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WWN 1986 Jul - Sep


1986 Jul -- XIX -- 7(86) -- EVIDENCE OF THE REVISION -- Questions on Doctrine -- A Compromise and a Cover-up -- Some of us who lived through "the burden and heat of the day" when the full effect of the SDA-Evangelical Conferences was felt, sometimes forget that the vast majority of the laity and ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church were either not members of the church at that time, or were children and youth who were totally unaware of what was taking place. 1 Thus to cite certain factors from the period of 1955-1960 without documentation leaves a void in the minds of many readers since they honestly do not have background information to evaluate what took place in the controversy which has involved Adventism since that date.

In fact, even though the printing of Questions on Doctrine was large and the circulation widespread, the book today is difficult to obtain and many concerned laypersons do not have a copy available for study and comparison.

In the previous issue of a "Watchman, What of the Night?" (XIX-6), we set forth certain facts involving the publication and release of the book - Questions on Doctrine. A.L. Hudson of Baker, Oregon, in a letter to six people including Walter Martin, revealed a telephone conversation with Martin which clearly indicated that the book - Questions on Doctrine (QOD) was not the original answers given to Barnhouse and Martin in response to the questions they had asked the Adventist Church's leadership, but rather a revision of the answers so as to be more palatable for the laity of the Church. From personal contact with the late Don Neufeld, I was also aware of the same fact. In commenting on the information which I personally had, I wrote:      We were able to document a few changes by comparing page 30 in Questions on Doctrine with the article in Eternity, November, 1956, where Martin quoted from the original draft copy. (WWN, XIX-6, p. 2)

Then I suggested to the readers that they should check with the manuscript which the Foundation has made available of the documents on the 1955-1956 SDA-Evangelical Conferences. But many of the readers do not have a copy of QOD by which to make the check. There are a number of other facets to the events which transpired during that time and need to be amplified beyond the brief summary given in the previous issue of WWN. These we hope to enlarge upon in forthcoming issues of the Thought Paper. While we are providing for the readers a complete transcript of the telephone conversation between Hudson and Barnhouse, this will be a good time to discuss the whole picture, such as, the 1888 Message of Righteousness by Faith and the 1958 setting in which it was again brought to the attention of the Church, along with the Church's response.

Immediately following the SDA-Evangelical Conferences in 1955-56, Barnhouse and Martin published a series of articles on the history

p 2 -- and the doctrine of Seventh-day Adventism in Eternity magazine. (The first article appeared in the September, 1956 issue, and asked the question, - "Are Seventh-day Adventists Christian?" This was written by Barnhouse.) Eternity was a monthly journal published by The Evangelical Foundation, Inc., with Barnhouse as Editor-in-Chief, and Walter Martin as a Contributing Editor. In all, five articles appeared, four from September through January, 1957, then in the November, 1957 issue, Barnhouse wrote a final article captioned, "Postscript on Seventh-day Adventism." This final article is a comment on the book - Questions on Doctrine - after it was published, and half of the article is a quotes from the book (pp. 21-25). Barnhouse was playing it "safe." He waited until he could quote from the published book, before writing the postscript. 2 The other three articles were written by Martin . 3 His third article discussed - "What Seventh-day Adventists Really Believe." However, he chose to quote from the answers given to him prior to the publication of the book - QOD, - and thus prior to its revision. (He does reveal that LeRoy E. Froom is the author of QOD, though no authors name appeared when the book was published in 1957.) In the article, Martin quotes at length from the answer given to Question #3. By so doing, we have the evidence of the fact that a revision did take place between the time the original answers were given to Barnhouse and Martin, and the answers were published for the ministry and laity of the Church.

In parallel columns, we shall give the quotes as found in Eternity, and the same paragraphs as published in QOD. The revisions will be in italics in QOD.

Eternity. November, 1956

But with the passage of years the earlier diversity of view on certain doctrines gradually gave way to unity of view. Clear, and sound positions were then taken by the great majority on such doctrines as the Godhead, the deity and eternal pre-existence of Christ, and the personality of the Holy Spirit. Clear-cut views were established on righteousness by faith, the true relationship of law and grace, and on the death of Christ as the complete atonement for sin. ...

All of this made it desirable and necessary for us to declare our position afresh upon the great fundamental teachings of the Christian faith, and to deny every statement or implication that Christ, the second Person of the Godhead, was not One with the Father from all eternity, and that His sacrifice on the cross was not a full and complete atonement.

Questions on Doctrine

But with the passage of years the earlier diversity of view on certain doctrines gradually gave way to unity of view. Clear and sound positions were then taken by the great majority on such doctrines as the Godhead, the deity and eternal preexistence of Christ, and the personality of the Holy Spirit. Clear-cut views were established on righteousness by faith, the true relationship of law and grace, and on the death of Christ as the complete sacrificial atonement for sin. (p. 30)     

All of this made it desirable and necessary for us to declare our position anew upon the great fundamental teachings of the Christian faith, and to deny every statement or implication that Christ, the second Person of the Godhead, was not one with the Father from all eternity, and that His death on the cross was not a full and complete sacrificial atonement. (p. 31)

The substitution of "death" for "sacrifice" is cosmetic and merely avoids word repetition when "sacrificial" was added to the text. However, the substitution of "anew" for "afresh," though synonyms has significance. There is a nuance between these two words. The one editing the revision was evidently aware of this. Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary gives as one meaning of "afresh" - "from a new start" - and the meaning of "anew" - "in a new form." This subtle difference of meaning between these two words tells the whole story of the compromise and cover-up in a single nutshell.

The Adventist conferees wished the Evangelicals to believe that they were actually making a "new start" in the formulation of the teachings of the Church, in other words, "afresh." Barnhouse in his article, "Are Seventh-day Adventist Christians?", after reviewing the experience of Hiram Edson the morning following the Great Disappointment on October 22, 1844, from which the perception of Christ entering the Most Holy Place developed after deep searching of the Scriptures, wrote - "Mr. Martin and I heard the Adventist leaders say, flatly, that they repudiate all such extremes. This they said in no uncertain terms." Then stating that our pioneers taught "that Jesus atoning work was not completed on Calvary but that He was still carrying on a second ministering work since 1844," Barnhouse wrote --"This idea is also totally repudiated." And this repudiation is the idea conveyed in Martin's quote from the copy of the answers he received. And this was an "afresh" concept!

In the revision a different story was being told - the death of Christ was a "sacrificial" atonement. Thus the laity could be told that the leaders of the Church were merely stating "anew" our beliefs in a form that could be better understood by the Evangelicals, but nothing had been changed. In fact, when the furor arose over the book - QOD - this is exactly the line used by the hierarchy - it is just a matter of semantics, there has been, no change. Were the doctrines of the Church altered, or is this just an imaginary perception? This we shall pursue in the next issue of WWN.

1   In 1955, the total world membership barely exceeded 1 million members. In 1984, there were over 4 1/2 million members. Further a large number of the 1955 membership have died since that date.

2   A. L. Hudson believes "the cover-up" had begun at this time. See WWN XIX-6, p. 7, col. 2.

3   See document - The Seventh-day Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956

p 3 -- Transcript of a Recorded CONVERSATION between A. L. Hudson and Dr. Donald Barnhouse 1958 May 16, Regarding the book QUESTIONS ON DOCTRINE (Continued) -- [In last month's issue, as we closed the first segment of the telephone conversation, Hudson was inquiring about the Adventist Church's desire to be a part of the National Association of Evangelicals. Barnhouse replied that such an idea did not have "any foundation." Hudson then asked about Walter Martin's statement which inferred such. We begin this segment with Barnhouse's comment on this.]

