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.
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WWN 1984 Jul - Sep
1984 Jul -- XVII -- 7(84) -- LET'S TALK STRAIGHT -- About the Gospel -- Ever since Robert Brinsmead wrote his farewell to Adventism, Judged by the Gospel, the term - "gospel" - has become a "No No" among many of those who perceive themselves as upholding historic Adventism. For one, therefore, to talk about the Gospel is to be either dubbed a "Brinsmeadite," or a "follower of Ford," whichever label is considered to be the worst epithet in the eyes of the slanderer. But strangely - or is it so strange? - God hasn't removed either the Gospel, nor the term itself from His Word. In fact, the heart of Adventism which is the Three Angels' Messages is declared to be "the everlasting gospel." John beheld "another angel flying 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." (Rev. 14:6)
Paul in attacking those defenders of the works of Judaism who in their blind zeal would rob the Galatian believers of the hope they had received through the gospel, wrote - without mincing words - "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:8) Furthermore, Paul considered the message of these false champions of orthodoxy to be a perversion of the gospel of Christ. (Gal 1:7) And - WE dare not consider nor teach the "everlasting gospel" coming from the "angel flying in the midst of heaven" to be different from the "gospel" committed to Paul, lest we make the "everlasting gospel" committed to our trust "accursed." God forbid! The Three Angels' Messages of Revelation 14 are simply the age-long gospel placed in the framework of times final hour.
A careful consideration of the Gospel as proclaimed in the Scriptures will reveal that in all ages - and that is why it is the everlasting gospel - the central theme is Jesus Christ - what God has done, is doing, and will do through Him. Paul declares that to this end he was called. To the Romans, he wrote: "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,... concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 1:1, 3)
Then in the same letter, he confessed his commitment to that Gospel, writing: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just just shall live by faith." (Rom. 1:16-17)
Textual evidence does not support the inclusion of the phrase, "of Christ," as is done in the KJV in - "the gospel of Christ." However, this force is not mitigated for Paul stated that "Christ" is "the power of God." (I Cor. 1: 24) These verses in Romans deserve careful study.
The Gospel is declared to be "the power of God" - which is Christ - "unto salvation." Then to shun, or pervert this Gospel is to reject the only means that God has provided for our redemption. Further,
p 2 -- this salvation through the power of God, is said to come in the same way as Paul instructed the Philippian jailor - "to everyone that believeth." (See Acts 16:31) The avenue through which I receive it is the same as John taught the victory to be by which we overcome the world - "even our faith." (I John 5:4) Paul merely states, quoting the Old Testament prophet, "He who is justified, declared to be righteous, lives by faith." Lest we perceive of the Gospel as a license to continue to live sinfully, Paul asked, "Do we make void the law through faith?" To this he replied - "God forbid: yea, we establish the law." (Rom. 3:31)
In the Gospel, "the righteousness of God is revealed." This is probably the clue as to why many seek a "perverted" gospel, or why the gospel is completely shunned for a message of works. The revelation of God's righteousness causes "our righteousnesses" - not our unrighteousnesses - to appear before us for just what they are - nothing but "filthy rags" stained with the blood of the life of the flesh. The righteousness of God reveals a righteousness obtained by the blood of the Lamb which gives a life eternal. The gospel message of this righteousness of God is well stated in Zechariah concerning Joshua the high priest who stood before the Angel of the Lord "clothed in filthy garments." The command was - "Take away the filthy garments from him." Then the Messenger of the covenant declared - "Behold I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with a change of raiment." (Zech. 3:1-4) Because it is the Divine "I" which accomplishes the work, and not the self-important human "i," many introduce their own gospel, so that the "i" might become "I." Let all such be accursed!
About the Cross -- In the councils of eternity - long before sin intruded - the plan of salvation was formulated in the mind of the Godhead. "The counsel of peace" was "between them Both." (Zech. 6:13) The Eternal One, and He who began His condescension as Michael so as to declare and answer the question Who is like God? - conceived the only way by which peace could be restored to the universe of God. Those who would be alienated from God by the deceptions of Lucifer were to be "made nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, who hath made both one" making" in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace; that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross." (Eph. 2:13-16)
The symbol of this instrument by which peace would be restored to the universe was pre-empted by Satan, and utilized as a symbol of Tammuz. What inklings Lucifer may have had of God's plan for the redemption of the human race, we are not told. That he usurped and prostituted this symbol for his owns ends does not justify our refusal to come face to face with the only avenue which God provided for the restoration of peace in the universe - the Cross.
"Both the redeemed and the unfallen beings will find in the cross of Christ their science and their song. It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love. In the light from Calvary it will be seen, that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which 'seeketh not her own' has its source in the heart of God; and that in the meek and lowly One is manifest the character of Him who dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto." (DA, p. 20)
Jesus told His disciples - "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." (Matt. 16:24) Was this to be literal wooden cross beams which one would seek to carry on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem? Never! This was to be a daily experience. (Luke 9:23) I am to deny myself and that daily. What did Jesus use to symbolize such an experience - the Cross!
Paul perceived the meaning of this symbolism and wrote: "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." (Gal. 6:14)
the philosophical confrontation at Mars Hill, Paul came to Corinth convicted
of only one message - "Jesus Christ
p 3 -- and Him crucified." (I Cor. 2:2) He found that "the offence of the cross" had not ceased. (See Gal. 5:11) The scandal - and this is the word which transliterates the Greek word for "offence" - is still with us. There are those who are scandalized by it to such an extent that they seek to nullify its symbolism by harping on the usurpation of Satan of the symbol in the worship of Tammuz. But if I read correctly the Writings, "the destroying angel must see this mark of redemption" - "the seal of the living God" - in the foreheads of His people. "The sign of the cross of Calvary" will be seen in "the Lord's adopted sons and daughters." (Letter 126, 1898) Though they will not be wearing a symbol of the cross in an outward hypocritical display, their lives will reflect the essence of the cross which they have accepted from Jesus, their Lord. They will not seek to mitigate its importance by associating it with the worship of Tammuz, but will rather with Paul exalt it as the basis of all their glory.
It dare not be overlooked that the hatred of the symbol of the Cross which at times approaches the satanic is in reality but a subconscious expression of the enmity within the human heart toward the means provided for our peace with God. The outward manifestation of this hidden enmity is the proclamation of a gospel of works, rather than a crucifixion with Christ that the present life might be lived by the faith of the Son of God.
To all such who would rob us of the Gospel of God's free grace, and the cross of his salvation, let the words of Paul apply - "From henceforth, let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks [Greek - stigma] of the Lord Jesus." (Gal. 6:17)
About Sola Gratia -- When the Brinsmead publication - Present Truth - changed format from a small booklet to a monthly journal, it displayed on its cover page a three-fold criteria by which its message was to be evaluated: "Sola Gratia," "Solo Christo," and "Sola Fide." Because this emphasis seemed to be another step into the twilight zone which Brinsmead took on his odyssey which finally led him into the total darkness of apostasy from truth, we have considered these declarations of Protestantism to be totally incompatible with the truth committed to our trust in the Three Angels' Messages. We have failed to realize that basic truth dare not be rejected, but that we should seek only to free it from any error which may have been attached to it due to human transmission. In other words, we need to be willing to "talk straight" in regard to our salvation coming solely by grace - the unmerited favor of God.
