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WWN 1988 Jul - Sep


1988 Jul -- XXI - 7(88) -- Pieces Falling Into Place -- The first article in the "Special Edition" of Ministry on the 1888 Centennial was written by Robert W. Olson, secretary of the Ellen G. White Estate. In the article, he wrote:     Ellen White recognized the responsibility of leadership in correcting evils and in setting the proper spiritual tone in the church. But in the 27 years she 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)

The clear intent of this statement - though carefully worded - is that Ellen G. White did not call for "denominational" or "corporate" repentance in regard to the rejection of the message of 1888. This required a response from Wieland who has been calling for such. In his official organ - "1888 Message Newsletter" - he, or someone on his behalf, replied, but in so doing admitted to the truthfulness of Olsen's assertion. It read - "Ellen White may not have used the phrase, even as she never used the word agape, but she clearly taught the principle (we will give sources in a moment)." (March-April 1988, p. 7) In paragraph "(c)" of his reply, the supposed sources are indicated: "She [Ellen White] recognized the principle of national impenitence (COL 304, 305; AA 247), and denominational impenitence. (5T 456, 457). Faith will bring about the opposite: denominational repentance." (Ibid., emphasis his)

We read and reread the pages cited and could not find these terms as indicated by Wieland. We did find some key concepts:
1) A nation's [church's] sin and a nation's [church's] ruin were due to the religious leaders. (COL, p. 305)
2) There is a terrible amount of guilt for which the church is responsible. (5T, p. 457)

Nowhere can there be found a single sentence by Ellen G. White calling for "denominational"

p 2 -- or "corporate" repentance in regard to the message as given in 1888 because it had been rejected. And rejected it was by many, especially those in positions of leadership.

There is, however, a specific call to repentance to be found in the message to the Church of Laodicea. The faithful and true Witness declared - "As many as 1 love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Rev. 3:19) Wieland is absolutely correct in applying this call to Laodicea in a corporate sense. (This verse closes the "thou" section of the message to Laodicea; the next verse begins the approach of Christ to the individual). How is this to be reconciled? This goes to the very core of the controversy over the message of 1888.

A little thought in regard to the message of righteousness by faith should lead one to perceive that it is, and can only be, an individual experience. The reception of God's free grace is not a corporate experience' which is then distributed through human mediators to the individual; that would be papal. It is rather a grace ministered directly to the individual through the one Mediator between God and man, the Man, Jesus Christ. Thus the realization of my failure to accept this marvelous grace can lead only to an individual experience.

Corporate acts resulting from the decisions of men who have not opened their hearts to the grace of God can lead to a departure from principles of righteousness so that a corporate repentance is the only answer to keep a corporate body, be it the Jewish nation-church, or the Seventh-day Adventist Church from ruin. A failure to recognize this factor by both Wieland and Short, and
the leadership of the Church has created the impasse on the issue of "corporate" or
"denominational" repentance.

One of the most insightful experiences as an editor that I have had in recent weeks was to help proofread the Second Printing of A Warning and Its Reception. There as I read carefully again what Wieland and Short had written in 1950; the response of "the brethren" and the counter reply of the "messengers of 1950", the pieces of the puzzle dropped into place. There is a need for individual repentance, and there was a need for corporate repentance necessitated by the actions of those who by their continued rejection of the message of 1888 administered their executive authority contrary to the will of God.

In an attempt to get "the brethren" to see this result of their rejection of the 1888 message, and to bring forth the fruits of repentance, Ellen G. White did play a key role.

Let us analyze some of the factors in the picture of what has been termed "the crisis years" - 1888-1903. In the Second General Conference Report, reviewing the original 1888 Re-Examined, under a subsection - "The Overall Picture," the committee stated:     6. In Battle Creek centralizing movements were put on foot and certain institutional leaders, loosing their consecration, were guilty of a course of action detrimental to the cause and displeasing to God.

7. The issues during the 1890's were not primarily over the doctrine of righteousness by faith, but over the concentration and misuse of power in Battle Creek, and the consequent evils resulting therefrom. (A Warning and its Reception, 2nd Printing, Mint Sec., p. 8)

This summary is verified in messages sent by Ellen G. White to Elder 0. A. Olsen, then president of the General Conference. She wrote:      The high-handed power that has been developed, as though position has made men gods, makes me afraid, and ought to cause fear. It is a curse wherever and by whomsoever it is exercised. This lording it over God's heritage will create a disgust of man's jurisdiction that a state of insubordination will result. (TM, p. 361; written in 1895)

This spirit of domination was extending even to the presidents of the local conferences. (p. 362) Satan had "inspired" men with his own attributes, and the result was that they were "following in the track of Romanism". (362-363) Why did this happen? The answer is given:      The righteousness of Christ by faith has been ignored by some; for it is contrary to their spirit, and their whole life-experience. Rule, rule, has been their course of action." (p. 363)

This is the fruitage when the message of Christ's righteousness is not a part of the "life-experience." The crisis over this misuse of "executive authority" was met head-on at the 1901 General Conference session. At the very beginning of the session, Ellen G. White called for a "reorganization" starting at the "foundation" and building upon a "different principle." Here are her exact words in context:      That these men should stand in a sacred place, to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed

p 3 -- the General Conference to be, - that is past. What we want now is a reorganization. We want to begin at the foundation and to build upon a different principle. (GC Bulletin, 1901, p. 25)

Resulting from this session, there came forth a new Constitution with no General Conference president. What enabled this drastic change to be accomplished? Note carefully these words of Ellen White at the 1901 session:      Who do you suppose has been among us since this conference began? Who has kept away the objectionable features that generally appear in such a meeting? Who walked up and down the aisles of this Tabernacle? - The God of heaven and His angels. And they did not come here to tear you to pieces, but to give you right and peaceable minds. They have been among us to work the works of God, to keep back the powers of darkness, that the work God designed should be done and should not be hindered. The angels of God have been working among us. (1901 GC Bulletin, p. 463; quoted in A Warning and Its Reception, 2nd Printing, Mint Sec., p. 32)

This point dare not be overlooked. The 1901 Constitution was the work of men who yielded to the guidance of angels and the presence of God. It was divinely inspired!

Looking back on the session, Ellen White wrote in the Review and Herald, Nov. 26, 1901, these words:      During the General Conference the Lord wrought mightily for His people. Every time I think of that meeting, a sweet solemnity comes over me, and sends a glow of gratitude to my soul. We have seen the stately steppings of the Lord our Redeemer. We praise His holy name; for He has brought deliverance to His people. (Ibid.)

But before the next session of the General Conference, it was revealed that the roots of Minneapolis had not died, and had sprouted again to bare its baleful fruit. Men could not resist the desire to "rule". The actions take between the sessions are a research in itself. In a letter to the Battle Creek Church, Ellen White wrote of a dream she had of the brethren humbling themselves and confessing their attitudes of alienation which each had for the other. She stated that "there was rejoicing such as never before had been heard in the Tabernacle." (8T:105) But when she was aroused to consciousness, she heard the words - "This might have been. " While the framework had been erected through which God could work mightily for His people, the hearts of the men entrusted with the responsibility of the work had not been changed by the message of the Righteousness of Christ. The results soon followed.

Near the close of the 1903 General Conference session, a new Constitution was introduced, setting aside the God-inspired Constitution of 1901. The "track of Romanism" was again entered. P. T. Magan, who had signed a "Minority Report" protested vigorously declaring:        It may be stated there is nothing in this new constitution which is not abundantly safeguarded by the provisions of it; but I want to say to you that any man who has ever read Neander's History of the Christian Church, Mosheim's, or any of the other great church historians, - any man who has ever read those histories can come to no other conclusion but that the principles which are to be brought in through this proposed constitution, and in the way in which they are brought in, are the same principles, and introduced in precisely the same way, as they were hundreds of years ago when the Papacy was made.

