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WWN 1983 Apr - Jun


1983 Apr -- XVI - 4(83) -- Where Has the Ninth Commandment Gone? -- "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor" --


During the month of January this year, I received several copies of a letter sent Elder Earl W. Amundson, President of the Atlantic Union Conference. This letter was regarding "The Pawtucket Nursing Villa" and was written by John J. Adam, Secretary & Treasurer of the Adventist Layman Council. It read:      "Our laymen group has been into these nursing homes and all the big business deals that no one knows about. Yours takes the cake! You gentlemen could give Davenport lessons on how to make money.
"I've just got to send a copy of this deal to Ellsworth Reile, he knows all about nursing homes, but, I bet he'll get spastic when he sees this wheeling and dealing.
"Another thing you and Reile have in common is the fact that you don't answer your calls from me. It tells us something. Davenport and Des Cummings never talked to us and you have now joined a very elect group.
"We will roll the presses next week (we will send you the first copy).
"We still love you, but, you just can't go around protecting crooks and abusing laymen. All we want from our leadership is HONESTY. We continue to pray for you and the Lord bless you."

This letter, dated January 20, was not published in the SDA Press Release, (Vol. 1, No. 13) but another one dated, January 26, did appear calling for Amundson's resignation because it was alleged he had had a local layman in the Brockton SDA Church disfellowshipped.

After receiving copies of the first letter, I wrote to Elder Amundson as I had gone to school with him. Also, we had been fellow workers in the Indiana Conference a number of years ago. In sending him a copy of this letter, I indicated that the readers of the Thought Paper would be interested in this matter, and before writing up the matter, I asked what comments did he have to make. He replied in part in a letter dated February 1:    "Thank you so much for your note typed on a copy of John Adam's letter. It is good

p 2 -- of you to seek information on the other side of the question, and I do appreciate this courtesy you have shown. ...
"I'm happy for the opportunity to respond to your question. A partnership was formed (which eventually included Fuller Memorial Hospital) to construct and operate a nursing home (Pawtucket). This was done prior to my arrival in the Atlantic Union. My name is not on any of the documents. The administrator shared the plan of development with several brethren in the General Conference office at the beginning of the plan. Fuller Memorial Hospital has operated Pawtucket Nursing Home from the very beginning. The goals and objectives as stated in the proposal are worthy.
"After arriving in this area, I learned of the development of the project, visited the nursing home, but did not get the full story for more than a year.
"In November, 1981, an auditing team from Adventist Health System North did a spot audit and wrote a report containing a number of questions that needed answering, including one of an apparent conflict of interest. I received the report early in 1982, and the president of AHSN and myself in discussing the matter agreed that we needed to share the report with the board immediately. The former administrator (who had played the leading role in the development of Pawtucket) requested the privilege of answering the questions at the same time the auditors' report was presented. We felt this would be the fair and right thing to do - the board would get both sides at the same time.
"Unfortunately, the person has procrastinated. We requested full disclosure -- nothing less would be acceptable -- we requested that he give priority to preparing his report. We made these requests in writing and also verbally. In fact, every time I saw him (and it was often) I pressed him for the information. I regret that it has taken much longer than what he had promised.
"I shared this information with John Adam by telephone and requested that he not publish anything in view of the fact that the board will be receiving the report soon.
"We have tried to exercise patience in this
matter and have related to the person in question according to the Golden Rule. Our Lord has taught us that; at the same time, a day of accounting cannot be postponed forever. We are determined to see this matter through to an appropriate conclusion, whatever that may be."

After receiving this reply from Elder Earl Amundson, and the SDA News Release, #13, which contained documents exposing the Pawtucket Nursing Villa Partnership Agreement, I talked to Brother J. J. Adam on telephone and I asked him if he was aware that the Partnership hadn't been signed by Elder Amundson, but had been entered into during the time of his predecessor, Elder J. L. Dittberner. Adam replied that yes he knew that, but he didn't tell the laymen everything. Further Adam indicated their asking for Amundson's resignation was primarily because he had Brother J. M. Ware disfellowshipped, and this the Council could not tolerate. Then a few weeks later, I receive a copy of the following letter written by Brother Ware and addressed to the Adventist Layman Council in Collegedale, Tennessee. It addressed three subjects:  1) "SDA Laymen's Press Vol. 1, #13;" 2) Pawtucket Nursing Villa, and 3) Earl Amundson and James Ware. It reads:       "According to the information that I have been able to ascertain at this time, it is important for the sake of the truth that the facts of the above matter be known.

"First of all, Elder Earl Amundson, the President of the Atlantic Union Conference, was not a party in the purchase of Pawtucket Nursing Villa because he was not President of the Atlantic Union Conference at the time of agreement to purchase and was not a member of the Fuller Memorial Hospital Board. Consequently he could not have been a party to any transaction in reference to the above Nursing Villa.

"As for the allegation that Elder Earl Amundson influenced my dismissal from church membership in the Brockton Seventh-day Adventist Church, I can state at this time without any reservation that he did in no wise participate at any level in this matter and there is no evidence for the allegation.

p 3 -- "I believe that an apology is in order at this time and should be published immediately and circulated to all the areas throughout the North American Division to clear Elder Earl Amundson's name.

"I can fully appreciate that all parties involved have had and still have the best interests of the church at heart ... I believe the cause of God is best served when we all show respect for the truth of the matter and to clear up some of the misunderstandings that have resulted from the articles that appeared in the above mentioned press release. It has been aptly said that "truth is violated by error but outraged by silence."

Where has the Ninth Commandment gone? This whole episode leaves a shadow over all that has been written and published in the SDA News Release. There is no question that the documents published in regard to the Pawtucket Nursing Villa leave some very serious questions even as in the case of the Davenport scandal documentation. But what was the reason to cover and withhold facts from the laity by laity professing to the keep the laity informed? Are there also other facts which have been withheld by the "visible" members of the Council when the SDA News Release was discussing the Southern Missionary College problems? What are the connections between the various members of the Council, and the Editor of the SDA News Release? It is obvious from a report in the present issue of the News Release (#13) that there is a personal business relationship between John Felts, the President of the Council, and J. J. Adam, the Editor and Secretary-Treasurer. Felts wrote -   "I had known Brother Adam all my life and he was my personal stockbroker." (p. 2) Does this same thing hold true for other members of the Council? Not only is an apology due as suggested in Brother James D. Ware's letter, but an explanation is also due as to why certain informations are withheld from the readers when the image projected by the SDA News Release gives the expectation that its objective is to reveal the whole truth in regard to the devious financial activities that have marked the Church during the last decade. Then we might also ask, why with the information available to J. J. Adam, as to the dealings of the Washington hierarchy in the Stock Market, the Council has concentrated only on the actions of certain Union and local Conference officials, and said nothing about the dealings of the Curia on the Sligo in what Adam himself refers to as the biggest legalized "crap game" in the world? Where has the Ninth Commandment gone?

