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WWN 1978 Oct - Dec


1978 Oct -- THE BATTLE OF THE GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY -- Part 1 -- We in our thinking have come to consider Armageddon to be a battle, while the Scripture is clear that it is the place of the battle. The battle is the battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14)  (1)  And for that battle, "the spirits of devils" gather the leadership of the whole world "together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." (Rev. 16:16) In this series of studies we shall note three separate, yet interrelated topics. The first study will be merely to direct attention to certain Old Testament texts with brief observations.

In the third chapter of the Bible, we read:      Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Gen. 3:1)

In the third chapter from the close of the Bible, this serpent is defined as it is used in the symbolism of prophecy. There it reads:      And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. (Rev. 20:2)

The medium which was used to seduce our first parents became the representation of Satan, and that symbol is used for him in the prophecies of the second section of the book of Revelation, save in Rev. 16:13-14, 16, where the spirits of devils are symbolized as "frogs."

In the first gospel promise - also found in the third chapter of the Bible - there is pictured a conflict. It reads:       I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Gen. 3:15)

This promise is symbolized in prophecy as the last section of the book of Revelation is introduced a woman, with child, is revealed in vision to John, and standing before the woman is the dragon or serpent seeking to devour the child as soon as it should be born. But this seed of the woman - as Michael - enters into battle with the dragon, or serpent, and overcomes him, so that a voice is heard in heaven saying - "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ." (Rev. 12:1-10) This conflict portrayed

p 2 -- in prophecy continues through the prophetic representations of this second section of Revelation, and climaxes in the battle of the great day of God Almighty.

Consider now a second text:        And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it.

And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

0 house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers. (Isa. 2:2-6)

Certain concepts should be carefully noted from these verses which direct our attention to "the last days." A group of people consider themselves to be the followers of truth. This people inspired by what appears to be the exaltation of the "Lord's house" call for a gathering to the "mountain of the Lord" where they assume "the God of Jacob" will appear to teach them "his ways" - for they say that "Out of [what they call] Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." But we must consider that the Law of God has already been proclaimed - gone forth - from Mount Sinai, and thus any law going forth from a false "Mt. Zion" would be an altered law. God's response to this proposed gathering, and the people inspired thus to call such a gathering is clear and distinct - "Thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob." Interestingly, throughout these verses, the term "Jacob" - a supplanter, a deceiver - is used rather than "Israel," which signifies, an overcomer.

Consider now a third verse:       How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isa. 14:12-14)

p 3 -- In these verses God has revealed the heart of Lucifer - his plans, and his objectives. One of these objectives is especially important as we consider the battle of the great day of God Almighty. Lucifer declares as one if his intents to sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north. In the Psalms we read: Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. (48:2)

Inspiration reveals to us that Satan - that old serpent - has designs upon Jerusalem. Consider - with Isaiah 2:2-6 - the people of earth who are deceived by the exaltation of the house of the Lord, direct a call to go there to receive their religious instruction from the one they assume to be the Lord, but he is only the God of the Jacobites, those who deceive and are deceived! An ultimate in deception is here prophesied to come "to pass in the last days." (Isa. 2:2)

[In the next thought paper, we shall consider the Seven Last Plagues in the light of the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty.]

(1) Perhaps a technical clarification needs to be made. A "battle" is often named for the "place" where it was fought, such as the "Battle of Lexington," in our own Revolutionary War. This battle had wider connotations - the liberty of a people was at stake. Just so, we could call the final battle of earth, "The Battle of Armageddon," if in so doing, we do not miss the focus that it is in reality, the battle of the great day of God Almighty. The Greek word - translated "battle" in Rev. 16:14, could be just as accurately translated, "war''. It is so translated in Matt. 24:6. If so considered, we could call it the "battle" of Armageddon for the"place" - and then consider it a part of the "war" of the great day of God Almighty.

"There are only two parties in our world, those who are loyal to God, and those who stand under the banner of the prince of darkness. Satan and his angels will soon come down with power and signs and lying wonders to deceive those who dwell on the earth, and if possible the very elect. The crisis is upon us. Is this to paralyze the energies of those who have a knowledge of the truth? Is the influence of the powers of deception so far reaching that the influence of truth will be overpowered?

"The battle of Armageddon is soon to be fought. He on whose vesture is written the name, King of kings and Lord of lords is soon to lead forth the armies of heaven on white horses clothed in fine linen, clean and white. John writes: - (Rev. 19:11-21 is quoted) - E. G. White, Ms. 172, 1899 (See also, Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 406)

p 4 -- A FURTHER UPDATE -- Evidently, the thought paper for August found its way to the desk of the Editor of the Adventist Review. In the August issue of "Watchman, What of the Night?" we suggested (pp. 7-8) that those who might be interested regarding Sandor Palotay, the man who invited Billy Graham to hold a Crusade in Hungary, write to the Editor of the Adventist Review, and ask why such a strange silence regarding this man, who is in our own publications - Voice of Prophecy News, for example - referred to as a Seventh-day Adventist. I suggested that if any would receive a reply from Editor Wood to share his answer with us. Understandably, the Editor does not wish a repeat of the last time when he wrote behind our back concerning the gold medallion given to the Pope, and so has decided to write direct. We appreciate this new approach in communications. His response through his assistant and our reply to that letter follows:

The Adventist Review


OFFICE OF THE EDITOR To Adventist Laymen's Foundation:

August 7, 1978

We have read with interest your comments on the activities of Sandor Palotay, president of the Council of Free Churches in Hungary and thought you might be interested in the following information.

Sandor Palotay is not and never has been a Seventh-day Adventist minister. As you noted, the absence of his name in the latest Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook confirms this. Mr. Palotay is no longer even a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. At one time he was a member and a colporteur. In spite of being no longer a member he apparently has identified himself to the secular and religious press as a Seventh-day Adventist. We thought you would appreciate hearing from us directly as soon as possible so that you would not have to wait for roundabout information by way of others who might write to us concerning this matter.

Sincerely your brother,

Eugene F. Durand
Assistant to the Editor

EFD cwr

p 5 -- Our Reply: -- COPY

August 22, 1978

Mr. Eugene F. Durand
Adventist Review
Takoma Park, Washington D C 20012

Dear Brother Durand;

We appreciated your letter of explanation regarding Sandor Palotay. However, your letter still leaves some unanswered questions.

1) In the SDA Year Book (1976), under "Directory of Workers" all credentialed Literature Evangelists are listed, and are thus classified among the ministers of the Church. This is as it should be in harmony with the counsel that the "God-fearing, truth-loving" Literature Evangelist "occupies a position equal to that of the gospel minister." (Colporteur Evangelist, p. 15) (The tragedy is that there are so few who qualify with this description today from the top to the bottom.) In what Year Book was Sandor Palotay listed as a colporteur?

2) You state that Palotay is no longer a colporteur, nor a member of the Church. When and what do the records state was the cause of his dismissal from the work and the Church?

3) Since you have access to the RNS to which I have access, you are no doubt aware that RNS reported that the Council of Free Churches chaired by Sandor Palotay, includes the Seventh-day Adventist Church. If this man was such that he was disfellowshipped and removed, from the colporteur ministry, how is it the Church in Hungary is still under his influence - an influence evidently great enough that he could represent himself as an ordained minister and attend the General Council meeting of the Baptist World Alliance, and invite Billy Graham to Hungary on behalf of the Council of Free Churches? And the press did not note him as a Baptist, but as a Seventh-day Adventist!

4) Why have the editors of the Review waited so long to issue an explanation - and then only because of the prodding of the Adventist Laymen's Foundation - when the Voice of Prophecy News carried information almost a year ago that Sandor Palotay was a Seventh-day Adventist, and the official organ of the Southern Union Conference stated the same thing in its September, 1977, issue of Southern Tidings?

5) Can it be that so long as Sandor Palotay's name was associated with Billy Graham and his Hungarian Crusade with the suggestion that he was a Seventh-day Adventist, it was expedient to keep quiet so as to reap as many PR column inches as possible? But since Spotlight focused in on Palotay as a grasping communist agent of the state, it was better to get part of the truth out? How about now the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

p 6 --

Sincerely yours,
(Signed Adventist Laymen's Foundation)
Publications and Research

(Note - As of this date August 31, as we go to press, we have received no further reply.]

IN RETROSPECT - A REPORT -- While in Southern California on a business trip, we were able to hold three meetings regarding prophecies with significant meaning for the Church today. These gatherings were arranged by a friend of the Adventist Laymen's Foundation. We appreciated the excellent response, and the opportunity of meeting many whom we had known only via correspondence, and also some new folk who are concerned Seventh-day Adventists, beside friends of past years. From Southern California we went to the weekend Campmeeting retreat in the high Sierras at Silver Lake. "Beautiful for situation" - this is the best way to describe the setting. The chapel where the services were held, framed in a picture window, the beauty of the lake and a towering rugged mountain which rises from its shore. Lifted out of the mundane to a contemplation of the Creator through His created works, the heart is better able to perceive truth.

At this meeting were four who spoke - Elder David Bauer, Pastor Jon Vannoy, Dr. Kirby Clendenon, and myself. Each was free to choose his own topic - none knew exactly what the others were going to say - but each could in sincerity say "Amen" to what the others presented in their studies. After it was all over, a unity of thought and concept marked the whole of the chapel meetings. It has been a long time since I have had opportunity to attend and participate in a meeting so evidently guided by the Spirit of Truth- so that even though various human voices spoke - a single voice of truth threaded its way through all the presentations. God through the Holy Spirit will fulfill the prayer of Christ which He prayed in John 17. To Him be the glory.

Of course the "brethren" were not happy that these meetings should take place. Elder David Bauer was called in before the Nevada-Utah Conference committee for a four-hour session. He was threatened that if he did not warn folk against attending the meetings, and if he himself took any speaking appointments at the meetings, he would be disfellowshipped from the conference church - the conference committee being the ones who determine who should, and who should not be members of that church. The pastor of the Carson City Seventh-day Adventist Church, H. E. Darby, wrote a very unusual letter to "his" flock. In part it said:       This past week we all received in the mail an invitation to attend a weekend of meetings at Silver Lake Campground. Speakers for the series include three former Seventh-day Adventist ministers.

Because one of the promoters of this rally is at present a member of the

p 7 -- local congregation does not mean that these meetings are sponsored by the Carson City Seventh-day Adventist Church, nor do they have the approval of the Conference, Pacific Union or the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. [All emphasis his]

Further in this letter, he commented, and then asked and answered a question:      You may attend these meetings without hearing one word of heretical doctrine -- or NEW LIGHT!
Then, why not attend? You may ------------------ BUT -------------- THERE IS POISON IN THE POT. We have the Bible and The Spirit of Prophecy. Let us drink deeply of these fountains of the precious Water of Life -- and avoid the poison in the common pot.

We will let those who wish to judge for themselves determine about the "poison in the pot" - and where and what is the "common pot" which contains poison. All the messages given at Silver Lake Chapel were taped with fidelity.

AN INTERESTING SIDELIGHT -- All who have read carefully the Great Controversy are aware of the following sentences:       The clergy will put forth almost superhuman efforts to shut away the light, lest it should shine upon their flocks. By every means at their command they will endeavor to suppress the discussion of these vital questions. The church appeals to the strong arm of civil power. (p. 607)

With the letter to the members of the Carson City Seventh-day Adventist Church was the following: - (on a separate piece of note paper)


-- The Carson City Seventh-day-Adventist Church Directory is the property of the church and is loaned to the members of the church as a sacred trust to be used in church sponsored activities only. Any unauthorized use of the church's mailing list is subject to prosecution by the U S Postal Service. Sorry that this is necessary. Your Pastor, H. E. Darby


The Adventist Forum Association -- COPY
Baker, Oregon 97814 USA

August 19, 1978

Dr. George Rue
Mr. Tom Durst

Dear Brethren George and Tom:

Thank you so much, George, for the tapes of (WWN's) study at the recent meeting. It would seem that he has presented most of this material in his thought paper from month to month.

Before commenting on this and your letter, let me tell you there is scheduled a meeting of Tom, Bob White, Luther Ross and myself here in Baker beginning September 1st. ... [Deleted part has to do with other personalities]

In my opinion (WWN) has painted himself into a corner with no place to go -- easily or conveniently. He says the Jews are NOT GOD'S PEOPLE NOW. He also says they are not a part of "the nations." Then what are they? When in the history of this earth has God had His people, the nations, and then a nation that is neither?

It is my understanding that when God rejected the Jewish nation it became part of "the nations" from which it was called just as the Seventh-day Adventists who are rejected of God again become part of either Babylon or the world from which they were called when they became a part of God's people.

The text upon which (WWN) builds his whole program has a very simple and easy exposition: The literal city of Jerusalem was to be possessed by the nations of earth until their time was fulfilled --at the second advent. At the third advent the New Jerusalem will take its place. At the present moment it matters not one whit whether the Israeli or Arab portion of the nations is occupying Jerusalem. All his evidence about the sad state of affairs in the world is only too true - but it does not support his position.

The same thing is true of the Seventh-day Adventist church - but it doesn't support his position. (WWN) now has the nations all washed up. The Seventh-day Adventist church all washed up and the Jews no place at all on the face of the earth.

Obviously a sizable segment of Seventh-day Adventists are going back into Babylon. Years ago the head of the School of Theology at WWC moved off campus on Sabbath to become an Episcopal priest in a nearby town. He was one of my favorite professors.

What did Dave Bauer do with (WWN) and the other fellow at the meeting. It was my understanding before the meeting that he was going to "take care of" both of them!

Prophetically, the situation is not all this complicated: We are in a transition between the third and fourth angels' messages. As in previous transitions, part of the "movement" will move forward and part of it will fall back. It's just that simple - and awful. This transition will be finalized at the time the third message reaches its climax - the beast-image issues. We are probably close to this - but not there yet. (WWN) is running ahead of God and badly confusing things.

