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WWN 1977 Jul - Sep


1977 Jul -- THE DIVINE PROVISION -- Part 2 -- In seeking to find the answer as to what was "the divine power" which Christ brought with Him into humanity, we need to determine what it was not.

It was not His previous Omnipotence. He stated clearly during His ministry - "I can of mine own self do nothing." (l)  (This verse of itself is one of the key verses of the entire Bible which gives the formula for our personal salvation as exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ. We should know and understand it better than even John 3:16. This verse we shall analyze in depth in a coming thought paper when we discuss the exercise of the will.) In commenting on the experience of Jesus when He was awakened by His terrified disciples to meet a storm of Lake Galilee, the servant of the Lord has written: - When Jesus was awakened to meet the storm, He was in perfect peace. There was no trace of fear in word or look, for no fear was in His heart. But He rested not in the possession of almighty power. It was not as the "Master of earth and sea and sky" that He reposed in quiet. That power He had laid down and He says, "I can of mine own self do nothing." He trusted in the Father's might. It was in faith - faith in God's love and care - that Jesus rested, and the power of that word which stilled the storm was the power of God. (2)

It was not His previous Omniscience, that knowledge which knows the end from the beginning. This, too, He had laid aside. He told His disciples privately on Olivet when speaking of His second advent - "Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." (3)  His earthly method of gaining knowledge was by the same means which all earth children have - through the Holy Scriptures. (4)

What then was the "divine power" which He brought with Him? We are told: The whole treasure of heaven was poured out in one gift to save fallen man. He brought into His human nature all the life-giving energies that human beings will need and must receive. (5)

These "life-giving energies" were of divine origin. He brought them into His human nature. They were the "treasure of heaven." Two of these invaluable treasures - these "life-giving energies" - become evident as we read: - "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (6)

p 2 --

A "Thought for Contemplation" -- As one becomes acquainted with the history of the Redeemer, he discovers in himself serious defects; his unlikeness to Christ is so great that he sees the necessity for radical changes in his life. Still he studies with a desire to become like his great Exemplar. He catches the looks, the spirit, of his beloved Master.   By beholding, by "looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith," he becomes changed into the same image. - Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, March 15, 1887.

Paul declared that Jesus Christ was "all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (7)   - that fulness which could reside in humanity, and humanity not be destroyed. He came to bring to the sons of men that fulness which they too, must receive if they would become conquerors as He conquered. Commenting on Col. 2:9, Sister White wrote: In Christ dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily. This is why, although He was tempted in all points like as we are, He stood before the world, from His first entrance into it, untainted by corruption, though surrounded by it. Are we not also to become partakers of that fullness, and is it not thus, and thus only, that we can overcome as He overcame? (8)

The significance of this fact dare not be overlooked. Jesus was the fulness of the Godhead bodily, but it was a fulness that we too, can and must possess. In other words, "the divine energies" which He brought into His human nature representing the whole "treasure of heaven" constitute the fulness of the Godhead as embodied in the "form of a servant" which Christ accepted in becoming man. And two of these "energies" of divine power were defined by John as "grace and truth."

We shall first consider Truth. Truth lies at the very heart of the controversy between Christ and Satan. One of the sharpest exchanges between Jesus and the Jewish hierarchy was concerning truth. To the Jewish leaders, Jesus said: Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I told you the truth, ye believe Me not. Which of you convinceth Me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe Me? He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

To this, the leadership replied - "Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil." (9)  One can comprehend the "heat" of this exchange when one considers the fact that to use the expression - "thou art a Samaritan" - is equivalent to calling a person a "nigga" today. Keep in mind that Jesus Himself did not hesitate to place those who deviated from truth in the category with the devil, and said the devil was their father, even though they were the religious leaders of the nation. This point should not be missed by the hierarchy today.

Previous to this verbal exchange, Jesus had stated: - "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

p 3 -- He received the reply - "we be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: [a lie in itself] how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free." Then Jesus placed truth in its clear relationship to sin. He said - "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." (10)  To deviate from truth - to accept apostasy - is not only to sin, but to continue in sin, and thus come into bondage to him who abode not in the truth. When we remember that the righteousness of Christ is "pure, unadulterated truth" (11)  then it should dawn upon our understanding how vital is the issue between truth and apostasy.

Let us consider the power of truth - the divine energy - which Christ brought from heaven, which we must have if we are to overcome as He overcame. We read: - Truth is sacred, divine. It is stronger and more powerful than anything else in the formation of a character after the Iciness of Christ. In it there is fullness of joy. When it is cherished in the heart the love of Christ is preferred to the love of any human being. This is Christianity. This is the love of God in the soul. Thus pure, unadulterated truth occupies the citadel of the being. (12)

All truth is to be received as the life of Jesus. Truth cleanses us from all impurity, and prepares the soul for Christ's presence. Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. (13)

The position that it is of no consequence what men believe, is one of Satan's most successful deceptions. He knows that the truth, received in the love of it, sanctifies the soul of the receiver; therefore, he is constantly seeking to substitute false theories, fables, another gospel. From the beginning, the servants of God have contended against false teachers, not merely as vicious men, but as inculcators of falsehoods that were fatal to the soul. Elijah, Jeremiah, Paul, firmly and fearlessly opposed those who were turning men from the word of God. That liberality which regards a correct religious faith as unimportant, found no favor with these holy defenders of the truth. (14)

In Part Three of this study on "The Divine Provision", we shall consider the divine energy of "Grace", and the fruitage of these energies - hatred of sin, and love of righteousness.