WILSON AND THE WHOLE TRUTH -- On January 22, 1983, Elder Neal C. Wilson responded to a series of questions asked him by a panel at the Loma Linda University Church. Following the questions by the Panel, Wilson then made a statement regarding the Davenport scandal. He said:      "Beginning in about 1966, actually a year or two prior to that, 1964 and early 1965, we did become aware that Dr. Davenport was moving into the investment area, or into the development area, and was opening certain opportunities that seemed to be attractive to our organizations and institutions. By 1966, that was more crystalized. We examined some of those things in the General Conference during the latter part of 1966 and during the early part of 1967. In fact, through 1967. We began to realize that some of those who seemed to be attracted by these offers were not looking at all the facts.

"The General Conference itself was approached with the possibility of placing some of its funds in certain of these developments that Dr. Davenport had proposed in different parts of the country. They seemed to be reasonably secure. Land was leased backed up by Federal lease, running twenty or twenty-five years for a Post Office, or what have you, such as the one that we have at La Sierra ... The problem that we faced in the General Conference in 1966 and 1967, as we looked at, was that we could not get an audited financial statement." (From a Released Taped Transcription)

What did the General Conference do with monies entrusted to them, and what did they want the conferences to do with their monies? This Wilson did not tell. The General Conference at this same time began playing the stock market. A financial officer of the General Conference reported through Spectrum (Vol. 5, #2, 1973, p. 52):

p 4 -- "Because the General Conference is responsible for a large pool of capital, the controlling investment and securities committee decided in 1967 to retain professional investment counsel ... Lionel D. Edie & Company, Inc., of New York City, was chosen to do the research, analysis, and selection of securities for the General Conference portfolio. Members of the investment section of the Treasurer's Office work very closely with Edie & Company and keep in communication by telephone and in-person conferences for detailed review of current and projected trends in the economic and money markets."

Over the years since 1967, there have been no reports in the Review of the profits and losses as a result of playing the stock market. However, one conference's experience was revealed in the "Minutes of the Steering Committee of the Lay Advisory Committee." Its Sub-Committee on Conference Organization and Finance revealed from 1968 through 1973, this one conference's (paper) loss through the Stock Market was over $2 Million. The General Conference was during this same period investing not only its entrusted funds, but those of other conferences outside of the Pacific Union Conference in the same stock market. What their total losses were during this period is a well kept secret. (Moreover, it is safe to say, those conferences and unions who had money with Davenport, were reaping returns on their monies.) It would not take many conferences with over $1 Million losses, plus the losses of the General Conference to equal the total amount lost to Davenport.

However, in this instance, the gamble paid off in the rise of the stock market, and the brethren in the Washington hierarchy didn't get caught holding the losses in their hands. It should also be noted that all that the leadership in Washington did during this period was to write letters to protect themselves in the event the worst should happen. No action was taken against those who violated GC Policy guidelines. It is not what you do, it is what you get caught doing that is the bottom line.

We have been advised in recent months that the General Conference still has hundreds of thousands of dollars in the stock market. Of this Wilson said nothing in his report on the Davenport scandal in the Loma Linda University Church. Where has the Ninth Commandment gone?

In all honesty, it I should be noted that Elder L. L. Butler, Treasurer of the General Conference, has promised to give information to the Adventist Review concerning the Church's "investments." (March 10, 1983, p. 6) What will be interesting to see is how far back he will go in disclosing the hierarchy's activities in playing the stock market, and if he will tell the actual amount involved, and what stocks are in the GC portfolio.]

L. L. BUTLER AND THE WHOLE TRUTH -- Recently Elder D. L. Bauer sent to me a folder of documents - letters and facsimile reproductions of pamphlets - showing relationships between the Seventh-day Adventist Church and National Council of Churches. Some of the material I had in my own files, and had seen some of the other documents. There was, however, one letter of current dating that I had not seen previously. It was, written by L. L. Butler to an inquiry from a sister in Mississippi. From context, we can gather the inquirer was concerned about the report in the January, 1983, Reader's Digest about the use of funds by the various arms of the National Council of Churches.

Butler's letter read:    "Thank you for your letter of the 27th in which you wrote regarding the article appearing in the January issue of the READER'S DIGEST. Following the receipt of your letter I obtained a copy of the DIGEST and have glanced through the article. We have no financial relationships with this organization. All of the funds that we as a Church receive, whether by way of offerings; such as, Sabbath School, Disaster and Famine Relief, etc., or contributions from the public as we receive through the Ingathering campaign, are disbursed entirely through our own denominational channels. We understand them to be contributed on the basis that we shall use them to maintain the various programs operated by our Church, including of course our various welfare programs.

"The disposition and allocation of these funds are governed by our guidelines as contained in the General Conference

p 5 -- Working Policy, and these funds are channeled through the various areas of Church organization such as the divisions, the unions, the local conferences and their subsidiary organizations. So the brief answer to your inquiry is that we do not contribute any funds to this organization."

I decided as Editor of this Thought Paper to write to Elder Butler and see if I could get the truth our data indicated the letter did not contain. Here is our letter to Elder Butler dated January 31:      "Just this past week, there came to my attention a letter you had written to a "friend" in Mississippi in comment on the article in Reader's Digest for January, 1983.

"In reading the article myself, I found two organizations were being scored in the report. One was the parent, and the other the relief and development arm of the NCC,' or Church World Service. In your evasive comments, you named neither, thus permitting whomever reads your letter to assume that the Church has not given, nor is presently giving any funds to the NCC in any form, nor for any purpose. You indicate 'all of the funds that we as a Church receive, ... are disbursed entirely through our own denominational channels.' You further indicate that 'the disposition and allocation of these funds are governed by our guidelines as contained in the General Conference Working Policy.' But you did not state what is allowed in the Guidelines in respect to giving monies to the NCC.

"In 1960, Mr. Donald F. Landwer, Assistant General Secretary for Finance [NCC] wrote that 'In 1959 the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church sent a total of $6700 toward support' of program units 'to which it has one relationship or the other.' He was referring to units in which the Church has either 'non-voting' or 'associate membership.'

"In 1970, Constant H. Jacquet, Director of Research Library for the NCC indicated in a letter dated April 7, 1970 - 'In fiscal 1969, this body (SDA) contributed $5,950 to the DOM Budget' of the NCC.

"Is this no longer being done in regard to any committee or commission of the NCC? Are the present Guidelines different than they were in 1959, and 1969? The new Editor of the Adventist Review has indicated that he wants all the information to come to the readers first of activities within the Church. Why not clarify this openly and forthrightly in the Review, stating clearly what has been done in the past, and what is or is not being done at present."

As of this date (March 14), I have received no reply or acknowledgment of this letter. Where has the Ninth Commandant gone?

DR. WANG AND THE WHOLE TRUTH -- This week there came to my desk an issue of "The Runner." This publication is edited, by Mr. H. S. Lau. The article is entitled - "If I Were One of the GC Vice Presidents of the SDA Church:" Then he tells what he would do. Written by Dr. James D. Wang, it states among other items:       "I would listen to the words of Elder Kenneth H. Wood: '... let me say that I have always been critical of the aspects of QOD that in my view represented a departure from historic Adventism. I wrote a 50-page paper on the question and presented it at the Nisoca Pines retreat of the General Conference officers several years ago.' (From a personal letter written August 14, 1981)."

