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WWN 1997 Apr - Jun


1997 Apr -- XXX -- 4(97) -- THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL -- Part 4 -- Editor's Preface -- In this issue of WWN, we begin noting the second phase of the Everlasting Gospel   - sanctification. Believing must be followed by living. In the record of Scripture, there is only one who when justified by faith, was unable to demonstrate evidences of sanctification. That one was the thief who addressed the crucified Jesus as Lord, and received the assurance that day of a place in the Kingdom of God. Perhaps we overlook a factor. We do not have a record of his thinking in the hours till death ended his suffering. However, we do have a confession that indicates his thinking. He rebuked his companion in evil saying "Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this Man hath done nothing amiss." (Luke 23:40-41) To see the contrast between one's self and the One sent from God, and the cost that One paid for one's redemption is the beginning of straight thinking   - receiving the mind of Christ.

Within Part 4 of this series on the Everlasting Gospel, we discuss "the man" of Romans 7. Before you draw any conclusions on the observations made, may we suggest that you take a careful look at the first quotation in "Helps." Observe, it says, "apostle" not "Pharisee" nor even "Paul, the believer." Remember, too. that Paul did not become Paul "the apostle" until the official call recorded in Acts 13:2.

Two articles have a direct relationship though separated - "Papal Thinking" (p. 4), and the "Proposed Reorganization of the WCC" (p. 6). The implications, as basic in both articles, merit more than a passing glance.

In this issue, we conclude the answer to the question asked in the last issue   - "Why the Ignorance?" Has the knowledge been purposefully kept from the laity due to supression and a limited publication of sources, or has a fear of what God is saying by what He has permitted, distorted our thinking? Is our nakedness causing us to hide from truth? (Rev. 3:17)

p 2 --The EverLasting Gospel -- Part 4 -- After believing comes living. Here is where "the rubber hits the road." Having set forth the fact that "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Rom. 5:20), Paul asks  -  "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?" (Rom. 6:1)   - and answers -   "God forbid." (mh genoito - literally, "Let it not be.") Then a further question is asked - "How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Rom. 6:2) But the fact remains, we do continue to sin.

Even John who could write - "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin" (I John 3:9) - and "these things write I unto you, that ye sin not" (I John 2:1) could in the next stroke of the pen write - "And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." In other words, how do we relate the "living" we do, with the goal set in "Jesus Christ the righteous," for that "living"?

"Believing in Jesus" involves death, for the wages of sin is eternal death. I, recognizing myself a sinner faced with this prospect, and knowing that Jesus accepted the penalty of my transgressions in Himself, accept crucifixion in Him. "In Christ, I am crucified." (Gal 2:20 Gr.) I publicly express this belief in baptism. I accept that "so many of us as were baptised into Jesus Christ were baptised into His death." (Rom. 6:3) Beyond this is life. He arose, so also I "should walk in newness of life." (Rom. 6:4) But "the life which I now live" is still in the flesh, and that flesh has not changed and will not be changed till this vile body is "fashioned like unto his glorious body." (Phil. 3:21)

(Lest there be any misunderstanding of what I have written, let it be noted that I believe because of the hope contained in the Everlasting Gospel of Revelation 14, that prior to the close of probation, there will be a victorious group of mortals who cease to sin. They will be keeping "the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." This factor will be discussed in a future issue.)

This experience of death in life is also noted in Scripture as "the new birth." I am born again of the Spirit. (John 3:5) But the tension between the flesh in which I still live and the Spirit by which I am newly born is still there. Paul wrote -       "The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." (Gal 5:17)

To this experience of living after believing - being justified, declared righteous - is applied the term, "sanctification." Before discussing what sanctification means under the everlasting gospel, let us first note what it is not! It is not accruing merit to assure one's salvation. It is not adding to what Christ has accomplished in His death. Salvation still remains as Paul wrote:       For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God not of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9)

However, there is another verse that dare not be overlooked. It follows:      For we are His workmanship created in Jesus Christ unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."' (Eph. 2:10)

God has not changed His standard of judgment. The same life demanded in Eden is the same standard required under grace. The same way of life, set for Adam and Eve before sin, is the same life asked of all who believe in Jesus Christ now. Is there merit in doing the things we should do? Absolutely not, we are merely doing what we ought to do. Jesus illustrated this clearly. He asked:        Which of you having a servant plowing or feeding cattle will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and girt thyself and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commandet him? I think not.

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those thing.which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do (Luke 17:7-10)

Can we offer "our righteousnesses" as evidence of our profitability when they are but "filthy rags"? (Isa. 64:60) And if by the Spirit, we do what God asks us to do in some specific task chosen by Him for us to do, can we claim credit for its performance and ask that it be applied as merit toward our salvation? How ridiculous can one become? Yet can you ever imagine those leaders in what is called "historic" Adventism confess that they are unprofitable servants? To do so would puncture their balloon of egotism into which they have blown themselves.

p 3 -- Now that we have considered what "sanctification" will not do  -  add to the merits provided by Jesus for our redemption; let us consider what its purpose is. First, our sanctification is the will of God (I Thess. 4:3). It is a must or we shall not see God (Heb. 12:14). The same word is found in both texts, so that Hebrews 12:14 could read - "Follow ... sanctification, without which no man shall see the Lord"  -  while I Thess. 4:3 could read  -  "This is the will of God, even your holiness." The word translated either as "sanctification" or "holiness" is agiasmoV, derived from the verb, agiazw, meaning, "to separate, consecrate, cleanse, purify, and sanctify." Sanctification is all of these  -  separated, consecrated, cleansed, purified, sanctified. These words are a part of a family of words, the base word being, agioV, meaning, "holy." This word as used in the New Testament is applied to those "set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively His." These are the ones who are described by the word, "sanctification, or holiness."

A note in Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament is of interest on this point. It reads:       Just as the Israelites claimed for themselves the title oi agioi  [holy ones], because God selected them from the nations to lead a life acceptable to Him and rejoice in His favor and protection, so this appellation is very often in the New Testament transferred to Christians, as those whom God has selected ek tou kosmou [out of the world], that under the influence of the Holy Spirit they may be rendered through holiness, partakers of salvation in the kingdom of God." (p. 7)

This very objective, in a special sense, is the basic reason for the giving of the Everlasting Gospel as the final message of mercy to the world. This factor dare not be overlooked. The "how" is the question to answer.

Now back to the struggle involved in the on-going living following justification. Paul indicates that "the old man" is crucified that the "body of sin might be destroyed" so that from that point we should not "serve sin." (Rom. 6:6) These are figurative expressions, and must be carefully applied. "The body of sin" should not be confused with "the law of sin" which still remains in the flesh. (Rom. 7:25) The "old man" controlling through the "body of sin" must be crucified so that instead of being "servants of sin" we may become "servants of righteousness." (Rom. 6:17-18) Further, "he that is dead is justified from sin." (Rom. 6:7, Gr.) The price sin demands is paid, thus no further penalty may be exacted, one is freed.

This does not end the struggle because we are still alive in the flesh where the law of sin reigns. Being in the flesh, the passions of sin, which are by the law, seek to work in our members "to bring forth fruit unto death." However, having been delivered from the law "wherein we were held," we should now serve "in newness of spirit and not in oldness of letter." (Rom 7:5-6) Does this make the law sin? No, it is merely serving the only office it has - "for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Rom. 3:20) Then Paul illustratess from his own experience. He says:        I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. (Rom. 7:9)

The commandment which tripped him up was the 10th, "Thou shalt not covet." He was a Pharisee who could boast that concerning "the righteousness which is in the law," he was living blamelessly. (Phil. 3:6) Though consenting to the death of Stephen, he did not throw a stone! Then came the experience on the road to Damascus. A changed Paul, yes; one who now believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; but a Paul still struggling with the law of sin in his members. Follow carefully his confession, that all too familiar experience in our own lives. It reads:        For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not. ... I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (Rom. 7:14-18,21-23)

What is the answer to this problem? Paul responds - "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord." Deliverance is found in Jesus, not self. "So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. ... For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." (Rom. 7:25-8:2)

Here was Paul whose "delight [was] in the law of the

p 4 -- Lord." He was a godly man, for "the ungodly are not so." (Ps. 1:2, 4) Even though he did not do what he wanted to do, he did not let go of Christ. Abiding in Christ, he was "now" under no condemnation. Yet he did not have victory over the law of sin until "the law of the Spirit of life," resultant from Christ's victory wherein He "condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom. 8:3), likewise worked in him. It was necessary to become "spiritually minded," and walk after the Spirit. There was to be a new Guide in life. "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." To as many as would receive Christ Jesus, to them was extended the privilege "to become the sons of God;" but to those who are following the lead of the Spirit, they "are the sons of God." Herein is the difference between profession and reality. One may boast of his sanctification and how much this is contributing to his fitness for Heaven, but it requires the surrender of self and following the Divinely appointed Guide to reach Home at last.