Paul in writing to the Romans stated unequivocally that justification is extended to us freely by the grace of God. His words are: - "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 3:24) To the Ephesians, Paul declared - "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. " (Eph 2: 8) God by His grace through "the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" has provided for us, justification, sanctification, and ultimately full and complete restoration. Christ is made unto us "wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." (I Cor. 1:30) Further, God has determined that those who shall represent Him in earth's final hour "to be conformed to the image of His Son." (Rom. 8:29) "Divine grace is needed at the beginning [justification], divine grace is needed at every step of advance [sanctification], and divine grace alone can complete the work." (TM, p. 508) If ever a people should believe in, and be teaching "sola gratia," it should be those of us who believe in Christian perfection revealed in humanity prior to the close of probation. It is plainly stated that "divine grace alone can complete the work." Then why are we going about trying to establish our own righteousnesses when we should be preaching the gospel, wherein "the righteousness of God is revealed."
Paul in his teaching of "sola gratia"- by grace alone - was merely echoing the teaching of the Old Testament prophets. Isaiah declared for God: "I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour." (43:3)
even I am the Lord; and beside Me there is no saviour." (43:11)
p 4 -- "There is no God else beside Me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside Me. Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: I am God, and there is none else." (45:21b-22)
Hosea also declared in behalf of God: "Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but Me: for there is no saviour beside Me." (13:4)
If God is the only Saviour, and He has so declared, then if I being a man assume to contribute one iota to my salvation, I am making myself as God, and become a co-Saviour of myself. This is blasphemy! Observe also that through the prophet Hosea, God associated His sole role as Saviour with the first commandment of the Law. Thus if we fail to accept the true doctrine of "sola gratia," we are actually breaking the first commandment. Should we not, therefore, "cease from [our] own works" and accept the gracious "rest" God has provided by the "redemption that is in Christ Jesus." (See Heb. 4:10)
The "grace" of God is full and complete. As in the case of Noah, who "found grace in the eyes of the Lord, " God did not merely tell him that a flood was coming, but He told him what to do about it. (Gen. 6:8, 13-14) The grace of God not only tells us about the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, but also that He is coming back again, and how we ought to live in the light of that coming event. "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." (Titus 2:11-13) The grace of God teaches us to conform to a lifestyle which reflects the Giver of such free grace - not as a means of merit, lest any man should boast, but simply as a manifestation of a heart-broken repentance because we are conscious from what that grace has delivered us.
About Solo Christo -- Solely by Jesus Christ - who can contend with such a position, and call himself a follower of Jesus? Jesus Himself declared - "No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." (John 14:6) The sole access to God is through Jesus Christ. Peter stated emphatically - "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) The angel announced to the shepherds on the hills of Bethlehem - "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11) To Joseph, the same angel had said - "Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins." (Matt. 1:21)
Somehow we have come to think that the relationship of Jesus Christ to our redemption is somewhat different because we do not believe that the atonement was completed on the Cross, but rather there is to be a final atonement in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly sanctuary. Christ did not die again in 1844. The one sacrifice on Calvary provides for His ministry in both apartments of the Heavenly sanctuary.
It is our failure to really understand the sanctuary service that has caused us to question the doctrine of "solo Christo." Christ is not only the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world, but He is also the great High Priest forever after the Order of Melchisedec who is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him. If there is one lesson above all others which the sanctuary teaches, it is that on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest went alone into the Most Holy place, and there was to be "no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel." (Lev. 16:17) The typical high priest went in alone, and he alone accomplished the yearly atonement for Israel. In like manner, Christ alone completes the final atonement. We should be foremost in proclaiming - solo Christo!
have a perverted concept of the final atonement, or judgment with regard
to what actually
is to take place. We have, too
p 5 -- often, envisioned the judgment consisting of a great balance before God in which the tomes of our evil deeds are placed in one scale, and the record of our righteousnesses - recall they are but filthy rags - are placed in the other scale. Then if, our filthy rags can outweigh the voluminous records of the black pages of our lives, we will come through. Tell me, who could pass the judgment on this basis?
The sanctuary teaches us something different than this. During the year the individual brought his "sin offering" and having transferred his sin - leaning his whole weight on that offering - he was forgiven. In the case of the common person, the priest ate a part of the sin offering, thus becoming a part of it. (Lev. 4:27-31; 6:25-26) This typified Jesus - who partaking of our fallen human nature, bore "our sins in His own body on the tree. " (Heb. 2:14; I Peter 2:24) Thus in Him, I face the judgment. Not my "righteousnesses" are retained in the book of life - but only my name, my identity! (Rev. 3:5) Thank God for that - my filthy garments are removed, and my High Priest obtains for me a change of raiment. Who? Jesus Christ who is able to save to the uttermost. Then is it not Solo Christo? Why seek to avoid the truth as it IS in Jesus?
Someone may interject that while no man was in the tabernacle on the Day of Atonement, the children of Israel were convoked in solemn assembly around the sacred enclosure. This is true. They were to "afflict" their souls; but it does not say - "afflict" their bodies. These commands governing the worship on that day were much more meaningful than we have taken time to note. This day was "a sabbath of rest." They were to do "no manner of work." (Lev. 23:31-32) If they failed to afflict their souls, or to do "work" on that day, they would be cut off from the covenant blessings and destroyed. All the other annual sabbaths prohibited only "laborious" - servile - work, but the Day of Atonement prohibited any "manner of work."
Interestingly, the First Angel's Message unites the "hour of God judgment" with the command - "worship Him who made" all things. (Rev. 14:7) We need to understand the Sabbath more fully. "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." (Heb. 4:9) This "rest" is sabbatismos - a "keeping of a sabbath." However, he that is entered into His rest, he also hath "ceased from his own works as God did from His." (Heb. 4: 10) This "rest" is katapausin, being from the same root as word, "rest" in Matthew 11:28, where Jesus said - "Come unto Me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." To enter into the "rest" that Jesus has provided, and is providing in the judgment, means simply that we "cease from our own works." I can no longer rely on them - those filthy rags of my own righteousnesses. It must be solo Christo. I can and must do the one work which God requires of me - "This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He has sent." (John 6:29) This IS Solo Christo!
About Sola Fide -- This concept means simply that through faith - not faith in itself as a work - men are saved. For this concept, there is a Scriptural basis. To the Ephesians, Paul wrote: "For by grace are ye saved through faith." (Eph. 2:8) John states clearly - "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (I John 5:4) Our problem of expressing faith in action is due to language. The Greek language has a verb form for faith, while the English does not. The best way to translate the concept of faith in action is to say - "Believe in," "Put your trust in," or "Rely wholly upon." However, this tends to compound the difficulty because of our present religious environment. "Believing" today conveys an emotional experience rather than an intelligent response to what God has done and is still doing for us because of His grace. Tragically, we are in danger of reacting to that emotional emphasis on "believing," to the extent that we will make shipwreck of our faith on the rocks of human works.
There are "exceeding great and precious promises" which God has made to us in sin. These we must accept, not because we see the results, but because we trust the goodness and love of God toward us. This is believing, the exercise of faith. For
p 6 -- example, God has promised that if I confess my sin, He will forgive me that sin. (I John 1: 9) I cannot see that He has done so; I can only believe it to be so.
