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1998 Apr -- XXXI -- 4(98) -- Eternal Verities -- Part 4 -- THE INCARNATION -- Part 2 -- Editors Preface -- The first article concludes the summation of the second "Eternal Verity" - the Incarnation. We discuss the doctrine as found not only in the Pauline Epistles but also in the Epistles of John. In reviewing the first verses of John's first Epistle, new perceptions of Christ's eternal pre-existence broke into my mind. Using the same preposition as in the prologue of his Gospel - proV - John declares they showed to the believers "that Eternal Life which was with the Father." No inference is suggested that that "Eternal Life" was en (in) the Father and was "begotten" by Him, but rather had been ever "with" the Father. The capsheaf on the nature Christ assumed in accepting humanity is found in the heart of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. He was a male Child who could understand all of our infirmities

Coming home from a weekend in Alabama, I found that I had received in the mail the clipping pictured on page 5. The thoughtfulness of the one sending it to me is much appreciated. "Unbelievable" is probably too mild a term, but what else can one say after reading it? It must be assumed that the one making the statement in direct quotes is a leader of some rank in the Church at Frederick, Maryland. Whatever the situation; whatever his background and training; where has been the Pastor-Teacher with the gift to give faithful instruction to the laity? The article indicates that the same pastor is serving the Church now, who was serving the Church when it burned. Is it a sad picture of one too busy doing the "Lord's work" of building a new edifice, that he did not have time to plant truth into the minds and hearts of the members of the congregation? How can anyone knowing the assumptions made in the celebration of the Mass, think that God answered such prayers? If indeed there was more than a mere coincidence involved as suggested in this report, those who so believe need to make a new appraisal of the corporate Church.

The editorial - "Let's Talk It Over" - suggests that we need to take a new look at what is really unique about Adventism.

p 2 -- Eternal Verities -- The Incarnation -- Part 2 -- In the Epistles is to be found a theology of the Incarnation, a theology sufficiently detailed so that it can be determined beyond question whether Christ took upon Himself the nature of Adam prior to the Fall, or the nature after the Fall, or a selected human nature which resembled both the post-Fall and pre-Fall Adamic nature.

Paul, writing to the Church at Corinth, stated that God in "reconciling the world unto Himself," made Christ "to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be the righteousness of God in Him." (II Cor. 5:19,21) While the emphasis by Paul in this section of his letter is on reconciliation and its ministry, it cannot be overlooked that basic to this reconciliation is Jesus "made sin." This could not be unless He incarnated in the fallen nature of man where sin held its dominion. To break the power of "the strong man," Christ had to "first bind the strong man," then He could "spoil his house." ( Matt. 12:29) We can but dimly comprehend the depths of the condescension to rescue man from the grasp of sin, except as we meditate on the "outer darkness" that enveloped the cross and hear the anguished cry that pierced the Heavens, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me"? The result  - "we [can] be made the righteousness of God in Him."

As he continued his epistle, Paul noted another aspect of the Incarnation. He wrote - "Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich." (II Cor. 8:9) This was more than the mere fact that "the Son of man hath not where to lay His head." (Matt. 8:20) As Alford in his Greek Testament comments - "It was not merely by His renunciation of human riches during His life on earth, but by His exinanition [act of evacuating] of His glory." (Vol. II, p.681) The force of this aspect of the Incarnation, Paul will pursue in his letter to the Philippian Church. This we will now consider. He wrote:      Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himsef of no reputation, and took on Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himsef and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Phil 2:5-8)

Within these verses, four words used by Paul need to be fully understood: "form" (morfh), "fashion" (schma), "no reputation" (kenow), and "likeness" ('omoiwma).

Moulton and Milligan in their work, The Vocabulary of' the Greek New Testament, observe that morfh"always signifies a form which truly and fully expresses the being which underlies it." (p.417) Paul uses it twice to contrast what Jesus was and what He took upon Himself. He was "in the form of God."This is defined as being equal ('isa) with God. The word, 'isa means equal in either "quality or quantity" (Thayer). In the case of Christ it was both. However, in the incarnation, He took upon Himself, "the form of a servant" (slave, douloV). If this statement were all that was given in the New Testament in regard to the nature that Christ assumed in the flesh, it would be sufficient to settle the question once and for all what Adamic nature He accepted. Not until Adam sinned did he have a slave form.

The second word - schma - signifies the outward appearance. His external bearing was "in the likeness of men."

The third word, a verb (kenow), in the KJV reads that Christ made Himself of no reputation." The RV translates the same word as "but emptied Himself." Literally translated the text reads - "But Himself, He emptied" (alla 'eauton ekenwsen) - the emphatic sentence structure. Moulton and Milligan cited above, notes a use of the verb, kenow, in secular literature supporting the RV translation (p.340). Laying aside "the form of God," He took the slave form of man. John in his Gospel records the prayer of Jesus, requesting of the Father that He be glorified "with the glory which He had with [Him] before the world was" (17:5). Yet John in his gospel declares that when the Logos became flesh He possessed a glory as the unique One of the Father, "full of grace and truth" (1:14). He emptied Himself of the manifest possession of Deity, yet retaining the essential elements of Divinity - grace and truth.

The fourth word, 'omoiwmati (in likeness), is connected with what He became, anqrwpon (of men) - literally "in the likeness of men becoming." The question is, Did Christ really become man, or did He merely give the appearance of being a man? The Bible plainly teaches the reality of the humanness of Jesus. He slept; He hungered; He thirsted; He wept - He was truly a man. The religious leaders who contended with Him had no problem with the fact that He was a man. They said to Him - "For a good work we stone thee not, but ... because that thou being a man, makest thyself God." (John 10:33) This force of the word used by Paul to convey that Jesus was really a man needs to be understood and retained in one's thinking, because elsewhere he uses this same word in defining the nature He assumed in humanity.

We consider this text next. In his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote - "God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh." (Rom. 8:3) Here is again the same word translated "likeness." Literally, en 'omoiwmati sarkoV 'amartiaV - "in the likeness of a flesh of sin. To understand the word, 'omoiwma, differently here than in Philippians 2:7, is wresting Scripture. God sent His Son in the reality of a flesh of sin. Paul is not saying that He was sinful, but that He was like all others who were born into the human race having the tendencies and potential to sin. To emphasize the force of this fact, Paul adds that He condemned sin "in the flesh." If not the reality, the condemnation was only an appearance - the victory a farce.

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul emphasizes that Christ "was born out of woman, born under law." (Gal. 4:4) He came as all

p 3 -- other children come, came under the same law of heredity to which all are subject. Since the Fall, there has been no other flesh than the flesh of sin. But because of what Jesus did in that flesh of sin - condemned sin - there is hope that when He comes the second time, He will come "without sin unto salvation." (Heb. 9:28)

The discussion of Jesus as a man, and his relationship to those lie came to save, in Hebrews 2:9-18, has been the basis upon which not only the leaders of the Holy Flesh Movement built their Christology, but is also the text used today by those who teach that Christ came born, born again. The assumption drawn from these verses is that while Jesus was "in all things made like unto His brethren" (ver. 17), these "brethren" were "sanctified" (ver. 11). Therefore Jesus did not come in the likeness of sinners, but in the likeness of men redeemed and sanctified. (It is not explained how these "sanctified ones" became sanctified, because if Jesus came only to that level, who made the provision for them to reach the level where they were? Is there an unknown "Saviour"?) This faulty teaching results from a failure to understand what the text actually states in verse 11 - "for both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one." The KJV omits a word from the
final phrase - "all of one." The Greek text reads - ex 'enoV panteV - out of one, all. If the preposition, ek (ex before vowels) meaning "out of, were not in the text, then the assumption that all - the sanctified, and the One sanctifying were of one nature, might have merit. This cannot be with the use of the preposition, ek, denoting source or origin. The text indicates a common source - all out of one source. Two possible sources would do no violence to the text:  1)  Out of the Father, or  2)  Out of Adam. The evidence from the context would indicate the latter because it reads - "He took on Him the seed of Abraham" (ver. 16).

This was the interpretation given by A. T. Jones. In a series of talks at the 1895 General Conference session on "The Third Angel's Message, Jones commented on Heb. 2:11 stating:      In His human nature, Christ came from the man from whom we all have come; so that the expression in this verse, "all of one," is the same as "all from one," - all coming forth from one. And the genealogy of Christ, as one of us, runs to Adam. Luke 3:38. (GC Bulletin, p.231)

A closer look at what is written to the Hebrews tells us something. "For as much as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself took part of the same;" - for a purpose - "that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" (ver. 14). We might ask:   Could Adam have died, once created, unless he sinned? We might inquire further; Could Christ if He had taken the nature of unfallen Adam have died, since He did not sin? He took the nature of those He came to save from "the power of death."

Turning now to the Epistles of John, and the book of Revelation which he was commissioned to write, the same position in regard to the Incarnation is reflected as has been noted in the Epistles of Paul. Using the same theme which marks the introduction to his Gospel, John begins his first Epistle declaring -      That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word (logoV) of life. (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifest unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ (I John 1:1-3)

The Word of life which was with God was a reality - they saw, heard, and felt His substance. That "Eternal One" which was from the beginning with the Father was manifest - made flesh (John 1:14) - to them. This One which John had seen and heard declared he unto those to whom he was now writing. It was in that manifestation in flesh - real tangible flesh - that the believer was to have fellowship with the Son, Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God in our flesh, not in some emanating spirit form. "Unto us a son is given" in our flesh and blood. On this point a warning is sounded in his epistles:      Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist (I John 4:1-3)

In his second Epistle, the warning is again sounded:      For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist (II John 7)

While John's emphasis is clearly centered on the reality of God in the flesh, and not that Jesus Christ was only an appearance, it cannot be side-stepped that He came in the flesh, the same as those to whom He was manifest, who both saw, heard, and handled Him. They lived with Him; ate with Him, dwelt with Him. He was not different from them. John uses only one word to describe His reality as a man - the Word was made flesh, and the only flesh he knew was that which he himself possessed.

