1975 Jan-MarVIII 1(75) - VIII 3(75)
1975 Apr-Jun VIII 4(75) - VIII 6(75)
1975 Jul-Sep VIII 7(75) - VIII 9(75)
1975 Oct-Dec VIII 10(75) - VIII 12(75)
1976 Jan-Mar IX 1(76) - IX 3(76)
1976 Apr-Jun IX 4(76) - IX 6(76)
1976 Jul-Sep IX 7(76) - IX 9(76)
1976 Oct-Dec IX 10(76) - IX 12(76)
1977 Jan-MarX 1(77) - X 3(77)
1977 Apr-Jun X 4(77) - X 6(77)
1977 Jul-Sep X 7(77) - X 9(77)
1977 Oct-DecX 10(77) - X 12(77)
1978 Jan-Mar XI 1(78) - XI 3(78)
1978 Apr-Jun XI 4(78) - XI 6(78)
1978 Jul-Sep XI 7(78) - XI 9(78)
1978 Oct-Dec XI 10(78) - XI 12(78)
1979 Jan-Mar XI 1(79) - XI 3(79)
1979 Apr-Jun XI 4(79) - XI 6(79)
1979 Jul-Sep XI 7(79) - XI 9(79)
1979 Oct-DecXI 10(79) - XI 12(79)
Feb Knight Descends On Jones. 1of 4.
Mar Knight Descends On Jones. 2 of 4.
1988 Apr-Jun 3 & 4 of 4.
last of WWN published
ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)
SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation
- Legal Documents
Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer
Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer
the Form of a Slave
In Bible Prophecy
Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer
Seal of God
Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer
of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary
Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear
OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:
Various Studies --
Bible As History - Werner Keller
Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts
Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith
Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson
Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones
"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson
Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen
Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones
Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen
So Much In Common - WCC/SDA
Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy
As of 2010, all official sites of ALF in the United States of America were closed. The Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Canada with its website, www.Adventist Alert.com, is now the only official Adventist Layman's Foundation established by Elder Grotheer worldwide.
The MISSION of this site -- to put works of the Foundation online.
Any portion of these works may be reproduced without further permission by adding the credit line - "Reprinted from Adventist Layman's Foundation, AdventistAlert.com, Victoria, BC Canada."
Thank you for visiting. We look forward to you coming
WWN 1984 Apr - Jun
1984 Apr -- XVII -- 4(84) -- SUBSTITUTION OR SELF-REALIZATION - WHICH? -- Or Is It Substitution Producing Realization? -- Jesus promised - "I will come again." (John 14:3) As Jesus ascended into heaven following His earthly sojourn, angels from the presence of God declared - "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11) And He will come! - not many years hence. That event will mark an experience for some, known to only two others of the human family in all history - Enoch and Elijah. Paul stated - "We which are alive ... shall be caught up ... to meet the Lord in the air." (I Thess. 4:17) The results of sin will not be experienced by a group of saints because sin has ceased in their lives.
The realization of this state of being will have been experienced at some point prior to the second coming of Christ. Events which in God's planning "must shortly come to pass" (Rev. 1: 1), indicate that prior to the coming of Jesus, the wrath of God will be poured out in the seven last plagues. (Rev. 15:1) During the administration of God's righteous judgments, "no man [is] able to enter into the temple" of heaven where the final intercession for man had been completed. (Rev. 15:8) Keep in mind that there is only "one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." (I Tim- 2:5) By Him, and Him only has the sin question been met and solved. And it was settled during the final atonement in the Most Holy place of the Heavenly sanctuary.
For six thousand years men have died as the result of Adam's sin reflected in their own life's experience. "By one man sin entered the world and death by sin; and so death [has] passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." (Rom. 5:12) Yet some of the sons of Adam have died in hope - the hope of the resurrection. Why could they have hope? Because they accepted the Substitute provided by God - Jesus Christ the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. At the beginning of the record of the laws of the Hebrew sacrificial system this cardinal principle of substitution is stated. It reads: "He shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make an atonement for him." (Lev. 1:4)
The whole of this sacrificial system typified the plan of God, where, by man's acceptance of Jesus, His death becomes the payment for man's sins. Though because of time, a man experiences the results of sin, yet because of this principle of substitution, he can have hope so as to attain unto the first resurrection.
p 2 -- Then comes the question - "Will it always be substitution?" - even for those who will be translated without seeing death. Or, will there be a self-realization in the lives of the victors over the beast, his image, and his mark, whereby they will cease to commit acts of sin? Thus the very heart of the question as to how men are saved comes into review. We can then preview a whole series of questions.
Are we saved by faith, alone? Is it by works showing our faith? Or, are we saved by faith, and cease from our works? This latter question could introduce another aspect. We profess to keep the Sabbath as a memorial of the mighty creative power of God. But entering into the Sabbath rest, we cease from our own works. (Heb. 4:10) Can those who profess to be saved because of their works, ever really be true Sabbath-keepers? Then there is a further question to be considered. If I should be among those who are translated and can show a single work which I did, contributed to the experience whereby I ceased to sin, how then can I join in the chorus of heaven and sing - "Worthy is the Lamb, that was slain." (Rev. 5:12) Any contribution plan for my redemption negates the whole purpose of the great controversy that God may be all in all. (I Cor. 15:28)
How then can we reconcile the fact that the commission of sin will cease prior to the close of probation in the lives of those who will be translated, and the fact that all who are saved, are saved solely because of the merits of the great Substitute provided by God? We might add that this is the question which faced the Advent Movement from its inception, and a question to which every generation of Adventists has addressed itself, yet we are still here, with time racing to its close and the question still unanswered.
Since none of us has experienced this mode of living whereby we have ceased to commit acts of sin - in other words, we have not ceased from our works - we can only turn to the Word of God to find the answer to the question. The same Word which states that some who are alive when Jesus comes will be translated without dying - escaping the results of sin - is the same Word which declares that all intercession will cease at some point prior to that return.
This Word further declares that "by grace are (we) saved through faith; and that not of (ourselves): it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9) So to this word alone must we turn to find what it says in the solution of our problem - a problem faced now for decades by the Advent Movement, but which still seems to elude us.
There is a group described in Revelation who keep the commandments of God. (Rev. 12:17; 14:12) To keep God's commandments is plainly not to sin. But who is this group? They are designated as "the remnant of (the woman's) seed." The import of this prophetic terminology can be best understood in the context of the whole of the presentation in Chapter 12. The first scene is the prophetic symbolism of the first gospel promise. (Gen. 3:15) The seed of the woman would bruise the serpent's head. The "man-child" brought forth was that "seed." Through Him came "salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God." (12:10)
When the "dragon saw that he was cast into the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the Man." (12:13) The dragon is pictured as standing "before the woman" (12:4); as persecuting the woman;" as casting "out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman" (12:15); and as "wroth with the woman" (12:17). In the dragon's relationship with Christ, symbolized as the Man-child, and Michael, he makes "war." (12:7) It was a war to the death - and he committed the murder of the ages in the crucifixion of Jesus. This same term - war - is used to describe the action of the dragon against the remnant of the woman's seed. The term - seed - is used to describe only two different representations in Revelation 12, the Man-child, by the very imagery portrayed "travailing in birth and pained to be delivered" - and the final "remnant" which keep the commandments of God. In derision it has been asked - "Are the 144, 000 to be so many little christs? And the answer of the prophetic word, according to its symbolism is emphatically, "Yes!"