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Heb. 11:1) This excludes all human works or, as Paul asks - "Where is boasting then? To this he answers - "It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith." (Rom. 3:27) Faith does not operate in the material coinage of the realm; it is rather that spiritual, non-material response to goodness and love. It is trusting, and closely akin to hope. In fact, Paul states in Romans - "We are saved by hope." Then he asks - "But hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doeth he yet hope for?" (Rom. 8:24)
Our human works we can see and evaluate them - knowing that they are good and what is required at any given time, such as a courteous behavior. This response can result from two different motivations. Because of birth and family, I could be so trained in acceptable manners, because of my status in life, I was not to be like others - course, crude, and rough - yea, barbarians. Then there is another source of motivation - my appreciation of the kindness, love, and mercy of God toward me - a sinner - that I would seek to reflect that same attitude toward others for whom God's grace has been equally extended. This is faith toward God in action - works - toward others.
There is another type of emphasis on works as necessary to salvation which nullifies the free grace of God, and reveals self "righteousnesses." Again let me illustrate. I am a vegetarian. In fact this year will mark the 50th year since I stopped eating meat; and as far as I know, I have never knowingly violated this diet code all of these years. I have somewhat to boast, but as Paul tells me - "not before God." (Rom. 4:2) First let me ask - Is this the proper diet for one living in this time of earth's history? Most, if not all, conservative, concerned Adventists would respond, "Yes," to this question. In other words, in my judgment, and the judgment of many of my peers, this is the "right" thing for me to do. But interestingly, I have accomplished this record in my own power, even as the Hindu. It is my "righteousness"! However, it is not "the power of God unto salvation." Even as the Hindu, I need much more than this to be saved - I need JESUS!
Let me illustrate this matter a bit more. There are testimonies in the Writings, which one can quote, on Dress Reform length, type, and style of dress which women should wear. These have been dwelt upon - with human additions - by many in their zeal to get people ready to receive the "latter rain." These zealots have and are endeavoring "to clean up the outside of the cup." But God sent to His people two young men with a message in 1888 called "righteousness by faith." In the year following this memorable session, Ellen G. White wrote: "There are many who try to correct the life of others by attacking what they consider to be wrong habits. They go to those whom they think in error, and point out their defects. They say, 'You don't dress as you should.' They try to pick off the ornaments, or whatever seems offensive, but they do not seek to fasten the mind to the truth. Those who seek to correct others should present the attractions of Jesus. They should talk of His love and compassion, present His example and sacrifice, reveal His Spirit, and they need not touch the subject of dress at all. There is no need to make the dress question the main point of your religion. There is something richer to speak of. Talk of Christ, and when the heart is converted, everything that is out of harmony with the Word of God will drop off. It is only labor in vain to pick leaves off a living tree. The leaves will reappear. The ax must be laid at the root of the tree, and then the leaves will fall off, never to return.
"In order to teach men and women the worthlessness of earthly things, you must lead them to the living Fountain, and get them to drink of Christ, until their hearts are filled with the love of God, and Christ is in them, a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (Signs of the Times, July 1, 1889)
We profess to be giving "The Elijah Message" for today, even as John the Baptist gave the message for his day. We know that John the Baptist ate a certain diet, and that he dressed in a very specific
p 7 -- way (Matt. 3:4) But search and read carefully his messages, and see if you can find where he ever preached that any man should eat and dress as he did. It cannot be found. He laid the ax to the root of the tree, and dwelt upon the issues of human relationships, instead of turning men to the worship of themselves and their bodies. He directed men to look at what God was doing in their midst - at that very time! He called - "Behold the Lamb of God the One bearing away the sin of the world." (John 1: 29 Gr) Should not we be doing the same? Should we not be proclaiming? - "Behold, the great High Priest as He ministers in the Most Holy Place of the Heaven of heavens, Who is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him." Let us turn men's attention from the filthy garments of their own "righteousnesses" to the glorious incession of Jesus. Tell them to accept by faith the robe of His righteousness in which there is not a single thread of human devising. This is "sola fide"!
IN CONCLUSION -- I can almost see those champions of human meritorious works frothing at the mouth over the concepts of "sola gratia" and "sola fide." They dare not take issue with"solo Christo" because it would be too revealing, so they continue to give lip service to the concept that man's hope must be placed in Christ. Now to those who wish to continue to expound works as a necessity to salvation, I will tell them, there is one thing a man can do and must do to be saved. It is stated in the Writings - "Kneeling in faith at the cross, he has reached the highest place to which a man can attain." (AA, p. 210) All else for man is "by grace through faith."
"To remove the cross from the Christian would be like blotting the sun from the sky." (AA, p. 209) The Jews refusal to accept the Cross brought blindness and hardness of heart to them. This refusal to walk in the light of the Cross is the reason for the blindness of Laodicea. They have eyes to see, but see not because of the darkness - that total darkness resulting from the removal of the Cross - the Christian's sun - "the Sun of Righteousness." (Mal. 4:2)
Paul said, "I die daily." (I Cor. 15:31) Daily he placed himself in the highest place he could obtain by works. Then because of God's grace, and his trust in what God could do for him - dead, yet living (Gal. 2:20) - he helped alter the course of human history by pointing men to the one Act which did alter the course of the whole Universe. Because of the One transcendent manifestation of God's love and grace, "affliction shall not rise up a second time." (Nahum 1:9) Then we, because of God's grace manifest in "the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" should like Paul come daily to the highest place we can attain by our own effort - in faith to the foot of the Cross - and there bow.
1984 Aug -- XVII-- 8(84) -- JERUSALEM - PAPAL POLICY -- U. N. Security Council Document S/14032 -- The United Nations Security Document #S/14032, dated, 30 June 1980, was given general distribution in both English and French. A cover note by the President of the Security Council read: "The attached letter dated 30 June 1980 from the Charge d'Affaires a.i. of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations was addressed to the President of the Security Council.
"In accordance with the request contained therein, the letter is circulated as a document of the Security Council."
The letter signed by Monsignor Alain Lebeaupin is included in the Document as Annex I. It reads: "On instructions from His Eminence the Cardinal Secretary of State of His Holiness, I have the honor to request you to circulate as a Security Council document the attached text published in the 30 June issue of Osservatore Romano, which reflects the position of the Holy See concerning Jerusalem and all the Holy Places. The English translation, which was made from the Italian, may be regarded as authorized."
The English translation is attached as Annex II: Text on the question of Jerusalem published by the Osservatore Romano (30 June 1980)
JERUSALEM -- In his speech to the President of the United States, Mr. Jimmy Carter, on Saturday 21 June 1980, the Holy Father spoke of Jerusalem in these terms: "The question of Jerusalem, which during these very days attracts the attention of the world in a special way, is pivotal to a just peace in those parts of the world, since this Holy City embodies interests and aspirations that are shared by different peoples in different ways. It is my hope that a common monotheistic tradition of faith will help to promote harmony among all those who call upon God."