At the very heart of the Unveiling (apokalaluyiV) of Jesus Christ is the visionary manifestation of Jesus as "a Man-child" (Rev.12:5). The Greek text reads - kai eteken uion, arsen - literally, "and she brought forth a son, a male." The emphasis is that this Son was a male, not a eunuch. He was not bereft of the forces which surge through human beings; He understood the "feelings of our infirmities" (Heb. 4:15). In the next scene of the vision, as a warfare between Michael and the dragon, "the Man-child" conquered. "The dragon ... prevailed not." From heaven - to which the Man-child was taken - came "a loud voice" declaring, "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ (Messiah); for the accuser of our brethren is cast down"

p 4 -- (Rev.12:10). Herein lies the hope of those who place their trust in Him - "the Man-child." He is "to rule all nations with a rod of iron" because He ruled the flesh He took with the same rod. It is declared of those who exercise their privilege to become "sons of God" (John 1:12), brothers of "the Man-child," that they, too, "overcame him [the dragon] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death" (Rev.12:11).

In the heart of this Apocalypse to John is to be found in symbolism the victory over sin at its very fountainhead - the flesh. The Word (Logos) came to be flesh - "a Man-child." Accepting "a flesh of sin," He condemned sin in that flesh, that we might overcome "through the blood of the Lamb" to which we have contributed nothing, yet are enabled to testify to its saving power, willingly following the blood stained path to Calvary, loving not our lives even unto death.      (To Be Continued)

What Next? -- In the mid-seventies, when the documents connected with the EEEC vs. PPPA became available, the first shock of what was happening in the thinking of the hierarchy of the regular Church was experienced by concerned Adventists. A footnote in a Brief submitted by the legal counsel for the Church read:      Although it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint, and the term "hierarchy" was used in a pejorative sense to refer to the form of church governance, that attitude on the church's part was nothing more than a manifestation of a widespread anti-popery among conservative protestant denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been consigned to the historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned. (Reply Brief dated March 3,1975, Footnote #2; submitted in the US District Court, Northern District of California)

This Romeward drift was heightened in 1981 with the publication of God Cares, a commentary on Daniel, written by C. Mervyn Maxwell. After listing eight identifying marks of the little horn in Daniel 7, Maxwell wrote:      Only one entity really fits all eight of these identifying marks - the Christian church which rose to religiopolitical prominence as the Roman Empire declined and which enjoyed a special influence over the minds of men between the sixth and eighteenth centuries.

To call this Christian church the "Roman Catholic" Church can be misleading if Protestants assume that the Roman Catholic Church of, say, the sixth century was one big denomination among others, as it is today. Actually the Roman Catholic Church was virtually the Christian church in Western Europe for about a thousand years. Because of this early universality, both Protestant and Catholics may regard it as the embodiment of "our" Christian heritage, for better or for worse." (p.127; emphasis his)

Before listing the eight points of identification of the little horn, Maxwell actually wrote that "in Daniel 7 God purposefully presented a one-sided picture of Rome as a terrible beast ..." While shocking, this should not have been unexpected. Maxwell's father, Arthur S. Maxwell, had declared upon his return from the Vatican II Council - "We must rethink our approach to our Roman Catholic friends. How can we reject an outstretched hand and be Christians?" By "friends" Maxwell was referring to the priests and hierarchy of the Roman Church. He suggested "that a lot of our preachers are going to have to throw away a lot of old sermons. You and me - a lot of old sermons. I scrapped a lot of them already." (Present Truth, 1968, #3, pp.13, 14) Where? - on "the historical trash heap." So what did Dr. Merwyn do? He scrapped the basic Adventist understanding of who the antichrist is, and whitewashed it into "the Christian Church" of the Dark Ages!

During this decade - 1975-1985 - other things were taking place in the Romeward drift of the Church. B. B. Beach, during a papal audience at Rome in 1977, placed in the hand of Pope Paul VI, a gold medallion, as a symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Sculptured by a Roman Catholic, Ralph J. Menconi, it was replete with Roman symbolism. (See, Steps to Rome, a documented manuscript, pp.10-11, & Appendix B)

At the General Conference session in 1990, for the first time in the history of such sessions, an observer representing the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity attended. In introducing T. J. Murphy, pastor of Saint Joan of Arc Church in Indianapolis, B. B. Beach declared, "He is here to give greetings on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church." (GC Bulletin, #7, p.8) The delegates applauded. Murphy responded:       During this occasion, the fifty-fifth world session of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, I convey to you greetings and prayerful best wishes from the president, secretary, and members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. I bring you personal greetings from the archbishop of Indianapolis, promising and assuring you that prayers are being offered within our community for the blessed success of this General Conference. It is a deep honor to be present as an observer of these momentous and Spirit-filled proceedings and deliberations. For it is the desire of the Saviour Himself that His disciples might all be one so that the worid may believe.

I conclude with a prayer from our liturgy, a prayer we [Continued on p 5 --]

p 5 --

The Herald-Mail - Hagerstown, MD. - Sunday, January 18, 1998
Rising from the ashes
Frederick congregation keeps the faith
By Marlo Barnhart   Staff Writer
FREDERICK, Md.   -   With the flames that destroyed the Frederick Seventh-Day Adventist Church santuary in 1993 still leaping into the air; the winds suddenly shifted and the adjoining school building was saved.

"That very day, the congregation of St. John's Catholic Church was having services and dedicated a Mass and prayer to us," said Frank Damazo at the consecration of the new church Saturday.

He's convinced those two concurrent events were no coincidence.

Other expressions of gratitude and praise filled the new sanctuary at its new location at 6437 Jefferson Pike.

"That first day, three Frederick churches came forward to say we could use their sanctuaries for our Saturday services," Damazo said. "Letters with offers to help came in from 38 other churches."

The fire on Febr. 28, 1993, began in an electrical transformer connected to a tape recorder. The church, then on Adventist Drive near Grove Stadium, was a $3 million loss, state fire marshals said.

The Frederick Adventist School and gymnasium were spared and served the congregation as a location for both services and classes while the new building was under construction.

Dan Goddard, pastor of the church then and now, said the smoke had barely cleared when plans were made for the church to rise from the ashes.

"We had a board meeting on March 2 and a congregational meeting March 6," Goddard said of the events of 1993. Committees were formed and plans were made to build a new church and school on another site.

"Today is joy," Goddard said.

Groundbreaking was August 1994 for the huge brick Colonial-style church that now dominates the skyline off Interstate 70 just east of Frederick.

With a capacity of 650 in the sanctuary, the church is home to a 26-rank Schantz pipe organ and a number of unique stained glass windows including an eight-foot circular depiction of a risen Christ over the altar area.

p 6 -- [Continued from p 4 --] can voice from our hearts. "Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In Your mercy, keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen." (ibid.)

Keep in mind that this Roman priest did not come on his own volition. While he was a local parish pastor, he spoke as a representative of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. He was sent by that higher Roman authority because that Pontifical Council had an invitation lodged with it by the Adventist Church leadership.

What Next?   The next happening is dated January 17, 1998. We have reproduced on the previous page the article from the Hagerstown, Maryland, The Herald-Mail, as it was received by us, so that all may read the key paragraph in full context. The first four paragraphs have been enlarged for your in depth consideration. The direct quotes of Frank Damazo by the Staff Writer is beyond comprehension.

Let us do a little thinking about the implications of these remarks. What perceptions could a Roman Catholic priest have of the present thinking in Adventism to dedicate a blasphemous Mass to the Seventh-day Adventist Church? What "spirit" motivated such a gesture, and at such a time? What power turned the air currents and saved the Church School? If Damazo believed as indicated by the Staff Writer of The Herald-Mail, he must believe that the power of God is working in the celebration of the Mass. How far has Adventist thinking gone?

All of this along with the series of documentation cited above, recalls a letter received by the "Evangelistic Literature Enterprise" located in Brendale, Queensland, Australia, January 17,1984, signed, "Shannon." Claiming to be a Jesuit priest, he wrote -      The main aims of our organization have been dfrect,against a Christian Church which we have very thoroughly infiltrated. They are the Remnant Church of Revelation 12:v.17 and Rev. 14: v.12 [A Handwitten Letter, copy of which was received at the Foundation office]

An Australian inquiry received a response from the editor of the Evangelistic Literature Enterprise which stated - "I do believe it was an authentic Jesuit. Basing my judgment on the word, 'remnant'I would conclude that he was referring to the SDA Church."


Let's Talk It Over -- This morning I was reading a "Statement of Faith" prepared by a congregational Seventh-day Adventist Church which had been in association with the conference of Churches where it is located. Several points in this statement, along with the circumstances and events associated with its break-a-way from the Conference, need to be discussed. The Lord willing, we shall do so in a future issue of WWN.

Over the years, we have taught that the Sabbath is the distinguishing mark of God's true Church. (Now there are various communions outside the community of Adventism which observe the Bible Sabbath) We have proclaimed it as the seal of God's Law. I was - and I am groping for a word to describe my reaction to what I read in this "Statement of Faith" about their position on the Sabbath. Perhaps the word I want is "astounded." I have never faced before the line of reasoning used to justify the keeping of the Sabbath, yet a line of reasoning which permits Sunday-keeping "all in the same breath," and I was engaged in public evangelism many years of my ministry for the Church. Here is what it states in full on "The Sabbath:"      Because God rested on the seventh day from His work of creation, and Jesus rested on the Sabbath after His completed work of salvation on the cross, the Sabbath has become a symbol in time of God's finished work in Christ (Heb. 4:9-10). Since the principle of a seventh day of rest is clearly taught in the OT and not untaught in the NT, we choose to conduct our regular worship services on Saturday. Rather than creating nonbiblical religious Sabbath-keeping traditions like the Pharisees at the time of Christ, we celebrate the Sabbath as a symbol of Christ's finished work. God may and should be worshiped on every day of the week, therefore we do not intend for the day of worship to be a point of contention or division with other Christians.