Those who have been most ardent in proclaiming that this means the reflection of the image of Jesus fully, have failed to perceive what it means to "reflect fully" that image. Some have proclaimed,
p 3 -- and still do, that the eradication of the fallen nature is the answer. This is "holy flesh" doctrine. Others have embarked on a program of works and have emphasized "reforms" as a means of salvation. Time has demonstrated the failure of this human system of attempting to reach heaven. What then is the "image of Jesus"? First, who is Jesus?
Who Jesus Is -- Jesus was unknown prior to Bethlehem, except in promise. At Bethlehem, the "Co-Fellow" of the Eternal God became man. He became Jesus. (Zech. 13:7; John 1:14; Matt. 1:21) In so doing, He "emptied Himself," (Phil 2: 7 ARV) and accepted the "slave form" of man. In this humility - the body of our humiliation - He, of Himself, had no more a chance of success than any other man had in bearing the "image of Adam" after the Fall. (Gen. 5:3) If this perception of the Incarnation is not understood nor perceived, then the only solution to the translation of some of the living at the second coming of Christ is Substitution - the same kind of substitution as for those who have died and are resurrected. The whole of the question and the answer rides on the true concept of the Incarnation.
Jesus did not fail even with the terrible risk assumed, and in face of a history of total defeat by the sons of Adam for four thousand years. How was His victory achieved? Jesus first recognized just what the humanity He assumed really was. "He knew what was in man." (John 2: 2 5) Knowing this, He knew that of Himself, He could not succeed. "Of mine own self, I can do nothing," was His frank admission. (John 5:30) He accepted the provision of God - "the will of God" for Him - the Divine Spirit without measure. (John 3:34) Thus at the close of thirty-three years of intense conflict, He could say - "The prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in Me," and "The Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works." (John 14:30, 10) Because of this experience - a complete self-emptying - He could testify - "I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in His love." (John 15: 10) And this is the only experience that will lead to the revelation of those saints - the remnant of the woman's seed - who likewise will "keep the commandments of God."
What Does This Mean? -- First this means, a complete emptying of self, even as Jesus emptied Himself. Yes, a "painful process" (Ms. . 29, 1899), but the pain most poignant to us comes in the realization of our total degeneracy, and the utter worthlessness of our "ego." So long as we still cling to the perverse concept that somehow the good works we can do will ultimately produce a sinless life through the creation of habit patterns of right conduct, we shall continue to sin. As long as we refuse to recognize as Jesus did what is really "in man," even though the Word of God is clear (Jer. 17:9) we will continually meet with failure. All of our good works are but as filthy rags. (Isa. 64:6) We must be true Sabbath keepers - we must cease from our own works. Then, and then only, can God work in us "to do of His good pleasure." (Phil. 2:13) So what is it again? Substitution - the will of God being substituted for the will of man through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life without measure, even as in the life of Jesus. Instead of self-realization, it will be substitution that will produce realization before the eyes of the universe, for the victors will be without fault before the throne - in the eyes and mind of God, for it will be His works. (Rev. 14:5)
This is exactly the picture described by as He spoke of the final hour of human history. He said: "But take heed to yourselves: for they will deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them. (And the gospel must first be preached among all nations.) But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Spirit." (Mark l3:9-11)
words of Jesus invite close scrutiny. The time to which He alludes is
after the Gospel has been preached to all nations. The witness to the
Gentiles has been given; their allotted time is fulfilled. The contest
now comes down to relationships within the church - "councils"
p 4 -- "synagogues" - and the state - "ye shall be brought before rulers and kings." In this hour of final testimony, the human witnesses for Jesus are to take "no thought beforehand," not even to "premeditate" on what they are to speak in their self defense. Why? They are emptied of self to such an extent that when they open their mouths to speak, the Spirit of God speaks in defense of the truth of God to God's glory.
This is the image of Jesus fully revealed before men. And what is the result? Even as in Jesus, for Jesus declared of Himself - "He that seeketh His glory that sent Him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him." (John 7:18) The testimony of Jesus' life and witness was - "I seek not my own glory." (John 8:50) Even the words, as well as the works of Jesus were of the Father. (John 12:50; 14:10) Such was the life of one born of the Spirit, and filled with the Spirit without measure. Such will be the witness of those who reach such an height of self-abnegation, that the Spirit without measure alone appears in their lives. The very words uttered are no longer theirs, but the very voice of the Spirit of God in its final appeal to humanity before the close of all human probation. It is substitution that produces realization. Thus it is in reality, substitution all the way: - the life of Jesus for my "sin and woe;" the Holy Spirit for my perfection. This results from the final atonement. The Holy Spirit indwells me as I resign myself to be merely "a temple of flesh." I cease from my own works, for I cease to be. A new creation is formed in life, and the sanctification of the Sabbath rests upon me as I await that transformation of body "in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trump." God is thus enabled to proclaim the Sabbath "more fully," because once again the "image of God" is seen in man.
CHRISTIAN LIFE IS A BATTLE AND A MARCH.
"Let Christ Jesus be your example as to what your attitude should be. For He, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to His prerogatives as God's equal, but stripped Himself of all privilege by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born as mortal man. And, having become man, He humbled Himself by living a life of utter obedience, even to the extent of dying, and the death He died was the death of a common criminal. That is why God has now lifted Him so high, and has given Him the name beyond all names, so that at the name of Jesus, 'every knee shall bow,' whether in Heaven or earth or under the earth. And that is why, in the end, 'every tongue shall confess' that Jesus Christ is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2:5-11 Phillips)
"Then in my vision I heard the voices of many angels encircling the throne, the living creatures and the elders. There were myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, crying in a loud voice, ' Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!' Then I heard the voice of everything created in Heaven, upon earth, under the earth and upon the sea, and all that are in them saying, 'Blessing and honor and glory and power be given to Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb, for timeless ages!'" (Phil. 2:11-13 Phillips)
5 -- SO
MUCH IN COMMON -- (Concluded)
[How the WCC looks upon this appointment to the Faith and Order Commission is spelled out in a letter written to a lay-person here in the States by Gerald F. Moede of the Commission. He stated: "The Seventh Day Adventists have had representation on the Faith and Order Commission since 1967. They have also been full participants in the annual meeting of the Secretaries of the various World Confessional Families (who meet here in Geneva) and as the book So Much in Common indicates, we have been having theological discussion with them annually since the mid-sixties."
The first Adventist appointee by the Central Committee of the WCC was Dr. Earle Hilgert, from Andrews University. The present Adventist on the Faith and Order Commission is Dr. R. F. Dederen, also of Andrews University. The background of this appointment is rather interesting and was conducted in such a way that B. B. Beach is able to say - "the SDA Church is not a member of the Faith and Order Commission." In 1967 after the Essay on the Seventh-day Adventist Church appeared in the official organ of the WCC - The Ecumenical Review - the associate editor of the Review - R. F. Cottrell - responded by suggesting: "If the Secretariat on Faith and Order, for instance, were to invite SDA's to appoint someone competent in that area to meet with their group from time to time and represent the SDA point of view, we could accept such an invitation with a clear conscience." (Review & Herald, April 6, 1967, p. 13)
Apparently Cottrell did not know at the time how appointments to the Faith and Order Commission actually were made. There are still "blind spots" in our knowledge of all that took place. Whether the General Conference Committee sent a list of names to the WCC, or recommended a single name, is not known. The Central Committee of the WCC, which does the appointing, did appoint Dr. Hilgert. In a seven month period, an Essay appeared in The Ecumenical Review in January, 1967; the leadership of the SDA Church responded through its official organ - the Review & Herald - in April; and by the end of July, Dr. Earle Hilgert was meeting with the 120 member Faith and Order Commission in Bristol, England. All one can say is that B. B. Beach laid the ground work well. Was his pay-off his appointment to the General Conference Department of Public Affairs?]