But the church administration is equally bad on the other side -- refusing to look at the facts of life. But a lot of them are looking - and they are scared! But to take (WWN's) - position is certainly jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

So I can't evaluate administration as (WWN) evaluates them because the evidence simply is not there; neither can I evaluate (WWN) as administration evaluates him. He isn't any further on the left than they are on the right.

But when organized Seventh-day Adventism relates itself to the beast-image issues, and it cannot avoid this, then, and then only will she experience the corporate repentance for which Wieland calls or be fully rejected of God as (WWN) alleges. Actually what is going to happen on the basis of history is that part will go one way and part will go the other way.

In the meanwhile, it seems quite clear that every dog is on his own!!

[All emphasis his]
(Signed) Al



August 25, 1978

Dr. George Rue
Hesperia, CA 92345

Dear Dr. Rue;

A letter addressed to you and Tom Durst dated August 19 from A. L. Hudson was also - a copy - sent to me. A notation at the top read - "(WWN), Hi, there. Come on out to the meeting. We'll listen to you also answer you." Interestingly, I was advised that Hudson called Darby, the pastor of the Carson City Church asking that if he would go with him, he would come down and attend the meeting at Silver Lake. But Darby was forbidden by conference order, and perhaps personal reasons. So Hudson did not come.

p 10 -- The meeting at Silver Lake was unique there was no tearing apart, or debate. Each presented his own topic - none had been assigned. None really knew what the others would say, but when it was over, there was an unity of thought and concept, and each could say "Amen" to what the others had said. It has been years since I have attended a meeting so obviously controlled by the Holy Spirit of Truth, where the prayer of Jesus in John 17 was answered. There was no undue excitement, but there was an enthusiasm born of enlightenment as truth dawned upon the mind.

Now to Hudson's letter in particular. In his zeal to undercut and debate - perhaps he would call it critiquing - but it lacks the documentation and insight that such a procedure demands - he has overlooked some very basic factors, or has ignored them in seeking to accomplish his objective.

He ignores the counsel of the servant of the Lord which clearly states that events concerning Jerusalem given by our Lord in Luke 21 are associated with the very last scenes of this earth's history. Counsels to Editors, pp. 23-25. Further in this testimony, she indicates that in the solemn warnings the danger signal is lifted, and that this instruction is what the church and the people of the world need, "for it is present truth." (p. 25) What gives support to the sacred, solemn warnings is that the prophecy of Luke 21 concerning Jerusalem has been fulfilled, and we have arrived at,"the last remnant of time" in which the marvelous workings of Satan are being, and are about to be, fulfilled before our eyes, if we are not still in Laodicean blindness. (Elder Bauer pointed out in one of his studies at Silver Lake, that in 1888, the coupling of fulfilled prophecy regarding the image to the beast with the message of righteousness by faith was what gave it, its peculiar power and emphasis.) The fact remains - uncontroverted - that the only thing in Luke 21, concerning Jerusalem, not found in Matt. 24 and Mark 13, is the prophecy concerning the "times of the Gentiles." And the servant of the Lord designated Luke 21 when she spoke of Jerusalem in regard to the events at the end!

Further, Hudson makes quite a to-do about the nations - Gentiles and Jews. He must know, if he has studied at all, the Biblical concepts on this point. In the Old Testament, there were only two classes of nations - Israel, God's chosen, and the other nations, or Gentiles. This concept holds also in the New Testament, except there is a third factor --the Church, or the "new" Israel. But the import of Luke 21:20-25 must be understood in the light of the setting in which was given. Concerning Israel, God had concluded "there was no more remedy" (II Chron. 36:14-16) and sent them off to Babylon (or had permitted His servant Nebuchadnezzar to come and carry them off into Babylon, and destroy the city and temple). While in the period of captivity, God revealed to Daniel that Israel would have another opportunity - 70 prophetic weeks would be allotted to them. While God was dealing with Israel in a special relationship, He was also dealing with the nations, or Gentile world. This is the message of Daniel 10.

So now we come to Luke 21 - Israel is still officially the chosen people of God, Jerusalem, the city of God. The nations outside Israel were still the Gentiles. In this setting with these given factors, the prophecy was uttered by Jesus, and understood thus by His disciples. Soon the situation would change - 34 AD would take place. BUT - even so - the same Jerusalem, no longer the Holy City, would

p 11 -- in the events of its history have fulfilled in 66 AD a part of the prophecy of Jesus, and this event would speak to the professed people of God - the church in a corporate, material sense. The true people of God would respond to this sign and the church of God would be delivered from Jerusalem, though the corporate church of Jerusalem, never would be again.

Jesus did not connect the times of the Gentiles with the nation of Israel, but with the same city which was surrounded by Roman armies. This city in 70 AD passed from Jewish control, and was returned to Jewish control in 1967. This is simply a matter of history. And Jesus indicated that when this should occur, the times of the Gentiles would be up, no matter when we would like to conclude that it will be up. It is not for us to determine the times and seasons. Under the spirit of prophecy, Jesus uttered what He was given of the Father, and the Father who keeps all things in His hands, permitted this prophecy to be fulfilled in 1967. It is left for us to ask and learn what God means by this event, even as the people of God had to so determine in 66 AD.

Now back to the times of the Gentiles in particular. As noted above, God has dealt with the nations in all times. Some have been weighed in the balances and have been found wanting in all time. But God has determined in His foreknowledge when the nations as a whole would fulfill their allotted time. See 5 Testimonies, p. 208, par. 3. Then the times of all nations would be up - the Jews in 34 AD, the Gentiles in 1967 and then it would be time for the marvelous workings of Satan, as he prepares the nations of earth - Jew and Gentile - for the final acceptance of himself as God, and the final battle of the great day of God in the last remnant of time. See Testimonies to Ministers. p. 62; Great Controversy, pp. 561-562.

Now if Hudson wishes to shrug off the events of the present time, and state that the accumulative evidence that something momentous and decisive did occur in 1967 but it "does not support [my] position," he will have to continue in Laodicean blindness. The evidence is too overwhelming, and too much to ignore. The same can be said for the corporate church and its actions as of 1967 and since.

The same situation faces us today that faced the church in 66 AD. The headquarters church was located at Jerusalem; a city which Paul said was in bondage with her children. Gal. 4:25. To remain there after 66 AD, placed the professed Christian in the same category with the Jews who had rejected Christ - for to remain would mean the rejecting of the prophecy of Jesus.

Laodicea is today in bondage to Babylon - not Babylon, but in bondage to Babylon. Because of this and its rejection of the counsel given, the prophecy of-Rev. 3:16 has been fulfilled, and God does nothing but He lets us know, and has given us the sign. Thus the gathering of the 144,000 from Jerusalem (3 Testimonies, p. 266-267) and the placing upon them the name of the Jerusalem which is above, which is the mother of us all, is the work of the third angel. (Early Writings, p. 15, 88-89, 118; Gal. 4:26) The fourth angel only unites his voice to the voice of the third angel. (Early Writings, p. 277.)

Further, Hudson ignores the whole message of 5 Testimonies, pp. 207-216. The prophecy of Ezekiel 9 is connected with the time when the "nations of this age" which have been recipients of unprecedented mercies, reach the "certain amount which God has fixed."

p 12 -- The servant of the Lord states clearly - "The prophet [Ezekiel), looking down the ages, had this time presented before his vision." (p. 208) She also states that "Jesus is about to leave the mercy-seat" - He hasn't left, when the figures reach the predetermined amount. But - "There is no more pleading of mercy in their [nations] behalf." But what about the church? A command is given on behalf of "spiritual" Jerusalem - "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, (3 Testimonies, p. 267), and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst." (Eze. 9; 5 Testimonies, p. 210) What had the results been for the sighing, crying ones? "Some who had been dishonoring God, repented and humbled their hearts before Him. But the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel; although many still continued the forms of religion, His power and presence were lacking." 5 Testimonies, p. 210.

This is where we are, and God has given us the knowledge of this through fulfilled prophecy. We are living in a day when we have seen fulfilled verily before our eyes a sign which Jesus gave, even as those living on November 13, 1833, saw fulfilled the sign which Jesus gave concerning the stars of heaven falling. Let us rejoice and look up for our redemption draweth nigh. This generation shall not pass till all be fulfilled. Thank God for the sure word of prophecy. Let us not be moved by detractors, nor former brethren who prefer Laodicean blindness.

May the Lord bless and keep you.

Sincerely yours,
(Signed WWN)

--- (1978 Oct) --- END --- TOP

1978 Nov -- THE BATTLE OF THE GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY -- Part 2 -- In this second section of our study of the battle of the great day of God, we shall concern ourselves with an over-all look at the Seven Last Plagues as they relate to this battle.

The Seven Last Plagues are outlined in Revelation 16, and declared to be the judgments wherein "the wrath of God" is filled up. (Rev. 15:1) When these final judgments fall upon the earth, the intercession of Christ has ceased in the heavenly temple. "No man" is able to enter the temple "till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled." (Rev. 15:8) And the only Man who has been able to enter into the presence of God - into that light unapproachable (I Tim. 6:16) - is the "one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." (I Tim. 2:5).

In analyzing briefly each plague, we need to ask ourselves three simple questions:  1) What is the plague?  2)   Why is it given? and  3)   When was the cause for the plague committed? (for "the curse causeless shall not come." Prov. 26:2)

Plague #1 - ''The first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast and upon them which worshipped his image.'' (Rev. 16:2)

This plague is described as an ulcer breaking out upon the men who had received the mark of the beast, and who worshipped the image to the beast. Now we ask, was the mark of the beast received, and the worship of the beast committed before or after the close of probation? The answer is obvious - "before." In other words this plague is God's response to what men had done in probationary time.

Plague #2 - ''And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man.'' (Rev. 16:3)

Why a plague of blood? The angel of the waters answers - The powers of earth "have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and [God] has given them blood to drink; for they are worthy." (16:6) When was this blood shed? Before or after the close of probation? The answer is again obvious - "before." In other words
this plague is God's response to what man has done in probationary time.

Plague #3 - ''And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.'' (Rev. 16:4)

p 2 -- This is the only plague that is compounded. The reason for this plague is the same as for the second plague. (Rev. 16:5-7) Why will God compound this plague of blood? "By condemning the people of God to death, they have as truly incurred the guilt of their blood as if it had been shed by their hands." (Great Controversy, p. 628) This statement in context refers to the "death decree" issued against the people of God after the close of probation. By noting references in Early Writings (pp. 36-37; 282,283), the death decree is issued because the inhabitants of earth seek to stay the wrath of God, and believe that the killing of those opposed to the worldwide religious movement will appease an offended God. This would indicate that the "death decree" is to be issued between the second and third plagues.

Plague #4 - "And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given him to scorch men with fire." (16:8)

Why a plague upon the sun? Because men have worshipped the sun, and honored the day of the sun - Sunday. When - before or after the close of probation? Again the answer is obvious - "before." In other words this plague is again God's response to what man has done in probationary time.

Plague #5 - "And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain." (16:10)

This is an unique plague - darkness, that effects the tongue. Gross darkness has covered the earth (Isa. 60:2) because of the teachings of the beast, and those who have erected an image to the beast for men to worship. With the tongue not only is confession made unto life, but also "all deceivableness of unrighteousness" is communicated to those who will not receive the love of truth. When did this deceptive darkness engulf the inhabitants of the earth - before or after the close of probation? Again the answer is obvious - "before." In other words this plague, too, is God's response to what man has done in probationary time.

Plague #6 - "And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared." (16:12)

Now why this plague? John is shown:       And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (16:13, 14)

Was this gathering together done before or after the close of probation? If the same principle is applied that applies to all the preceding plagues, save the third, then the answer must be - "before." This plague is also God's answer to what man has done in probationary time. Observe closely the following reference and how Revelation 16:13-14 is used:

p 3 -- Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world. ... Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of Spiritualism. He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time. Says the prophet: I saw three unclean spirits like frogs; ... they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." Except those who are kept by the power of God, through faith in His word, the whole world will be swept into the ranks of this delusion. The people are fast being lulled to a fatal security, to be awakened only by the outpouring of the wrath of God. (Great Controversy, pp. 561-562 emphasis mine)

According to this statement, Rev. 16:13-14 is to be fulfilled in the "last remnant of time." These verses tell of the final great deception that will take in "the whole world." The inhabitants of earth will not awaken from their "fatal security" until the pouring out of the wrath of God commences.

Another reference states the same truth. It reads:       In this age antichrist will appear as the true Christ, and then the law of God will be fully made void in the nations of our world. Rebellion against God's holy law will be fully ripe. But the true leader of all this rebellion is Satan clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of God, and deify him. But Omnipotence will interpose, and to the apostate churches that will unite in the exaltation of Satan, the sentence will go forth, "Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her." (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 62)

Since Revelation 16:13-14 will be fulfilled before the close of probation, what then is the place of this battle to which the leadership of the whole world is to be gathered for the exaltation of Satan when he appears as Christ? At what place will the bishops, prelates, and ministers join in the coronation of Satan as the long awaited Messiah? Where will the chorus ring forth from thousands of voices - "Christ has come. Christ has come"? We shall seek to find the answer to these questions in the next thought paper when we analyze Rev. 16:16.

"THE BACK PAGE" -- On the back page of the Adventist Review (Sept. 7, 1978), was a report on the "Righteousness by Faith Consultation in Washington." I first heard of this meeting while on the West Coast for speaking appointments in August. Interestingly, this consultation coincided with the Silver Lake Weekend Retreat which we reported in the last thought paper. There was a difference - while we could rejoice in the unity of the Holy Spirit among the speakers at the Retreat, the report in the Adventist Review only indicates one agreement - the agreement to disagree!

p 4 -- Reports on the West Coast indicated that the meeting would be an attempt to end all controversy presently engulfing the Church over the subject of Righteousness by Faith. However, the report in the Adventist Review called it "an exploratory session" and indicated that the participants would continue to study "until they meet again" because "many questions remain unanswered."