Further: This whole house must recognize this, before we are through with this discussion, that the proposed new constitution, whatever improvements may be claimed for it, whatever advantages it may be stated that it contains, that, in principle, as far as the head of the work is concerned, it goes back precisely where we were before the reformatory steps of two years ago. ... I say that, as far as the head of the thing is concerned, though not couched in the same words, though not hedged about with the same identical language, they are precisely the same principles which governed us up to two years ago; and that the moment you vote this constitution, which I do not believe you are ready to do, yet, when you understand this, the moment you vote it you vote yourselves right back where we were two years ago and before it. (1903 GC Bulletin, p. 150)

It was voted, and within two weeks following the close of the 1903 Session, Ellen G. White wrote her specific call for a "denominational repentance." She stated:      Unless the church which is now [1903] being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself. (8T:250)

In the original edition of 1888 Reexamined, Wieland and Short appealed to this reference as a basis for their call for "corporate repentance." (See A Warning and Its Reception, 2nd Printing, White Sec., p. 196) By applying it to a call for repentance in regard to the Message of 1888, they used

p 4 -- it out of context.

In 1903 an official action [vote] was taken repudiating the results of 1901 when "the God of heaven and His angels" ministered to the assembled delegates so that they could "work the works of God." (See p. 3, col . 1) And the delegates were given a choice! This 1903 Session was marked by the fact that in all our church history, this is the only session which records a majority and minority report to an action of a session committee.

Wieland and Short have sought to down play the implications of the 1903 session, making it appear as yet another misrepresentation of Jones' and Waggoner's position rather than what it was, a rejection of "the God of heaven" and thus an act calling for denominational repentance. (See 1888 Reexamined, 1987 edition, p. 124f) On the other hand, the hierarchy, through its official organ, the Adventist Review, have attempted to rewrite the history of the 1901 and the 1903 sessions, falsely representing Ellen G. White's endorsement of the work done in 1901, as applying to the "backsliding" of 1903. (See WWN, XXI-2, p. 5) (Webnote: February, 1988 issue)

The fallout from the action of the 1903 Session in setting aside the "God-inspired" constitution of 1901 has been little realized. One major act of significance was the turn-about of W. C. White in joining the majority report in 1903. Here was a man, the son of one of the Lord's "messengers", who in the years following 1903 would play an ever increasing role in the format and the way the "messages" would be delivered to the people. He placed himself with those, who according to his own mother, were causing the church to backslide, - retrogress into the track of Romanism.

While the seeds of the problems after 1903 - the alpha, and the defections of notable ministers - were planted prior to 1903, the tragic history following 1903 which involved the integrity of the Writings can be traced to the actions of W. C. White. He bent everything he could to sustain the kingly power reestablished by the 1903 Constitution. The present controversy today over the Writings of Ellen G. White arise largely from events following 1903, and W. C. White's handling of those Writings.

Where is the call for "denominational repentance" over all that happened in 1903? Are Wieland and Short giving it? No! Are those connected with the "1888 Message Committee" giving it? No! Will the hierarchy of the church at the 1888 re-enactment in Minneapolis call for it? No! Tragically, the "most precious message" is being used to urge the rank and file to support "the backsliding" of 1903, which has now come into full fruition.

Borrowing the words of Jeremiah - "Oh that my head were waters and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night" for the deception that is being practiced upon the concerned of God's professed people, for "from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace." (See Jer. 9:1; 8:11)

NEWS NOTES -- The first Bible and religious publishing plant in the Soviet Union may be opened by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the near future. But the church, which is headquartered in Washington, D. C., has no comment on the proposed plant in the Moscow area, due to ongoing sensitive negotiations with the Soviet government. So far, this much is known: Harold Otis of the Adventists' Review and Herald Publishing Association has been to Russia several times to discuss the proposal, and the Soviet officials have visited the Adventists' publishing plant in Maryland once. In Adventist circles the proposal is becoming more controversial. Sources say the church would pay for the plant in its entirety, but 50% of all profits from printing would go to the Soviet government. The publishing house, with government approval, would be required to print anything of a religious nature submitted to it, including Islamic literature. (Religion Report, Vol. 2, #8, p. 1)

Mikhail Kulakov, [Soviet appointed] president of the Association of Seventh-day Adventists in the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree at Southwestern College in Keene, Texas, on May 1.

Kulakov, baccalaureate speaker for the 125 seniors during the college's 94th commencement weekend, stated that there were no Seventh-day Adventist prisoners of conscience today. (Adventist Review, May 19, 1988, p.6)

p 5 -- THE DEAD SPEAK! -- While the above title may appear odd, and heretical to most Seventh-day Adventists, the reason for the choice will soon become clear. In Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 28, we read:      God has given me light regarding our periodicals. What is it? - He has said that the dead are to speak. How? - Their works shall follow them. We are to repeat the words of the pioneers in our work ... Let that which those men have written in the past be reproduced.

In the last issue of WWN under the article entitled - "More Studies On Full 1888 Message?" - the three-fold concept of the 1888 massage was outlined. While both Elders Waggoner and Jones addressed all three phrases of the message; it was A. T. Jones who was unquestionably the champion of religious liberty and organizational truth. While many are seeking to revive the 1888 message today with reprints of articles on justification. Very few are willing to reprint anything concerning the full message. Questionably Jones' greatest literary work is, The Two Republics published in 1891. Chapter nine of this excellent volume is entitled, "The Exaltation of the Bishopric." In an effort to stimulate interest in the full message of 1888 we are publishing a short section from the beginning of this chapter. Let "THE DEAD SPEAK!"

The Exaltation of the Bishopric -- The Scripture was fulfilled; there had come a falling away. But that there should come a falling away, was not all of the story - through that falling away there was to be revealed "that man of sin," "the son of perdition," "the mystery of iniquity," "that wicked," who would oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped; and who, when he did appear, would continue even till that great and notable event - the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Referring again to the scripture quoted from 2 Thessalonians ii, 2, at the beginning of the previous chapter, it is seen that self-exaltation is the spring of the development of this power.

As that scripture expresses it, "He opposeth and exalteth himself." As another scripture gives it, "He shall magnify himself in his heart." And another, "He magnified himself even to the prince of the host" - the Lord Jesus Christ. And yet another, "He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes." That is, he shall reign, or assert authority above, and in opposition to, the authority of Christ; or, as the thought is developed by Paul, this power would oppose and exalt itself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple - the place of worship - of God, showing himself that he is God.

Referring also again to the instruction of Paul to the elders who met him at Miletus, there is seen a prophecy of this same spirit of self -exaltation, - a wish to gain disciples to themselves instead of to Christ. They would prefer themselves to Christ, thus at once putting themselves above him, in opposition to him. And this would be developed from among the bishops. "Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."

This spirit was actively manifested in opposition to the apostle John while he was yet alive, for he says: "I wrote unto the church; but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, receiveth us not." 3 John 9.

This assertion of preeminence was shown in prating against the apostle with malicious words, and not only rejecting him, but casting out of the church those members who would receive him. It was but a little while after the living authority of the apostles was gone, before this was carried to yet further extremes.

According to the word of Christ, there is no such thing as preeminence, or mastership, or sovereignty of position, among men in the church. There was once an argument among his disciples as to who should be counted the greatest, and Jesus called them unto him and said: "Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever among you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." Mark x, 42-45.

And in warning his disciples of all times against the practice of the scribes and

p 6 -- Pharisees of that time, who were but the popes of their day, he says they "love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. ... Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." Matt . xxiii , 6-12.

With these instructions the apostles went forth under the great commission of Christ, preaching everywhere that with the Lord there is no respect of persons, but that all are equal before God. There is neither lordship nor over-lordship among men in the church of Christ; but all are brethren. Christ only is the head of the church, and the head of every man in the church.

In the church each member has the same rights as any other member; but for the good of all and the mutual benefit of all concerned, as well as better to carry on his work in the world, the Lord has established his church, and with it a system of church order in which certain ones are chosen to exercise certain functions for the mutual benefit of all in the organization. These officers are chosen from among the membership by the voice of the membership. Of these officers there are two classes, and two only, - bishops and deacons. This is shown by Paul's letter to the Philippians--"Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons." Chap. i, I.

Bishops are sometimes called elders; but the same office is always signified. When Paul gave directions to Titus in this matter, he said: "For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: if any be blameless . ... For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God." Titus i, 5-7.

This is further shown in Acts xx, to which we have before referred; when Paul had called unto him to Miletus "the elders of the church" of Ephesus, among other things he said to them: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers," - episkopoi - bishops.

Peter also writes to the same effect: "The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." I Peter v, 1-3.

