faced with certain other realities with which we must be concerned. 'During the Arab-Israeli War of June 1967, Israeli forces captured the Old City; and the Israeli Knesset unilaterally decreed the reunification of the entire city. This was reiterated by the Knesset in 1980, when the undivided city was declared the eternal capital of Israel.' (Funk & Wagnall's New Encyclopedia, Vol. 15, page 34 [1986]) The prophecy of Jesus had met its complete fulfillment. . ." -- Jerusalem in Bible Prophecy, pp. 2, 3, 6. (1994).

Christ connected the scenes in Luke 21 with the events that would transpire just prior to His return, and the generation that sees the end of the time allotted the Gentiles would not pass away "till all be fulfilled." The complete fulfillment of

p 130 -- Christ's words in 1980 should shock even the most torpid of men to the realization that the end of all things is at hand -- and from the church, one hears only stone, cold silence.

If James Edson White was correct in saying that when the Jews took possession of Jerusalem again, it would be a sign that the work of the gospel was finished. It follows then, that the "dispossession" of the Gentiles (nations) would also be a sign that God's time of reaping is in progress. It is very evident in the Gentile world that God's Spirit no longer controls the hearts of men with the closeness it once did. God appears to be withdrawing His Spirit, and wickedness is filling the void.

Luke 21: 24 may be supported with Paul's remark when warning the Gentiles not to become self-important,     ". . .I do not want to have a misunderstanding of this uncovered secret, that only temporary insensibility has come upon Israel until the full quota   31    of the Gentiles have wholly come in. . ." Romans 11: 25. (Emphasis supplied.)     Then a remnant of Israel will accept the gospel, thus completing the make up of the true church -- which must be in progress now.  32 TOP

VOICE OF THE DRAGON:     One thing must be kept in mind when considering the last movements of planet earth's history. Only the names and players change; the game stays basically the same, and it can only progress in reaching its objective as much as the Spirit of God is withdrawn. The objective, of course, is the complete control of man, by man by Satanic force --which seems to be on the point of happening.

In the following quotation, three powerful contestants are selected from a number of lesser contenders, all with "globalist" agendas, as the ones with the means and the power and the machinery necessary to establish and rule a one-world government. What the author does not identify is the great power behind the powers, and the centuries of planning and experimentation, the necessity of systematizing, and coordinating the numerous discordant cultures, myriad

31 -- Other versions read: but only until the gentiles have wholly come in. . ." "full measure;" "full body;" "great mass,' "full number." The word signifies a filling or filling up; in this case, a complete number that indicates a predetermined quantity.

32 -- No one has definitive numbers about the success of the various Messianic or Christian groups trying to convert Jews to Christianity; but it is known that in just 25 years one group, "Jews for Jesus," has spread to 10 countries including Israel and the former Soviet Union. Some estimate the number of Jewish converts worldwide to be as high as 250,000. (Reno Gazette-Journal, Jan. 1999.) It is acknowledged that this recounting defines little, other than it is a very recent phenomenon, which is said to be spreading rapidly.

p 131 -- nations and peoples to bring his grand design to its culmination within the time allowed by God. TOP

"Willing or not, ready or not, we are all involved in an all-out, no-holds-barred, three-way global competition. Most of us are not competitors, however. We are the stakes. For the competition is about who will establish the first one-world system of government that has ever existed in the society of nations. It is about who will hold and wield the dual power of authority and control over each of us individuals and over all of us together as a community; over the entire six billion people expected by demographers to inhabit the earth by early in the third millennium.

"The competition is all-out because, now that it has started, there is no way it can be reversed or called off.

"No-holds-barred because, once the competition has been decided, the world and all that's in it -- our way of life as individuals and as citizens of the nations; our families and our jobs, our trade and commerce and money; our educational systems and our religions and our cultures; even the badges of our national identity, which most of us have always taken for granted -- all will have been powerfully and radically altered forever. No one can be exempted from its effects. No sector of our lives will remain untouched.

"A system will be introduced and installed in our midst by the end of this final decade of the second millennium." -- Malachi Martin, The Keys of this Blood, pp. 15, 16 (1990).