The meeting was chaired by Elder W. Duncan Eva, a Vice President of the General Conference, and the Secretary was Dr. Gordon Hyde of the Biblical Research Committee of the General Conference. [Interestingly, the Chairman of the Biblical Research Committee at the time of the 1974 North American Bible Conferences was Elder Willis Hackett, also a Vice President of the General Conference. He was not listed as even in attendance at the meeting. Has he fallen from official "grace"?] The names of the participants were given. Some are well known and their position clearly set forth in articles, manuscripts and books. Some are unknown as to their position on the subject of the consultation, except that they are theological "lightweights." While neither Brinsmead nor Paxton were present, their position was represented by Drs. Desmond Ford and Edward Heppenstall.

The report did not indicate that the subject of the Incarnation was discussed, but it is difficult to conceive how the subject of righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ could be studied without reference to the Incarnation. Dr. Ford's wife, Gillian, clearly states, and rightly so, that "a correct understanding of the human nature of Christ is crucial for a balanced presentation of Righteousness by Faith." (The Soteriological Implications of the Human Nature of Christ, p. 2)

The report on the consultation was also informative in that it was unable to hide the name calling - or to put it more diplomatically - the labeling that divided the participants of the consultation. Those who espoused the cause of Brinsmead and Paxton were declared to be venders of "cheap grace." These proponents of the Brinsmead concepts accused their "brethren" as being "legalists", who after they give "nominal assent to the initial need for justification by faith" then become 11 absorbed with the performance of good works (albeit with acknowledgment of dependence on the Holy Spirit.)"

In the essays which follow, we shall seek to discuss in a simple way the areas of conflict involved in the consultation, and seek to set forth the basic truth involved in justification, sanctification, and the "perfecting of the saints" in the last generation. In doing so, we shall try to keep in mind the counsel of the angel to Sister White in 1850 - "The angel said, 'Some try hard to believe. Faith is so simple ye look above it." (Testimony date, August 24, 1850, reprinted in California Missionary, Feb. 10, 1901) We need all the blessings which faith can bring, and so we shall endeavor to make it so plain that even a child can understand.

A Time Element -- In all our discussion of truth, we need to keep before us the time element, and the warnings and dangers which the child of God faces in the light of the times to which one has come. At the turn of the Century, the Church faced the "alpha of deadly heresies" in the publication by Kellogg of the book - Living Temple.

p 5 -- (Special Testimonies, Series B, #2, p. 50) At that time we were warned of two things: 1) It was absolutely certain that the apostasy which developed under the "alpha" would increase and grow stronger, and continue "until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout." (Ibid., #7, pp. 56-57) And 2) The ultimate of this apostasy was termed the "omega." This was revealed to the servant of the Lord to be of such a nature that she "trembled for our people." (Ibid., #2, p. 53)

Evidence is too strong to deny that we have indeed reached the end-time of human history, and are thus in the time of the omega of apostasy. Certain specific warnings given concerning the "alpha" apply with equal - if not greater - force to us who are now living amid the perils of the omega apostasy. The servant of the Lord called attention to the fact that -      The track of truth lies close beside the track of error, and both tracks may seem to be one to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit, and which, therefore, are not quick to discern the difference between truth and error. (Ibid., #2, P. 52)

In Great Controversy, we are warned:       So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true, that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested. (p. 593)

Wallenkampf in his book - New by the Spirit (p. 90) - indicates that as we approach the end, it will be imperative that we be guided by the Holy Spirit, because quoting Sr. White - he writes - "Falsehood will be so mingled with truth, that only those who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be able to distinguish truth from error." (Ms. 43, 1893)

Because of the very nature of the issues involved in the final conflict, we can make either one of two errors, or possibly both. We can fail to discern "the difference between truth and error," or we can, having discerned the teacher of error, reject the truth which such a teacher has mingled with error to give it plausibility, and in thus opposing such a teacher, find ourselves fighting truth itself. May we then with minds "worked by the Holy Spirit" - our eyes anointed with divine discernment - see the track of truth in its simplicity and beauty.

Justification -- On the morning of the resurrection, Jesus refused the homage of His people until He had received the assurance from the Father that His sacrifice on Calvary - the sacrificial atonement - "had been ample" for the sins of men. (Desire of Ages, p. 790) This preliminary acknowledgment on the part of the Father of the sufficiency of the atonement so that He "would receive repentant and obedient men, and would love them even as He loves His Son," was proclaimed at the inauguration of Jesus as the High Priest forever after the order of Melchizedec. "Before the heavenly angels and the representatives of unfallen worlds," the Father declared Christ's toiling, struggling ones on earth "accepted in the Beloved" and "justified." (Desire of Ages. p. 834)

p 6 -- Now what does this "justification" - proclaimed over nineteen hundred years ago mean to me? This provision was typified in the sacrificial system of the Levitical ministration of the "sin offering." We must not forget that this ministry of the Levitical priests "served unto the example and shadow of heavenly things." (Heb. 8:5) The sinner brought "a kid of the goats, a female without blemish." (Lev. 4:28) Placing his hand upon the head of the animal, he confessed his sin, and slew the victim. That was all that he did. The resulting forgiveness was achieved by the priest - the sinner was accepted in him, who represented "the Beloved." (Lev. 4:29-31)

I, too, must come to the Altar of Burnt Offering - the Cross. "Kneeling in faith at the cross," I have reached the highest place to which I can attain. (Acts of the Apostles , p. 210) On that mysterious Victim, I place my sins by confession, and I see as I look up to that bruised form, that I drove the nails, pierced that holy brow, and thrust Him through with the spear. But He who died with my sins upon Him, arose and ascended up on High to become my High Priest and to obtain my acceptance in Him before the Father.

Rising from the transaction of the Cross, how do I stand? What does forgiveness mean?

If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ's character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned. (Steps to Christ, p. 67, 1940 ed.)

Again:       We are not to serve God as if we were not human, but we are to serve Him in the nature we have, that has been redeemed by the Son of God; through the righteousness of Christ we shall stand before God pardoned, and as though we had never sinned. (Ms. 1, 1892, Review & Herald, June 17, 1976)

Further:      It is our privilege to go to Jesus and be cleansed, and to stand before the law without shame or remorse. (Steps to Christ, p. 56, 1940 ed.)

This glorious provision, and standing before God, we are missing in the hassle concerning justification and righteousness by faith. How can we call sin by its right name, and name the sinner, even as Nathan (Prophets and Kings, p. 141), if we ourselves have not been first justified? How can we point the fallen and vile to the hope of Calvary, unless we ourselves have knelt there in faith?

This experience and provision is not "cheap grace" nor can it ever be. It is amazing grace - divine mercy - an expression of everlasting love - purchased at an infinite cost. BUT recognizing this magnitude of divine love, does this warrant the conclusion drawn by Paxton, and supported by Desmond Ford and Heppenstall? Paxton writes: - "From Brinsmead's writings it is supremely evident that the doctrine of justification by faith alone is that which casts out any notion of perfection in this life." (Shaking of Adventism, p. 145) Here is the track of error

p 7 -- which lies close beside the track of truth. Instead of negating the concept of the perfecting of the saints, it is merely the first step toward its realization. The same faith that is exercised in justification will be the same faith that one must exercise in the realization of the gift of the final atonement.

To deny the perfecting of the saints - as Paxton, Brinsmead, Ford, and Heppenstall have done - leads to only one experience - the commission of the unpardonable sin. In denying the perfecting of the saints in the final generation, is to reject the final work of the Holy Spirit, by which "the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ." (Testimonies to Ministers., p. 506) Yes, 144,000 little christs, if you please! HOWEVER, to mitigate justification by faith alone, because it has been mingled with the errors of Ford and Heppenstall, can also lead to disastrous consequences. A salvation by works syndrome takes over, and we start to interpret the cosmetics of sanctification as righteousness itself. Therefore, we need to address ourselves to the subject of sanctification.

Sanctification -- Paxton summarizing Luther (The Shaking of Adventism, p. 45), and backed by Ford (Spectrum, Vol. 9, #3, p. 39) states that "righteousness by faith" is passive inasmuch as we have nothing to do with it. It is the righteousness of Christ, and therefore, perfect. On the other hand, there is what Luther termed "active righteousness" which results from faith, but is imperfect, for it is the work of sinful man. The former is termed justification, and the latter sanctification. Herein lies truth, but derailed to the track of error, becomes falsehood. To separate the two tracks, and reestablish truth on the track of truth, we need to take another look at the "man" of Romans 7.

There is no question but that the message of Romans 7 lies in the heart of the chapters in the book of Romans which present sanctification. It follows immediately the illustration of the marriage wherein the conclusion is drawn "that we should bring forth fruit unto God," because of our new relationship to Jesus Christ. (Rom. 7:4) Desmond Ford is correct in calling attention to the change in tense of the verbs from Romans 7:9 to Romans 7:14. The "I" was alive without the law once; but that same "I" recognizes that he still is [am] carnal, sold under sin. Ford is also correct in pointing out that the "man" of Romans 7 has his will directed always to the good. (Rom. 7:19) (Ford, Taped Message, LLU Week of Prayer, April 21, 1978) This "man" of Romans 7 "delights in the law of God." (Rom. 7:22) The Psalmist declares - "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord ... The ungodly are not so." (Ps. 1:1-2, 4) It is most difficult to draw any other conclusion but that the "man" of Romans 7 is the Christian in his struggles - the defeats and victories of sanctification. Well has the servant of the Lord written:

At every advance step in our Christian experience [sanctification], our repentance will deepen. We shall know that our sufficiency is in Christ alone, and we shall make the apostle's confession our own: "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing." [Rom. 7:181 (Acts of the Apostles., p. 561)

p 8 -- We are surely aware of the statement which reads:     The religious services, the prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin ascend from true believers as incense to the heavenly sanctuary, but passing through the corrupt channels of humanity, they are so defiled that unless purified by blood, they can never be of value with God. They ascend not in spotless purity, and unless the Intercessor, who is at God's right hand, presents and purifies all by His righteousness, it is not acceptable to God. All incense from earthly tabernacles must be moist with the cleansing drops of the blood of Christ. He holds before the Father the censer of His own merits, in which there is no taint of earthly corruption. He gathers into this censer the prayers, the praise, and the confessions of His people, and with these He puts His own spotless righteousness. Then, perfumed with the merits of Christ's propitiation, the incense comes up before God wholly and entirely acceptable. Then gracious answers are returned. (Ms. 50, 1900 See Selected Messages, bk i, P. 344)

What then is the answer, and wherein is truth? Take your Bibles, and check carefully two things. How often is the word "I" found in Romans 7:9-25, and in the same verses - How often is the "Holy Spirit" to be found? Do the same for Romans 8:1-27. Note the outline which follows:

Romans 7:
"Holy Spirit"   Romans 8: "I"
"Holy Spirit"
9 2 0   1 0 1
10 1 0   2 0 1
14 1 0   4 0 1
15 6 0   5 0 2
16 3 0   9 0 3
17 1 0   10 0 1
18 2 0   11 0 2
19 4 0   13 0 1
20 3 0   14 0 1
21 2 0   15 0 1
22 1 0   16 0 1
23 1 0   18 1* 0
24 1 0   23 0 1
25 2 0   26 0 2
        27 0 1
Total 30 0   Total 1 19

p 9 -- * -- Personal comment and observation by Paul

Herein is the secret of the final victory - not the mighty "I", but the Almighty Holy Spirit. We dare not overlook the fact that the verses in Romans 8:19-27 have eschatological implications - the whole creation waiteth for "the manifestation of the sons of God" - those "sons" who are conformed to the image of the Son! And how are the "infirmities" of the flesh - the fallen nature aided? "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities" (8:26; See also Heb. 4:15)

We must never forget, or overlook the statement which plainly states -      Divine grace is needed at the beginning [justification], divine grace is needed at every step of advance [sanctification], and divine grace alone can complete the work. (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 508)

And what is the completed work?        As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God's grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ. (Testimonies to Ministers., p. 506)

In the light of this, then what is the objective of sanctification? Is it to perfect the cosmetics of the flesh in multiplied adherence to reforms, and outward works of human righteousness and attainments? The answer is clear - yet simple "If we ever attain unto holiness, it will be through the renunciation of self, and the reception of the mind of Christ." (Mount of Blessing, pp. 205-206, 1943 ed.) We conquer through surrender. We win by accepting that which is so alien to human nature the crucifixion of self - the "I" of Romans 7. We read:       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. (Ibid., p. 203)

Only the "mind of Christ" which caused Him to make Himself void (Phil. 2:7), can bring us to the point where we are willing to be crucified with Him, thus permitting the Holy Spirit to have absolute sway in our beings. Thus the incarnation enters into the over-all picture of righteousness by faith; it cannot be divorced from it. And because those who are advocating justification by faith alone - true as this is - do not accept the truth of the Incarnation that Christ took upon Himself our fallen, sinful nature, they cannot perceive the truth of the perfecting

p 10 -- of the saints. And because those who wish to get "works" into the picture, charge justification by faith alone to be "cheap grace", yet give lip service to the historic teaching of the church in regard-to the incarnation, will also come up missing, because "divine grace alone can complete the work." Our only hope is to be found in this call to prayer:       Pray that the mighty energies of the Holy Spirit, with all their quickening, recuperative, and transforming power, may fall like an electric shock on the palsy-stricken soul, causing every nerve to thrill with new life, restoring the whole man from his dead, earthly, sensual state to spiritual soundness. You will thus become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust; and in your souls will be reflected the image of Him by whose stripes you are healed. (5 Testimonies, p. 267)

