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1988 Apr -- XXI -- 4(88) -- THE LINES ARE DRAWN -- MINISTRY Issues Its Special Edition -- When attending the second National 1888 Message Conference at Andrews University in 1986, I observed a young man with an official manner coming and going, yet at no time did I see him participating in the program. His presence and activity interested me. Finally, I engaged him in conversation. He was the Executive Editor of the Ministry. He had come,the same as I, as an observer. He reminded me in two years would be the 100th anniversary of the 1888 General Conference. I knew that something was afoot.

We have been awaiting the release of the "Righteousness by Faith - Special Edition" of the
Ministry. This February issue of the monthly journal is double size, containing 64 pages. It
is comprehensive in scope. Even though the Executive Editor states - "We do not seek to
examine every nook and cranny of what happened in 1888" - this edition addresses major issues
and introduces documentation which must be evaluated. There is no way that anyone who has been discussing the 1888 history and message can ignore some of the challenges set forth in the
different articles of this issue of Ministry.

Inasmuch as many of our readers do not have access to this journal, we shall briefly give a synopsis of the articles, and then in following Thought Papers discuss in detail the major issues raised in the substantive articles. It must be kept in mind that each writer is on the payroll of the Church, as would be expected, and therefore, cannot deviate far from the official line. In another sense, Ministry is the official voice of the Church's hierarchy to its ministers, and therefore, sets the line. This

p 2 -- issue of Ministry can be viewed as the outline setting the perimeter and content for the presentations to be given at the 1988 Centennial in Minneapolis.

Certain theological issues will be avoided. J. David Newman, the Executive Editor, wrote in his editorial - "First Glance - "Our people do not need more material on character perfection, sinlessness, or the nature of Christ..." (p. 2) As true as this may appear to be, they do need a correct understanding in each of these areas. Further, no true picture of righteousness by faith as envisioned in 1888 can ignore these doctrinal areas. To avoid them is not only permitting self-deception, but practicing deception on the rank and file of the ministry as well as the laity.

Four objectives stand out as the paramount aim of the Centennial celebration:

I)    The rehabilitation of Ellen G. White as the authoritative figure and voice in the Church.

2)     The complete denigration of Jones and Waggoner as the messengers of the 1888 Message.

3)    Resetting the guidelines of permissible theological beliefs in the Church with the emphasis that we need to "love" and accept even one teaching rank heresy. In other words, heresy is being clothed as accepted belief within the new perimeter being established.

4)     An attempt to make this Centennial celebration an occasion to begin a revival in the Church - but in the same old format - the numbers game - as the measure of success.

Survey of the Articles -- No one can question that the editorial "First Glance" - was written as Newman sincerely sees the picture. He wrote:       Our Prayer is that the Holy Spirit will use this special issue to bring revival and reformation to our church. We want to see Jesus come in our generation. We take seriously Jesus' words to the church of Laodicea: (Rev. 3:18 NIV quoted) (p. 2)

All of us want to see Jesus come quickly, and He will in this generation. Prophecy is clear on that point. The question is - Has the Church as a corporate body crossed the unseen line? In other words where are we in relationship to the Laodicean message post-verse 16, or still pre-verse 16? And if a revival is achieved will it be "the false latter rain"? These are not academic questions.

The first article - "1888 - Issues, Outcomes, Lessons" - was written by R. W. Olson, secretary of the Ellen G. White Estate. As to be expected, Olson spearheads the number one objective of the Centennial year, the rehabilitation of Ellen G. White. He notes that a "much more important" issue was at stake at the 1888 session than the horns of Daniel 7, or the law in Galatians. It was "the acceptance or rejection of Ellen White as a special spokesperson for the Lord." (p. 6) In his section on "Lessons" for our day, he tackles the denominational repentance issue by stating that "in the 27 years" Ellen White "lived following the Minneapolis meeting she never once suggested that we pass an official action in which we would formally dissociate ourselves from the un-Christlike attitude manifested by so many at Minneapolis." (p. 8) This carefully worded justification must be addressed for two reasons:    1)     The message to Laodicea does call for repentance, and    2)     Ellen G. White did call for corporate repentance.

The second article by Knight follows the same approach as his book, supposition ("It can be conjectured" (p. 13), and assassination ("Jones's personality was particularly calibrated against winning friends and gaining the sympathy of his enemies"). (p. 11)

C. Mervyn Maxwell, chairman of the Church History Department of the Theological Seminary writes not only the third article in which he "scratches" his colleague Knight's back; but he also reviews the 1987 edition of 1888 Re-Examined. (p. 63) In this review, he notes as one of his first points the changed position taken by Wieland & Short from the 1950 edition, writing:       Mercifully, no mention is made of "corporate repentance" and very little of the "sinful nature of Christ", terms that have been a stumbling block to many of earstwhile Wieland and Short admirers.

It is tragic to what extent men, whom God once called, will go to gain acceptance with their peers. This tragedy is compounded when laity and some of the rank and file of the ministry, lacking the "Gift" of discernment (I Cor. 12:10), hail this compromised revision as something to be promoted.

Maxwell's folksy presentation is followed by a doctored-up account of the 1888 session taken from a diary kept by a delegate from Virginia, Elder R. DeWitt Hottel. Written by Ron Graybill, formerly of the White Estate, the diary is noted as being among "the historical treasures of the General Conference archives." (p. 19) However, the contents of the actual diary have been "enriched" with other data known to have taken place on the given dates of the various entries. These "supplements" have been footnoted. If one took away these literary "additives", there would not be much left but a recitation of Elder Hottel having "a bad cold and a sore throat," and becoming sick to the point of almost "fainting." He also tells of sightseeing trips while at the conference. One entry, his layover on Friday in Chicago, gives the tone of at least one delegate's preparation for the issues he would meet while there. It reads:       Left for Chicago [from Battle Creek] at 1:20 in the morning, slept some, arrived at 8:30 a.m. Since my train did not leave again till evening, I started out to see a few things. Walked down State Street, Wabash Avenue, Michigan Avenue. Went to see "Jerusalem on the Day of the Resurrection." It was good. Left at 5:30 p.m. and rode all night. It rained some. I have a bad cold, don't feel good. (Ibid.)

p 3 -- The next seven articles, prefaced by a study document produced in 1980, give the core of the church's official position on the 1888 Message, its aftermath, and how they view it today. In these articles, the question of "corporate repentance" and "Have we delayed the Advent?" are discussed. The questions raised and the answers given, whether historical, theological, or the functional approach to such study must be carefully considered. What is written cannot be dismissed out of hand, neither can it be swallowed "hook, line and sinker." In successive issues of the Thought Paper, we will discuss the major questions raised, and the positions taken by these spokesmen for the hierarchy.

One of the last two articles echoes the design which the leadership wishes to accomplish as a result of this Centennial celebration - a revival within Adventism. The final article - "Lessons from 1888 for 1988 Leaders" - merely follows the long standing response given when in 1950 the appeal was made for "denominational repentance" - the numbers game. Elder W. H. Branson closed the 1952 Bible Conference, called for the specific purpose of covertly answering the call in the 1950 edition of 1888 Reexamined, with these words:      The light of justification and righteousness by faith shines upon us today more clearly than it ever shown before upon any people. No longer will the question be, "What was the attitude of our workers and people toward the message of righteousness by faith that was given in 1888? What did they do about it?" From now on the great question must be, "What did we do with the light on righteousness by faith as proclaimed in the 1952 Bible Conference?"

Brethren, what shall be our response?

The reception of the righteousness of Christ by faith will bring the Holy Ghost down from heaven. This will result in the very foundations of the world being shaken by the preaching of the Advent message.

We are engaged in an effort to double our church membership in a four-year period from January 1, 1950, to December 31, 1953. Some have reckoned such a goal to be preposterous. But is it? When the first Pentecost came the church doubled its members in one day.