 

"THE WORLD HAS GROWN FRIGHTENINGLY SMALL IN COMPASS; AND ASTRIDE IT STANDS THE AMERICAN COLOSSUS, WHOSE STRENGTH AND GIRTH NONE CAN MATCH, BUT WHOSE CLOTHES WE ALL WISH TO WEAR."
--WINSTON CHURCHILL

"Then I saw a second beast, emerging from the ground; it had two horns like a lamb. . ." Rev. 13: 11-first part. It is not the purpose of this paper to recount the identifying characteristics of the beast with lamb-like horns. It has been done, and there is little question that it represents the United States of America. The two horns are representative of the two original principles on which the nation was formed, the well-disposed strengths (a horn = strength) of Protestant principles, and not a democracy, but a constitutionally grounded representative republic. It was a government of the people, by the people and for the people through their elected representatives -- not subject to the whims and fads of the majority as in a democracy. The Bible was, originally, its primer. TOP

p 132 -- Benjamin Franklin was asked by a woman passing him by on the street, what kind of government they, the founding fathers, had given the people. His reply was, "a representative republic, madam, now let us see if you can keep it." That form of government was kept until the Civil War when Abraham Lincoln forced the Southern States, by violence of war, from the original freewill union of independent states -- a confederation -- into a federation of states in which their independence was suborned to an all-powerful, centralized ruling body -- a federation. Today we know it as the "Federal Government."

It is into this form that the government of the United States has developed and which that makes it capable of speaking like the dragon. It is in this form that it exercises all the power of the first beast (the papacy) and in its behalf makes all the people of the world worship it. It is this government that decrees that an image of the papacy be made, and exercises power like it to give it authority to compel all earth's people to worship it under pain of economic duress, and then, on threat of death.

"But it spoke like a dragon:" What is the current form of government in the United States (other than a federation)? Is it a republic? Or is it a democracy? In spite of the American public's perception that it is a democracy and a nation under God   33  , it is neither. It is, rather, a peculiar mix of German National Socialism and

33 -- If Christianity was to survive, it was held that pragmatism, Marxism, scientific humanism, French positivism, German mechanism deeply entrenched in scientific, political, economic, and educational institutions -- which make nature an extension of and raw material for man -- must be set aside in deference for "a second Christian Reformation," a "New covenant vision of stewardship," free of rightwing and corporate interests. But greater, more basic changes were needed, as Stanford University's Paul Ehrlich wrote in 1968. Perhaps, he said, a movement that adopts most of its religious ideas from the non-Christian East. Poets, philosophers, economists, physicists (and many more) joined the ecologists in a search for a new beginning. The thing that evolved (through the various agendas of "tree and rock rights" and "animal rights" and the like) proved to be an uncanny parallel between ancient Gnosticism and the new environmentalism. This New Philosophy of Nature, like Gnosticism, rejects Christianity and embraces a union of spirit and nature. It pictures everything as being interconnected. The earth -- even the universe -- is seen as one system, an "androgynous body," an interconnected web of physical and mental relations whose parts are defined only through their connections to the whole. Mankind, they say, is but one part of an indivisible sacred reality. Spirit, according to Gnosticisim, is one indescribable, abstract reality that surrounds the universe. A portion of spirit (separated from God by the evil Demiurge) exists in man and struggles to reunite with original divine substance -- God (not Jehovah). The evil Derniurge (Jehovah) seeks to keep that portion of spirit from being reunited with God, To do this the universe was created by the Demiurge to hide parts of the divine spirit and was then hidden in humans, animals, plants etc. for safekeeping. The earth was a kind of stronghold built by the evil Demiurge (Jehovah) to keep separated parts of the divine spirit from

p 133 -- Marxist Socialism with a little old fashioned American capitalist   34   incentive thrown in. And it has become decidedly Godless and bent on crushing out individualism for the so-called world government through, it seems, the United Nations,   35    (which it controls). Christianity, the lifeblood of not only the nationTOP

33 -- continued -- reuniting with God (the all-pervading Good, Light, Life, Original Spirit, etc.). What is the conclusion? Spirit is in all things, and because of that, everything is interconnected; therefore all things are sacred (and equal) -- such, with variations, is the foundation of the new religion. -- See Alston Chase, Playing God in Yellowstone (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1986), the chapter titled, "The California Cosmologists."