(B) Well I will put it this way:  There is no doubt of the fact that any man who is truly born-again wants to extend the hand to everybody else who is born again. If he doesn't, he is out of the will of God. Now, I know that some of the men at Takoma Park are not only saved, but they want to be led by the Holy Spirit. Now, any man who wants to be led by the Holy Spirit - Now, this year, the year 1958, I have already spoken in a Seventh-day Adventist meeting; I held a week of meetings in the Pentecost Assembly in Missouri; last week I was in the Episcopal cathedral in Cleveland under the greater Cleveland Federations of Churches, and I have already preached this year in Northern and Southern Baptist, Northern and Southern Presbyterian, [?] Methodist church in Kansas City, and I want to work with the whole body of Christ. If you are born again, and you are going to be in heaven, then you are my brother. But if you are a sectarian - I don't know what your attitude is. You called me up on the telephone and I'm speaking to you plainly although I don't know who you are at all. But if you are a person trying to stir up trouble, if you are a person trying to find out if you can sharpen your knife using me as a whetstone in order that you may try to sink it in some of the leaders who are trying to be godly men, then I tell you that you are being led of the antichrist, and not by the Holy Spirit.
(H) No, I'm not. Now what I had [in mind], I don't mean "No" to that last question. I'm not trying to fly under any false colors. That's the reason I mentioned my letter which if it had reached you, you would know exactly what my position is. Now, you and Mr. Martin have made certain representations as to the Adventist beliefs, etc. in your magazine. I have been in correspondence with our men in Washington. I have on my desk now a letter I received from the Secretary of the General Conference just yesterday. There is quite a wide discrepancy between your interpretation of our belief and what has been and is still current in our midst. I'm just trying to iron out the facts.
(B) Look, we have written and signed by the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist movement that we have not misinterpreted Seventh-day [Adventist] positions.

(H) Now, that's what Mr. Martin told me as we talked about this matter informally more than a month ago. Now, I have also asked our men in Washington about this purported, not recommendation, but I think it is called a foreword, which was signed by an officer of the General Conference stating that you had not misrepresented doctrine. I can't get any satisfaction out of our men in Washington as to just what they agreed to do and didn't agree to do, but it doesn't agree with I what you wrote in Eternity. Now, I'm just trying to get at the facts, that's all that I am trying to do, because I am writing a paper myself, and I think later on, will be incorporated into a book.
(B) Now, what is your position? Are you trying to keep Seventh-day Adventism as it has been for the last 100 years or so?
(H) Frankly, my personal position, I am not convinced of the necessity of a change, no.
(B) I mean, you know that Christ didn't come back in 1844; you know if you know anything at all, that Jesus hasn't been wandering around in heaven since 1844. He did not get up off the throne and go into an inner sanctuary. You know this was a face-saving

p 4 -- device of men who were so scaredy cat that they were walking in a cornfield in order to keep off the main road. You know this wasn't the Holy Spirit. You know in your heart, and if you ever take the position, God is going to nullify your ministry, and at the judgment seat of Christ, you are going to answer for it.
(H) Now, I appreciate your frankness. I wish our men would come out and be just as frank as to their relationship to you and Mr. Martin, and also doctrinal positions they are taking. Frankly, there is considerable difference between what you have published and what our men are telling us. I'm just trying to find out if we have changed, if we should change, just what the status of the thing is.
(B) Everything I have published was read by Seventh-day Adventist leaders before we published. Not one line have I ever printed that was not previously read by Froom, for instance.
(H) Well, that's just what - I'm not trying to stir up any trouble. I'm a Seventh-day Adventist, and I'm not convinced even from what you say, that I should change, but I'm willing to consider it provided it is brought out in the open and handled in a businesslike way. Now, if our leaders in Washington feel we should modify our position, my position is that they should come out to us as Seventh-day Adventists in the field and say, "Brethren, we have been in error on this. We'd better change to so and so and so and so." Now, they are not doing that. They're telling us that they have not changed, and yet apparently they are giving you and Mr. Martin the idea that we at least are in the process of changing or are willing to change. Now, I'm just trying to get the facts.
(B) I think what they're doing, as I say, I think these men are educated men, and some of them know Greek. We sat here with their Greek professor, some of these men know Greek, and Walter Martin pointed out, "By one offering he had perfected forever them that are sanctified." That is in the aorist tense. And one man of the top leaders said, "Now I don't know Greek," he said.  ?  ?  myself, the three of us have had a lot of Greek, and all of - the wonderful part of our fellowship with Anderson and Froom and Unruh, and I forget the other men that came up from Washington, the top men, and we spent two days one time and two and a half another, here in my home. We entertained these men, and fed them vegetarian meals, and we had a nice time together. We had a wonderful time together.
(H) Have you ever eaten any Adventist steaks then?
(B) Huh?

(H) You mention you fed them vegetarian meals, so I thought maybe they had reciprocated with some Adventist steaks.
(B) Well, we've had them at Takoma Park and out in California. I spoke for Richards in a Seventh-day Adventist group - to all his people, etc. and I am going to preach in the Seventh-day Adventist church in Takoma Park, Washington. And we had Dr. Roy Anderson come into my pulpit in the Presbyterian church and my people heard him with great profit. He is a godly man. Now this is a whole lot better than having everybody taking Talbot's position and saying you are all anti-christs.
(H) Well, this is a complicated proposition.
(B) Let me tell you this, if you don't want, I mean if you try to write a book or anything that there has been no change in Adventism, then we're going to have to go back and say, "You are anti-christ." I will have to make a public retraction, and send it to Time magazine, and say, "Your article," - did you read it when it came out in Time?
(H) No.
(B) Well, you see Time magazine wrote a big article about my article on Seventh-day Adventism and called it "Peace with the Adventists." Well, I'll have to write Time magazine and publish in Eternity and write an abject apology to Talbot for Kings Business, Moody Monthly, and say, "I was wrong. These people are still antichrist Put them back with Jehovah's Witnesses where they belong," - if you start writing the way you're contemplating.
(H) You actually believe, then, that our book, Questions on Doctrine supports the attitude that you have put forth in your magazine Eternity, and which you have set forth here to me. You actually believe that the book supports that?
(B) I say this, I have a copy of it within three feet of me and what you have done,

p 5 -- beyond any question, in that book, in taking the position, for example, that anybody that ever said that it was necessary to keep Saturday in order to be saved, was wrong. Your book states this. Now, for instance, you don't hold that keeping Sunday is the mark of the beast, do you?
(H) Yes.
(B) You do?
(H) Yes.
(B) Well, then we might as well hang up. You belong to the anti-christ party. I'll tell you this, brother, and you, I doubt if you're saved.
(H) Well,
(B) You don't know what salvation is. Hudson, you don't know what salvation is.
Well, perhaps that's right, Mr. Barnhouse, but the Adventists believe that, too.
(B) They, now that's the point, the Adventists do not believe this. This is the point I'm making. And everywhere we said, for instance, Dr. John Sutherlin Bonnell, pastor of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian church, wrote an article in Look magazine called "What Presbyterians Believe," and he said they believe that there is no hell, and that they don't believe in the virgin birth, etc. Well, that is not what Presbyterians believe. That's what a screwball on the fringe believes. Now, in the Seventh-day Adventist movement you've got screwballs and people on the fringe.
(H) Yeah, that's apparently where I am.
(B) Well, if you believe that keeping any day but Saturday is the mark of the beast then you are of the party of the antichrist because you deny salvation by grace alone. You do not believe that salvation is by grace alone, do you?
(H) Not in the sense that you see it, no.
(B) Yeah, in other words you believe that a man has to add something to the work of Christ in order to be saved?

[Barnhouse led Hudson into a trap at this point.]