Jesus said that this Guide whom He would send "will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13) Here is the basis of sanctification, of holiness - the truth, the Word of God. (John 17:17) This Word which is "sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even" to the inmost soul becoming "a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" is God's cleansing agent. (Heb. 4:12). "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you," said Jesus. (John 15:3)

Too many fail to realise that truth is the issue in the great controversy. The devil "abode not in the truth." (John 8:44) Jesus came as the truth (John 14:6) and asks that we "abide in" Him. (John 15:4) This is the key factor of being "in Christ." This applies not only to truth in the abstract, but to truth in the life as well. We must be in our inmost souls true and honest, guileless as was Nathaniel, and our theology, pure and unadulterated. This is the work of a lifetime. It is merely doing "that which it is our duty to do" as children of God. (To Be Continued)

Helps -- "At every advance step in our Christian experience, our repentance will deepen. We shall know that our sufficiency is in Christ alone, and shall make the apostle's confession our own: ' I know that in me (that is in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing."' (Acts of the Apostles, p. 561)

"The Christian life is a battle and a march. But the victory to be gained is not won by human power. The field of conflict is the domain of the heart. The battle which we have to fight - the greatest battle that was ever fought by man - is the surrender of self to the will of God, the yielding of the heart to the sovereignty of love. The old nature, born of blood and of the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up." (The Mount of Blessing, p. 203; Sec: "Strive to Enter in at the Strait Gate.")

"The Comforter is called ' the Spirit of truth.' His work is to define and maintain the truth. ... It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the mind. By directing men to false standards, he misshapes the character. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself." (The Desire of Ages, p. 671)

"Because the Spirit is to come, not to praise men or to build up their erroneous theories, but to reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment, many turn away from it. They are not willing to be deprived of the garments of their own selfrighteousness. They are not willing to exchange their own righteousness, which is unrighteousness, for the righteousness of Christ, which is pure, unadulterated truth." (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 65)

"Truth is sacred, divine. It is stronger and more powerful thar anything else in the formation of a character after the likeness of Christ. In it is the fullness of joy. When it is cherished in the heart, the love of Christ is preferred to the love of any humar being. The words are fulfilled, 'A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.' There is a nobleness in the life of the one who lives and works under the vivifying influence of the truth." (R&H, Feb. 14, 1899)

Papal Thinking -- In May of 1995, Pope John Paul II issued his twelfth encyclical - Ut Unum Sint - "That All May Be One." It was hailed as a breakthrough for the solution of the controversial issue of the primacy of the Pope. He said he was "heeding the request made of me to find a way of exercising the primacy which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission, is nonetheless open to a new situation." What did the Pope really mean by the apparent concession?

The Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, visited Rome December 3-5, last year. He had several meetings with the Pope and other senior Vatican officials. The discussion centered on the major stumbling-block on the path to reconciliation between the Roman Catholics and Anglicans - the ordination of women to the priesthood. In reporting this meeting, The Times of London headlined its news article - "Pope scolds Carey over ordination of women priests." The article stated - "The Pope yesterday told the Archbishop of Canterbury in a blunt discussion on women priests that only he had authority 'as the successor of St. Peter ' to lay down doctrine." (ENI, 96-0682; emphasis supplied)

p 5 -- Why The Ignorance? -- Part 2 -- Behind this question is another question - why should Luke 21:24 as presented in the publications of the Adventist Laymen's Foundation be considered a "new teaching in Adventism"? In answering this second question, we cited in the March issue of WWN, the statement of James Edson White in his book, The Coming King; we noted the emphasis placed on this verse by Arthur S. Maxwell in the paper he presented to the 1952 Bible Conference; we called attention to the teaching of this prophecy in the 20th Century Bible Course. Then we introduced what Dr J. R. Zurcher had written in his book, Christ of the Revelation, released as a Sabbath School lesson help to the Adult Lessons he had written for the second quarter of 1980. We closed the March article with a warning given by Dr. Zurcher. This warning we shall repeat. It reads:       If we cannot see that Jerusalem is an exceptional sign of the times, then might we not be placing ourselves in the same position as the religious leaders who knew how to "discern the face of the sky" but could not discern the obvious "signs of the times."? (pp.71-72)

How did Dr. Zurcher understand this prophecy of Jesus as given in Luke 21:24? He wrote:        In order for us to understand Jesus' statement, three questions need answering,    First,  what exactly does the expression "the times of the Gentiles" mean?    Then,  what should be understood by the fulfilment of the times of the Gentiles?     Finally,  what connection is there between the retaking of Jerusalem by the Jews and the fulfilment of the times of the Gentiles?

As I understand the Biblical language, the times of the Gentiles is the period set aside by God for the evangelization of the heathen nations. It is not the time needed for them to be converted to Christianity, as some think, but for them to hear the gospel. It is in this sense that Jesus said: "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14).

I believe that the times of the Gentiles began in AD 34, when the prophetic seventy weeks that God set aside for the people of Israel ended. The baptism of the first "heathens" - the Ethiopian eunuch and the centurion Cornelius - as well as the conversion of Paul as the apostle to the Gentiles mark the beginning of these new times when the gospel would be preached to the nations. And if I have understood the prediction of Jesus properly, this time will be "fulfilled" when Jerusalem will cease to "be trodden down of the Gentiles." The fact that since 1967 Gentiles no longer have occupied Jerusalem means, therefore, that we are now living at the end of "the times of the Gentiles."

Jerusalem here constitutes the last sign of the times by which our Lord shows us that the history of this world is coming to its climax and that the restoration of all things is at hand. (p.72)

Granted, we through "Watchman, What of the Night?" taught these very same concepts some eight years prior to the release of Dr. Zurcher's book by the Southern Publishing Association. Yet the same things we were teaching during those years, were published by a recognised Church press, being used as the Adult Sabbath School Lessons' helps for that quarter. Further, the paper prepared by Arthur S. Maxwell, as published in Vol. II of the 1952 Bible Conference report, Our Firm Foundation, was called to my attention, after we had published our understanding of Luke 21:24, by Elder D. K. Short when I was visiting with him one day in his home in North Carolina. The 20th Century Bible Course lesson #5 was brought to me by a student who was taking the lessons. The teachings of the Adventist Laymen's Foundation regarding Luke 21:24 is not some fanciful "new light," but a neglected truth whose time has come. But with all of this documentation released in publications of the Church, why the ignorance of this truth on the part of so many of the laity?

The reaction of the Church to Zurcher's book when his comments on Luke 21:24 were published gives a clue. A friend wanted a copy of the book for himself and went to the ABC outlet in his conference to obtain a copy, but could not find one displayed. He made inquiry and was told that they had been asked to remove them from their shelves, but that he was holding them under the counter awaiting further instruction. This friend purchased them all, and sent me a second copy for our library.

Another factor put forth a deception both in fact of historical record and in teaching. In 1974, a series of Bible Conferences were held in the North American Division. The thrust of these conferences was to confirm the basic methodology of interpreting the Scriptures which lay at the Foundation of Adventism. It was an attempt to offset the liberalism entering Adventism because of the adoption of a different set of hermeneutics by which the Word of God was being studied and projected. That is another question in and of itself which is discussed in depth by a new publication, Receiving the Word. At the 1974 Bible Conferences, Dr. Herbert E. Douglass was assigned the topic - "The Unique Contribution of Adventist Eschatology." In this paper, he stated:       Adventists do not see theological importance in the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 or the annexation of Old Jerusalem in 1967. (p.6)

While it is true there is no theological importance to be attached to the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948, except that "coming events [do] cast their shadows before." (Desire of Ages, p.636) But, there is "importance" in "the annexation of Old Jerusalem in 1967."

p 6 -- Observe again what Douglass was saying - "Adventists do not see ... " Does this mean that Arthur S. Maxwell, as Editor of The Signs of the Times, who said at the 1952 Bible Conference -         "There is one prophecy concerning Palestine that we should all be watching with special care"        - and quoted Luke 21:24, was not an Adventist? Elder Denton E. Rebok, Secretary of the Bible Conference in his "General Introduction" to the two volume conference report, wrote that while these presentations were not to be understood as "an official pronouncement of the church, they do, however, represent the best thinking on the part of sincere, honest, earnest, devoted loyal men - Seventh-day Adventists, first, last, and always." (Our Firm Foundation, Vol.1, p.13)

Does this mean that Dr. J. R. Zurcher, who in 1974 was Secretary of the Euro-Africa Division of the General Conference was not a Seventh-day Adventist? He wrote plainly in his book, Christ of the Revelation, translated and published in 1980 by the Southern Publishing Association, that "if we cannot see that Jerusalem is an exceptional sign of the times," we could be making the same mistake the Jewish leaders of Israel did when they could not discern the Living Truth in their day. And he was referring to Luke 21:24!