As I read this "personal letter" these words were so familiar, yet "personal" as used in the documentation would refer to Dr. Wang. But no, when I checked it out, it was a letter to me, which I had shared with Dr. Wang to show him that his friend - Elder Wood - only stood for historic Adventism on occasion. The part of the letter which Dr. Wang did not share with his readers - answering a letter I had written to Elder Durand, Wood's assistant - read:      "In your recent letter to Elder Durand you asked whether I stand by the position on Questions on Doctrine set forth in Elder Durand's letter or the one I wrote in 1968. The answer is, I stand by both of them. My personal position has not varied on the book. It is important to recognize, however, that audiences vary."

To a layperson, Elder Wood had written - February 28, 1968 - the following:      

p 6 -- "The book to which you refer is undoubtedly Questions on Doctrine, published in 1957. This book in no way changes our fundamental beliefs, in fact, it probably sets them forth more clearly than any publication that has been issued from our presses in many a year. I have been next to this whole program from the very beginning, and I have yet to hear any serious reader of this book offer a criticism that can bear examination. It is always possible that some statements might have been expressed more clearly to avoid misunderstanding, but rightly understood, the delineations of doctrine in this book are in harmony with historic Adventism."

The facts are simply these:  Elder Kenneth H. Wood's mentor was F. D. Nichol who was a member of the committee "to prepare the document [which was to become, Questions on Doctrine] for distribution to church leaders, then to analyze and evaluate the feedback." (Adventist Heritage, Vol. #2, p. 41) Thus Wood's comments when writing to the laity was a position in harmony with the apostasy of the hierarchy. When he thought it was "safe" to do so, he questioned the positions of the book. In other words, Wood talked out of both sides of his mouth. Is this what Dr. Wang wishes the Vice Presidents to do, and is this what he would do if he were a Vice President? Why are we hiding all the truth and seeking to have Wood an adherent of historic Adventism when he plainly wrote that "the delineations of doctrine in this book [Questions on Doctrine] are in harmony with historic Adventism." Where has the Ninth Commandment gone? Just where?

"Because the Spirit is to come, not to praise men or to build up their erroneous theories, but to reprove the world of sin,
and of righteousness, and of judgment, many turn away from it ...
They are not willing to exchange their own righteousness which is unrighteousness, for the righteousness of Christ,
which is pure, unadulterated truth. The Holy Spirit flatters no man, neither does it work according to the devisings of any man."
Testimonies to Ministers, p. 65

Battle of the Decade Looms on the Horizon -- Christianity Today (March 18, 1983) reveals that on January 27, 1983, Elder Neal Wilson "telephoned Dr. Desmond Ford that he was giving the Australian Division the go-ahead to revoke Ford's ordination. Three days later, Ford received a telegram from his home division stating that his ordination had been 'annulled.'" (p. 23)

What reaction this will have in Australia is yet to be seen. No doubt it will put some of the "concerned" brethren who have fought for this action back to sleep. They have been able to pluck a giant "banana" leaf from the tree, but the tree still stands. Some of these so-concerned retired brethren have never been able to perceive that Ford is merely the fruition of the apostasy resulting from the SDA-Evangelical Conferences in 1955-1956. These men who were so gung-ho to "get" Ford never raised their voices - not even to a stage whisper - in support of Elder M. L. Andreasen when he openly attacked the result of those conferences - the book, Questions on Doctrine. The tree - The Statement of Beliefs voted at the Dallas Session - still stands. Are these men who profess to lead the forces for historic Adventism in Australia unaware of the fact that Ford himself stated he could live and preach under the Dallas Statement of Beliefs, and that if the "brethren" would move as far toward him as they did at Glacier View in a few days, what would years till the next GC Session bring? See Ministry, October, 1980, pp. 9, 11. Was the Sabbath School Lessons for the First Quarter of this year the beginning?

This is not all that Christianity Today reported. "A follow-up letter [from the Australian Division] also said he would be stripped of his church membership. However, [and here is the catch] Ford's
membership is with the Pacific Union College Seventh-day Adventist Church in Angwin, California ..." (Ibid.) According to the rules of the Church Manual, Ford has a right to appear in his own defense - and to appeal the decision should it go against him, which the hierarchy will bend every effort to achieve since

p 7 -- now that "the fat is in the fire." If Ford chooses to exercise his rights, the battle of the decade looms on the horizon.

We hold no brief for Ford's doctrines, neither did we support the book, Questions on Doctrine, nor do we give lip service to the Dallas Statement of Beliefs, but stand in defense of historic Adventism. The action in regard to Ford is long overdue. The time that has been taken and the money expended is without justification. While Ford will have many advantages since his membership is at the PUC Church, this coming battle will bring the hierarchy to their moment of truth - truth they have been unwilling to face up to. What if should show that Elder Neal Wilson placed his nihil obstat on the same basic doctrines for which he stands and Ford can by merely quoting from Movement of Destiny. Will the PUC Church then ask that Wilson's ordination be annulled and that he be stripped of his church membership? If we are going to remove the apostates, we need to start at the top and work on down.

I have never yet in all my years of dealing with the hierarchy seen them conduct a fair and honest trial in dealing with any minister or person where doctrinal issues were involved. They will always try to turn them to the matter of authority their authority. The Pastor of the Church who usually serves as chairman of the business session at which the trial is conducted serves many times as the "prosecuting attorney" as well. The conference president is usually there to lend his support to the rigging. I have actually heard a conference president say at one such rigged session - "The Prosecution rests its case." But when the person arose to speak in his own defense a right guaranteed by the Church Manual - he was denied that opportunity and summarily dismissed. There will be one difference in this case if Ford chooses to use his options - the eyes of the press both secular and religious will be looking over the shoulders of the presiding hierarchs.

There is an interesting sidelight to this whole affair. Sooner or later this was inevitable. Elder Morris Venden surely could see this coming. Having talked both ways, was it to his advantage to accept a call to the Pastorate of the Union College Church, thus being able to avoid chairing the trial of the decade?

Christianity Today also revealed that "the ordination of Ford's colleagues, van Rooyen and Mason, were also annulled, with calls for loss of their church membership," (Ibid.) It did not state where these men had their membership - but is van Rooyen's at the Andrews University Church?

The months ahead will be interesting, not that truth will triumph, but sheer naked power will become more manifest as besieged and desperate men seek to hold to their positions of authority. Will the laity awaken to the fact that the Church has been weighed in the balances of the Sanctuary (8T:247), or will most perceive of this as a purification to serve as a prelude to a so-called latter rain experience? Will they soon forget the Sabbath School lessons they had the first Quarter of this year? --- (1983 Apr) --- End --- TOP

1983 May-- XVI - 5(83) -- BENCH MARK OF CONFUSION -- "Hindsight" Evaluation of the S. S. Lessons -- Not since the Second Quarter' Lessons in 1977 on "Jesus - The Model Man" has such controversy convulsed the Church as was generated by the Lessons on "Christ's All-atoning Sacrifice" this past Quarter. Many a layperson who had been unaware of the doctrinal issues which were introduced in the Church by the SDA-Evangelical Conferences suddenly awakened to the fact that something was terribly wrong. Both series of lessons were built on the same basic doctrine - the Incarnation.