1.   1 John 5:30
2.   Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, pp. 335-336
Mark 13:32
White, op. cit., p. 70
Ellen G. White, Review & Herald, Sept. 4, 1900 (5 BC:1127)
John 1: 14
Col. 2: 9
   Ellen G. White, Ms. 16, 1890 (7 BC:907)
John 8:44-48
John 8:32-34
Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers, p. 65
Ellen G. White, In Heavenly Places, p. 140
Ellen G. White, Ms. 103, 1902 (7 BC:957)
Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 520

p 4 -- THE HISTORIC POSITION -- Recently - May 5th, 1977 - an editorial appeared in the Review, which stated emphatically that the present series of Sabbath School lessons on the humanity of Jesus Christ authored by Dr. Herbert Douglass teaches "the view set forth in all Adventist literature until recent times." (p. 12) This confession was so amazing that I wrote to the Editor and asked three questions:

  1. Where could I turn for source proof of what you have written in regard to the historic position of the church on the Incarnation?
  2. At what point would you begin your concept of "recent times"?
  3. Have any of the denominational publishing houses published any material on the Incarnation documenting the fact of what was the view held on the Incarnation in our teaching or history?
In answer to these questions, I received an honest and forthright reply. To Question #1 Kenneth Wood, the Editor wrote: - Enclosed is a list of references. One list includes only non-inspired church leaders and writers. The other includes only references from Ellen G. White. Neither list is exhaustive, but both are adequate to show what the general teaching of the church has been.

My letter was dated May 4, and Elder Wood's was dated May 12. It is evident that these bibliographical lists were not compiled during those eight days. How long they had been in existence was not stated. But the fact that these lists are in existence shows that the hierarchy of the Church over the past twenty years either knew or could have known that they have been teaching the laity error in regard to the Incarnation.

The first list noted by Elder Wood is entitled - "The Humanity of Jesus - Witness of Church Leaders." It contains references from thirty-two church leaders ranging from E. J. Waggoner in 1890 to Norval Pease in 1969. The reference by Waggoner is to his book, Christ and His Righteousness, pp. 25-29. This is most significant, for these pages are the section from which Froom in his book, Movement of Destiny, misrepresents in an attempt to have Waggoner teach the heresy that was being set forth in the book. And it was this book by Froom that was approved by Pierson, Wilson, and sixty scholars of the Church. (See Letters on p. 37, The Times of the Gentiles Fulfilled, monograph published by the Adventist Laymen's Foundation.) In other words the leadership of the Church knew Waggoner did not teach what Froom was seeking to make Waggoner teach, and yet they placed their imprimatur on this book, and fed it to the laity as something great and marvelous for them to swallow!

Another "church leader" listed in the bibliography is - believe it or not - Elder M. L. Andreasen. And even more unbelievable is the source material noted for him - none other than his Letters to the Churches, Series A, a series so anathema to the hierarchy of the Church that these were not published by any denominationally owned publishing house. Even to this day, you can not procure these letters through any Book and Bible House. The only place where copies of this book can be now obtained by the laity is through the Adventist Laymen's Foundation.

p 5 -- Besides the thirty-two church leaders noted in List #1, there are two other sources given: -I) Sabbath School Lesson Quarterlies from 1896 to 1914, and 2) Bible Readings (1914 -1949). The dating on Bible Readings is nothing short of remarkable, for it is saying that all printings after 1949 no longer contain the historic teaching of the church in regard to the Incarnation. The paperback Missionary Edition which was given wide circulation was printed according to the altered edition and is thus a misrepresentation of our historic faith. The fact of the change in Bible Readings was documented several years ago in the research manuscript published by the Adventist Laymen's Foundation, entitled, An Interpretive History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (pp. 64-66)

In List #2, referred to by Elder Wood, - "The Humanity of Jesus -Witness of Ellen G. White" - there were one hundred and two references dating from 1869 through 1915 the time of her death. In the book -Desire of Ages - one of the references - there are thirty-six page referrals given. What a testimony in the light of the eighteen distorted references Froom uses in his book, Movement of Destiny (p. 470), in seeking to have the servant of the Lord agree with his heresy!

To my second question, Wood replied - "In the middle 1950's and beyond, in other words, approximately the past twenty years." This too, is most revealing, for the mid 1950's was the time of the infamous Barnhouse-Martin conferences, and the resulting publication, Questions on Doctrine. It was in this book that the historic doctrine of the Incarnation as taught by the Church was officially altered (p. 383). But the laity of the church were fed with propaganda that this book truly represented the teachings that had been their spiritual heritage that many continued to sleep in the fatal security that all was well and that they could trust their religious leaders. Those who raised their voices - including Elder M. L. Andreasen - were severely dealt with. Actions and innuendoes not far removed from methods employed by Rome to combat dissenters were the order of the day. I write from experience for I was and have been the recipient of such action from one of the men so glowingly set forth in Froom's Movement of, Destiny as he reviews that period in our church history. (pp. 476-477)

To really understand the pressure applied, and the ecclesiastical weight brought about to put across this changed position on the Incarnation - as well as other of our basic teachings - one has only to consider what Martin wrote in his book - The Truth About Seventh-day Adventists. In so doing it must be kept in mind that in the front of this book was "A Statement" by Elder H. W. Lowe, who at that time was Chairman of the General Conference Biblical Study and Research Committee. He wrote - "This author [Martin] has earned our gratitude and respect by his earnest endeavor to set forth correctly our doctrinal positions ..." (p. 15) On what did Martin base his book, and why? We shall let Martin speak for himself. He wrote: -      The author has labored conscientiously to present accurately the history and theology of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. He has based his findings squarely upon what the leaders of Adventism have stated to be the true position of their church today. He has also assumed the basic honesty of the leaders whose Christian cooperation and fellowship he has enjoyed. Since the General Conference issued Questions on Doctrine, and it is fully empowered to represent Adventist thought, this volume certainly is the primary source upon which to ground an evaluation of Adventist theology. (p. 10 emphasis his)

p 6 -- And why did he so accept, Questions on Doctrine? Note his words again: An interesting and relevant sidelight is the fact that copies of Questions on Doctrine were actually sent around the world to every conference and division of the Adventist denomination, and to every major school and editorial house for their approval, an approval which was overwhelming and resounding. (p. 228)