You find a word now to describe your reaction. There is both simple truth and subtle error in the above statement, but very smoothly blended. In this statement a basic pillar of Adventism is applied so as to annul another basic pillar. In so doing, you really end up with neither.

So this raises the fundamental question as to our existence as Adventists. What was the unique message given to the Seventh-day Adventist Church to proclaim? Or what makes our teaching unique? We say the Three Angels' Messages of Revelation 14:6-12. (See 9T:19) However, only as we relate them in the context of Daniel 7:9-10 do we have a uniqueness. "The hour of His judgment is come." (Revelation) "The judgment was set and the books were opened." (Daniel) All of this must be associated with "the everlasting gospel."

p 7 -- Just what is unique in Adventism that you cannot find in the teachings of any other group? The Sabbath is no longer a distinctive mark as we noted above, neither the teaching of the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. You might respond and say the sanctuary doctrine. Yes and No. We have in the Foundation Library a book by Henry W. Soltau first published in 1851. It is titled - The Holy Vessels and Furniture of the Tabernacle. The "jacket" indicates "this study draws the believers to a wide field of blessed truth which typifies the Lord Jesus." In other words, the meanings of the type and antitype symbolisms of the sanctuary structure were worked out by another prior to Adventism.

What then is unique in our sanctuary teaching? Speaking of the priests "that offer gifts according to the law," Paul declares that these "serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things." (Heb. 8:5) It was the service, not the structure per se, which contains the message which opens our understanding to the heavenly reality. This should be readily seen by a simple comparison. The earthly model contained a most holy place whose length, width and height were equal, making a ten cubit cube. Now consider by contrast that Daniel sees the judgment set in an amphitheater which could seat all the heavenly hosts (Dan. 7:10). This means simply that we need to carefully rethink all our perceptions of the heavenly ministry of Christ, in line with the example given, not of structure revealed but of the services carried forward in that structure. Further, a careful consideration of the tense of the verb used by John, as he penned the first angel's message, could enhance our understanding of its relationship and meaning to the beginning of the judgment as pictured in the prophecy of Daniel.

Then there are some questions that need to be probed and some answers found.

Why were all the angels gathered at the very beginning of the convening of the Judgement in the Heavenly Most Holy Place?   (As traffic cops to confirm the tickets they gave the law breakers of earth? Hardly? A bit ridiculous? But why were they called at the opening of the judgment?)

Could it be that the final message of mercy could not begin until the Heavenly Host made a decision in the light of the open books of heavenly record?

Does the "theorem" that the judgment on sin must begin at the point and over the point where sin began have validity? If so, is this one of the reasons for the assembling of the Heavenly Hosts?

Does the dictum that sin will not arise a second time include also the angels of heaven? If yes, why would it?

In the light of the above questions, is a re-study of the services performed in type on the Day of Atonement as outlined In Leviticus 16 mandated?

Take another look as to the precise wording of the "Statement of Faith" which we quoted above. It speaks of the Sabbath as "a symbol in time of God's finished work in Christ," and uses a reference from Hebrews to confirm the statement. Yet the book of Hebrews speaks of the continuing ministry of Christ. Does that intercession obtain nothing for him who comes boldly to the throne of grace? (Heb. 4:16) Would not a clearer perception of the types in the "service" outlined, clarify the meaning of the sacrifice completed at the Cross. Or do we no longer believe that Adventism did carry a unique message, and for the concerned Adventist today it still carries such a message!

~ To hear truth and not accept does not nullify truth ~

---(1998 Apr) --- End --- TOP

1998 May -- XXXI -- 5(98) --ETERNAL VERITIES -- Part 5 -- THE ATONEMENT -- Part 1 -- Editor's Preface -- The article on the Atonement is the first of two on the final "Eternal Verity" which we have been discussing in this series of studies. This study deals with the theological aspects of the Atonement emphasizing in sanctuary context that Jesus was announced as the Savior of "His people from their sins." The second study will discuss the historical background of the concept of "Atonement" in Adventist thinking.

In the March issue of WWN, we noted that events had occurred in the community of Adventism both within and without the regular Church which need to be discussed. Since that first article, we have obtained documented material which focuses on the split-away churches both in the Potomac and Rocky Mountain Conferences. While the "independent" ministries of the past decade, which have at least theoretically drawn a line between themselves and the regular Church, have been of the conservative orientation, this new split-off represents the liberal elements in Adventism. In this second article on Assessment, we give factual data of a general nature, and critique the "Special Report" by the editor of the Adventist Review on the break-a-way in the Potomac Conference. In the report, we noted that the core of this liberal activity in Adventism is connected to a philosophy of ministry, known as "the seeker-church movement" promoted by Bill Hybels, an independent Evangelical pastor of the Willow Creek Community Church located in one of Chicago's most affluent suburbs. In the course of these assessments we plan to give space to discuss the write up on Bill Hybels which dominated the July 18, 1994 issue of Christianity Today.

The one troublesome aspect of the picture both in Maryland and Colorado is that the conferences did not take direct action until the tithe allocation was affected. These break-a-way churches could believe doctrines more apostate than even what the 1980 Statement set forth, and no direct action was taken, but let the tithe be touched, and it became a grave matter of concern. Read carefully - "Let's Talk It Over."

p 2 -- THE ATONEMENT -- Part 1 -- Reduced to its simplest terms, the Atonement was stated by the Angel Gabriel in his announcement to Joseph regarding the name by which the son of Mary was to be called - "Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21). Sin had separated man from God (Isa. 59:1-2). Separation from sin restores at-one-ment with God. In a sense, "sin" is a compound word involving not only the acts, but the cause for the acts. Full at-one-ment cannot be realized until both of these two aspects of sin are abrogated.

The atonement is God's initiative. The Gospel of Matthew indicates that the coming of Jesus was in fulfilment of the prophetic promise to Isaiah, that a virgin would conceive and bear a son whose name would be called "Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (1:23). God became us so that in Him by becoming us could be restored the lost oneness caused by sin. This means that Jesus is the sole source by which the atonement was and is to be accomplished. He restored in Himself the lost oneness with God, and by His mediation, He will return "His people" to their lost oneness with God.

In Hebrews, Jesus is declared to be a "surety of a better covenant" (7:22). The word translated "surety," egguoV, is used only this one time in the New Testament. However, in legal and other documents of the period the word appears frequently. Moulton & Milligan in their reference work, The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament, cite various incidents of its use. For example - "The father consents to the marriage and is surety for the payment of the aforesaid dowry." Again - "I hold your surety until you pay me the value of the claims" (p.179). The surety of Jesus under this better covenant, "established upon better promises" (Heb 8:6), is His own word and accomplishment both as priest and sacrifice.

This unique word usage in Hebrews suggests another covenant and another surety. At Mount Sinai a covenant was confirmed with Israel on the promises of the people to perform it. At the command of God, Moses read to the whole congregation "the judgments" which God gave to him (Exodus 21:1 - 23:33). In this covenant, there was no provision for mercy. It was obey:live; disobey:die (23:20-21). After hearing read to them this book of the covenant, "All the people answered with one voice and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do" (24:3). It lasted less than forty days.

While Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving from God the Ten Commandments engraved in stone, as well as instructions for the building of the sanctuary, the congregation of Israel pressed Aaron to make the golden calf god of the Egyptians, and worship it as the one who had brought them forth from Egypt (Ex. 32:1-7). Coming down from the mount and seeing the naked revelry of the people before the golden calf, Moses sensed the enormity and significance of the rebellion. Israel was a lost cause. Into the breach, Moses stepped. Admitting the magnitude of their sin, he pled with God - "Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of Thy book which Thou hast written" (Ex. 32:31-32). To the pleadings of Moses, God responded - "Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel" (Ex. 34:27). Moses became the "surety," a mediator of this covenant which could be called a "type" covenant. Under it the sanctuary was erected and functioned. It prefigured Jesus, the "surety" of a better covenant.

It is this understanding of the covenant with Israel, which makes more meaningful the appearance of Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration. The record in Luke reads that as Jesus prayed in a mountain, even as Moses had so prayed, "behold there talked with Him two men, which were Moses and Elias (Elijah)." These "spake" to Him "of His decease (exodoV) which He should accomplish at Jerusalem" (9:28-31). Jesus provided the "way out" - the meaning of the word, "exodos" - beginning in Jerusalem, thus He became the surety, a mediator of a better covenant. The "exodos" from Egypt was not complete until Israel was secured in the Land of Promise. Our "exodos" will not be complete until we stand on the Sea of Glass before the Throne of God. Before that Throne now stands the Lamb as it had been slain, the "Surety" of the better covenant (Rev. 5:6). The entire at-one-ment is in Him and through Him.

All of this leads to another important concept in regard to the atonement. In the Old Testament the word, "atonement" is used for both the objective achieved in the daily ritual as well as the special service on the Day of Atonement. There is a dual atonement. In Leviticus 4, in each instance where the KJV uses the word, "atonement" (verses 20, 26, 31, 35), the Hebrew verb, kipher, is used. Likewise, the same word is found in Leviticus 16 (verses 16,17,18,24,32,33). In Leviticus 16, the infinitive form, kapher, is also used (verses 17,20,30,33,34). In Leviticus 23, the noun form in the plural, kiphurim, is used as well as the infinitive. This data is cited so as to relate the use of the word to the New Testament as well as to consider how it is translated in the Septuagint (LXX), the Bible of the Apostolic Church.