The reception of the righteousness of Christ by the church today will bring the second Pentecost. Revelation 18:1-3 will be fulfilled. Thousands will be converted in a day as the message of salvation through Christ swells to a loud and mighty cry. With such power in the message, who shall say [his emphasis] that a four-year period is too short a time in which to double the number of those who are brought into the church of God? (Our Firm Foundation, Vol. 2, p. 617; Emphasis mine, except as indicated)

The final article in the Special Edition of Ministry written by the head of the General Conference Ministerial Department suggests -         The church has surely grown in size. There were fewer than 100 delegates to [1888] General Conference session. Today delegations are so large we can no longer meet in a little church, but seek out the world's largest arenas for our General Conference sessions. In 1890 there were fewer than 30,000 Seventh-day Adventists in the world. Today there are more than 5 million. The church is praying that God will lead us into baptizing 2 million precious souls between 1985 and 1990, and I invite those who say the church is failing to become a part of that success. (p. 62, emphasis mine)

Again "success" to be measured in "numbers"! Our Bible tell us that the group outside the New Jerusalem - "the camp of the saints" - is equal in number to "the sand of the sea." (Rev. 20:8) Just ask yourself who in the history of time has always played the numbers game? And we dare to project it again in the Centennial year of 1888!

p 4 -- KNIGHT DESCENDS ON JONES -- Part 3 -- Apart from "his primary aim ... to write an interpretive biography" of A. T. Jones, Knight digresses along the way to note a few facts involving the presentations of E. J. Waggoner at the 1888 session. Noting the actual records available to the researcher, he comments:       Noticeably absent from the list of existing documents are Waggoner's sermons. They have probably been permanently lost, despite claims to the contrary. (p. 37)

The seriousness of this assumption is the conclusion drawn from it by Knight. After noting that two more sources of information "have recently joined the records of the 1888 General Conference meetings," he writes:      None of these records demonstrate that the divinity of Christ, the human nature of Christ, or "sinless living" were topics of emphasis or discussion at the 1888 meetings. (Ibid.)

Before discussing this conclusion, we must have before us the data for Knight's assumption that "Waggoner's sermons" are "permanently lost, despite claims to the contrary." This point of emphasis is repeated in the "Special Editions" of both the Adventist Review and the Ministry. In the Review, Knight writes:        The exact message of Waggoner probably has been lost forever. It might be suggested, given the way Adventists have quibbled over these things, that the words of Waggoner, like the location of Moses' grave, have been providentially hidden so that we could not worship them. (Jan. 7. 1988, p. 4)

In the Ministry, Maxwell repeats the assumption, writing -       When all is said and done, the simple truth is that no one knows precisely what Waggoner and Jones actually said in Minneapolis in 1888. Attempts to discover transcripts of their messages have not been successful, and claims that such transcripts have been located have not been validated. (Feb., 1988, p. 15)

This conclusion is flawed because we do know what Jones presented at Minneapolis in 1888 on his own word. Knight does not go this far, but admits we have "Jones's sermons on religious liberty." (From 1888 to Apostasy, p. 37) Neither Knight nor Maxwell have to prove their assertions in regard to Waggoner for all they have to say is - "Produce the documentation - Waggoner's sermons." Knight footnotes his conclusions of the "claims to the contrary" by citing three sources, two of which make the claim, the other stating the same flawed assertion as Maxwell. These sources are Wieland, McMahon, and Froom. Let us note them one at a time.

In 1972, the Pacific Press republished Waggoner's book - The Glad Tidings, a series of studies on Galatians. It was "revised" and "edited" by Elder R. J. Wieland. In the "Foreword", Wieland wrote:         I discovered that the message of this book was in reality a transcript of studies that Dr. Waggoner gave personally to a gathering of ministers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the fall of 1888. (p. 6)

However, there is no documentation as to the source of Wieland's discovery. The picture is complicated further. Wieland "edited" the original book first published in 1900, giving it "a more contemporary literary dress." Besides this - "Certain other passages not vital to the basic teachings of righteousness by faith have been deleted as not relevant to present-day concerns." (Ibid., emphasis mine) According to McMahon, Wieland "editorially removed some pantheistic statements." (Ellet Joseph Waggoner: The Myth and the Man, p. 74) This concurs with Wieland's own statement to this editor.

Now if this book - Glad Tidings - is "in reality a transcript of studies" given by Waggoner at the 1888 session, then Waggoner was teaching "pantheism" from the very beginning, and Wieland has attempted to rewrite history in editing the book. However, it is not true that Waggoner taught "pantheism" in 1888, and thus the assumption that the book is a "transcript" is not valid. The material for this book was first published in the Signs of the Times in 1898-1899 as a series entitled 'Studies in Galatians'. It was repeated in the Review and finally published as a book in 1900." (McMahon, op. cit.)

McMahon in his book on Waggoner, a Verdict [Brinsmead] Publication, after citing Uriah Smith's brief summaries of the first three of Waggoner's eleven studies given at the 1888 session, and Waggoner's own summation in the Signs of the Times, concludes for his

p 5 -- own purposes - "the lack of a complete record of Waggoner's presentation has made it easy for some to read their own views on righteousness by faith into the 1888 conference." (p. 74) Knight would concur in this evaluation.

We next turn to Froom and note his undocumented assumptions in Movement of Destiny, and their implications. Two chapters are devoted to "E. J. Waggoner's Actual Message at Minneapolis." (Chapters 11 & 12, pp. 188-217) Citing three separate sources for verification of what was said, Froom writes of the third source -        The third - and unquestionably most significant of all - are what we have every reason to believe are the actual studies themselves, given by Waggoner at the conference, preserved through the shorthand reports taken down by Jessie F. Moser-Waggoner at the time. Here neither tricks of memory nor the slant of other minds intrude. These transcribed studies were edited by Waggoner himself, then put in book form. (p. 189) [The book referred to is Christ and His Righteousness]

But with this statement there is no documentation. Froom cites correspondence between Jessie F. Moser-Waggoner and himself. (See pp. 240, 243) But nowhere does he cite correspondence to support his contention as to how we know what was said by Waggoner at Minneapolis in 1888. As Maxwell wrote, attempts to discover these transcripts "have not as yet been successful, and claims that such transcripts have been located have not been validated." (Maxwell, op. cit.)

Froom at the close of Chapter 11 seeks to establish his assertion by repetition and additional assumption. He wrote:       For documentary record, three small books grew out of Waggoner's series of studies at the 1888 Minneapolis Conference, giving them permanent record. Taken down in shorthand by Jessie F. Moser-Waggoner, the talks were issued in the following order, the first one giving the heart of the presentation. (p. 200)

Three books were then listed: Christ and His Righteousness, The Gospel in Creation, and The Glad Tidings. This represents a total of 537 pages, and according to Waggoner's own testimony only "one hour a day" was devoted to his studies on "justification by faith." (Signs of the Times, Nov. 2, 1888) Waggoner gave eleven studies on this topic during the session.

The undocumented assumption of Froom has now been challenged in this Centennial review of 1888. The books, Froom's and Knight's, were both published by the Review and Herald Publishing Association. But the fallout and the implications go far beyond the fact of two contradictory books being produced by the same Church publisher. The book, Movement of Destiny was prepared under a"Guiding Committee". This committee was chaired by Neal C. Wilson, who also placed his imprimatur on the book. (pp. 16-17) Thus the challenge to Froom's credibility also constitutes a challenge to Wilson's credibility.

[In the reenactment of the 1888 session this fall, will Wilson play the role of Elder Butler and stay away, or will he come and be made to look "sick" because of his close association with Froom's book?]