8. SDA/WCC Conversations in the United States -- "As a kind, of corollary to the Geneva Consultations, Conversations began in 1969 in the United States between Seventh-day Adventists and a WCC, appointed group. While each Conversation will follow its own style and choose its own subject matter, those responsible for the Conversations on both sides of the Atlantic are keeping in touch with each other.
[This raises many questions: Who have the Seventh-day Adventist appointees been on this side of the Atlantic, and who appointed them? What topics were discussed? Did these Conversations lead to the inclusion in the 1980 Dallas Statement of Beliefs, the wording of the Basis for membership in the WCC, taken from the WCC Constitution? Was B. B. Beach brought into the General Conference to continue these Conversations? Are they presently taking place? If so, who all are involved? Perhaps various readers will attempt to write to the General Conference president to see what answers can be obtained to these questions. The laity have a right to know what is going on, other
p 6 -- than a replay of the continuous refrain - "We are not members of the WCC, nor of the Faith and Order Commission."]
9. Contacts on National Levels -- "It is interesting to note that the contacts on the WCC level have, to some extent, filtered down to certain national levels. As examples one can mention the SDA contacts with the British Council of Churches, the Finnish Council of Churches and the office of the German Arbeitsgemeinschaft Christlicher Kirchen in Deutschland. There are many other contacts, but here we are only thinking of those that are at least to some extent directly attributable to the Geneva Consultations."
"2. The participants in the Conversations discovered that each side approaches the Bible with respect and the basic expectation to be guided by Scripture into truth. There are, however, some noticeable differences in approach. While SDA theologians believe in the inspired integrity of the Bible and insist on the historicity of the record, the participants on the WCC side tend to favour a larger use of historical and form-critical methods. Underlying these dissentient approaches are differing views regarding the nature of revelation and inspiration. It should not be overlooked, however, that similar differences in approach can be found within the constituency of the World Council of Churches. (Emphasis his)
"3. In view of the prominence Seventh-day Adventists have traditionally given to religious liberty, it is significant to note the very substantial agreement that prevailed in this area of the discussions. While the SDA contribution to religious liberty has been largely of a pragmatic nature, without ignoring the necessary biblical basis, the World Council of Churches has through its Religious Liberty Secretariat concentrated on providing a sound theological foundation for religious liberty, and through the CCIA has underlined the general importance of human rights. (Emphasis his)
"4. The Conversations have made Seventh-day Adventists rather more aware of ecumenism as an expanding and driving influence, with strengths, weaknesses and problems. On the other hand, the World Council of Churches and some of its member churches appear more conscious of Adventism as a growing world-wide religious force. Both sides have gained a deeper understanding of each other's, raison d'etre. (Emphasis his)
"5. There has been a growth of mutual respect. The SDA participants cannot but respect the scholarship and "studiousness" of the World Council of Churches and its representatives. Faith and Order studies have shed considerable light on various contemporary issues. There is also evidence that the WCC members have gained a measure of respect for the calibre of Adventist scholarship. The Conversations have demonstrated that the participants on both sides are capable of respect[ing] differing views, especially when held by partners in dialogue whose Christian commitment cannot be questioned. (Emphasis his)
Conversations have been significant as an educational instrumentality.
Minds have been opened and enlarged. Adventists have become more clearly
aware that there is more than one point of view to most questions, and
that there are earnest Christian men who hold differing beliefs that should
be taken into account. While beliefs merit to be safe-guarded, serious
thought must be given to expressing them in terms that will be readily
p 7 -- and, in some degree, accepted by those with divergent convictions. (Emphasis his)
[In this paragraph - perhaps unwittingly - Dr. Beach has expressed the real issue involved in this matter of dialogue with the World Council of Churches and their representatives. He indicates that the SDA participants discovered that there is "more than one point of view to most questions." This may be very true when the questions involve human philosophy and policy, but is this true when it comes to truth? In other words, did God commit to us a truth that admits of no compromise? Does this truth as given in the book of Revelation permit us to dialogue with the Enemy of truth before a tree of knowledge of good and evil created by him? Then Beach suggests that we should word our beliefs in such a way that these men of the WCC can more readily understand what we mean, and thus be, "in some degree, accepted" by them. Was not this the rationale in the dialogue with Barnhouse and Martin during the SDA-Evangelical Conferences? The bottom line is simply that when we express our beliefs in such a way that those who differ with us can, to some degree, accept them, the result is compromise of the truth.]
"The same educational process has enabled the WCC participants to realize that Seventh-day Adventists are genuinely committed Christians, who hold clearly defined, defensible beliefs in all major areas of Christian doctrine.
"The Conversations have made it abundantly clear that firsthand information is better than secondhand misinformation, that sharpening one's theological views on the grindstone of dialogue is not only at times painful but profitable, and that ignorance of the other side is not bliss." B. B. Beach *
* "Dr. B. B. Beach, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, is the Secretary of the Department of Public Affairs, Northern European Division, United Kingdom." [This footnote attached to the article noting B. B. Beach as connected with the "General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists," when he was only a departmental secretary of the Northern European Division, can convey only one message. What Beach has written, and what he did and said at the WCC/SDA Conversations had the full and unequivocal blessing of the General Conference.]
LETTERS -- "Why should we protest the USA having an Ambassador to the pope - after all, we have B. B. Beach." -- An M. D., Pacific Northwest.
"I was interested in that letter from Oregon - someone went to church and saw a catholic priest in the pulpit ... I am somewhat familiar with the situation there. Friends communicate with us. Herb Bauman, ministerial Secretary, has strong positive feelings for the pope." Minister, Pacific Northwest.
You NEED To READ -- Reflections on the Sanctuary - by Sigve Tonstad, M. D.
This booklet, faces up to the Sanctuary crisis in Adventism; gives the alternatives, and then presents a positive case for our historic faith. We highly recommend a thoughtful study of what Dr. Tonstad has written. -- --- (1984 Apr) --- End --- TOP
1984 May-- XVII 5(84) -- THIS IS THE VICTORY -- Is Perfection NOT "Through Faith"? -- We all are sinners, born into the sinful environment of this earth, and the recipients of the nature of fallen Adam. But we're not left in hopelessness. There are "given unto us exceeding great and precious promises." (II Peter - 1:4) These promises become operative at the moment we recognize our undone state, even at the point where the magnitude of our sin overwhelms us. This is well illustrated in the experience of the man who "was sick of palsy." (Mark 2: 5) This man was completely discouraged - his sins had made him impotent, a complete invalid, totally dependent on friends. If he could but know his sins were forgiven him, he would willingly accept the results of his wrong course of living. Jesus, seeing the faith of the friends who had taken extreme measures to bring him into His presence, said to the man - "Thy sins be forgiven thee." The man made no move; his faith grasped the promise - all was well, the guilt that plagued his soul was gone. He would accept the results from his sin without murmuring. His friends could have pulled him up from the presence of Jesus, and he would have been perfectly happy.