The Perfecting of the Saints -- In the book of Revelation, the concept of the perfecting of the saints in the final generation of earth's history is clearly taught. The book itself is declared to reveal "things which must" come to pass. (Rev. 1:1) Among those "must" or necessary things is the revelation of a "remnant ... which keep the commandments of God." (Rev. 12:17) Further, in contrast to those who receive the mark of the beast and who worship the image erected to the beast, there will be a people to whom Heaven will point and say - Here are the saints; "here are they which keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." (Rev. 14:12) Nowhere in the book is it suggested that these saints of the final generation are marked by merely "trying" to observe the commandments of God; nor is it suggested that these only "delight in the law of God after the inward man." (Rom. 7:22) No, the "righteousness of the law" is filled full in them - they keep the commandments of God, because "they walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Rom. 8:4) The same faith that will enable these of the final generation to have fulfilled in them the "righteousness of the law" is the faith of Jesus, who declared -      "I can of my own self do nothing." (John 5:30) Lest we conclude that the perfecting of the saints is synonymous with being "at ease in Zion," the faith of Jesus included the use of His senses "to discern both good and evil" (Heb. 5:14), which produced right judgment in all the issues He faced because He did not seek His own will, "but the will of the Father" which sent Him. (John 5:30). This will also be the experience of those who in turn "keep" the faith of Jesus. They will have "this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God" and not of themselves. (II Cor. 4:7) They will have the "mind" of Jesus. (Phil 2:5)

This experience is referred to in the Spirit of Prophecy as "partaking of the divine nature;" "perfecting of the moral image of God in the character;" and "reflecting the image of Jesus fully." In using this last conceptual wording, the servant of the Lord wrote:       Those who receive the sea] of the living God, and are protected in the time of trouble, must reflect the image of Jesus fully. (Early Writings, p. 71)

Now who is Jesus, and when did He become Jesus? The reference does not say - "the

p 11 -- image of Christ, or Michael, or even of God." Now Michael became "Jesus" at the incarnation. (Matt. 1:21) Jesus is the name of the One of the Godhead who became flesh. Here again the doctrine of the Incarnation enters the picture of the "perfecting of the saints." While the moral image of God is revealed in the characters of the saints, they are still in the flesh, even as Jesus was made flesh. But as in Jesus in the flesh - the glory of God, grace and truth, was revealed so that same glory will be revealed in them. Then will the whole creation behold "the manifestation of the sons of God." (Rom. 8:19)

Here we are confronted with a theological choice. If Christ, in becoming man did not partake of our fallen nature, but had a nature in the flesh different from our nature, then to reflect His image "fully" there will have to be the eradication of the fallen nature prior to the close of probation to enable the saints to keep the commandments of God. This was the error of the "holy flesh" men of Indiana; this was the error of the Brinsmead teachings of Decade-I. But now, those who will not accept the historic teaching of the Advent Movement in regard to the Incarnation, to be consistent, must deny the perfecting of the saints, because we can never reflect the image of the Jesus they have created in their doctrine of the Incarnation. Their ladder of salvation does not reach from heaven to earth - it stops short a rung or two!

Interestingly, the men of Indiana who taught the doctrine of "holy flesh" taught the same doctrine of the Incarnation as Ford, Heppenstall, Brinsmead (now), and Paxton, but they took the road of "eradication" while Ford and Heppenstall deny the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish in the flesh that which the Spirit accomplished in the flesh-life of Christ. For in the union of "humanity with divinity: a divine Spirit dwelt in a temple of flesh." (Youths Instructor, Dec. 20, 1900; 4 Bible Commentary, p. 1147) And that flesh which Christ took upon Himself was "fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin." (Ibid.) And so again, what Ford's wife, Gillian, writes remains true - "What you believe about Christ's humanity will have a strong influence on what you believe about Christ's righteousness, and both in turn will influence your view of Christian perfection." (Ford, op. cit. See page 4)

So we can have reported time after time on "The Back Page" of the Adventist Review, that certain leading theologians, and some not so leading theologians of the church have gotten together for a "consultation" on the subject of "Righteousness by Faith" but unless they are willing to come to grips with the doctrine of the Incarnation, they will only be able to agree to disagree. The unity for which Christ prayed should characterize His saints will continue to be elusive. This should tell the rank and file of the laity something. When the hierarchy of the Church continues to permit open heresy to be presented in the pulpits of the Church and to be taught to the students in our colleges and Seminary, the Spirit of God is not leading. It is only human leadership.

The Spirit of God leads only according to the Word of God. That word is clear. It reads:       Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Rom. 16:17)

And we are told why this inspired counsel should be followed - "Know ye not that

p 12 -- a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." (I Cor. 5:6) We are also told that in the "last days" men will come "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." (II Tim. 3:1, 5) The power of the "everlasting gospel" produces saints which "keep the commandments of God." And concerning those who deny the power of the everlasting gospel, the word is clear - "From such turn away."



WHY OUR PROBLEM OVER RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH? -- Our real problem is that we do not wish to see ourselves as we really are. In the morning, we look in the mirror and what we see we do not like. So we comb our hair, brush our teeth, and apply certain exterior cosmetics to appear to be what we wish others to see, and to be acceptable to them in our contacts during the day. In this daily routine, WE have done something to make ourselves acceptable to ourselves and others. This gives us a personal satisfaction and a bolstering of our ego - all attained by our works!

To look at ourselves through the "mirror" of the Word becomes very painful. We do not want to recognize that our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. (Jer. 17:9) We do not want to acknowledge that all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. (Isa. 64:6) We do not want to see that from the sole of the foot to the top of the head, we have but wounds, bruises, and putrefying sores. (Isa. 1:6)

If by chance we do look long enough at the "mirror" of the Word to see that this is our real spiritual condition, too often we attempt a cosmetic approach through meticulous adherence to mere outward reforms - forgetting that even as the leopard cannot change his spots, nor the Blacks their skin pigmentation, so also we can not do good who have become accustomed to do evil. (Jer. 13:23) And to do evil, we cannot escape - for there is in every man's nature "a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist." (Education., p. 29)

But we rationalize - this is true, BUT. Even though this was once my condition, I am no longer in that situation. The mirror is wrong. I have made a profession of Christianity. I have been baptized. I have been converted. Why then are we told - "The church needs to be converted,. . ." (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 64) - if we are really already converted? Why are we told that when "a soul is truly reconverted, let him be rebaptized." (Letter 63, 1903; Evangelism, p. 375) Would this be too humiliating to our proud hearts - to thus confess publicly that all these pretentious years could be summed up in the confession - "The good that I would have liked to have done, I did not, but the evil which I didn't want to do, that I did." (See Rom. 7:19) There is only one answer, and only one position to take, and that is the place and the prayer of the publican - "God be merciful to me a sinner." (Luke 18:13-14)

p 13 -- SIGNS OF THE TRENDS -- "We Be Brethren" - The Sabbath Sentinel, official monthly publication of the Bible Sabbath Association, in its January, 1978, issue carried across its center spread the caption - "BSA OFFICIALS VISIT LORD'S DAY ALLIANCE HEADQUARTERS IN ATLANTA." A picture at the bottom of the spread shows Dr. James P. Wesberry, executive director of the Lord's Day Alliance, with his arms over the shoulders of Bishop Terril D. Littrell, President of the BSA, and Eugene Lincoln, Editor of The Sabbath Sentinel. (Lincoln is a Seventh-day Adventist associated with the Southern Publishing Association at Nashville, TN.) The opening paragraph of the article reads:      Bible Sabbath Association President Terril D. Littrell and The Sabbath Sentinel editor visited Dr. James P. Wesberry, executive director of the Lord's Day Alliance at the LDA headquarters in Atlanta, GA., on November 28. The meeting was the culmination of correspondence between the Sentinel editor and the LDA officials which began about five years ago. (pp. 12-13)

Is this not reminiscent of correspondence between Unruh and Barnhouse which preceded the fatal dialogues which led to the publication of the book - Questions on Doctrine? And what has resulted from Editor Lincoln's letters to the officials of the Lord's Day Alliance?

The March, 1978, issue of The Sabbath Sentinel was devoted for the most part to a report of the Lord's Day Alliance Convention in Atlanta, GA, February 15-16, 1978. It was attended by Editor Lincoln, and President Littrell of the Bible Sabbath Association. The opening session began at St. Jude's Roman Catholic Church in Atlanta. The delegates were welcomed by Monsignor R. Donald Kiernan, pastor of the church. A Catholic priest, Richard Lopez, lectured on the Roman Catholic position on the Sabbath. The evening session was closed by "a prayer for ecumenical unity" by the President of the Lord's Day Alliance, Dr. Charles A. Platt. To this convention, Archbishop Thomas A. Donnellan brought "fraternal greetings from Rome." And the president of the Bible Sabbath Association, Bishop Terril D. Littrell gave the "Keynote Address."

Reciprocating this fraternization, the Magazine of the Lord's Day Alliance, Sunday, carried in its January/March, 1978, issue a report of the visit of the BSA officials to its Atlanta headquarters with the same picture carried by The Sabbath Sentinel. Further, an article by Editor Lincoln was also run. AND the title was "We Be Brethren." Enough written? Let those who have been supporting the BSA take second thoughts!

Private Property -- The late Pope John Paul I in the weekly general audience of September 27, reminded Catholics of their obligations to the poor and recalled the limits his predecessor, Paul VI, insisted should be placed on private property when poverty is prevalent. To the need of poverty, one must respond "with justice" stated the pope because "as Pope Paul said (in his encyclical On the Development of Peoples): 'Private property does not constitute for

p 14 -- anyone an absolute and unconditional right. No one is justified in keeping for his exclusive use what he does not need, when others lack necessities.'" (RNS, September 27, 1978, p. 7) Guess whose private property will go first when the Catholic hierarchy convinces the governments of earth of the need to enforce the Encyclical of Pope Paul VI? --- (1978 Nov) --- END --- TOP

1978 Dec -- THE BATTLE OF THE GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY -- Part 3 -- The Sixth Plague is the pouring out of the vial of God's wrath upon "the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared." (Rev. 16:12) The cause of this plague is that the "spirits of devils" symbolized by frogs had gathered the leadership of the nations of earth to "a place called in the Hebrew tongue - Armageddon." (Rev. 16:13-14, 16) To understand the significance of what this gathering together means, we must first determine the place to which they are gathered by correctly identifying the word - Armageddon in the Hebrew language. Thus we must work back from the English, through the Greek to the Hebrew. The English word Armageddon in the KJV - is merely a transliteration from the Greek. In the ARV, this transliteration is more accurately reflected - Har-Magedon. The Greek is - 'Armagedwn.

The first part of the word - 'Ar - is easily identified. Har is a transliteration of the Hebrew -(Hebrew written) and means "mountain." The second part of the word Magedon - has been popularly identified with Megiddo. But the Bible refers to Megiddo as a "valley" and not a mountain. (Zech. 12:11) And a valley is not a mountain by any stretch of language or imagination. Thus we must turn to a deeper study of the language to determine what mountain is referred to in Rev. 16:16.

In the Hebrew language there are twenty two letters. These are all consonants and are written from right to left. To supply the lack of vowels, since the alphabet contained no vowels, a system of vowel-signs was introduced. However, before the introduction of vowel-signs, certain feeble consonants - Aleph, He, Waw, and Yod - were used to indicate the vowel sounds, and hence were called vowel letters. Therefore, in seeking a word in the Hebrew to equal - Magedon - we must consider only the consonants in the word - Mu (m), Gamma (g), and Delta (d). (The final "n" or Nu (n) is merely a paragogic letter, not unknown in English in such words as "solemn" and "condemn.")

The word in the Old Testament which most clearly meets the requirements of the Greek transliteration - Magedon - is the Hebrew word, Mo'ed (Hebrew written). On the surface there is one problem - the middle consonant, Ayin (Hebrew written). This does not appear to answer to the Greek gamma (g). However, Gesenius states:    "While the Hebrew was a living language, this letter [Ayin], which is peculiar to the Semetic tongues, and extremely difficult for our organs to pronounce, seems to have had ... a two fold pronounciation" - a soft and a hard sound. "The harder Ayin, which the Arabs call Ghain, was a harsh sound uttered from the bottom of the throat, accompanied by a certain whirring or whizzing, so as to resemble the letter r when uttered abruptly with a strong rolling. This the Seventy

p 2 -- have usually represented by the letter g [gamma]" in the Greek translation of the Old Testament. (Gesenius, Hebrew & English Lexicon of the Old Testament, p. 737) This can be illustrated by the familiar name - Gomorrah. In the Hebrew it is - (Hebrew written). In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is Gomorra. [G is the capital of g (gamma)] Thus the first letter of Gomorrah in the Hebrew (Hebrew written) is transliterated by the gamma (g) in the Greek. So the Hebrew word - Mo'Ed - would be transliterated into the Greek as Maged(on). The following diagram illustrates the above:

The English -
The Greek -
The Hebrew -
Illustration using "Gomorrah"
The Waw in the Hebrew word is a vowel letter.

The Hebrew word, Mo'id (symbol written), which transliterates into the Greek - Magedon - is used nearly two hundred times in the Old Testament and means - "Congregation." In Isaiah 14:13 it is associated with "Mountain" - "the mount of the congregation." Here God reveals through Isaiah the heart and intention of Lucifer - He would seek to "sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north." This refers to "Mt. Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King." (Ps. 48:2) In the book of Revelation it is revealed that the "spirits of the devils" will gather the kings of the earth to the mount of the congregation (HarMagedon) the battle for of the great day of God Almighty. What is to be understood by the symbolism of "frogs" in representing the "spirits of devils"? This we will discuss in the next thought paper.

Two great opposing powers are revealed in the last great battle. On one side stands the Creator of heaven and earth. All on His side bear His signet. They are obedient to His commands. On the other side stands the prince of darkness, with those who have chosen apostacy and rebellion. (Review, May 7, 1901)

p 3 -- Letter from "Watchman What of the Night" to Elder Pierson --

October 26, 1978

Elder R. H. Pierson, President General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists
Takoma Park, Washington D C 20012

Dear Elder Pierson;

All is not well within the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and thus when there is a sudden change in leadership, whether for health reasons or not, questions arise. One Review (October 19, 1978) reports your trip to the U.S.S.R, and the next Review (October 26, 1978) announces your resignation.

