1976 Oct-Dec - IX 10(76) - IX 12(76)




Special: 1976 Sept -- Special Report -- OBSERVATION - # 1


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WWN 1976 Oct - Dec


1976 Oct -- THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT WE FACE TODAY -- In the Great Controversy we read concerning the Papacy [1] - "She is silently growing in power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike." Is the hour when the Papacy will strike, the most important event we face today? NO! In Country Living, we read -"The trade unions will be one of the agencies that will bring upon this earth a time of trouble such as has not been seen since the world began." [2] Is this time of trouble the most important event we face today? NO! Documentation is not lacking from political sources that Communist Infiltration is growing in our own national government to a point where it has reached an alarming level. Should the objective be realized -the take over of our government -would this be the most important event which we face today? NO! What then is the most important event? We have reached the final and last generation of men, and we face the close of human probation!

Because of this fact, a text from the book of Revelation trumpets forth to us for recognition and evaluation. It is the edict of our High Priest when He completes His work of final atonement. This edict declares -"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy let him be holy still." [3] Consider the repeat of the word - "still". If I am to be still "holy" after Jesus ceases His intercession, then I must be "holy" when the decree goes forth. Since the decree works no change, only fixes beyond all change our earthly state of character, then I must be "holy" prior to the issuing of the decree. Not only is this event the most important event which we face today, but also the question of "how" this state of holiness might be realized is the most important question which we face today. All other research, all other study and investigation should take second place to this all important question!

This verse in Revelation consists of contrasting couplets -unjust and righteous; filthy and holy. From the letter of the Vienne and Lyons Martyrs in the 2nd Century, which antedates any manuscript upon which the New Testament text is based, we find that the first part of this verse reads -"He that is lawless (Greek - anomos) let him be lawless; and he that is righteous [or justified] let him be righteous (lit., 'be justified') still." [4] The two verbs which are connected with the other couplet, filthy and holy, are in the passive thus projecting "the constant middle sense of passive verbs when the act depends on a man's self." [5] For example one clause would literally read -"'Let the filthy pollute himself still." Thus the action indicated by the verbs in this verse reveals the two -not four -distinct groups of people when probation's hour closes - the dead and the living! This edict, then, closing

p 2 -- the final atonement, reflects the results of the judgment of the dead, and the judgment of the living.

Summarizing Revelation 22:11, we find:   those who have died in Christ have been justified, and that justification has been made eternal; and those who are alive of the redeemed, reflect that Holy Likeness fully, and are decreed by their Divine Intercessor. Forever to reflect that image. But this holiness rather than being imputed - justified -arises from the impartation of the divine nature. Thus will be fulfilled the prophecy - "the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." [6] Commenting on this same group of saints, the servant of the Lord wrote:   "Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort, they must be conquerors in the battle with evil." [7] This does not permit a shift to the left, solely by grace, which is justification only; neither does it permit a shift to the right -salvation by works. It is to be a cooperative picture, God and man working for the objective of God's glorification - His character fully revealed in a group of fallen humanity.

The group who will be declared holy when probation's hour closes are clearly defined in other references in the book of Revelation. They are the "remnant" of the seed of the women, and they "keep" the commandments of God. [8] This "seed" not only gives mental assent that the Commandments should be kept - this is the theological position of the woman in white, and had been the position of the true church through all of its ages - but the remnant experience the reality of this theoretical theology; they keep the commandments! The law which Paul declares to be "holy, just, and good " [9] becomes through the New Covenant operation by the Holy Spirit [10] so much a part of their lives that the decree that closes probation declares that they shall be holy still. This picture in Revelation 12 is the Biblical source of the statement:      I also saw that many do not realize what they must be in order to live in the sight of the Lord without a high priest in the sanctuary, through the time of trouble. Those who receive the seal of the living God, and are protected in the time of trouble, must reflect the image of Jesus fully. [11]