Reaction to the Lessons on the All-atoning Sacrifice varied from place to place. One conference president reported hearing of "cases" where individuals "would hold up the quarterly and say it is heresy and throw it to the floor. " (E. C. Beck, Letter dated, February 4, 1983) Other groups were reported to have boxed up the quarterlies and returned them to the General Conference Sabbath School Department. One church in the local conference substituted the 1977 Quarterly and re-studied it. The response was so negative and became so widespread that it was necessary for Dr. Leo Van Dolson, Editor of the Adult SS Lessons to make up a "form letter" so the secretary had to merely type the name of the concerned member in the heading and salutation. This "form letter" settled little, but has added fuel to the fire. The first paragraph set the tone for what followed. It read:      "1  The Human Nature of Christ:   Because the Seventh-day Adventist Church has not taken a definite position on the three possibilities mentioned on page 22 of the quarterly, the editors cannot do so and adequately represent the current position of the church. Although the author leans one way, the editors modified his position in the quarterly so that it might better represent the various positions held by the church as a whole on this issue."

One's immediate reaction to this explanation is that if the Church "has not taken a definite position" how can there be a "current position" which inhibits the editors - there were two involved - from taking a stand? Then in the same paragraph, Van Dolson indicates there are "various positions held by the church as a whole." This is telling all who will listen that the doctrinal thinking of the Church is in disarray. The "various positions" presently held by the Church on the doctrine of the Incarnation are indicative of the confusion which has permeated the Church resulting from the SDA-Evangelical Conferences. The Bible has a name for religious confusion.

The "form letter" is not the only one which Van Dolson has written. In another letter, he stated - "The lessons are prepared for and approved by a General Conference appointed committee of 66 leaders and scholars around the world. (Have you noticed the statement on page 4 under the contents?) This committee and editors

p 2 -- are charged with the responsibility of modifying the lessons so that they present the position of the world church." (Letter dated January 31, 1983) This shows the reason for the present confusion. It has always been the understanding of this editor that the Sabbath School was the place where the Bible was to be studied as the Textbook. The Sabbath School lessons were to teach truth based on the Word of God. But truth cannot find its source in the positions held by men unless based on that Word. Truth is of Divine origin finding its source in Him who is the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6) The "world church" cannot originate truth it can only proclaim truth. But if it has various positions on such vital doctrines as the Incarnation, then the trumpet is giving an uncertain sound - a confused babble of discordant notes.

This brings us to another conclusion if we are willing to anoint our eyes to be healed from our Laodicean blindness. The leadership of the Church today is as far from the message of 1888 as were the men who at that time rejected it. "The righteousness of Christ" has been defined as "pure unadulterated truth." (TM, p. 65) Now it should be clear to all that to express in the Sabbath School lessons "the various positions held by the church as a whole on this" doctrine is not expressing "pure unadulterated truth" but rather adulterated truth. Are we going to walk in the freedom of truth, or are we going to continue in the bondage of error? The Church "which now is, is in bondage with her children." (Gal. 4:25)

We need to remind ourselves that God sent to this people two men who were designated as "His messengers" (TM, p. 95) , with "a most precious message." (Ibid., p. 91) What did these men teach in regard to the Incarnation?

In 1890, the Pacific Press released a book by Dr. E. J Waggoner - Christ and His Righteousness which Froom avers to be ,an edited presentation of Waggoner's messages at the 1888 General Conference Session. See Movement of Destiny, p. 189. Commenting on Romans 8:3-4, Waggoner, in His book stated:      "A little thought will be sufficient to show anybody that if Christ took upon Him self the likeness of man, in order that He might redeem man, it had to be sinful man that He was made like, for it was sinful man that He came to redeem ... Moreover, the fact that Christ took upon Him the flesh, not of a sinless being, but of sinful man, that is, the flesh which He assumed had all the weaknesses and sinful tendencies to which fallen human nature is subject, is shown by the statement that He ' was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.'" (pages 26-27, emphasis his.)

In 1895, Elder A. T. Jones presented a series of studies at the General Conference Session in which he enunciated the doctrine of the Incarnation and the nature of Christ's humanity more clearly and more completely than had been done before in any single presentation. Jones began the study of the humanity of Christ by noting the common source from which the humanity we possess was derived. He stated:      "One man is the source and head of all human nature. And the genealogy of Christ, as one of us, runs to Adam ... All coming from one man according to the flesh, are all of one. Thus on the human side, Christ's nature is precisely our nature." (1895 GC Bulletin, p. 231)

In commenting on John 1:14 - "And the Word was made flesh" - Jones asked the question - "Now what kind of flesh is it?" In answering this question, he asked another, and amplified the answer as follows:       "What kind of flesh alone is it that this world knows? Just such flesh as you and I have. This world does not know any other flesh of man, and has not known any since the necessity of Christ's coming was created. Therefore, as this world knows only such flesh as we have, as it is now, it is certainly true that when ' the Word was made flesh,' He was made just such flesh as ours is. It cannot be otherwise." (Ibid., p. 232)

Whence have come the "tares"? Dr. Frank B. Holbrook of the General Conference Biblical Research Committee answers that question, in replying to an inquiry about the recent Sabbath School Lessons. He wrote:      "The major points which Elder Gulley makes in the quarterly and in his book are held

p 3 -- by a large portion of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This is the position that most Christians hold. This is the stand that the church took publically in 1957 in the printing and wide distribution of the book Questions on Doctrine. It is also the position taught in our Seminary for more than 30 years. It is not a new viewpoint." (Letter dated, Feb. 3, 1983, Quoted in "Which Gospel?" RV, p. 8)

To what extent has the teachings as set forth in the book Questions on Doctrine and which have been taught for 30 years in the Seminary permeated the Church? Dr. Richard W. Coffen, book editor of the Review and Herald Publishing Association, in defending the book by Gulley Christ Our Substitute - indicated in a letter dated, January 17, 1983 -      "The lessons and the book were not released to stir up controversy but to present a position that a large number of Adventists (the majority perhaps?) hold and cherish." (Ibid., p. 15) In other words, the heresy of the SDA-Evangelical Conferences has now become the majority view. To challenge this conclusion of Coffen's is to take an ostrich stance - head in the sand!

In recent months, I had the occasion to visit in Collegedale, Tennessee. While there I talked to some of the professors on the campus including two in the Department of Religion. I discussed the controversy swirling around the department, and the coming of Dr. Gordon Hyde to chair the department. (Dr. Hyde was also a co-editor of the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly- (Christ's All-atoning Sacrifice) This teacher related how he had talked with Dr Hyde and discussed with him what he had been teaching for the past fourteen years. Dr Hyde assured him that he had been teaching standard Adventist theology. What was it? His college concepts at Columbia Union College were derived from the book, Questions on Doctrine. He said that at Andrews University it was the same. (That was true, for I was there at the same time he was) So he has been merely teaching what he has been taught.

To center one's attack on Southern Missionary College (now Southern College) as Vance Ferrell has done is deceptive and misleading. All such attacks are merely pulling leaves off the tree. It makes a show and plays to the "bleachers" but does not lay the axe to the root of the tree.