This text not only shows that the terms "elder" and "bishop" refer to the same identical office, but it shows that Peter counted himself as one among them; and that not only by his precept but by his example he showed that in this office, although overseers they were not overrulers or lords.

The true idea on this point has been clearly stated as follows: -      It has been said that the pope, the bishops, the priests, and all those who people convents, form the spiritual or ecclesiastical estate; and that princes, nobles, citizens, and peasants form the secular or lay estate. This is a specious tale. But let no man be alarmed. All Christians belong to the spiritual estate; and the only difference between them is in the functions which they fulfill. We have all but one baptism, but one faith; and these constitute the spiritual man. Unction, tonsure, ordination, consecration, given by the pope, or by a bishop, may make a hypocrite, but can never make a spiritual man. We are all consecrated priests by baptism, as St. Peter says: 'You are a royal priesthood;' although all do not actually perform the offices of kings and priests, because no one can assume what is common to all without, the common consent. But if this consecration of God did not belong to us, the unction of the pope could not make a single priest. If then brothers, the sons of one king, and possessing equal claims to his inheritance, should choose one of their number to administer for them, they would all be kings, and yet only one of them would be the administrator of their common power. So it is in the church. Were several pious laymen banished to a desert, and were they, from not having among them a priest consecrated by a bishop, to agree in selecting one of their number, whether married or not, he would be as truly a priest as if all the bishops of the world had consecrated him." - Luther (D'Aubigne's "History of the Reformation," book vi, chap. iii, par. 7.)

Such is the order in the church of Christ, and as every Christian is God's freeman and Christ's servant, it follows as has been well stated, that "monarchy in spiritual things does not harmonize with the spirit of

p 7 -- Christianity." - Neander ("History of the Christian Religion,. Vol. i, Section Second, part i, div. i. A, par. 5.) Yet this order was not suffered long to remain. A distinction was very soon asserted between the bishop and the elder, and the bishop assumed a precedence and an authority over the elder, who was now distinguished from the bishop by the title of "presbyter" only. This was easily and very naturally accomplished.

For instance, a church would be established in a certain city. Soon perhaps another church or churches would be established in that same city, or near to it in the country. These other churches would look naturally to the original church as to a mother, and the elders of the original church would naturally have a care for the others as they arose. It was only proper to show Christian respect and deference to these; but this respect and deference was soon demanded, and authority to require it was asserted by those who were bishops first.

Again: as churches multiplied and with them also elders multiplied, it was necessary, in carrying forward the work of the gospel, for the officers of the church often to have meetings for consultation. On these occasions it was but natural and proper for the seniors to preside; but instead of allowing this to remain still a matter of choice in the conducting of each successive meeting or assembly, it was claimed as a right that the one originally chosen should hold that position for life.

Thus was that distinction established between the elders or presbyters, and the bishops. Those who usurped this permanent authority and office took to themselves exclusively the title of "bishop," and all the others were still to retain the title of "presbyter." The presbyters in turn assumed over the deacons a supremacy and authority which did not belong to them, and all together - bishops, presbyters, and deacons - held themselves to be superior orders in the church over the general membership, and assumed to themselves the title of "clergy," while upon the general membership the term "laity" was conferred.

In support of these three orders among the "clergy," it was claimed that they came in proper succession from the high-priests, the priests, and the Deviates of the Levitical Iaw. "Accordingly, the bishops considered themselves as invested with a rank and character similar to those of the high-priest among the Jews, while the presbyters represented the priests, and the deacons the Levites." - Mosheim. ("Ecclesiastical History,'' Century ii, part ii, chap. ii, par. 4, Maclaine's translation.)

These distinctions were established as early as the middle of the second century. This led to a further and most wicked invention. As they were now priests and Levites after the order of the priesthood of the former dispensation, it was necessary that they also should have a sacrifice to offer. Accordingly, the Lord's supper was turned into "the unbloody sacrifice." Thus arose that which is still in the Roman Catholic Church the daily "sacrifice" of the mass. "The comparison of the Christian oblations with the Jewish victims and sacrifices, produced many unnecessary rites, and by degrees corrupted the very doctrine of the holy supper, which was converted, sooner, in fact, than one would think, into a sacrifice." - Mosheim. (Id., chap. iv. par. 4, Murdock's translation.) With this also came a splendor in dress, copied from that of the former real priesthood.

The estimate in which the bishop was now held may be gathered from the following words of a document of the second century: -    It is manifest, therefore that we should look upon the bishop even as we would upon the Lord Himself ... it is well to reverence both God and the bishop. He who honors the bishop has been honored of God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, does (in reality) serve the devil. - Ignatius ("Epistle to the Ephesians," chap. vi, and "To the Smyrnaeans," chap. ix.)

The next step was for certain bishops to assert authority over other bishops; and the plea upon which this was claimed as a right, was that the bishops of those churches which had been established by the apostles were of right to be considered as superior to all others. (The Two Republics, pp. 227-233.) --- (1988 Jul) --- End --- TOP

1988 Aug -- XXI - 8(88) -- AT FIRST GLANCE -- Seventh-day Adventists Believe ... can now be obtained through the Adventist Book Centers for the unbelievable low price of just under five dollars. The other price on our sticker read just under twenty-five dollars. It is obvious; this book has been heavily subsidized. The General Conference wants it distributed. This is the first parallel with the publication - Question on Doctrine. Back in the late 50's, Questions on Doctrine, though first listed at $5.00 was finally sold for $1.00, the same ratio - five to one.

The second parallel is found as soon as one opens the book beyond the contents page. There it reads:      The present volume, Seventh-day Adventists Believe ... is based on these short summaries [27 Articles of Fundamental Beliefs]. They appear at the beginning of each chapter. In this book we present for our members, friends, and other interested persons, in an expanded, readable, and practical manner, these doctrinal convictions and their significance for Adventist Christians in today's society. While this volume is not an officially voted statement - only a General Conference in session could provide that - it may be viewed as representative of "the truth ... in Jesus" (Eph. 4:21) that Seventh-day Adventists around the globe cherish and proclaim. (p.iv.)

Now observe the parallel statement as it is found in Questions on Doctrine: (Compare the words we have underscored in both quotations.)      Because of' the very nature of the Seventh-day Adventist Church organization it is impossible to consider this book a denominationally official statement of doctrine, as the term "official" is understood in many church circles. No statement of Seventh-day Adventist belief can be considered official unless it is adopted by the General Conference in quadrennial session, when accredited delegates from the world field are present. The statement of Fundamental Beliefs as mentioned above [The 1931 Statement] is our only official statement. The answers in this volume are an expansion of doctrinal positions contained in that official statement of Fundamental Beliefs. Hence this volume can be viewed as truly representative of the faith and beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (p. 9)

It should be noted that both books were and are considered an "expansion" of the Statement upon

p 2 -- which each was based. Thus a statement when explained can be modified or altered all in the name of being expanded.

For example, while studiously avoiding the use of "only" in the discussion of the first Article of Belief on the Bible - a word that appeared in all previous "official" statements in regard to the primacy of the Scriptures, but which had been voted out at Dallas, the author of this new book works around this voted change. He writes that "the Scriptures become the absolute authority in matters of doctrine ..." (p. 13, emphasis supplied) Then in another section, he emphasizes - "Seventh-day Adventists fully support the Reformation principle of sola scriptura, the Bible as its own interpreter and the Bible alone as the basis of all doctrines." (p. 227) The Dallas-Statement does not so teach. The new book has "expanded" - or would it be better stated "corrected" the Dallas Statement? But remember, the book is not official! The official statement omits the word - "only".