To this observation he added the footnote: Added to this, the General Conference, meeting in Quadrennial session in Cleveland in 1958, thought the book was sufficiently in harmony with Adventist views to preclude any necessity of even reviewing the issue. Its approach was apparent to all, as was its acceptance. (p. 228)

For the past ten years, the position of the leadership of the Adventist Laymen's Foundation has been that a major change was officially made in our historic doctrines - the Incarnation being one of them. This the editor of the Review now confirms. Both Barnhouse and Martin were given assurances that "Adventists have repudiated the concept of the sinful nature of Christ, the 'mark of the beast' for Sunday keepers, the infallibility of Ellen G. White ..." (p. 228) These changes were pressured on the laity and ministry, and any who stood up against these alterations in our basic faith, be he minister or layman, was handled with the high hand of ecclesiastical authority that would even make the present Pope cast a jealous eye upon some of these, his "separated brethren."

To the third question, Elder Wood responded simply - "Not to my knowledge." There is only one source from which you can obtain a carefully documented review of the history of the teachings on the Incarnation in our Church, and that is through the Adventist Laymen's Foundation. At the time that Froom's book, Movement of Destiny, was receiving the official imprimatur of both Elders Pierson and Wilson, the Foundation released the documented research manuscript - An Interpretive History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. All of this history, and the editorial in the Review, plus Elder Wood's answers should start telling the laity something concrete. Because a book, manuscript, or monograph is not printed by a denominational publishing house, it does not mean that it is an "offshoot" publication. On the other hand it can mean that you will obtain truth long before the ecclesiastical authorities of the church are willing to admit truth. The words of the Lord through the ancient prophet are very apropos: - Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. Jer. 17:5

When we learn to trust the Lord as we should, we will then follow the counsel given to us by His servant, which reads: - When a view of Scripture is presented, many do not ask, Is it true, - in harmony with God's word? but, By whom is it advocated? and unless it comes through the channel that pleases them, they do not accept it ...

The Lord often works where we least expect Him; He surprises us by revealing is power through instruments of His own choice, while He passes by the men

p7-- to whom we have looked as those through whom light should come. God desires us to receive the truth upon its own merits, because it is truth. (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 106)

TEN MINUTES PAST MIDNIGHT -- Today, as I sit typing this final section of the present thought paper, is June 7, 1977. This is the tenth anniversary of the fulfillment of the prophecy which Jesus gave as recorded in Luke 21:24: - Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

During this decade, the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has failed to come to grips with this fulfilled prophecy. They have hoped the fact that Jerusalem is again under Jewish control would disappear as a bad dream, and then they could say - "See, Jerusalem is again back under Gentile control, so the prophecy is not fulfilled." However, recent elections in Israel should cause us to know that as far as the State of Israel is concerned, they have no intentions of relinquishing Jerusalem. Time (May 23, 1977, p. 44) reports that "Israel considers Jerusalem nonnegotiable" in any peace discussion between themselves and their Arab neighbors.

In the light of this fact, we would do well to think carefully through the significance of this prophecy of our Lord, and if the conclusions and presentation which the Adventist Laymen's Foundation's monograph - "The Times of the Gentiles Fulfilled" - contain are not valid, then wherein this research is not accurate, needs to be pointed out. We recognize the element of human fallibility in any such research, but to this date nothing has been presented in any way invalidating the basic and salient points established.*

Time marches on to the dawn of the eternal day, and a people remains unprepared to meet that final day of transition because their spiritual leaders will not face up to the significance of fulfilled prophecy. When God heralds a new relationship with men and nations signifying that anew phase has begun in His dealings with the sons of men, we all need to sit up and take notice. When the Christians living in Judea and Jerusalem saw the armies of Rome surround the city in 66 A. D., they did not sit idly by, waiting, hoping, that what they saw was just a bad dream, and that with the retreat of Cestius, they had another chance and could go ahead with business as usual. If they had done so, what a different story would have been written regarding the Christians when Titus resumed the siege four years later in 70 A. D.

* -- An editor of the Review (Nov. 25, 1976, p. 10) has stated that a political event is too risky to use as a basis for the fulfillment of prophecy, as the fortunes of nations alter past events. Even if Jerusalem should fall again into Gentiles hands or become an "international city" as envisioned in papal foreign policy, the fact that Jerusalem was from 70 A. D. to 1967 under Gentile control, and on June 7, 1967 it passed again under Jewish power, and has so remained these ten years cannot be invalidated, nor ignored. --- (July 1977) ---END--- TOP

1977 Aug -- THE DIVINE PROVISION -- Part 3 -- Besides truth, God has extended grace to every man. While the grace of God is unmerited favor on His part, we have too often interpreted this grace to be an indulgence which God has granted because of the sin problem. In so thinking we have limited the magnitude of the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. The grace which forms a part of the glory of God which Christ revealed in the flesh produces an "active" soldier in the conflict with the enemy of righteousness. We read: It is the grace that Christ implants in the soul which creates in man enmity against Satan. Without this converting grace and renewing power, man would continue the captive of Satan, a servant ever ready to do his bidding. But the new principle in the soul creates conflict where hitherto had been peace. The power which Christ imparts, enables man to resist the tyrant and usurper. Whoever is seen to abhor sin Instead of loving It, whoever resists and conquers those passions that have held sway within, displays the operation of a principle wholly from above. (l)