More are involved than just Wilson, and the whole system of forging a book to influence the thinking of the laity is called into question by this one incident. Froom in his acknowledgments lists among his dozen or more consultants, not only "Administrator Neal Wilson" but also Arthur L. White, and Kenneth Wood. He declared he was "protected by verifiers and copy editors," besides "a counseling committee of six of our headquarters leaders." (p. 8) The tragedy of this whole picture is compounded when what Waggoner supposedly said at 1888 is twisted and Waggoner is made to say the exact opposite of what he did write in the book, Christ and His Righteousness. (See An Interpretive History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation, pp. 82-87)

While the structure of historical evidence is being challenged in the Centennial publications, the error which Froom was trying to protect is still being kept in place by Knight. Knight writes that the extent records on what was said at Minneapolis "demonstrate that the divinity of Christ, the human nature of Christ" were not topics "of emphasis or discussion at the 1888 meetings." (From 1888 to Apostasy, p. 37) These two subjects loom large in Froom's book as he sought to underwrite the compromise between Seventh-day Adventists and the Evangelicals worked out in the conferences of 1955-1956.

Knight's first assumption that "the divinity of Christ" was not brought into the discussion is contradicted by an "additive" with which Graybill embellished Hottel's diary. The entry dated Monday, October 15, reads:       Smith must have been all the more upset when young Brother Waggoner spoke in the afternoon on the law in

p 6 -- Galatians. He even threw in a few remarks about the divinity of Christ. (Ministry, Feb. 1988, p. 20)

Graybill's footnote entry reveals:        Most of the details in this day's entry are taken from W.C. White Handwritten Notes from Various Meetings held in 1888. (E. G. White Estate)

Knight's evaluation of these "Notes" differs radically from Graybill's "quotes." Knight noting these "Notes" and Hottel's diary writes:          Persons holding that these topics [Christ's divine and human nature] were central to the theology of the meetings generally read subsequent developments in Jones and Waggoner's treatment of righteousness by faith back into the 1888 meetings. That interpretation, however, is becoming even more difficult to sustain - especially since the discovery of the W. C. White memoranda booklets and the Hottel diary. (p. 37)

Now the question remains: Was "the human nature of Christ" introduced by Waggoner at the 1888 session during his studies on the law in Galatians?

Prior to the 1888 session, there had been for several years contention over what "law" Paul was referring to in Galatians. The president of the General Conference, George I. Butler, held and vigorously promoted the "law" to be the ceremonial. Waggoner on the other hand just as vigorously contended that the "law" was the moral law. At the 1887 session, public discussion had been avoided, but it was impossible to do so in 1888. Waggoner prepared an answer to Butler in the form of a letter dated Feb. 10, 1887, but did not send it. In fact the release of this letter was delayed almost two years.       In the early summer of 1888, in preparation for the Minneapolis conference, Waggoner, Jones, W. C. White, and a few other ministers met for several days in a mountain retreat. W. C. White states: "We spent ... one day in the examination of Elder Butler's Law in Galatians, and other topics bearing on that question, at the close of which Elder Waggoner read some manuscripts which he had prepared in answer to Elder Butler's pamphlet ... Elder Waggoner asked us if it would be right for him to publish his manuscripts and at the next General Conference place them in the hands of the delegates, as Elder Butler had his. We thought this would be right, and encouraged him to have 500 copies printed." Waggoner published his book The Gospel in the Book of Galatians and took a good supply with him when he went to Minneapolis. (Ministry, Feb, 1988, p.6)

This book would clearly reflect Waggoner's thinking at the time of the 1888 session, and would reveal whether "the human nature of Christ" was involved in the discussion of the "law" in Galatians. In the discussion of Galatians 4:4 as to what "law" Christ was "made under" when "God sent forth his Son," the issue of "the human nature of Christ" was introduced. His comment on the verses which he quoted brings the nature of "the humanity of Christ" into sharp focus for 1988. Waggoner wrote:       One of the most encouraging things in the Bible is the knowledge that Christ took on Him the nature of man; to know that His ancestors according to the flesh were sinners. When we read the record of the lives of the ancestors of Christ, and see that they had all the weaknesses and passions that we have, we find that no man has any right to excuse his sinful acts on the ground of heredity. If Christ had not been made in all things like unto His brethren, then His sinless life would be no encouragement to us. We might look at it with admiration, but it would be the admiration that would cause hopeless despair. (The Gospel in Galatians, p. 61)

There is a close parallel between the verses used in support of the nature of Christ's humanity in both of Waggoner's books - The Gospel in Galatians and Christ and His Righteousness. In both publications, they are associated with Galatians 4:4, and in each book Waggoner draws the same conclusion regarding "the human nature of Christ."

While this evidence clearly negates Knight's assumption that "the humanity of Christ" was an issue read back into the 1888 session, a full comparison of the two books does not support Froom's contention that Christ and His Righteousness is an edited publication from transcribed studies given in 1888. [End of part 3 of 4]

p 7 -- CHRIST OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS -- Lesson # 14 -- The Victory of Faith

Question Answer

1.    How are the just to live?

Romans 1:17
Before continuing, please read 2 Chronicles 20:1-24.
2.   Whose God did Jehoshaphat claim Yahweh was?

2 Chron. 20:6, 7
(See note 1)

3.    What Scriptural requirement did Jehoshaphat meet? Hebrews 11:6
4.    Whom were the eyes of Israel upon?   2 Chron. 20:12
5.    Does God need help in saving man? 2 Chron. 14:11
6.    Why do the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth? 2 Chron. 16:9
7.     The prayer of Jehoshaphat was in conformity to what apostolic injunction? Heb. 12:2
8.    According to the prophet Jehaziel, to whom did the battle belong? 2 Chron. 20:15
9.    After the command to go forth in the morning, what were the children
of Israel to see?
2 Chron. 20:17
10.   After admonishing the people to believe in the LORD and His prophets, what did Jehoshaphat do? 2 Chron. 20:21
11.   When the singers began to sing, what did the LORD do?

2 Chron. 20:22

12.   What is the victory that overcomes the world?

1 John 5:4
(See note 2)

13.   Why were these things written?

Romans 15:4

1.     "That was an excellent beginning of a prayer. It starts with a recognition of God in heaven. So the model prayer begins, 'Our Father who art in heaven.' What does this signify? That God, as God in heaven is Creator. It carries with it the recognition of His power over all the kingdoms of the world and of the powers of darkness; the fact that He is in heaven, the Creator, shows that in His hand there is power and might, so that none is able to withstand Him." (Christ Our Righteousness, p. 83 - E. J. Waggoner)

2.    "Let us apply this illustration in a case of conflict against sin. Here comes a strong temptation to do a thing known to be wrong. We have often proved to our sorrow the strength of the temptation, because it has vanquished us, so that we know that we have no might against it. But now our eyes are upon the Lord, who has told us to come with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in time of need. So we begin to pray to God for help. And we pray to the God that is revealed to us in the Bible as the Creator of heaven and earth. We begin, not with a mournful statement of our weakness, but with a joyful acknowledgment of God's mighty power. That being settled, we can venture to state our difficulty and our weakness. If we state our weakness first, and our discouraging situation, we are placing ourselves before God. In that case, Satan will magnify the difficulty and throw his darkness around us so that we can see nothing else but our weakness; and so, although our cries and pleading may be fervent and agonizing, they will be in vain because they will lack the essential element of believing that God is and that He is all that He has revealed Himself to be. But when we start with a recognition of God's power, then we can safely state our weakness, for then we are simply placing our weakness by the side of His power, and the contrast tends to beget courage.

"Then as we pray, the promise of God comes to our mind, brought there by the Holy Spirit. It may be that we can think of no special promise that exactly fits the case; but we can remember that ' this is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners' (1 Tim. 1:15); and that He ' gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father' (Gal. 1:4); and we may know that this carried with it every promise, for ' He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?' Rom. 8:32.