The word, atonement, as found in Leviticus 4 & 16 (KJV), is translated in the LXX by the Greek word, exilaskomai, or exilaskomai, and in Leviticus 23 by exilasomoV, a noun in the singular for the Hebrew plural. These words do not appear in the Greek New Testament. However, a similar word is used. Two times the word 'ilaskomai (hilaskomai), a verb, is used. In Luke 18:13 it is translated, "merciful,"and in Heb. 2:17 as "reconciliation." The noun form, 'ilasmoV (hilasmos) is used twice in John 2:2; 4:10, and is

p 3 -- translated, "propitiation." Another word from the same root is used two times - 'ilasthrion (hilasteron). In Romans 3:25 without the article It is translated, "propitiation," and with the article in Hebrews 9:5 as "the mercy seat."

You may ask why these words from the same root are given different translations; why, not always as "atonement"? The Greek word in the OT for atonement has the prepositional prefix, ek (ex before vowels) which effects its meaning. For example, the Greek word, ballw means, "I throw," but ekballw means, "I cast out."

What Is all of this telling us? Consider the following factors carefully:
1)    As noted above, the LXX was the "Bible" of the Apostolic Church. It was the Apostles who contributed to the Church, the New Testament.
2)    Every scripture quoted in the book of Hebrews was from the LXX, not the Hebrew text.
3)    Nowhere in the New Testament are the words used which are used in the LXX for the "atonement" in either describing the daily services as outlined in Leviticus 4, or in the outline of the yearly service as found in Leviticus 16.

This permits but a simple conclusion. The concept of "atonement" as emphasized in Adventism was not spelled out In the New Testament. Does this nullify the position of Adventism? No! This fact has both an upside and downside.

First the upside:    This means that in the book of Hebrews, which quotes solely from the LXX, the use of the words used for "atonement" in the LXX were purposely avoided, thus telling the reader, the material presented was not to be understood as speaking of the antitypical Day of Atonement. That "day" was approaching (Heb. 10:25). Jesus had not entered upon His ascension into the ministry depicted by the typical Day of Atonement. Rather, He is presented as a "surety of a better covenant," "as a Son over His own house," and as a priest-king sitting on "the throne of grace" (Heb. 3:5-6; 4:14-16).

Now the downside:     The New Testament does not give the basis for the final atonement which is one of the fundamental pillars of Adventism.

Where does that leave us? To put it very plainly; It leaves us with a theology based on the typology of the wilderness sanctuary services and related to the book of Daniel as it focuses on the closing events of time. This gives significance to the fact that the book of Daniel was set aside - sealed - for the time of the end. Does this diminish in any way the centrality of the Sacrifice of the cross? No, it merely relates the sacrifice of Christ to the dual aspect of the Atonement, the daily service - forgiveness - and the yearly service - cleansing.

Even in the New Testament where the word "atonement" is used once in the KJV (Rom. 5:11), the Greek word is katallagh, meaning "reconciliation," and so translated where the word is used elsewhere in the NT. While it is true that a concept of at-one-ment is embodied in the word reconciliation, it is a reconciliation of "enemies" to God (Rom. 5:10), not the coming to God of an errant child confessing his sin seeking to be again at-one-ment with his Father. Reconciliation is outside the covenant relationship. It brings us into that accord. The atonements were for those already in a covenant relationship with God. It must ever be recognized that the sanctuary type was set up and functioned under the covenant which God made with Moses and with Israel, with Moses as the mediator.

Paul in Romans 5:10-11, is emphasizing who the Reconciler is - "Christ by whom we have received the atonement" (KJV) - "the reconciliation." He also blends two concepts - the death and resurrection of Jesus. We are "reconciled to God by the death of His Son," but having been reconciled, "we shall be saved by His life" who "is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Heb. 7:25). This "saving work" is stated in the context of Christ as "a surety of a better covenant" and as having "an unchangeable priesthood." (See Heb. 7:22, 24)

The covenant concept is an essential concept for us to understand in relationship to the atonement. In the Old Testament, those who accepted the God of Israel as their God are described as taking "hold of My covenant" (Isa. 56:4, 6). The promise to them was that their "sacrifices shall be accepted upon My altar" (ver. 7). In the New Testament there is a "new" Israel. Paul describes the Ephesians as at one time being "Gentiles" and "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, and having no hope, and without God in the world" (2:11,12). But a "naturalisation" took place. He wrote - "Now in Christ Jesus ye who were sometimes far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ" (ver. 13).

Observe - "in Christ Jesus" there is a new Israel. All that come unto God by Him - for no man cometh to the Father except by Him - are extended hope and the promises of the new covenant. He is the Surety, having accomplished a new exodoV at Jerusalem by the cross. To the foot of the cross - "the highest place to which man can attain" - all must come to receive "the blood of sprinkling" (See Ex. 24:8), and thus come under the covenant of which Christ is both the surety and mediator. These are members of "the general assembly and church of the firstborn" whose names are written in the Lamb's "book of life." To these belong the "atonements" under the covenant (Heb. 12:22-24).

In the Old Testament references describing the services of the sanctuary, the word, "atonement" is used to describe

p 4 -- the work done solely by the officiating priest. In Leviticus 4, outlining the sin offerings, the emphasis is that after the offering of the sacrifice brought by the confessor, "the priest shall make an atonement for him" (Lev. 4:26). Again, in the outline of the services on the Day of Atonement, the statement is made - "For on that day shall the [high] priest make an atonement for you" (Lev. 16:30). Further, it is emphasized that "there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when [the high priest] goeth in to make an atonement in the [most] holy" (16:17). The high priest alone accomplished the final atonement. In both instances it was accomplished for a people under the covenant God made with Moses and with Israel. Keep in mind that Jesus was to save His people from their sins.

Perhaps at this point of study, we should recapitulate the salient factors revealed in the typical services of atonement:
1)    The Old Testament sanctuary services prefigured two atonements; one that occurred daily at the Altar in the court, and one yearly that involved the whole of the sanctuary and court, starting in the Most Holy place, and concluded at the Altar in the court (Leviticus 4 & 16).
2)    The plural form is used to describe the yearly atonement. Twice in Leviticus 23:27-28, the plural form, kiphurim, is used - "it is a day of atonements." However, the LXX uses the singular, exilasomoV, to translate the Hebrew plural, indicating that in the judgment of the translators, they perceived the Hebrew use of the plural to indicate the majestic plural. In others words, the yearly day of atonement was primary in importance, the objective to which the daily atonements focused.
3)    Salvation history in the New Testament was not the time of the Atonement of Atonements; thus in the New Testament, the words used in the LXX referring to the Day of Atonement, as well as the daily service, were avoided.
4)    The Gospel message was the gathering of a New Israel into a covenant relationship with God through Jesus Christ, the Surety and Mediator of such a covenant.

While the daily sacrifices in the court at the Brazen Altar prefigured the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, yet Christ was offered without the gate as the Saviour of all who would accept Him. The inscription placed on the Cross was written in three languages; the language of the professed people of God, and in the two world languages of the day, Greek and Latin (John 19:20). It is at the Cross that two objectives meet:   1) the atonement of forgiveness; and   2) the ministry of reconciliation. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, speaks of the ministry of reconciliation (II Cor. 5:18-20), while John is speaking to those who have been reconciled that they sin not, but "if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (I John 2:1).

This later factor - the continual (daily) atonement - is too often overlooked in the study of the typical sin offerings. All - the high priest, the whole congregation, the ruler, and the common people, the four categories covered in Leviticus 4 - were in covenant relationship with God via the mediator, Moses (Ex. 34:27). When in that covenant relationship, they became conscious of a separating sin, they came with the offering prescribed; confessed, and the officiating priest made atonement for them, and it was forgiven them. Christ, as the Surety of a better covenant, "ever liveth to make intercession for" us (Heb. 7:23,25), who have been reconciled to God, when we stumble and fall.

The gospel message of the New Testament seeks to bring all to the foot of the cross, to the brazen altar of the court. The New Testament message is: "Be ye reconciled to God" (II Cor. 5:20), and "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father" (I John 2:1). The New Testament does not go far beyond this point. Only hints of the coming Atonement of Atonements are given.

To the believer is given the "earnest (arrabwna) of the Spirit" (II Cor. 1:22; 5:5), in other words, the pledge of what is to come. "We through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith" (Gal. 5:5). [ Is it not of significance, that the message of 1888 has come during the time of the final atonement?] Although "as many as are led by the Spirit of God ... are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14), yet "the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God" (ver. 19, NKJV). To those of New Testament times this expectation was perceived as "the day approaching" (Heb. 10:25). (For significance of "the day," see M. L. Andreasen, The Sanctuary Service, p. 170]       To be Concluded

Some Assessments -- Part 2 -- In the March issue of WWN we wrote that "as 1997 closed, events were taking place in the Community of Adventism both within and without the regular Church which need to be carefully considered by every concerned Adventist." Because of the incompleteness of our factual data at the time of writing, concerning what was transpiring within the structure, we noted a specific agitation without the regular Church. We now return to the events within the Church. In doing the further research required, we have discovered that basic concepts are involved which will require a more detailed discussion than can be adequately presented in the space available in this issue of WWN.

We were made aware of problems involving the Damascus, Maryland, Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Potomac Conference, by a minister in the Columbia Union. At a Union-wide gathering of ministers, the pastor of the church, Richard Fredericks, spoke. His message alarmed

p 5 -- the minister who called me, and from his information, an officer present from the General Conference level of administration was also disturbed.

The next information to become available was the North American Division issue of the Adventist Review (November 1997), with its "Special Report" by the editor; "When the Family Splits." While the centml emphasis of what the editor wrote concerned the Church pastored by Richard Fredericks, whom he described as its "charismatic leader," Johnsson also informed his readers that another split had occurred six months previously involving "the large Sunnyside church in Portland, Oregon."