Not only have the college Bible teachers been schooled in the concepts of Questions on Doctrine, but logic tells us that the ministers of the Church coming out of the Seminary have also been so taught. Thus the basis of indoctrination of all new converts comes from the same source. A look at the membership of the church now compared with what it was in 1957 tells you that it is now three times greater than it was then. Subtract because of death those who held to the historic 1888 position from the over-all total, and you have as Coffen suggests - "a majority" holding the neo-Adventist view on the Incarnation and the Atonement. This should tell us something. Whose ranks have we joined? Are those who possess truth going to continue in the march away from the "precious message" given by God's "messengers" in and following 1888? When is the lock-step toward "Egypt" going to be broken by those who profess to believe "historic" Adventism?

"2. The Nature of the Atonement" -- The second point which Van Dolson in his "form letter" discussed was the subject of the Atonement." He stated:      "As the title suggests, this quarterly emphasizes the aspect of the atonement that was completed at Calvary. In doing so it quotes Ellen White (see pages 79 and 83). But it recognizes that there is another side to the atonement coin by stating 'Although the price of the atonement was paid fully at Calvary, Christ ministers His atonement in the heavenly sanctuary today. (See Selected Messages, bk. 1, pp. 67, 68) ' - page 79. Christ's pre-advent sanctuary ministry includes interceding for us and judging the world." (See p. 83)

One may ask - Was the other "side of the atonement coin" in the original lessons as submitted by Gulley, or was this supplied by the editors to "represent the various positions held by the church as a whole on this issue" as stated for the Incarnation?

In the presentation of the Incarnation in the Lesson Quarterly, it was stated

p 4 -- that the writings of Ellen G. White could be used to support two of the positions presented. (p. 22, Adult Quarterly) So likewise, the two references used relative to the Atonement as cited by Van Dolson are supportive of the two positions - the two sides of "the atonement coin." The one cited in Acts of the Apostles, p. 29, states -       "Christ's sacrifice in behalf of man was full and complete. The condition of the atonement had been fulfilled." (Emphasis mine) The other reference (p. 83, Quarterly) from the Signs of the Times indicates that "His atonement was complete in every part. As He hung upon the cross, He could say, 'It is finished.'"

The Lesson Quarterly was specific as to where the emphasis was to be placed. Speaking of Pentecost, it read -       "For the first time the Holy Spirit brought the God-man, the completed atonement, ... into man." (p. 86) Noting the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus, the comment is found -       "His mission for man was completed at the cross." (p. 53) Gulley in his book is very emphatic -       "Calvary fully finished Christ's mission." (p. 101)

If the atonement was completed at the Cross, then there is nothing further that needs to be done except the application of the benefits of that atonement to the lives of those who accept the substitution. This is exactly what the book, Questions on Doctrine teaches,  1 and exactly what was voted at the 1980 General Conference Session in Dallas.  2  What then is the significance of the work of Jesus Christ as the great High Priest in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary? His mission completed at Calvary makes the whole structure of the heavenly intercession of Jesus a farce. By trying to present both concepts in the Sabbath School lessons amounts to nothing but confusion and the Bible has a name for that!

"4. Christ Has an Advantage Over Us" -- In defense of this charge, Van Dolson in his "form letter" indicated that -       "Throughout the quarterly the author takes the clear position that Christ does not have an advantage over us. Lesson 5, p. 40, quotes Ellen White:  ' If we have in any sense a more trying conflict than had Christ, then He would not have been able to succor us. But our Saviour took humanity, with all its liabilities."

However, one of the lessons clearly stated -       "All human beings are born in sin and commit sin themselves. This finds them two steps removed from the man Jesus as far as the past and present are concerned." (p. 36, Quarterly) We truly admit all have sinned, except Jesus Christ. But by His sacrifice, He has provided a means whereby man can be placed on vantage ground, and can stand before God as if he had never sinned. This removes one step of the separation, and the other concerns the Incarnation. Did Christ accept the fallen nature of man, or did He not? If He came in our likeness, in all things made like unto His brethren, then the gap is bridged. The Ladder is set up on the earth, and in "earth" - our flesh, He has condemned sin and destroyed the enmity. See Romans 8:3 & Eph. 2:15.

Confusion Compounded -- Some sentences in the 11th Lesson caused considerable comment. They read:     "At Calvary humankind finally crossed the line back into Eden; with Jesus' cry 'It is finished,' the world of the Fall came to an end - those who would accept Christ are at home in Eden once more." (p. 82)

Apparently this was a rewording by the editors, and in their "touch-up" job, confusion resulted. Gulley in his book makes the concept crystal clear. - He wrote:       "At Calvary he finally crossed the line back into Eden. With the cry 'It is finished' the world of the Fall ended. Man was at home in Eden once more - in Him! " (p. 100 emphasis mine) Some of the concepts in the Lessons were heretical enough without creating one where one did not exist prior to editing, thus compounding the confusion.

During the study of the 12th Lesson, I read the following paragraph to the class:       "We are given the 'earnest' (Greek arrabon) of the Holy Spirit. Arrabon is a downpayment, or pledge, used in business to guarantee the rest of the payment for a purchase. We have been purchased at Calvary. Our reception of the Holy Spirit, in the present is guarantee that the fullness of the reward of the cross purchase is on its way. In the meantime, the arrabon is not part of the sacrifice, but the

p 5 -- full sacrifice - the total Jesus - coming to us. His future coming will be in greater fullness because we shall see Him." (p. 87)

I asked the class what this meant. The response was that it was contradictory - one sentence saying one thing: the arrabon, as an earnest, or a downpayment, a pledge - and another sentence stating that the arrabon was "the full sacrifice" not a guarantee that something was "on its way." I then asked if there is a word to describe such mingling of concepts. The answer was quick - "Confusion." The question follows - Is there a Bible word symbolizing confusion? Have we been made to sip this past quarter of the wine in the cup of that symbolic woman? Or was it merely from the wine cup of one of her daughters?

The Fruitage of Error Revealed -- When we in the December Thought Paper sounded the initial alert as to what was coming in the First Quarter's Lessons for 1983, we were challenged by several concerning the second article in the issue entitled - "Fully God and Fully Man or
Truly God and Truly Man? Which?" Others since then have considered this splitting hairs. But the full fruition of the concept of "fully God" surfaced in the Lessons. Both in the Lessons and in Gulley's book, the emphasis was that the sacrifice God provided was only a human sacrifice.

The Lessons stated at one point -       "On the second Friday [Creation Friday referred to as the first] as the second Adam -as a human - He died to bring life to 'whomsoever will.'" (p. 78) In his book, Gulley writes -       "He came as the second Adam, lived a human life, died as a human - for divinity cannot die - and offered a perfect humanity to replace his." (p. 44)

While quoting Ellen G. White to sustain this concept, they evidently forgot that she also wrote - "Jesus Christ laid off His royal robe, His kingly crown, and clothed His divinity with humanity, in order to become a substitute and surety for humanity, that dying in humanity He might by His death destroy him who had the power of death. He could not have done this as God, but by coming as man Christ could die." (7BC:925) Paul declares emphatically - "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures." (I Cor. 15:3) He did not say, Jesus, referring to his humanity as the Son of man, but Christ, the Messiah, God's Son, died.