In His Holiness's words we find references to preeminent historical features (the "common monotheistic tradition of faith"), to present facts (the "interests and aspirations that are shared by different peoples") and to a "hope" for Jerusalem (that "harmony among all those who call upon God" may be promoted in Jerusalem, in the Middle East and throughout the world).
p 2 -- History and contemporary reality. -- Throughout the centuries Jerusalem has been endowed with deep religious significance and spiritual value for Christians, Jews and Moslems.
The Holy City is the object of fervent love and has exercised a constant appeal for the Jewish people, ever since David chose it as his capital and Solomon built the temple there. Within it much of the history of Judaism took place, and the thoughts of the Jews were directed to it down the centuries, even when scattered in the "diaspora" of the past and the present.
There is no ignoring either the deep attachment of the Moslems to Jerusalem, "the Holy, " as they call it. This attachment was already explicit in the life and thoughts of the founder of Islam. It has been reinforced by an almost unbroken Islamic presence in Jerusalem since 638 A.D., and it is attested by outstanding monuments such as the Aksa Mosque and the Mosque of Omar.
There is no need to point out that Jerusalem also belongs spiritually to all Christians. There the voice of Christ was heard many times. The great events of the redemption, the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord, took place there. It was there that the first Christian community sprang up, and there has been, even if at times with difficulty, a continuous ecclesiastical presence. Numerous shrines indicate the places connected with Christ's life and, ever since the beginnings of christianity, there has been a constant flow of pilgrims to them. Saint Jerome is one of the most illustrious witnesses to the Christian presence. In the picture of the world presented by Dante Alighieri in his Divina Commedia, Jerusalem is seen as the centre of the earth.
At present all three communities, the Christian, the Jewish and the Moslem, are a part of the Holy City's population and are closely linked with its life and sacred character. Each community is the "guardian" of its shrines and holy places. Jerusalem has a whole network of organizations, reception centres for pilgrims, educational and research institutes, and welfare bodies. These organizations have great importance for the community they belong to and also for the followers of the same religion throughout the world.
In short, the history and contemporary reality of Jerusalem present a unique case of a city that is in itself deeply united by nature but is at the same time characterized by a closely intertwined religious plurality. Preservation of the treasures and the significance of Jerusalem requires that this plurality be recognized and safeguarded in a stable concrete manner and therefore publically and juridically, so as to ensure for all three religions a level of parity, without any of them feeling subordinate with regard to the others.
The religious communities of Jerusalem and the international community. -- The three religious communities of Jerusalem, the Christian, the Jewish and the Moslem, are the primary subjects interested in the preservation of the sacred character of the city and should be partners in deciding their own future. No less than the monuments and holy places, the situation of these communities cannot fail to be a matter of concern for all. As regards the presence of Christians, every one is aware of the importance, both in the past and still today, not only of the Catholic community with its various rites, but also of the Greek Orthodox, the Armenian and the other eastern communities, not forgetting the Anglican groups and others springing from the Reformation.
short, the Jerusalem question cannot be reduced to a mere "free
access for all to the holy places." Concretely it is also required:
(1) that the overall character of Jerusalem as a sacred heritage shared
by all three monotheistic religions be guaranteed by appropriate measures!
(2) that the religious freedom in all its aspects be safeguarded
for them; (3) that the complex of rights acquired by the
various communities over the shrines and the centres for spirituality,
study and welfare be protected; (4) that the continuance
and development of religious, educational and social activity by each
community be ensured; (5) that this be achieved through
an "appropriate juridical
p 3 -- safeguard" that does not derive from the will of only one of the parties interested.
This "juridical safeguard" corresponds, in substance, to the "special statute" that the Holy See desires for Jerusalem: "this Holy City embodies interests and aspirations that are shared by different peoples." The very universalism of the three monotheistic religions, which constitute the faith of many millions of believers in every continent, calls for a responsibility that goes well beyond the limits of the States of the region. The significance and value of Jerusalem are such as to surpass the interests of any single State or bilateral agreements between one State and others.
Furthermore, the international community has already dealt with the Jerusalem, question; for instance, UNESCO very recently made an important intervention with the aim of safeguarding the artistic and religious riches represented by Jerusalem as a whole, as the "common heritage of humanity."
THE UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION AND JERUSALEM -- As early as its second session, the General Assembly of the United Nations approved on 29 November 1947 a resolution on Palestine of which the third part was devoted to Jerusalem. The resolution was confirmed in the next two sessions, on 11 December 1948 and 9 December 1949 while on 14 April 1950 the Trusteeship Council approved a "special statute" for the city on the basis of the Assembly's decisions. The solution proposed by the United Nations envisaged the setting up of a "corpus separatum" for "Jerusalem and the surrounding area," administered by the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations.
This "territorial internationalization" of Jerusalem was not of course put into effect, because in the 1948 conflict the Arab side occupied the eastern zone of the city and the Israeli side, the western. The position of the United Nations does not appear at least as yet to have been formally revoked. The General Assembly, as well as the Security Council, has repeatedly, beginning with the resolution of 4 July 1967, insisted on the invalidity of any measure to change the status of the city.
The Holy See considers the safeguarding of the Sacred and Universal character of Jerusalem to be of such primary importance as to require any Power that comes to excise sovereignty over the Holy Land to assume the obligation, to the three religious confessions spread throughout the world, to protect not only the special character of the City, but also the rights connected, on the basis of an appropriate juridical system guaranteed by a higher international body.
HOPES FOR JERUSALEM -- In his address to President Carter, the Holy Father referred to the fact that the question of Jerusalem "during these very days attracts the attention of the world in a special way."
The positions of the two sides on the question of sovereignty over Jerusalem are known to be very far apart; any unilateral act tending to modify the status of the Holy City would be very serious. The Holy Father's hope is that the representatives of the nations will keep in mind the "common monotheistic tradition of faith" and succeed in finding the historical and present day reality of Jerusalem reasons for softening the bitterness of the confrontation and for promoting "harmony among all those who call upon God." The aim will be to ensure that Jerusalem will no longer be an object of contention but a place of encounter and brotherhood between the peoples and believers of the three religions and a pledge of friendship between the peoples who see in Jerusalem something that is part of their very soul.
This Security Council Document #S/14032 was circulated on June 30, 1980. One month later, July 30, 1980, the Knesset passed as Basic Law, that Jerusalem was the Capital, of Israel. It should be noted that the Papacy views mere "free access for all to the holy places" as not acceptable, and wants "an appropriate juridical system guaranteed by a higher international body." Israel's Basic Law is at odds with Papal Policy.
p 4 --
BASIC LAW: JERUSALEM, CAPITAL OF ISRAEL
4. (a) The Government shall provide for the development and prosperity of Jerusalem and the well-being of its inhabitants by allocating special funds, including a special annual grant to the Municipality of Jerusalem (Capital City Grant) with the approval of the Finance Committee of the Knesset.
(b) Jerusalem shall be given special priority in the activities of the authorities of the State so as to further its development in economic and other matters.
(c) The Government shall set up a special body or special bodies for the implementation of this section.
p 5 -- REDEMPTIONIS ANNO -- APOSTOLIC LETTER OF JOHN PAUL I I -- Revered Brothers and beloved Sons, health and Apostolic Blessing.
As the Jubilee Year of Redemption draws to a close, my thoughts go out to that special land which is located in that place where Europe, Asia and Africa meet and in which the Redemption of the human race was accomplished "once for all" (Rom 6:10; Heb. 7:27; 9:27; 10:10).