(H) Yes, that's right.
(B) Well then, I say that is of the devil, beyond any question, and you see, you're the one that's making the difficulty, and I will print this is our magazine. Are you the pastor of a church there in Oregon?
(H) No, I am a layman
(B) You're a layman?
(H) I'm an officer of the church, but I'm not an ordained minister. I studied for the ministry, however, in the Adventist church, and I think I know what Adventists believe.
(B) You really believe then, that everybody who is not a Seventh-day Adventist is lost?
(H) Oh, no, I didn't say that.
(B) Well, this is what you say, because the people who are not Adventists don't keep Saturday, and won't. I hate Saturday as a Sabbath religious day. I hate it because Christ hates it.
(H) Every man must stand before God himself and on his understanding of the Bible. Now, my position is this, with reference to this controversy, that our men have not set forth Adventist teaching accurately.
(B) Your leaders, no, you see there have been divisions in your church for the past hundred years.
(H) Yes, of course there always are differences of opinion.
(B) Sure, but what I call the screwball element in your church has been the group that has printed these little tracts on the side saying Saturday is the Sabbath, and anybody who doesn't keep it is a lost soul. Well, that is the screwball element. No responsible Christian can ever say this.
(H) Well, there is a distinction there. In what Mr. Martin has printed in here on the remnant church, he told me that, as you have told me, that you have written confirmation of the approval of Seventh-day Adventist leaders before you printed this. Now Mr. Bryant --
(B) Do you feel that you are the remnant church?
(H) That is Adventist teaching.
(B) Well, if you believe that, then you are a megalomaniac. Now let's face it. I'm not going to pull words. You just are not following the Bible.
(H) I appreciate your position. Now, of course, over the telephone here I couldn't defend that position but friend that is Adventist teaching.
(B) Well, it isn't Adventist teaching. Excuse

p 6 -- me, but it is not.
(H) Well, that's the point. What makes you think it isn't?
(B) Well, their book, their statement, and even Ellen G. White. I can show you in Ellen G. White that she doesn't believe this.
(H) She doesn't believe that the Adventist church is the remnant church?
(B) She does not believe [that], she believes that God gave some vital truth, some latter-day truth, but she does not take the position that anybody that is not a Seventh-day Adventist is not a believer in Christ.
(H) No, she doesn't. Neither do we.
(B) Oh, yes you do.
(B) That's it. You just said that not keeping Saturday, keeping Sunday, was the mark of the beast. Your trouble is that you don't know what you say.
(H) Yes, I do realize what I say.

(B) Well, if you say, for instance, let me ask you this: Do you think I'm a lost soul?
(H) Friend, that is up to God.
(B) No, no, no, - but wait a minute. Let's ask a question; that's up to God but do you think that I cursing Saturday as the Sabbath, adopting the position of redemption in Christ, cursing Sunday as the Sabbath, cursing everything that is of the law, and wanting grace alone, and wanting to live in holiness, believing that all sin is removed by the blood of Jesus Christ alone, do you believe that therefore I am a lost soul?
(H) I believe that you are a disobedient follower of Christ, and that disobedience, if it is continued, will ultimately cause the loss of your soul, yes.
(B) Yeah, well, you see there's no use in your talking. You don't even believe that I'm saved.
(H) Now, I think that you will find if you will investigate the matter a little more closely that -
(B) Thank God the leaders of Seventh-day Adventism do not hold your position.
(H) You don't think they do.
(B) I know they don't. I know they don't. We've gone on our knees together, and have gotten up from our knees together, and they say, "Brother, this is wonderful. We are redeemed and fellows in Christ."
(H) And you don't think that Seventh-day Adventist leaders believe that you are a disobedient follower of Jesus.

(B) I didn't say that. They believe that I am a born-again person; that I am saved and have eternal life. They know that I hold the Calvinistic position that I am saved forever and can never be lost. They say to me, they hold the Arminian position, but nevertheless, they definitely believe that I am a born-again believer and a brother in Christ.

(H) Well, now here, I had one of these very men who has been foremost in this relationship tell me when I was in Washington, D.C., last November; I went back for some conferences and study. He told me -
(B) Which man?
(H) I'd rather not give his name.
(B) Oh, come on now. If you're not honest enough to talk, what did you call me up for?
(H) Well, you accuse me, didn't accuse me but wondered if I was trying to stir up personal trouble. I'm not. But I am trying to arrive at some facts. Now if I tell you this man's name personally, that is a personal thing. If I tell you the position he took, then it becomes -
(B) You said one of the men who came to my house.
(H) Well, let's put it this way. One of the men that has been -
(B) You said one of the men that came to my house.
(H) You've got me on the spot.
(B) Sure I do. It's either Froom or Anderson or Richards.
(H) Unruh?
(B) No, Unruh is from Pennsylvania. You said Washington. That's Froom and Anderson and the the fourth man, what's his name?
I don't know.
(B) You don't know. Well, that leaves that it's Froom or Anderson who told you this.
(H) All right, I'll tell you, it was Froom. He told me that he had you men right where

p 7 -- you were going to have to admit the seventh day is the Sabbath.
(B) Oh, he never said anything of the kind.
(H) Well, that's what he told me.
(B) We know that the seventh day is not the Sabbath.
(H) That's what he told me, and he told me in the offices of the General Conference in Washington.
(B) Well, you listen to the National Broadcasting System coast to coast next Sunday morning at 8:30. I come on over (?), and I'm preaching against the Sabbath right now.
(H) My point is this. As near as I can get information together, here, our men have been representing one thing to you and they are representing another thing to us.
(B) Well, put that down in so many words.
(H) Well, now I'll put in writing, and will you prove to the contrary? In other words, you say you have in your files stuff to support everything that you have written in Eternity magazine. Well
, now will you come out with that question?
(B) Well, uh -
(H) Our men are denying that. Now let's get the thing straight. I have a stack of correspondence here from our officials in Washington. I'm trying to get at the basis of this thing, and I don't know what is in your files.
... To be continued
.--- (1986 Jul) --- End --- TOP

1986 Aug -- XIX -- 8(86) -- THIRTY YEARS OF APOSTASY - 1956-1986 -- This year marks the thirtieth anniversary since the Seventh-day Adventist-Evangelical Conferences were concluded. All the major Adventist conferees have, passed to their rest. On the Evangelical side, Walter Martin Remains. In recent years, he has reminded the leadership of the Adventist Church of the concessions which were made during the Conferences, and which were summarized in the book - Questions on Doctrine (QOD).

In his recent revised and expanded edition of The Kingdom of the Cults, Martin noted his "special concern" over "the doctrinal upheaval in Adventism." On February 16, 1983, he wrote a letter to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists calling for a "public and official statement for a reaffirming or denying the authority of the Adventist book, Questions on Doctrine."

To this demand, on April 29, 1983, W. Richard Lesher, then a vice-president of the General Conference, and now president of Andrews University, responded. He wrote:      You ask first if Seventh-day Adventists still stand behind the answers given to your questions in Questions on Doctrine as they did in 1957. The answer is yes. (p. 410)

In a recent televised confrontation with Martin on the John Ankerberg Show,  1   Wm. G. Johnsson, Editor of the Adventist Review, categorically stated:      In terms of the denomination's stand on the book, we have not repudiated Questions on Doctrine. The book went into eight printings, 150,000 copies. - Now that's a lot of copies. It is still used in college classes. (From an official transcript of the Show)

There can be no question as to where the hierarchy of the Seventh-day Adventist Church stands in regard to the book, QOD, and its teachings.