He who was fully God laid aside the "form of God and while still retaining His true identity as God, He "in humanity" provided a divine sacrifice for the sins of the world. But if as taught by Gulley and Van Dolson in the book he co-authored with Dr. Herbert Douglass for the 1977 Sabbath School lessons, Jesus Christ was "fully" God, then the conclusion drawn by these theologians is logical - God cannot die. Therefore, Jesus was only a human sacrifice provided for sin. My Saviour is God, not a man! Whose wine cup are we sipping from? It is a drunk man who is confused.

It was Moses who said -      "My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass." And why?

"Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ... He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He." (Deut. 32:2-4)

FROM ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S PIPELINE -- Under a dateline - January 20, 1983 an author who "requests anonymity" gives a summary of the present state of the Davenport Scandal. He writes:     "RELIABLE SOURCES INDICATE that on, or about December 30, 1982, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the United States Department of Justice descended upon the Washington D. C. headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Exact details of what transpired are unknown but it is said that at that time it became quite clear to Elder Neal C. Wilson, General Conference President, that these government agencies did, indeed, intend to prosecute a number of Adventist ministers and other ordained fiscal officers involved in the Davenport schemes and alleged fraud.

p 6 -- "ADDITIONAL ADVERSE PUBLICITY for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its membership is thought to be on the horizon. Damaging publicity, considerably greater than that already sustained is expected by those acquainted with facts still not generally known. The individual church member is expected to suffer additional loss of esteem and reputation in his community. The suggestion that prison terms may be meted out to some church officials is terribly revolting to those laymen who have in vain been struggling for many years to participate in a meaningful way in church affairs but have been denied any significant voice due to tight control by an all-powerful clergy. As one layman put it, ' there has been a solid wall of opposition to the laity. Even the chairman of the Lay Advisory Committee has been usurped by the Conference President. Our preachers have had absolute control and we can see that permitting that to happen, the members individually, and the church body as a whole are now paying an extremely high and devastating price.'

"IT NOW APPEARS that Elder Wilson, in order to make himself and his administration look good to the membership and to keep as many members as possible believing that the hierarchy has still retained a degree of responsibility is finally announcing that punitive action will be taken by the church against those whom some have termed, ' this band of crooks.'

"REPORT HAS IT that five Union Conference Presidents are to be fired, but it is thought that more likely these men will be given other jobs at a new and distant location.

"IT SHOULD BE NOTED that former General Conference President Robert Pierson, former Pacific Union Conference President Cree Sandefur, former Northern California President Helmuth Retzer, and certain others, all investors of personal funds with Davenport, and thought to be involved in a conflict of interest, are all out of reach in retirement as far as their jobs are concerned. That Elder Cree Sandefur and Elder Desmond Cummings were actually in personal partnership with Dr. Davenport is incredible, but documented.

"CHURCH MEMBERS WHO LOANED MONEY TO DAVENPORT have been assured that the General Conference will cover their losses and that additional lawsuits are unnecessary.

"THE CHURCH MEMBERSHIP HAS NOT BEEN TOLD that the $23 million admittedly lost by various church organizations (SDA) via Davenport's bankruptcy and the additional $20 million plus lost to individual church members will be paid out of tithes and offerings but the current reduction in giving and the membership's re-evaluation of 'the storehouse' into which tithes and offerings are to be brought may well be a significant reason for the general re-trenchment taking place and that church finances are receding at an ever alarming pace.

"THE QUESTION IS BEING ASKED, are ' The Thousand Days of Reaping' aimed at souls for the kingdom of God or for the replacement of disenchanted, sorrowful, deluded and departing members and their purses?"

WILSON WAFFLES -- In the Adventist Review (Jan. 27, 1983, p. 10), Elder Neal C. Wilson wrote:       "Difficult as it may be, we will peek to implement as faithfully and as impartially as possible the recommendations that have been agreed upon by the commission [that Wilson had appointed to evaluate the involvement of the church and church employees in connection with the Davenport loans] and the General Conference officers."

The Review Commission recommended that the names of those subject to public discipline should be published, preferably in the Adventist Review.

In the Adventist Review (March 24, 1983, p. 7) Elder Wilson told the Church:       "The General Conference Committee has endorsed the decision not to proceed with the previously proposed plan of publishing names in the Adventist Review."

The end is not yet in sight. The light at the end of the tunnel has gone out.

"What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken in the wind?" Matthew 11:7 --- (1983 May) ---End---- TOP

1983 Jun -- XVI - 6(83) -- IT'S TIME TO KNOW WHO STANDS WHERE ON TRUTH -- "Minds" to be "Confused by Many Voices" -- Recently a publication from Australia carried on its mailing jacket a headline - "Stop Press!" It announced that a Layman's organization in Sidney was sponsoring "an authentic Adventist from the USA over the week-end." This is a new descriptive term - "authentic Adventist." Some speaking for the Church are described as "neo-Adventists," while others refer to themselves as "historic Adventists;" but what makes one an "authentic" voice in Adventism?

We were warned a little less than a Century ago:       "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 tear down the pillars of our faith." (R&H, Dec. 13, 1892) No one can deny that we have arrived at the time described by this warning when "landmarks" have been removed, and there is a concerted attempt to tear away the pillars of the faith committed to the trust of God's professed people. True to the prophecy given, there are "many voices" declaring that they are holding to the truth, while others professing their adherence to the truth, are at the same time mingling with it their own suppositions and fables declaring that they have "great light." The result is as prophesied, "minds will be confused."

In an attempt to clarify the confused picture and discover who is really an "authentic" Adventist, if this is now the new descriptive term to be used, we prepared a Questionnaire and sent it to a number of different individuals by "certified" mail (except those overseas) . Our criteria for selection were based on the following factors:   The persons chosen to receive the Questionnaire have or are publishing material which purports to sustain historic Adventist teachings; or are lecturing before Adventist audiences who are led to believe that they are presenting the fundamental Adventist message. The official organization which is recognized as the Seventh-day Adventist Church declares its allegiance to the 27 Articles of Belief voted by the General Conference in Session at Dallas, Texas, in 1980. Now either these "many voices" are in harmony with the Statement of Beliefs, or they are not. If they are not in harmony with the Statement, then they should be willing to explain to the laity why

p 2 -- it is possible for them to exercise "private independence and private judgment" in regard to actions voted by a General Conference in session. A clear-cut and unequivocal stand for truth will help alleviate the confusion which is resulting from the "many" and contradictory voices being sounded today either via circulation of the printed page, or through lectures given to Adventist audiences under local church sponsorship, or by concerned laymen who are seeking historic Adventist truth.

The Questionnaire -- The Questionnaire sent contained the following questions:      I.   Do you affirm as truly representative of your confession of faith, the statement of Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists as voted at the 1980 General Conference Session in Dallas, Texas?   Yes - No .
II.   If your answer to the above question is "Yes," do you consider your publications, your public sermons and/or lectures to be in harmony with and reflect the teachings as contained in these Statements of Belief?   Yes - No
III.   If your answer is "No," please explain why they are not since you answered "Yes" to the first question.
IV.   If your answer to Question #1 is "No," please harmonize your objection to the Statement of Beliefs as voted by a General Conference in Session with the counsel as found in Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9, p. 260, which reads:  "When in a General Conference, the judgment of the brethren assembled from all parts of the field, is exercised, private independence and private judgment must not be stubbornly maintained, but surrendered."