Was A. E. Lickey, a pastor-evangelist of the Church, who authored the 20th Century Bible Course not an Adventist? He perceived the significance of Luke 21:24, and wrote in Lesson 5 - "This portion of Christ's prophecy was fulfilled in our day!"

The evidence indicates that it was Douglass who was out of step with Adventist thinking in regard to Luke 21:24. There is a reason. The implication of Luke 21:24 being fulfilled was not palatable to the hierarchy of the Church. So to counteract the significance of what God was saying by permitting this prophecy to be fulfilled, Douglass in his 1974 Bible Conference presentation adopted a new prophetic hermeneutic known as the "harvest principle." This concept teaches "the conditionality of the Advent," meaning that Christ will not come until "a prepared people" will "vindicate His integrity and law." (Insight, October 7, 1980, p.5) This could prolong the coming of Jesus into the decades of the first century of the next millennium - if not longer! Further, it promotes a preparation which is "works" orientated muting the fact that the final atonement by which a people are prepared is the initiative of God in conjuction with the final ministry of the Great High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary. This is indicated in a clearer understanding of the typical Day of Atonement.

The "harvest principle" eschatology has no precedent in Salvation history. In fact, it is contrary to the revelation of God in the Scriptures. Of the antediluvian world, God said - "My Spirit shall not always strive with man." (Gen. 6:3) That God has not changed. Jesus said, "So shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." (Luke 17:26) To Daniel was revealed the times of the Jewish nation - "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people." (Dan. 9:24) Jesus revealed the limit to "the times of the Gentiles," which followed (Luke 21:24). Paul warned the Gentiles - "If He spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee." (Rom. 11:21) There is a limit to God's forbearance. He has told us that the hour of forbearance has been reached in the fulfilment of Luke 21:24.

Proposed WCC Reorganization -- The General Assembly of the World Council of Churches which is to convene in 1998 in Harare, Zimbabwe will receive proposals for radical changes in its structure and function. Some of the proposed changes are due to the necessity of a budget cut because of reduced income. The main objective is to have a more flexible organization The proposals outlined in a paper entitled "Towards a Common Understanding and Vision" (CUV), have been sent to WCC's 330 member churches. These proposals will first be discussed by the Central Committee in September before going before the General Assembly in Zimbabwe next year.

The proposals call for "the creation of a new ecumenical forum which would include the Roman Catholic Church and other churches which are not members of the WCC." The paper suggests that "in the year 2000, all Christian churches should - in a 'common act' - commit themselves to working 'towards the day when an ecumenical council of the entire Church of Jesus Christ, in the sense of the ancient undivided church, will take place."'

The WCC has built up an organization of its own with a 200 plus staff at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. This has not accomplished the objectives which were first envisioned - "visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship." (By-laws of the Faith and Order Commission) Because of this the draft proposals emphasize that "the work of the WCC should be aimed at enhancing the fellowship among its member churches not at building up an organization for its own sake."

One of the controversial proposals suggested is that the WCC assembly, which convenes every seven years and is the organizations highest policy-making body, be discontinued. The paper points out that while, "at their best" the assemblies have been occasions "for renewal of ecumenical commitments," their "size, duration and infrequency makes them unsuited for carrying out many of the constitutionally mandated" responsibilities. Further, the paper notes that they have not "succeeded in providing a place for detailed reflection on theological issues." This last factor echoes Rome's reason for not being a part of the WCC. At the Seventh General Assembly in Canberra, Australia in 1991, Archbishop Edward Cassidy (now a Cardinal) when asked why the Roman Catholic Church was still outside the WCC, responded - "From Rome's point of view, the WCC [is] rather long on social and political issues and short on theology and doctrine." (The Catholic Leader, Feb.24, 1991, p.1).

p 7 -- CUV calls for "special attention" to be given so as to enable the Roman Catholic Church to participate as well as "evangelicals and Pentecostal bodies" in the proposed forum. Konrad Raiser, WCC's general secretary since 1993, has voiced many of the proposals contained in the document. Last year in a speech to the WCC Central Committee he suggested that the WCC become an "organizing agent" of a forum in which the WCC would be one member alongside the other organizations. He later told a press conference that "any such model which would not facilitate the integration or full participation of the Roman Catholic Church would have failed its purpose."

Earlier in 1996 at an ecumenical gathering in Trier, Germany, Raiser suggested "that the main Christian traditions start preparations in the year 2000 to resolve the main issues ... dividing Christians, thereby enabling a universal Christian council to be convened." The key issue noted was "the primacy of the Pope." It doesn't take much thinking to see why this is a key issue. Who wants to preside at this proposed all inclusive Christian Council?

Well did Christ say in His prophetic projections -          "When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand." (Luke 21:31)

[All quotations, other than those documented, are taken from ENI, December 4, 1996: 96-0665]


"The thought that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, not because of any merit on our part, but as a free gift from God, is a precious thought. The enemy of God and man is not willing that this truth should be clearly presented; for he knows that if the people receive it fully, his power will be broken." (R & H, Dec. 24, 1908)

"God has given His object lesson. If the world will not heed, will not the people of God take heed? In the twenty-first Chapter of Luke, Christ foretold what was to come upon Jerusalem; with it He connected the scenes which were to take place in the history of this world just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Letter 20, 1901)

We need now to take heed to ourselves. Warnings have been given. Can we not see the fulfillment of the predictions made by Christ in the twenty-first chapter of Luke? How many are studying the words of Christ? How many are deceiving their own souls, and cheating themselves out of the blessings that others might secure if they would believe and obey? Probation still lingers, and it is our privilege to lay hold of the hope set before us in the gospel." (1909 GC Bulletin, p. 237)

NOTE: -- Those desiring further in-depth study into the significance of Luke 21:24, for the professed people of God today, can be profited by the documented manuscript - The Hour and the End.

"It is the dying of our carnal nature that makes room for the impartation of the divine nature. 'God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.' How could one glory in that instrument which was the symbol of shame and torture and death? Because it is the only means by which he can be delivered from his vile, loathsome, sinful nature, and in exchange receive the glorious righteousness of Christ." Meade MacGuire, His Cross and Mine, p. 149 --- (1997 Apr) --- End --- TOP

1997 May -- XXX -- 5(97) -- THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL -- Part 5 -- Editor's Preface -- In this issue we continue to study the New Testament teachings in regard to sanctification. We find that in connection with sanctification is "obedience, " the "blood of sprinkling, " and "belief of the truth." Often we have assumed the Law as given from Mt. Sinai to be a transcript of God's character. Apart from the Sabbath and the Family commandments, the Ten Commandments are actually revealing the character of God from the viewpoint of what He does not want one to be or to do. Jesus brought a new revelation of God - a view point of God which can be understood by those who have accepted His gracious gift of Jesus. God so loved that He gave; and perceiving that love, we willingly submit to the transcript of His character of love - "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God." To those who might have some problems with conclusions drawn about the Law in the continued study of "The Everlasting Gospel, " we have provided in the "Helps" two quotations from early issues of The Signs of the Times which relate the Law as given at Sinai to the Law which governs all created beings of the universe. We have also asked that you reread certain "Helps" from previous issues.

While we have been writing this issue we have also had time to consider some other aspects of the cross in relationship to the resurrected body of the Lord Jesus Christ. In His glorified body were the marks of His humiliation the scars of His pierced hands and feet, as well as the scar of the spear's thrust into His side. See Luke 24:36-40; John 20:27. Throughout all eternity as, from one Sabbath to another, we come to worship God, there on the throne with the Father will be the Lamb as it had been slain. Never will the superseding demands of the cross be made void. The universe will be manifestly superior because of the incidence of sin, but what a price God paid to secure the universe so that sin will never arise the second time.

Take time to carefully evaluate - "Messengers in Conflict." [ p. 5]

p 2 -- THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL -- Part 5 -- In the New Testament, the verb form,agiazw, is, except in three instances, translated in the KJV by the word, "sanctify." Two of the exceptions are in the records of the Lord's prayer - "Hallowed be Thy name. (Matt. 6:9; Luke 11:2) This is in contrast to the noun form, agiasmoV , which in its ten uses is translated five times, "holiness" and five times, "sanctification." In our perception as Adventists, we think of these two words as different. "Sanctification" is the work of a lifetime, while "holiness" is equated with perfection, the result of a lifetime of good works.

There can be no question that the "everlasting gospel" has as its objective a holy people. The results are to be demonstrated and seen. "Here is the patience (upomonh - steadfastness) of the saints" (agioi - holy ones). These "holy ones are keeping [not trying to keep] the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." The sad fact of life is that we who confess Jesus Christ are still "trying to keep the commandments of God" and perceive little of what it means to "keep ... the faith of Jesus." First, therefore, let us note what the Bible says about being sanctified, and the resulting sanctification. We shall leave till the final part of this series the question arising from the translation of the word, agiazw, "be holy" in the third exception - Rev. 22:11.