To understand the gravity of the apostasy which occurred in the 1955-1956 SDA-Evangelical Conferences and expressed in the book, QOD, resulting therefrom, one must have a clear perception of the gospel - the good news - committed to the Adventist Movement. This is not "another gospel" but the full and complete gospel. It is a gospel based solely on the merits and work of Jesus Christ. Founded on the typical revelation that God gave to Israel, true Adventists see in the animals slain, a prefiguring of the Lamb of God who "taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) They perceive in the work of both the common priests and high priest, not only the earthly ministry of Jesus, but also His ministry in the Sanctuary of Heavenly Places. (Heb. 8:1-2) They understand with Peter - "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

However, they see clearly - based on the type of the Hebrew sanctuary service - two atonements. The record reads that should an individual - ruler, or common person - sin, he could bring his offering, confess his sin, and "the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him." (Lev. 4::26-31) The message thus conveyed

p 2 -- is that the forgiveness is so complete, that there is an "one-ment" again between the sinner and his God. This was accomplished at the Altar of Burnt Offering. Then on the Day of Atonement, as the congregation of Israel afflicted their souls without the Court, the high priest made "an atonement" for Israel so that collectively and individually they should be "clean from all [their] sins before the Lord." (Lev. 16:30) This was accomplished in type by the mediation of the high priest beginning in the Most Holy place of the sanctuary. (Lev. 16:33) It is referred to as the atonement of "atonements." (Ex. 30:10) Thus the Cross of Calvary prefigured in the Altar of Burnt Offering, and the work of Christ as the High Priest after the Order of Melchisedec prefigured in the annual ministry on the typical Day of Atonement, become the two foci of the gospel committed to the Advent Movement. Both of the foci involve atonement in the fullest meaning of the word.

This basic truth - the full gospel committed to the trust of the Adventist Church, the Adventist conferees denied in the compromise with the Evangelicals. In answer to the question -      Since Adventists hold that complete sacrificial atonement was made on the cross, what do they teach concerning the ministry of our Lord as High Priest in heaven? (QOD, p. 369)

they responded -      Adventists do not hold any theory of a dual atonement. "Christ hath redeemed us" (Gal. 3:13) "once for all" (Heb. 10:10). (Ibid., p. :390, Emphasis theirs)

This concept is further emphasized in the section on "The Scapegoat." Froom wrote:      Only Christ, the Creator, and the one and only God-man, could make a substitutionary atonement for men's transgressions. And this Christ did completely, perfectly, and once for all on Golgotha. (Ibid., p. 400)

If language means anything, this statement precludes any atonement resulting from the final ministry of Christ in The Most Ho1y Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary, unless the atonement of the antitypical Yom Kippur is achieved by human works. But such a position would not accord with the testimony:      Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work. (TM 508, emphasis mine)

All of this poses certain questions, and to these questions answers are given:
1.   How is that which Christ accomplishes in His heavenly ministry described in the book - QOD?
Answer:   How, glorious is the thought that the King, who occupies the throne, is also our representative at the court in heaven! This becomes all the more meaningful when we realize that Jesus our surety entered the "holy places," and appeared in the presence of God for us. But it was not with the hope of obtaining something for us at that time, or at some future time. No! He had already obtained it for us on the cross. And now as our High Priest He ministers the virtues of His atoning sacrifice to us. (p.381, emphasis theirs)

Observe that the wording - "ministers the virtues of. His atoning sacrifice to us" - is used to summarize the concept that Christ obtains nothing for us in His final ministry in the Most Holy Place.

2.    How then is the literature which has been published by Adventist presses teaching an atonement to be accomplished by Jesus in the Most Holy Place of Heaven to be explained?
When, therefore, one hears an Adventist say, or reads in Adventist literature - even in the writings of Ellen G. White - that Christ is making atonement now, it should be understood that we mean simply that Christ is now making application of the benefits of the sacrificial atonement He made on the cross; that He is making it efficacious for us individually, according to our needs and requests.(pp. 354-355,
emphasis theirs)

Note again the wording - this time emphasized, that such wording means a finished atonement on the cross, and no final atonement resultant from Christ's ministry in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary. This language is used to mean a denial of a dual atonement.  2

The use of this new phraseology to deny a final atonement, and to confirm a fully completed atonement on the cross was a part of the "cover-up" to take the edge off of

p 3 -- the compromise. Barnhouse had already gone into print in his publication, Eternity, stating that both he and Martin had heard the Adventist leaders "totally" repudiate the concept "that Jesus' atoning work was not completed on Calvary but instead that He was still carrying on a second ministering work since 1844." (Sept. 1956) Now when the book, QOD, appeared in 1957, this new phraseology appeared. T. E. Unruh, who chaired the SDA-Evangelical Conferences, showed his hand when writing 20 years after these conferences, relates:     We came to see that many misunderstandings rested on semantic grounds, because of our use of an inbred denominational vocabulary. Our friends [Barnhouse and Martin] helped us to express our beliefs in terms more easily understood by theologians of other communions. (Adventist Heritage, Vol. 4, #2, 1977, p. 40)  3

Herein was the method used to cover-up the compromise.

The same tack that was used in allaying the the concerns of the laity over the compromises made by the Adventist conferees at the Conferences with Barnhouse and Martin was the same tack used in presenting the new Statement of Beliefs to the delegates at the Dallas session of the General Conference. In the telephone conversation with Barnhouse, Hudson kept noting that what he was hearing from the leaders in Washington - no change in our fundamental beliefs - was not what Barnhouse and Martin were saying in Eternity, that the leadership had "totally repudiated" the "everlasting gospel" as committed to the Advent Movement. Then, when 20 years after the fact, the Adventist version of the Conferences was written, the explanation is given that we were merely trying to express in QOD fundamental Adventism in a way so that the theologians of the world could better understand what we believe.

This is exactly the approach that Elder Neal C. Wilson used in introducing the 27 Statements of Belief for consideration by the delegates at the Dallas session. He said:     We are not suggesting changing any belief or doctrine that the church has held. We have no interest in tearing up any of the foundations of historical Adventism.

This document is not designed to do that, nor to open the way so that it can be done. It should be clear that we are not adding anything nor are we deleting anything in terms of historical Adventist theology. We are trying to express our beliefs in a way that will be understood today.

There are a great many individuals, for instance, who write to the General Conference Ministerial Association requesting a simple statement of our fundamental beliefs. We would like to feel that when such a statement is sent to those who are theologically educated or who are proficient in stating Biblical truth simply, they will understand not what they see but rather what we see and what we believe. It is one thing for me to apply a certain set of values and theological-doctrinal principles to a statement and find that it all fits together. Someone else reading the same statement might not perceive the same truth. (1980 GC Bulletin, #5, p. 9, Emphasis his)

BUT - and note carefully - in Section #23, "Christ's Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary," is to be found the following:       There is sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. (1980 GC Bulletin, #9, p. 27, Emphasis mine)

NOW COMPARE - this is the same language, merely substituting synonyms, as is found in QOD, pp. 354-355, where the explanation is made as to what is meant when pioneer Adventist writers, including Ellen G. White declared that "Christ is making atonement now." (See p. 2, col . 2) Further, this statement is used in connection with the emphasized concept that when Christ went back to heaven to become High Priest, "it was not with the hope of obtaining something for us at that time, or at some future time." The reason is given - "He had already obtained it for us on the cross," and "now as our High Priest He ministers the virtues of His atoning sacrifice to us." (See also, p. 2, col. 2)

This statement then is a cover up phraseology, whereby we are denying the historical Adventist concept of a final atonement and is so understood by non-Adventists theologians. In 1980, through its official action the General Conference in session, in voting this statement, has denied the everlasting

p 4 -- gospel involving "the hours of God' s judgment" - at which the final atonement will be made.

RECALL - that, on the John Ankerberg Show, taped in December, 1984, and aired just prior to the 1985 General Conference Session, Dr. William G. Johnsson, Editor of the Adventist Review, affirmed that the Church had not set aside the book, QOD, declaring - "Categorically, I can tell you that the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has not repudiated Questions on Doctrine."

During the confrontation with Martin, Johnsson based his position on the 27 Statements of Belief as voted at Dallas, affirming - "No other statements have the authority of the fundamental beliefs. These are our statements of faith." Putting these two assertions together, it is clear that the corporate Church still clings to the repudiation of a final atonement as made by the Adventist conferees in 1955-56.