This new, though unofficial, publication replaces for the hierarchy, the book Questions on Doctrine. It was done through the Ministerial Association. However, the "Acknowledgment" gives the recognition of the "official" blessing. It begins - "With the authorization and encouragement of President Neal C. Wilson and the other officers of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists ... " (p. v) It must also be kept in mind that Elder Wilson, through a vice-president of the General Conference, assured Walter Martin of the Evangelicals that the Church still endorses Questions on Doctrine as they did in 1957. In response to a letter from Martin, Dr. Lesher, then a GC vice-president, and now President of Andrews University replied. Here is Martin's statement of the exchange:       Since I have always stressed the importance of doctrinal integrity in my evaluations of religious movements, the doctrinal upheaval in Adventism is of special concern. Consequently, on February 16, 1983, I wrote the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (Washington D. C.), calling for the Conference's public and official statement reaffirming or denying the authority of the Adventist book, Questions on Doctrine, which was the representative Adventist publication on which I based my earlier evaluation and book. On April 29, 1983, W. Richard Lesher, vice-president of the General Conference, responded in a personal letter. His reply read in part:

"You ask first if Seventh-day Adventists still stand behind the answers given to your questions in Questions on Doctrine as they did in 1957. The answer is yes. You have noted in your letter that some opposed the answers given then, and, to some extent, the same situation exists today. But certainly the great majority of Seventh-day Adventists are in harmony with the views expressed in Questions on Doctrine." (The Kingdom of the Cults, p. 410; emphasis supplied)

[What will be interesting is to read any Book Reviews of Seventh-day Adventists Believe...- in the Evangelical press.]

What can we expect, therefore, to find in this new volume produced under the authorization of Neal C. Wilson? The same basic deviations from truth which were found in Questions on Doctrine, except perhaps in a more disguised form to deceive the laity of the Church. For example, near the close of the book, in an area of doctrine [The Millennium] least expected to contain the concept, we read:      Similarly, Christ, in the heavenly sanctuary, has been ministering the benefits of His completed atonement to His people. (p. 365, emphasis supplied)

Questions on Doctrine read:      Christ is now at God's right hand, applying to our lives the benefits of His perfect atoning sacrifice. (p. 375)

Now it is bluntly stated - the expression, "perfect atoning sacrifice," means a "completed atonement."

In the section of "Acknowledgments" the parallel between the two books takes a break. While Questions on Doctrine gave no names as to authors or editors, the new volume does. Furthermore, there is a list of "Who's Who" in Adventism of those who reviewed the contents prior to publication. This list includes - Division Presidents, some North American Union Presidents, plus departmental men, some theologians from Andrews, some College Bible Teachers, including Norman Gulley, who is singled out as having contributed "A Christ-centered manuscript on Adventist doctrines." There are names missing from the list which raises questions as well as some of the names included. Have certain individuals fallen from "grace"? Have others been "converted" so as to be acceptable to preview such a book? What a game when truth is involved!

There are some breaks(?), at least now on paper, with doctrinal positions taken in Questions on Doctrine. That book stated with emphasis - "Adventists do not hold any theory of a dual atonement." (p. 390; emphasis theirs) Now the statement is made:      This chapter (9) focuses on the atonement as it relates to the death of Christ. The atonement associated with His High Priestly ministry will be discussed later (see Chapter 23 of this book). (p. 110)

The question haunts us as to how there can be a "second atonement" if as this same book reads (see above) that Christ "completed" the atonement on Calvary. What are we doing - double-talking?

Not only is there this glaring contradiction, but there is presented a fuzzy explanation of the incarnation. (See next article) Thus again in two major areas of the faith, the same heresies appear as when the compromises were first made with the Evangelicals.

p 3 -- None Dare Call It A Conspiracy -- In the previous article - "At First Glance" - we noted that the author of Seventh-day Adventists Believe ... studiously avoided the use of "only" in discussing the Dallas Statement on "The Word of God" because the statement as voted had deleted it. (See p. 2, Col. 1) Nevertheless in the discussion of another statement, the concept of sola scriptura was considered sound Adventism. (With this concept, we fully agree.) But when the article of belief - "God the Son" - is discussed in the book, the concept of sola scriptura is dropped, and in its place is adopted a position which could be called "a la Henry Melvill". Who is this Henry Melvill whose concept on the human nature which Christ assumed in the Incarnation is now set forth as Adventist teaching?

Henry Melvill was born in 1798. He attended St. Johns and St. Peter's Colleges, Cambridge, where he graduated at the top of his class. He was retained as a teacher until accepting a call as minister of Camden Chapel in a London suburb. A brilliant preacher, he attracted large crowds. When he spoke the 2,000 seats of Camden Chapel were filled with four to five hundred standing. Later he joined the pastoral staff of St. Paul's Cathedral and served as one of the chaplains to Queen Victoria. He died in 1871, and is buried in the Cathedral. His sermons were carefully and studiously prepared. These were published and made their way to the United States. The Third Edition was printed in New York in 1844. This edition was a part of Ellen G. White's personal library. Here is where Melvill's connection with Adventism begins. (Summary taken from Henry Melvill and Ellen G. White: A Study in Literary and Theological Relationships, Ellen G. White Estate, May 1982)

Why has this connection now become an issue? First, the Dallas Statement on "God the Son" does not define the human nature that Christ took upon Himself in the incarnation as did previous statements. Previous statements had clearly declared - Christ "took on Him the nature of the seed of Abraham for the redemption of our fallen race." (Yearbook, 1914, p. 293) The failure of the Dallas Statement to so state was the result of the compromise made with the Evangelicals in 1955-1956, and the ensuing controversy within Adventism as to whether Christ took the pre-Fall or post-Fall nature of Adam. The attempt to have both positions acceptable in Adventism has not been exactly successful. So what was to be done?

This year being the centennial year of the 1888 General Conference, Jones and Waggoner along with the message God gave them for the Church has been projected to center stage. A part of that message involved the teaching of the nature which Christ assumed in the incarnation. Since Jones emphasized the truth that Christ took the fallen nature of Adam with all that that implies, he had to be exhumed and vilified. The evidence indicates that this task was assigned to Dr. George Knight who dutifully produced the "historical novel" - From 1888 to Apostasy: The Case of A. T. Jones. How did he deal with Jones' teaching on the incarnation? He sought to separate what Jones taught and what Ellen G. White wrote on the subject. Here are Knight's words:       Both Jones and Ellen White believed that Christ had "sinful nature," but Jones tried to include more in "sinful" than she did. In that he failed in 1895, but that did not convince him to change his position. He continued to teach that Christ had sinful tendencies in His flesh, a position that Ellen White had never explicitly stated, even though people could interpret many of her statements on the subject that way if they left out or redefined other of her comments. (p. 143)

'Then he continues:      Perhaps the best avenue to understanding Mrs. White's meaning of "propensities" is by seeing how one of the authors she used to prepare some of her material on the Incarnation employed the word. Henry Melvill was one of Ellen White's favorite writers. Several of her works indicate their mutual agreement on various points. The Ellen G. White Estate has her marked copy of Melvill's Sermons. Tim Poirier, of the White Estate, has analyzed her use of him. His sermon "The Humiliation of the Man Christ Jesus," Poirier points out, is especially helpful in enabling us to understand and reconcile the apparent conflict in Ellen White's statements on the humanity of Christ. (Ibid.)

Thus Melvill is introduced as the source of what is assumed to be the Ellen G. White position on the incarnation. Note Knight's conclusion:      In other words, Melvill held that the incarnate Christ was neither just like Adam before the Fall or just like fallen humanity since the Fall. That appears to

p 4 -- be the position Ellen White held....

Melvill's typology certainly seems to fit Ellen White's use of similar concepts. It may well prove to be the answer to the apparent conflict between many of her statements on the subject. (pp. 143-144)

Now with Jones out of the way, and Melvill's teaching, the supposed teaching of Ellen G. White, thus via Ellen White as assumed, and not via sola scriptura as proclaimed, we can place in the new "representative" but not quite "official" explanation of what Adventists believe, the concepts of Melvill on the human nature that Christ assumed in the incarnation. This is exactly what has been done. Observe a concluding quotation from the book - Seventh-day Adventists Believe... :     Thus "Christ's humanity was not the Adamic humanity that is, the humanity of Adam before the fall; nor fallen humanity, that is, in every respect the humanity of Adam after the fall. It was not the Adamic, because it had the innocent infirmities of the fallen. It was not the fallen, because it had never descended into moral impurity. It was, therefore, most literally our humanity, but without sin." 13 (p. 47)

What does Footnote #13 say? Note:      13.    Henry Melvill, in Sermons by Henry Melvill, B.D., ed. , C. P . McIlvaine (New York, N.Y.: Standard & Swords, 1844), p. 47. By "innocent infirmities" he meant hunger, pain, sorrow, etc. He called this view of the pre- and post-Fall nature of Christ "the orthodox doctrine" (ibid.). (p. 57)

Now we have it, we can reconcile the divergent views in Adventism"a la Henry Melvill". Melvill calls his explanation "the orthodox doctrine" and since Ellen White paraphrased liberally from Melvill, this authenticates it as "representative" Adventist teaching. And none dare call this a conspiracy?