This "divine energy" - "wholly from above" - which Christ brought with Him is the keeping power by which we can walk in truth and righteousness. Note: Men need to learn that the blessings of obedience, in their fullness, can be theirs only as they receive the grace of Christ. It is His grace that gives men power to obey the laws of God. It is this that enables him to break the bondage of evil habit. This is the only power that can make him and keep him steadfast in the right path. (2)

The extension of this grace to the sons of men, was God's direct intervention into the sin problem. Unless this grace should be extended - and received - man would have no barrier against the suggestions of the enemy. God did not create man with this energy, and He did not bestow it until after man sinned. Enmity - the product of grace - "had no natural existence" in the hearts of our first parents. But when God promised - "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed, and her seed" - He pledged Himself " to introduce into the hearts of human beings a new principle, - a hatred of sin, of deception, of pretense, of everything that bears the marks of Satan's guile." (3)

This enmity - produced by imparted grace - is a part of the very nature of God which Christ brought with Him into human flesh. This we need to understand if we are to overcome as He overcame. Concerning Jesus. We read:

p 2 -- The enmity put between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman was supernatural. With Christ the enmity was in one sense natural; in another sense supernatural, as humanity and divinity were combined. And never was the enmity developed to such a marked degree as when Christ became an inhabitant of this earth. Never before had there been a being upon the earth who hated sin with so perfect a hatred as did Christ. He had seen its deceiving, infatuating power upon holy angels, and all His powers were enlisted against it. (4)

This statement is worth careful analysis. The grace of God being a principle wholly from above produces that which is supernatural - above our nature. In Christ, it was "natural" because He was God, and when He became flesh - the basic glory of the Father was still His - the fullness of grace and truth. But in another sense it was supernatural. The Father bestowed upon His Son the Holy Spirit without measure. (5)  This brings us therefore, to the second part of which Christ has provided - not only the "divine energies" of grace and truth but also "that strength which is impossible for [the fallen sons and daughters of Adam] to gain for themselves." (6)  This "strength" is the Holy Spirit.

Jesus promised His disciples - after Judas left - "I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth." (7)  This Spirit of truth ministers to us the things of Christ, (8)  - those life-giving energies which men need and must receive. One dares not to overlook the fact that the Spirit of Truth is closely associated with the work of presenting, and maintaining truth which is declared to be "stronger and more powerful than anything else in the formation of a character after the likeness of Christ." (9)  The relationship between Jesus - the way, the truth, and the life - and the Holy Spirit - as the Spirit of truth - in the implementation of the truth in the life of the believer needs to be carefully studied.

Concerning the work of the Holy Spirit, we are told: The Comforter is called "the Spirit of truth". His work is to define and maintain the truth. He first dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and thus He becomes the Comforter. There is comfort and peace in the truth, but no real peace or comfort can be found in falsehood. It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the mind. By directing men to false standards, he miss-shapes the character. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the Word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself. (10)

In the same book, we also read: Christ rejoiced that He could do more for His followers than they could ask or think. He spoke with assurance, knowing that an almighty decree had been given before the world was made. He knew that truth, armed with the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit, would conquer in the contest with evil; and that the bloodstained banner would wave triumphantly over His followers. (11) 

p 3 -- Consider - "an almighty decree had been given" -that by the sacrifice and intercession of Jesus Christ, truth armed with the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit would conquer in the contest with evil. What then are we doing when we compromise the truth committed to our trust for the sake of human unity? Is this not doing despite unto the Spirit of grace? (12)  Why is it that we cannot get our priorities straight, and let Truth have first place over every earthly consideration? Is it because we have come to see things so nearly as the world see things that we cannot receive the Spirit of Truth - for the world "seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him". (13)

We must not forget that "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." (14)  The very attributes of God are developed in man by the Holy Spirit. (15)  This will be done in all who do not interpose a perverse will. (16)  Because of this crucial action which involves the human response, we shall begin noting in the next thought paper - "The Exercise of the Will."

(1)  Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 506
(2)  Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 115
(3)  Ellen G. White, Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, p. 6
(4)  Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, bk. i, p. 254
(5)  John 3: 34
(6)  White, op. cit., p. 279 See "The Divine Provision (Part One)"
(7)  John 14:16-17
(8)  John 16:14-15
(9)  Ellen G. White, In Heavenly Places, p. 140.
(10)  Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 671
(11 ) Ibid., p. 679
(12)  Hebrews 10:29
(13)  John 14:17
(14)  Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers, p. 506
(15)  Ellen G. White, Christ's Object Lessons, p. 414
(16)  Ellen G. White, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, p. 116 (76)

In the midst of the ongoing controversy resulting from the proclamation of Righteousness by Faith at the 1888 General Conference Session, the servant of the Lord revealed that she had been questioned regarding the Third Angel's Message. She wrote:     Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel's message, and I have answered, "It is the third angel's message in verity." (Review & Herald, April 1, 1890)

John the Revelator records the third angel's message as follows:      And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any

p 4 -- 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 which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone In the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. (Rev. 14:9-10)

On the surface these two statements of what constitutes the third angel's message appear contradictory. But what constitutes the worship of the "beast"? Interestingly, the identification of the "beast" is prefaced with - "Here is wisdom."

Then follows -"Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man." (Rev. 13:18) The worship of the beast is the worship of a man. True, the specifications of prophecy are met in a specific religious organization - the Papacy. But the principle is ever present. Whenever and wherever, I place man, and the dictates of man in the place that God alone should occupy in my heart and soul -I am worshiping the beast - a man. The very first commandment is clear and concise -"Thou shalt have no other gods before Me." (Ex. 20:3)

Now what is justification by faith? It is the recognition by an individual of his total and absolute inability to make an atonement for himself, and thus a recognition of his total and complete dependence upon God's provision in Jesus Christ. To preach, therefore, justification by faith in truth leads to a full realization of victory over the beast - man - and his image - all that man seeks to build into a religious system that would dominate the conscience of his fellow man.