It is the land we call holy, indeed the land which was the earthly homeland of Christ who walked about it "preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and infirmity." (Mt. 4:23) ...
I think especially of the City of Jerusalem, where Jesus, offering his life, "has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility ... bringing the hostility to an end." (Eph 2:14, 16).
Before it was the city of Jesus the Redeemer, Jerusalem was the historic site of the biblical revelation of God, the meeting place, as it were, of heaven and earth, in which more than in any other place the word of God was brought to men. ...
Indeed, in so far as she is the homeland of the hearts of all the spiritual descendents of Abraham who hold her very dear, and the place where, according to faith, the created things of earth encounter the infinite transcendence of God, Jerusalem stands out as a symbol of coming together, of union, and of universal peace for the human family.
The Holy City, therefore, strongly urges peace for the whole human race, especially for those who worship the one, great God, the merciful Father of the peoples. But it must be acknowledged that Jerusalem continues to be the cause of daily conflict, violence and partisan reprisals.
This situation and these considerations cause these words of the Prophet to spring to the lips: "For Zion' s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her vindication goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch." (Isa. 62:1)
I think of and long for the day on which we shall all be so "taught by God" (Jn 6:45) that we shall listen to his message of peace and reconciliation. I think of the day on which Jews, Christians and Muslims will greet each other in the city of Jerusalem with the same greeting of peace with which Christ greeted the disciples after the resurrection: "Peace be with you" (Jn 20:19) ...
The entire human race, and especially the peoples and nations who have in Jerusalem brothers in faith: Christians, Jews and Muslims, have reason to feel themselves involved in this matter and to do everything possible to preserve the unique and sacred character of the City. Not only the monuments or the sacred places, but the whole historical Jerusalem and the existence of religious communities, their situation and future cannot but affect everyone and interest everyone.
Indeed, there should be found, with good will and farsightedness, a concrete and just solution by which different interests and aspirations can be provided for in a harmonious and stable form, and be safeguarded in an adequate and efficacious manner by a special Statute internationally guaranteed so that no party could jeopardize it.
I also feel it an urgent duty, in the presence of the Christian communities, of those who believe in the One God and who are committed to the defence of fundamental human values, to repeat that the question of Jerusalem is fundamental for a just peace in the Middle East. ...
The Church which looks at Christ the Redeemer and sees his image in the face of every man, invokes peace and reconciliation for the people of the land that was his. ...
I desire, therefore, to draw the attention of politicians, of all those who are responsible for the destiny of peoples, of those who are in charge of International Organizations, to the plight of the City of Jerusalem and of the communities who live there. In fact, it escapes no one that the different expressions of faith and of culture present in the Holy City
p 6 -- can and should be an effective aid to concord and peace.
On this Good Friday when we solemnly recall the Passion and Death of the Saviour, we invite you all, revered brothers in the episcopate and all priests, men and women religious, and the faithful of the whole world, to include among the special intentions of your prayers the petition for a just solution to the problem of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and for the return of peace to the Middle East.
As this Jubilee Year of Redemption draws to a close, a year which we have celebrated with great spiritual joy whether in Rome or in all dioceses of the universal Church, Jerusalem has been the ideal goal, the natural place to which we direct our thoughts of love and thankfulness for the great gift of the Redemption which the Son of Man accomplished for all people in the Holy City.
And since the fruit of the Redemption is the reconciliation of man with God and of every man with his brothers, we ought to pray that also in Jerusalem, in the Holy Land of Jesus, those who believe in God may find reconciliation and peace after such sorrowful divisions and strife.
This peace proclaimed by Jesus Christ in the name of the Father who is in heaven thus makes Jerusalem the living sign of the great ideal of unity, of brotherhood and of agreement among the peoples according to the illuminating words of the Book of Isaiah: "Many peoples shall come and say: 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.'" (Is 2:3).
Finally we gladly impart our Apostolic Blessing.
Given in Rome at St. Peter's on Good Friday, 20 April 1984, the sixth year of our Pontificate. IOANNES PAULUS PP. II (L'Osservatore Romano, 30 April 1984, Weekly Edition)
And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; ... and at that time shall Michael stand up, ... (Dan. 11:45; 12:1)
COMMENTS -- The Bible is specific in its identification of the Papacy as the "little horn" of Daniel 7; the "first beast" of Revelation 13; and "the man of sin" in I I Thessalonians. The emphasis of Scripture is that "the man of sin" is sustained by "the energy of Satan." ( I I Thess. 2:9 Fenton) The "dragon," which is declared plainly to be "the Devil and Satan" (Rev. 20:2), gives to "the beast" - "power" and "great authority." (Rev. 13:2) With this delineation in prophecy, we would expect to find his policy and objectives for Jerusalem to coincide with the Papal policy.
In Revelation 16, we are told that "the spirits of devils" gather the nations to "the battle of that great day of God Almighty." These forces of evil operating through "the dragon," "the beast," and "the false prophet" gather them to the place called in Hebrew - Har-Magedon. (Rev. 16:13-14, 16, ARV) This compound Hebrew word is interesting. The first part means - mountain - and cannot refer to Megiddo, as the Scripture calls it a "valley." (See Zech 12:11) The closest word for the transliteration from the Hebrew is Har-Mo'ed, "mount of the congregation." This is in harmony with the objective which God reveals is in the heart of Lucifer. God said Satan intends to "sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north." (Isa. 14:13) This is Jerusalem, "mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King." (Ps. 48:5)
It would appear that the Basic Law of Israel, and the policy of the Vatican are on a collision course. But should Satan coming as the Messiah in the outward splendor as the Jews have perceived the coming of the Messiah to be, and claim "the throne of his father, David," could Israel resist such an overwhelming "delusion?"
Indeed then, could the enunciation of John Paul II be realized that "Jerusalem stands as a symbol of coming together, of union, and of universal peace for the human family."
This is the voice of the antichrist who seeks to speak in place of the voice of the true Christ. "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him" speaks of
p 7 --but one "Holy City." It is the "new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven." (22:2) Paul calls it "the city of the living God." (Heb. 12:22) He told the Galatians, that this city "which is above is free, and the mother of us all." (4:26) One voice points to an earthly city, and calls it "holy," while the voice of the true Shepherd call men to the Holy City of God, the New Jerusalem.
Jesus did have something to say about the Jerusalem that now is. When leaving the Temple on Wednesday of His Passion Week, He declared it "desolate." Never again does the temple figure into history or prophecy from God's viewpoint. But not so the city of Jerusalem. Jesus told His disciples that evening on the Mount of Olives that alien armies would surround the city. These would be "the days of vengeance, that all things which are written might be fulfilled." (Lk. 21:22) This military involvement was to be a sign to His followers to leave the city never more to return. (21:21) Jesus then told them that Jerusalem would be subjugated by the Gentiles (nations) until the times of their visitation would be filled full. (21:24; cmp with 19:41-44) When God no longer in mercy seeks the welfare of the nations - when they have passed over the unseen line - then the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan, to gather the nations to the place in the Hebrew tongue - Har-Magedon - "the mount of the Congregation."