Soon after the Adventist Review had been received, we were sent by a reader in Colorado a Rocky Mountain Conference Update which detailed a similar problem involving a church pastored by Clay Peck. By exploring further contacts available to us, we obtained a copy of the break-away church's "Statement of Faith." This will require in itself an article, so that the readers of WWN can be aware of the issues involved. There is no question but that the two churches involved - in Maryland and Colorado - are in close communication with similar objectives as well as beliefs.

Both the write-up in the Adventist Review and Conference Update reveal a similar response on the part of the two conferences where the churches are located. No overt action was taken against these two churches and their pastors until these churches decided to go congregational in organization, and withhold from the conference the tithe received. These were the two bottom line issues, the heretical doctrinal teachings were of secondary emphasis. It is our judgment that the doctrinal issues should have been primary. However, with the pluralism evident in the church itself in regard to truth, administrators who might want to hold to the line of what was basic Adventist teaching face a difficult situation. In fact, a statement released by the leadership of the Rocky Mountain Conference - "Understanding Our Theology," reveals that whoever formulated it does not truly know what makes Adventism "unique." This statement, too, needs careful analysis.

Johnsson, in his article, indicated a common denominator behind one of these break-away churches' objectives. He wrote:      The influence of Willow Creek:   Bill Hybels' church has become a mecca for Adventist pastors and elders. This congregation, free of any denominational ties, has grown rapidly to more than 13,000 members. Adventist pastors, concerned with slow growth and lack of vitality in their congregations, journey to Willow Creek in a search for answers. And Willow Creek has given them much of value to take and adapt to their situations. Hybels apparently makes no effort to win Adventists to his model, but we must raise a question:   Have Adventists seeing the success of Willow Creek, consciously or unconsciously been influenced toward congregationalism? (p.17)

Hybels, an evangelical, has a basic motivation to his program. He has come under severe criticism from other evangelicals because of this philosophy. This concept and its impact on Adventist thinking also needs analysis.

Dr. Johnsson's article can be critiqued as a prelude for the various analyses which will follow from time to time. It needs to be kept in mind that while his official capacity as "Executive Publisher and Editor" is evident, Johnsson is writing as one emotionally involved in the Damascus Church break-away. He and his wife "have dear friends who are caught up in the conflict." Further, he indicates that his choice to join the staff of the Adventist Review came at the time "the Glacier View Conference, called to discuss the views of Desmond Ford, had just concluded." He confesses that the "next few years [were] the most difficult of my ministry." Everywhere he travelled to speak, he encountered "anger, bitterness, bewilderment, and pain. Ministers resigned or were fired, churches split." He speaks of his homeland, Australia, noting that in his home conference, "South Australian - an old but a small conference - was decimated: at one point in the capital city of Adelaide, there were more former Adventist ministers than employed ones."

He suggests that the split should be kept in perspective. It involves only a few hundred members against a worldwide membership "about 10 million. But whether few or many, any loss of members from the body hurts." The perspective needs to be broadened. Add to this group at Damascus, the hundreds involved in Colorado, plus the number who seceded from the Oregon church. Beyond this are the hundreds, perhaps even thousands involved in home churches across America. The Community of Adventism is splintered and is splintering; let there be no doubt about that.

Johnsson says there is "hurt" and indicates the hearts of many at the General Conference complex are heavy. He seems not to sense the reason why for all of this splintering, and looks at it from merely the viewpoint of the present crisis, which involves Adventists of a view more liberal than the Church itself. Where were the "heavy hearts" when concerned Adventists were being roughly dealt with because they objected to the compromises of the faith by the General Conference leadership in the complex? Why the appearance of pained agony now when Adventists on the left go congregational, and no apparent grief was expressed when conservative Adventists on the right chose to meet and study in small groups on Sabbath? Was it because the small groups lacked numerical strength and their tithe was far smaller that the "3 million" reported by some churches alluded to by Johnsson within the organizational framework?

In the "Special Report," Johnsson quotes the oft repeated cliché - "The church may appear about to fall, but it does

p 6 -- not fall" - from Selected Messages, bk. ii, p.380. He places it in connection with the Kellogg split of the early 1900s, while the sentence is actually from a letter written in 1886 to George I. Butler and S. N. Haskell. It is printed out of context in Selected Messages and Johnsson places it farther out of context in his report.

There are several observations of current trends in the religious world which Johnsson has succinctly stated, yet his conclusions are open to serious question. He pin-pointed "Theological distinctives" as being downplayed. This is accurate. He wrote:       Ours is an age with scant interest in theology. Spiritually - usually a mushy amalgam of feel-goods and scattered thinking - is in; theology is out. If we let it, the spirit of the age will hammer at the distinctives that make us a people - the sanctuary teaching, the judgment, the three angels' messages, the Sabbath, the state of the dead, the Second Coming, Ellen White - until we look, think, and act like any other church."

This is a strange list of "distinctives" for Johnsson to bring together, especially the first two. To read his doctoral dissertation at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, one would wonder if Johnsson ever knew about the sanctuary teaching and the judgment as truly distinctives in Adventism. His position as presented in the dissertation is as far afield as Desmond Ford's has ever been. The tragedy in the theology of Adventism today has been the reluctance to bring the church's doctrinal positions into line with Scripture, perhaps fearing that in so doing they would play into the hands of Ford's meanderings or would have to come to terms with certain statements of Ellen White. Unity is based in truth, and unless we are willing to come in line with truth, we will not have unity. It is just that simple, though difficult as it may be to achieve.

Johnsson's observations on the "unique identity" of Seventh-day Adventists "both individually and corporately" are interesting. After discussing Adventists as individuals, he makes application to the Church. He writes that "Adventist churches have a strongly individualistic streak." By this he means that the local church alone can accept into fellowship and disfellowship members - the conferences or unions, or general conference cannot. This is why Dr. Desmond Ford, who denies basic Adventist teaching, is still a member in good and regular standing, while many who have held to and fought for the truth upon which the church once stood, have been disfellowshipped. This is quite a track record for such "a strongly individualistic streak."

In the final paragraphs of this "Special Report," Johnsson perceives himself as getting "tough." After citing his perceptions of the turmoil in Adventism over the Desmond Ford declension, he writes:      I urge every pastor who may contemplate leading his or her church out of Adventism into an independent congregation to consider this history. I tremble at the thought of becoming such a leader. The Adventist Church has no martyrs.

I urge every member who may feel inclined to join such a split-off group to consider this history. This fellowship may seem impossible to give up. I say:   Enjoy it while it lasts, because it may turn to ashes in your mouth, and sooner than you can imagine.

Tough words? But, I hope tough love. If I hadn't been so close to this history of the past 17 years, I wouldn't feel so ready to speak bluntly. The Adventist Church has no offshoots.

Johnsson is drawing conclusions and giving counsel from a very limited perspective - the history of 17 years, which takes one back to 1980. (He wrote the article in 1997) It was at that time that the Church itself became an offshoot from truth in the adoption of the Dallas Statement of Beliefs. What about the history from 1955 to 1980 - the compromises with the Evangelicals? Fordism is merely the "chickens" come home to roost. Dr Desmond Ford merely carried the compromises of 1955-56 to their ultimate conclusions.

Let's Talk It Over -- What is an offshoot? This question is suggested by Dr. William G. Johnsson, Editor of the Adventist Review, in the article we have critiqued above. He wrote - "The Adventist Church has no offshoots." We suggest that the Church is itself an offshoot, that is, if truth can have offshoots. Actually, such is impossible. Literally by dictionary definition, an offshoot is "a branch of a main stem." There is no question but that God planted the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (See 9T:19) He "watered" it by the guidance of the Holy Spirit through the ministry of His "messengers." But as Israel of old, also a planting of the Lord (Ps. 80:8-9), this last Remnant of the "new" Israel has deviated from the truth committed to its trust.

The Statement of Beliefs drawn up by the founding fathers of the Movement in 1872 was published regularly in various publications of the Church till 1914. No statement appeared again for sixteen years, until a new statement was placed in the 1931 Yearbook, which has become designated as the 1930 Statement of Belief. This statement altered Belief #5, modified Belief #2, and introduced the concept of the Trinity "the central doctrine of the Catholic Faith" "upon [which] are based all the other teachings of the Church." (Handbook of Today's Catholic, p.11) The 1980 Statement voted at Dallas, defined the Trinity in the language of the Constitution of the World Council of Churches, and introduced a new statement on what constitutes the Church which had been in no previ-

p 7 -- ous statement of beliefs, wording it also according to the WCC Constitution. (So Much in Common, p.40)

This 1980 Statement of Beliefs gives no clear cut statement regarding the nature Christ took upon Himself in the Incarnation. It confirmed a major compromise made with the Evangelicals concerning the atonement in language borrowed from the book, Questions on Doctrine, and defined there. Thus to questions proposed by Walter Martin after the adoption of the new statement as to whether the Church still held to the commitments made to him and Barnhouse in 1955-1956, the leadership of the Church could reply in the affirmative. (The Kingdom of the Cults, p.410)

Actually, the more one studies the changes in belief made by the Church in 1980, the more one is inclined to question that the present church is even an offshoot of the original planting, but has in reality become a new plant, a "new organization" when defined by doctrinal affirmation. The warning given by the Lord's messenger at the time of the Battle Creek secession should startle us in the light of what has happened in the altering of the statements of belief. She wrote:      One thing it is certain is soon to be realized, - the great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger, and will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout. We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith, and go forward from strength to increased faith. (Special Testimonies, Series B, #7, p.57)

If I read this correctly, it is saying that "the great apostasy" involves the "first principles of our denominated faith." "First principles" were altered in 1980 with the adoption of the Dallas Statement of Beliefs. Is this the height of "the great apostasy" or is there more to come? Do the words of Jesus concerning the religious leaders of Israel apply with equal force today - "Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up" (Matt. 15:13)?

The Thinking of Others -- (From time to time we receive small concise essays of the thinking of others as they meditate on the Word. While we may not agree with what is written in its entirety, if it challenges our thinking, perhaps even our perceptions, we will share it with the readers of WWN as space permits. The identification of the one writing will be by initial and Zip Code, as Dr. Rue used in his publication, The Layworker.)