This is not the end of the episode. Religious skeptics sat among the group who had come to hear Jesus upon His return to Capernaum. To them the promise of Jesus was blasphemy. Jesus used the occasion of their skepticism to seal for all time the meaning and the extent of God's forgiveness. He asked - "Whether is it easier to say to the sick of palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed and walk?" (Mark 2:9) Merely to speak either, makes little difference; no more effort is required. But in this case, one statement was spoken before the other to meet the need of a human heart suffering under the guilt of sin, and to illustrate the "exceeding" greatness of God's forgiving mercy. That those religious skeptics might know that He, the Son of man, had power to forgive sins on earth - yes, in the environment of sin - Jesus said to the man lying before Him - "Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house." (Mark 2:11) In accepting the first promise of Jesus - his sins forgiven him - the man responded in the same faith to the command of Jesus and arose and walked as he had not been able to do from the time when the ravages of sin had come upon him. He was not only forgiven; he was restored as if he had never sinned. To face life - after one has sinned as if he had never sinned - is faith that works because of the love of God shed abroad through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Christian life does not end with merely forgiveness - that is only the beginning!
Because of the deceptive working of the enemy, we have been born blind. Now we
p 2 -- need to see that in the cosmic struggle being fought on the stage of earth, the position God has and is taking is the correct position. There is only one way by which we can see this, and that is by beholding the Cross - whereon the Spirit of God, manifest in clay, could be applied to us. The experience involved here is illustrated in the experience of the man "which was blind from birth." (John 9:1) Neither he, nor his parents, had sinned in such a way as to cause this serious defect, "but that the works of God should be manifest in him." (verse 3) Declaring Himself to be the Light of the world, Jesus "spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam." When the man had done so, he "came seeing." (verses 5-7)
The experience of this man - after he came seeing - reveals a greater insight on his part into the religious issues of that day, than many have of the issues facing Laodicea today. He was not fearful at the prospect of being cast out of the synagogue, but openly spoke the truth to the Pharisaical hierarchy who questioned him. The result was that he was "cast out" of the synagogue. When Jesus heard that he had been cast out, He "found him," and said unto him, "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" On whom else could he trust? Who else could have done what had been done to him - for "since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind." (John 9:32) He wanted to know such a Person, and replied, "Who is he, Sir, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou has both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped Him." (Verses 36-38) Here is saving faith: simply to believe and then to express that belief in worship. Herein also, was the victory of Christ over Satan - "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." (Matt. 4: 10) Jesus in His humanity served - obeyed - God, becoming "obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Phil 2:8) In His light we shall see light - the true cure for our Laodicean blindness. "To him that overcometh" are the words of the Divine Spirit to Laodicea. (Rev. 3:21) But HOW do we overcome the same wily foe with whom Jesus contended? The victors "overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." (Rev. 12:11) This was the experience of the man born blind. He accepted the provision of the Lamb, gave the word of his testimony, and loved not his life unto the death - religious ostracism.
Now to the final generation of earth, there is given a truly "exceeding great" promise. Some - who so choose - will appear before the throne of God without fault, and without guile in their mouths (Rev. 14:5) How shall this be? - by faith or by works?
This question can be answered in the experience of Abraham and Sarah.
When God called Abraham to leave his homeland to go to a land he had not yet seen, He also made a promise to Abraham that He would make him "a great nation." (Gen. 12:1-2) Abraham was seventy-five years old at that time and Sarah was ten years younger. Time passed - Abraham's substance increased so greatly that it became necessary for him and Lot to separate. Painful as this was to Abraham, God comforted him with the assurance - "I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth." (Gen. 13:16) Had he hoped to have Lot as his heir?
Years continue - Lot experiences the misfortune of those with whom he chose to identify. Abraham comes to the rescue, and restores the captives with their substance to their cities in the plain. Once again God comes and promises Abraham - "Fear not,... I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward." (Gen. 15:1) To this Abraham replied - "Lord God, what wilt Thou give me, seeing I go childless. ... Behold, to me Thou hast given no seed: and lo, one born in my house is mine heir." (Gen. 15:2-3) To this appeal, God was very specific. He said - "This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth of thine own bowels shall be thine heir." Then God invited him to come out of his tent, and said - "Look now toward
p 3 -- heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be." (Verses 4-5)
Eleven years came and went. Sarah was seventy-six years of age. All possibilities for her to have a child disappeared. The natural deteriorations of life had overtaken her. There must be some human way to fulfill the promise of God. The condition of the promise, as reported to her by Abraham was that he was to father the heir. So Sarah decided that through her "maid" she could obtain a child to meet the design of God. You know God does need help, doesn't He? Or does He?! If there was any way that Abraham could have an heir by works, Sarah was going to see to it. Then as with all who depend on works to accomplish what they perceive to be essential to do the works of God, when the plan didn't work, she blamed Abraham. "My wrong be upon thee," was her reaction. This experience has spiritual overtones which reach to this our very day. It has been well stated: "The effort to earn salvation by one's own works, inevitably leads men to pile up human exactions as a barrier against sin. For, seeing that they fail to keep the law, they will devise rules and regulations of their own to force themselves to obey. All of this turns the mind away from God to self. His loves dies out of the heart, and with it perishes love for their fellow-men. A system of human invention, with its multitudinous exactions, will lead its advocates to judge all who come short of the prescribed human standard. The atmosphere of selfish and narrow criticism stifles the noble and generous emotions, and causes men to become self-centered judges and petty spies." (Mount of Blessing, Chapter: "Not Judging but Doing")
Now back to the story of Abraham: God permits thirteen more years to pass. It was beyond question, Sarah had now completely passed the time for child-bearing, and there was no known way to turn back the process and restore the possibility for conception. Then God comes once more to Abraham with the revelation of Himself as El-Shaddai - "the Almighty God." The promise is renewed - "I will multiply thee exceedingly," (Gen. 17:1-2) God became very specific as to His intentions for Abraham - "I will bless [Sarah], and give thee a son of her." (Gen. 17:16) To this Abraham laughed - the possibility was too remote for him to conceive such a thing that he pled - "0 that Ishmael might live before Thee." But God responded - "Sarah thy wife, shall bear thee a son indeed." (Verses 18-19)
In a few weeks, God again appeared to Abraham, and declared in the hearing of Sarah - "I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son." (Gen. 18: 10) . The facts of life were too great for Sarah, and she laughed within herself. The thoughts of her heart were known to the Lord, and He called Sarah to task -"Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?" Then came the question, which forms the basis of all of the precious promises given to man - "IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD?" (Gen. 18:14) "At the time appointed" the promised seed was to be born. Isaac was not only a child of promise, but a child born at a "time appointed" in the plans and purposes of God.
Between this final promise to both Abraham and Sarah, and the birth of Isaac, the Scripture places the destruction of Sodom, and the experience of Abraham and Sarah with Abimelech. Though ninety years of age, Sarah was still attractive enough to create possible problems, and neither had sufficient faith that the promise of God would assure the safety of Abraham's life, so they resorted to deception for self-protection.