To that hour we have come. In 1967, the arms of Israel retook Old Jerusalem, and re-established Jewish sovereignty. "The times of the Gentiles" was ending. In 1980, the Knesset passed as a Basic Law, that the city of Jerusalem would once more be the Capital of all Israel. "The times of the Gentiles" are now fulfilled.
In 1979, Pope John Paul II, entered the White House, and "clasped" hands with the Protestant President, Southern Baptist, Jimmy Carter. In 1980, "the Cardinal Secretary of State of His Holiness" - the same John Paul II - caused to be circulated as a Document of the United Nations Security Council, a pronouncement of Papal policy for Jerusalem. In 1984 - this year - He again directed the eyes of the world toward Jerusalem, and his hopes for it - an international city, as a symbol "of union, and of universal peace for the human family."
Would Jesus - if visibly present - say to us - "This day is this Scripture being fulfilled before your very eyes. 0 fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have written." That which pertains to Jerusalem, which has occurred in our day, was prophesied by Jesus Christ Himself.
If we are not willing to accept what the true Christ stated, then are we not opening ourselves to the deception of the false christ, when "out of Zion" (so the people say) will "go forth the law" (What will it say?), "and the word of the Lord (What lord?) from Jerusalem." (Isa. 2:3) To these words from Isaiah, the Pope directed his listeners in the final appeal of his Good Friday Apostolic Letter!
LETTERS -- "I have just seen a copy of "Watchman, What of the Night?" May I please be placed on your mailing list I wish I had a copy of "This Is the Victory - Faith" We need many "Watchman" and oh - how few there are." (Tennessee)
"Thanks for the Thought Paper - you have done a nice job in unmasking Fritz A for what he is. And the historical background on him explains some of the connections." (California)
1984 Sep -- XVII-- 9(84) -- CRUCIFIXION IN HUNGARY -- NEAL C. WILSON in ROLE of CAIAPHAS -- The January 31, 1984 issue of Nepszabadsag leading daily in Budapest and which covers all of Hungary, published the following news release from MTI in German, English, and Hungarian. It read: "N. C. Wilson, the president of the world organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, along with other high-ranking church officials, stayed in our country at the invitation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hungary between January 18 and 30. They discussed church related matters and visited local congregations.
"N. C. Wilson and Denes Zarka, the president of the church in Hungary and their respective retinues visited lmre Miklos, the undersecretary of State and president of the Office for Church Affairs. At this meeting N. C. Wilson informed Mr. Miklos, of the steps they were going to take concerning the matter of the splinter group within the Hungarian Church. N. C. Wilson stated that, as in other countries, the Seventh-day Adventist world organization recognizes only one church organization, the one elected at the electoral conference, and which also the state has recognized.
"N. C. Wilson has expressed his appreciation for the useful and beneficial attitude of the Hungarian State toward the church, as well as for the high degree of religious liberty he had experienced in Hungary."
Resulting from this meeting in Hungary and the action taken by Elder Neal C. Wilson, a report has been filed regarding the "Adventist Church Leaders in Hungary" by one who was for twenty years in the Church in Hungary. This report reads: "For 8 years now [The Pierson-Wilson Administrations], 1400 Hungarian Adventists have been vehemently struggling to survive, that is, to be able to remain within the church from which they have recently been excommunicated at one stroke.
8 years, they had been hoping and expecting the leaders of their world
organization (General Conference - Washington D. C., and Division -
Bern, Switzerland), to act according to the knowledge they had about
the situation in Hungary, that is:
[No redress was made] "Even though the leaders of the General Conference had clearly seen the entanglement of the whole story from the beginning;
"Even though during the past 8 years they attested to the fact that the excommunicated church members were unjustly treated
p 2 -- by their fellow church members, since they always lived faithfully to the Bible truth and were loyal to the faith and [were] people of integrity;
"Even they knew about the hundreds of malevolent accusations and denunciations, which this leadership has directed against the excommunicated brethren and [how] they reported them to the police, the courts of justice and other authorities;
"Even though their knowledge, that this leadership has steered the whole church into a course of deterioration, [involving] their principles of faith, their conduct of life style, schooling, mission, etc. A brief explanation to the above follows below:
"In 1957 the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hungary became a member of an organization called The Council of Free Churches (Hungarian abbreviation: SZET), which unites all smaller, that is almost all small Protestant denominations in Hungary. 'Reduce, while giving the impression of growing ' - was the call of betrayal to the union president. From 1958-1979, Sandor Palotai was president of the Council of Free Churches. (He was a former Adventist, who was disfellowshipped from the church because of adultery, but whom the Baptist received into their church.)
"In 1965, the Council of Free Churches, joined the Ecumenical Church Council with all its member churches, most of which had already been in the ecumeny, therefore also the Adventists - even if only indirectly. As a rule, the current president of the Council of Free Churches is also the vice president of the Ecumenical Church Council. After the sudden death of S. Palotai, Jozsef Szakacs succeeded him, and he was at that time the president of Hungarian Adventist Union Conference.
"Membership in the Council of Free Churches means that all denominations make a financial contribution to it; share one theological seminary and thus receive the same training at the seminary; strictly obey the rules and regulations of the Council of Free Churches (concerning elections!!), proclamation of the Gospel, financial matters, mission, etc. - even if clear Biblical instructions are sacrificed or violated.
"The true Adventists saw where all this was leading - on the one hand, a looser, much freer life style - mixed marriages (because permitted), divorces, worldliness; and on the other hand, the gradual prohibition, discouragement or cunning paralysation of all possible projects for children and youth, the use of literature and other means of evangelization.
"One prohibition after another was passed down concerning the proclamation of the Advent message: ' This is not allowed '; ' That is not expedient '; ' That should be stopped.' Ecumenical weeks of prayer were obligatory.
"In 1961, 19 pastors were dismissed with the explanation: ' Reduction of the number of ministers ' (They had received orders to trim and cut back - the most successful in soul winning).
"The president of the Hungarian Union Conference, J. Pechtol, and the treasurer, K. Berzneczey, abused the trust placed in them. Their wickedness wasn't limited to the area of religion; it affected their morality as well. J. Pechtol committed adultery - divorced - remarried. K. Berzneczey was caught in embezzling almost 1 million Hungarian Forints he was given a prison sentence.
"The situation got so bad that faithful ministers, young and old, wept together, fasted and spent many nights in prayer. They became convinced it was time to stop this degeneration. In 1965, their determination was followed by action. They raised their voices in protest. The result: 6 pastors were dismissed and 300 church members were excommunicated.
"The prospect of becoming excommunicated frightened many ministers into silence and obedience, and later they even became determined defenders of those who had introduced and then continued to foster all this evil.
"There arose serious controversy among the church members. Since then, the ministers and church members, who delighted in the loose, free life style have become malevolent, treacherous and hostile toward the faithful.
"Full of hatred, they have terrorized and
3 -- boycotted
them with full force whenever and wherever they could:
"The influence of these opponents of the faithful Adventists reached to their employers, who then dismissed them; or when they applied for a job, the prospective employers had already been warned not to hire so and so, as if they were criminals. The influence reached even as far as the Hungarian State Department and to other authorities so that , they have been, for example, denied visas to travel abroad. The reason given was ' Your travel abroad would be injurious to the general order.'