"Thoughts on Begotten Son" -- If it is true that we have life at conception, and I believe it is true, Jesus had life at conception. We did not have life before conception. Jesus did. He did not give up His life to become a fetus in the womb of Mary.

Jesus died once. Therefore, there was only one time in the history of time and eternity that Jesus was dead - without life. It was at the resurrection that He became the begotten of the Father. Acts 13:33 proclaims "this day have I begotten thee." Any reference, and there are many, to God as the Father and Jesus as the Son prior to and during His sojourn on earth is in the same sense that Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).

When God says something will happen, it can be considered as done, only waiting the time of fulfillment.      la 89041 --- (1998 May) ---End---- TOP

1998 Jun -- XXXI -- 6(98) -- ETERNAL VERITIES -- Part 5 -- THE ATONEMENT -- Part 2 -- Editor's Preface -- With this issue of WWN we conclude the series on the Eternal Verities. The discussion of the Atonement centers on the unique perception in Adventism of the significance of the typical Day of Atonement as assigned by God in the Hebrew sacrificial system. The reason why the pioneers of Adventism believed that the atonement on the tenth day of the seventh month was the only atonement, and that no atonement was involved with Calvary is discussed. Inasmuch as the "new" theology permeating the thinking in Adventism today rejects the atonement involving the final ministry of Christ as High Priest in the sanctuary above, and centers the atonement emphasis at the Cross, we do well to seek to understand just what the Scriptures reveal about the final atonement. The implications and demands implied in a final atonement have been the basis of various aberrant movements in our history. Either we jettison the sanctuary teaching with its implications, or we find an answer. In the process there will be things to learn and things to unlearn.

We had intended to continue our discussion of the break-a-way churches of a liberal hue from the main Seventh-day Adventist body, as well as begin a discussion of further developments in the dialogue involving Evangelicals and Roman Catholics. Hopefully with the next issue we can realize our intentions. During this past week, as our Librarian was cataloging various manuscripts and letters from an acquisition we had received previously, she discovered a letter written by Alonzo T. Jones which we have reproduced in its entirety in this issue. Inasmuch as the letter gives Jones' perception of events both prior to and following 1888, extending to the crisis involving Kellogg, any abridgment of the letter was out of the question. It was the whole letter or none at all. Jones was not hesitant to name names, and this is what gives this letter its importance. The two personal testimonies which he describes as to how both he and E. J.Waggoner thought and how they arrived at their positions independently of the other, gives pause for thought and evaluation of the message they brought as "messengers of the Lord."

p 2 --THE ATONEMENT #2 -- The concept of a final atonement is based in the typology of the sanctuary services associated with the tenth day of the seventh month - Yom Kippur. In the Old Testament this day is noted as the Day of Atonements, plural. Leviticus 23:27 reads - "On the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonements." Actually, only one atonement was made on this day, an atonement for cleansing (Lev. 16:30).

The Septuagint in translating Leviticus 23:27 uses the singular, exilasomoV, for the Hebrew plural, which adds support to the position that the majestic plural was used to designate the typical Day of Atonement. This being the case, then the atonement of the tenth day of the seventh month was considered of greater significance than the atonement ministered by the common priests in the daily sin ofterings brought to the sanctuary.

This background also helps one to understand why our pioneers in their writings placed the emphasis as they did on the antitypical Day of Atonement, even denying that an atonement was ever made on Calvary. (See 0. R. L. Crosier, The Sanctuary, Day Star Extra, 1846; Reproduced in Facsimiles of the Two Earliest S. D.A. Periodicals). With the change of emphasis today in mainline Adventism, placing the atonement of the Cross as the one atonement, and the down-play of the final atonement, even to the point of denial, there needs to be a rebalancing of the study of the atonement which reflects the whole of Scripture. If it requires a learning process, or an unlearning process, so let it be. (See Testimonies to Ministers, p.30) A thoughtful rereading of Leviticus 16 would so indicate such a process.

Traditionally, we have perceived that the High Priest went only once into the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atoneinent. A careful study of Leviticus 16 indicates ihat he entered three times on that day. First the High Priest took in a censer "full of burning coals from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense" (v.12). Next, he was instructed to take "the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat" (v.14). Finally, he was to kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail" (v.15).

Traditionally, we have pictured the ministry of Jesus in the Most Holy Place as a High Priest standing before the Ark of the Covenant, robed in the pontifical attire like that worn by the typical high priest. The clothing worn by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement in the typical services are described as "the holy linen coat" with "linen breeches upon his flesh," and "girded with a linen girdle," and wearing "the linen mitre." These are declared to be the "holy garments" (v.4). Conforming to the traditional concept, we have lost much in our perception of the vision of Ezekiel 9. Three times in the vision given to Ezekiel, the One with the "writer's inkhorn by his side" is described as "clothed in linen" (vs. 2, 3, 11). This links the sealing as associated with the work of Heaven in connection with the antitypical Day of Atonement.

Traditionally, we have literalized the offering of the bullock as an atonement made by the High Priest for his immediate family, failing to consider that the High Priest typified the coming great High Priest in all aspects of the services on the typical day. In fact, the introduction in the book of Hebrews to the sanctuary typology is based on this concept of the house of Moses, of which Aaron was High Priest, and the house of Christ, of which He Himself is the High Priest. (See Heb. 3:1-6) The contrast of the two houses is prefaced with the admonition - "Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus" (v.1). As the bullock was provided by the High Priest, so Christ offered Himself, as well as being the "Lord's goat" taken from the congregation (Deut, 18:15, 18), as the offering of God. For the bullock no confession was made, and its blood was taken first into the most holy place following the pouring of the incense upon the coals of fire. While in the Old Testament, the ministry of the sanctuary was limited to the tribe of Levi, and the priesthood to the house of Aaron, the New Testament pictures the ones who believe in Jesus "as lively stones"   "being built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood" even "a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people" (I Peter 2:5, 9). In its entirety, the new Israel was to be a kingdom of priests. This is the "house" of Christ, "whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end" (Heb. 3:6).

Traditionally, we have limited the ministry of Jesus as High Priest on the antitypical Day of Atonement and restricted it to the Most Holy Place. The type does not warrant such a conclusion. In the services as outlined in Leviticus 16, there is a progression beginning in the Most Holy (called "the holy"), and passing to the Holy Place (called "the tabernacle"), and then to the Altar of the Court, noted as "the altar before the Lord." [There is also implied movement in the vision of Ezekiel 9, from "the cherub, where upon He was" to the "threshold of the house" to give commands to those standing "beside the brazen altar," among whom was "the man clothed with linen"].

In the outline of the typical service of the Day of Atonement, it is stated that the atonement was necessary for two reasons:   1)    "the uncleanness of the children of Israel" and    2)    "because of their transgressions in all their sins" (Lev. 16:16). These reasons could be summarized as the record of sin, and the cause for the record of the sins - "their uncleanness." The record is kept in "books" (Daniel 7:10); the confession of those sins were recorded typically on the altars of the sanctuary (Leviticus 4). In the services of the typical Day of Atonements, the uncleanness is not noted as cleansed until the third phase, the cleansing at the brazen altar (16:19). For that phase, the blood of the

p 3 -- bullock and the blood of the Lord's goat were mingled (v. 18). This gives some suggestion of how Heaven views the final atonement, and the magnitude of what God purposes to accomplish through the "Surety" of the better covenant.

How can this be related to the prophetic picture of Daniel 7? First, one must recognize a basic premise. Sin began with a covering cherub in the very presence of God (Eze. 28:14-15). The first point of reference for the final eradication of sin must be where sin began and the issue involved which sparked the rebellion. At this point, the statements of Scripture and the revelation found in the Writings must be combined. Man, created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26), was to be only "a little while inferior to the angels" (Heb. 2:7, margin).

[The Greek of this verse is bracu ti. Thayer observes that here Paul "transfers to time what the LXX in Ps. 8:6 says of rank." (p.105) In the context of this verse, the same wording is used of Jesus (2:9). In His condescension, time not rank was the factor. (See Heb. 1:4; Phil. 2:9)]

From the Writings we learn that "human beings were a new and distinct order" (Review & Herald, Feb. 11,1902), and "designed to be a counterpart of God" (Review & Herald, June 18, 1895). Further, we are informed that "when God said to His Son, Let us make man in our image, Satan was jealous of Jesus. He wished to be consulted concerning the formation of man" (Spiritual Gifts, Vol.1, p. 17). This sparked the rebellion in Heaven. The whole angelic host became involved, and each made a decision.

It is with the angelic host that the scene of judgment in Daniel 7 begins. All are assembled. God who changes not desires that His original plan be activated. Will the angels of heaven accept the exaltation of the redeemed? The picture is far different now than when first suggested. The books are opened, and there is recorded the dark history of man's continual transgression and uncleanness. Will the angels consent that these who have sinned be placed above themselves who have never sinned? What plea can God make? Here the significance of the service of the Day of Atonement enters. First, Jesus who gave Himself, typified as the high priest who provided his own bullock, asks, "Did I give enough?" Across the minds of the angelic hosts races the recall of the agonies of Gethsemane and Calvary. Then God, who placed His co-Equal in the channel of human inheritance, and gave Him for the fallen race, asks, "Have I given enough?" The angels recall those hours of darkness when God Himself suffered in inexplicable anguish at the Cross. Yes, they assent, the purpose of God may proceed, and they will join in the final work for man.