In my twenty-five years of ministerial service in the Church, I observed two things. When a Union Conference hierarchy wished to control the succession in a local conference where the constituency of the conference could not be taken for granted, the change was made between sessions by the Conference Committee so that when the time for the regular session came around a new face was in the presidency. I have also observed - it was in the Indiana Conference - where I served for seven years, and sat on Nominating committees, that a Union President working through the local ministers had plans all laid to unseat the president upon his return from an extended trip out of the conference. These experiences observed first hand, and knowing that all is not well within the hierarchy of the Church causes me to write direct to you asking that the leadership come clean with the laity, and stop playing games which are only deceptive devices to try and keep everything status quo.

The very nature of the article which you wrote concerning your trip to Russia only complicates the picture. You indicated that "the fortunes of the church ebbed and flowed through the decades that followed" its establishment in southern Russia. "For some years the church was banned under the Czarist regime, with the organization dissolved and our churches closed. . . In more recent years many of our churches have been opened, and Seventh-day Adventists have been permitted to worship in their sanctuaries on Sabbath and on other appointed midweek days." (Adventist Review, Oct. 19, 1978, p. 4) Surely you know that the Czarist regime ended in 1917. What about the half century till "recent years"? Did not the Communistic government of Russia ban our churches also? What about the underground church in Russia? What was your objective in covering the communistic atrocities? Were you playing "public relations" with the Russians, or seeking to deceive our people? This kind of a "cover-up" makes one wonder if something else is not also a cover-up- Do you fear an enlightened laity?

p 4 -- Pierson - 2

Then in the October 26, 1978, Adventist Review, there appeared on pages 10 and 11, your appeal presented to the Autumn Council. You took your thoughts from what an Elder and Mrs. Ralph Neall had written describing how a small group of believers evolve from a "sect" into a "church." After outlining the process through four generations - descriptive in every way of our history from 1844 to 1978 - you state:

Brethren and sisters, this must never happen to the Seventh-day Adventist Church! This will not happen to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Elder Pierson, it has happened! Only one made totally blind by the disease of Laodiceanism cannot see that it has happened. And the sad truth, which I am sure that you wish to avoid, is that during your years as chief administrator of the church, you have contributed to this picture as outlined by the Nealls.

And it is not that you have not been warned. You placed your imprimatur on the book written by the late Dr. Froom - Movement of Destiny. This book contained deadly heresies contrary to the historic teachings of the Church, besides misrepresentation of the position of Elder E. J. Waggoner, one of the Lord's messengers in 1888. I wrote to you concerning this, and I am sure that others called these things to your attention. What did you do about it? Did you confess to the church that you placed your approbation on apostasy, and have the book withdrawn?

Last year, Dr. B. Beach as an official representative of the Church had a special audience with the late Pope, Paul VI, and presented to him a gold medallion as a symbol of the Church. Did any of the laity read where your voice and pen was raised against this betrayal of sacred trust? You surely are aware that the servant of the Lord wrote:      It is the rejection of Bible truth which makes men approach to infidelity. It is a backsliding church that lessens the distance between itself and the Papacy. (Signs of the Times, Feb. 19, 1894)

Yet you say, this must never happen to the Adventist Church - my brother, it has happened, and during your administration!

Further in your appeal, you counsel the Council in warning that the "omega" is coming. You quote as to what would have happened if the "alpha" had been successful. But the "omega" is here. It has come to full bloom under your administration. Our religion has been changed. A new organization has been established as per briefs smutted in the California litigation involving the Pacific Press. Books of a new order have been written. A system of intellectual philosophy has been introduced. The Sabbath is being mitigated as evidenced in the writings of Bacchiocchi of Andrews University. In other words - the "omega" is here! Isn't it time to come clean with our laity and stop the cover-up?

Yours for Truth, (Signed WWN)

p 5 -- A CONUNDRUM -- In the August, 1978, issue of The Sabbath Sentinel, Mr. Eugene Lincoln, the editor, writes:       Few Christians take note of the seventh day of each week as being unusual and important. It is not unique at first glance - simply a 24-hour day. But it is important because our Creator called it "my holy day" and He put a bit of His holiness in it. It is the One whom we should honor that makes it important.

This is well stated. But the lead article follows, entitled, "Sunday: Holy Day or Holiday!" It is written by none other than Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, Associate Professor of Church History and Theology at Andrews University. Observe very closely what he has written. [So far such an open supplanting of the Sabbath of the Lord, and the advocacy of the observance of Sunday, has not as yet appeared in official Seventh-day Adventist publications to the knowledge of this writer.] It reads:       The growing availability of leisure time made possible by the technological achievements of our age has altered not only the cycle of six days of work and one of rest but also traditional religious values such as the sanctification of the Lord's Day. For many Christians God's holy day has become a holiday, a day to seek for personal pleasure rather than for divine presence. This trend has been apparently strengthened by the reduction of the Sabbath day of rest to the hour of worship. Even the latter, in some churches, has been anticipated to Saturday night, in order to accommodate those who intend to spend their Sunday time in uninterrupted recreational or business activities.

This prevailing trend raises crucial questions: Should Sunday be viewed as the holy day of rest to the Lord or rather as an hour of worship, after which Christians can freely engage in any type of activity? Is the Biblical notion of the 24-hour Sabbath-day dedicated to the service of God and of humanity a relic of a superseded religious superstition, no longer relevant to modern Christians? It is hard to believe that in our materialistic age, when the tyranny of things enslaves our lives, we no longer need a divine institution whose very function is to free us from the world of matter in order to enable us to freely enter into the peace of God for which we were made. The greatest need of our tension-filled and anguished-compressed lives could well be for that Sabbath rest and peace which can restore and renew us physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Essentially the Christian life finds its fulfillment in a growing relationship with God. That this relationship is enriched especially through the experience of worship and service provided by the Sabbath day is a self-evident truth. This means then that a proper observance of the Lord's day reflects a healthy relationship with God, while a disregard for it bespeaks spiritual decline or even death. If the holy day of rest and worship does play such a vital role in the life of Christians,

p 6 -- then its widespread non-observance must be regarded as a most crucial problem confronting Christianity today. (Italics his; underscoring mine) From this point Bacchiocchi asks - "What can be done to help us solve this problem?" He cites the history of legislation to force proper Sunday observance, and rejects this approach. He suggests by way of question - "Might not more hopeful results be expected from educating our Christian communities to understand the profound meaning and religious experience of Sabbath keeping?" But then he writes this - "presupposes, however, the existence of Biblical and historical theological motivations which provide an adequate rationale to justify Sunday rest and worship." This he denies, and quotes numerous historical references. Then he asks and answers: Is there a way out of this predicament? Our proposal - which may appear radical to some - is to revitalize both the worship and rest content of the Lord's day, by educating our Christian communities to understand and experience the Biblical meaning and obligation of the seventh-day Sabbath . . . . [This is just plain double-talk.]

Our proposal is not to reproduce sic and simpliciter the rabbinical model of Sabbath keeping which the Lord Himself rejected, but rather to rediscover and restore those permanent values so well expressed by Christ's Sabbath teaching and ministry.

Then Bacchiocchi concludes:       In our cosmic age the Sabbath could well be the fitting expression of a cosmic faith, a faith which embraces and unites creation, redemption, and final restoration; the past, the present, and the future; man, nature and God; this world and the world to come; a faith that recognizes God's dominion over the whole creation and over human life by consecrating to Him a portion of time; a faith that fulfills the believer's true destiny in time and eternity; a faith that would treat the Lord's Day as God's holy day rather than as a holiday. (Italics his; underscoring mine)

There is only one society that teaches that the end justifies the means!

"After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation, and minds will be confused by many voices crying, 'Lo, here is Christ; lo He is there. This is the truth, I have a message from God, He has sent me with great light' Then there will be a re moving of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith. A more decided effort will be made to exalt the false sabbath, and to cast contempt upon God Himself by supplanting the day He has blessed and sanctified. This false sabbath is to be enforced by an oppressive law." Review & Herald, Dec. 13, 1892

p 7 -- INTRIGUE ON THE TIBER? -- "Pope John Paul I died at approximately 11:00 p.m., Thursday, September 28 of an heart attack, the Vatican Press Office announced early Friday morning. His reign lasted thirty-three days, the shortest since Leo XI's 26-day reign in 1605." (RNS, Sec. 1, Sept. 29, 1978) The circumstances surrounding the Pope's death caused The Courier Journal, news weekly of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, N. Y., to publish an editorial critical of the Vatican's failure to order an autopsy. This editorial stated:       Common sense would have dictated such in the light of the stunning aspect of John Paul's death. It would have satisfied a natural curiosity but more importantly would have headed off the even more ugly rumors of possible foul play that have arisen in some circles. (RNS, Oct. 13, 1978, p. 14)

While the editorial placed the blame for the "ugly rumors" on "those who take some kind of odd satisfaction in manufacturing the most scurrilous rumors about the Church and her leaders," calling them "gossip mongers," it did not tell the readers that leading Catholics in Italy and Spain were the sources of the charge of "foul play" in the Pope's death.

Blas Pinar, president of Fuerza Neuva, a staunchly anti-Communist, proFranco Roman Catholic organization in Spain also called for an autopsy "as a way of quieting the growing controversy surrounding the different versions of the Pope's death." ( Spotlight, Oct. 23, 1978, p. 4) Franco Antico, the secretary general of Civilta Christiana, an Italian conservative group, is reported to have considered bringing charges of murder against the Curia, claiming - "We have concrete evidence to back our demands." (Ibid., p. 5) [But neither this suggestion of Pinar or action contemplated by Antico will occur. Pope Paul VI in 1975 decreed that no autopsies could be performed on church dignitaries of the Vatican, and Vatican City itself is an independent state controlled by the Curia.]

There are "different versions" concerning the death of Pope John Paul I which have given rise to the rumors of foul play and intrigue on the Tiber. In its first report, Religious News Service (RNS) stated: (Sept. 29)      The Pope's body was discovered by Father P. John Magee, who entered the papal bedroom at 5:30 Friday morning to find out why Pope John Paul was late for the usual morning service in one of the Vatican chapels. The light in the bedroom was still on and the body of the Pope lay in bed looking, a Vatican press release said, "like a person intent upon reading." In his hand was the 15th century spiritual classic of St. Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ.

Then on October 2, this same source quoting Vatican Radio filed the following news release:       "After due investigation," Vatican Radio said, "we are in a position to specify that the Pope when he was found dead on the morning of Sept. 29, was holding in his hands some sheets of paper containing

p 8 -- his personal writings," not a copy of the 15th Century spiritual classic of St. Thomas a Kempis.

Following this release, RNS (October 9) quoted ANSA - the Italian News agency which had questioned the official Vatican version that the Pope's body had been found by his secretary, "Irish born Father John Magee." ANSA declared that Sister Vincenza, a nun of Child Mary Institute and an old associate of the pope's since his days as Patriarch of Venice, and who was now one of the papal household nuns, discovered the body. This was based on information "confirmed" in part by the Pope's brother, Eduardo Luciani.

Time (September 11, 1978) featured an article in its "Religion" section, telling "How Pope John Paul I Won." It revealed that on the third ballot, the name of Luciani, Patriarch of Venice, "burst to the fore, falling just short of a majority." Then the article in Time related:       The main resistance came from a bloc of ultraconservatives who favored Siri, a fact that encouraged fence sitters to swing to Luciani. So the fourth and final vote was fast - and was speeded further by the Cardinals' decision to dispense with the ritual declarations that were required during the earlier sessions as each man deposited his ballot in the chalice. As the count went on, no other name but Luciani's was read out. There were a number of blank ballots cast by Curialist and conservative bitter-enders.

Herein is the basis for the suspected "foul play" on the Tiber, and the charge that the Curia was involved. Pope John Paul I, prior to his election, had stood virtually alone among the Roman Catholic hierarchs of Italy in his refusal to reach an accommodation with the Communists which during the reigns of John XXIII and Paul VI had become known as "Ostpolitik." "As a matter of fact, while an archbishop, John Paul I had disbanded a Catholic university group which began espousing the Marxist line." (Spotlight, Oct. 30, 1978, p. 3) Time observes further, Luciani "had never drafted documents from the dry heart of the Vatican" neither had he "served in the Papal diplomatic service."

The reaction of the Communist leaders of Eastern Europe to the election of John Paul II in contrast to their reaction to the election of John Paul I should tell us something. RNS in its "Week in Religion" for November 3, 1978, makes the following interesting summary:      The ascendancy of a Polish prelate - the first in history - to the papacy had an immediate impact on Poland's Communist regime. The top leadership joined rejoicing Polish Catholics in hailing the choice of "a son of the Polish nation" as the new Pope and said it looked forward to improvement of relations with the Vatican. ...

The Soviet Union, the power behind Poland, took special notice of the new Pope, in contrast to the way it handled the news of the election of his predecessor, Pope John Paul I. Soviet television gave full coverage to the newly-elected Polish Pope's first public appearance. ... When John Paul II's predecessor, John Paul I, was elected, Soviet television confined

p 9 -- itself to a terse announcement. Several newspapers in the Soviet Union also published stories about the selection of John Paul II, again, in contrast to the way they handled the election of John Paul I, either ignoring it or simply mentioning the bare fact.

Significantly, Soviet Communist Party Chief, Leonid I. Brezhnev, who took no official notice of the election of John Paul I, sent a congratulatory message to John Paul II, expressing wishes "for fruitful activity in the interest of the relaxation of international tensions and of friendship and peace among peoples."

In the next thought paper, we shall discuss John Paul II and "Ostpolitik."