Cover Letter -- The Questionnaire was sent with the following cover letter dated April 20, 1983:

"It is becoming increasingly clear that there are a number of voices professing to be speaking for 'historic' Adventism. I have, therefore, selected a group of these to whom to submit the enclosed series of questions.
"In this Questionnaire, I have sought to make the issue crystal clear. Either we are standing for 'historic' Adventism, or we are only professing to do so, and in so doing deceiving the people of God - giving them a false sense of security.
"Since all persons chosen to receive this Questionnaire are mature professors of Seventh-day Adventism, and with keen enough minds to give an answer to these questions in a relative short period of time, I am going to hold the door open for replies for thirty days from the time this is mailed to you. It is then my plan to publish the Questionnaire in our monthly Thought Paper - 'Watchman, What of the Night?'- indicating the names to whom it was sent; also their replies, or lack of response.
"In the same issue of the Thought Paper, I will also give my own answers as to where I stand, and why I so stand. I will also go into detail as to why I believe that such a Questionnaire is necessary at this time."

Within a week, we received one response with a very positive reaction to the first question. Now it may very well be that some of those to whom the Questionnaire was sent will not respond; but this will also say something, and should alert concerned lay persons that they do not really stand anywhere, but are "fence-straddlers."

While it is our purpose to write more in a future Thought Paper, when all will have had time to reply if they choose to do so, it should be pointed out that in the days of ancient Judah, when God was about to bring judgment upon the first Temple and the city of Jerusalem because of the continuous apostasy, He sent Jeremiah to so warn its inhabitants. There were other voices at the same time seeking to counter the messages God was sending. One such experience is recorded in Jeremiah 28. To Hananiah's message of a false hope, Jeremiah replied, "Amen, Jehovah do so." (28:6 ARV) It would be wonderful if God would fulfill the "many voices" who are now professing "historic" Adventism, and telling God's concerned people today that all will be well, just "hang in there." But even as God told Jeremiah - "Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: I have put a yoke of iron upon the necks of all these nations," (28:14 ARV) - so God has plainly declared through

p 3 -- one of His faithful "messengers" -   "'How has the faithful city become an harlot?' My Father's house is made a house of merchandise, a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed!" (8T:250) [Note the tense of the verb] Only as the "voices" sounding today conform to that which the God of heaven has revealed can the laity safely trust that "voice."

We hope that by the time the Thought Paper for August is ready to go to press, we shall have the replies of all who plan to respond so that we can share names and responses, or lack of responses from those who received the Questionnaire.

FEED MY SHEEP -- The symbolism conveyed in this command of Jesus to Peter (John 21:17) echoes throughout the Bible. God's people are called "the sheep of my pasture." (Jer. 23:1) David himself a shepherd describes the "Pasture" of the Lord. Placing himself as a sheep, he wrote in that beloved Psalm - "He maketh me to lie down in pastures of tender grass: He leadeth me beside waters of quietness." (23:2, Heb., margin) In speaking to the elders of Ephesus, Paul cautioned them to "take heed therefore unto yourselves, and unto all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood." (Acts 20:28) Peter to whom the Lord addressed His command to feed the sheep, wrote: "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." (I Peter 5:2-4)

The art of feeding sheep is vastly different than slopping hogs. We need to be extremely careful that we do not feed the sheep as if they were hogs. One of the first sets of books which my grandson received to introduce him to the story of the Bible was My Bible Friends. In book #10, is to be found the story of "Jabel, the Shepherd." One page had the following description,of a shepherd's responsibility. It read:      "Jabel led his one hundred sheep to a grassy place where they could feed. But at the edge of the green grassy place he called, 'La-a-a, la-a-a! La-a-a, la-aa!' And although the sheep were hungry, they lay down. Jabel carefully searched the green grassy place for poisonous weeds and poisonous snakes. The weeds he pulled up; and when he hit the ground with his staff, the snakes wiggled away. Now that the green grassy place was safe for sheep, Jabel called, 'Ta-a-a-a, ho-o-o! Come eat!'"

On another page, the story read:      "In the afternoon Jabel called, ' Ta-a-aa, ho-o-o!' and led his sheep away from the green grassy place. A long way they must go to find water. One drink a day was all the sheep needed, but one drink they must have. The path was stony; the bushes, thorny; the caves along the way, dark and deep where Jabel led his one one hundred sheep ...
"Soon they came to a splashing, dashing stream. Now sheep cannot drink from a splashing, dashing stream, but Jabel knew what to do. He told his sheep ' La-a-a, la-a-a.' Then he dammed up the splashing, dashing stream to make a quiet pool where they could drink."

Perhaps some of us need to become once again as a child and read some of these children's stories before we start to prepare "pastures" for the "flock of God" to come, in either a retreat, campmeeting, or a fellowship meeting. We should carefully see that the "Poisonous weeds" are "pulled up" and we had better hit the ground with our "staff" to see that the "poisonous snakes" have "wiggled away" from the "pasture."

Because one does not function within the jurisdiction of the hierarchical controlled Church, this does not give license for "free-wheeling." Because we are no longer under the authority of men, we are not released from the authority of God. The God we serve is very jealous for the sheep of His pasture. While one may no longer be recognized as a "shepherd" by the Curia on the Sligo because he cannot give affirmation to the heretical Statement of

p 4 -- Beliefs voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980, this does not relieve him from his accountability before God when he assumes the responsibility to sponsor meetings, be they a retreat or a campmeeting. One must give careful consideration as to his duties as an undershepherd with oversight of God's purchased flock.

Of Moses, God asked - "What is that in thine hand?" (Ex. 4:2) To the question, Moses replied, "A rod." When Moses went forth on his mission for God to bring forth God's people from Egyptian bondage, the text states - "Moses took the rod of God in his hand." (4:20) That which was his staff in the care of the sheep, became the staff of God for the care of Israel. To every called shepherd, God makes the staff in his hand, a rod to carry forth the mission of God for the protection of His people. To fail to exercise this authority invested in the "rod of God" is to be merely an hireling looking for gain and not for service. When one prepares an encampment for the confused and torn flock of God in one of earth's meadows, or on an upland flat, he must be sure that no poisonous weeds are permitted to become a part of the food of the sheep. He must ask, "Are the waters clear, and "still," or turbulent with man's speculations, sensational interpretations of Scripture and devoid of the truth that brings freedom in Christ Jesus.

Truth alone brings peace, contentment, and genuine satisfaction to the distraught souls of men. God gave to His people a "most precious message" through Elders Jones and Waggoner back in 1888. It was to have been the message that was to enlighten the earth with the glory of God as the righteousness of Jesus was upheld before the waiting throngs. This message of the righteousness of Jesus was declared to be "pure unadulterated truth." (TM, p. 65) We may berate the hierarchy for leading God's people into apostasy and away from the truth committed to their trust. But how much better are we if we set up meetings and feed the famished "sheep" which come hoping for something better, the "slop" of sensationalism, human speculation, and distortion of the truth which lies at the basis of the Advent Movement?

Why should we permit God's people to be exposed to the same poisonous venom which comes from modern "snakes," as that which came from the one which tempted Eve in the beginning all for the sake of a"crowd" to appeal to human ego? This is sheer opportunism!