"Then we remember that God can speak of those things that are not as though they were. That is, if God gives a promise, it is as good as fulfilled already. And so, knowing that our deliverance from evil is according to the will of God (Gal. 1:4), we count the victory as already ours, and begin to thank God for His 'exceeding great and precious promises.' As our faith grasps these promises and makes them real, we cannot help praising God for His wonderful love; and, while we are doing this, our minds are wholly taken from evil, and the victory is ours. The Lord sets ambushments against the enemy. Our ascription of praise shows to Satan that we have obtained reinforcements; and, as he has tested the power of the help that is granted to us, he knows that he can do nothing on that occasion, and so he leaves us. This illustrates the force of the apostle's injunction:      " ' Be careful for nothing [that is, do not worry about anything]; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God.' Phil. 4:6" (Ibid., pp. 86-88)

"Absolutely nothing which does not bear the test of truth will be triumphant in the Judgment."
(1888 Reexamined, 1950 ed., p. 2; omitted in the 1987 ed)

--- (1988 Apr) --- End --- TOP

1988 May-- XXI 5(88) -- THE REDEMPTION IN
Paul told the Christians in Rome that God by His grace freely justified them "through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." (ROM 3:24) By faith in God's word, one receives this justification. Is this redemption limited to a particular time, or to a special group of people? Or does God have but one means of redemption for all time? Jesus Christ in whom is this redemption is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Rev. 13:8) Peter declared to those who had delivered Jesus to be crucified - "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

Does the Old Testament speak the same language, or did God hold out to those before the Cross a cooperative redemption? They could develop a character through the latent power within them, and He would do what they didn't get done. In other words does the Old Testament teach that man becomes a co-saviour of himself with God?

Then we who are living in the final hours of human history, is there a different plan for our redemption than the one described by Paul? What was there about the message of Justification by Faith as given in 1888 which was different than the gospel proclaimed by Paul? Or was it different? If there is one question or issue of conflict which is paramount over all the other issues surrounding the 1888 experience, it is the above question. This essay will seek to answer

p 2 -- this paramount question as we survey "the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."

The Old Testament Picture -- Through Isaiah, God called - "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." (Isa. 45:22) It was "in the Lord" that "all the seed of Israel" was "justified." (45:25). Zechariah noted that the provisional services given to Israel in the sacrifical system would meet the reality when to "the house of David" would be opened "a fountain ... for sin and uncleanness." (13:1) Jeremiah stated that the One who would provide this fountain would be called - "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." (23:6)

Not only was man not a co-saviour of himself, neither could he develop supposed powers within him because he had been created in the image of God. The depravity of man is well attested to in the Old Testament scriptures. Jeremiah writes - "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (17:9) Isaiah described this desperate condition of man observing that "from the sole of his foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores." (1:6) For those who lived in Old Testament times, there was only one answer "the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." This is true for all time - the nature of man - his complete impotency to do good and his need - a Saviour.

The Revelation of the New Testament -- The means for our salvation has been provided in the sacrifice on Calvary. But - and this point dare not be disregarded - not only did Jesus in His death provide the means for man's salvation, Calvary reestablished the sovereignty of God over time and eternity. God could bring an end to sin with no questions ever raised again as to His love and justice. In Revelation, a larger view of Calvary is symbolically described in the conflict between Michael and the "dragon." (12:7-9) Calvary completely "routed" the devil, and "in heaven" a voice was heard declaring - "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ." (12:10) Because Christ conquered, God was enabled to declare unconditionally what would take place in the final resolution of sin.

This is what the book of Revelation is all about - the unveiling of the "things which must shortly come to pass." (1:1) One of those things is the fact that at some point in time, just prior to the pouring out of the wrath of God in the seven last plagues, "the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven [is] opened;" and "no man [is] able to enter into the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled." (15:5, 8) The only Man who had been in "the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven" (according to the type) was the sole "mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" in whom there is redemption. (I Tim. 2:5) At some point in time, the mediatorial work of Christ will cease. This "must" come to pass.

Those who will stand in that day and the question is asked - "Who shall be able to stand?" (Rev. 6:17) - will have to not only understand, but also experience a more mature perception of righteousness by faith than any previous generation. This is not saying that it will be a different righteousness than was perceived by previous generations in time; for there is only one righteousness - "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." But the question that must be answered is what does the "only Mediator" obtain for us in "the temple of the tabernacle in heaven" and how can one obtain the results of that mediation so as to be shielded from the wrath of God? This is what must be addressed in the light of the 1888 Message, and so far has been by-passed in all centennial articles and publications on the history and message of 1888. The bottom line is simply a willingness to confront the meaning and significance of the final atonement. But if we deny the final atonement - a teaching based in the Bible we thereby deny the basis for which the Seventh-day Adventist Church was called into existence.

The "everlasting gospel" of Revelation 14 is indeed the "age-long" gospel. It is the same gospel devised by "the counsel of peace" prior to the entrance of sin; the same gospel projected in promise through Old Testament times; the same gospel revealed in Jesus, proclaimed by Paul, and rediscovered in the Reformation; but now in the final scenes of the great controversy has a special application for those who will be ready to meet Jesus face to face at His return. Unless this is clearly perceived and projected above the din and excitement to be generated in the reenactment of 1888 at Minneapolis this Fall, God's professed will be more

p 3 -- destitute of the Holy Spirit than they are now. What is the answer?

The official Church is boxed in by its own compromises. When they published, Questions on Doctrine, it was stated that when Christ "appeared in the presence of God for us" it "was not with the hope of obtaining something for us at that time, or at some future time. No! He had already obtained it for us on the cross." (p. 381; emphasis theirs) Not only do the leaders of the church still stand behind this book as an authoritative expression of the church's belief, but this has also been incorporated into the official Statement of Beliefs voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980. The very language borrowed from the Evangelicals which conveys this concept was incorporated into article #23 of the Statement. (For a detailed, documented study see - "A Sacred Trust Betrayed" - a tape and study guide prepared by the Adventist Laymen's Foundation)

Now there is another side to this coin. There are reactionaries on the periphery of Adventism who deny an atonement at the Cross, and seek to set forth the work of the final atonement as a program to be obtained by human works of righteousness which give merit. Thus those redeemed from the last generation would be superior to all other generations because they become co-saviours with Christ in the cleansing from sin. Because the rank and file of both ministry and laity in 1888 did not understand even the rudiments of righteousness by faith it was only a doctrinal theory with them God had to begin at the ABC's of justification by faith. If we had not experienced the redemption in Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins, how could we accept the gracious provision of cleansing to be extended in the final atonement?

We have not yet learned that "divine grace is needed at the beginning" of our Christian experience, and "divine grace" is essential "at every step of advance"; and that "divine grace alone can complete the work." (See TM, p. 508) We can no more cleanse ourselves from sin, than we can provide the means for our forgiveness.

Are there no works? Yes, there is a faith that works! Faith lays hold of the promises of God and the fruitage is seen in a full life of witness and service. It is not a self-development program which works the cleansing of the soul. The victors in the final hour of earth's history overcome the devil "by the blood of the Lamb (the redemption that is in Jesus Christ), and the word of their testimony (objective, not subjective), and they loved not their lives unto death (even the death of the cross)." Rev. 12:11 [See also Gal. 2:20]

[p 5 below]

p 6 -- CHRIST OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS -- Lesson # 15 -- Bond Servants and Freemen

Question Answer

1.   Who is the servant of sin?

John 8:34
2.   What is the end of those who stay slaves to sin? ROM 6: 16
3.    When we sin, who is our master? 1 John 3:8
4.    Can the carnal (unconverted) mind break the bondage of sin? ROM 8: 7, 8
5.    Through Whom and what is freedom? John 8:31-36
6.    What does God desire for us? ROM 6: 1, 2
7.   Into what has God called us? Gal. 5:13
8.    Where is liberty to be found? 2 Cor. 3:17
9.    What must happen to the "old man" (self) so that we may cease to serve sin? ROM 6: 6
10.   When the "old man'' is dead, from what are we freed? ROM 6:7
11.   How is the "old man" put to death? ROM 6:13
12.   How complete must our yielding (surrender) be?