Sanctification is basic, yea the necessary fitness to be a partaker of the inheritance promised the children of God. Two factors are involved:    1)     "the word of [God's] grace" (Acts. 20:32); and    2)     the "faith that is in" Jesus. (Acts 26:18) These two verses deserve careful study. In Acts 20, Paul commended the elders of Ephesus to God and to the word of His grace. It is God who builds up and who gives the inheritance by the means of the word of His grace. This corresponds to the prayer of Jesus for His followers that they be sanctified through the word of God. (John 17:17) In Acts 26, Paul is addressing Agrippa and telling of his experience on the road to Damascus. He related what Jesus said to him. Jesus plainly stated that we are sanctified by faith that is in Him of which He is the author. This is how one lives in the flesh after being crucified in Him (Gal. 2:20). In Him we receive "the forgiveness of sins" and by His faith we are sanctified. It is all a part of the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 3:24)

Jude addresses his short epistle "to them that are sanctified by God and preserved in Jesus Christ." (v.1) Paul likewise wrote to the Church at Corinth as to those who "are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints." (I Cor. 1:2) Our sanctification is "in Christ Jesus." God has made Him unto us, "sanctification" and that for a purpose - "that no flesh should glory in His presence." (I Cor. 1:29-30) At no point in the process of our redemption can there be boasting of our accomplishments. Human ego can find no place in either the grace of God that extends to us justification, or the word of His grace which builds us up in the Christian life.

While we "are sanctified in Christ Jesus" a work of God's grace also progresses within us "through the sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." (I Peter 1:2) Paul speaks of this "salvation" coming "through the sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." (II Thess. 2:13) In conjunction with the Biblical concept of sanctification is "obedience," "the blood of sprinkling," and "belief of the truth."

Obedience -- We are prone to limit our thinking of "obedience" to the keeping of the Law forgetting that when Christ returns, He comes to "take vengeance on them ... that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." (II Thess. 1:8) The Law proclaimed from Mt. Sinai revealed the character of God from the negative - "Thou shalt not." It was adapted to meet the needs of man in sin. "For by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Rom. 3:20)

"Knowing this, that the law was not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners ... and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God" which was committed to the trust of Paul. (I Tim. 1:9-11) Those who are justified have been declared righteous, and therefore, "are not under the law, but under grace." (Rom. 6:14) Does the recognition of this fact make void the Law? No, it establishes the Law of which the Law given at Sinai was but an adaptation.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of the great God and our saviour Jesus Christ: who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." (Titus 2:11-14)

p 3 -- We have a too limited perception of what it means to keep the commandments of God. God who spake in times past through prophets - and Moses was a prophet - has "in these last days spoken unto us by His Son." (Heb. 1:1-2) [Literally it reads, en uiw - "in a son."] In the Mount of Transfiguration, God declared concerning this Son, "Hear ye Him." (Matt. 17:5) This is a commandment of God. What did this Son say from the earthly Mt. Zion?

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matt. 22:37-40)

Christ proclaimed a new dimension to the law - love, even the love manifest by God in giving His son. Those who obey the gospel face a greater demand than was ever faced by those asked to keep the Law under Moses. The adapted law was proclaimed from Sinai and mediated through Moses, but grace and truth came to be by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17, Gr.) Not only did He speak from Zion's Mount, but He also "suffered without the gate" on another hill that "He might sanctify the people with His own blood." (Heb. 13:12) The demand of the Cross far outweighs the demands of the Law as given from Mt. Sinai. The Rich Young Ruler, who had kept various precepts of that Law from his youth up, lacked one thing. When asked to give up all - denying "worldly lusts" - and follow Jesus, he could not bring himself to obey the gospel. Jesus had previously made plain what this meant. He said:       If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. (Matt. 16:24)

The "Blood of Sprinkling" -- When the Old Covenant was inaugurated, Moses took the blood "and sprinkled it on the people." (Ex. 24:8) Again when he consecrated Aaron for the typical ministry of the sanctuary of the type covenant of which he was the mediator, he again used the blood of sprinkling. (Ex. 29:21) Jesus "the mediator of the new covenant" brings to His priestly ministry "the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than Abel." (Heb. 12:24) The blood of Abel cried unto God from the ground. (Gen. 4:10) Sin had brought forth death. The blood of Calvary also crieth unto God, but "speaketh better things." Through "the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," God can "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." (Rom. 3:26) Further by the blood of Jesus Christ, we shall be cleansed "from all sin." (I John 1:7)

There is another side to this "coin." "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy. ... Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" (Heb. 10:28-29) Indeed those who "obey not the gospel" will suffer under the vengeance of flaming fire. (II Thess. 1:8) How can we say that we are proclaiming the Everlasting Gospel which is the proclamation of "the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" and still seek to establish a gospel based in works. If we say, we hear Him, we hear Him say - "This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent." (John 6:29) If then we do believe, we will follow Him to the Cross. There we accept crucifixion in Him, and from that day forth, we sense the need to die daily. (I Cor. 15:31) Recognizing a new relationship "in Christ" the "surety of a better testament" (Heb 7:22), we let the Spirit accomplish His work of sanctification as it is written:        The Holy Spirit also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." (Heb. 10:15-16)

Observe who will write the laws in our hearts and minds. The "after those days" are defined - "For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified." (Heb. 10:14) We "are sanctified by God and preserved in Jesus Christ" (Jude 1). Wherein then even in "sanctification" can there be boasting? It is a matter of "surrender" of self to heed the call to the Cross, to the blood of sprinkling. "Surrender" does not spell victory by human standards so as to permit boasting; only in the Divine order of selflessness is surrender, victory. He "emptied Himself." "Let this mind be in you." (Phil. 2:7 Gr., 5)

"Belief of the Truth" -- Though man chose to disbelieve God, His love responded by choosing them "to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." (II Thess. 2:13) The conditional element here is a return to "belief " where previously there had been disbelief.

p 4 -- This would mean a humbling confession foreign to corrupted human nature. It is an admission that we do not know how to direct our steps. We do not know the way. We are lost. The first expression of belief must be in the Lord Jesus Christ - and "thou shalt be saved ." (Acts 16:31) The verb, swqhsh,is not only future, but also passive. In other words, we shall be acted upon so as to realize that future state. God accepts the first expression of belief, and declares us righteous. Then in the surrendered life the work - His work - begins.

This is what sanctification is really all about. Disbelief established the fallen order in the human race; belief establishes the Divine order so that man can be fit for the heavenly inheritance. The element is truth, and the issue is God. Is He truthful, or does He lie. This lays at the heart of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. Here we return to the point where the previous issue closed - the work of the Spirit of truth.

The work of the Holy Spirit in sanctification has but one objective - a return to truth, pure and unadulterated. If we are truly "sons of God" we not only will be willing to be led by the Spirit, but we will be so led. The Holy Spirit will guide into all truth. (John 16:13) An individual who refuses to search for truth or who is not willing to have his positions tested by his peers is not guided by the Spirit of God. The tragedy is that not only is his salvation at stake, but also the salvation of those who come under his influence. He may profess to believe in Jesus as his Saviour, but the failure to walk in truth reveals that he is not walking with Jesus, who is the Truth. The Everlasting Gospel seeks to prepare a people who are so walking in truth that they are walking with Christ even as Enoch walked with God, and Christ, so pleased with their company, will come and take them unto Himself that where He is, there they may be also.

Another aspect of "belief in truth" is where this places us when we believe, and our responsibility in that position. The devil, whom we in Adam chose, "abode not in the truth" (John 8:44). And unless we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, by default, we accept Adam's choice. However, by accepting Christ, being in Him, we place ourselves, not only in truth, but in an adversarial position with the devil. We join in the great controversy. Here is where the thing we ought to do begins.