At the New Orleans session in 1985, Neal C. Wilson raised the issue about the Statement of Beliefs indicating that there had been requests to review some of the concepts as voted at Dallas. He closed the door on any such discussion, remarking -      There seems to have been a very favorable world reaction to and acceptance of the Fundamental Beliefs as voted in 1980. ...

Frankly, throughout the past five years there has been no one who has revealed to us that the Holy Spirit has led in making any substantive changes. (1985 GC Bulletin-, #9, p. 17)

Thus the apostasy began 30 years ago continues. The trust of the "everlasting gospel" based as it is in the dual atonement concepts of the Hebrew sanctuary service has been betrayed. To those who have eyes to see, and ears to hear, should sense what the present advocacy of staying in and supporting such a betrayal will mean in the light of the corporate judgment upon the Church. "Men, maidens, and little children, all perish together" with the "guardians of the spiritual interests of the people," but who "had betrayed their trust." (5T:211).

Well did the Lord God say through Ezekiel the prophet - "Woe unto the foolish prophets that follow after their own spirit, and have seen nothing! 0 Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes of the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The Lord saith: and the Lord hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. (Eze. 13:3-6)

1  - 'For a full analysis of the Martin-Johnsson confrontation on the John Ankerberg Show see WWN, XVIII - 9. (Sept. 1985)

2  - M. L. Andreasen tells of a request made to the Ellen G. White Estate Board by two of the Adventist conferees to add "footnotes or Appendix notes" to certain E. G. White books so as to give their "understanding of the various phases of the atoning work of Christ," and thus bring the Writings in line with the assertion in the book, QOD, pp. 354-355. See Letters to the Churches, Series A, #2, pp. 24-26. ( Letters to the Churches)

3  - The available documents on the SDA-Evangelical Conferences may be obtained from the Adventist Laymen's Foundation. (SDA & Evangelical Conferences)

p 5 -- Transcript of a Recorded CONVERSATION between A. L. Hudson and Dr. Donald Barnhouse May 16, 1958 Regarding the book QUESTIONS ON DOCTRINE. (Concluded here)

[In last month's issue, the segment of the conversation ended with Hudson pressing Barnhouse to make public his files telling what the Adventist Church leaders had written to him regarding basic doctrines of the Church. Then Hudson refers to what Martin had also told him. We pick up the conversation at this point.]

(H) I know what Martin told me, And I know that he will not answer any letters in confirming what he told me, but our men are representing -
(B) Possibly he believes that you are just a trouble maker.
(H) I think that's entirely possible. I appreciate his position. I'm not trying to cause trouble to anybody, but I want to know what our men are teaching and if we should change, I want to change with them, provided they can convince me that I should change; but to try to give the idea to you and Martin that we have changed, and to give the idea to us that we haven't changed, I don't go for that. Now, I think our men ought to come out and be honest on the proposition.
(B) Well, look, the important thing is this, where the great change has come, they have absolutely denied, and in the book, 700 page book which you have, they have denied beyond question that they hold any position which makes Christ anything other than the eternal second Person of the Godhead.
(H) I grant that.
(B) Do you believe that Jesus is the Lord Jehovah?
(H) Yes, if I understand what you mean by the Lord Jehovah. I believe that He is the second Person of the Godhead, eternally existent. He became incarnate and became a man. Now, on that point, however, there is a great controversy.
(B) Exactly. Now, you see there were Seventh-day Adventists who held that He was sinful, that He did not have a sinless nature, and they took the Docetism principle from back in the early church history. Now your leaders have come out in the strongest possible repudiation of that phase of Seventh-day Adventist teaching.
(H) They are taking the position, are they not, that Christ has the nature of Adam before he sinned, isn't that true?
(B) I hope not!
(H) What is their position as you understand it?
(B) That Christ had, that He was the God-man. Adam was a created being subject to fall. Jesus Christ was the God-man, not subject to fall.
(H) And that's your understanding of the position of our leaders?
(B) Of course! They have taken it so strongly and it is in their book. We hold they say, with the church of all the centuries that Jesus Christ was the eternal sinless son of God, etc., etc.
(H) Well, I don't want to take longer of your time. I was trying to clear up specifically the item of whether our leaders had made overtures to the National Association of Evangelicals for fellowship.
(B) I don't think they have.
(H) Now, that is what I'm trying to get at. That puts it in a different category.
(B) This would precipitate in the National Association, this would precipitate a fight that might break the National Association into pieces.
(H) In other words, it is still a matter of theological discussion in comparative religions. It's not a practical matter of determining whether or not Adventists should be admitted to the National Association of Evangelicals.
(B) Why, that has never been under discussion.

p 6 -- never heard about until you told me, this morning.
(H) It has come out in the Evangelical press. We have been represented as standing before the door of the National Association of Evangelicals asking for entrance. Now I'm trying to run that down and see if it is nothing but a rumor.
(B) I'll tell you what was said was this. The Seventh-day Baptists are already in. You see the Seventh-day Baptists have been a member of the National Association of Evangelicals for years. And someone stated, I believe, I wasn't at the convention, that Seventh-day Adventists had as much right in it as the Seventh-day Baptists. But I do not believe that anybody in the Seventh-day Adventist group applied or made overtures. If it had been done, it would have been done through us because, brother, I came out and said that Seventh-day Adventists were Christians. But I'm going to have to say that a man called me up from Oregon and spent a half an hour on the telephone telling me that he was not a Christian, for that's what you've told me this morning.
(H) Well, of course, that is a matter of opinion.
(B) No it isn't. Excuse me, but this is the matter. It says, if anybody come and bring not the doctrine of Christ, this is the spirit of the anti-christ. Now you see, if you do not believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal, sinless Son of God, that He could not have sinned, and goodness, we have 18 quotations from Mrs. White saying the same thing, 18 quotations from Ellen G. White stating exactly this position, and denying what you are telling me.
(H) On the other hand I have quotations that state just the opposite.
(B) One quotation.
(H) We have more than that.
(B) NO.
(H) You don't have them all.
(B) Oh yes we do. Look Froom and the rest of them say that Walter Martin knows more about Seventh-day Adventists than any professor in Takoma Park, Washington, --
(H) Well, that again is a matter of opinion.
(B) Let me tell you this, you talk to Martin, you tell him anything, and he'll give you the page number. He's got that kind of a memory.
(H) I don't question that he's read a lot of the Spirit of Prophecy.
(B) He's read it all. And everything else she ever wrote including, the book they've got locked up in the safe and won't let anybody see.
(H) What's the name of that book?
(B) I don't know.
(H) You don't know, but Martin has read it?
(B) Of course.
(H) You know she wrote about 25 million words. That's quite a lot for a man to read.
(B) That's too much, you know. She was running off at the mouth, and the Holy Spirit certainly was not doing it.
Do you think that Anderson and Froom agree with you on that position?
(B) Look, I know that these men are intelligent enough to know that she was a fallible human being, and that she said so herself. You don't believe that she was infallible, do you? Do you?
(H) You get into the matter of your various concepts of inspiration. You ask me a question. I'll answer it. I believe she was a prophet.
(B) Do you believe that she was infallible?
(H) Well; I say she was a prophet the same as any other true prophet.
(B) Do you believe that she was in error ever?
(H) As a human being?
(B) In her writing. Do you believe that in some of her writing that you have to point to certain sentences and say, "Boy, she sure pulled a booper! That's for the birds! It is not true."
(H) I haven't encountered any of those quotations, no.
(B) You haven't?
(H) No.
(B) Oh, brother, are - you a dupe. You are not honest as the people in Takoma Park or