What did Ellen White teach on the nature Christ assumed in the incarnation? Read again carefully the quotes above from the book - Seventh-day Adventists Believe ... (p. 47), and then compare it with the following quotations from Ellen G. White:      Think of Christ's humiliation. He took upon Himself fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin. (4BC:1147)

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

It should be obvious that Ellen White is not saying the same thing that Melvill said in regard to the human nature Christ assumed in humanity. Yet Melvill's "orthodox doctrine" is now the "representative" belief of Adventism. But worse yet, Melvill's "orthodox doctrine" is set forth as having been approved by Ellen G. White. It is true as the White Estate has documented in a prepared paper that Ellen G. White paraphrased extensively from Henry Melvill's sermons, including the sermon - "The Humiliation of the Man Christ Jesus" - from which the book, Seventh-day Adventists Believe ... quoted as noted above. The evidence cannot be gain-said. BUT where in the Writings of Ellen G. White is a single paraphrase from p. 47 in Melvill's book of sermons, where the new book quotes from, on its p. 47? Or where is there any language parallel between what Ellen G. White has written on the incarnation, and the now "representative" position based on Henry Melvill? The documented evidence does support the contention of the White Estate that Ellen G. White did paraphrase from pages 43, 44, 48, 49, 50, 51, but not p. 47 of Melvill 's published sermons. She evidently did not agree with Melvill's conclusions as set forth on that page. But this is the page quoted from, to set forth the new "representative" position of the Church under the guise that Ellen G. White took her position from Melvill. And none dare call it a conspiracy?

All of this controversy stems from the one simple fact. We cannot seem to accept the fact that Jesus Christ pre-existed. That pre-Existent One - the Word - became flesh. God was manifest in the flesh. That God in His very Identity was holy, full of grace and truth. But the nature He took upon His Identity - the body He received from Mary - was "degraded and defiled by sin." That body, unless you want to go the "immaculate conception" route, possessed all that every other human body since the Fall possessed. In that fallen nature, Jesus conquered. He did not sin. It was a glorious victory. Why do we seek to rob Him of that victory? A loud Voice in heaven was heard declaring:      Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ.(Rev. 12:10)

Why not join our voices with that Voice rather than conspiring to rob Christ of His power and victory over the flesh and the devil "who abode not in the truth." Would He say of the modern conspirators as He did to the conspirators of His day - "Ye are of your father the devil"? (John 8:44)

p 5 -- CONFUSION -- In Article #4 of the 27 Fundamental Statements of Belief, it is stated of Jesus - "Forever truly God, He became also truly man." (See Adult Sabbath School Lessons, 3rd Qrt. , 1988, p. 27) The book - Seventh-day Adventists Believe ... - takes this same
position. (Pp. 43-44) But the Sabbath School lesson quarterly does not. It states:   "Jesus - Fully God and Fully Man." (Op cit., p. 29)

Under the auspices of the Ellen G. White Memorial Chair, Southern College is publishing, Adventist Perspectives. In it, the Chairman of the Religion Department affirms, commenting on Article #4 of the Fundamental Beliefs, and in contradiction to the Statement, that "the Son of God" is both fully God and fully man. (Vol. 2, #1, p. 8) To make matters worse, on the Board of Trustees
of this Memorial Chair to Ellen White is Dr. Gerhard F. Hasel, dean of the Theological Seminary at Andrews University. But he is also listed as one of the auditors of the new book - Seventh-day Adventists Believe ... which harmonizes with the Dallas Statement. In other words, confusion reigns among Adventist theologians as to whom Jesus was when He became incarnate. The Bible has another name for such confusion, but it is a "naughty" word in Adventist circles.

I am sure that the first response to all this evident contradiction is that it is matter of semantics, and that this editor is nit-picking. Not so. Take a look at Article #2 (Adult Quarterly, 3rd Qrt., 1988, p. 13). There in the "trinity" setting, the Son of God is declared to be "immortal." If then, that Son in the incarnation retained immortality - fully God - He could not have died. Yet the Bible plainly teaches - "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." (I Cor. 15:3) Paul here uses the term, "Christ", not Jesus, thus meaning the divine-human Messiah. But if, fully God, and thus immortal , only the human died, and therefore, a human sacrifice only was offered for the sins of the world. Or worse yet, if Christ was fully God, and thus not able to die, was Calvary then only a charade?

Let us consider the other aspect - "fully man" as taught in the Sabbath School lessons and by the Ellen G. White Chair at Southern College. The "representative" but not quite "official" book - Seventh-day Adventists Believe ... - states of man - "The universal sinfulness of humanity is evidence that by nature we tend toward evil, not good." (p. 91, emphasis supplied) And Jesus in the incarnation became "fully man"! On this point, we had better settle, and settle quickly, for the Statement as voted at Dallas, and not adopt the error of the Quarterly, nor the heresy coming out of
Southern College.

The irony of the heresy being projected by the Ellen G. White Chair of Southern College is that it is not supported in her Writings. For example, consider the concept - "fully God". Ellen G. White wrote:      Jesus Christ laid off His royal robe, His kingly crown, and clothed His divinity with humanity, ... that dying in humanity He might by His death destroy him who had the power of death. He could not have done this as God, but by coming as man Christ could die. (7BC:925)

And in regard to "fully man" note:      Never, in any way, leave the slightest impression upon human minds that a taint of, or inclination to, corruption rested upon Christ, or that He in any way yielded to corruption. (5BC:1128)

[This new chair at Southern College - the Ellen G. White Chair - comes through as a facade to cover the rehabilitated theologians whom Dr. Gordon M. Hyde was able to salvage from the Religion Department of a few years back. It is now apparent through this new publication - Adventist Perspectives - that, the rehabilitation process was little more than cosmetic. Some heads rolled from the Hyde "guillotine"; while Gulley and Springett enrolled in the alternative - Hyde's reorientation course. For Gulley the payola was substantial. He was able to make a major contribution to the new book - Seventh-day Adventists Believe.... (p. v.)]

"Fully" or "Truly" God -- John tells us that the Word which was God from the beginning became flesh, and the glory of God which He brought with Him as the fullness of the Godhead bodily was "grace and truth." (John 1:1-2, 14; Col. 2:9) Paul informs us that Jesus had existed in "the form of God" - fully God both in character and the manifestations of Deity. Laying aside the manifestations - omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence and immortality, He brought that which He essentially and ever was in character - truly God

p 6 -- His Self-identity, and came in the likeness of man. (Phil. 2:6-7)

A little thought will tell you why this was the Divine Plan. Lucifer had no questions over the outward manifestations of Deity. He wanted to be God and possess these powers. The question was over the character of God - His truth and His love. It was over these that the battle was fought, and has been raging during these long millenniums of time. The devil "abode not in the truth." (John 8:44) God's truthfulness was called into question, and He used in and through Jesus Christ only that which was consistent with His character, not the manifestations of Deity in the conflict. This same issue is still being fought, and in Adventist theological circles:   - what is the truth about Jesus?

"Fully" or "Truly" Man -- The matter of the "truly man" side of Jesus can be answered quickly from the Bible. In the same reference where Paul noted Jesus as having existed in "the form of God", he also stated that He - the same One - took on the "slave form" of man in the incarnation. (Phil. 2:7 Gr.; KJV - "the form of a servant.") While "in all things, it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren," yet it could be prophesied of Him that He would "delight to do" the will of God. (Ps. 40:10) He was not inclined toward evil for He had preexisted as God. He became truly man, but not fully man. He was God manifest in the flesh.

The new publication - Seventh-day Adventists Believe ... - is correct in taking the position that Jesus Christ was truly God and truly man as enunciated in the Dallas Statement. This leaves the deviate theology that Jesus was fully God and fully man to the theologians of Southern College and to the authors of the Sabbath School lessons Leo Van Dolsen; E. R. Gane and Robert Spangler. This does give the laity of the Church a clear example of the confusion reigning in Adventism today.