34 -- The joining of these three political philosophies has resulted in a new style of governance. It is a Big Business-Big Government partnership that its proponents call "The Third Way."" It is a global bureaucracy that will eclipse individual freedom, place the collective over the individual and force public investment over private choice. It is seen as the answer to promote "the good qualities of Marxism" in a world that no longer trusts socialism. "I'm grateful," said Bill Clinton in a 1998 speech at New York University~ "that the Third Way seems to be taking hold around the world." World leaders including British Prime Minister Tony Blair and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder are quietly joining Clinton's crusade for a new economic order that is neither capitalist nor communist. Under this system, Big Business would own and run the economy but Big Government would control (regulate) it -- offering cradle to the grave care to the masses and corporate welfare to the industrialists. Both Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitter established forerunners of this system, but at the national level only. In contrast, The Third Way is truly an international movement. Democrats, Republicans, defense contractors, the media, Big Business and the intelligence agencies are all clamoring to jump on the "Third Way Movement" bandwagon, and there is no power on the planet that can stop them. -- From a June 3, 1998 article by political commentator, Richard Poe titled, Chinagate: The Third Way Scandal and printed in Christopher Ruddy's website, <Newsmax.com>.

35 -- 1n his latest documentation of the rising tyranny of ecology (In a Dark Wood, Houghton-Mifflin, 1995) Alston Chase (degrees form Harvard, Oxford, Princeton) exposes the Clinton Administration's incremental surrender of national sovereignty by giving the United Nations control over the bulk of the United States land mass. Unknown to the public, the Administration, under the guise of "reinvention of government," has adopted biocentrism as the guiding philosophy of all federal land management. Rather than making public welfare its highest priority, Clinton decided that the principle focus of the government would be "ecosystem protection." When he signed the "International Convention on Biological Diversity" in 1993, a flurry of planning designed to analyze and control every square inch of American real estate was set into motion. The President's Council on "Sustainable Development" was established, composed of five cabinet members including leaders from the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Defense Counsel, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Nature Conservancy. They immediately set about to map the entire nation and to identify all of its biology and to determine a national policy of development and regulation, as it was, they determined, their mandate as set forth in the Endangered Species Act.

Vice President Albert Gore -- credited with the administration's reinventing government -- has shifted government's traditional role of protecting the public to that of protecting the environment from the public.

An even more sinister aspect of this is seen in the Wildlands Project -- an early plan to protect biodiversity in North America, which calls for the establishment of a network of wilderness reserves, human buffer zones, and wildlife corridors stretching across hundreds of millions of

p 134 -- but Western culture in general, has been abandoned by the population and its leaders (they profess otherwise) in favor of such humanist issues as equality of the sexes, abortion rights, full term abortions, fetal vivisection, experimentation in human genetics, homosexual rights, legalized suicide, first amendment rights (pornography), contorted presentations of morality (such as environmental pollution as a moral evil) and so on. What was it that brought about such an enormous change? TOP

THE GRAMSCI PRINCIPLE:    Karl Marx set three objectives of importantance in securing the establishment of his theories as the dominant political force in subjugation of all the planet's nations and people.

1.    Religion, an opiate invented by the bourgeoisie to keep the proletariat masses drugged in their serfdom, was to be destroyed,   2.    The dissolution of the family unit must occur, and   3.     The right of ownership of private property must be eliminated and transferred to the state.  36

Who was Karl Marx? What was it about him that prompted his devotion, heart, mind, and soul, to atheism?

35 -- continued -- acres -- nearly half the continent. 'When it is implemented, human use will be severely restricted. Roads will be closed; some will be torn out, and the forced relocation of tens of millions of people will be ordered. The Clinton/ Gore plan removes natural resource preservation policy from the control of the nation's elected officials altogether by delegating this power to the United Nations, the State Department, and advisory committees representing environmental groups (labeled NGOs -- non-governmental organizations.) A planning document titled "Global Biodiversity Assessment Section," recommended implementation of the Wildlands Project, which not only calls for the removal of human habitation from nearly half of this country's land mass, it also calls for the eventual "depopulation of the earth, one step at a time." Take note, the plan does not call for the relocation of human kind, it calls for the step-by-step eradication of human beings worldwide. In contrast, it was Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, who said before Congress (Feb. 1999) that the right of individual ownership of property -- -private property in all its forms -- is the basis of liberty in this country. It was a low-keyed warning (typical of his style) of the unceasing war the socialist Clinton Administration continues to wage against what remains of the American system.