ROM 6:19
(See note 1)

13.   Where do we find life after death to sin?

ROM 6:10,11
14.   What great promise may we claim when Satan tempts us to re-enter his service? Ps. 116:16
15.   What promise do we have that God will continue with us? (See note 2)
Phil. 1:6
(See note 2)

1.    "The whole secret of overcoming, then, lies in first wholly yielding to God, with a sincere desire to do His will; next, in knowing that in our yielding He accepts us as His servants; and then, in retaining that submission to Him, and leaving ourselves in His hands." (Christ Our Righteousness, E. J. Waggoner, p. 98.)

2.     "Do you feel that it is too great a sacrifice to yield all to Christ? Ask yourself the question, ' What has Christ given for me?' The Son of God gave all - life and love and suffering - for our redemption. And can it be that we, the unworthy objects of so great love, will withhold our hearts from Him? Every moment of our lives we have been partakers of the blessings of His grace, and for this very reason we cannot fully realize the depths of ignorance and misery from which we have been saved. Can we look upon Him whom our sins have pierced, and yet be willing to do despite to all His love and Sacrifice? ...

"You cannot change your heart, you cannot of yourself give to God its affections; but you can choose to serve Him." (Steps to Christ, pp. 45, 47)

p 5 -- 1888 RE-EXAMINED EXAMINED -- Part 6 -- In the Fall of 1954, I accepted the responsibility as Pastor-Evangelist of the Hagerstown District in Maryland. The Wayside Chapel was nearing completion in which the evangelistic meetings were to be held. The first sermon I preached in this new assignment was in the old church by the railroad tracks. That morning, Elder J. S. Washburn sat in the front pew alert, giving close attention to what I said.

Four years previous to this Elder R. J. Wieland interviewed Elder Washburn who had been in attendance at the 1888 General Conference session. In the November-December issue of the 1888 Message Newsletter, the official organ of Elders Wieland and Short, was printed what was purported to be the full account of that interview. (pp. 6-7) Knowing that this was not a true representation of the interview - there was more to it than was being printed, and there were unmarked deletions in that which was being released - I wrote to the chairperson of the "Editorial Committee" - Mrs. Helen Cate. She replied - "I printed it as it was given to me by Robert Wieland." (Post card dated March 17,1988) This is the most serious deceptive use of data by Elder R. J. Wieland yet to come to light when contrasted to what the message of the righteousness of Christ is to be - "pure, unadulterated truth." (TM, p. 65)

[The delay - December to April - in our response to this report of the interview with Elder Washburn was due to the fact that we had to locate in our files the copy of this interview.]

Not only did Elder Washburn sign the typed copy of the interview, and write in above his signature - "True Report of Interview" but it is also evident that he wrote in corrections with his own hand. The typed account in its original form is six pages in length, single spaced with narrow margins. It covered much more than the 1888 Conference and the interview which Washburn had with Ellen G. White at the Ottawa Camp meeting in Kansas. In fact, the Washburn Interview, as reported in the official organ of Wieland and Short, amounts to less that two pages of the whole, yet the readers of the Newsletter were led to believe they were given a complete report.

Besides this, another problem presents itself. The interview was taken down in note form, and while detailed, transitional concepts are not always recorded. Keeping in mind that 37 years have now elapsed between the interview and its present partial publication, some of these transitional thoughts cannot be recalled. This is understandable. Notice an example from the notes covered in the release as found in the Newsletter. The actual copy signed by Washburn reads:         JHM father to H. A. Morrison of Takoma Park. "Why, that man who talks to US as he does, certainly talks like he knows the Lord!" Washburn thought.

Does the "US" stand for Uriah Smith or is it capitalized for emphasis? In the notes all the principal people are identified by the initials of their names, e.g., EGW, ATJ, EJW, etc. Wieland apparently could not recall, so he worked over the notes as follows in the Newsletter:        J. H. Morrison was the father to Elder H. A. Morrison of Takoma Park [in 1950 H. A. Morrison was prominent there] .

He did not indicate the deletion by proper marks. An indication might have raised questions, but not as serious as an unmarked deletion!

Other deletions occur for no apparent reason as the notes are continuous. For an example, we shall quote from the Newsletter version and give in bold type the unmarked omission:         Sister White would stand by A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner and would say, "Brethren, there's great light here." She would hear Waggoner all the way through, but get up and go out before Morrison would finish his rebuttal. So I asked Morrison, "I know these two men are wrong." "Of course they are," he said. "They were all in California together, including Sister White, and came on train together, so they influence EGW to go with them."

But when one reads Wieland's edited version, there is no indication of this omission.

The most serious omission is just two words. The paragraph in the Newsletter reads:

p 6 -- Ellen White tried desperately to bring in a revival before the close. S. N. Haskell stood loyally with Jones and Waggoner, but three-fourths of the workers stood against the new light.

The interview report read: (dropped words in bold type)         EGW tried desperately to bring in a revival before the close. SNH and OAO stood loyally with ATJ and EJW, but three-fourths of the workers stood against the new light.

Admittedly, there are problems here, but these are not solved by deceptive literary tactics. The context indicates Washburn is referring to the actual 1888 session. Elder 0. A. Olsen, the person indicated by "OAO", was not present although he was elected President of the General Conference at the session. He did not arrive in the States to assume the responsibilities of the office for six months. During the interval, W. C. White acted as President. This unique situation - how could Washburn have forgotten it unless his recall was failing? Or, why did he not strike it out when he reviewed what Wieland had typed and submitted to him? He did change certain words as is evident from his pen corrections. It must also be remembered, Washburn was recalling events 60 years prior to the time of the interview. Now if his memory was this weak on such a unique situation, how much credibility can be given to the section on the 1888 period and its aftermath?

But was Washburn's mind taking in the whole sweep of Olsen's administration? To make this assumption also creates problems for Wieland and Short. Elder D. K. Short, in his document, The Mystery of 1888 (pp. 6466), shows that 0. A. Olsen did not in reality back Jones and Waggoner, but rather gave only lip service. The basis for this conclusion is to be found in letters which Ellen G. White sent to Olsen. Thus to have included the two word deletion would create problems for Short's thesis. A simple footnote would have sufficed explaining that it was to Ellen White the Lord had revealed the lip service of Olsen; but to Washburn it would have appeared as firm backing of Jones and Waggoner. This explanation is much to be preferred to literary deception. How can one profess to proclaim the righteousness of Christ which is "unadulterated truth" and deal in deception? The two just do not go together! In the 1950 edition of 1888 Reexamined, these "messengers" of the Lord wrote - "Absolutely nothing which does not bear the test of truth will be triumphant in the judgment." (p. 2) This was omitted from the revised edition in 1987. Was this omission a forerunner of the looseness with truth exhibited in this supposed full report of the interview with Washburn as released in the Newsletter? How can Wieland now deal with the issues raised in the "Special Report" of Ministry when he has stooped to lower literary ethics than even the hierarchy practice?

The Root Problem -- In 1958 Wieland and Short wrote to Elder W. R. Beach, then Secretary of the General Conference, as to how they viewed their call from God as it related to the corporate church. They stated:         We do not believe that this matter should be appealed over your heads to the church at large through private publishing. We do not believe in breaking down the lines of church organization. (Letter dated Nov. 18, 1958; emphasis theirs)

Yet in recent years Wieland has done that which in 1958 he wrote he did not believe in.