A full message of righteousness by faith cannot be proclaimed when the message is limited to one of these facets of the third angel's message to the exclusion of the other. To proclaim the history of 1888 and its aftermath without opening before the people the fact that their continued dependence on men - yes, even their religious leaders, makes the presentation only a theory. We have been told:      Now it [is] Satan's determined purpose to eclipse the view of Jesus, and lead men to look to man, and to trust to man, and be educated to expect help from man. For years the church has been looking to man, and expecting much from man, but not looking to Jesus, in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. Therefore God gave to His servants [Jones & Waggoner] a testimony that presented truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel's message, in clear, distinct lines. (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 93)

To put it very plain - we have not yet been able to come face to face with the fact that continued dependence on human machinery - human organization - is keeping us from that true preparation that must be made if we are going to be numbered among the victorious remnant in the final phase of the great controversy. We are still doing what the church was doing in 1894, for we read:      Spiritual things have not been discerned. Appearance and machinery have been exalted as of power, while virtues of true goodness, noble piety, and heart-holiness, have been made a secondary consideration. That which should have been made first has been made last and of least importance. (Review & Herald, Feb. 27, 1894)

p 5 -- If in 1894, "appearance and machinery" were in evidence, how much more so in 1977. Just pickup and read any union paper for the North American Division. We need to have our eyes anointed so that we can see that the appearance of prosperity within the borders of the church serves only as a facade covering an ecclesiastical philosophy which requires allegiance and loyalty to human leadership akin to papalism. Such a program leaves the church destitute of the grace of God. We read:      Those who have not a daily experience in the things of God will not move wisely. They may have a legal religion, a form of godliness, there may be an appearance of light in the church; all the machinery - much of it human invention - may appear to be working well, and yet the church may be as destitute of the grace of God as were the hills of Gilboa of dew and rain. (Review & Herald, Jan. 31, 1893)

God does not plan that anarchy be substituted for organization, but He designs that a certain specific form of government be instituted. We read:   Christ designs that heaven's order, heaven's plans of government, heaven's divine harmony, shall be represented in His church on earth. Thus in His people He is glorified. Through them the Sun of Righteousness will shine in undimmed luster to the world. (Desire of Ages, p. 680)

In other words, the very opposite of human organization and machinery is to be realized by His people on earth. The order, plans of government, and the harmony of heaven are to be a part of the experience of the saints in preparation for their translation. This can come only when we experience justification by faith, for in that experience everyone finds the highest place to which he can attain - the foot of the Cross - and there he sees in each so bowed, his brother. There will be no orders of clergy, no hierarchy, no first minister - but a simple recognition of the fact that all are brethren. There will be only One head - even Jesus Christ, and only One earthly captain - even the Holy Spirit of God. (See Desire of Ages, p. 352)

And herein lies our problem - yes the basic problem that we face even in 1977. In a duly sworn affidavit, the president of the General Conference declares: I am Robert H. Pierson, an ordained minister of the gospel, and president of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists, which is the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (US District Court, Northern Dist. of CA. #CIV. No. 74-2025 CBR, Exhibit #51, p. 1)

In the same affidavit, he proclaims himself as the church's "first minister for the time being." (p. 5)

In a brief filed on behalf of the Church's hierarchy, it is proclaimed:      It is true that for a period in it history, the Seventh-day Adventist Church had an aversion to Roman Catholicism and especially to the papal form of church government - an aversion shared by virtually all Protestant denominations. 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

P 6 -- to Roman Catholicism as such. (Ibid., Exhibit #84, p. 30)

And why is it no longer "good Seventh-day Adventism to express an aversion to Roman Catholicism as such'? Because the past teaching of the Church in regard to Roman Catholicism "has now been consigned to the historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned."(Ibid., p. 4, lines 28-29) With this attitude and belief it is really impossible teach justification by faith for we have now denied outright the third angel's message, in doctrine as well as in practice.

Catholicism teaches the adoration of Mary as the mother of God, and places her as the hope of their salvation. (de Ligouri, The Glories of Mary, 2nd Ed., p. 8) Is there really any difference in basic reality from this teaching, and the teaching that the Church - the human organization - is our mother, and urging the members of the Church to place their hope in that organization as the basis of their salvation? To say that the Church - as defined in Pierson's legal affidavit - is going through, and that to be saved one must stay with it, is saying nothing less than the Catholic Church says about Mary and their definition of the Church.

Need I go further - but sometimes we are so blinded in our Laodicean state, we cannot see that the mere proclaiming of the theory of righteousness by faith, and leaving the members still sitting in the pews clinging to them as if when the Lord comes, He plans to take the pew and install it in the amphitheater of heaven, is to give to the hungering souls a false and deceptive hope. We need to proclaim the third angel's message -yes, every part of it:- the sole dependence upon the Saviour Jesus Christ, and placing Him as the Lord of our lives instead of a man.

"VISIONS OF GOD" -- The vision given to Ezekiel as recorded in his book - chapters eight through eleven, presents a continuous unfolding of the purposes of God in regard to Jerusalem, and the reason for these actions on the part of God. It is significant that the servant of the Lord tells us that this symbolism involving the ancient city of Jerusalem meets another fulfillment today in regard to the Church. (3 Testimonies, p.267) And her words are - "Mark this point with care."