36 -- Since the fall of the Soviet Union, international socialism has moved into the ecology movement (the so-called "international green parties.") The unwitting biocentrist/ecologist groups -- in their many and varied forms -- are being manipulated by the more centralized socialists (in agenda and influence) to force the dictum of Marx -- that of eliminating privately held property. Considering the ecologists' philosophy of a state reduced in structure but more centrally controlled, they would be inclined to go along, especially, with that particular socialist "ideal." Mikhail Gorbachev, the last General Secretary of the Soviet Union, -- the man who disassembled the Leninist form of Marxist government -- now heads up "Green Cross," a quasi ecological advocacy group(s) with an international agenda, funded by the United Nations and by grants from the United States government. He is now (1999) on the faculty at Emory University (in the state of Georgia.)

p 135 -- He was born into a Jewish family at Trier, Germany, in 1818. His childhood exposure to Judaism was interrupted when his father, a lawyer, led the family into Christianity, the result of a legal prohibition against Jews practicing law. His stint as a Christian had no lasting effect. While a student at Berlin University, he involved himself in a particularly malignant form of ritual Satanism, the outworking of which was revealed in a lifelong hatred of God. TOP

Had not V. I. Lenin, and those like him, picked up where Marx left off and institutionalized his theories, he would have remained, as one described him, "intellectually, a mental flatulence." And from that point "Marxist socialism" took two forms: The violent form -- encouraged by class distinction, class envy, which leads to class warfare, and armed revolution instigated by the likes of Lenin and Stalin; and the Marxism of Sardinian, Antonio Gramsci, who advocated adaptation, infiltration and peaceful conversion by the insertion of socialism into the Capitalist West's institutions -- especially the Christian church. This form of Marxism would destroy Christian-inspired mores but retain individual initiative that was grounded solely on human achievement. Gramsci's version of Marxism would prevail.

"He understood the nature of Christian culture, which he saw as still vibrant and thriving in the lives of the people all around him. Not only did Christianity point unceasingly to a divine force beyond mankind [It was] -- a force outside and superior to the material cosmos.

"It was a specifically Christian culture, in which individual men and women understood that the most important things about human life transcended the material conditions in which they lived out their mortal lives." -- Keys of This Blood, pp. 244, 245.

To make permanent that which could not be imposed and maintained by fear and bloodshed, it would be necessary to "Marxize the inner man" -- convert the populations of the West by implanting in them, Marxism's fundamental postulate: its total and thorough materialism.

". . .Targets of first choice -- educational facilities from grade school to university, for example, the media, political parties and structures, even the family unit -- were all fat, happy and wide open to systematic and professional Marxist penetration." -- Ibid. p. 254.

"The process of secularization in the Catholic and Protestant churches progressed so rapidly and with such energy that. . .it fed into other

p 136 -- streams of anti-Church influence in the West. Those streams that, seemingly independent of Marxist influence, advocated a materialistic interpretation of all sectors of human thought, investigation and action." -- Ibid. p. 262. TOP

The principle injected into the thinking of the Western nations -- involving churchmen, politicians, the media (information and entertainment), the academics, scientists, industrialists -- was a society of nations -- a United Nations -- that could be formed free from the constraints and divisiveness of ancient Christian bias, for the uplifting -- here and now -- (versus the pie-in-the-sky of religion) and enlightenment of all humankind.

"Reduce all men's expectation of any salvation from on high -- in art, in literature, in science, in medicine, in social works, in politics, in finance, in commerce, in industry. Promise all men liberation from what ails them by means of heightened human -- and only human -- effort by intellectual, emotional, scientific, ethical, means. Instruct them that all hope of progress lies within themselves . . . but let the entire effort be solely by man for man's sake. Collaborate to fill his belly with fresh food and to fill his mind with fresh knowledge, but make sure he believes both food and knowledge are his creation, the results only of his own efforts." -- Ibid. pp. 377, 378.

Taking into consideration the general secularizing (Gramscizing) of Western culture, cited above, a closer look at the American culture reveals a marked and fiery division between two contending factions, that of the humanist/secularist and those members of organized religion. Better than two-thirds of the U. S. population profess some form of religious faith and conduct their lives accordingly; and a large portion of those view, with intense loathing, the secularists and the Godless society they are creating.

In opposition to them are a minority, and a small one at that, of secularists who view and conduct their activities as elite. They are solidly entrenched in positions of power and influence, controlling the world's financial institutions, the multi-national corporations, the national political parties, higher education, the media, and the National Educational Association. They form so-called think tanks (such as the Counsel on Foreign Relations), from which each presidential administration, regardless of political party, draw their cabinet appointees, its upper-level bureaucrats and judicial appointees.

p 137 -- At the center is the issue of obscuring moral clarity with moral relativism, which is reflected in the loss of political integrity, equality in applying justice and the onset of anarchy -- as is seen in the constant flow of new legislation aimed at limiting or abolishing the liberties of law abiding citizens -- while existing laws designed to curtail criminal activity are not enforced. But the battleground is not where it should be. It lies beyond the issues just mentioned. Formally, the fight is over abortion, homosexual rights, pornography, prohibition of religious display on public property (school prayer etc.), so-called assisted suicide (Kevorkian) and so on. But these are all peripheral matters that do not address the heart of the problem. TOP