In 1959 another letter was addressed to W. R. Beach. It read:       We wish to state herewith our desire to leave this matter, to drop it henceforth and to continue as in the past to refrain from any agitation whatsoever in the pressing of our view upon the General Conference or the church. (Dated, Jan. 21, 1959; A Warning and Its Reception, p. 396; emphasis mine)

At the present time, Wieland is not keeping this word to the church's hierarchy.

In the Review & Herald (May 8, 1969), a report appears of a meeting which took place in the early summer of 1967 - a significant date! It reads:       We come now to a period of more recent date having to do with events of the summer of 1967, which we believe will be of interest to our workers and members. At the invitation of the General Conference, R. J. Wieland, one of the authors of the manuscript [1888 Reexamined], spent several days in Washington D. C., conferring with a group of the brethren [Wilson(Chr), Pierson, Lowe, White, Murdoch, Bradley, Froom, Neufeld] who met with him to discuss the manuscript and its use and effect among those who have read it. (D. K. Short, manager of the Sentinel Publishing Association in Cape Town, South Africa, could not attend the meeting.) Those who were present in the group will testify that

p 7 -- it was an excellent meeting, and that the spirit of fellowship in the blessed Advent message was present throughout. (p. 6)

Wieland also gives us his version of this meeting in a letter to Short dated, July 12, 1967. The concluding paragraph reads:        To sum it all up, as I see the meeting [June 27-29] in retrospect: the 1951 report said the ms was unworthy of serious consideration because it was "critical"; the 1958 report said it was unworthy of such consideration because it used EGW statements out of context; and the 1967 hearing concludes it is likewise unworthy because its fruitage is evil. When we are not able to say anything effective to clarify misunderstandings, I do not think that last charge is really fair; but I believe the time has come to "let go and let God", and to keep still. The Lord Jesus gave everybody, good and bad, an excellent example - as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. Whether I am right or wrong, I believe I must from hereon be "dumb" .

But this personal commitment has not been honored; Wieland has not been true to himself. As a result of this self-deception, we see deletions in the new edition of 1888 Reexamined to sustain a presupposition. Now as noted above, we see a lack of even deletions marks where deletions have been made. Why? 0 why will a man who had been called of God as His messenger come to this low estate in dealing with truth? In the answer to this question, we arrive at the root of the problem.

In the Nov. 18, 1958 letter, we find this revealing comment:       We reaffirm our convictions expressed to you numerous times: that the ultimate Revival and Reformation should come to God's people with the good will and support of the General Conference leadership; God Himself respects you brethren. If you do not see things clearly, or if you oppose His purpose, He will patiently wait until He can have your willing and hearty cooperation.

All evidence available indicates that Wieland still holds to this position. Since he does, then in all honesty to maintain the integrity of his word, he should abide by his commitments made to those whom he claims "God Himself respects." No excuse such as "the people made me do it" - the Aaronic excuse - will be acceptable.

Back in 1950, the two messengers wrote:       Time enough has now gone to satisfy anyone's reasonable patience. Even God's patience may soon be at an end. The nauseating effects of our wretched lukewarmness will not, cannot, be tolerated by the Lord Himself forever, (1950 edition, p. 10)

This position is noticeably different from the statement made in the letter written Nov. 18, 1958. To recognize that God's patience has been exhausted would justify the breaking of all commitments to the hierarchy which has led the corporate body into the rejection of truth and light. It would free Wieland's conscience from any sense of guilt resulting from his inconsistent positions. He would not need then to seek to cover with a "fig leaf" garment - deceptive literary editing - important data. However, the continued compromising which this messenger has indulged is now bearing fruit in unethical literary practice.

Instead of continuing to listen to some of the editorial committee who have urged him into his present predicament as did Israel, Aaron, this messenger whom God called needs to seriously and honestly sit down and reassess the past in the light of fulfilled prophecy. He needs our prayers that he may disentangle himself from some of his "miserable counselors" and see the "dog house" in which he perceived himself shut in 1967, as truly "the offence of the cross" - and not
continue to reject it! It will take a lot of undoing, and a crucifixion of the nature that made him bow to the person of man in 1950; but God is able if the human heart is willing!
--- (1988 May) ---End---- TOP

1988 Jun -- XXI 6(88) -- 1888 REEXAMINED EXAMINED -- Part 7 -- It has been with mixed feelings and emotions that the critiques on the 1987 edition of 1888 Reexamined have been written. Many think that the issues within the Adventist Community should be discussed with objectivity devoid of personalities. This cannot be because personalities are involved with the issues. The thinking and writing of an individual(s) creates the issue itself. In the critiquing of the 1987 edition of 1888 Reexamined, our problem is painfully acute. In this instance, we have two men whom God called as verily as He called Jones and Waggoner. We today are living in the midst of the on-going reverberations of their response to that call - the first edition of 1888 Reexamined, and what they are now doing which clouds the whole picture.

Here at the office, we have just finished proofreading the 1950 edition as one of the documents to become a part of the second enlarged printing of A Warning and Its Reception. In proofreading this retyped copy, we were continually faced with decisions. It was evident that when it was first written, it had not been carefully proofread nor references rechecked. (The time frame in which Wieland and Short were working to get the manuscript into the hands of "the brethren" did not permit such correction. See Footnote, p. 2, "An Answer to 'Further Appraisal of the Manuscript'", October, 1958) How much editing should we do? We wished to leave the copy as close to the original as possible, and therefore, made few corrections. We did correct obvious mistakes which might cause confusion. For example, the first printing read in the use of a Scriptural reference "Gal. 3:1-2 - a typographical error. We changed it to read - Gal. 3:1-2.

To this second printing, we are adding two letters, one written in 1967, as a part of the Documentary. The retyping of the 1967 Letter from a released copy of the original only compounded the

p2 -- mixed emotions which has been ours during this seven part series of the 1987 edition. In reading these pen pictures of the past, one sees two men - Wieland and Short - writing a "burden" as real as that borne by Isaiah (15:1; 21:1, etc.) They saw that "light" had been rejected by "the brethren" in resisting both the message and messengers of 1888. They perceived that this "light" was only the "beginning" of greater "light" to come had the first gleamings been accepted. They recognized that the cause of the rejection was "self " and the "offense of the cross." (Gal. 5:11)

In the first edition, they accurately set forth in detailed documentation, the results of the false teachings and emphasis which came into the Church - as a result of rejecting the message of 1888. With clear insight, they revealed the fine line between truth and error in the disguised worship of Baal in the Adventist Church. The picture saddens when one can see that these men today are themselves, especially Wieland, repeating the errors of "the brethren" in their own reaction to truth and advancing "light." Wieland cannot divorce himself from the fact that he personally was involved in the unfolding of the drama of history when for the third and final time, the hierarchy of the Church in 1967 rejected the message that God sent both him and Short to give them!

The history is written in the letter to Elder Short following the final and verbal confrontation in Washington, June 27-29, 1967, seventeen days after the beginning of the fulfillment of Luke 21:24. Why has Wieland not been able to see this historic factor and its significance? The same letter also gives the answer. It is twofold:    Wieland wanted above all things to get out of "the dog house" he perceived himself to be in as a result of having accepted the call to be God's "messenger" in 1950. In simple language, "the offense of the cross" was too much to carry. (Letter, p. 5) This is still the basic personal problem which he alone will have to work through. The second problem lies as the foundation of the first - misconception of the Laodicean message. Accurately, he defines the "angel" of the Church to be "its human leadership, ... and is thus the General Conference," but then he adds without warrant, "to whom God has entrusted the executive authority for hastening or delaying the vindication of His character before the world and the universe." (Letter, page 4) This is compounded by the conclusion that the General Conference "is yet to 'sit' with Christ in His 'throne' ... " This is conditioned by "the call the Lord Jesus extends to the corporate church: 'be zealous therefore and repent'" (Letter, p. 5; emphasis his) But there has been no "corporate repentance" ! This incongruity is explained by stating - "The Lord ... is a Divine Gentleman; and if we will not keep step with Him, He will humble Himself to keep step with us; He does not intend to by-pass the General Conference and accomplish the task without their cooperation." (Letter, p. 3) All of this results from a failure to understand the Laodicean message in context.