We put on the "whole armour of God." This includes being girded "with truth" and a "breastplate of righteousness." Protected by "the shield of faith", and "the helmet of salvation" we wield "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Eph. 6:13-17)

We often lift this symbolism from context and seek to make it stand alone, [It does make the basis for a good sermon] but Paul inserts this graphic presentation of the Christian warfare between a statement of fact and a need. He wrote that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against ... wicked spirits in heavenly places." (6:12, margin) Because of this, he directs, Pray for all saints, "and for me, that utterance may be given me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly as I ought to speak." (6:18-20)

Does not also the Everlasting Gospel, committed to our trust, place us under the same bonds? Should we not also so pray, and so speak? This is one means of overcoming, and a "work" we can and should do. It reads:        They 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)

The "blood of the Lamb" can never be dispensed with in an individual's life, whether in justification or sanctification. It is the very heart and soul of the new covenant relationship. (Heb. 12:24) It is ours, however, to speak and tell what great things "the Lamb" has done for us which we could not and can not do ourselves. It is ours to speak "as the truth is in Jesus." (Eph. 4:21) And, as disagreeable a task as it might be, to reveal error and those who teach that error. (Rev. 2:2) In this we lay our lives on the line even unto death. But He who asks that we follow Him, accepting the demands of the Cross, says to each who so do - "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." (Rev. 2:10) (To be continued)

HELPS -- "The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed; the righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. The first is our title to heaven, the second is our fitness for heaven." (Review.& Herald, June 4,1895)

[Review the first quotation in "Helps" in WWN, 1(97) p.4]

"The principles of the ten commandments existed before the fall, and were of such a character suited to the condition of a holy order of beings. After the fall, the principles were not changed, but additional precepts were given to meet man in his fallen state." (Spiritual Gifts, Vol.3, p.295)

"The law of God existed before the creation of man or else Adam could not have sinned. After the transgression of Adam the principles of the law were not changed, but were

p 5 -- definitely arranged and expressed to meet man in his fallen condition." (Signs of the Times, March 14, 1878, p.8)

"The law of Jehovah, dating back to creation, was comprised in two great principles. ' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self. There is none other commandment greater than these.' ... The principles were more specifically stated to man after the fall, and worded to meet the case of fallen intelligences. This was necessary in consequence of the minds of men being blinded by transgression." (ibid., April 15, 1875, p.181)

"Without the cross, man could have no union with the Father, on it depends our every hope. From it shines the light of a Saviour's love; and when at the foot of the cross the sinner looks up to the One who died to save him, he may rejoice with fullness of joy; for his sins are pardoned. Kneeling in faith at the cross, he has reached the highest place to which man can attain." (The Acts of the Apostles, pp.209-210)

"When we study the divine character in the light of the cross, we see mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness blended with equity and justice. We see in the midst of the throne One bearing in hands and feet and side the marks of suffering endured to reconcile man to God. We see a Father, infinite, dwelling in a light unapproachable, yet receiving us to Himself through the merits of His Son. ... The light reflected from the cross reveals the writing of God: Live, sinner, live! ye penitent, believing souls, live! I have paid a ransom.

"In contemplation of Christ, we linger on the shore of a love that is measureless. We endeavor to tell of this love, and language fails us. We consider His life on earth, His sacrifice for us, His work in heaven as our advocate; and we can only exclaim, 0 the height and depth of the love of Christ! ' Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.' ' Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God,"' (Ibid., pp.333-334)

Review the last three quotations of "Helps" in WWN, XXX - 4(97).

This is what Christianity is for - to teach men the art of
Life. And its whole curriculum can be condensed to one
sentence - "Learn of Me"

Messengers in Conflict -- Any discussion of the Everlasting Gospel involves the 1888 Message. Ellen G. White wrote in regard to inquiries coming to her:       Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel's message, and I have answered, ' It is the third angel's message in verity.' (Review & Herald, April 1, 1890)

Further, in referring to the men who were giving the message - Elders A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner - she declared them to be "the messengers of God's righteousness." Testimonies to Ministers, p.96) She also noted them as 'His servants" to whom God gave "a testimony that presented the truth in clear, distinct lines." (ibid, p.93) This terminology in Adventism - 'a testimony" and 'messenger" have specific meanings and designations.

Ellen G. White wrote from St Helena, California, November 17, 1903, under her own signature, the following:        From the year 1846 until the present time, I have received messages from the Lord, and have communicated them to His people. This is my work - to give to the people the light that God gives to me. I am commissioned to receive and to communicate His messages. I am not to appear before the people as holding any other position than that of a messenger with a message.

[Let those who are doing otherwise take note]

Since Ellen White understood well her work and designation, it cannot be brushed off as insignificant, the designation she used to describe the work of Jones and Waggoner - they, too, were "messengers with a message." There are those today who are studying what Jones and Waggoner wrote and said, even as many study the Ellen G. White writings. It can be observed in publications promoting the 1888 Message, that these men are quoted as authority in doctrinal matters, even as Ellen G. White is frequently used. (For example see 1888 Message Newsletter, Sept-Dec, 1996, p.6, col. 2)

The problem is that careful study made of positions taken by these men (we are going to cite only F. J. Waggoner in this brief article), and what Ellen White said on basic points differ, as well as differ with the Scripture itself. The book, Christ and His Righteousness, is considered the standard presentation of righteousness by faith as understood by Waggoner. Dr. Leroy Froom alleges that this book contains the messages that Waggoner gave at Minneapolis in 1888 which had been taken down in shorthand. (Movement of Destiny, p.189) While this conclusion is open to question, nevertheless the book is a summary of Waggoner's 1888 position.

In his book, Waggoner emphasizes that "to justify means to make righteous." (p.51, 1890 edition) This is repeated in other places. (e.g., pp.56, 60) Now contrast this position with the first quotation of "Helps" in this issue of WWN. One who is

p 6 -- justified receives, "imputed" righteousness. "Imputed" means - "to credit to a person or a cause; to credit by transferal." A synonym is given as "ascribe." (Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary) The Universal Dictionary of the English Language, published at the time Ellen White wrote the statement, gives the theological definition of the word, "impute," as "to credit with the possession of righteousness." (Vol. II, p.2626) The word used by Paul, dikaiow for "justify" means to "declare, pronounce righteous." (Thayer)

Waggoner in discussing the man of Romans 7 writes - "Paul ... says, putting himself in the place of an unrenewed man: ... " I am carnal, sold under sin."' (op.cit., p.85) Citing Romans 7 further, Waggoner asks, "Call you this a true Christian experience?" Asking a second time - "Is a true Christian experiencing a body of death so terrible that the soul is constrained to cry for deliverance? - Nay, verily." Contrast this position with what Ellen White wrote in The Acts of the Apostles:       "At every advance step in our Christian [Christian - not "unrenewed"] experience, our repentance will deepen. We shall know that our sufficiency is in Christ alone, and shall make the apostle's [not his putting himself in the place of - but his own] confession our own - ' I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing."' (p.561)

It should be obvious that some rethinking needs to be done. The answer to the problem is really twofold.    1)     Even as Ellen White stated clearly that she was not infallible (Selected Messages bk. i, p.37), neither were Jones nor Waggoner.    2)     Ellen White wrote in connection with the 1888 message - "The truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing light." (Review & Herald, March 25, 1890) People must not be held hostage to a message of a past generation, but with the light of God's word giving added perception to truth, walk in that advancing light. It could mean merely correcting human errors in expression. It can mean bringing the message into line with the purposes of God as revealed in Christ and communicated to "His chosen vessel." It can mean walking in the added light He gives with the passing of time. If anything, it means the discarding of the harvest principle" of eschatologicaI thinking.

Let's Talk It Over -- While writing this WWN [January, 1997], I received a letter from a brother in New York. His lament is indeed tragic. It read - "It is sad to see the strife and bitterness that seems to be widespread throughout the 'independents' in general today. I look forward to the day when Christ's prayer in John 17 will be fulfilled in His people."

In the section, "Belief of the Truth" in the first article of this issue, I wrote - "An individual who refuses to search for truth or who is not willing to have his positions tested by his peers is not guided by the Spirit of God." Here is the cause of disunity, as well as the solution so that the prayer of Christ might be answered. Mere submission of one's position to a group of peers is not in itself a guarantee that that which is presented is truth, pure and unadulterated. The positions taken on any given aspect of truth must be sustained by the Word of God alone.

In the controversy which surrounded the giving of the message of justification by faith in 1888, Ellen White told the quarrelling brethren -        There is no excuse for anyone in taking the position that there is no more truth to be revealed, and that all our expositions of Scripture are without error. The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people, is not proof that our ideas are infallible. Age will not make error into truth, and truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation. (Review & Herald, Dec. 20,1892)

If truth can afford to be fair, and it can; if I believe that I have the truth, then why should I fear meeting with men who may differ with me, and defend my position based on evidence from the Word of God, and, in a Christ-like manner, answer any challenge raised. And why should not those challenging, when unable to disprove a position either accept it, or take it under sincere advisement for further study. This would go a long way toward the fulfilment of Christ's prayer that all His followers be one.

Six years ago an attempt was made to move the major "independent" ministries in this direction. A weekend was selected for a discussion of such key topics as; the final atonement; Sunday laws; the Apostasy in the SDA Church, how to relate; the use of the Spirit of Prophecy; Jesus' endtime prophecy; and a "Common Message" to proclaim with one voice. The inviting group, a congregational Seventh-day Adventist church, sent invitations to the major "independent" ministries - Grosboll, Standish, Spear, Marcussen, Trefz, and Osborne, and others. Only one responded favorably. Another person calling for himself and another invitee, asked how much money they would receive should they come, because "people pay to hear them." Such a spirit and attitude tells one the "why" of the disunity which exists. Added to this factor now is the scramble to get some of the "millions" [direct quote] of dollars which had formerly gone to John Osborne.