p 7 -- Richards. Richards doesn't hold with you.
(H) You mean the Voice of Prophecy?
(B) Yes.
(H) He feels she has written error?
(B) Of course he does. Every one of these men have said this to me. Every man. Every man. They believe that she was raised up of God to be a great blessing, and that the Spirit of Prophecy was upon her, but they all agree she wrote error in some places.
(H) You gather from your association with those men that they believe that she was a prophet though.
(B) They believe that God came upon her in a special way, and for a message to His people at a special time.
(H) Would you gather the impression in your talking with them that they feel that she was a prophet in the same sense that Isaiah and Jeremiah were?
(B) Of course not. Certainly not. They are intelligent men, and they are Christians. I mean, anybody who would say that they believe that Ellen G. White was a prophet in the same sense as Isaiah - in the first place, they are denying the Bible's word about prophecy concerning a woman. You see you simply have to put all that out of your mind before you ever accept such a thing, and you see, I mean,: if you take this position, Seventh-day Adventism will have to go back into the same position as Mormonism with their Book of Mormon. A guest has just arrived for lunch, and I've got to go.
(H) I appreciate your time. Now, I'll tell you my position on Mrs. White, just for the record. I don't know what you're going to publish that I have said. I hope that you have it accurately. My position is this - the Bible mentions two kinds of prophets, a true prophet and a false prophet. I believe Mrs. White was a true prophet. Now that is my position.
(B) Yeah, I know that's your position. She was just a good woman who was greatly blessed and greatly mistaken, very frequently.
(H) And you don't think Elder Froom and Richards and the others take my position, that she was a true prophet?
(B) Of course they don't.
(H) I see.
(B) None of them do.
(H) Well, I appreciate your time.
(B) They all believe now as I say, that she was a blessed woman, and that she had a special mission for God's people for a special time, but they all, believe that, they know, that she wrote error. I mean, find out about the book of hers that is locked up in the safe and that nobody is allowed to see.
(H) Yes, I'll ask about that. I'll make inquiry. Thank you very much, Dr. Barnhouse. Good-bye.
(B) Good-bye.

Two Cassettes available: THE AGENDA OF THE JUDGMENT -- A Consideration of the Judgment before the Ancient of Days after the correction of the Crosier error.
THE DIVINE RATIONALE FOR THE 144,000 -- God's answer to the Laodicean failure; His vindication in the Judgment; and the realization of His design in the Creation of man.
--- (1986 Aug) --- End --- TOP

1986 Sep -- XIX -- 9(86) -- THE 1888 MESSAGE IN 1986 -- Can It Still Be Given in the Setting OF 1950 -- In 1888, God chose two "messengers" and gave them a message to bring to the Church in its general session held that year in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ellen G. White told J. S. Washburn 1 the following year when both were in attendance at the Ottawa, Kansas, Campmeeting that the Lord gave E. J. Waggoner special light on the question of "Righteousness by Faith" that He had not given her. Even though she had wanted to bring out this message, she was unable to do so as clearly as Waggoner had done; however, when Waggoner did, she recognized it. This is the reason why she refers to both Waggoner and Jones as "His messengers" (TM , p. 95) sent with "a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message, in clear, distinct lines." (Ibid., p. 93)

This message, except for a brief revival of interest in 1924,  2  lay dormant - and unheeded by the Church at large and its ministry. However, in 1950, at the time of the General Conference Session in San Francisco, God chose two other men to reintroduce the Message of 1888 to the Church. On July 11, 1950, Elders R. J. Wieland and D. K. Short made representations to the officers of the General Conference. Their letter said in part:       The President's stirring address last night, calling upon us to guard the faith once delivered to the saints, and to speak forthrightly in defense of it, presents a challenge. With this in mind, it is imperative that we know exactly what it is that should be guarded, for certainly there is great confusion in our ranks today.

This confusion was evident in the "Christ -centered" preaching urged upon us repeatedly in the Ministerial Association meetings of the past four days. These meetings were supposed to set the stage for a mighty revival among God's people at this General Conference session. This "Christ-centered" preaching is expected by its proponents to bring great reformation among Seventh-day Adventist workers the world around.

No one for a moment would disparage the preaching of the true Christ as the center and substance of the three angels' messages. However, in this confusion, it has not been discerned that much of this so-called "Christ-centered preaching" is in reality merely antichrist centered preaching. It vitally affects the outcome of the General Conference session. To make such a statement to the General Conference Committee sounds fantastic. But startling things are not unexpected by the church in the last days. (Emphasis theirs; Quoted in Preliminary Memorandum, p. 3)

Nothing further was done at the session, but subsequently, resulting from a hearing in Washington D.C., these men were asked to write out their contentions, resulting in the manuscript - 1888 Re-Examined. It was left with the "brethren" and Wieland and Short returned to their mission field in Africa. The Defense Literature Committee was asked to render a report on this manuscript. In 1951, this committee responded by rejecting the analysis of the 1888 Minneapolis conference as researched by Wieland

p 2 -- and Short; and denouncing as slander against the Adventist ministry, the charge that the Christ-centered preaching advocated at the Ministerial Association meeting was in reality "antichrist centered" preaching.

Historical Backdrop -- At this juncture of the recital of history, we must leave a discussion of the manuscript, 1888 Re-Examined, temporarily, and note what was happening within the Church and the world. First the world:    In 1948, the State of Israel was reestablished. This in itself was NOT a fulfillment of any prophecy of God's word. However, it was an event which contradicted interpretations by Adventist evangelists that Israel would never again be established as a nation. In reality, this event was merely a pre-shadowing of other coming events which were and will be fulfillments of Bible prophecies. .(See Luke 21:24; Daniel 11:45) In other words, the final scenes of earth's history were beginning to take shape. Ellen G. White had directed attention to the importance of events in the history of Jerusalem. She wrote:      In the twenty-first chapter of Luke Christ foretold what was to come upon Jerusalem, and with it He connected the scenes which were to take place in the history of this world just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 23-24)

It is significant that she did not cite the parallel records of Jesus' prophecies in Matthew (24) and Mark (13). In Luke, the one prophecy relative to Jerusalem not mentioned by the other two writers is the clear declaration that Jerusalem "shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles (nations) be fulfilled." (21:24) The establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 foreshadowed this coming event. It is against this backdrop that the message God gave Wieland and Short must be evaluated.

The manuscript which Wieland and Short left with the "brethren" was not completely lost on the leadership. Elder W. H. Branson had been elected president in 1950. Mid-term, he decided on a Bible Conference which was held in the Sligo Park Church in 1952. What he said at this conference shows the effect of the representations made by Wieland and Short on his thinking. Further, what was said by another participant connected the Adventist perception of what took place in 1948 with Luke 21:24.

Let, us note first Branson's remarks. He, in closing a study on "The Lord Our Righteousness," stated:       To a large degree the church failed to build on the foundation laid at the 1888 General Conference. Much has been lost as a result. We are years behind where we should have been in spiritual growth. Long ere this we should have been in the Promised Land.

But the message of righteousness by faith given in the 1888 Conference has been repeated here. ... Truly this one subject has, in this conference "swallowed up every other."

And this great truth has been given here in this 1952 Bible Conference with far greater power than it was given in the 1888 Conference because those who have spoken here have had the advantage of much more added light shining forth from the hundreds of pronouncements on this subject in the writings of the Spirit of prophecy which those who spoke back there did not have.

The light of justification and righteousness by faith shines upon us today more clearly than it ever shone before upon any people.

No longer will the question be, "What was the attitude of our workers and people toward the message of righteousness by faith that was given in 1888? What did they do about it?" From now on the great question must be, "What did we do with the light on righteousness by faith as proclaimed in the 1952 Bible Conference?" (Our Firm Foundation, Vol. II, pp. 616-617)

During the 1952 Bible Conference, Elder A. S. Maxwell noted among the unfulfilled signs still before God's people were "Developments in Palestine." He said:      The recent dramatic restoration of the nation of Israel has focused the attention of mankind once more upon Palestine. ...

There is one prophecy concerning Palestine that we should all be watching with special care. Said Jesus, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Luke 21:24.