It is interesting that these matters, over which the battle is being waged, were selected by the elite giving them the advantage. By emphasizing the peripheral elements of the fight, the elite have successfully diverted attention from the real issue;   37  and because of life long exposure to the Gramscian principle the "religious majority" are in at least partial or unconscious agreement with the elite; and, as a result, do not see the central principle of the issue. And what is the central principle of the issue? It is the sum and substance and the theme of this manuscript:     Satan, through man, has removed the need for God and encourages man to glory in his own achievements. Man has come to think that he is the sum and apex of all things, that there is not a thing he cannot do once he sets his mind to it. From the cradle to the grave, he is more than able to provide for himself. And God, . . . well, God is a handy tool, a social crutch for those who need it.

The symbolic figure of the "False Prophet" as it appears in the latter chapters of Revelation is indicative of the basic agreement of the religious majority with the atheistic humanism espoused by the secular elite -- that man, by his own efforts, for his own sake, by heightened human enlightenment, can cure all of humanity's ills and create a safe, secure, and better world. The "Religious Majority" perceives the solution for halting the steady movement of the nation

37 -- This is not to say that the humanist/secularist elite consciously steered the argument to the peripheral issues. To them, the peripheral issues are central. While they do not acknowledge the existence of the Judeo-Christian God, they do view the cause of humanity's ills as originating in man, therefore, solvable by human methods with human effort -- as seen in a plethora of laws restricting individual liberty and the ever-expanding mass of regulations designed to control every moment of an individual's life. To humanists the internal (absent of the Divine) must be controlled and directed by the external. For example, if a firearm is used in the commission of a crime, the aberrant behavior of the perpetrator is dealt with by enacting laws restricting gun use and possession (ironically, such efforts affect only the law-abiding). Christianity, in contrast, is internalized. Compliance to external law is a result of internal control and direction by the Divine within an individual.

p 138 -- into secularism as political. The cause of moral erosion and ethics is seen and understood to rest upon those few elitists in positions of public influence who decide the course of the nation without including the wishes of the majority; and as long as these elitists persevere their control of the nation's institutions, it will be impossible to recapture the moral clarity that once made the nation great. The answer to this problem is perceived to be a forced morality achievable in the arena of politics -- so thinks the Religious Majority.   38

The belief that the nation's moral illness can be cured politically is a departure from the Primitive Christian position of non-involvement in the world's social and political structures. The Christian is to act the part of a cooperative citizen in his particular society -- as long as that cooperation does not clash with the higher authority of God; but he is, by his whole disposition, to be transient, not of this earth, a foreigner in an alien land, a citizen of the heavenly kingdom. TOP

Is this growing anti-humanist/Religious Majority authority the thing that is to be made in image of the Roman church -- a thing that the whole world is to be compelled to worship? Or will it be a Mega-religion,   39   more socialist and international in character -- A compendium of all earth's religions stripped of their "guts," but agreeing on similar teachings acceptable by all? Will the Image

38 -- Widely published Evangelical author, radio psychologist and founder of Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson exhibits the thinking of the Religious Majority. Dobson does not hesitate to say that morality can be legislated like any of the other laws and makes use of his considerable political clout. A known player and confidante on Capitol Hill, Dobson became fed up with moderate Republicans, and in 1998 threatened the GOP saying that he would sit out the upcoming elections unless they agreed to embrace Biblically inspired moral issues (by actively opposing abortion, National Endowment for the Arts, same-gender marriages, Planned Parenthood, pornography etc.). Though Dobson denies his organization (1,300 employees with a 1999 projected budget of $120,000,000) is politically motivated, his aim is definitely political and in line with the Religious Majority in accomplishing what they consider to be the cure for the nation's moral decline. Reno Gazette-journal, May 2, 1999.