Perhaps one did not like all the topics which the hosting group had chosen. One cannot deny that most of the subjects chosen for discussion had merit. The moderator was to be the pastor of the group which was sponsoring this call for unity. Any one, having met him, could ever question but that the discussions would be handled equitably and even-handedly. There was nothing to lose, and much to gain.

Because the excuses were primarily based on prior commitments, the group tried a second time suggesting that a representative could be sent, if there were a conflict of appointments. The same result ensued. Does self loom so large that one is fearful to lay his position on the line?

p 7 -- Recently, I obtained a copy of the book, The Rise of Christianity, through the History Book Club. It is authored by Dr. Rodney Stark, a sociologist rather than an historian. In some of his conclusions and comparisons I obtained a deeper insight into the present confusion and disunity in the community of Adventism than I had before. I realize that in sharing this insight, I run some risks due to certain words used by the sociologist, and their connotations in Adventism due to the Martin-Barnhouse episode of the 1950s. He chose two words, "sects" and "cults" which are an anathema in the Adventist vocabulary, and defined them. We should have no trouble if we keep his definitions in mind. He defined a "sect movement" as a "schism within a conventional religious body when persons desiring a more otherworldly version of the faith break away to 'restore' the religion" to what it once was. This answers to the present "historic" posture of many "independent ministries." On the other hand, "cult movements" are "not simply new organizations of an old faith; they are new faiths. ... As new faiths, cult movements violate prevailing religious norms and are often the target of considerable hostility." (p.33)

Since Dr. Stark was writing about the beginnings of Christianity, we can use these conclusions as an illustration of the present. He perceived that Christianity started out as a sect of Judaism, and became a cult as a result of its doctrine of the resurrection. While this was one factor, another, in my judgment much more volatile, was the law and grace issue. For Paul to hold - "Ye are not under the law but under grace" - sent shock waves not only in Judaism but also within the Christian community of Jerusalem.

Now consider the Seventh-day Adventist Church. First it was a "sect," a breakaway from the Advent Awakening of the mid 1800s. Then, the "sect" adopted the sanctuary teaching which made it unique of all the "sects" which arose from that movement. From then on, it became a "cult"- a new faith - by Stark's definition. Then came the 1950s and the Barnhouse-Martin fiasco with the result we were robbed of our unique faith and ceased to be a "cult." The price paid has been spiritual bankruptcy. This change was foisted on a sleeping Laodicean church by an hierarchy bent on changing the image of Adventism.

An awakened laity, startled by the revelation of what had taken place, found a return to the status quo offered by the "many" voices which arose, a comforting experience. These "voices" merely returned the laity to a warmed over Laodiceanism. Thus the issue becomes clearly: Are we going to remain "historic" and divided, or are we going to walk in the advancing light of truth as indicated by "the messenger of the Lord"? If we choose the latter, we had better be sure that we are truly awake and not half asleep because the enemy has another delusion prepared - deception propagated under the guise of "new light." "New light" is not warmed over error, but advanced perceptions of basic truth committed in sacred trust. It is light that will lead to fellowship with one another. (I John 1:7) How can this be achieved?

We offer a suggestion. The point of departure from what made Adventism unique was when the hierarchy modified the teaching of the sanctuary doctrine so as to be acceptable by the Evangelical community. There is no question but that certain positions "historically" held are mere traditions and have no basis in Scripture. The final atonement and its meaning are also involved. With the end closing in upon us, this aspect of the sanctuary truth truly needs to be explored and clarified. A correct understanding of God's prophetic time clock and its significance is a must. The heart of the Three Angels' Messages is the gospel of "the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." This needs to be experienced as well as understood. There is light of advancing truth breaking through in all of these areas. Why not come together, lay aside our inflated egos, and study truth with true humility? What cannot be sustained by a plain, "Thus saith the Lord," discard. ---(1997 May) ---End---- TOP

1997 Jun -- XXX -- 6(97) -- THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL -- EDITOR'S PREFACE -- With this issue we conclude the studies on the Everlasting Gospel. In this study we go to the very heart of the meaning and purpose of the message of righteousness by faith as brought to the Church in 1888. The answer to the question of Christian perfection has long eluded us. Time is running out. Many are continuing in a works oriented program calling it "historic" Adventism. These prefer the Tridentine gospel of Rome, or a modification of the same, instead of the Pauline confession of faith to be found in his Epistles. How simple, yet how humiliating to our ego, just to cast ourselves wholly on the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. A trained and practiced weight-lifter can give demonstration of how much he can lift, yet he cannot remove a mountain. But faith can - faith the size of a grain of mustard seed! (Matt.17:20) Faith is not presumption: it is based in the word and promise of God. Does the Word promise an experience of full and complete victory over sin? This we document in this final study of the Everlasting Gospel It must ever be kept in mind that the Everlasting Gospel is not the Tridentine Gospel of Rome. They are in eternal conflict. Mere name designation does not formulate truth. To describe one's self as "historic" does not mean that one's teachings reflect truth "as the truth is in Jesus" (Eph. 4:21). or that he understands "the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24).

While we have been studying the Everlasting Gospel, events have continued to occur, in the Community of Adventism that due to lack of space, we have been unable to bring to your attention. We cite one in this issue. (p. 6)

Besides this item - and there are others waiting, equally as serious - an interesting presentation took place during the 1888 General Conference session which needs to be given more thoughtful consideration. We will introduce you to it in this issue. The articles on "Why The Ignorance?" brought comment from the field along with some documents of correspondence. These we plan to discuss in another issue of WWN.

p 2 -- The Everlasting Gospel - Part 6 -- In the previous issue of WWN, we noted what Paul told the Philippian jailer - "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." (Acts 16:31) We emphasized one aspect of the verb, "saved" (awqhsh),the passive. However, it is also future, a promise of what is to come. "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6:23) The future reality is grasped by faith, the same as the present forgiveness of, and cleansing from, sin because of belief in the promise of God. All is the gift of God. There will be no boasting in Heaven even as there should be none on earth. In every facet of the redemptive process we are recipients of God's mercy in and through Jesus Christ.

This fact applies equally to the group known in prophetic revelation as the 144,000. It dare not be overlooked that the setting of the "Everlasting Gospel" is in this context. The worship demanded for "the image of the beast" (Rev. 13:15) is challenged by the Third Angel as he joins his voice with the sounding of the Everlasting Gospel. Any one who chooses to so worship faces the "wrath of God." (Rev. 14:9-10) Interjected between these two "revelations" is a second description given of the 144,000. (14:1-5) The first description of this group follows the notation of the coming wrath of the Lamb with the question - "Who shall be able to stand?" (6:16-17; 7:4) The question arises - Does this group stand because of some attainment they have reached superior to the sanctification experienced by any previous generation? This is no idle question. In reality, whether recognized or not, it is the basic issue which plagues the present controversy over the whole 1888 agitation.

We might address the question from another angle. Why was the 1888 Message given? Why did Ellen White declare this message to be "the third angel's message in verity" when the message as given says nothing about the gospel? (Rev. 14:9-11) The fact is, as revealed in the prophecy, that when the third angel's message sounds, the first angel, with the everlasting gospel, is still sounding. It does not cease.

It should be also obvious that the "everlasting gospel" is distinct from the "gospel" of the "beast." Translated from symbols it means that the "everlasting gospel" is a complete antithesis of the Tridentine gospel of Rome. Further, it should be noted that the adjunct messages of the first two angels as stated use the Greek past tense (aorist), while the third angel's message is given in the Greek present tense. It is the time of the action which involves the final controversy as brought to view in Revelation 13:14-17. The results are also noted - a people, who are steadfast, "keeping (not trying to keep) the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." (Rev. 14:12) Does this then support the position that this group of people will achieve a "perfection" unknown except by Jesus Christ? Again the question:   What was the purpose of God in sending to His people, to whom had been committed the trust of the Everlasting Gospel, the 1888 Message?

From the viewpoint of heaven, the church had "preached the law until [they were] as dry as the hills of Gilboa, that had neither dew nor rain." (R&H, March 11, 1890) "Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. ... The uplifted Saviour is to appear in His efficacious work as the Lamb slain, sitting upon the throne to dispense the priceless covenant blessings, the benefits He died to purchase for every soul who should believe on Him." (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 92; emphasis supplied)

If we can not understand that one is justified by faith alone without the deeds of the Law, then we cannot comprehend the meaning of the typical Day of Atonement, when the mediation of the high priest alone accomplished the cleansing from sin. We need to understand that we can no more bring a clean thing out of an unclean thing than we can provide a propitiation for the forgiveness of our sins. If, however, we conclude that we are justified by grace plus our works, then we can deduct that somehow we can, by our endeavors, cleanse ourselves.