When Sarah, did conceive,
the Scripture declares - "The Lord visited ... and the Lord did ...
as He had spoken." (Gen. 21:1) Further the event occurred "at
the set time of which God had spoken to him [Abraham]" about. (verse
2) Abraham and his wife could have continued normal marital relations,
and would have still continued childless had not God acted in His Almighty
power. God did not create a new womb; He merely rejuvenated that which
already was, so that a new life might result. Isaac was truly theirs,
but only because of God's power. The time in God's plan had elapsed to
p 4 -- extent that it was obvious that the child of promise could not be because of mere human activity, but was born solely by what God could and did do.
The final victors in the struggle with "the beast" and "his image" and "his mark" (Rev. 15:2) will be "without fault" because God has promised, and He is able to perform His commitments. There has been fixed a "set time" in the plans and purposes of God when this is to be realized - the Day of Final Atonement. "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion she brought forth children." (Isa. 66:8)
This experience does not come through the eradication of the fallen nature as was taught by the Holy Flesh Movement, and is presently being set forth by some today in their teaching of perfection. Sarah's womb was the same one she always had, God did not do an hysterectomy, and then create a new womb. He rejuvenated her womb that the normal process for which it was made might be carried through to the bringing forth of the promised son.
Perfection will result from the rejuvenation of our fallen nature - perverted, misused and degenerated by disobedience by the power of Almighty God - the God who appeared to Abraham as El Shaddai. It is by God's grace through faith, lest any man should boast. The Holy Spirit in all of its fullness - without measure - is obtained by Jesus through the final intercession of His blood. "The mighty energies of the Holy Spirit, with all their quickening, recuperative, and transforming power, [will] fall as an electric shock on the palsy-stricken soul, causing every nerve to thrill with new life, restoring the whole man from his dead, earthly, sensual state to spiritual soundness." (5T:267)
When we look at ourselves
- truly look - having our eyes anointed with eyesalve, we see our undone
condition in the same light as Abraham and Sarah perceived the womb of
Sarah to be - unable to produce life - a life acceptable to God. As did
Abraham and Sarah who suggested various substitute ways - a servant born
in the house, even the child born of works accepted for the promised seed,
so we perceive and teach a substitute way to perfection based on our works
of "reform." Nothing - absolutely nothing - was or is acceptable
to God, except that which meets His specifications and comes about as
a result of His power, alone! God has promised a demonstration of perfection
in the final hour of human history. We must believe that what He has promised
He is able to perform. He will perform it in all who perceive the futility
of their own works. "THIS IS THE VICTORY THAT OVER COMETH
THE WORLD, EVEN OUR FAITH. WHO IS HE THAT OVERCOMETH THE WORLD, BUT HE
THAT BELIEVETH THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF
PAWTUCKET INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH SERVICES -- On the next page is a copy of a Calendar of Events for the Pawtucket Institute for Health Services, a satellite of Fuller Memorial Hospital, a medical facility of the Atlantic Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Alton D. Johnson, Chaplain of the Hospital, writing about this Rhode Island facility which opened in 1978, declared that its objective was "to be an entering wedge bringing the Third Angel's Message into Rhode Island's conservative Yankee traditionalism." (Gleaner, Sept. 25, 1979) He indicated that the Administrator was looking for personnel who were fully grounded "in the Three Angels' Messages" and for "individuals filled with the Holy Spirit, which must pervade every SDA health center." (Ibid.)
The Chaplain indicated in his report that "besides nursing care, other services provided by the Pawtucket Institute include social services" such as "religious services for ambulatory and wheelchair patients of Wednesdays and weekends in the attractive chapel; and special patient services." (Ibid., emphasis his)
Sabbath worship services
and Rosary services all in the same Chapel? Activities under the Three
Angels' Messages - Bingo on Sabbath? Coffee Socials and Dance Therapy?
"How is the faithful city become a harlot?" (8T:250)
p 5 -- Picture: calendar/bingo
p 6 -- ETHICS - SHOULD PROTESTORS USE THEM? -- After several letters and a telephone call, we decided that more of our readers would be interested in the background which prompted the letter written on December 22, 1983, to Fritz Alseth, and which he published in an unethical manner in Advent Crossroads, #6, p. 20. Not a single sentence in the letter as sent to him was in all "caps". Further, hardly noticeable to the average reader were the ellipsis marks indicating that something had been omitted. And it had - the rest of the paragraph! In fact, it was the key paragraph of the whole letter. Accurate scholarship and ethics - if such an omission had been deemed advisable - would have to indicate that the balance of the paragraph had been omitted by starting the next sentence as it really was, the first sentence of the next paragraph. Here is the way the letter was originally written as sent to Alseth: "This has already been done. Enclosed with this letter you will find a Statement of Beliefs which we formulated in 1980 immediately following the adoption of the apostate statements in Dallas. In fact, they were published as a Thought Paper for December of that year. This Statement received the approval of the directors of the Foundation.
"You will observe by the documentation that these Statements are worded - in many cases exactly - as the original Statements as drawn up by James White and Uriah Smith. There are also noted suggestive areas of theology not covered by the pioneers that need further and detailed study."
(The underscored part was omitted by Alseth. )
The second unethical aspect of the publication of our letter, was the fact that supposedly, we had received a reply. A copy of this supposed letter was printed beneath our letter. But in reality we did not receive it. When we did get a reply dated January 16, 1984, it read like this: "I have been thinking of writing you since receiving your letter, but didn't have the time since I was in the middle of finishing up the paper - getting it down to Sacramento and sending it out."
Who then wrote the letter as it appeared in Advent Crossroads? It was signed - "Fritz Alseth, Layman, publisher and Janitor." The letter we received was signed: "Fritz Alseth, EDITOR - ADVENT CROSSROADS." Will the real Fritz Alseth, please stand up! He that is deceitful in that which is least is also deceitful in that which is much.
Why did we write to Alseth in the first place? Two reasons, one growing out of the other. A few days before we wrote, we received a copy of a letter a friend had written to some friends of his. In it was the following comment: "Just yesterday, I got a letter from Brother Fritz Alseth, Editor of the Advent Crossroads, who suggested that they were going to call a meeting on the West Coast where they plan to propose a Statement of Beliefs, so that all the 'remnant people' can be united in one voice to PROTEST against the apostate SDA church." Inasmuch as we had drawn up a composite statement based on the Statements formulated by the pioneers of the Movement, another Statement would either be identical or of necessity veer to the right of "historic" Adventism, since the 1980 Dallas Statement had gone to the left.
We did not receive a letter from Alseth telling of the proposed meeting, and knowing why, is the second reason why we wrote the letter, and suggested: "Now I realize that you will want to put distance between yourself and where we have voted to stand on historic Adventism, but in so doing you will be as far out in the other direction as the church is in left field. Two apostasies, do not make one truth."
A number of years
back, Alseth was connected with the Plymouth (CA) Brethren at the Blake
Commune. It seems that they were desirous of having an "unity meeting"
among the dissidents of Adventist orientation.