"Such are the "fine brothers" who are in leadership positions of the Adventist church in Hungary today, and these are recognized by the state. Why not, when they are doing, what is serving the purpose of the State which is to exterminate slowly but surely the true Adventist religion.
"Although the leaders of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists had clearly been informed of these conditions by ample proofs in the form of documents, magazines, rulings and resolutions about these conditions and events over the past 8 years, and in spite of their professed intention to work out a just solution, granted recognition to that godless, wicked leadership on January 26, 1984.
"WHAT COULD BE THE REASON BEHIND IT?" -- [This Report was received by Air from the Netherlands, and verified by a telephone call to Switzerland.]
The final question of these persecuted true believers in Hungary remains unanswered for lo, these eight months. How much longer will it be before an answer is given? Perhaps a deluge of letters to Elder Wilson might bring forth an "official" explanation from some member of the Curia on the Sligo.
A LETTER TO ELDER WILSON -- (On February 9, 1984, a group of twenty Hungarian Adventist refugees living in Switzerland addressed the following letter to not only Elder Neal C. Wilson as President of the General Conference, but also to the "President's Advisory Committee.")
As you may know, we Hungarian Seventh-day Adventists outside the borders of Hungary - including hundreds of brothers and sisters inside Hungary - have been deeply shocked at your recent action in that country. We have high respect for the General Conference when they diligently work to carry on the vindication of the 3 Angels' Messages around the world.
But the present situation in regards to your decision made in Budapest on January 26, 1984, is seriously grave; not only in Hungary for the 1300 faithful Seventh-day Adventists whom you have disfellowshiped, but also Seventh-day Adventist members outside the Hungarian border.
With Christ-Iike love, sorrow and pity in our voices, we must protest against this very sad situation you have created by your decision.
we remind you that in the past 8 years, you have been welt informed
as to the problems through the Euro-Africa Division plus previous General
Conference officers' personal visits to Hungary. You have previously
admitted that these 1300 brothers and sisters [are] faithful to the
Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. With this knowledge we do not understand
why you have disfellowshiped them from the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
According to our world-wide Seventh-day Adventist position it is no
reason to disfellowship members of the Seventh-day Adventist church
for NOT uniting with the Council of Free Church (CFC), a branch of the
World Council of Churches (WCC) - (Hungarian branch called SZET).
p 4 -- You must be aware of our Seventh-day Adventist position on this subject. Recently the Adventist Review has published our view on the World Council of Churches in August 11,1983 issue, p. 4: 'The Seventh-day Adventist Church is not a member of the World Council of Churches or the National Council of Churches and never has been; nor do we seek to join either body ...
An action of the General Conference Committee of June 8, 1950, summarized our concerns. In part it read: 'It is advisable that we avoid any form of union which might result in restraining the full proclamation of the message we feel called upon to bear to the world, or that would identify this denomination with any movement among the churches involving any program, or pressure on government, or any public announcement with which we could not be in accord.'
That is, we are for unity, but not at any price. We are not prepared to sacrifice our distinctive identity, doctrines, or mission. Only by keeping complete freedom of doctrine and evangelistic action can we bear a faithful and effective witness to our Lord.'
According to all the documents you have received previously during the past 8 years and now with your recent visit to Hungary in January 1984, you are well aware that the Hungarian Seventh-day Adventist Union is a member of the Council of Free Churches (World Council of Churches).
This Council of Free Churches has set up seminaries as you well know, that are mainly financed by the Hungarian Seventh-day Adventist Union because Seventh-day Adventists are the only one from their members who have a regular financial system through the tithes. Along with this our young people who desire to study for the ministry are sent to these Protestant seminaries and taught by Protestant scholars who are financed by Seventh-day Adventist monies.
According to the Bible and the pen of inspiration, our mission is to proclaim the 3 Angels' Messages that 'Babylon is fallen, ... Come out of her, my people, ..." (Rev. 18)
The faithful 1300 Hungarian Adventists recognized this danger of compromise 8 years ago. They spoke up and protested against it. They did not want to be members of the World Council of Churches.
Perhaps you know in 1969 in the DDR (East Germany) Dr. Lupke, his son and one other member were disfellowshiped because they wanted to make the Seventh-day Adventist church in that country a member of the World Council of Churches. But now when the faithful members do NOT want to join, you emphatically disfelIowshiped them at once.
Dear Brethren, you know the above mentioned facts to be true. We do not understand your decision to disfellowship those who love this church. We have just received the reports from Hungary that our brothers and sisters are in tears across the whole country. With hearts torn and disappointed for the solution you gave to the problem they have there.
We are in deep sorrow and mourning over this sad situation you left behind on your recent visit to this country. As we wait for your response we close this sad letter with Christ-like love.
Your brothers and sisters"
[According to the one who formulated this letter, no reply has been received to the time that I talked with him by telephone in Switzerland.]
report from Hungary brings into sharp focus several areas of concern
for the whole of the Church. Paul stated concerning the church - "There
should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the
same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all members
suffer with it." (I Cor. 13:25-26a) But here in Hungary there has
been a suffering member of the Adventist body for eight years through
the third Pierson administration, and thus far in the Wilson presidency,
and the laity of the Church
p 5 -- as a whole have not been informed about it through the official organ of the Church - The Adventist Review. The action reported in the Budapest daily, Nepszabadsag, January 31, 1984, cannot be found in the pages of the Adventist Review. A close check of the index on the issues from January through June, 1984, reveals nothing under the subject of "Hungary," nor anything written by Wilson about his trip to Hungary.
Here in Hungary has been an "excision" from the body of 1300-1400 faithful members of the Seventh-day, Adventist Church, yet the rest of the Body has not been informed. Yet this is a time proclaimed as a "Thousand Days of Reaping"! Should it not rather be turned into a thousand days of weeping that we might unite our tears with the tears of our brothers and sisters of the faith who are crying in Hungary?
There has been a breakdown of the "central nervous" system so that all parts of the body have not felt the pain and anguish of the "excised" part. Who has taken over the "mind" control of the professed body of Christ so that the objective set forth by Paul has not been realized in the Adventist Community?
This situation becomes even more acute when one recalls the high sounding objectives printed in the Adventist Review when the new Editor - Dr. Wm. G. Johnsson - announced his policy for the church paper. He wrote: "The ADVENTIST REVIEW holds that the church is best served by keeping its members abreast with developments. Even when the news is bad, it is better that the members hear it through the REVIEW than from rumor or some other source." (Jan. 20, 1983, p. 13)
The news from Hungary is "bad" news. We are sorry that Dr. Johnsson has been so remiss on his promise that we have had to publish this "bad" news for our readers first. Or could it be that he was not given any knowledge of this situation? We will suspend final judgment until the matter is clarified in the pages of the Adventist Review.
There is a second concern voiced by the Hungarian refugees in Switzerland. It has to do with the relationship of the Adventist Church to the World Council of Churches. The Appeal Letter addressed to Elder Neal C. Wilson quoted from the Adventist Review what is supposedly the policy of the Church, at least in theory, toward the WCC. Of special interest is the fact that the article from which the Refugees quoted was one of three filed by the Editor in his coverage of the Sixth General Assembly of the WCC which was convened in Vancouver, BC, July 24 - August 10, 1983.