The final atonement, what it means, and how it will be realized has been a troubling question in Adventism since the 1888 message. In all honesty, the Holy Flesh Movement was an attempt to answer this question. The Brinsmead Awakening was also a sincere attempt to grapple with this same question. The "new theology," which has engulfed a large segment of Adventism, seeks to solve the problem by jettisoning the concept that "sinless" living will be realized prior to the close of human probation and that instead we will continue to sin till Jesus comes. Another group seeking to identify themselves as "historic" Adventists hold that through works one must reach perfection prior to the close of probation. It is true that on this point they are

p 3 -- "historic" because in perception they are actually pre-1888 Adventists.

Before seeking a solution to the question, the answer of which has so far eluded us, let us see if the conclusion of perfection prior to the close of probation is Biblically based. If there is no Biblical basis, then there is justification for the conclusion of the "new theology"?

The book of Revelation pictures a time when "the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened," and "no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled." (15:5, 8) The "Man" who has been there is the "one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (I Tim. 2:5) The conclusion is obvious, intercession has ceased. Then sins must also cease to be committed by the living who will be saved. Yet these still will be possessed by a "vile" body because not until Jesus comes will there be any different body in which to live. (Phil. 3:20-21) Something has to happen which as yet has not been seen, except in that one Man who remains in the presence of God for us till the close of probationary time - a sinless life in sinful flesh. The answer to this "impossible possibility" is the number one priority of all questions faced today in Adventism. The movement was raised up to provide and proclaim the answer. The message of 1888 was to call the Church back to its purpose for existence - the procla-mation of the "Everlasting Gospel." We still at this late hour have not found the answer, and are still unwilling to acknowledge what 1888 was basically all about.

We need to face the reality that God is not looking for 144,000 perfect people, but rather 144,000 sinners who aare willing that He work His will in them. When these can be found, the mediation in the Heavenly Sanctuary can cease because the will of God is that we sin not. This also means that we in our vain attempts to be perfect, cease our strivings, recognizing ourselves to be what we really are, and let the Holy Spirit accomplish what we cannot achieve. At the cross, we will cry out "Father into Thy hands, I commend my spirit, and having said thus, give up."

The how of what will take place at that time in the Divine purposes and plans of God remains as mysterious as he how of the incarnation. If the premise is correct that an understanding of justification by faith was the intent of the 1888 message so that a people might be prepared to understand the cleansing and justification resultant from the final atonement, then in the illustration used by Paul to set forth the concept of justification by faith is a valid illustration likewise by which we may understand the working of God in the final atonement.

In Romans 4, Paul illustrates his conclusion "that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (3:28) He chooses the experience of Abraham as his key example. Quoting Genesis 15:6, Paul wrote - "Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." (4:3) The promised inheritance of the land of Cannaan remained allusive to Abram since he had no child. He suggested to God that Eliezer, one born in his house could be his heir. God said, no one but whom you father will be the heir. Time continued, and Sarah reached the age when there was no way for her to have a child. At that time, being somewhere between 70 and 75 years of age, she suggested to Abraham that Hagar her handmaid could conceive the promised heir. Ishmael was born. Time continued. Sarah reached ninety. Visiting Abraham on the plains of Mamre, the Lord told him, "Sarah thy wife shall have a son." Sarah laughed. In response, God asked, "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" (Gen. 18:10, 14)

Some twenty years passed between the promise of God confirmed by oath and the realization of that promise. During that time a "works" program of human devising was tried. It produced a conflict that has not ceased to this day. The fulfilment of the promise was to be in God's way and by His power. The promised seed of Abraham was to be a progenitor of the Seed promised to Eve. The type reflected the Antitype. God acted, and restored faculties to Sarah so she could bare. God acted and Mary conceived not knowing a man. Paul, noting the impossibility of the human observed that Abraham "being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able also to perform." (Rom. 4:21) It was by faith so that the glory would be God's. (v.20)

Paul indicates that the experience of Abraham was not "written for his sake alone ... but for us also." (4:23-24) While it is clearly stated by Paul that he is writing about the initial experience of justification, nevertheless the same Divine initiative is required in the final work of God as is envisioned in Revelation. The first experience of justfication must be understood and accepted as outlined in the gospel - by faith alone - or else the final one will be missed in a "works" program even as marked the time of waiting in the experience of Abraham. The waiting period has been long across the centuries of time. The justified ones "have died in faith not having received the promises." (Heb. 11:13)

p 4 -- In our study of Romans, we often miss this future factor of the Gospel. After noting that there is "no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" who by the Spirit of Christ's life have been freed from "the law of sin and death," Paul sets forth the opportunity given to such to be "the sons of God" - those who are willing to be "led by the Spirit of God." (Rom. 8:1, 2, 14) But then, and note carefully the future factor, he wrote - "For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." (8:19 KJV) Two other translations amplify the force of this verse:    Weymouth reads - "All creation is yearning, longing to see the manifestation of the sons of God." Phillips reads - "The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own." If those following the Spirit "are the sons of God" then what does it mean:   the manifestation of the sons of God "coming into their own"?

Paul indicates that the whole creation has been "subjected in hope." (8:20) Even though we may have "the first fruits of the Spirit" there is a "waiting for the adoption, the redemption of the body." Because of this condition, "we are saved by hope," and "if we hope for what we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." (8:24-25) This involves the whole question of righteousness by faith, for Paul wrote to the Galatians - "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith." (5:5)

What is the status of those who "wait in hope"? First they have "the first fruits of the Spirit." Paul has described their attitude of mind in contrast to the body. He said of himself - "So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." (Rom. 7:25) Those who walk after the Spirit are no longer "carnally minded" that is "the minding of the flesh" but are rather "spiritually minded," that is, focusing on "the minding of the Spirit." (8:5-6 margin, Gr.) These "justified ones" have the mind of Christ because they have followed Him to the Cross and have been crucified in Him. Having responded to His call God has a plan for them. Those who are justified are to be glorified. It has been pointed out that the verbs - "justified" and "glorified" - are in the Greek past (aorist) tense. We ask how can that be for in no way have we been glorified?

In his letter to "the faithful in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 1:1) Paul explains "the hope of [God's] calling" and "the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe" (1:18-19) God raised up Jesus and set Him "at His own right hand in heavenly places." (1:20) Then he explains:         God who is rich in mercy, and for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace are ye saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (2:4-6)

Where Jesus is, the justified ones will be. The reality is in Christ; it is accomplished. It is theirs to have by faith and to hold in hope "through patient continuance in well doing." (Rom. 2:7) But there is a future aspect. Paul continues:       That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (v.7)

This is "the blessed hope." (Titus 2:13) The hope of the present and this hope of the future will all blend into one at the return of Christ the second time.

This covers those who die in the Lord - justified, then glorified. What of those who will be alive when probation closes. When the Man Christ Jesus leaves "the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven", sin, which excludes from heaven, will have to have ceased in the lives of the living faithful. This is the picture in Revelation. There is described a group of people in whose mouth there is found no guile. The Everlasting Gospel will produce "saints" who "keep" not only "the commandments of God," but also "the faith of Jesus." How is this to be? A systematic program of works which produces perfection? If God's grace can span the distance between a justified person, though a sinner, who sees "corruption" and the day of the resurrection when He puts on that person "incorruption," then God's grace has a plan for the "mortal" who shall put on "immortality." This is the message of the Everlasting Gospel. To answer this question both by preaching that Gospel and experiencing its reality was the purpose of the Advent Movement. The long delay in time indicates that we have not proved true to our trust. There dare not be any further delay for God has indicated that the last aspects of the typical Day of Atonement are now in progress.

There is an answer in Revelation. He who said:    "Behold I come quickly," had just given a dictum:      He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let

p 5 -- him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still (Rev. 22:11)

This verse, in the third person Greek imperative, consists of two pair of couplets in contrast - the "unjust" to the "righteous" and the "filthy" to the "holy." The use of the imperative was normal in royal edicts," such as this is. (A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, p.947) In English we have no equivalent for the third person imperative, and must add the helping verb, "let." There is also a contrast between the two couplets in the use of the voice of the Greek verb. The first couplet is in the active voice, while the last is in the passive voice. Herein is the force of what this dictum said, and a suggestive answer to the question posed in the above discussion.