The Message to Laodicea -- Anyone who has studied the Seven Churches of Revelation, chapters two and three, is aware of the diagram depicting them as successive periods of the Church between the two Advents. Few are aware of how some of the pioneers of the movement understood these churches. For example, Joseph Bates, in the first issue of The Review and Herald (Nov., 1850), wrote an article - "The Laodicean Church" (p. 7). The article compassed the whole of the 3rd Chapter, thus including the other churches of the chapter - Sardis and Philadelphia, perceiving these churches as existing parallel to each other. Of Sardis, he wrote -"This, we understand to be the present nominal church, the Babylon, ... " Philadelphia was defined as the "translation" church; and Laodicea as "the nominal Adventist" church. A little study can add to Bates' exegesis. Thyatira, the fourth church, could also be understood as parallel - the Catholic Church to the end of time.

To Thyatira is the first mention of the second coming of Christ. To those who do not know "the depths of Satan" the counsel is given - "Hold fast till I come." (2:24-25) This counsel would be without meaning were that "church" not to exist till the Second Advent. To Sardis, the warning is given - "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief." (3:3) Compare this language with the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:42-44. Again, this warning would have little meaning if the "church" did not extend to the Advent. To Philadelphia comes the promise - "Behold I come quickly." (3:11) Thus each of these three churches are addressed in relationship
to the Second Coming of Jesus. But one looks in vain for any such message to the

p 3 -- Laodicean Church. Why should this be? This should speak volumes to us, and cause us to do some real deep thinking.

Jesus reveals Himself to Laodicea not only in the identification as to Whom the One is who addresses the "angel" of the church, in this instance - "the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God" (3:14) - but also as the One who stands at the door and knocks (3:20). At no point is Jesus pictured as being let in by the Church - He is ever on the outside! Laodicea treats Jesus even as the Jews did Christ. Of the 1888 experience, it is declared that "had Christ been before them [at the Minneapolis session], they would have treated Him in a manner similar to that which the Jews treated Christ." (Special Testimonies, Series A, #6, p. 20) Even as Revelation pictures Jesus outside the door, so Hebrews portrays Him suffering "without the gate." (Heb. 13:12-13) The challenge is the same in both figures of speech; either open the door, or go forth to Him "without the camp."

The message to Laodicea is addressed to two groups: the corporate, and the individual. In Verses 15-19, the church is addressed in the corporate sense - "thou," "thee," and "thy" - through its leadership - the "angel." Verse 20 speaks to the individual - "if any man" [Greek - tis], no longer the "thou" [Greek - su]. Why the change? Before addressing the individual, the admonition had been given - "Be [thou] zealous and repent." (3:19) The corporate body does not respond, therefore Jesus turns to the individual. In so doing, He tells us that the indicated objective of verse 16 is carried out. What other conclusion can be drawn when the text changes from the corporate pronoun - "thou" - to the indefinite pronoun - "any one"?

We must next carefully consider verse 16: "So then because thou art lukewarm ... I will spue thee out of my mouth." (KJV) This text reads literally - "So because lukewarm thou art ... I am about thee to vomit out of the mouth of me." The Greek word translated "I am about" (KJV - "I will") is mello. In the book of Revelation, this word is used thirteen times, and as always with an infinitive; in this verse - "to vomit." But what is unusual here, the infinitive is in the simple past tense (Greek:aorist). This is a rare combination in the Greek New Testament, being used only six times. (Rom. 8:18; Gal. 3:23; 1 Peter 5:1; Rev. 3:2, 16; 12:4) (See A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, p. 857) Setting aside Rev. 3:16 for the moment, in each of the other five uses of mello with the infinitive in the Greek aorist (past) tense, that which was or is to take place did or will take place, and the action was not and will not be a prolonged period of time, but punctiliar! Let us note two of these references by way of illustration: ROM 8:18 and Rev. 12:4.

Romans 8:18 reads:        For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be raveled in us.

"Shall be" is the translation of the present participle of mello, followed by the aorist (past) infinitive, translated, "revealed." Now is God going to change His mind about the "glory" He intends to reveal in us, and forever continue to let unborn generations suffer without hope? No! Christ will come and "we shall be changed, in a moment, at the last trump." (I Cor. 15:52-53)

Consider Revelation 12:4b. It reads:         The dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

A literal translation of the above underscored phrase reads - "being about to bear." The Greek is again the present participle of mello with the aorist (past) infinitive tekein, "to bear." The question is - Did the "woman" bring forth the "man child" or did God abort the plan of redemption? "When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, ... " (Gal. 4:4)

Now to Rev. 3:16 - "I will spue thee out of My mouth." The same verb is used - mello, and an aorist (past) infinitive is connected with it. Can we say that this is not going to take place; that God is going to wait generations for repentance? The linguistic evidence is totally against this conclusion. The "faithful and true Witness" declares of corporate Laodicea - "Because thou art lukewarm, ... I will spue the out of My mouth."

In seeking to justify the untenable concept that God is going to wait indefinitely for the corporate body through its hierarchy to repent, Wieland creates a "god" and clothes that "god" with human characteristics. He even names him - the "Divine Gentleman." (See quotes, p. 2, col. 2) This is creating a "god" whom our fathers never knew; a "god" other than the God of history which the Bible reveals. The God of the Bible is a God whose Spirit does not always strive with men, but Who limits the time for repentance. By creating a "Divine Gentleman" these "messengers" who decried "Baal worship" in their original manuscript have now created their own "Baal" and are worshiping before him. Such is the terror of the deception when the track of error is placed so close to the track of truth, and the intent of the Laodicean message is clouded in faulty exegesis. May God have mercy upon the concerned of His professed people thus deceived. (Concluded)

p 4 -- KNIGHT DESCENDS ON JONES -- Part 4 -- Concluded -- The chapter in Knight's "interpretive biography" of A. T. Jones which focuses a key component of the 1888 Message on the present conflict in Adventism today is the chapter on "The Nature of Christ." Knight would have us to believe that the view held by Jones and Waggoner on the nature that Christ assumed in humanity "created no controversy in Adventism of the 1890s" and "was a generally accepted theological nonissue." (p. 133) This evaluation has aspects of truth if one holds rigidly to the time frame given by Knight. In the year 1900, it was an issue which created a response on the part of R. S. Donnell, then president of the Indiana Conference and leader of the Holy Flesh Movement. In the Indiana Reporter, Donnell replied to a series of editorials in the Review on the Incarnation written by A. T. Jones. (See Laymen Ministry News, No. 134, pp. 28-29)

It is difficult to understand why Knight missed this point - if indeed he did - inasmuch as he charges that "Jones had undoubtedly stimulated some of the holy flesh excesses." Then in an undocumented statement, Knight asserts - "It is significant that R. S. Donnell, the Indiana Conference President, had treated Jones as his mentor for his ideas regarding the latter rain in 1896." (Knight, op. cit., pp. 169-170)

[In 1896, Donnell was in the Northwest as President of the Upper Columbia Conference. He had not even heard of the Holy Flesh Movement. It did not begin till 1899! As President of the Indiana Conference in 1899, he had at first opposed the Movement; then made an about face becoming its leader. (See The Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, pp. 9-10) The Holy Flesh Movement did not grow out of the 1888 Message, but rather from contacts with Pentecostalism by S. S. Davis in Evansville, Indiana. (Ibid. p. 7)]