SANDOR PALOTAY UPDATE - A RUN AROUND -- In the October issue of "Watchman, What of the Night?' we published a letter from Elder Eugene F. Durand, assistant to the Editor of the Adventist Review, regarding Sandor Palotay, president of the Council of the Free Churches of Hungary. In the letter we were told that Palotay was no longer a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, though at one time he had been a Literature Evangelist. In our reply to Elder Durand, we asked - "What do the records state was the cause for his dismissal from the work and the Church?" In a letter dated, September 21, 1978, he replied - "As to the cause of his dismissal, I would suggest you write to Elder Alf Lohne of the General Conference. We do not have this information, but he might. I would suggest that you also write to him regarding our relationship to the Council of Free Churches and Sandor Palotay."

This we did quoting the above from Elder Durand. On October 31, Elder Lohne replied to our letter as follows:      The information I have on Sandor Palotay is just about the same as you have already received from Elder Durand.

The Euro-Africa Division, in whose territory the Hungarian Union is located, would be the best source of information regarding our church's relationship to the Council of Free Churches in Hungary.

Is the General Conference unaware of what the Church is doing in Hungary? Does the editorship of the Adventist Review, who still consider the paper as the official organ of the Church, lack the knowledge of what is taking place in the worldwide Church? Perhaps, the answer can be found in part in what Elder Durand stated in his letter of September 21 - "You ask why the Review did not explain the false information carried by the Voice of Prophecy News and the Southern Tidings. It is simply because it is not our job to police other publications. We have our hands full trying to keep the Review accurate." And we must sympathize with the editors in this when every wind of doctrine is blowing through the Church at the present time.

But we still must wonder - what is being covered up, and what does the leadership of the Church not want the laity to know?

p 10 -- SIGNS OF THE TRENDS -- POLISH CATHOLICS GREET BILLY GRAHAM WARSAW (CP) - American evangelist Billy Graham was welcomed yesterday by the Polish Catholic Church, which is opening its doors for the first time to his crusade for Christ. "We are happy that you will preach in several cities in Catholic churches, where the overwhelming majority of listeners will be Catholics," Bishop Wladyslaw Miziolek told Graham at Okecie Airport. Miziloek is chairman of the committee on ecumenism of the Polish Catholic Church. Toronto Star, October 7, 1978

MASONIC LODGES GIVE TO CATHOLIC NUNS -- DUNEDIN, N. Z. (RNS) Masonic Lodges in Otago Province have given $5,000 to aid the Roman Catholic Order of the Little Sisters of the Poor in its campaign to build a hospital and a new home for the nuns. It was not the first donation to a Roman Catholic cause by the lodges here. They have previously given a television set to the sisters' home, made a grant to Catholic Social Services, and helped Roman Catholic children through a school bursary system set up in 1922 to assist the families of World War I soldiers. Religious News Service, Oct. 13, 1978

ANGLICAN, EASTERN ORTHODOX, AND PROTESTANT LEADERS RECEIVED BY JOHN PAUL II VATICAN CITY (RNS) -- Pope John Paul 11 ended a meeting here with over 40 Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant church leaders by asking them all to clasp hands in two circles of silent prayer. "This should symbolize the unity we seek," the newly invested Polish Pope told the group.

At this meeting following his investiture, the Pope told the Church leaders to convey to all those they represent "that the Catholic Church's commitment to the ecumenical movement as solemnly expressed by the Second Vatican Council is irreversible.... Your presence here demonstrates in effect our common determination to establish ever closer links among us and to overcome the divisions inherited from the past -- divisions which are, as we have already said, an intolerable scandal and an obstacle to the proclamation of the Good News of the salvation given in Jesus Christ.

The Pope prayed that the "Spirit of Love and of Truth may give us the gift of finding ourselves often and ever closer to one another in profound communion in the mystery of Christ our one Saviour, our one Lord. May the Virgin Mary be for us an example of this submission to the Holy Spirit, who is the most profound Mover of the ecumenical attitude. May our answer be like hers, 'I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to me."' Religious News Service, Oct. 23, 1978

p 11 -- NOVEMBER DEVOTION SCHEDULE OF ADVENTIST HOSPITAL -- BRUNSWICK, ME (ALFNS) Parkview Memorial Hospital is owned & operated by the Northern New England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Morning Devotions schedule follows:

Ten O'Clock

Wednesday I     Pastor Earl, French, Assembly of God, Brunswick
Thursday     2    Chaplain Odell, Parkview Hospital
Friday         3     Pastor Peter Inchcombe, Glorious Gospel Church, Topsham
Sabbath      4     -
Sunday       5     Rev. Nellie Lane, retired Baptist minister
Monday       6    Chaplain Odell
Tuesday      7    Chaplain Odell
Wednesday 8    Associate Pastor Paul Guertin, St. John's Roman Catholic Church
Thursday     9    Pastor Joe Beardsley, United Baptist Church, Topsham
Friday         10   Pastor Paul Scherzer, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Brunswick
Sabbath      11   -
Sunday       12   Omitted
Monday       13   Chaplain William Hunter, U. S. Navy, retired
Tuesday      14   Chaplain Odell
Wednesday 15   Pastor James Knox, St. Charles Roman Catholic Church, Brunswick
Thursday     16   Chaplain Odell
Friday         17   Pastor Paul Scherzer, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Brunswick
Sabbath      18   -
Sunday       19   To Be Announced
Monday       20   Pastor Ehrmann Bennett, Baptist Church, Freeport
Tuesday      21   Pastor Donald Nickerson, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Brunswick
Wednesday 22   Pastor Gerard Demers, St. John's Roman Catholic Church, Brunswick
Thursday     23   Omitted - Thanksgiving Holiday
Friday         24   Pastor Philip Palmer, United Methodist Church, Brunswick
Sabbath      25   -
Sunday       26   To Be Announced
Monday       27   Pastor Paul Mitche1l, Second Baptist Church, Bowdoinham
Tuesday      28   Chaplain Odel1
Wednesday 29   Chaplain William B. O'Connor, Brunowick Naval Air station
Thursday     30   Chaplain Odell

p 12 -- ADVENTIST INVOLVEMENT IN GRAHAM'S CRUSADE IN POLAND -- Christianity Today (Nov. 3, 1978, "News" section) told of tensions between the Catholics and Protestants over the Billy Graham meetings in Poland. "A historic attitude of distrust between the two groups" was noted. But as the meetings progressed, Protestant leaders seemed to change their minds. Protestants had interpreted Catholic involvement as "an intrusion and an attempt to dominate." "The Catholic attitude in the past has been 'unfriendly' according to Seventh-day Adventist president Stanislaw Dambrowski, but he said the situation looks better in the light of the Graham visit." The Seventh-day Adventist church has an "observer status" in the Polish Ecumenical Council, one of the sponsors of the Graham Crusade. The article in Christianity Today reported that the church "supported the Graham campaign."

According to Edward Plowman, author of the Christianity Today report, the high point for the evangelistic tour was reached in a meeting held in the modern Catholic Cathedral in Katowice. Before a near capacity crowd, Diocesan bishop Herbert Betnorz welcomed Graham, and called the rally "the greatest ecumenical gathering ever held in the region." Commenting on the meeting itself, Jozef Danch who heads student work in the diocese stated that "what happened at the cathedral tonight was of the Holy Spirit."

Was this "Spirit" truly the Holy Spirit, or was it of the spirits mentioned in Revelation 16:14? The editorial staff of the Adventist Review owes the laity of the church a full disclosure and an unadulterated report of the church's participation in the Billy Graham Crusade in Poland. What contacts and involvements took place between the Adventist leadership in Poland and the Catholics so that the President of the Polish Adventist church could be quoted in Christianity Today as an authority on the improved Catholic-Protestant relationships?


"Dear Brother "A"

"It is Elder Pierson's wish that I reply for him to your letter of June 20. We are always pleased to do our best to answer questions that come to us from different parts of the field.

"First, you inquire concerning a visit by Dr. Beach to Pope Paul. This was not an official visit by the church. The church did not ask him to make this visit, . . .

"Very cordially yours,
F. C. Webster
Assistant to the President

p 13 -- Letter to WWN:

"Now to the questions of your letter of January 18.

1. The Northern Europe-West Africa Division Committee authorized Brother Beach's trip to Rome and it was understood that the visit to the Pope with representatives of the World Confessional Families was a probability....

"Sincerely your brother,
(Signed) W. Duncan Eva
Vice President

Comment:    Perhaps, Elder Webster is correct in the light of Elder Pierson's sworn affidavit in EEOC vs PPPA case before the United States District Court of Northern California. Elder Pierson swore - "I am Robert H. Pierson, an ordained minister of the gospel, and president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which is the Seventh-day Adventist Church, ..." Perhaps the Northern Europe-West Africa Division Committee was acting unilaterally, and not for the Church. Perhaps! --- (1978 Dec) --- END --- TOP

1978 May -- Special Report -- Audience with Pope Paul VI -- RE: - Audience with Pope Paul VI by Official Representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church -- Introduction -- On May 18, 1977, Dr. B. B. Beach, Secretary of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, along with other representatives of the religious bodies which form the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional Families [Churches] had an audience with Pope Paul VI. The Pope welcomed these men as "representatives of a considerable portion of Christian people" and he sent the greetings of the Papacy through them "to your confessional families." (Religious News Service, May 19, 1977. See p. 8 of this Special Report) Elder W. Duncan Eva, a vice president of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, reported that on this occasion, Dr. Beach presented the Pope a medallion which "was a gold-covered symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (Review, Aug. 11, 1977, p. 23) Concerning this meeting, Religious News Service (RNS) stated that Dr. Beach "noted that the audience with the Pope marked the first time in history that the Seventh-day Adventist Church, through an official representative, had met with a Roman Pontiff." The leadership of the Church is seeking to play down this event. The Editor of the Adventist Review, Kenneth H. Wood, in a letter dated Feb. 22, 1978, wrote to a layperson stating - "I am personally very well acquainted with Dr. Bert Beach and have discussed with him this visit. Even though the visit may look sinister ... the visit was entirely innocent and meaningless so far as any relationship goes between SDA's and the Catholics." In this Special Report, we shall present documented facts - primary, not secondary - concerning the background of this audience between Pope Paul VI and Dr. B. B. Beach - then leave with you, the reader to draw your own conclusion. These documents will consist of official publications of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Catholic newspapers, Letters addressed to me personally, and Letters and Statements from the files in the General Conference offices.

"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." - II Timothy 2:2

This admonition of Paul to Timothy - "commit thou to faithful men" - is basic if the message given to any people or movement is to remain pure and viable. To this Church was committed the trust of the Three Angel's Messages of Revelation 14: 6-12. Of this fact it is written:

P 2 -- In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchman and light-bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning message for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import, - the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels' messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.

The most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals have been given us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be our work. The world is to be warned, and God's people are to be true to the trust committed to them. (9 Testimonies, p.19)

The Second Angel's Message declares -      "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." (Rev. 14:8) How was this understood by the spiritual fathers of this Church to whom the giving of this message was committed? We read:      This message was understood by Adventists to be an announcement of the moral fall of the churches in consequence of their rejection of the first message...

The term Babylon, derived from Babel, and signifying confusion, is applied in Scripture to the various forms of false or apostate religion. But the message announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to some religious body that was once pure, and has become corrupt. It cannot be the Romish Church which is here meant; for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries. But how appropriate the figure as applied to the Protestant churches, all professing to derive their doctrines from the Bible, yet divided into almost innumerable sects. (Spirit of Prophecy, IV, pp. 232-233)

The Third Angel's Message warns -      "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God." (Rev. 14:9-10a)       How was this understood by our spiritual fathers? We read:      The image is made to the first or leopard-like beast, which is the one brought to view in the third angel's message. By the first beast is represented the Roman Church, an ecclesiastical body clothed with civil power, having authority to punish all dissenters. The image to the beast represents another religious body clothed with similar power. The formation of this image is the work of that beast whose peaceful rise and mild professions render it so striking a symbol of the United States. Here is to be found an image of the papacy. When the churches of our land, uniting upon such points of faith as are held by them in common, shall influence the State to enforce their decrees and sustain their institutions, then will Protestant America have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy. (Spirit of Prophecy, IV, p. 278)

Here in this quotation is a sentence which needs to be pondered long - "When the churches of our land, uniting upon such points of faith as are held by them in common, shall influence the State to enforce their decrees and sustain their

p 3 -- institutions, then will Protestant America have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy." This does not exempt any church - "the churches of our land" - but does picture an ecumenical movement - "uniting upon such points of faith as are held by them in common." Certain direct results are pictured - "shall influence the State to... sustain their institutions" - government aid.

These are the messages and warnings entrusted to the Church. Our spiritual fathers committed this heritage to those whom they thought to be "faithful men." How is this commitment being handled by the church leadership today?

STEPS TO ROME -- In 1973, the World Council of Churches (WCC) published a paperback book entitled - So Much in Common (SMC). This book contained "Documents of Interest in the Conversations Between the World Council of Churches and the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (p. 1) One of these "Documents" outlines the history of the conversations from their inception in 1965 through 1969. It will be seen that the events which transpired during these years finally led to the meeting of the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional Families in Rome, which in turn provided the setting for the audience which Dr. B. B. Beach had with the Pope as an official representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Step One:  Strange as it may seem, these yearly consultations were an indirect byproduct of Vatican II. In fact, while in Rome in connection with the Vatican Council a WCC staff member and an Adventist representative came to the conclusion that an informal meeting of a small group of Seventh-day Adventists with an equal number of representatives from the World Council of Churches would fulfill a useful purpose. (SMC, p. 98)

Step Two:   The first meeting was held in 1965, the participants being selected by the two organizers. Thus, the conversations got under way on a completely informal basis and were held under the sole responsibility of the participants. (Ibid.)

It should be carefully noted that up to this point the conversations between the Seventh-day Adventists and representatives of the WCC were strictly an individual matter, and did not carry any official recognition from the Adventist Church nor the WCC.