It was emphasized in both the first and third Reports by the editor that the SDA's were not a member of -the WCC. (Vol. 160, #32, p. 4; #36, p. 11) However, the GC Committee action quoted by the Editor, and which was noted in the Appeal Letter, was taken in 1950. While the Hungarian Adventist had very little opportunity, if any, to know what has taken place in the actions of the leadership of the Church since 1950, the Editor surely has known. Here is the record:
In 1965 informal talks began between ministers of the SDA Church and
members of the WCC staff.
2) Formal meetings on an annual basis began thereafter between representatives of the Adventist Church and representatives of the WCC. These meetings were both authorized and financed by the Executive Committees of the three European Divisions involved in these official conversations. The General Conference was kept informed about these meetings. Five such meetings are known to have been held.
3) In 1969, Conversations began in the United States between Seventh-day Adventists and a WCC appointed group. How long these conversations continued is not yet known.
4) From the initial contacts involving the three European Divisions of the Adventist Church, there have been contacts between the SDA Church in Great Britain, Finland, and Germany, and the national counterparts of the WCC.
Resulting from these Conversations, the Seventh-day Adventist Church
has been represented on the Faith and Order Commission of the WCC -
its doctrinal arm - since 1967. (Source for the above 5 facts
p 6 -- can be found in So Much in Common, pp. 98-101 See Order Form)
6) Since. 1968, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists have been actively represented at the annual meetings of "Secretaries of World Confessional Families [Churches]." It was out of this relationship that Dr. B. B. Beach on May 18, 1977, gave a Gold Medallion to Pope Paul VI as a "symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (Review, Aug. 11, 1977)
7) At the 1980 General Conference Session in Dallas, the delegates wrote into the new apostate Statement of Beliefs the very language of the Constitution of the World Council of Churches which is set forth in that instrument of the WCC as the basis for membership in the Council.
Further, what happened at the Sixth Assembly of the WCC in Vancouver, BC? "Adventist representatives ["observer/visitors"] at the Assembly hosted a dinner for the leaders of other churches." (Adventist Review, Sept. 8, 1983, p. 10, under picture of the Editor and others at the dinner.)
The Canadian Union Messenger noted this event as "a highly-profiled dinner in order to meet approximately 25 Christian clergyman on common ground." (Sept, 1983, p. 5) It was held in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Vancouver. The tab was picked jointly by the General Conference and the Canadian Union. The sources of these monies was not given in this report If you should make inquiry, and you get the answer - "Departmental Expense Fund," be sure to ask - "From what section of Church income did this come?"
One picture of note which appeared in the Canadian Union Messenger, showed Dr. Douglas Devnich, Director of Public Affairs for the Canadian Union. The caption reads - "Dr. Devnich takes special delight in standing beside Father V. Borovoy of Russia." This should tell the Hungarian Refugees something, and give some answers to why certain attempts of appeal were aborted.
On occasion, Dr. Devnich has sought to justify such dinners by noting that Jesus ate with those who were of different religious convictions than He was. But there is a difference! Jesus was not the "host" for such dinners; He came as an honored guest. We have turned His example around backward.
All of these facts should help us to see that while we with our lips declare that - "The Seventh-day Adventist Church is not a member of the World Council of Churches or the National Council of Churches [that is, in the USA] and never has been; nor do we seek to join either body." (Adventist Review, Aug. 11, 1983) - our "'sign language" gives a different "message." It can be seen in the light of the facts, why Elder Neal C. Wilson came down on the side of the Hungarian counterpart of the World Council of Churches against the faithful members of the Adventist faith.
FROM PREVIOUS REPORTS -- When the name - Sandor Palotai - became known to the American Adventist community through The Voice of Prophecy News, we made a series of reports to the laity through "Watchman, What of the Night?" The VOP news item noted that Sandor Palotai was "a Seventh-day Adventist," and as president of the Council of Free Churches had sponsored Billy Graham's week-long visit to Hungary (WWN, Dec. 1977, p. 8)
As further information became available, we published an "Update" on Sandor Palotai which read in part: "The Reader's Digest (July, 1978) published from the Diary of Dr. Billy Graham telling of his visit to Hungary last September. The first notation reads: Saturday, September 3. A delegation of church leaders, led by Rev. Sandor Palotay, President of the Council of Free Churches, met us at the airport. (p. 110)
Spotlight ... in its July 3 issue, also commented on the Graham Crusade in Hungary. It noted: In Hungary the recent Billy Graham Crusade was the apparent victim of extortion. The agent who arranged both sites and audiences for the crusade was Sandor Palotoy, a communist whose only allegiances are to money and state - in that order.
A ... news item appeared in the Southern
p 7 -- Tidings (Sept ., 1977, p. 9), the official of the Southern Union Conference ... It read: Evangelist Billy Graham has accepted an invitation to hold a crusade in Hungary. Graham's acceptance was announced jointly by the evangelist and Sandor Polatai chairman of the Council of the Free Churches in Hungary. Polatai extended the invitation to Graham while in the United States for a General Council meeting of the Baptist World Alliance. Himself a Seventh-day Adventist, Polatai represents the eight evangelical churches in Hungary.
Religious News Service in its "Week in Religion" (Oct. 14, 1977) observed that ' Mr. Graham's visit ... was sponsored by the Council of Free Churches, an alliance of Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Seventh-day Adventist, and other denominations.' The Voice of the Martyrs, a publication of Jesus to the Communist World, Inc., told of repression in Hungary. It stated: 'Those harassed by the Communists denounce a certain Palyotai as one of the traitors who gave them into the hands of the police; this is the man who invited Billy Graham to preach in Hungary." (Jan. 78, p. 2)'"
We suggested that our readers write to the Editor of the Review for clarification of Sandor Palotai. As a result we received a letter from the Assistant to the Editor, which stated - "Mr. Palotay is no longer even a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. At one time he was a member and a colporteur." We responded with a letter asking a series of questions among which were the following: "You state that Palotay is no longer a colporteur, nor a member of the Church. When and what do the records state was the cause of his dismissal from the work and the Church?
"Since you have access to the RNS to which I have access, you are no doubt aware that RNS reported that the Council of Free Churches, chaired by Sandor Palotay, includes the Seventh-day Adventist Church. If this man was such that he was disfellowshiped and removed from the colporteur ministry, how is it the Church in Hungary is still under his influence - an influence evidently great enough that he could represent himself as an ordained minister and attend the General Council of the Baptist World Alliance, and invite Billy Graham to Hungary on behalf of the Council of Free Churches? And the press did not note him as a Baptist, but as a Seventh-day Adventist!" (WWN, Oct. 1978, p.5)
The response to these questions was a referral to Elder Alf Lohne, who in turn referred me to the Euro-Africa Division. At this point, we stopped in 1978, but asking the following questions: "Is the General Conference unaware of what the Church is doing in Hungary? Does the editorship of the Adventist Review, who still consider the paper as the official organ of the Church, lack the knowledge of what is taking place in the worldwide Church? ...
"But we still must wonder - what is being covered up, and what does the leadership of the Church not want us to know? (WWN, XI-12 [Dec, 1978])"
Now the things we wanted to know some six years ago are coming to light with the part the hierarchy have played in the tragedy of Hungary. --- (1984 Sep) ---