A Warning and its Reception -- This documentary includes the 1950 ed. of 1888 Re-Examined. Read and decide for yourself why Elder Wieland has been opposed to it being reprinted.

WITNESSING -- By the time you read this, Lori may be sleeping in Jesus. Until recently, Lori was a happy, seemingly healthy young Christian wife and mother of three small children. A few weeks ago it was discovered that Lori had five malignant brain tumors. A visit to the Cleveland Clinic proved of no use to stop the deadly growths. Recently, Lori called her small children to her hospital bedside to tell them, "Mommy is dying." Today Lori is comatose; tomorrow?

What a tragedy is Lori's story. What an on going tragedy will her husband and three small children have to face in the time ahead. But Lori's experience is not an isolated case. Everyday, the watchful eye of Jesus sees millions who are sick. Everyday, Jesus witnesses thousands of funerals, most of whom will not be with Him in His kingdom of glory. The heartbreak of sickness and death will be with us until Jesus returns "the second time without sin unto salvation." Concerning Christ's return, Peter said:      But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God. ... (2 Peter 3: 10-12 NKJV)

Ellen G. White used 2 Peter 3:12 Margin as the reference for the now often quoted statement: "It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (COL, p. 69) When I think of the sickness-and sufferings of this world I want Jesus to come soon! I want to exercise my privilege of hastening the second coming of Jesus.

In Vol. 3 p. 266, we read about the "closing work for the church" which will be done before Jesus comes. What a wonderful opportunity God has given us to be involved in the closing work for the church during the 3rd and 4th quarters of this year. As most are now aware, the Sabbath School lessons for the last half of the year deal with the 27 Fundamental Statements of Belief. What a wonderful chance to go into the modern day synagogue and give a testimony for the truth. As announced in the last issue of Commentary, the Adventist Laymen's Foundation is preparing comments on the Sabbath School lessons that will be discussed in Sabbath School the next two quarters. These comments will be helpful to all as they witness to the truth in the Sabbath School.

p 7 -- If ever there was a time to witness for the Lord, it is now. Let us be like the Apostle Paul who said, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ." (Romans 1:16) Witnessing is more than an elective course for the Christian. Jesus said:      Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32, 33)

Paul stated:  "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." (Rom. 10:8-11) A reading of 2 Cor. 11:24-28 will show that Paul meant exactly what he said when he stated that he was "not ashamed."

Paul was not ashamed to present the gospel to those who hated him. In writing to Timothy, Paul told why he could present the gospel so fearlessly: "God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Tim. 1:7) Paul was among those who made the supreme sacrifice, he loved not his life unto death. Of Paul, and those like him, it is written: "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony." (Rev. 12:11)

Today many quote what Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 6:14-17 to justify a position of having nothing to do with the church. In doing this they are not in harmony with the way that it is to be interpreted. Paul would have never given credence to such a position. The book of Acts records Paul as always going to his Jewish brethren first to proclaim the gospel of Jesus. If they rejected the message, then he turned to the Gentiles, but he always gave them a chance. Today many would "cop out" of their responsibility to witness in the synagogues. The cry "SEPARATION" is raised. Yet how can one participate in the closing work for the church, if he/she is not willing to "get their hands dirty" and do the work that God has given them to do?

Often times we quote part of Matthew 28:20 "And lo ' I am with you always" to assure one another of the abiding presence of Christ. However, we fail to read the verse before which commands, "Go ye therefore..." In the words of one preacher: "Go, and lo, I am with you; but NO GO, NO LO!" It is far past the time when Jesus should come. Let us do the work that He has given us. Let us exercise the privilege that is ours. Let us not be ashamed of Him who died for us. Let us pray that God will not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit "of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

"As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." (John 20:21; 1:11) --- (1988 Aug) --- End --- TOP

1988 Sep -- XXI - 9(88) -- "The Orthodox Doctrine" -- In the previous Thought Paper (WWN, XXI-8), we discussed the new phrasing of the Incarnation as found in the book - SDA's Believe.... The summary of the nature that Christ assumed in His
humanity was quoted directly from Henry Melvill.. (See p. .47, col. 1) Melvill in his sermon - "The Humiliation of the Man Christ Jesus" - prefaced the part quoted in SDA's Believe... with these words - "So that we hold - and we give it you as what we believe the orthodox doctrine [to be] - that Christ's humanity was not the Adamic humanity,..." This preface was omitted in the new book, though alluded to in Footnote #13 (p. 57). However, it is obvious that this preface itself indicates that the whole is a summary of an assumption upon which this so-called "orthodox" position is based, being as it is, introduced by the word - "So." What then had Melvill assumed?

That the reader may see the full context, we quote at length the assumptions upon which this conclusion is based. Melvill stated:      He [Jesus] was "made of a woman," and not a new creation, like Adam in Paradise. When we say that Christ's humanity was unfallen, we are far enough from saying that his humanity was the same as that of Adam, before Adam transgressed. He took humanity with all those innocent infirmities, but without any of those sinful propensities, which the fall entailed. There are consequences on guilt which are perfectly guiltless. Sin introduced pain, but pain itself is not sin. And therefore Christ, as being "man, of the substance of his mother," derived from her a suffering humanity; but as "conceived by the Holy Ghost," he did not derive a sinful. Fallen humanity denotes a humanity which has descended from a state of moral purity to one of moral impurity. And so long as there has not been this descent, humanity may remain unfallen, and yet pass from physical strength to physical weakness. This is exactly what we hold on the humanity of the Son of God. We do not assert that Christ's humanity was the Adamic humanity; the humanity, that is, of Adam whilst still loyal to Jehovah. Had this humanity been reproduced, there must have been an act of creation; whereas, beyond controversy, Christ was "made of a woman," and not created, like Adam, by an act of omnipotence. And allowing that Christ's humanity was not the

p 2 -- Adamic, of course we allow that there were consequences of the fall of which it partook. We divide, therefore, these consequences into innocent infirmities, and sinful propensities. From both was Adam's humanity free before, and with both was it endowed after, transgression. Hence it is enough to have either, and the humanity is broadly distinguished from the Adamic. Now Christ took humanity with its innocent infirmities. He derived humanity from his mother. Bone of her bone, and flesh of her flesh, Iike her he could hunger, and thirst, and weep, and mourn, and writhe, and die. But whilst he took humanity with the innocent infirmities, he did not take it with the sinful propensities. Here Deity interposed. The Holy Ghost overshadowed the Virgin, and, allowing weakness to be derived from her, forbade wickedness; and so caused that there should be generated a sorrowing and a suffering humanity, but nevertheless an undefiled and a spotless; a humanity with tears, but not with stains; accessible to anguish, but not prone to offend; allied most closely with the produced misery, but infinitely from the producing cause. So we hold - and we give it you as we believe [to be] the orthodox doctrine - that Christ's humanity ... etc., (See p. 47)

Before discussing these assumptions of Melvill which underlie the now "representative" position of Adventism, we must correct a statement made in the previous Thought Paper. We wrote:       It is true as the White Estate has documented in a prepared paper that Ellen G. White paraphrased extensively from Henry Melvill's sermons, including the sermon - "The Humiliation of the Man Christ Jesus" - from which also the book, SDA's Believe..., quoted as noted above. The evidence cannot be gainsaid. BUT where in the Writings of Ellen G. White is a single paraphrase from p. 47 in Melvill's book of sermons, where the new book quotes from on its p. 47? (WWN, XXI-8, p 4, col. 2)

While it is true that nowhere in the Writings of Ellen G. White does she use the language which parallels the Melvill "orthodox" conclusion, she does use language parallel to at least one concept found in the above extensive quotes from p. 47 of Melvill's sermons. Note, Melvill stated - Jesus "derived humanity from his mother. Bone of her bone, and flesh of her flesh, ..." In 1900, Ellen G. White observed that God instead of destroying man when he sinned, "came still nearer to the fallen race. He gave His Son to become bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh." (Ms. 21, 1900)

Now let us consider what Melvill is actually stating. His position does not differ from the previous position taken by the hierarchy of the Church in Questions on Doctrine, except in the "how." Questions on Doctrine taught that Christ "was exempt [a good Papal theological word] from the inherited passions and pollutions that corrupt the natural descendants of Adam." (p. 383) This concept Melvill categorizes as "sinful propensities" and indicated that the Holy Spirit intervened to exempt Jesus. However, while Melvill stated that Christ did receive from Mary what he terms as "innocent infirmities," Questions on Doctrine taught that Christ bore these "weaknesses, frailties, infirmities," not as something "innately His;" but He bore them "vicariously." (pp. 59-60)

Melvill rightly stated that Christ's humanity was not a created humanity, for if it had been, He would not have been identified with us. He was verily "made of a woman." But Melvill's bottom line is simply that God not being able to cope with man's fallen nature in its awful reality, interposed and permitted the body received from Mary to possess only "innocent infirmities." Every other child of Adam has received a complete fallen nature. It matters not whether we accept the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception; or the Evangelical concept that the Holy Spirit "sanctified" a portion of Mary's womb, and from that "sanctified" section, Jesus developed; or the assumption of Melvill that the Holy Spirit presided over the selection of the "genes" so that Christ partook of a hybrid humanity, the end objective is the same: Jesus did not take upon Himself the fallen nature as we receive it from our mothers.