For nineteen centuries Jerusalem has been trodden down of the Gentiles. It is still trodden down of the Gentiles. ... Victorious as were the forces of Israel in every other part of Palestine, they failed to take the most dazzling objective of all. Mysteriously they were held back from achieving this most cherished goal, this culminating triumph, as by an unseen hand.

What could be the reason? Only that the times of the Gentiles are not yet fulfilled. (Ibid., p. 230)

p 3 -- Today this is no longer an unfulfilled prophecy facing God's people, but a fulfilled prophecy calling for understanding and response by God's people. If, therefore, events were taking place in 1948 which would lead to the fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus - and it was so recognized at the 1952 Bible Conference - then the call for the renewal of the Message of 1888 in 1950 is inextricably connected with events both in secular and our church history as they fulfill prophecy. The Message of 1888 was to prepare a people not only to stand in the day of the Lord, but a people to bear the final witness of the grace of God as manifest in the final atonement. Thus as the final events approached, God sent "messengers" calling for a renewal of this message.

On to 1955-1956 -- Elder W. H. Branson told the delegates to the 1952 Bible Conference that the key challenge arising from this conference was - "What did we do with the light on righteousness by faith as proclaimed in the 1952 Bible Conference?" What did they do with it? A careful study of the various messages given at the conference reveal that historical and fundamental Adventism was upheld by most of the speakers. But in three years, we entered into conferences with the Evangelicals and denied the unique trust God committed to the Advent Movement - the final atonement. When the book, - Questions on Doctrine was published, it stated emphatically -      Adventists do not hold any theory of a dual atonement. "Christ hath redeemed us" (Gal. 3:13) "Once for all" (Heb. 10:10). (p.390, Emphasis theirs)

As a result of the publication of this book, A. L. Hudson, then local elder of the Baker, Oregon, Seventh-day Adventist Church, drew up a Supporting Brief to a proposed resolution to be presented to the delegates at the 48th General Conference in 1958 at Cleveland, Ohio.  3  In this Supporting Brief, attention was called to the manuscript - 1888 Re-Examined - as the basis for the explanation as to why this denial of basic Adventism occurred. (p. 30) It was clearly shown that if the message of warning given by God's "messengers" in 1950 had been heeded, the apostasy of 1955-1956 would not have taken place. The Adventist conferees would have been able to distinguish between the true Christ ministering in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary and the false christ of the Evangelicals. Thus the Message of 1888, and the setting in which it was given in 1950 cannot be separated from the apostasy of 1955-1956. Though completely antithetical, they are united inseparably because of events in the history of the Adventist Church. The Adventist conferees rejected the true Christ, and accepted the false just as Wieland and Short warned in their manuscript. To preach the Message of 1888 now in the 1950 setting without reference to the events which followed is to advocate the untenable position of calling for God's people to embrace the true Christ, and yet support and adhere to the false christ embraced by official Adventism.

The Official Adventist Position -- When the book - Questions on Doctrine - was published, it was stated in its introduction:     The writers, counselors, and editors who produced the answers to these questions have labored conscientiously to state accurately the beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists. But because of the very nature of the Seventh-day Adventist Church organization it is impossible to consider this book a denominationally official statement of doctrine, as the term "official" is understood in many church circles. No statement of Seventh-day Adventist belief can be considered official unless it is adopted by the General Conference in quadrennial session, when accredited delegates from the whole world field are present. The statement of Fundamental Beliefs as mentioned above is our only official statement. The answers in this volume are an expansion of doctrinal positions contained in that official [1931] statement of Fundamental Beliefs. Hence this volume can be viewed as truly representative of the faith and beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (pp. 8-9, emphasis supplied)

In 1980 a new Statement of Beliefs was voted by the General Conference in session.  4  While there are those who question the adequacy of Statement #23 - "Christ's Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary" - they still ask - - - "Where is the denial of the 'final atonement' to be found in 1980 Statement?" Herein lies the fatal deception perpetrated upon the Church in Questions on Doctrine, it is clearly stated that:    When, therefore, one hears an Adventist say, or reads in Adventist literature - even in the writings of Ellen G. White - that Christ is making atonement now, it should

p 4 -- be understood that we mean simply that Christ is now making application of the benefits of the sacrificial atonement He made on the cross; that He is making it efficacious for us individually, according to our needs and requests. (pp. 354-355, emphasis theirs)

The very emphasis placed here by Leroy Froom is significant. He writes that when we speak of Jesus "making atonement now" - in other words, a final atonement - we mean that Jesus is merely making application of the benefits of an atonement completed at Calvary - no two atonements!

Further, when discussing the "Priestly Ministry of Christ," Froom declares it to be a "glorious" thought that Jesus has now "entered the 'holy places,' and appeared in the presence of God for us." Now note carefully -     But it was not with the hope of obtaining something for us at that time, or at some future time. No! He had already obtained it for us on the cross. And now as our High Priest He ministers the virtues of His atoning sacrifice to us. (p. 381, emphasis theirs)

Here is expressed the two sides of the same coin - the coin which denies two atonements. One side reads - "Jesus as High Priest obtained nothing for us when He entered the Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary, and He obtains nothing for us now as He ministers in the Most Holy Place." The other side of the coin reads - Jesus as our High Priest is merely "making application of the benefits of the sacrificial atonement He made on the cross."

Which side of this "coin" was voted at Dallas for the laity to read? Note the language of Statement #23 which reads in part:      There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers in our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross." (Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, p. 43, 1981 edition, emphasis supplied)

It should be obvious to the simplest mind that the Seventh-day Adventist Church in General Conference session has officially voted the denial of a final atonement. This is what the message of 1888 was all about, a message to prepare a people for the final atonement. Thus indirectly the official action of the Church at its Dallas session was to nullify the Message of 1888. It is therefore, ludicrous to tell people to come out to hear and to embrace the Message of 1888, and to tell them at the same time to remain loyal, to an apostate organization which has officially denied the final atonement. Such is deception reaching its zenith!

The Message of the Manuscript -- When Wieland and Short wrote their manuscript, they called for a "denominational repentance." This was based upon a very specific testimony in the Writings. The call read:       It is now abundantly evident that "we" have traveled the road of disillusionament since the Minneapolis meeting of 1888. Infatuation with false teachings has taken the place of clear, cogent, heaven-inspired truth, as regards "righteousness by faith." By the hard, humiliating way of actual experience with counterfeit, Israel has brought herself to the time when she is ripe for disillusionment. The simple faith to believe, which was spurned at Minneapolis, is now replaceable with the bitter tears of humble repentance, occasioned by our history. The following prophecy has been fulfilled, and awaits only its realization by the church:       Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself. (8T:250)

Such an experience will be a repentance very similar to that of Mary Magdalene, whose faith and love were spoken of by the Saviour as that of the model Christian. The genuine repentance of heart-broken love is righteousness by faith. (A Warning and Its Reception, p. 242. The above was written in 1950)

In the second appraisal of the Wieland-Short manuscript brought about by the prodding of A. L. Hudson, the General Conference responded to this call for "denominational repentance." It was stated:       The solution proposed, of the denomination making confession of the mistakes of men in the 1880's and the 1890's and of a denominational repentance, is not possible nor would an attempt to do so be of value. (Ibid. p. 259, Emphasis supplied)

This response was in 1958. Already the book, Questions on Doctrine, had been published (1957) which denied the final atonement. There was thus no way the General Conference could turn around (repent) and accept the genius of the 1888 Message. Since they still

p 5 -- maintain the positions held in the book and have voted it a part of the doctrine of the Church, all response on the part of the hierarchy of the Church to the Message of 1888 is mere lip service. This only adds to the ludicrousness of the situation. Who is trying to fool who? But the sad, sad part is that the "messengers" whom God raised up to call for a denominational repentance are now playing the same "games."