Step Three:   Subsequent meetings have become somewhat more formal, in the sense that the employing bodies of the SDA participants have authorized and financed their presence and the executive committees of the three Adventist Divisions involved have given their blessing by facilitating the selection of the SDA representatives; the World Council of Churches has defrayed the expenses of its group. The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has been kept informed regarding the meetings, though it has taken no direct, active part

p 4 -- in the Consultations, except through its three European Divisional branch offices. (Ibid.)

Herein is a very subtle situation which permits the leadership in Washington to say to the laity of the American Church sector who might inquire,that the General Conference is not involved with the WCC. But through their divisions in Europe, direct consultations were being carried forward with the full approval and financial blessings of the respective executive committees who were chaired by a Vice President of the General Conference voted to serve as President in their respective divisions. From fifteen to twenty participants have taken part in the five Consultation meetings from 1965 - 1969. The Adventist members have included "SDA church leaders and educators." (Ibid. p. 99) "The Consultations [were] held on the basis of equal footing, each yearly meeting taking place part of the time at the WCC headquarters in Geneva and the rest of the time at the nearby Seminaire Adventiste at Collonges, just across the border in France." (Ibid.)

Step Four:   A very useful product of the Conversations is the statement regarding the SDA Church which was published in January, 1967, issue of the Ecumenical Review. [A journal of the WCC]

With this began a very interesting series of events. Following the publication of this document prepared by the assistant director of the WCC Secretariat on Faith and Order, R. F. Cottrell, an Associate Editor of the Review - the "Official Organ of the Seventh-day Adventist Church" - reviewed this document and then told why the Church did not officially join the WCC in a series of three editorials (March 23; March 30; & April 6, 1967). But in the concluding editorial, Cottrell invited the Church into the back door of the WCC. Here is what he wrote:       It is with no small measure of regret that SDA's do not find it possible, as an organization, to be more closely associated with others who profess the name of Christ. On the other hand, if the Secretariat on Faith and Order, for instance, were to invite SDA's to appoint someone competent in that area to meet with their group from time to time and represent the SDA point of view, we could accept such an invitation with a clear conscience. (Review, April 6, 1967, p. 13)

This "back door" was quickly opened. Dr. Earle Hilgert, then Professor of New Testament at Andrews University was appointed by the WCC Central Committee to serve as a Seventh-day Adventist on the Faith and Order Commission. His place is now filled by Dr. R. Dederen, also of Andrews University. Herein is a tricky relationship that must be carefully worded to give the whole truth and nothing by the truth. The SDA Church did not appoint the Adventist representative to the Commission, but it did approve the selection by the Central Committee of the WCC. Thus the leadership of the Church can say, we are not members of the Faith and Order Commission.

Step Five:   Since the Conversations got under way, it has become the accepted procedure for the SDA Church to be represented at various WCC meetings, including the Assembly, by observers. These observers have not been present pro

p 5 -- forma, but have taken an active interest in the meetings attended. An additional step was taken when the General Conference, as a world confessional body or church, was represented by an advisor in Canterbury at the 1969 meeting of the WCC Central Committee. (SMC, p. 101)

The hierarchy in Washington can write in the Adventist Review, and in letters to the laity that the Church does not belong to the WCC - and technically this is true - but how can we honestly leave the impression that we are not deeply involved in the work and procedures of the WCC when we attend the General Assemblies not pro forma, but as active participants, and when we have an advisor present at the meeting of the Central Committee of the WCC. And if we send advisors to the Central Committee meetings, what should prevent the WCC from sending advisors to the General Conference Committee meetings? It should be noted further that "As a kind of corollary to the Geneva Consultations, Consultations began in 1969 in the United States between Seventh-day Adventists and a WCC appointed group." (SMC, p. 101) Have the laity been given a report of these meetings in the Review?

These Consultations are filtering down to the national level in Europe. The same document reports:       It is interesting to note that the contacts on the WCC level have, to some extent, filtered down to certain national levels. As examples one can mention the SDA contacts with the British Council of Churches, the Finish Council of Churches and the office of the German Arbeitsgemeinshaft Christlicher Kirchen in Deutschland. (SMC, p. 101)

Step Six:   Since 1968 the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists have been actively represented at the annual meetings of "Secretaries of World Confessional Families." This participation is largely the result of the WCC/SDA Conversations and contacts that were made at the time of the Uppsala Assembly. (SMC, p. 100)

What is this "organization"? What is its relationship to the World Council of Churches? We shall answer the second question first. Robert Welsh of the Commission on Faith and Order of the WCC wrote under date, April 1, 1975 from Geneva, Switzerland - "With regard to Dr. Beach, he is the Secretary of the Annual Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional Families. Faith and Order relates to that conference in a consultative manner." Dr. Beach himself states "The bodies represented there [at the Conference] are between 12 and 15 world organizations such as the Lutheran World Federation, the Baptist World Alliance, the World Methodist Council, the World Reformed Alliance, the Roman Catholic Church, the Salvation Army, and the Anglican Consultative Council." (Letter to Pastor A. G. Brito, dated, Nov. 15, 1977) In another paragraph in the same letter, Beach declares - "I would like to make it clear that this conference is not a part of the World Council of Churches." However, RNS (May 19, 1977) quoted the president of the Conference, Bishop John Howe, as stating - "we have been able to decide how we shall work together more with the World Council of Churches in understanding the ecumenical role that all of us have."

Now to the first question - Beach denies that this conference is an organization

p 6 -- since he states it doesn't have a constitution, nor are dues paid into it. However, he writes:       I have been representing our church at this meeting for 9 years now and our involvement consists simply in attending the meeting and participating in the discussions and exchange of information. For the past few years I have served as Secretary of the Conference (this means that I am responsible for preparing the agenda and handling the minutes or report of the Conference). There is no useful purpose in giving any publicity to this fact, but I do mention it for your information." (Letter to A. G. Brito, op. cit.)

We shall let the reader decide the question as to whether there is an organization - officers, agenda, minutes! But please do not give publicity to this fact, it will serve no useful purpose!

Step Seven:   It was our involvement in the Annual Conference of "Secretaries of the World Confessional Families" that led to the audience with the Pope. The Catholic Church joined this conference the same year as the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and it has been represented at these annual meetings through the Vatican Secretariat for Unity. Beach, himself has written - "Since this year's meeting [1977] was held in Rome, it was felt that it might be appropriate to have a meeting with the Pope, who is the head of Vatican State and the religious leader of well over 500 million people in the world." (Letter to Brito, op. cit.) In a letter dated, March 3, 1978, Elder W. Duncan Eva noted in a very clear manner - "The Northern Europe-West Africa Division Committee authorized Brother Beach's trip to Rome and it understood that the visit to the Pope with representatives of the World Confessional Families was a probability." This "probability" was so sure that the medallion given was "paid for from Departmental expense funds of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division."

Summary:   Thus the beginnings of what appeared to be an "innocent" dialogue between individuals of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and persons connected with the WCC ended up in a formal audience with the Pope by an official representative of the Adventist Church who presented to the Pope as a "symbol" of the Church, "a gold-covered" medallion. (Review, August 11, 1977, p. 23). Well did the servant of the Lord write:      Who can truthfully say, "Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments are unspotted by the world"? I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: "Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character? 'How is the faithful city become an harlot?"' (8 Testimonies, p. 250)

It was by departure from the Lord, and alliance with the heathen, that the Jewish church became a harlot. (GC, P. 382)

p 7 -- Footnote - Every quotation in the preceding topic - Steps to Rome - from the book - So Much in Common - is from a single document entitled - "The World Council of Churches/Seventh-day Adventist Conversations and Their Significance." It was written by none other that Dr. B. B. Beach, himself. The book - So Much in Common carries an "Introductory Statement" signed cojointly by Dr. Beach and Dr. Lukas Vischer of the Faith and Order Secretariat of the World Council of Churches. This book may he obtained by writing either to WCC, 150 route de Ferney, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland, or Room 439, 475 Riverside Dr. New York, NY 10027. (Keep in mind that these addresses were current as of date of publication in 1973.)

On January 18, 1978, 1 wrote to Elder W. Duncan Eva, Vice President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and asked:

1) What committee, or church official authorized the audience with Pope Paul VI, and the presentation of the medallion overlaid with pure gold?

2) It is my understanding that all gold and silver issues of this medallion were serially numbered. What was the serial number given to the Pope?

3) From your article, and the RNS press release, this audience and presentation was made in conjunction with Dr. B. B. Beach's attendance at the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional Families. Who gave the authorization for this trip and paid the costs of travel to attend?

4) While the cost of the medallion was only nominal - $45.00 as stated by Miss Hetzell - from what funds was this taken?

On March 3, 1978, I received the following reply regarding these questions from Elder Eva: He wrote: Now to the questions of your letter of January 18.

1. The Northern Europe-West Africa Division Committee authorized Brother Beach's trip to Rome and it was understood that the visit to the Pope with representatives of the World Confessional Families was a probability.

2. Dr. Beach does not know the serial number of the medallion presented to the Pope and I am not able to ascertain it here.

3. This question is covered in the reply to your question 1.

4. The medallion was paid for from Departmental expense funds of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division.

"The papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy of the latter times... shall this power, whose record for a thousand years is written in the blood of saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the church of Christ?" Great Controversy, p. 571.

p 8 --                                              RELIGIOUS    NEWS    SERVICE

FOREIGN SERVICE                                                - 9 -                              THURSDAY, MAY 19, 1977

Addresses World Confessional Families Group

By Religious News Service (5-19-77)

VATICAN CITY (RNS) -- Pope Paul, receiving participants of the Conference of Secretaries of World Confessional Families, urged unceasing pursuit of the goal of "full unity in Christ and in the Church," despite "all obstacles."

"It is a joy for us to receive such an important group and to welcome you to the See of Peter," said the Pope. "In you we greet representatives of a considerable portion of Christian people and through you we send greetings of grace and peace in the Lord to your confessional families."

The Conference, a grouping of Anglican, Protestant, Orthodox, Old Catholic, and other Christian church bodies, which was formed in 1957, met in Rome (May 16 - 18) for the first time.

The Vatican Secretariat for Christian Unity and the Seventh-day Adventists became regular participants in the Conference in 1968.

"'We are pleased," Pope Paul told the Conference participants, "to give expression in your presence to our common faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the one mediator with the Father, the Saviour of the world.

"Yes, brothers, with the Apostle Peter we proclaim that there is salvation in, none else, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

The pontiff went on to remark that "on her part," the Catholic Church is solemnly committed by the Second Vatican Council to "an ecumenism based on increased fidelity to Christ the Lord and on conversion of hearts.

"At the same time she realizes that nothing is so foreign to ecumenism as a false conciliatory approach. Strengthened by the power of God's work," he urged, "Let us then, despite all obstacles, pursue the goal of full unity in Christ and in the Church..."

Later, in Vatican Radio interviews, two officers of the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional Families, expressed satisfaction with the Rome meeting. Bishop John Howe, secretary general of the Anglican Consultative Council, who is president of the Conference, said it had been "a satisfactory meeting" because "we had secretaries here from the world organizations of nearly all the Churches, including the (Vatican) Secretariat for Unity." "It was a brotherly discussion," said the Anglican prelate, "and we have been able to decide how we shall work together more with the World Council of Churches in understanding the ecumenical role that all of us have."

p 9 -- Dr. Bert Beach, the Conference secretary, who is secretary of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, noted that history that the audience with Pope Paul marked the first time in history that the Seventh-day Adventist Church, through an official representative, had met with a Roman pontiff. Dr. Beach also said it had been "a pleasure" to be able to attend the Conference meeting in Rome, and that the meeting had provided "a good opportunity" for reflecting on "the work that has been accomplished" by the Conference since its founding.

Picture of Adventist Review August 11, 1977 (847) page 23; The article about the Book, Medallion Presented to Pope is written out below.

Picture of Adventist Review August 11, 1977 (847) page 23; The article about the Book, Medallion Presented to Pope is written out below.

Book, Medallion Presented to Pope ( script from article above) -- In connection with a recent consultative meeting of secretaries of World Confessional Families held in Rome, B. B. Beach, secretary of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division, one of the 15 participants and the only Adventist in the group, presented a book and a medallion to Pope Paul VI on May 18.

The book presented was the Adventist missionary book Faith in Action, and the medallion was a gold-covered symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The medallion is an engraved witness to the Adventist faith in Christ as Creator, Redeemer, and soon-coming Lord, in the cross and Bible, and in the lasting validity of the Ten Commandments. While the other commandments are represented simply as Roman numerals, the words of the fourth - "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy" - are written out.

The Conference of World Confessional Families usually meets once a year. It is not an organization, but an informal, unstructured forum for consultation and the exchange of useful information. W. D. EVA (Review, August 11, 1977)

p 10 -- GLAS KONCILA -- ADVENTISTI PRIVI PUT KOD PAPE -- Translation: ADVENTISTI (Adventist) PRIVI (First) PUT (Time) KOD (By or To) PAPE (Pope)

On Wednesday, the 18th of May, Pope Paul received in Separate audience participants of the Secretarial Conference of the United Church World. The group was accompanied by Bishop John Howe, Chief Secretary of the Anglican Assembly Council and Mr. B. B. Beach, Chief Secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This is the first time a representative of this religion has met with the Pope who was thus presented with a gold medal. Upon their greeting, Paul VI answered:

"I am happy that we may receive such an esteemed group and express welcome from the Throne of Peter. In you, we greet representatives of the greater part of Christian believers and through you send greetings of God's mercy to your religious churches. I am glad that we may express in your presence our common faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only Intercessor with the Father and Redeemer of the World. Yes, brothers, with the apostle Peter we proclaim that there is salvation in nothing else. 'For there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved'(Acts 4:12.) As concerns us, at the 2nd Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has sacredly engaged itself in ecumenicalism, established in and arisen out of faith in Christ our Lord and in the conversion of hearts. (UR 6-7) Strengthened by the power of God's word, let us continue, in defiance of all obstacles, to walk toward our goal of complete unity in Christ and in the Church."

p 11 -- The Secretarial Conference of the United Church World was established 20 years ago by Bishop John Howe, Chief Secretary of the Anglican Assembly. The present Secretary of the Conference and Chief Secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist church, Mr. Beach, submitted to Radio-Vatican an announcement in which he distinctly emphasized the importance of that first meeting of an Adventist with the Pope. He is quoted as saying, "It is a distinct honor to be present as Secretary of the Conference in an audience here in Rome with the Holy Father upon which I presented to the Pope a book describing the work of the Adventist Church throughout the world."