Three angels go forth with the final call of the Everlasting Gospel, announcing first the setting in which it is being given - "The hour of the judgment of Him is come" (Lit.). Worship Him; "Be ye reconciled to God." Cease in rebellion; keep His commandments. The man "clothed in linen" completes His work, and returns to the Throne, declaring, "I have done as thou has commanded me" (Eze. 9:11). This is the second time He has uttered these words. Once before He prayed - "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do" (John 17:4). But this time instead of from the cross the cry, "It is finished," there will come from the temple of heaven, from the throne "a great voice" declaring, "It is done" (Rev. 16:17). In the symbolism of Daniel, the Son of man comes to the Ancient of days to receive His kingdom - His "house" for which He has given so much. The at-one-ment is completed. "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ" (Rev. 11:15).

While the "house" is not limited to the last generation, but includes all who have availed themselves of "the redemption in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24), there is a uniqueness in regard to the last generation which one dares not over look. This distinction is clearly defined in Paul's discussion of the resurrection in I Corinthians 15. All the redeemed "shall be changed" (v.51). While those who have been corrupted by death, are raised to incorruption (afqarsia), those alive at the event put on immortality (aqanasia)  (v.53). It is this latter word, which emphasizes the uniqueness of the final generation. It is used three times in the New Testament, all in the writings of Paul; twice in I Corinthians 15:53, and once in I Timothy 6:16. In this latter reference, it declares that "the King of kings and Lord of lords ... only hath immortality." It is evident that to the victors who do not taste death, God shares a unique part of Himself, they in reality become a "counterpart of God."

This then raises the question of when the commission of sin ceases. Those who go to the grave can by faith in the Surety, who is still interceding in the sanctuary above, claim the promise of victory (I Cor. 15:57). But what about those who are alive when the intercession of the One "clothed in linen" ceases? Sin will also have had to cease in their lives. When and how will this be realized?

[The book of Revelation is clear that there is a period of time between the cessation of the priestly ministry of Jesus Christ, and His coming as King of kings and Lord of lords. (15:8, 19:11)]

Seeking the answer to this question has been the basis of various aberrant movements within Adventism as well as divisions of thought resulting from the introduction of what is called "the new theology." One movement at the turn of the last century received encouragement from the preaching of A. F. Ballenger at the campmeetings of 1898.

He said -    "You and I can afford to resist unto blood, striving against sin; but we cannot afford to sin. It is too late to sin in thought, word, or action; for it is time to receive the Holy Ghost in all of its fullness, - time to receive the seal of God." (Review & Herald, October 18,1898, p.671; emphasis his)    He couched his message in the motif of the typical Day of Atonement. In another report on a campmeet-

p 4 -- ing in Indiana, Ballenger wrote:      When I am conscious that I am not clean, I cannot preach with power, neither can I preach with "unwonted power" when I know my people are not clean. Cleanse the Seventh-day Adventist Church of all uncleanness, I will promise the loudest cry of the loud cry the same day. (ibid., Nov. 8, 1898, p.720)

The next year the Holy Flesh Movement began in Indiana. While the excesses of the Movement were unacceptable, and some of its major theological positions untenable, one cannot condemn the sincerity of the men of Indiana who sought to realize the "vision" of what the end will be. The illusive "how" escaped them. They wanted "trans-lation faith." They did not want to go to heaven on "the under-ground railroad" - the grave. The message preached they termed the "cleansing message."

In the 1960s another Movement began in Adventism led by Robert Brinsmead. In his "constitutional" publication, God's Eternal Purpose, he sets forth his perceptions and the basis for them, as well as the objective which he believed was the purpose of the final atonement. He wrote:      Through Christ's ministry in the holy of holies, humanity is to be fully united (married) to divinity. Hence the significance of the final atonement - at-one-ment. ... When his faith reaches to the last supreme act of the atonement, he will be fully united (married) to divinity for eternity. Then he will be as sinless in the flesh as Christ was sinless in the flesh. [A diagram of the relationship between Christ and the Christian is inserted at this point]

Christ's perfect humanity is the standard which His true followers must possess to pass through the last scenes of earth's history. God must have, and will have a people to reveal the full stature of Christ. All those who work in harmony with Christ in the cleansing of the sanctuary will reach this standard. (p.199)

In this, Brinsmead was simply trying to answer the same question which concerned the men of Indiana, albeit in a different setting, and free from the emotional extravaganza which marked the Holy Flesh Movement. His appeal was directly related to the study of the sanctuary. The typical service of the sanctuary on the Day of Atonement demands that the question involving the cleansing - both from the record of sin, and the uncleanness of the individual which is the source of sinning - be answered. The answer is not in the abandonment of the sanctuary teaching, for if done, as is being done, Adventism loses its uniqueness.

Actually, the position of Brinsmead as noted above is basically the position of most of those who perceive of themselves as "historic" Adventists. The fact remains; we are still here and the evidences of fulfilling prophecy tells us that God is not going to delay the end much longer. The answer must be found. The answers being set forth focus on "the latter rain." This is a nebulous concept from the Judean harvest but with significance in the light of Peter's call to repentance to those assembled on Solomon's porch of the Temple area (Acts 3:19). [This text, Brinsmead used with emphasis]

The Writings indicate that the objective of "the latter rain" is to bring "the seed to perfection" (Testimonies to Ministers, p.506). In the same chapter, "Pray for the Latter Rain," is found the suggestion that this experience is involved with the reception of the advancing light of truth: - "Only those who are living up to the light they have, will receive greater light" (p.507). The result is clearly written - "We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ" (p.506) The "how" is also defined - "It is God who began the work, and He will finish His work, making man complete in Jesus Christ" (p.507). Paul wrote that in Christ "dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him" (Col. 2:9-10). This returns us again to the "in Him" concept of the Pauline epistles, and that Christ is the "Surety of a better covenant." We are His "house," the new house of Israel, a people of the covenant, and the promise is - "He shall save His people from their sins."

With all the failures of the past century to find the answer which the typical service of the Day of Atonement demands, one hesitates to even offer a suggestion as to what the answer might be. However, we would do well to consider a suggestion found in the Writings which reads - "Zechariah's vision of Joshua and the Angel [Chapter 3] applies with peculiar force to the experience of God's people in the closing of the great day of atonement" (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. V, p.472).

In analyzing this vision, the first revelation is that Satan will resist every effort not only to understand the final atonement, but also its realization. Joshua, the ministering high priest in the days of Zechariah, is seen standing before the Lord, and "Satan standing at his right hand to resist Him" (v.1). Satan is just as envious and just as set in his opposition to the plan of God for man as when God first suggested it in the beginning. He seeks to set himself at "the right hand" for power and control. In the vision the Lord first rebukes Satan before turning His attention to Joshua. "Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire," He asks. Joshua has no means to escape - his clothes are flammable - "filthy garments" ripe for the fire. Then the Lord commands those who stood before Him - those who have assented for God to carry out His original intent for man - "Take away the filthy garments from him" (v.4).

Here is the first test to those who would be cleansed. They can either yield their "filthy" garments, and become naked before whom they stand, or they can hold to them so as to cover their nakedness. This is the critical test -

p 5 -- self is involved. It is embarrassing to have to admit that all the "righteousnesses" which sustain our egos are nothing but "filthy rags" (Isa. 64:6). But unless we are willing for this to happen, the next step cannot be taken. The Lord will not put His righteousness over our righteousnesses. He alone is righteous and He does not intend to share that righteousness in which there is not a thread of human devising with the fig-leaf devisings of men.

When Joshua yielded up his filthy garments - the angels of the Lord will remove them if we permit - the Lord declares - "Behold I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with a change of raiment" (v.4). The emphasis is on what God can and will do, not on what man can do, for his is only to surrender so that it can be done for him. On the typical Day of Atonement, it was the high priest alone who accomplished the atonement. The recipients were to afflict their souls and do no work (Ex. 23; 29-30). Soul affliction - how few understand what this is all about. Self denial - and this does not mean in material things of life - but the actual emptying of self even as He did, whose mind we are suppose to accept (Phil. 2:5-7 RSV). How painful to those who profess they can keep the commandments of God, and tell the Lord, "All these have I kept from my youth up, what lack I yet?"

After being clothed with the garments provided and a fair mitre being set on his head, the messenger of the Lord solemnly affirmed the intent of the Lord of hosts - "Thus saith the Lord of hosts: If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by" (v.7).

The result - "Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at" (Heb. "men of wonder"). Through the bestowal of the final outpouring of God's grace, *  human beings still closed in flesh of sin, will fully reflect the image of Christ, for God will bring forth His servant, the BRANCH in each - "Christ in you the hope of glory." The final atonement will have been accomplished. "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith" (Gal. 5:5).

* -- "Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work." (Testimonies to Ministers, p.508)


In cataloguing an acquisition of a group of manuscripts, letters, etc., we discovered a letter written by A. T. Jones which gave his perspective on details both prior to, and following the 1888 General Conference session. We believe that the contents of this letter will be enlightening to our readers and to all those who are deeply interested In the 1888 Message. The letter is being reproduced just as written by Jones.

An A. T. Jones Letter:
925 E St. & Md. Ave. N.E.
Washington, D.C.

May 12,1921

Dear Brother ----------,

My answer to your letter of inquiry of April 12 has been delayed by many things. And now I do not think that I can do justice to it in the time that I have. That Minneapolis meeting and conference embraced much more and meant much more than what occurred in the meeting and conference. In a way it was the culmination of a number of things before it, and it was also the origin of a lot of things after it.

From 1885 to 1888 Bro. Waggoner and I both worked on the "Signs of the Times" and the "American Sentinel" at Oakland, Calif. Each of us taught in Healdsburg College, and preached in the churches: mostly I in San Francisco and he in Oakland. Each of us pursued his own individual study of the Bible and teaching and preaching. Never in our lives did we spend an hour in study together on any subject or upon all subjects. Yet we were led in perfect agreement in the truths of the Bible all the way. To illustrate: One Sabbath Bro. Waggoner was away from Oakland in a camp meeting, and I preached in his place in Oakland church. My subject was "Righteousness by Faith." The next Sabbath he was home and preached in his own place in Oakland church, and I in San Francisco. Sunday morning when I came into the "Signs" office and began to work, I said to Bro. Bollman, What did Bro. Waggoner preach on yesterday? He replied, The same that you did last Sabbath. I asked him, What was his text? He replied, Same one that you had. I said, What line did he follow? What illustrations? He replied, The same as you did.