No one today who seeks to "cry aloud and spare not," and who is willing to "lift up his voice like a trumpet" (Isa. 58:1) soon becomes aware of the heart cry of many a distressed saint. That "sheep" is seeking answers to what he sees taking place within the Church which had been to him a stay and pillar of truth. To exploit that need for personal advantage, and to subject souls to the speculations of men, is nothing short of high treason against God.

But someone asks - "Are we not to grow in grace? Is not the path of the just a shining light which will give off more and more rays of light till the perfect day?" It is true that we are to grow in grace, and that upon our path will shine more and more light from the Throne of God. How will that growth be manifest, and how will that light be seen? We are told -     "The Lord has made His people the repository of sacred truth. Upon every individual who has the light of present truth devolves the duty of developing that truth on a higher scale than it has hitherto been done." (M.V.H., March 30, 1897. Andreasen Collection #2) Note it states "that truth." All development, and all light coming to God's people will be built upon the truth originally given. But if we do not know "that truth" as originally given, how can we perceive genuine development of that truth? Instead of feeding the people of God the "slop" of human speculation and supposition, we should give them the truth as is found in the Word of God so that they can build thereon.

This is the lesson from our history. Our founding fathers took the light and truth discovered by William Miller, refined it; taking out the error he had made, and developed it to a higher scale than Miller had done. BUT - they did not discard the basic truth of prophecy, nor did they seek to change that prophecy of Daniel 8:14 into a pure fanciful interpretation! They adhered to and maintained the same basic rules of interpretation used by Miller. They stayed on the "path" cast high above the confusing voices of men.

Inasmuch as those who were the inheritors

p 5 -- of the organization created by our founding fathers have taken us off the "path" into a compromise of "that truth" with the Evangelicals, are we also to step down off the platform and in place of "that truth" committed to our trust, introduce all kinds of human theories and speculations? "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, [those snakes in the children's story] and doctrines of devils [the weeds in the same story]." (I Tim. 4: 1) If we are true shepherds, we will be striking the ground with the "staff" God has placed in our hands, and pulling up "the weeds" which have blown into the pasture of God's planting. To free God's people from such lying spirits, and such devilish doctrines would be true exorcism. To do so, one must permit only the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, to be given to God's scattered, torn, and bruised sheep. "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," said Jesus. (John 8:32) Free from what? - the bondage and binding of the devil. To permit anything more, or anything less, is to permit the voice and spirit of him who abode not in the truth to have access to the sheep.

When Jesus sent forth the Twelve to the "lost sheep of the house of Israel," He gave them "power and authority over all devils." (Matt. 10:6; Luke 9:1) The devil and his angels became what they are because they "abode not in the truth." (John 8:44) From this departure has come all the ills which we have in the world today. There is no point in "pulling the leaves off" - casting out devils - until one gets to the root of the matter - "departure from truth." The Word of God is truth. Where it speaks with finality - on that point speak; where it is silent; do not introduce human speculation. When we permit only the provender of heaven to be presented to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, instead of the "slop" of men's imaginations, then we can justifiably call a meeting, sponsor a retreat, or arrange for a fellowship.    "PREACH THE WORD" - II Tim. 4:2

TWO NEW DOCUMENTS -- In the past two months, we have brought together two documents of vital interest to concerned Seventh-day Adventists. One - Excerpts [from] Legal Documents - EEOC vs PPPA - contains facsimile reproductions of significant pages from Briefs, and Affidavits submitted to the US District Court for Northern California. Two of the Affidavits are sworn statements made by Elders R. H. Pierson and Neal C. Wilson. In this documentary we have also included Pierson's "Report to the Church" regarding this litigation as given in the Adventist Review. Then we reproduced a reply to Pierson's Report by an employee of the Church who challenged the veracity of Pierson's explanation.

In this documentary you will have the factual basis for the following positions of the hierarchy as submitted to a Federal Court:       1) The General Conference is the Church; 2) Between Sessions, the Executive Committee "wields all the powers of the Church;" 3) The Church is "hierarchical" in its form of government; 4) The President of the General Conference is the Church's "first minister;" 5) There are "ecclesiastical superiors," and "orders of ministry" which "administer the sacraments;" 6) Workers of the Church serve in the same way as "cloistered nuns" in the Catholic Church;  7) Our prophetic interpretation regarding the papacy has been consigned to the "trash heap" of history; and   8) Other pertinent facts.

The second documentary is entitled - Key Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief; 1872-1980. In this brochure we have reproduced facsimile the following statements of belief issued by the Church: 1872 - 14 page tract printed on the Steam Press in Battle Creek; A statement appearing in the Battle Creek Church Directory in 1894; the statement published in the 1912 Yearbook, which was identical with the first one published in the 1889 Yearbook; and the Working Statement which was given to the delegates to the 1980 General Conference Session.

p 6 -- Besides these documents we have brought together from all published Statements of Belief from 1872 to the Present, comparisons in eight major areas of concern - The Bible; the Spirit of Prophecy; The Godhead; The Incarnation; The Atonement; The High Priestly Ministry of Christ; The Place of Prophecy; and the Identification of the Man of Sin. The document also includes supporting evidence showing where some of the fundamental changes which took place in the 1980 Statement voted at Dallas, were derived from, such as the Constitution of the World Council of Churches.

These documentaries can be secured with a taped study on the doctrinal comparisons. See Order Form

REDWOOD RETREAT - We received two different announcements concerning the forthcoming retreat at Kelley's Camp near Lakeport, CA. On one sheet, it was indicated that Elder D. L. Bauer would be one of the speakers; the second sheet omitted his name. Both sheets carry the name of Elder John Nicolici as a speaker. From a very reliable source, I have been informed that neither Elders Bauer nor Nicolici will be present. I will not be there for several reasons. Therefore the key emphasis will be "Exorcism." I have been further informed that an investigation of this phenomenon has been made. Documents regarding the findings of this investigation are being prepared and will soon become available according to the report. The experience of Moses Hull in our past history should serve as a warning to all who would "play" with the devil. While the approach may be different and declared to be Biblically sound, the adversary remains the same.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR - The editors of Spectrum received a letter from Dr. Leonard Lothstein of the Hudson Valley Group of Amnesty International in which they indicated they are working for the release Richard Spalin from imprisonment in a Soviet labor camp. The letter stated in part: (Vol. 13, Number 3, p. 27)       "Mr. Spalin is a member of the Church of the True and Free Seventh-day Adventists and has been incarcerated for both his association with and evangelical work for his church. ...
"Our strategy is to amount a constant barrage of correspondence directed at Soviet officials who are responsible for Mr. Spalin's imprisonment and to pressure those officials into, at minimum, improving Mr. Spalin's living conditions, but, ultimately, into allowing his release. ... To this end, we have approached the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists to enlist their help in mobilizing the American Adventist community to remonstrate on the behalf of Mr. Spalin. Unfortunately, we were informed that the General Conference does not recognize the True and Free Church as legitimate, and therefore will do nothing on his behalf."

Same story as in regard to the release of Elder Galetsky. One begins to wonder if in addition to refusing to cooperate, they are encouraging the Russian Communists on the GC Committee to work against the release of any True and Free SDA's. --- (1983 Jun) --- End ----