39 -- Ecology is said to have become the American national religion; a mix of gnosticism, German metaphysics, Native American animism and Puritanical pantheism, it supposes a holism that places individuals as parts of a larger system with no independent standing (the presence of divine spirit in all things, as stated earlier.) Western civilization, dominated by Judeo-Christian tradition, is held to be the cause of the environmental havoc being wreaked around the planet. Judeo-Christian tradition teaches that mankind was created apart and superior to other things, that the world was created for his benefit. The biocentrist/ecologist believes that man is one part of an equal whole. The aim of the biocentrist/ecologist is to revive America's pre-Columbian past by returning to the "moral" ecology of the Native American culture. These people have set out to save the world by dismantling technological civilization -- churches, businesses, industry; all of modem industrial society -- and returning culture to its primitive roots. For an eye-opening account of their origins -- there are many -- read, In a Dark Wood, by Alston Chase, chapter titled, "The Birth of Biocentrism."

p 139 -- need to appear "Christian?" (as does Rome.) Why will the government of the United States exercise its considerable power in behalf of the papacy? For what reason would a godless, atheistic government (the U.S.) then create and legislate authority (autonomize) to a likeness of the papal government? Why is the image in the likeness of Rome; and why is not Rome given such great power and authority to act for herself? Will the Roman Church even exist at that point-will her usefulness have come to an end, and will she then be done away with? Only the playing out of time and events will reveal the precise answer to such questions. Those whom are God's chosen will know that none, not a single one of earth's institutions or organizations offer a safe haven.   40   A Christian's only safe haven is in the true church. TOP

THE TRUE CHURCH: One of the most pernicious evils ever passed off as truth is the idea that there are two "institutions" existing side-by-side -- two

40 -- The book of Revelation relates much concerning that which blesses or afflicts God's chosen people. It is done in types and symbols. Charlotte S. Bauer of South Lake Tahoe, California, is in the midst of a study involving the "Persecuting Powers Mentioned in Prophecy," (Rev. 11 and 13) which she is translating from Danish to English. She brings together a number of interesting proposals. The following is a synopsis gleaned from some of the ideas she is advocating: The beast from the abyss (Rev. 11:7) is in essence and character an atheistic authority and is synonymous with the dragon of Rev. 13:2, the image (13:14), and the scarlet beast of 17:8. The first beast in Rev. 13:1 and the woman in purple and scarlet riding the scarlet beast represent the Roman Catholic Church. The second beast (Rev. 13:11) with two horns like a lamb represents the United States. Homs represent power or strength -- they can also represent nations (as in the book of Daniel). A beast too, symbolizes a nation or government or significant authority. The woman "rides" (derives its power from) the scarlet colored beast -- but is destroyed by the same beast when it is fully developed. It could be that an atheistic authority (centralized world government comprising a condensed, generic version of all of mankind's institutions -- religious and nonreligious) is formed that derives its power to execute its decrees from "ten" nations who lend their might to establish the atheistic world authority.

But there is another older power, Rome, who for centuries derived its existence and "immense authority" from that same "beast" and was stripped of its power (after her allotted time --1260 years) but not her existence. The United States (the next world power after Papal Rome) uses its strength and authority to act in Rome's behalf, but later forms another power in the image of the Roman Church. But once the image is made and given autonomy, there is no need for the original since the two entities would be competing for the same preeminence. The atheistic power (the image,) with the ten powers, then turn on Rome and destroy her. Rome was religion that controlled the state; the image, when fully developed, will be a power as aggressively anti-Christian as this earth will ever see. It will be satanic rule in its purest form and will control everything including religion. Seeking to control the conscience, it sits in the place of God in providing for all of the needs of all men. It forces all, by economic monopoly -- failing that, by threat of death -- to accept its godlike "benevolence." In this manner it gains its homage. The Reign of Terror waged against God by the ""beast from the abyss" -- atheism, during the French Revolution, is to be repeated with even greater ferocity as the above mentioned events are played out. Anyone connected to God at this time will experience the full wrath of this satanic power. Such a thing seems to be in the making in this present age.

p 140 -- churches, one visible the other invisible, both blessed by heaven. It is a lie that imprisons the mind and puts one on the wide road to damnation. Each Christian must come to know what the church is, because there is only one genuine church, and he must be a member of that body. TOP

All denominations, at least at the beginning, claim to be the true and only church -- established by God. As those who direct such organizations gain dominance over the minds of their fellows, restraint is relaxed and whatever they will, they do. As evil piles up, calls for reformation can be heard -- from which nothing can come because the "reformers" hold themselves in blind loyalty to the thing in need of reforming. Seeing that "God's Church" isn't behaving very godly, and thinking that they have the power to reform it, they set about to get it back on a right course. Therefore, men and their activities are denounced but "the church" is preserved. The leaders are corrupt, but "the church" they hold up is good. Evil practices are condemned, but the system that encourages those practices is upright, even divine. The rules imposed on the members might allow or even compel them to sin, but the system that encourages it is true, good and holy.