I was contacted and asked if I
p 7 -- would consider chairing such a meeting. Being interested in unity, I responded asking for more detail. The bottom line was that two items had to be considered as non-negotiable: 1) That all men had to wear full beards. (See Advent Crossroads, #5, p. 11); and 2) All had to use the name, Yahweh, as the designation of God. I backed away. Since that time Alseth has been in and out of the Wright Movement in Australia. The only way one can tell with whom he is connected today is to know the source of the various Protest articles as they are drawn up. From reading these Statements of Protest, it has the overtones of the great FDR Political Coalition - something for everybody. Legitimate as some of these items are, they are not to be found in "historic" Adventist Statements of Belief. Further, many are peripheral rather than major areas inviting deeper study. So what is the I protest all about? Is it the same "unity theme" dressed up in a different garb? The unity for which Christ prayed was to be based solely on the Word of Truth - "Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy word is truth." (John 17:17)
Further from another letter dated Feb. 10, 1984, over Alseth's signature, is to be found this comment: - "We are working very closely with Brother John Nicolici." This introduces another aspect into the material covered by the Protest. Elder Nicolici has his "roots" in the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement. His father was a respected leader in that Movement, and his father's name to those in the Movement ranks with the names of Spicer, Branson, and McElhany to those in the regular Church.
Elder John Nicolici broke with the SDA Reform Movement over organization and use of authority. However, I have never heard him repudiate the teachings of the Reform Movement as outlined in the Gotha Statement drawn up in July, 1925. These Statements of Belief - which include organizational procedures as well as doctrines - while reflecting the hierarchical structure of the parent Church, do not reflect the doctrinal teachings of "historic" Adventism, but carry the language to be found in Roman Catholic Catechisms when formulating salvation concepts.
One may ask - Have you talked to the officers of the Reform Movement about this, before making such a charge? The answer is "Yes - both on the East and West coast." On the East coast, I had with me a young man who had been an altar boy in the Catholic Church, and after the conversations with the Leaders of the Reform Movement - on the way back to his home - he was amazed how much of the formulation of certain Statements paralleled what he had been taught as a boy in the Catholic Church schools. The Leaders of the Reform Movement made the "excuse" that the brethren at Gotha did not have access to any "historic" Adventist Statement of Beliefs. But surely, in the almost sixty years since then, they could bring their Statements into line; that is, if they really believe as they teach, they are the true projection of the great Advent Movement of 1844. All of this and much more finds a reflection in the Protest Statements of the Advent Crossroads.
So as Paul Harvey would say - "Now you have the rest of the story."
SO MUCH IN COMMON -- Since noting two months ago in the Thought Paper this booklet published by the WCC, telling of Conversations between themselves and SDA Church leaders, we have received permission to reproduce this book with exclusive distribution rights in the USA and Canada. We have done so and now the book can be obtained by all who wish a copy, either one copy or a dozen copies. [See Order Form] --- (1984 May) ---End---- TOP
1984 Jun -- XVII 6(84) -- WAS WAGGONER WRONG IN 1888? -- DID THE LORD NOT SEND "A MOST PRECIOUS MESSAGE"? -- Recently a booklet entitled Where Waggoner Went Wrong -by John L. Abbott was sent to this office from Australia. The author lists what he believes to be seven errors as found in Christ and His Righteousness, a book written by Waggoner and first published in 1890. The first paragraph of the booklet reads: "Shortly after the 1888 General Conference Session, Ellen White is said to have written, ' The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones.' TM 91. However, in her writings the servant of the Lord has very little to say about this precious message, and she has a great deal to say in condemnation of the many erroneous principles that are upheld in Waggoner's book ' Christ and His Righteousness."' (sic) p. 3.
The final paragraph reads: "The message which E. J. Waggoner so enthusiastically gave to the Minneapolis Conference session in 1888 has caused untold harm to the Adventist Church. Those who have accepted his message have led this people back into the wilderness where, for nearly a hundred years, we have been going around in circles. If we do not turn from these false doctrines which he presented - if we continue to claim righteousness as a gift of faith rather than a reward of obedience to God's holy law - it will soon be recorded of us, as it was of ancient Israel, ' they entered not in because of disobedience.' It is high time for us to come out of Babylon that we receive not of her plagues. This is God's last invitation to His people." p. 16.
It is of interest that Froom avers that Waggoner's presentations at the 1888 General Conference Session were taken down in shorthand by Jessie F. Moser-Waggoner, and that from these transcribed studies, Waggoner himself edited and put in book form what we have as Christ and His Righteousness. (Movement of Destiny, p. 189) It is a fact that Ellen G. White declared both Jones and Waggoner to be "the messengers of God's righteousness" (TM, p. 96); and that "God gave to His messengers just what the people needed." (Ibid., p. 95). Then in words which cannot be misunderstood, the servant of the Lord wrote: "If you reject Christ's delegate messengers, you reject Christ. Neglect this great salvation, kept before you for years, despise this glorious offer of justification through the blood of Christ, and sanctification through the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit, and there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation." (TM., pp. 97-98)
We are indebted to John L. Abbott for his attack on Waggoner. Nothing could bring into
p 2 -- focus more than he has, the present issue between the theory of salvation by works, and the Gospel of God. Abbott has written that the message of 1888 as given by Elder E. J. Waggoner "has caused untold harm to the Adventist Church;" that it is a message which "has led this people back into the wilderness, where for nearly a hundred years, we have been going around in circles." On the other hand, Ellen G. White declared that to "reject" and to "neglect" this "great salvation" message as given through Jones and Waggoner is to face "judgment and fiery indignation" at the hand of God. How apropos that this booklet should come at a time when there is an agitation called a "Protest" which is rooted in the Catholic teaching of works as a "means of grace".
In setting forth the charges of error made against Waggoner by Abbott, we shall list them, and then give in full context just what Waggoner taught, so that one can see the greatness and beauty of the 1888 Message. (When giving the full context, we shall italics the sentences which Abbott is so concerned about.)
What Abbott notes
as the first three "Errors" come from a single context of thought,
so we will place them all together:
Now what does Waggoner say in full context? After quoting Eccl. 12:13, 14, he writes: "The argument is this: The judgment passes upon every secret thing; the law of God is the standard in the judgment, - it determines the quality of every act, whether good or evil; therefore the law of God forbids evil in thought as well as in deed. So the conclusion of the whole matter is that the commandments of God contain the whole duty of man.
"Take the first commandment, ' Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.' The apostle tells us of some ' whose god is their belly.' Phil. 3:19. But gluttony and intemperance are self-murder; and so we find that the first commandment runs through to the sixth. This is not all, however, for he also tells us that covetousness is idolatry. Col. 3:5. The tenth commandment cannot be violated without violating the first and the second. In other words, the tenth commandment coincides with the first; and we find that the decalogue is a circle having a circumference as great as the universe, and containing within it the moral duty of every creature. In short, it is the measure of the righteousness of God, who inhabits eternity.
"This being the case, the correctness of the statement that ' the doers of the law shall be justified,' is obvious. To justify means to make righteous, or to show one to be righteous. Now it is evident that perfect obedience to a perfectly righteous law would constitute one a righteous person. It was God's design that such obedience should be rendered to the law by all His creatures; and in this way the law was ordained unto life. Rom. 7:10.