This is the bottom line in the whole controversy over the doctrine of the Incarnation. It is also the bottom rung in the ladder which was set up on the earth and which reached into heaven. (Gen. 28:12; John 1:51)

Unless we can in reality accept the tremendous victory achieved by Christ in humanity, all of our talk about "righteousness by faith" is a meaningless mouthing of words an "east wind." (Hosea 12:1) Those who accept and teach the Holy Flesh doctrine of the incarnation (Tom Davis, Ron Spear, and now, A. V. Wallenkampf) that Christ came into humanity "born, born again" are merely trying to find "acceptable language" to convey the same basic heresy which underlies all the other perversions of truth noted above. And we repeat again, that it is the failure to understand and know what took place when "the power of the Highest" overshadowed Mary. (Luke 1:35) [The "how" will forever remain a mystery.] So long as we continue to set forth the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity quoted in the 27 Statements of Belief via the Constitution of the World Council of Churches, we will be unable to arrive at truth in regard to the humanity Christ assumed in the Incarnation. We suggest that you read again the final three paragraphs of the article - "None Dare Call It a Conspiracy." (WWN, XXI-8, p. 4)

"For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh." (Rom. 8:3 NKJV)

"Think of Christ's humiliation. He took upon Himself fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin. " (YI, Dec. 20, 1900)

"Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down." (Rev. 12:10 NKJV)

p 3 -- "Thy Way, O God is In the Sanctuary" -- On May 28, 1916, E. J. Waggoner died suddenly. On his desk was found an unfinished letter. It was being written to a minister who had visited him the previous year with, the purpose of talking "over some items of denominational belief." However, since no "leading topic" had been interjected into the conversation, this letter was written with that objective in mind. Waggoner considered this letter to be "a confession of faith." (p. 2)

Here are the main points of his confession:
1)  I believe the Scriptures to be The Word of God.

2)  Christ is primarily the Word of God, the expression of God's thought; and the Scriptures are the Word of God simply because they reveal Christ. It was with this belief that I began my real study of the Bible, thirty-four years ago. [1882]

3)  It was the Spirit of Christ that testified in the ancient prophets; and so the Scriptures are "the testimony of Jesus" - the "testimonies" to which the Psalmist so frequently refers.

4)  Sin is a condition, not an entity.

5)  Jesus "is come in the flesh," fully identified with humanity.

6)  The gift of God's life, which since the fall, comes only by the cross of Christ, is not the event of a day, but the great fact of eternity.

7)  Neither at the cross, nor before or since, has there been any new feature introduced - any change in the way for sinners to approach the Throne of Grace. Christ has from the foundation of the world been the Lamb slain; His life has always been the one perfect sacrifice for sin; and His royal priesthood unchangeable.

Then Waggoner drew a conclusion:      Also, twenty-five years ago [1891], these truths, coupled with the self-evident truth that sin is not an entity but a condition that can exist only in a person, made it clear to me that it is impossible that there is any such thing as the transferring of sins to the sanctuary in heaven, thus defiling that place; and that there could be no such thing, either in 1844 A. D., or at any other time, as "the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary."

1891 carries us back to the Studies in Romans which Waggoner gave at the General Conference session that year. Recently I had an occasion to recheck some of these studies. As I was reading the 9th study, it flashed across my mind - Here is where Waggoner couldn't put it together and which ultimately led to the conclusion he confessed in 1916. In 1891, he said:      When God declares His righteousness upon one who believes, that man stands as clear as though he had never sinned, and cannot be punished as a sinner, unless he denies the faith. Jesus said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation [Gr. - krisis = "judgment"], but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24

It is a sad commentary that with the introduction of the message of Righteousness by Faith as given in 1888 and onward, the major defections from the Truth as committed to the Seventh-day Adventist Church have hinged on the Sanctuary teaching. This list includes Ballenger, Fletcher, Ford, and many, many others. The effect of the Ford influence on Australia is appalling. Spectrum carried the following report:      The apostasy rate in the [Australian] home unions leapt in 1982 to a staggering 62.7 percent. In 1981 New Zealand experienced a net loss in membership for the first time in the history of the Advent mission there. Besides the number involved, the quality of the people lost in the carnage added to the tragedy. The younger ministerial workers were decimated. Of the 170 who graduated from the theology course in the period 1973-1982, 75 either did not enter or left the ministry ....

In North New South Wales (one of the largest conferences in Australia), of the 26 ministers in the field, only one is under 30 years of age, whereas of the 100 teachers in the same conference, approximately 25 are under 30. (Vol. 18, #5, pp. 14-15)

[Note: The difference is that the students preparing for teaching did not come directly under the influence of Desmond Ford.]

A recent Alumni Journal from Loma Linda (March-April 1988) asked on its cover the question - "Why Do They Leave?" Various graduates of the University gave their reasons. In these testimonials, one text surf aced - John 5:24 - to justify the rejection of the sanctuary truth; and it was this truth which was pinpointed as one of the key

p 4 -- doctrinal reasons for leaving the Seventh-day Adventist Church by these graduates.

This text - John 5:24 - based on the force of the Greek verb tenses is simply saying "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that continues to hear my word, and continues to believe in Him that sent Me, has life eternal [quality of life], and is not coming into judgment, but has passed out of death into the life." The word translated "has passed" is in the Greek perfect tense for which there is no corresponding English tense, even though we do have a perfect tense. The Greek perfect tense denotes the present state resultant upon a past action. In this text "the past action" is a continuous action. The question is, does this continuos action preclude a judgment, or does it tell us the way by which the judgment is successfully passed? Secondly, does this text nullify the sanctuary teaching? These questions we addressed in the recent Seminar on "The Sanctuary in the Light of the Great Controversy" held in connection with the Annual Fellowship, August 1 thru 6 on the campus here in Arkansas.

There is an historical record that we dare not overlook in such a study. Our "roots" are in what is called, "Millerism," or the Great Second Advent Movement. William Miller along with his associates finally concluded Christ would return the second time on or about October 22, 1844. That date passed and Jesus did not come. There was a great hemorrhaging. The vast majority renounced their faith. Another group continued to set time. A third group said that the prophetic calculations are correct, but what was to occur on that date may be wrong. What did this group do?

It meant the study of the Bible and the laying aside of presuppositions. This led to the discarding of the false concept that the earth was the sanctuary to be cleansed. This also meant that one half of the basis of their previous faith had to be recognized as wrong. In its place had to be substituted truth as it is in Jesus - the sacrifice and the priest. This led to the study of the sanctuary in type as given at Sinai so that the Heavenly reality might be perceived more clearly.

In the recent seminar, we asked ourselves, can it be that we, too, need to take another look at our cherished assumptions to discover why, the present defections from Adventism. Is it possible that we have misinterpreted, or have not included all factors in our study of the type which if truly understood would place our position beyond question? We sought to address these questions guided by the following counsel:      The Lord has made His people the repository of sacred truth. Upon every individual who has had the light of present truth devolves the duty of developing that truth on a higher scale than it has hitherto been done. (M.V.H., March 30, 1897) Webnote: Also found this quote in The Home Missionary, July 1, 1897, paragraph 1 Article Title: Ye are the Light of the World.