The church is touted to be the divinely piloted ship that will go through to the end. Its captain and crew may all be pirates bent on using the ship to gain them plunder as they have her headed toward the shoals and certain destruction, but hang on to the faithful vessel, they say, because she will carry all safely to the heavenly shore.   41    How ridiculous!

Rome claims the church to be:     "The society of the validly baptized faithful united together in one body by the profession of the same faith, by obedience to the same authority, Christ, its invisible head in heaven, and the Roman Pontiff, the successor of St. Peter, Christ's visible representative and vice-regent upon earth." -- ' Christian Apologetics,' Section 300, " as quoted in, The Reformation, 14th - 16th Century, by A. T. Jones., p. 125

Martin Luther typified the Reformation definition of the true church as:     ". . .We are the Church. There is no other Church than the assembly of those who have the Word of God and are purified by it." -- Ibid. p. 127.

41 -- See A. T. Jones, The Reformation, 14th - 16th Century, chapters: "What Caused the Reformation?" and " The Reformation" and the "Roman Church."

p 141 -- Zwingle said:     "The Church universal is diffused over the whole world, wherever there is faith in Jesus Christ -- in the Indies as well as in Zurich.

"In every nation whosoever believeth with the heart in the Lord Jesus Christ, is saved. This is the Church out of which no man can be saved." -- Ibid. p. 128. (Emphasis supplied)

The Revelator views the Lamb standing on Mount Zion with the hundred and forty-four thousand about Him -- all having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads, and says,     "These are the sons who have kept their virginity and not been defiled with women. . ." (Rev. 14: 1-5) TOP

It is interesting that there are two churches revealed in scripture. Both are symbolized by women. One is corrupt -- a whore, who has a number of equally corrupt daughters -- symbols of churches at one with the world. The other woman is pure -- a symbol of the true church, which is Christ's body to whom the "virgin sons" belong. The "virgin sons" represent those who, especially in the last remnant of time, refuse to join with earth's corrupted religious institutions, (all institutions, both religious and secular?) Cooperation with them is symbolized by receiving their mark. They prefer, rather, to cast off all earthly support and in faith rest their lives on God's promises. They are marked with His mark.

The issue at the beginning of the primitive Christian era is the same at the end of the history of the Christian church. It is the issue of religious freedom -- freedom of conscience; the freedom to worship God as led by the Spirit of God -- freedom from the domination and interference of others.

A return to primitive godliness is a return to the Godly principle of standing apart from all others in matters of faith and worship. Everything concerning faith and salvation must be left to the private judgment of each individual; there is no legitimate external authority aside from God, that has the power to bind the conscience or that men are obliged to obey.

The churches profess to recognize and support the right of religious freedom -- even insisting that the state recognize that right, but they do not recognize nor do they support the same right among themselves. Failure to allow the

p 142 -- principles of religious freedom within the church, and limiting it to the state, corrupts it altogether.

"The time has come when no church should any more call men to herself, but to Christ only. The time has come when the church herself must be most of all interested in making it manifest that there is no third kingdom, realm, jurisdiction, or power; but only two -- God and Caesar; and when she must ever urge upon all people the divine instruction, 'Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's.' TOP

"The time has fully come when the church, in all things, must let only this mind be in her that ' was also in Christ Jesus,' that will not think it 'a thing to be grasped, to be equal with God;' but that will completely empty herself in order that God may be revealed: the living and true God, and He all in all. He, the only King and Lord of all in the church and to the church, and that church is ' the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.'

"Long enough have both states and churches usurped the authority of God and have assumed to reign in the place of God." -- A. T. Jones, Individuality in Religion, pp. 94 - 95.

Those of us who cling to human organization and human organized religion and think it to be the church of God place ourselves outside the Body -- out of which, quoting Zwingle, no man can be saved. All such organization is directly opposed to the principles of the Gospel, and those who blindly cling to it will fall with it.

The message to every believer is this: Stand with Christ -- stand as individuals before Him; and when the visible church falls -- and it will, we will know that the true church, of which Jesus Christ is the Head, is his body, of which we are, will never fall. In that unity, and of that organization by His Holy Spirit, will the true church, free from corruption and worldly entanglements, go through to the end. On which side will we be at that time? Our present course will determine that. TOP

p 143 -- ADDENDUM

SHARING THE DIVINE NATURE -- ANTICIPATING THE NEW CREATION: The Son of God is the archetype of humanity. He has exhibited in human nature the splendor of the Father -- the perfect image of God as holy love. As man was created in God's image (whose holy personality he was to represent) and was to glorify God by revealing Him in His glory -- in willing submission to Him -- the Son of God, in human form, fulfilled what man failed to do.    1