"But for one to be judged 'a doer of the law' it would be necessary that he had kept the law in its fullest measure every moment of his life. If he had come short of this, he could not be said to have done the law. He could not be a doer of the law if he done it only in part. It is a sad fact, therefore, that there are in all the human race doers of the law, for both Jews and Gentiles are 'all under sin', as it is written, ' There is none righteous, no not one; there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.' Rom. 3:9-12. The law speaks to all who are within its sphere; and in all the world there is not one who can open his mouth to clear himself from the charge of sin which it brings against him. Every mouth is stopped, and all the world stands guilty before God (verse 19), 'For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.' (verse 23)
' the doers of the law shall be justified,' it is just as evident that
' by the deeds of the law there shall
p 3 -- no flesh be justified in His sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin.' Verse 20. The law, being ' holy, and just, and good,' cannot justify a sinner. In other words, a just law cannot declare that the one who violates it is innocent. A law that would justify a wicked man would be a wicked law. The law should not be reviled because it cannot justify sinners. On the contrary, it should be extolled on that account. The fact that the law will not declare sinners to be righteous, - that it will not say that men have kept it when they have violated it, - is in itself sufficient evidence that it is good. Men applaud an incorruptible earthly judge, one who cannot be bribed, and who will not declare a guilty man innocent. Surely, they ought to magnify the law of God, which will not bear false witness. It is the perfection of righteousness, and therefore it is forced to declare the sad fact that not one of Adam's race [save Jesus] has fulfilled its requirements.
"Moreover, the fact that to do the law is simply man's duty shows that when he has come short in a single particular he can never make it up. The requirements of each precept of the law are so broad, - the whole law is so spiritual, - that an angel could render no more than simple obedience. Yea, more, the law is the righteousness of God, - a transcript of His character, - and since His character cannot be different from what it is, it follows that even God Himself cannot be better than the measure of goodness demanded by His law. He cannot be better than He is, and the law declares what He is. What hope, then, that one who has failed, in even one precept, can add enough extra goodness to make up the full measure? He who attempts to do that sets before himself the impossible task of being better than God requires, yea, even better than God Himself.
"But it is not simply in one particular that men have failed. They have come short in every particular. ' They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.' Not only so, but it is impossible for fallen man, with his weakened power, to do even a single act that is up to the perfect standard. This proposition needs no further proof than a restatement of the fact that the law is the measure of God's righteousness. Surely there are none so presumptuous as to claim that any act of their lives has been or could be as good as if done by the Lord Himself. Everyone must say with the Psalmist, ' My goodness extendeth not to Thee.' Ps. 16:2" (Christ and His Righteousness, pp. 50-54) (Webmaster's copy - p.58)
Abbott lists as Waggoner's "Error No. 4": "A man cannot do good until he first becomes good. Therefore deeds done by a sinful person have no effect whatever to make him righteous."
Waggoner in context reads: "Since evil is a part of man's very nature, being inherited by each individual from a long line of sinful ancestors, it is very evident that whatever righteousness springs from him must be only like ' filthy rags' (Isa. 64:6), compared with the spotless robe of the righteousness of God.
"The impossibility of good deeds proceeding from a sinful heart is thus forcibly illustrated by the Saviour: ' For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble-bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.' Luke 6:44,45. That is to say, a man cannot do good until he first becomes good. Therefore, deeds done by a sinful person have no effect whatever to make him righteous, but, on the contrary, coming from an evil heart, they are evil, and so add to the sum of his sinfulness. Only evil can come from an evil heart, and multiplied evil cannot make one good deed; therefore it is useless for an evil person to think to become righteous by his own efforts. He must first be made righteous before he can do the good required of him, and which he wants to do." (Christ and His Righteousness, pp. 54-55)
Waggoner's "Error No. 5" according to Abbott is: "How may the righteousness that is necessary in order that one may enter the city,
p 4 -- be obtained? To answer this question is the great work of the gospel. Let us first have an object lesson on justification, or the imparting of righteousness." (The parable of the Pharisee and the publican is then given.)
Waggoner in context reads: "No matter how diligently nor how zealously a man works, nothing that he can do will meet the full measure of the law's demands. It is too high for him to attain to; he cannot obtain righteousness by the law. ' By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified [made righteous] in His sight.' What a deplorable condition? We must have the righteousness of the law or we cannot enter heaven, and yet the law has no righteousness for one of us. It will not yield to our most persistent and energetic efforts the smallest portion of that holiness without which no man can see the Lord.
"Who, then, can be saved? Can there, then, be such a thing as a righteous person? - Yes, for the Bible often speaks of them. It speaks of Lot as ' that righteous man;' it says, ' Say ye to the righteous that it shall be well with him; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings' (Isa. 3:10), thus indicating that there will be righteous persons to receive the reward; and it plainly declares that there will be a righteous nation at the last, saying: ' In that day will this song by sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.' Isa. 26:1, 2. David says, ' Thy law is the truth.' Ps. 119:142. It is not only the truth, but is the sum of all truth; consequently the nation that keeps the truth will be a nation that keeps the law of God. Such will be doers of His will, and they shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matt. 7:21.
"The question, then, is, How may the righteousness that is necessary in order that one may enter that city, be obtained? To answer this question is the great work of the Gospel. Let us first have an object lesson on justification, or the imparting of righteousness. The fact may help us to a better understanding of the theory. The example is given in Luke 18:9-14 in these words: - [The whole text as found the Gospel of Luke is quoted. Take your Bible and read the verses. Waggoner then comments:]
"This was given to show how we may not, and how we may, attain to righteousness. The Pharisees are not distinct; there are many in these days who expect to gain righteousness by their own good deeds. They trust in themselves that they are righteous. They do not so openly boast of their goodness, but they show in other ways that they are trusting to their own righteousness...
"But what is the result? - The man who trusted in his own righteousness had none, while the man who prayed, in heart-felt contrition, ' God be merciful to me, a sinner,' went down to his house a righteous man. Christ says that he went justified, that is, made righteous.
"Notice that the publican did something more than bewail his sinfulness; he asked for mercy. What is mercy? - It is unmerited favor. It is the disposition to treat a man better than he deserves. Now the Word of Inspiration says of God: ' As the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him.' Ps. 103:11. That is, the measure by which God treats us better than we deserve when we humbly come to Him, is the distance between earth and the highest heaven. And in what respect does He treat us better than we deserve? - In taking our sins away from us; for the next verse says: ' As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.' With this agree the words of the beloved disciple: ' If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' I John 1:9. (pp. 56-59)
The sixth supposed error of Waggoner's is quoted by Abbott as "The only way righteousness can come is as a gift. That righteousness is a gift is plainly stated by Paul in Rom. 5:17."
Again Waggoner in context reads: "' Being made righteous freely.' How else could it be? Since the best efforts of a sinful man have not the least effect toward producing righteousness, it is evident that the only way it can come to him
p 5 -- is as a gift. That righteousness is a gift is plainly stated by Paul in Rom 5:17: ' For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ.' It is because righteousness is a gift that eternal life, which is the reward of righteousness, is the gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
"Christ has been set forth by God as the One through whom forgiveness of sins is to be obtained; and this forgiveness consists simply in the declaration of His righteousness (which is the righteousness of God) for their remission. God, ' who is rich in mercy' (Eph. 2:4), and who delights in it, puts His own righteousness on the sinner who believes in Jesus, as a substitute for his sins. Surely, this is a profitable exchange for the sinner, and it is no loss to God, for He is infinite in holiness, and the supply can never be diminished.