The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary suggests as a literal translation of this verse the reading -      The one doing unrighteousness, let him do unrighteousness still, and the filthy one, let him be made filthy still; and the righteous one, let him do righteousness still; and the holy one, let him be made holy still (Vol.7, p.896)

This literal translation follows the 2nd edition Greek text of the United Bible Societies. In this text, they opted for the longer wording of the first member of the second couplet - dikaiosunhn poihsatw (let him do righteousness) - rather than dikaiwqhtw of the Received Text. In this the editors violated their own guidline - "In general the shorter reading is to be preferred, except ...," and their exceptions do not apply to this verse. (A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, p. xxvii)

The Received Text places both members of the first couplet in the active voice, and both members of the second couplet in the passive voice. Thus "he who is unjust" continues acting unjustly, and "he who is filthy" continues in his filthiness. However, "the justified one" is "made righteous," and "the holy one" is made "holy." In other words, as a result of the dictum of heaven, they are acted upon.

Now we need to ask ourselves, do the first members of each couplet represent the dead, while the second members represent the living at the Second Coming; even as in I Corinthians 15:51-54, the dead are designated by the term, "corruptible" while the living are defined by the term, "mortal"? If this differentiation holds for Revelation 22:11, the first member of the second couplet is saying that the one justified, declared righteous by believing in Jesus, is at the resurrection made righteous by the word that calls him forth from the grave. The decision, that he who dies in faith should be raised incorruptible and righteous, was made in the judgment. Those who died unjustified remain unjustified by their own decision.

This leaves us now with o agioV agiasqhtw eti (the holy one let him be made holy) The word, agioV, in its plural form is translated "saints" in Revelation 14:12. Any connection is open for futher study.

In the Gospels many of the healing acts of Jesus note the recipient as being saved. One illustration is found in Luke 8:49-55. To Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, when he heard that his daughter was dead, Jesus said - "Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole (swzw - saved)." She was; Jesus but said - "Maid, arise" - "and her spirit came again." It was the "word" that rejuvenated the womb of Sarah. Cannot that same "word" make holy the living? "Is there anything too hard for the Lord?"

The preparation which could designate one - o agioV ("he that is holy") - might be found in the vision given to Zechariah. As Joshua "clothed in filthy garments ... stood before the Lord," a command was given:      Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. (Zech 3:4)

It was then that Joshua and those with him became "men wondered at." (v. 8) This experience involves the willingness to have our garments removed - letting "the shame of our nakedness" appear, so as to desire to be clothed. No longer dare we run from God so as to hide ourselves. We must in our inmost souls be honest, then in our mouths will be found no guile, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. We will be without fault before the throne, ready to be made holy at His word - to have our iniquity pass from us. All of this is embraced in the Everlasting Gospel. "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (I Cor. 15:57) (Concluded)

Supplement -- For those who might wish to make a detailed comparison of the couplets in Revelation 22:11, we here produce for the reader the verse as is in the Received Text, omitting

p 6 -- kai (and) between the members of the couplets as well as the couplets.

o adikwn adikhsatw eti
o rupwn rupwsatw eti

o dikaioV dikaiwqhtw eti
o agioV agiasqhtw eti

It should be observed that the subject of each member of the first couplet is a participle in the present tense, and the verb is in the aorist active imperative form. The evident link between the two couplets is noted by the use of two words from the same root - adikwn and dikaioV - at the beginning of each couplet. The participle is given a negative sense with the a privitive. The two nouns of the second couplet have result endings and the imperative verbs are in the passive voice.

Helps -- As the people of God afflict their souls before Him, pleading for purity of heart, the command is given, "Take away the filthy garments," and the encouraging words are spoken, "Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment." The spotless robe of Christ's righteousness is placed upon the tried, tempted, faithful children of God. The despised remnant are clothed in glorious apparel, nevermore to be defiled by the corruptions of the world. Their names are retained in the Lamb's book of life, enrolled among the faithful of ages. ... Now they are eternally secure from the tempter's devices. ...

While Satan has been urging his accusations, holy angels, unseen, have been passing to and fro, placing upon the faithful ones the seal of the living God. [Rev. 14:1-5 both paraphrased and quoted] (Prophets & Kings, p.591; emphasis supplied)

The third angel's message is the proclamation of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. The commandments of God have been proclaimed, but the faith of Jesus has not been proclaimed by Seventh-day Adventists as of equal importance, the law and the gospel going hand in hand. I cannot find language to express this subject in its fullness.

"The faith of Jesus." It is talked of, but not understood. What constitutes the faith of Jesus, that belongs to the third angel's message? Jesus becoming our sin-bearer that He might become our sin-pardoning Saviour. He was treated as we deserve to be treated. He came to our world and took our sins that we might take His righteousness. And faith in the ability of Christ to save us amply and fully and entirely is the faith of Jesus.

The only safety for the Israelites was blood upon the doorposts. God said, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you." (Ex. 12:13) All other devices for safety would be without avail. Nothing but the blood on the doorposts would bar the way that the angel of death should not enter. There is salvation for the sinner in the blood of Christ alone, which cleanseth us from all sin. ... "Saved by the blood of Jesus Christ," will be our only hope in time and our song throughout eternity. (SM, bk iii, pp.172-173)

UNBELIEVABLE -- On May, l7,1996; Robert S. Folkenberg spoke to the ministers and delegates of the quinquennial session of the North Pacific Union Conference. An adaptation of his message, "Magnify the Vision," was printed in the first issue of Vol. 2 of Perspective Digest, voice of the Adventist Theological Society. Folkenberg stated - "The first angel's message, the revelation of the everlasting gospel, is the foundation of the Advent movement." Emphasizing the word, "everlasting," he commented - "It is not, then, simply a New Testament revelation. Rather, the 'good news' was revealed at the beginning of time. Genesis 3 records God's redemptive response to Adam's and Eve's fall." He then quoted and interpreted Genesis 3:15.

Observe carefully Folkenberg's interpretation of this verse: (We shall add emphasis)       " I [God] will put emnity [hatred, or separation] between thee [the serpent, the devil] and the woman [the church], between thy seed and her seed; it [the lady] shall bruise thy head."

"The lady" of what? Fatima? Medjugorje? Akita? Garabandal? Which or all? He then concluded the interpretation by saying - "Here's the gospel." (p.21)

By no stretch of the imagination can one conclude that the "woman" of Revelation 12, which Rome has adopted and adapted as the Virgin Mary, bruised the "serpent's head." It was the seed of the woman, the Man-Child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron, who conquered the dragon. From His victory "the loud voice" in heaven was heard saying - "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ."

It is a sad day for the Church when its president fulfills the prophecy -        "Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan." (Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 409-410)

p 7 -- Reply to Morrison -- At the General Conference Session in 1888, J. H. Morrison, president of the Iowa Conference, was given the resonsibility to answer E. J. Waggoner's message on "Justification by Faith." Regardless of how one evaluates Morrison's response because it reflected the thinking of many present, it was incumbent upon Waggoner and Jones to give a "considered response." (Movement of Destiny, p.247)

Jones and Waggoner chose a unique approach. Froom, citing an eyewitness account, writes:       When the time came for Waggoner and Jones to reply they simply stood up with open Bibles before the Confrrence, altenrating in the reading of highly pertinent portions of Scripture. Each read eight vital passages from Holy Writ bearing thereon on a total of sixteen passages. That was their sole rejoinder. Without a word of personal comment, they resumed their seats. (ibid.)

The texts and who read each is given as follows:

E. J. Waggoner

Jer. 23:5-7
GaL 2:16-21
Rom. 1:14-17
Gal. 3 (entire)
Gal. 5:16
Gal. 2 (entire)
Rom.. 5 (entire)
Rom. 8:14-30

A. T. Jones

Eph. 2:4-8
Rom. 11:1-33
Rom. 2:13-29
Rom. 3 (entire)
Rom. 9:7-33
Rom. 4:1-11
Rom. 1:15-17
I John 5:1-4

A teacher at Uchee Pines, Mrs. Jean Glen, selected these texts for a study project for her students in a class on Justification by Faith. The students were asked to consider each text carefully, and answer some questions posed as "Thought Questions." To those interested in a closer look at the 1888 Message, these questions along with an analysis of the texts chosen could produce some hours of productive study of the Bible. Her questions were:

1. Why did they use this method and these texts?
     a. As a weapon? against what?
     b. As a tool? to accomplish what?
2. a. What did they expect to accomplish?
     b. What was the actual effect?
3. a. What is the single concept of each text quoted?
     b. Give a full comprehension of each text used.
     c. Give an interpretation of the 16 passages selected.
4. Why the repetition of:
     a. Romans 1:15-16
     b. Galatians 2:16
5. Consider the difference between "the Law in Galatians" and the "Gospel in Galatians"?
6. The import of using "Sola Scriptura"?
7. Why did they open with Jeremiah?
8. Did the messengers mean to be taken seriously by using the form of presentation by which they presented their reply?

The students were given sheets with each text used by Jones and Waggoner imprinted separately, on which to write out their answers and convictions. (If you are interested in pursuing such a study, we will make available a set of these sheets for $3.00 postpaid. Write to the Foundation office) --- (1997 Jun) ---End----

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