The focus of the Spirit of Prophecy is on chapter nine, which is the heart of this vision - called by the prophet, "Visions of God."(Eze. 8:3) we do well to consider some of the vital terminology used in commenting on this vision. Sister White refers to this vision as descriptive of "the last work" involving "the closing work for the church."(3 Testimonies, p.266) Then in another reference, after quoting from this vision, she comments - "Jesus is about to leave the mercy-seat of the heavenly sanctuary." (5 Testimonies, p. 207-208) To those, therefore, who believe that we have reached that time, just prior to the close of probation, an understanding of the "Visions of God" is a must.

P 7 -- To meet this need, the Foundation has prepared a Study Guide of these chapters to be used with the Cassette Tape A-O8, Side #2. The study is entitled, "Visions of God. Side #1 of this tape is a sermon -"Out of Egypt Have I Called my Son" - based on material researched by A. T. Jones, and parallels in thought and objective the message of God through Ezekiel.

COMMENTS ON EZEKIEL'S WRITINGS -- "The angel with the writer's ink horn is to place a mark upon the foreheads of all who are separated from sin and sinners, and the destroying angel follows this angel." Letter 12, 1886.

"A rebellion exists. Lucifer revolted from his allegiance and makes war on the divine government. Christ is appointed to put down the rebellion. He makes this world His battlefield. He stands at the head of human family. He clothes His divinity with humanity and He passes over the ground where Adam fell and endures all the assaults of Satan's temptations, but He does not yield in a single instance.

"The salvation of a world is at stake. He resisted the arch deceiver. In behalf of man He must conquer as a man, and in the very same manner man must conquer by 'It is written.'" Letter 156, 1897.

"'By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: .. .Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquities of thy traffick." [Eze. 28: 16,18] In this place 'traffick' is the emblem of corrupt administration. It denotes the bringing of self-seeking into spiritual offices." Ibid.
"When we see God dishonored, we ought not to remain quiet, but we should do and say all that we can to lead others to see that the God of heaven is not to be thought of as a common man, but as the Infinite One, the One worthy of man's highest reverence. Let us present God's Word in its purity, and lift up the voice in warning against everything that would dishonor our heavenly Father." (Manuscript 165, 1902). --- (1977 Aug) --- END ---

1977 Sep -- THE EXERCISE OF THE WILL -- Part 1 -- There is hardly a professed Christian who cannot recite John 3:16. This should be equally true as concerns John 5:30. Jesus declared:      I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.

Jesus Christ in becoming man, placed Himself in exactly the same position we are in. Of ourselves we do not have the power to do right. Jesus accepted the same risks as a free moral agent, even as man is a free moral agent. "The second Adam was a free moral agent, held responsible for His conduct." (1)  "He, was a free agent, placed on probation, as was Adam and as is man." (2)  In this state of being, He confesses, "I can of my own self do nothing." How then did He succeed, when we have failed and continue to fail?

"As I hear, I judge" - was the first step in the victory of Jesus. "Hearing" is a very important word in the New Testament. We are warned by Paul:      Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word of hearing did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. (3)

Then in writing to the Romans, Paul stated - "So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God." (4)  The Greek word for "hearing" is from the verb -(Greek word written) (akouo) - I hear. When this verb is prefixed with the preposition, (Greek word written) (hypo) meaning "under", the resultant word - (Greek word written) (hypakoe) - means, obedience. (The same prefix is to be found in our English word - "hypodermic" - meaning, under the skin. When the word of God "gets under the skin" there is a reaction.) When I "hear under" the word of God, thus placing myself under what I hear, obedience follows. There is another form of (akouo) with the prefixed preposition (hypo) - which means hearing amiss, refusing to hear, and the resultant word (Greek word written) (parakoe) means disobedience.

The preposition - (hypo) - which united with, (akouo) I hear, is the basis of the word meaning, disobedience, also has the force of "motion terminating in rest at, near, by, or by the side of." In other words, I can hear the word of God, even letting it come near to my side, and yet I will hear amiss unless I come

p 2 -- under that word, or let the word "get under my skin". This was the problem in 1888, and it has continued to be the problem ever since in the matter of righteousness by faith. We read: The truth is of no value to any soul unless it is brought into the inner sanctuary, and sanctifies the soul. Piety will degenerate, and religion become a shallow sentimentalism, unless the plowshare of truth is made to go deep into the fallow ground of the heart. (5)  

In the life of Jesus, He said, "I hear" and what I hear, I weigh; "I judge." Then He declared that His judgment was just - in other words, His decision ended in righteousness. Why? Because He did not seek to do His own will but the will of Him that had sent Him. Herein is the secret of why Jesus succeeded and we have failed so miserably, so often. It concerns the WILL! "God has made provision that we may become like Him, and He will accomplish this for all who do not interpose a perverse will, and thus frustrate His grace." (6)

There are some very vital statements concerning the will and its exercise to be found in the Spirit of Prophecy. These we need to note and consider. Take your copy of the book, Ministry of Healing, and on page 176 (Trade Edition) read the section entitled, "The Power of the Will." From these paragraphs, there are three consequential concepts that need to be emphasized:

1) "Everything depends on the right action of the will."
2) "we cannot change our hearts . . . we can give Him our wills."
3) "Through the right exercise of the will an entire change may be made in the life."

In the chapter, "Like Unto Leaven", from Christ's Object Lessons, p. 96, is to be found the following concerning the limitation of the will:      In all who will submit themselves to the Holy Spirit a new principle of life is to be implanted; the lost image of God is to be restored in humanity.

But man cannot transform himself by the exercise of his will. He possesses no power by which this change can be effected. ...The grace of God must be received by the sinner before he can be fitted for the kingdom of glory. ...The renewing energy must come from God. The change can be made only by the Holy Spirit. All who would be saved, high or low, rich or poor, must submit to the working of this power.