The life of Christ is the revelation of God's predetermined plan to give a divine elevation to man. In the outworking of that plan the Divine Word stooped to assume humanity in order to unite the divine and the human, and to transform it into a manifestation of the Divine Life. The Word revealed itself in the man Jesus -- who is the consummate revelation of the unknowable sum and substance of God in the form of humanity -- thereby revealing in an understandable way what kind of a being God is. It is through the Son that the Father closes the chasm (heals the breach) that has separated Him from the human race by imparting Himself through Christ to them and elevating them by the union of His Divinity with their humanity. Therefore it is said of God:     "We are well aware that God works with those who love him, those who have been called in accordance with his purpose, and turns everything to their good. He decided beforehand who were the ones destined to be moulded to the pattern of his Son, so that he should be the eldest of many brothers; It was those so destined that he called; those that he called, he justified, and those that he has justified he has brought into glory." Romans 8:28 - 30. (Emphasis supplied) TOP

And of Christ it is said,     "By his divine power, he has given us all the things that we need for life and for true devotion, bringing us to know God himself, who has called us by his own glory and goodness. In making these gifts, he has given us the guarantee of something very great and wonderful to come: through them you will be able to share the divine nature . . . ." 2 Peter 1: 3, 4. (Emphasis supplied)

Through the Holy Spirit, the love of God is shed broadly in the hearts of His chosen, and makes itself felt there. The voice of God Himself, speaking within them, declares that they are his children (as in Romans 8:16). And, in Ephesians 3:18, Paul prayed that Christ

1 -- The birth of Christ was the result of a direct creative act of God and not the ordinary laws of human generation. Whatever has its beginning in the natural order of humanity must bear the stamp of humanity and must share in the sinfulness that stains it. It was impossible, then, for Jesus Christ [the second Adam, the Divine predecessor of a new heavenly race] to derive His origin from the first Adam, as do the ordinary children of men. Christ must be seen, not as an individual representative of the sort that descended from our first parents, but as the creative origin of a new type of being -- the combination of the natural and the supernatural. -- Neander, The Life of Jesus Christ, p. 13.

p 144 -- might dwell in their hearts by faith that their inner life may be deeply rooted in the love of God. God's love for the redeemed is the basic element upon which their whole inward lives and consciousness rests. But they can rightly understand its extent only after having been first pierced by the sense of how great it is.     2

The power of faith gives independence and stability to God's chosen and imparts strength and freedom to their minds. Faith forms the basis of their freedom in Christ since they have, by it, devoted their lives to Him as their Redeemer (and through Him to God). Because of His animating Spirit in them, they are aware of their dependence on Him and will acknowledge no other. As a result they feel independent of all created beings, and of all earthly things. They are the masters of all things and are in bondage to no man and to no circumstance and nothing can change them from their course -- a course dictated by the Spirit of Christ -- the great determining standard of their lives.

By faith believers are given the right of citizenship and are incorporated into the kingdom of God. With the Spirit of Christ animating them, they are given a foretaste of eternal life    3    and wait with certain patience for the full realization of divine power and the blessedness of the kingdom when it attains its completion after the resurrection. For now, the development of the divine life in them is in the first stages of its existence, and is only feebly beginning to expand.

The awareness of the divine life is accompanied by a realization of the many obstacles that fetter the life, and will continue to do so until human nature is thoroughly pervaded by the divine and purified from all that is alien. At the same time this awareness produces a longing for the perfect freedom that is the destiny of the children of God. TOP

Although it is understood that God's people have already attained the dignity and privileges of the children of God, their full rights relate to something future. For all that is involved in the idea of adoption, all that belongs to the dignity, glory, and blessedness of the children of God, is very far from being realized on this earth. For that reason the people of God -- who have received the first fruits of the Spirit -- groan in anticipation for the ultimate demonstration of the perfect union of the divine and the human when they will be removed from all that checks the free expression of God in their lives (Romans 8: 23). Like their Elder Brother, in essence and in character (epouraniou), they will reflect perfectly the image of the Father. Then, when all things are put into subjection to Him, God will be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15: 28, 49).

There is one God, one Lord, and one Spirit . . ."

2 -- Christ's prayer to His Father was that, "I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them." John 17:26 -- The absence of one affects the absence of the other.

3 -- Paul presents the Holy Spirit as the pledge [arrabwn] -- the first installment of the promised glory to be realized at the second coming of Christ.

Jon Vannoy
Fallon, Nevada

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2002

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