The basis as found in the Writings justifying this call for "denominational repentance" dare not be overlooked. The chapter from which this quotation was taken is entitled - "Shall We Be Found Wanting?" - and the "WE" is the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a corporate entity. Of the Church as a corporate entity, the Messenger of the Lord wrote:       In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence, "Found wanting." By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. (Vol. 8. p. 247)

The wording indicates a future time - "is to be" - "will be." The fact that the church is to be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary is unequivocal. Only the decision to be rendered was prefaced with an "if." In 1903 at the "now" time of the testimony, it was dated, April 21, 1903, the church was "being leavened with her own backsliding." If she would repent, then the verdict from the sanctuary would not be "Found Wanting."

However, the Church as a corporate body has not repented; has refused to repent, and further has made a part of her voted doctrine a denial of the final atonement. What decision only, can God now render? How then can we continue to hold out a false hope to God's people in 1986, and ask them to ignore all the events since 1950?

In the 1900's the two, "messengers" whom God chose to bring the message of righteousness by faith to His people in 1888, veered off course in one direction, now in the 1980's, the two "messengers" whom God raised up in 1950, are veering off course in the opposite direction. May God have mercy on these men who were called of God in 1950.

1   - "Interview with J. S. Washburn at Hagerstown, Md., June 4, 1950." This interview is signed by Washburn with the notation by him - "True Report of Interview."

2   - In response to an action of the Ministerial Association Advisory Counsel, voted at Des Moines, Iowa, October 22, 1924, Elder A. G. Daniells produced a book captioned, Christ Our Righteousness. In this book, he noted that through the Writings of Ellen G. White, "information is furnished regarding developments in connection with the giving of the message and its reception and also its rejection, and it is quite necessary to become familiar with this inspired information in order to understand better our present situation. It would be far more agreeable to eliminate some of the statements given by the Spirit of prophecy regarding the attitude of some of the leaders toward the message and the messengers. But this cannot be done without giving only a partial presentation of the situation which developed at the Conference, thus leaving the question in more or less of mystery." (pp. 58-59, 1926 edition)

3   - It was in connection with this General Conference session that A. L. Hudson and this Editor first met Wieland and Short. Hudson had been in correspondence with them in Africa, and we were also in contact. After learning that both Wieland and Short were planning to be at the General Conference, he asked me if I would drive to Cleveland and see if a conference of the four of us could be arranged. If so, he would fly back to Indiana where I was serving as a pastor at the time.

In the contact, it was learned that Wieland planned to attend the Seminary at Berrien Springs that summer, and Short was coming to Indiana to visit relatives. The four of us had a conference in Marion, Indiana. It was a Spirit-directed fellowship as we shared a common conviction that the 1888 Message should be promoted in the light of events that were taking place in the Adventist community. Hudson was encouraged to continue his publication and enlarge its scope. This he did. This Editor wrote for him under the pen name of Ben Ezra II. Wieland and Short desired to maintain their "vow of silence," and did so until each retired from regular service. However, correspondence continued over the years between the group on a one to one basis until in recent months. Hudson expressed his conviction in a letter dated, July 12, 1986, in which he wrote:       I could hope that some kind of a face-to-face communication could take place between the four of us [again] and maybe a handful of others, but unless it occurs in an atmosphere of Christian love, the meeting would be a curse, not a blessing."

4   - An interesting parallel of historical events continued from 1948 when Israel was reestablished as a State, and the call came to the Church for a denominational repentance in 1950 by Elders Wieland and Short. For the Church the culmination was reached in Dallas, when at the General Conference session on April 25, 1980, a Statement of Beliefs was voted denying the "final atonement." In 1967, the forces of Israel took Jerusalem, but it was not until July 30, 1980, by action of the Knesset, that the Capital was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thus closing the final segment of "the times of the Gentiles," bringing to complete fulfillment the prophecy of Jesus as found in Luke 21:24.

p 6 -- AN OPEN LETTER TO ELDER R. J. WIELAND -- June 18, 1986

Elder R. J. Wieland
625 Mariposa Circle
Chula Vista, CA 92011

Dear Elder Wieland;

Your name as well as that of Elder D. K. Short's has come to represent 1888 to this generation of Seventh-day Adventists. And rightly so, because God called you,both as "messengers" in 1950 to warn the church of its need for corporate repentance. You grasped this concept and quoted the warning in Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 250. (See A Warning and Its Reception, p. 242)

Today, as you are now seeking in a public way to proclaim the message of 1888 which was to have been so given in 1950, you are ignoring all that has taken place in Adventism since that time, even the other part of the key warning on which you based your message in 1950. (8T:247) Some are receiving a strong impression that now because you are safe in your retirement security, and that some of "the brethren" are now giving you some public recognition in exchange for your refusal to consider the implications of what has transpired in Adventism since 1950, you are now doing what you know you should have done in 1950. Be that as it may, the issues involving the 1888 Message and the present cannot be longer avoided, but must be clearly set forth. Because of this, I am suggesting an open Forum discussion at which you and I address the issues.

This Forum could be organized by you appointing a moderator, and I choosing one, and the two select a third. These three moderators with us could work out the details as to time, place, and format of the discussion. I am suggesting the following key issues as a part of the Forum discussion. You may wish to add others. These are:
I.   The 1888 Message:   How it can be made relevant today in the light of what has transpired in Adventism since 1950. What must be its present import in view of the fact that the righteousness of Christ is pure, unadulterated truth." (TM, p. 65)

II.   How does the prophetic warning in Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 247 relate to us today? 1

III.   What is the significance of the prophetic testimony found in the Review & Herald, December 13, 1892. 2

IV.    Are the two different Hebrew words translated in Daniel, "take away" as applied to the "daily," antonyms or synonyms?

Looking forward to your positive reply, I remain in the interest of truth, pure and unadulterated,
Sincerely yours,

Wm, H. Grotheer, Editor

1   - "In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages she has had. If her spiritual

p 7 -- experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence, 'Found wanting.' By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged." (Vol. 8, p. 247)

2   - After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation, and minds will be confused by many voices crying, 'Lo, here is Christ, Lo, He is there. This is the truth, I have a message from God, He has sent me with great light.' Then there will be a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to pull down the pillars of our faith." (R&H, Dec. 13,.1892)

[Editor's Comment: This letter was sent as dated with a cover note asking for any comment which Elder Wieland might have regarding it, or any suggestions he might wish to make. As of this date - July 18 - there has been no response. This entire Thought Paper will be sent in advance to Elder Wieland and certain others, except for possible late announcements, prior to being released to our readers. We do not seek to work behind the backs of the "messengers" God chose in 1950. Our desire is to update the Message of 1888 in the light of events which have taken place in Adventism since 1950.]

MANUSCRIPT OF FOUNDATION -TIMES OF GENTILES FULFILLED - PLACED ON HIERARCHY "INDEX" -- By action of the Church Board of the Central Seventh-day Adventist Church of Bakersfield, California, a young man is to be disfellowshipped at a meeting called for July 20, 1986. [This is being written, July 18] Along with the letter notifying this young man of the intended action was a page captioned - "Questions for Marvin Richardson." If he did not answer the questions the way the Church Board controlled by Elder Wellesley Muir, a former youth leader, thinks they should be answered, the decision will be final, Marvin Richardson will be - "Disfellowshipped!"

Question #4 is very interesting - "Do you agree with the teaching found in a publication called Time of the Gentiles Fulfilled?" The answer which would assure Marvin's continued membership in a church which denies the final atonement must be - "No."

Perhaps you would like to see how you would answer this question after reading the manuscript. Write for a copy.

In sending us the material from Elder Muir, Brother Marvin wrote - "Prophecy is being fulfilled in our day. Read John 16:2. ... Please have me in your prayers so that God will keep me faithful to the end.

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,
and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their lives unto the death."
Revelation 12: 11

--- (1986 Sep) --- End ---

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