Knowing what the Holy Flesh advocates taught in regard to Christ's incarnation, and being forced to assume that Knight knows this also in view of the research he leads the reader to believe he did on this movement, one has no alternative but to conclude that Knight suppressed this factor, because he himself holds to the Holy Flesh teaching on the incarnation, which today is being advocated in Adventism by Elder Tom Davis. (See From 1888 to Apostasy, pp. 139, par. 3; 142, par. 3; WWN XX-2, art. "The 'Holy Flesh' Alternative - T. A. Davis Follows R. S. Donnell") [Webnote: WWN XX-2 is Feb., 1989. XXI-3 is Mar., 1988]

As noted in Part II of this series of critiques (WWN, XXI-3, p. 3), the chapter, "The Nature of Christ," hit a high water mark in undocumented assumptions. Let us note them again:

p. 133 - "The devil is undoubtedly pleased ... "

p. 134 - "It is reasonable to believe that if ... "

p. 134 - "It also seems safe to infer, ..."

p. 143 - "That appears to be the position Ellen White held, ..."

p. 144 - "Some students have hypothesized .... "

p. 144 - "It is quite probable ... If so, ..."

p. 146 - "If, in fact, ... "

p. 147 - "It appears that ... "

Besides this technique, Knight seeks to associate and place in the same category with the teaching of the Incarnation as projected by Jones, other issues and concepts being discussed at the time of 1888, and in the early decades of the 20th Century. For example, he reintroduces the "law in Galatians" controversy, and the semi-Arian beliefs of some, and the "daily." (pp. 133, 134) As if this does not introduce enough confusion over the subject, Ellen G. White is charged with confusing the issue. (p. 140) And if this were not enough to touch off a spirited controversy, Knight concludes that Ellen G. White's position on the nature that Christ assumed in the Incarnation resulted from reading Henry Melvill's sermons. (p. 143) This he documents from material released by the Ellen G. White Estate.

There are two points that need to be made crystal clear:    1)     The place of doctrine in Christian experience; and    2)     The Biblical teaching on Christ's condescension into humanity.

Knight would have us believe that if Ellen

p 5-- G. White were still alive, she would take the same position on the controversy engendered today by the Incarnation issue, that she took concerning the controversies over the "law in Galatians" and "the daily" - "the argument did not make much difference in either controversy." (p. 134) Knight emphasizes - "It is not our theology that will save us, but the Lord of our theology." Then he adds - "Christian living, of course, needs to be informed by theological truth..." (p. 135) But he fails to realize that "the Lord of theology" will not preside over theological error. The real message to be sure in 1888 was not the "law in Galatains" but "the righteousness of Christ, which is pure, unadulterated truth." (TM, p. 65) "Many, many [like Knight] are very dull of comprehension in regard to their obligation to preserve the truth in its purity, uncontaminated by one vestige of error." (FCE, p. 501) While truth needs to become a part of the life, producing "the caring character of Christ" this does not exclude the necessity that the true Christian "should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 3) These two aspects of the Christian life are not incompatible, but rather very compatible. While it is "the Lord of our theology" who alone provides salvation, it is the Holy Spirit sent forth from the throne of that Lord who through Paul counselled - "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." (I Tim. 4:16)

Turning our attention to the second point what does the Bible teach in regard to the nature Christ assumed when He became flesh? First, it must never be forgotten; it is the basic premise that it was "the Word" who became flesh, and that "Word was God." (John 1:14, 1) That Self-Identity who existed from eternity in "the form of God" "emptied Himself" and took upon His Self-identity"the slave form of man." (Phil. 2:6-7 Greek Text) He could not come into the world "born, born again" as the Holy Flesh men taught, and as Tom Davis teaches today, or as Knight seeks to set forth in his "interpretive biography" of Jones. He ever was; His Self-identity did not change when He changed "forms"; and by His victory in "the slave form of man" He shall be what He ever was! Why should we seek to rob Him of His glorious victory over the flesh and the originator of sin? Why should we seek to minimize the magnitude of that victory achieved in "the slave form of man" by attempting to make that "slave form" different than the "bondage" into which all of us have been born?

The difference between us and the One who became flesh is that our "self-identity" is the creation of earthly parents who could pass on to us only what the human race received from their first parents - a fallen"self-identity." Only as we are willing to have our "self-identity" (the ego) crucified with Christ, can we have victory in the slave form of our existence. (Gal. 2:20). But the Cross, we do not want; we want to retain our "ego". But that "ego" and "the slave form" spells eternal death. We are willing to accept any kind of theological teaching so long as it does not involve a Cross. But Jesus having accepted our slave form - and all that that means - showed that the only place for such a form was on the Cross. It is expressed in the words of the believing thief to his companion - "Dost thou not fear God, seeing we are in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds." (Luke 23:40-41a)

Really, there is no reason to be haggling over the nature Christ assumed in the incarnation. The "slave form" Christ took upon Himself was identical with which every other child of Adam is born. "Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren." (Heb. 2:17) It is just that simple. All the haggling results from a refusal to accept the Cross, because the Cross is the only means of victory over our "slave form." Our "self-identity" is powerless against the tendencies arising out of the slave form. But "the faith of the Son of God" gives us the power of victory. As the Son of man, He gave us an example of obedience; as the Son of God, He gives us power to obey." (DA:24)


In concluding the series of critiques on Knight's book - From 1888 to Apostasy - I would note what a reviewer of the book wrote as published in Ministry (Feb, 1988, p. 63). He stated - "It has been a long time since I have enjoyed reading a book on denominational history as I enjoyed this one ... It read like a novel." Very well said, a historical novel, a few facts and lot of fiction!

p 6 -- MORE STUDIES ON FULL 1888 MESSAGE? -- YOUR CHOICE! -- The Bible presents a most precious message to us of God's love and His plan for our redemption from sin and death. In 1888 "The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones." (TM, p. 91) As one studies the works of Waggoner and Jones, he cannot help but be impressed with the Biblical basis that they used in their presentations. The last 15 Thought Papers have carried a series of Bible Readings on "Christ Our Righteousness." These Bible Readings were based on the studies that Elder Waggoner published in the book Christ Our Righteousness and/or Christ and His Righteousness.

The 1888 message was based in the word of God. It was not the final outpouring of truth to God's people for "the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." (Proverbs 4:18) That light from God's word must be the basis for the future development of truth. The perception of advancing truth never contradicts earlier light. When one understands that the latter rain is to be primarily greater light, (see TM, p. 507) then the following statements become more meaningful:         "Unless the early showers have done their work, the latter rain can bring no seed to perfection." (TM, p. 506)        "It [the latter rain] may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it." (TM, p. 507)

The 15 Bible Readings based upon Waggoner's studies do not pretend to be the final word, just the foundation. These were offered as an alternative to study guides offered by such groups as, "THE 1888 MESSAGE STUDY COMMITTEE", that are tainted with the "ship is going through" philosophy. While such groups deal with the important heart issues of the Scriptures as given in 1888, they ignore the other two phases of the 1888 message. To present just one side of the three-fold message of 1888 is to leave the people of God without the complete message. The 1888 message involved three areas:    1.     Justification by faith:   Man's relationship to his Creator.    2.     Religious Liberty:   Man's relationship to the powers that be.    3.    Organization:   Man's relationship to the Body of Christ and that Body's relationship to the individual.

The response from the readers of WWN has been positive concerning the Biblical based studies: "Christ Our Righteousness." If the readers of WWN are interested in the Thought Paper presenting studies concerning religious liberty and organization, then they can inform the editors with a short note or postcard stating which sequence - Religious Liberty or Organization - would be most helpful to them.

"Absolutely nothing which does not bear the test of truth will be triumphant in the Judgment."
(1888 Re-Examined, 1950 ed., p. 2; omitted in the 1987 ed)

--- (1988 Jun) --- End ----