"The scripture that we have just been considering (Rom. 3:24-26) is but another statement of verses 21, 22, following the declaration that by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be made righteous. The apostle adds: ' But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all of them that believe.' God puts His righteousness upon the believer. He covers him with it, so that his sin no more appears. Then the forgiven one can exclaim with the prophet: - ' I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath covered me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels.' Isa. 61:10" (pp. 60-61)
Abbott lists Waggoner's "Error No. 7" quoting: "Hiding in Christ he (the convicted sinner), is covered with His righteousness; and now behold! he has obtained, through faith in Christ, that for which he has been vainly striving."
Waggoner in context reads: "Let the reader try to picture the scene. Here stands the law as the swift witness against the sinner. It cannot change, and it will not call the sinner a righteous man. The convicted sinner tries again and again to obtain righteousness from the law, but it resists all of his advances. It cannot be bribed by any amount of penance or professedly good deeds. But here stands Christ, ' full of grace' as well as truth, calling the sinner to Him. At last the sinner, weary of the vain struggle to get righteousness from the law, listens to the voice of Christ, and flees to His outstretched arms. Hiding in Christ, he is covered with His righteousness; and now behold! he has obtained, through faith in Christ, that for which he has been vainly striving. He has the righteousness which the law requires, and it is the genuine article, because he obtained it from the Source of Righteousness; from the very place whence the law came. And the law witnesses to the genuineness of this righteousness. It says that so long as the man retains that, it will go into court and defend him against all accusers. It will witness to the fact that he is a righteous man. With the righteousness which is ' through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith' (Phil 3:9), Paul was sure that he would stand in the day of Christ.
"There is in the transaction no ground for finding fault. God is just, and at the same time the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. In Jesus dwells all the fulness of the Godhead; He is equal with the Father in every attribute. Consequently the redemption that is in Him - the ability to buy back lost man - is infinite. Man's rebellion is against the Son as much as against the Father, since both are one. Therefore, when Christ 'gave Himself for our sins,' it was the King suffering for the rebellious subjects - the One injured passing by, overlooking, the offense of the offender...
"Now read God's
own statement of His own Name - a statement given in the face of one of
the worst cases of contempt ever shown Him: - 'And
the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed
the Name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed,
p 6 -- The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.' Ex. 34:5-7.
"This is God's Name; it is the character in which He reveals Himself to man; the light in which He wishes men to regard Him. But what of the declaration that He ' will by no means clear the guilty'? That is perfectly in keeping with His longsuffering, abundant goodness, and His passing by the transgression of His people. It is true that God will by no means clear the guilty; He could not do that and still be God. But He does something which is far better: He removes the guilt, so that the one formerly guilty does not need to be cleared, - he is justified, and counted as though he never had sinned." (pp. 62-64) (Webmaster's copy starts p.67)
It should be distinctly kept in mind that this attack on Waggoner and the message he gave at the General Conference in 1888, is not coming from neo-Adventists, or the supporters of Dr. Desmond Ford, but rather from those professing to be "concerned" Adventists, which from the publication addresses given on their literature are allied with a certain dissident within the Church here in the United States. Also in all fairness it must be stated that it is impossible to determine at this point whether all "concerned" Adventists in Australia hold with Mr. Abbott. So we must address the issues, lay the axe to the root of the tree, and let the chips fall where they will.
The attack on E. J. Waggoner's position is not new. It began at the l888 Session itself. Ellen G. White addressed the issue in a message she gave November 1, 1888, to the "Dear Brethren Assembled at General Conference." She stated: "Dr. Waggoner has spoken to us in a straightforward manner. There is precious light in what he has said. Some things presented in reference to the law in Galatians, if I fully understood his position, do not harmonize with the understanding I have on this subject; but truth will loose nothing by investigation, therefore, I plead for Christ's sake that you come to the living Oracles, and with prayer and humiliation seek God. ...
"Of one thing I am certain, as Christians you have no right to entertain feelings of enmity, unkindness, and prejudice toward Dr. Waggoner, who has presented his views in a plain, straightforward manner, as a Christian should. If he is in error, you should, in a calm, rational, Christlike manner, seek to show him from the Word of God where he is out of harmony with its teachings. If you cannot do this you have no right as Christians to pick flaws, to criticize, to work in the dark, to prejudice minds with your objections. This is Satan's way of working. (Through Crisis to Victory, p. 294)
But this counsel, Abbott has not followed. Not a single Bible reference is to be found in his presentation, until he discusses what he considers to be "Error No. 5. " Here he asks the reader to "See Heb. 5: 8, 9." This is the section where Waggoner is presenting Christ's parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. Abbott's understanding of the publican's prayer is that the publican "seeing himself as a sinner recognized his need, and appealed to God to help him keep God's law." (p. 10). He closes the discussion of "Error No. 5" by quoting Rev. 22:14 KJV.
Since Waggoner's so-called "Error No. 6" involved Romans 5:17, Abbott likewise quotes it; also Romans 6:23, to which Waggoner alludes. [See Thought Paper, p. 5, Col. 1] However, Abbott considers the KJV of this text "an unfortunate mistranslation." (p. 12) He then quotes from "The Judgment Hour Version" which reads: - "For as the wages of sin is death, so the wages of obedience is eternal life through the gift of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord." (Ibid.) This is plain distortion of Scripture. The literal Greek text reads in a word for word translation "For the wages of the sin (is) death, but the gift of the God (is) life eternal in Christ Jesus the lord of us."
The only other reference to the Bible is found in Abbott's "Concluding Remarks." Here he quotes Gal. 3:26 - "Ye are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." This comment follows - "This text is not referring to our faith in Christ at all, but to His faithfulness in redeeming us." (p. 14) The next verse reads: - "For as
p 7 -- many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Perhaps, using the same line of reasoning as Abbott used on verse 26, we could conclude that since Christ was baptized, His act then excludes the necessity for us to be baptized. Because Christ is the Author of faith does that mean that I do not have to exercise it? Only those led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. (Romans 8:14) Paul asked the Galatians - "Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" (Gal. 3:2)
It should be very evident from the reading of what E. J. Waggoner said at the 1888 General Conference Session, that we have not yet really accepted the message of righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ. Perhaps, if we really did perceive this message, proclaim it, and live it, we would not need to be trying to discover a cover-up of 1888, for from the acceptance of this message would flow pure, unadulterated truth in all areas of human fellowship instead of the foul miasma of human theories and speculations, for "the righteousness of Christ ... is pure, unadulterated truth." (TM, p. 65)
LONG OVERDUE -- We had planned to print - The Mystery of 1888 - by Elder D. K. Short. The type had been reset, and the proof-reading had been completed for the first corrections. We received a call from Elder Short indicating that he and Elder R. J. Wieland had decided to do the printing and distribution of their own writings. This was welcome and long overdue news. We have forwarded to Elder Short all of the unmarred copies of 1888 Re-Examined which we had in supply, and will be sending to him the negatives of the new type-setting of his research - The Mystery of 1888.
In retrospect, one can but wonder what the results would have been had these men decided to publish and distribute their first work - 1888 Re-Examined - very soon after it was completed. Perhaps, if they had done so, Laodicea would not have been spued out of the mouth of God, and genuine repentance might have come to the leadership of the Church before it was weighed in the balances of the Sanctuary. See 8T:247. But as Elder Short contends in his research - The Mystery of 1888 - one cannot alter or rewrite history. --- (1984 Jun) ---