Observe closely - by the mere exercise of the will man cannot transform himself. "The change can be made only by the Holy Spirit." This is why we need to dig deeper into the work of the Holy Spirit in the Latter Rain than we have ever done before. While we can give God our wills, this act does not bring the change, but only places us where the change can be made by the Holy Spirit.

p 3 -- A third reference - also from Christ's Object Lessons - reads as follows:      Let no one say, I cannot remedy my defects of character. If you come to this decision, you will certainly fail of obtaining everlasting life. The impossibility lies in your own will. If you will not, then you cannot overcome. The real difficulty arises from the corruption of an unsanctified heart, and the unwillingness to submit to the control of God ... (p. 331)

As the will of man cooperates with the will of God, it become omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished by His strength. All His biddings are enablings. (p. 333)

In the next thought paper, we shall consider the results from the surrender of the will, and the key to that surrender.

(l) Ellen G. White, The Southern Watchman (SW), Sept. 29, 1903 (6BC:1074)
(2) Ellen G. White, Manuscript 29, 1899
(3) Hebrews 4:1-2
(4) Romans 10:17
(5) Ellen G. White, Review & Herald, May 24, 1892
(6) Ellen G. White, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 116 (76)

A SHADOW OF COMING EVENTS??? -- In the August issue of Ministry, there appeared an article by Elder R. H. Pierson, entitled, "The Alpha of Apostasy." In seeking to give authority as to what he says took place at the time of the "Alpha" apostasy, Pierson states "there are certain identifying marks ... on which the Spirit of Prophecy, some church historians, and interested researchers agree." (p. 6) He then proceeds to list what these marks were. Let us examine some of them.

1. Dr. Kellogg became infected with the liberal theological thought of his day.

Sister White wrote - "In the book, Living Temple there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies." (Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, p. 50) Does this book teach "the liberal theological thought of his [Kellogg's] day" as Pierson suggests without specific documentation? Or does this book show the truth of what she wrote concerning the "Alpha"? Note her words concerning the "mysticism" of the book - "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., p. 52)

p 4 -- If you have the book - Living Temple - compare the section, "God the Explanation of Nature" (pp. 28-29) with the first part of the chapter - "God in Nature" as found in the book, Education, and the truth of the statement concerning the closeness of the tracks of truth and error becomes very apparent. In public presentations of the "Alpha" apostasy, I have asked the congregation to close their eyes, and think carefully on what I read. Afterwards, I asked them which book, I read certain paragraphs from, Living Temple, or Education. The reaction was rather startling. Check for yourself the following statements. Tell which are from Education, and which are from Living Temple:       God is the explanation of nature, - not a God outside of nature, but in nature, manifesting Himself through and in all objects, movements, and varied phenomena of the universe.

A mysterious life pervades all nature, - a life that sustains the unnumbered worlds throughout immensity; that lives in the insect atom which floats in the summer breeze; that wings the flight of the swallow, and feeds the young ravens which cry; that brings the bud to blossom, and the flower to fruit.

The heart not yet hardened by contact with evil is quick to recognize the Presence that pervades all created things.

There is, in all the world about us, an infinite, divine, though invisible Presence, to which the unenlightened may be blind, but which is ever declaring itself by its ceaseless, beneficent activity. "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handwork."

Of these four statements, the ones from Education, you will find on pages 99, and 100.

Pierson wrote that Kellogg was infected with the "liberal" theological thought of his day. Liberal theological thought does not lie close to the track of fundamental conservative teaching based on the Word. These two concepts are poles apart! But the concept that Pierson is trying to put across is readily seen by noting his second proposition:

2. His [Kellogg's] heresy was taught in the Battle Creek Sanitarium, the Battle Creek College, and the medical school.

It is well known that the center of "liberal" teaching in the Seventh-day Adventist Church is at Loma Linda - among some of the hospital staff, and in the medical school. Is Pierson now trying to prepare the ministry of the church, and through them the laity of a possible breakaway or loss of Loma Linda to the Church? Is this article by Pierson a "shadow of coming events"? Pierson is reading back into history present circumstances so he can have a plausible parallel between the "alpha" apostasy and what he would have the "omega" understood to be. He states - "Kellogg's new doctrine appealed to the intellectual elite." But Pierson does not name them! However, Sister White described the

p 5 -- ones deceived by quoting highest authority:      These words were spoken to me in the night season. The sentiments in Living Temple regarding the personality of God have been received even by men who have had a long experience in the truth. ... That those whom we thought sound in the faith should have failed to discern the specious, deadly influence of this science of evil, should alarm us as nothing else has alarmed us.

It is something that cannot be treated as a small matter that men who have so much light, and such clear evidence as to the genuineness of the truth we hold, should become unsettled, and led to accept spiritualistic theories regarding the personality of God. (Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, P. 37)

As far as history reveals, it was the warning voice of Sister White, and Sister White only, which alerted the Church to the deadly danger of the "Alpha" apostasy, not the brethren in the General Conference. They were more concerned about the preservation of their control of the Church in the power struggle between them and Kellogg.

Pierson gives some other marks of the "Alpha" apostasy:

3. The new doctrine offered differing theological presuppositions that would have necessitated bypassing Adventism's message.

4. Basic Adventist theology would have been changed. This would have undermined the foundations of the Adventist faith.

On these points he is correct, although not documented. The servant of the Lord stated in Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, pp. 54-55:      The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of this new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God is worthless.