We did not discard the sanctuary truth. "That" truth we accepted, because it is found in the Word of God. "Thy way, 0 God is in the sanctuary." (Ps. 77:13) We did take a detailed look at that truth, and precious rays of light shown forth as we progressed in the study. It is true that the Word set forth concepts which we couldn't correlate at the moment of perception, but as we pursued our study more light broke forth from God's Word which clarified and enhanced the beauty of the sanctuary truth.

The studies were as follows:
I -  The Biblical Basis of the Sanctuary as a Doctrinal Revelation of God's Plans and
II -  Basic Principles from God's Viewpoint.
III -  The Place of the Sanctuary in the Great Controversy.
IV -  A Study of Daniel Seven - the Judgment Before the Ancient of Days.
V -  The Message of the Sanctuary - A & B.
VI -  The Validity of Our Understanding of Daniel 8:14.
VII -  The Message of the Book of Hebrews.

Interwoven into the last studies were concepts relating to the Final Atonement. These studies were taped and are available.

A Few Concepts from the Studies:
The sanctuary is God's revelation of how to meet the judgment, and how victory over sin is realized.

The blood of the sin offering says that the penalty for sin is paid! The finger printing of that blood is a record of confession made, and of the forgiveness extended for a sin already recorded in "books" not the sanctuary!

The atonement of forgiveness takes place for the individual at the Altar of the Court. No record is ever made in the sanctuary as no blood was ever taken in. But the record of that sin is on the "books." There is a gap! How is it closed?

p 5 -- What Every Seventh-day Adventist should know about 1888* -- Perhaps the most common phrase in Adventism this year has been: "The 1888 Message." The Church has published three centennial books on 1888 and is now getting ready for the centennial Conference to take place at Minneapolis timed so as to correspond with the dates of the 1888 Conference. Two of the Church's main organs, The Adventist Review and Ministry have each published a special righteousness by faith issue. Also, recently the Review has released Dr. A. V. Wallenkampf's book, What Every Adventist Should Know About 1888. Not only is 1888 the subject within the frame of the organized Church, but the 1888 message is buzzing in the self-supporting ranks as well. Wieland and Short and The 1888 Message Study Committee; Ron Spear and Hope International; 3-Angels Broadcasting; and others are having campmeetings with the emphasis being placed upon the 1888 message.

While it seems as though few can agree upon which brand of righteousness by faith to teach, most are content to agree with the concept that righteousness by faith as a doctrine is our only legacy from the "messengers" of 1888. The majority of those preaching the 1888 message fail to perceive the broad platform that the real message was based upon. The 1888 message was not just a message of righteousness by faith, per se, but rather a three fold message consisting of the following:

1.  Righteousness by Faith -The relationship between man and God.
2.  Religious Liberty - The relationship between the believer and the state. (Separation of Church and State)
3.  Organization - The relationship of the believer to the body of Christ. (Church Government)

While the messages presented at the 1888 Conference were not transcribed, most concede today that the book, Christ and His Righteousness, written by E. J. Waggoner soon after the Conference was based on a series of talks that Waggoner gave at the 1888 Conference. It is also known that Waggoner discussed the law in Galatians and that A. T. Jones preached on the ten horns of Daniel 7. Yet this was not the total message given by the "messengers." In A. T. Jones' book, Civil Government and Religion, published in the year following the Minneapolis Conference, the following remarks are given in the preface dated Feb. 13, 1889.

This little work is the outgrowth of several lectures upon the relationship between religion and the civil power, delivered in Minneapolis, Minn., in October, 1888. The interest manifested in the subject, and numerous requests for the publication of the main points of the arguments presented, have led to the issuing of this pamphlet. (Civil Government and Religion, p. 3 - Emphasis supplied.)

The dating of the preface should be noted, for this was just a few months after the 1888 Conference. However, this was not the only thing that A. T. Jones presented in 1889 concerning religious liberty. At the Ottawa, Kansas campmeeting in 1889 A. T. Jones spoke thirty-one times. 1 This campmeeting held just six months after the 1888 Conference finds Jones preaching three times as much on religious liberty than righteousness by faith. But this was not his whole burden, Jones spoke twice as much about church organization than righteousness by faith. Even when the Blair Sunday Law and the Breckenridge Bill, current issues of that time, are taken into account, Jones' preaching presented a much greater balance than do the so-called preachers of the 1888 message today.

Surely we cannot claim that we do not have need for the two forgotten pillars of the 1888 message! With the growing influence that the Papacy and the Protestants are

p 6 -- having on governmental leaders today, coupled with the growing strength of the Lord's Day Alliance (which, interestingly is also celebrating its centennial this year) one can hardly claim that there is not a real need for the message of religious liberty. Further, since the Church has gone into Federal court and claimed to be hierarchical in form, surely there would be a need for Biblical reform on the topic of organization.

The failure to give the whole message is a failure to give the whole truth! To fail to give the total message is misleading. Those most vocal today about the message realize that the Church is in a backslidden state. They think by preaching righteousness by faith, the Church will repent and turn around. How foolish to think that the Church could be prepared to repent when the full truth needed for that repentance to be possible is withheld! While it is true that there was a time when the full message could have brought about a reformation had it been given, the sad fact is that the opportunity for that is past. The prophecy of Luke 21:24 tells us that the times of the Gentiles has been fulfilled. Also it is unfortunate that the one who knew the message possibly better than any human, hid his light and decided "to keep still."

How balanced was the three fold message of 1888? Read carefully the message of the three angels of Revelation 14 and see the complete 1888 message!

1st ANGEL'S MESSAGE - "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water." Does not the message of the first angel contain the message of righteousness by faith?

2nd ANGEL'S MESSAGE - "And there followed another angel saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." Does not the message of the second angel tell us that a church which follows corrupt principles of organization will be condemned?

3rd ANGEL'S MESSAGE - "And the third angel followed them saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb." Does not receiving the mark of the beast involve religious liberty?

During the 1987 fellowship meetings here on the Foundation campus, the morning and evening meetings dealt with the subject of righteousness by faith. This year the evening meetings considered the subject: "What Every Seventh-day Adventist Should Know About 1888." While all three phases of the message were given at least one night of consideration, the emphasis this year was on religious liberty. The studies were as follows:
1.  "Christ Crucified, The Heart of the 1888 Message"
2.  "An Introduction to Religious Liberty"
3.  "The Origin of the Beast and His Image"
4.  "The Powers that Be"
5.  "Hierarchy, Anarchy, or Gospel Order"

These studies were taped and are available. These studies will also be the subject for articles in upcoming Thought Papers.

* This title was chosen before this writer heard about Dr. Wallenkampf's new book.
1   Jones' studies along with four messages by Ellen G. White and others were recorded in the Topeka Kansas Daily Capital newspaper from May 7th through May 28th, 1889. Reprints of these articles are available from Laymen Ministry News, Route 4 Box 94-C, St. Maries, ID 83861.

"Now the Lord wants his Spirit to come in.
He wants the Holy Ghost king."

(EGW - Talk given at the Battle Creek College Library, 1901.
Spalding - Magan, p. 166, 1961 Ed.)

p 7 -- NEWS NOTES --
What the Adventist Review didn't tell you -
"Seventh-day Adventists replaced their East Africa executive director, F. K. Wangai, and dismissed his wife and son from their posts. The action follows complaints by some African SDAs of corruption, nepotism and tribalism." (Religion Report, Vol. 2, No. 14, p. 3)

In the News -- "CANTERBURY - Though still overwhelmingly Anglican, this year's 12th Lambeth Conference had an ecumenical flavour.

"Besides the approximately 500 Anglican bishops from around the world, conference participants included a score of bishops from the four denominations on the Indian sub-continent in which Anglicans united with other traditions - the Churches of South India, North India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. ...

"Nearly a dozen Christian world communions were present in the person of more than a score of ecumenical observers - Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Methodist, Baptist, Disciples, Assyrian Church of the East, and Seventh-day Adventist." (Ecumenical Press Service (WCC) Year 55/28: 88.07.65)

[Question - Was Wilson represented by his Secretary of State, B. B. Beach, or did he attend in person?]   +

+   If interested, you may write for the documentation that B. B. Beach is considered by Neal C. Wilson as his Secretary of State. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope. --- --- (1988 Sep) --- End ---