Observations and Comments -- This article taken from the Catholic Biweekly published in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, gives the Catholic version of what took place. The name of the newspaper - Glas (Voice) and Koncila (Council) - can be interpreted as the Voice of the Council. In the upper left corner of the "Slag" which appears on page 1 of the newspaper are the words - Novo Lice Crkve - (only a blur on the copy as printed on page 10). A literal translation reads - "New Face Church" - but in conversational English - "The New Image of the Church." In other words, this newspaper reflects the spirit of Vatican II, and gives from that viewpoint how the Catholic Church viewed the audience with the Pope by the Secretaries of the World Confessional Families, which included Dr. B. B. Beach of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

One notes that the newspaper referred to Dr. Beach as "Chief Secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." This is not strictly correct, but an allowable technical error in the light of how Dr. Beach is presented in the publication of the WCC - So Much in Common. In two different places (pp. 92, 102) the notation appears - "Dr. B. B. Beach, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, is secretary of the Department of Public Affairs, Northern European Division, United Kingdom." This was in 1973, and in the 1976 Yearbook, he is listed as carrying the additional responsibility of Secretary of the Division. From the Catholic viewpoint, there is no question but they considered B. B. Beach as speaking for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in an official capacity. This event was also covered in L'Observatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper. (This is confirmed by a letter dated, October 11, 1977, written by Azenilto G. Brito, San Paulo, Brazil, to the General Conference. We have not been able to secure a copy of this news item appearing in the official Vatican daily. Any help will be appreciated.)

Naturally, the hierarchy in Washington are doing everything in their power to play down this event as something "entirely innocent and meaningless." These are the very words of the Editor of the Adventist Review, Kenneth H. Wood, in a letter previously quoted. He wrote to a layperson - "I am personally very well acquainted with Dr. Bert Beach and have discussed with him this visit [to the Pope]. Even though it may look sinister ... The visit was entirely innocent and meaningless so far as any relationship goes between SDA's and Catholics."

This does not square with the following facts:
1) RNS in its report of the audience with the Pope noted - "The Vatican Secretariat for Christian Unity and the Seventh-day Adventists became regular participants in the Conference [Secretaries of the World Confessional Families] in 1968." (See

p 12 -- p. 8 of this Special Report) Thus the representative of the Adventist Church is in yearly fellowship with the representative from the Vatican Secretariat for Unity. Only heaven, and the parties themselves know what has been discussed between them. Further there must be kept in mind that Pope Paul told the Secretaries of the World Confessional Families (Churches) that despite "all obstacles" these leaders should unceasingly pursue the goal of "full unity in Christ and in the Church." And the Pope meant the Catholic Church! It dare not be overlooked that the Catholic Biweekly - Glas Koncila - quoted Beach as stating over Radio-Vatican that it was a distinct honor to have had "an audience here in Rome with the Holy Father." Beach did not have to refer to the Pope as "the Holy Father."

And there remains the nagging question - How was it that when the Gregorian Pontifical University - the alma mater of popes and cardinals - opened its doors to a first non-Roman Catholic in its 425 year history, that individual was enrolled as a Seventh-day Adventist? And why is it that a Jesuit - with all that that Order has stood for in its history - signed the Preface to the published edition of that individual's dissertation?

2) The former Associate Editor of the Review wrote in an editorial about a conference he attended at Notre Dame University following Vatican II. He stated:      The new ecumenical climate is opening up countless opportunities for dialog with people of other faiths, both for a clearer understanding of their point of view and for sharing our own convictions with them ...

It has been my privilege to participate in several such conferences. One of these was the International Conference on Theological Issues of Vatican II at Notre Dame in March, 1966. There for an entire week the leading theologians of the Catholic Church from North America and Europe, with a liberal sprinkling of Protestant, Orthodox, and Jewish theologians, shared their mutual convictions. My seatmates to the left were Henri de Lubac, leading French theologian, and Archbishop John F. Dearden of Detroit, since then elected president of the National Council of Catholic Bishops. To my right were Father Bernard Cooke of Marquette University, and Yves Congar, another French theologian. (Review, March 23, 1967, pp. 12-13)

3) In the Silver-Tobler legal case involving the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the legal counsel for the Church submitted to the court a Brief which stated:      Although it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint, and the term, "hierarchy" was used in a perjorative sense to refer to the papal form of church governance, that attitude on the Church's part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative protestant denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been assigned to the historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned. (P. 4, footnote #2, Docket Entry #84: EEOC vs PPPA C-74-2025 CBR)

Further in the same brief:       While, however, Adventist doctrine continues to teach that church government by one man is contrary to the Word of God, it is not good Seventh-day Adventism to express... an aversion to Roman Catholicism as such. (p. 30)

Think it through - Can you conceive of the associate editor of the Review sharing his conviction that the Pope was the "man of sin" - the antichrist of prophecy with Archbishop Dearden? Or had he lost this historic Adventist conviction? If he truly held to it, he would not have been there in the first place. There is no record of Christ being present during theological conferences involving the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Herodians. Maybe Cottrell's attendance at the Notre Dame conference was only "entirely innocent and meaningless" as Wood asserts.

p 13 --

Medallion - - -- --- - --FRONT - - -- -- -- -- - -- -- -- -- -- -- --- -- -- -- BACK -- -- -- --

The above is a photocopy of the gold medallion given by Dr. B. B. Beach to Pope Paul VI, along with the Adventist missionary book - Faith in Action. This medallion was designed and sculptured by Ralph J. Menconi of the Presidential Art Medals, Inc., of Vandallia, Ohio. It was issued by this company in 1973.

The suggestion for the Seventh-day Adventists to be included among the "great religions of the world" in the series planned by the Presidential Art Metals, Inc., was made by Miss M. Carol Hetzell of the General Conference Department of Communications. Mr. Menconi "visited our world headquarters here and talked with our committee that had been set up to suggest what the medallion might incorporate (Letter from M. Carol Hetzell, Dec. 29, 1977)

As can be seen from the above pictures, an attempt was made to incorporate certain basic Adventist teachings. The front in depicting the Second Coming of Christ does not portray the usual representation of His coming - when He shall send His angels to gather together the elect to meet the Lord in the air. Rather the angels are pictured in "Catholic" fashion adoring a risen Lord. On the back the IV Commandment is abbreviated, while the other commandments are only numbered. We must keep in mind that the true Adventist emphasis in regard to the Fourth Commandment is "the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." The Catholic Church in its catechisms - while noting it as the Third - admonishes - "Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day." (The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, by Peter Geirermann, p. 49) Thus the testimony on the medallion is somewhat muted.

The medallions of the Great Religions of the World were issued as follows:

Bronze - Unnumbered - Special Patina Finish - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - -- - - - $ 4.50/medal

Silver - Antique Oxidized Finish - 5000 complete sets; 5000 individual medals (Total 10,000 Silver of each religion) - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -$ 20.00/medal

Gold Filled - 1/10 14 kt. G. F. 24 kt. Gold Finish Limited issue - 500 pieces - -$ 40.00/medal

p 14 -- This is quoted from the brochure - "Great Religions of the World" - prepared by the Presidential Art Medals., Inc. The prices represent the 1973 figure. The price in 1978 as quoted to us via telephone was - Bronze, $5.00; Silver, $35.00; and Gold, $95.00. The Silver and Gold issues were serially numbered.

Again the cost of this medallion is being played down by the editorial voice in Washington. The Editor of the Adventist Review would have the laity believe that all Beach did was to obtain a trinket from a Dollar Store for the Pope. In his letter dated February 22, 1978, he wrote: "Representatives of the General Conference have given this medallion to heads of state and other dignitaries all around the world. We have one here in our office. It costs somewhere between $5 and $10, I believe." Either the Editor is naive; or else he is "sloppy" in his research of facts; or else he is seeking to mislead the laity. Yet he tells this layperson - "When questions are raised do not depend on secondary sources such as (WWN) newsletter. Write directly to us or the General Conference and we will be happy to give you the facts." We will let the readers of this Special Report determine where the documented primary sources are to be found, and where they will obtain managed news releases.

We freely admit that when we first read of the gold medallion being presented to the Pope, we thought it was struck for the occasion, and wrote asking questions from this assumption. We were told that it had been produced by the Presidential Art, Medals, Inc., but were not told where in Ohio to locate the company. We used available research procedures and obtained the information direct. We found when supplied with brochures from the company that the prices vary depending when purchased. If the medallion given to the Pope came from the medallions first purchased by the Church in 1973, then the price would have been $40.00; but if ordered for the occasion of the presentation to the Pope in 1977, then the price would have been in the neighborhood of $95.00 as was quoted to us. Thus the price was nominal and the issue is simply that this gold medallion was presented by Beach to the Pope as a "symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (Review, Aug. 11, 1977, p. 23.)

SOME UNANSWERED QUESTIONS -- In the letter which Dr. B. B. Beach wrote to A. G. Brito in Sao Paulo, Brazil, dated November 15, 1977, he stated:      I am enclosing a brief statement regarding the meeting with the Pope. This statement (with one or two small modifications) appeared some time ago in the Review and Herald.

We have reproduced this statement on the next page. (You will observe that the word, "audience" - is struck through and over it is written - "meeting.") By carefully comparing this brief statement with the news item appearing in the Review for August 11, 1977, p. 23 (p. 9, Special Report), it can be seen that this is the basis for the Review news item. In a letter to Elder Eva, dated February 24, 1978, we sent a copy of this statement, and asked him - "Who made the change from "audience" to "meeting"? Did Beach in submitting the material to you, or did you do it,

p 15 -- or authorized it done?" Eva refused to answer this in his letter dated March 3, 1978.

STATEMENT REGARDING MEETING WITH THE POPE -- In connection with a recent consultative meeting of Secretaries of World confessional Families held in Rome, a group of fifteen participants had a special audience ( this was crossed out and put "meeting" in its place) with the Pope on May 18. Among the participants was one Seventh-day Adventist, Dr. B. B. Beach of the Northern Europe - West Africa Division. This was not the first time that an Adventist has met a pope. In meeting with the head of the Vatican State and leader of some five hundred million Catholics, Dr. Beach had the unusual opportunity of presenting to the Pope the Adventist missionary book Faith in Action and a gold-covered medal (this was crossed out and put "medallion" in its place) of the SDA Church. The latter represents an engraved witness to the Adventist faith in Christ as Creator, Redeemer and soon-coming Lord, in the cross and Bible and the lasting validity of the ten commandments. While the other commandments are listed as roman numerals, the words of the fourth "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy" - are especially highlighted.

The Conference of World Confessional Families meets usually once a year. It is not an organization but simply an informal, unstructured form for consultation and the exchange of useful information.                               

We asked one further question in our letter dated February 24, 1978:       Why was the sentence - "This is not the first time that an Adventist has met a pope" - omitted? What were the other times, and under what circumstances? Have there been frequent audiences involving officials of the church in their official capacities? If not frequent, what contacts have been made between our church leaders and the Pope and for what purposes? Since the official newspaper of the Vatican has noted this audience in regard to the Seventh-day Adventist participation as of special note, and RNS through its Vatican correspondent marked it as "the first time in history" that the Seventh-day Adventist Church through an official representative met with the Pope, have the other contacts been secret and private

p 16 -- so that only certain members of the hierarchy know of them? These things need to be clarified.

In his reply, Elder Eva refused to answer these questions. He stated - "We feel no burden to give you the detailed information you ask for and I have not tried to do so nor to answer the further questions of your letter of February 24." Thus it has neither been affirmed nor denied in regard to other contacts between the Adventists and the Pope or Vatican officials. Beach writes in his "Statement Regarding Meeting with Pope" - "This is not the first time that an Adventist has met a pope." The Review news item deleted this sentence. Yet Beach as reported by RNS in a Vatican radio interview declared,the audience "marked the first time in history that the Seventh-day Adventist Church, through an official representative, had met with a Roman Pontiff," How does one put this all together?

We know of one other recorded meeting with the Pope that appeared in the Review with pictures. (May 30, 1968) It shows Pope Paul VI giving a souvenir medal to Dr. Lief Kr. Tobiassen. Pictured with Tobiassen are Elders R. R. Hegstad, Editor of Liberty, and Pierre Lanares, Religious Liberty Secretary of the Southern European Division. These men were a part of "A 34-member International Church-State Study Commission, sponsored by Andrews University, the International Religious Liberty Association, and the Religious Liberty Department of the General Conference." (Review, May 16, 1968, p. 16) Hegstad in telling of the meeting with the Pope writes:      While in Rome the Adventist Study Commission experienced the pomp and ceremony of a papal audience in St. Peter's. It was hardly a private audience: some 5,000 shouting and clapping pilgrims were around us. Members of our group were seated not far from the high altar, which is in the midst of the serpentine Bernini columns, which, in turn, are under the central dome of St. Peter's. After the general audience, during which the Pope spoke for some 20 minutes on his year-old encyclical Populorum Progressio, L. Kr. Tobiassen, Pierre Lanares, and I were introduced to the pontiff. Dr. Tobiassen told him of the purpose of our study commission and of the countries we were visiting. I then mentioned our pleasure at finding material progress toward religious liberty in Spain, where the religious liberty schema of Vatican II is having good effect. (Ibid. P. 17) --- (1978 May -- Special Report -- Audience with Pope Paul VI) ---END ---

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