Herein lies a very important point! We need not look to the future for a change

p 6 -- in basic Adventist theology. This is past history - fulfilled during the last two decades! (See Review, May 5, 1977, Editorial, p. 12 & Thought Paper, July, 1977, article, "The Historic Position", pp. 4-6)

On my library shelf, I have placed Kellogg's book - Living Temple - which contains "the alpha of deadly heresies" and on each side of this book two other books - Questions on Doctrine and Movement of Destiny. In the above quotation one of the marks of the alpha was - "Books of a new order would be written" so also in the omega. Keep in mind that Pierson himself placed his imprimatur on the book, Movement of Destiny. (p. 13). Now he is crying about a coming "omega", when he has been a party to the "omega" that has already come into the teachings of Adventism. Further, Pierson was also one of the leaders from the General Conference who signed the Palmdale Accord which compromised basic truths of the Adventist Movement. (See Review, May 27, 1976, pp. 4-7)

But this is not all. The liberal intelligentsia of the Church have a voice via their publication - The Spectrum - which is the voice of the Association of Adventist Forums. This association was given the blessing of the officers of the General Conference - and this would include Elder Pierson - at the 1967 Fall Council. All of this has been documented in the monograph - The Times of the Gentiles Fulfilled, pp. 23-24, with the significance of this and other actions of the General Conference leadership in the light of fulfilled prophecy.

While we - the Adventist Laymen's Foundation - do not hold with the liberal intelligence in their position on Creation, and their attitude toward the Spirit of Prophecy, it is obvious that the positions taken by them are so evident in their contrast with the historic position of Adventism that under no circumstances could it be said that what we would consider heretical was a counterfeit which resembled the true. However, during these past two decades the leadership in Washington have countenanced teachings contrary to historic Adventism, and in so doing have sought to project the same as basic Adventism. The prime example of this type of cover-up is the book, Movement of Destiny, which by its title purports to be basic truth, but is in reality full of deadly heresies and misrepresentations. This too, has been documented. When the book, Questions on Doctrine, was questioned, those who opposed its heresy were told that it was just a matter of semantics - so closely did the track of error lie beside the track of truth! The laity for the most part still remains deceived by this projection of error under the guise of truth. In other words, the curia on the Sligo have already been party to the omega of apostasy.

One must keep in mind that what Elder Pierson is really alluding to is a power struggle on who shall control, and what shall be controlled. Pierson in his article in the Ministry bemoaned that in the time of the "alpha", - "the leaders of the new 'movement' determined to take over the leadership of the sanitarium and perhaps of the church from the men who had been duly elected to bear these responsibilities." If then, Loma Linda should pass from the control of the curia on the Sligo, do keep in mind that over these years the majority of the board of Loma Linda have been composed of men who were "duly elected."

God has borne long with His church and His people, but in so doing He has allowed "a state of things to come" that some of the brethren in Washington would "fain"

p 7 -- see counteracted, but it is now "too late." (See 5 Testimonies p .77). Let not this prophecy be missed:      When God shall work His strange work on the earth, when holy hands bear the ark no longer, woe will be upon the people. Oh, that thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things that belong unto thy peace! Oh, that our people may, as did Nineveh, repent with all their might and believe with all their heart, that God may turn away His fierce anger from them. (5 Testimonies p 77-78)

And why will this be? we are told:      Here we see that the church - the Lord's sanctuary - was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as the guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. (5 Testimonies p 211)

What then is the purpose of the "pot calling the kettle black", except to continue to deceive the laity of the Church, and keep them in blind submission to the curia on the Sligo.


1)  Can man atone for his sins?
2)  Can man cleanse himself from sin? In other words does he have the power to habitually live the perfect life as required by God, which means perfect conformity to the will of God as expressed in the law?

The answer to both of these questions is an emphatic - NO! How then can his sins be forgiven him, and he be cleansed from sin? The answer to this question is in a single verse - I John 1:9. Let us analyze it in the context in which it is written.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just
1)  to forgive us our sins, and
2)  to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Both cleansing and forgiveness is based on a single experience - confession. Now note the context of this verse: - "If we say we have no sin (i.e., we are not sinful, and do not need cleansing) we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." I John 1:8. Again - "If we say we have not sinned (i.e., we have not committed acts of sin), we make Him a liar [He says, "All have sinned." Rom. 3:23], and His word is not in us. (I John 1:10.) Thus I John 1:9 is set in the context of our two problems - our past sins, and our sinful nature - neither of which we

p 8 -- can atone for, nor cope with. We can only confess - "I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight and am no more worthy to be called Thy son." And "I am a sinner in need of cleansing."

The first confession most professed Christian believe they have made, or at least theoretically consented to. But the second confession produces the following different reactions:

1)   I can achieve cleansing through hard battles with sin, and through the adoption of a specific regimen I will attain perfection.
2)  I can never attain perfection of character, therefore, I will do the best I can, and the forgiveness experience will cover till my vile body with its sinful nature is changed at the Second Advent.
3)   The complete crucifixion of self, so that the Holy Spirit can work unhindered.

The third reaction - which is the answer to righteousness by faith - is rarely seen, and seldom experienced, because we constantly interpose a perverse will. We dare not forget - "Kneeling in faith at the cross, he has reached the highest place to which man can attain." (Acts of the Apostles, p. 210) This fact, all who have studied the basis of Seventh-day Adventism should have known. In the sanctuary service, the place where the works of man stopped was before the altar where he confessed over his sin offering, his sins. And if we would but stop to restudy the type, we would find that on the Day of Atonement - the day of cleansing the individual came to the sanctuary, but what part did he do in his cleansing? "Ye shall afflict your souls." Lev. 23:27. The word, "afflict", in the Hebrew carries the significance - "to humble one's self before anyone, to submit to him." (Gesenius)

The battle, the struggle is not with sin itself - that Jesus has done and overcame the world - but with self that it might be ever kept on the altar as a "living sacrifice". "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." (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 203). --- (1977 Sep) --- END ---