And that was the way all the time. Oh! yes, another illustration proves this. Bro. Prescott and his wife went to England, starting from Battle Creek. They left, as I remember it, the evening after Sabbath. That Sabbath I preached in the Tabernacle. They arrived in London the next Sabbath, and went to the meeting in London arriving there in the midst of the sermon, and Bro. Waggoner was preaching. And he was preaching on the same subject on which I had preached the Sabbath before in Battle Creek. And he preached so entirely parallel with me, that Mrs. Prescott herself told me afterward that when Bro. Waggoner had finished his sermon and the meeting was closed, and they spoke to him they told him that, We appreciated your sermon Bro. Waggoner. But it would have been a little newer if we had not heard it from Bro. Jones last Sabbath in the Tabernacle in Battle Creek.

To the General Conference of 1887 in Battle Creek, Bro. Waggoner went as a delegate from Calif.: or possibly it was 1886. At any rate at that conference Eld. Geo. I. Butler opposed his preaching of "Righteousness by Faith," and issued a pamphlet in opposition to what he called "the much vaunted doctrine of jus-

p 6 -- tification by faith." As I remember it, his pamphlet was entitled, "The Law in Galatians."

By their known agreement of Bro. Waggoner and me in the Gospel of Righteousness by Faith, which included of course both Galatians and Romans; and that did not agree at all with the
views of Butler and the other General Conference heads; Butler and the others had framed in their imagination that "these two young men" - Bro. Waggoner and me - had concocted a scheme to revolutionize the doctrine of the denomination and to carry the denomination into new, and of course "heretical" fields. For along with the truth and "heresy" of righteousness by faith for
which Bro. Waggoner was held as the leader, I had carried through the Signs of the Times a study of the four beasts and the ten kingdoms as in Daniel 7. In tracing the ten kingdoms to know exactly what they were in the history, I found that the old traditional list of those kingdoms as held by the denomination, was not correct. When I began the study Bro. Uriah Smith wrote to me that he was glad that I was going to search that out, for it had never been done: but that the list that was used in the 1844 movement had been simply carried along by the denomination without any attempt having been made to verify it. But when I brought out the truth that that list was not correct, Bro. Smith was not a bit glad; and opposed it, and defended the old list. This made me the head of that new "heresy" as Bro. Waggoner was of the other; and this was a double proof to the other men that Bro. Waggoner and I had got up a new doctrine for the denomination which at the Minneapolis Conference we were going to have settled as the orthodox denominational doctrine. But neither Bro. Waggoner nor I alone or together ever in our lives thought of any such thing. All that we were doing any of the time was studying the Scripture to know the truth.

An institute of three or four weeks duration had been appointed to precede the actual General Conference that was to come at Minneapolis. Some time before starting to that institute, C.H. Jones, general manager of Pacific Press, W.C. White and some others, asked Bro. Waggoner and me to go with them for a few days outing and we all study together the Scriptures on these "heretical" questions that were certain to come up in the institute and conference. Wind of this Inrocent little thing wafted to the brethren in Battle Creek, further confirmation of their settled view that Bro. Waggoner and I in furtherance of our scheme to revolutionize the doctrine of the denomination were working other brethren into our scheme so as to come to the institute and general conference at Minneapolis so strongly fortified as to carry our scheme. We did not know till after the institute and conference were all over that the general conference men in Battle Creek held these things concerning us, and we never in our lives having thought of any such thing came to the institute and conference as unknowing of what the other men were thinking as we were ourselves of what they thought that we were thinking. And so in all innocence we came to the meeting expecting just nothing but plain Bible study to know the truth. Eld. Butler was sick and did not get to the institute or conference at all. But he had men instructed, and by correspondence and by telegraph he kept his hand upon things there.

When the institute opened I was invited or appointed to lead out in the study of the prophecies, and this brought in the ten kingdoms of course. But there was nobody to give any historical studies in opposition to this for none of them knew the history well enough; so all that they could do on that was to appeal to tradition. And Eld. Butler telegraphed from Battle Creek, "Stand by the land marks."

Thus the real fight in the institute and conference came over "Righteousness by Faith." Bro. Waggoner led in the studies on that. Eld. J.H. Morrison was chosen by the General Conference folks to lead the opposition. And he did it: and it was righteousness by anything and everything else than faith.

I cannot now name anyone who definitely and openly accepted there the truth of righteousness by faith. But in the times following I could not name the numbers who told that their true Christian experience in the Gospel began with the study on righteousness by faith in that meeting. In that meeting and conference the tide of things was indicated by what one of the Battle Creek leaders said one day to a cluster of men after one of Bro. Waggoner's studies. He said, "Now we could say Amen to all of that if that is all there were to it. But away down yonder there is still something to come. And this is to lead us to that. And if we say Amen to this we will have to say Amen to that and then we are caught." Thus they would not say Amen to what they knew was true for fear of what was to come after, to which they would not say Amen anyhow - and which never came either, for there was no such thing, and so they robbed themselves of what their own hearts told them was the truth; and by fighting what they only imagined, they fastened themselves in opposition to what they knew that they should have said Amen to.

The opposers were Geo. I. Butler, J.H. Morrison and all who could be swung by General Conference influence.

But as you know Sr. White stood out openly and strongly all the way for righteousness by faith; and after the conference was over, the preaching of righteousness by faith was followed up by her and Bro. Waggoner and me through the winter following, and by her and me in Battle Creek direct, and it was given the greater force by the message of religious liberty that was endorsed in that General Conference, and which by resolution of the Conference, I was directed to carry to the Senate Committee in Washington in opposition to the Blair Sunday Bill. This went on through the winter and spring. Then when camp meeting time came we all three visited the camp meetings with the message of righteousness by faith and religious liberty; sometimes all three of us being in the same meeting. This turned the tide with the people, and apparently with most of the leading men. But this latter was only apparent: it was never real, for all the time in the General Conference Committee, and amongst others, there was a secret antagonism always carried on; and which finally in Daniells, Spicer and Co. gained the day in the denomination, and gave to the Minneapolis spirit and contention and men the supremacy as the accompanying leaflet will demonstrate to you.

Please read this leaflet through carefully, and when you get to the marked place on page 31, you will appreciate along with this letter what is there said. For as you will see, what is there said is a

p 7 -- synopsis of what I have here written.

And I personally know that if a testimony that was written in 1902 and was read to me by Sr. White herself, that was addressed to Daniells and Prescott, had ever been published as other testimonies were published, those two men with that gang never could have run the course that they did run. But so far as I know no copy of that testimony was ever allowed to get out of her house; and I know that for this W.C. White was in no small measure responsible. I do not know whether even Daniells or Prescott ever saw a copy. Even if copies of it ever did get out, I very seriously doubt that they ever got out as that testimony was originally written and read to me: for it is morally certain, and practically physically certain, that if it had been made public as important testimonies usually were, as it was originally written, it would have put a quietus on their campaign against Dr. Kellogg as they began it in Battle Creek in Nov. 1902.

When I returned from that meeting in Battle Creek to California, she asked me to come to her house. I went: she asked me, "What was done in that meeting in Battle Creek?" I said, "Don't you know? If you don't I am not going to tell you." She said, "That is just what Knox said." Then she started in and told me what had passed in the meeting, just as well as I could have told it myself. Then she read to me the testimony to Daniells and Prescott. And both what she told me of what occurred there, and the testimony she wrote to Daniells and Prescott, set out Daniells and Prescott in their true light just as they were in that meeting and as they were in themselves.

In justice to Bro. J. H. Morrison, he should be given credit by name for the truth and fact that some time after the Minneapolis Conference was all over, I cannot state definitely just what year, he cleared himself of all connection with that opposition, and put himself body, soul and spirit into the truth and blessing of righteousness by faith by one of the finest and noblest confessions that I ever heard.

Wishing you only all blessing always, I remain,
(Signed) Truly, Alonzo T. Jones

Let's Talk It Over -- The letter written by A.T. Jones which we have reproduced in full, written as a result of an inquiry, merits more than a casual reading. In this brief editorial, we intend to call your attention to certain convictions of A.T. Jones for your further contemplation. He wrote - "That Minneapolis meeting and conference embraced much more and meant much more than what occurred in the meeting and conference." Could it be that the emphasis given which focuses primarily on the session and what the men taught has short changed us in understanding all that was involved?

Jones' testimony of how he and E.J. Waggoner studied needs thoughtful consideration. Note again - "Each of us pursued his own individual study of the Bible and teaching and preaching. Never in our lives did we spend an hour in study together on any subject or upon all subjects. Yet we were led in perfect agreement in the truths of the Bible all the way." After thinking the implication through again read the illustrations Jones gives. The conclusion is inescapable. Jones and Waggoner were men commissioned by God with a message regardless of what the detractors both in their life time and now have said and written.

A.T. Jones' comments on the opposition led by J.H. Morrison against the message of "Righteousness by Faith" is apropos for today - "it was righteousness by anything and everything else than faith.

In reading the letter one dare not overlook the implications and far reaching affect of the charge Jones leveled at W.C. White. However, it is interesting, that one of the men - Prescott - whom Willie's action sought to protect, actually wrote to him - "The way your mother's writings have been handled ... have brought great perplexity and trial to me." One is left to wonder if Prescott did know about the testimony and knowing of Willie's action kept his mouth shut at the time in 1902, and only expressed his convictions in retrospect in the private letter to W.C. White in 1915 - so private he would not even dictate it through a secretary.

It is our conviction that the past should speak, and we shall continue to share other letters that come to light. --- (1998 Jun) ---End----