The original Seed of the woman was the Man-Child. His victory caused the Voice in heaven to declare - "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ." [12] That "power" was the "spirit of holiness" because of which the grave could not hold Him. [l3] When the final vindication is given in the lives of the "remnant of her seed", this same Voice will again be heard proclaiming -      "They come! they come! holy, harmless, and undefiled. They have kept the word of My patience; they shall walk among the angels." [14]

From the deadly bondage of their fallen natures, they have experienced a spiritual resurrection revealing an impartation of life - even the divine nature. [15]

Revelation 14 tells us that this group is the end product of the Three Angel 's Messages. Following the Third Angel, the declaration is made - "Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." [16] They not only give lip service to the message of the Third Angel, but they also experience the verity of that message. Several wrote to Sister White after the 1888 Minneapolis meeting asking if the message of justification by faith is the third angel's message. Her reply was - "It is the third angel's message in verity." [17] We may study about 1888, and we may know all the ins and outs of the rejection of the message. We may call the attention of

p 3 -- the church to this phase of our history by manuscripts, and series of lectures but unless we understand the objective of the message itself, we are going to come short in the final hour when the decree goes forth. We may still be talking about the theology of the church - that men ought to keep the commandments of God - instead of sensing the significance of the "remnant" in relationship to the woman when probation's hour closes.

We must ever keep in mind that the basis of commandment keeping is found in the prologue which God Himself had proclaimed with His holy law - "I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." [18] Only when we realize the redemption from the bondage of Egypt (sin), can we start on the path of imparted righteousness. What we have failed to realize is that "the church [the woman in white] has turned back from following Christ her leader, and is steadily retreating toward Egypt." [19] It is impossible to join this retreat toward Egypt, and obtain the deliverance from Egyptian bondage which permits the realization which is experienced by the "remnant of her seed which keep the commandments of God" [8] Ours is to determine with which group we shall be associated. [20]

The experience which leads to the final determination of filthiness is also the result of a religious involvement. In Revelation 17 it speaks of another woman clothed in purple and scarlet through whom "the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication." They drink from the golden cup in her hand, which is "full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication." [21] (The word translated, filthiness, in this verse is not the same word in Rev. 22:11 translated, filthy, a though the final result will be the same.) This woman -Babylon the great -has become "the habitations of devils." [22] Those who drink of her doctrines reflect the image of their source, even as those who drink from the cup in the hand of Jesus will reflect His image. We read:      Through yielding to satanic influences, men will be transformed into fiends, ... become the habitation of dragons, and Satan will see in an apostate race his masterpiece of evil, -men who reflect his own image. [23]

Herein lies the great deception. When men declare that it is impossible for the law of God to be kept; that it is by grace alone, and has been done for us in Jesus, and that our perfection rests upon the acceptance of the fact of an accomplished act; and when these same theologians place Christ in His earthly life on a level above the plane of fallen man, they are but echoing the sentiments of the arch apostate who declared from the beginning of the controversy that "the law of God could not be obeyed" by a creature. [24] The end result will be - even while giving lip service to Seventh-day Adventism - a reflection of the image of Satan.

Basic in this false theology is the failure to differentiate between the state required for man at death, and the state required for the living when probation's hour closes. But in this differentiation is found the genius of the Advent Movement raised up by God in 1844. This differentiation is the thread that is woven into our history of 1888, and the deviations that have taken place in such intermovements of the church as reflected in the Holy Flesh Movement of Indiana, and the Brinsmead Awakening of the past decade. This we shall analyze in the next thought paper.

(1)  Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 581
(2)  Ellen G. White, Country Living, p. 10
(3)  Revelation 22:11-12

p 4 --
(4)  Jamison, Fauset, and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible, p. 604
(5)  Henry Alford, The Greek Testament, Vol. IV, p. 747
(6)  Revelation 19:7-8
(7)  Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 425
(8)  Revelation 12:17
(9)  Romans 7:12
(10)  Hebrews 10:15-16
(11)  Ellen G. White, Early Writings, p. 71
(12)  Revelation 12:10
(13)  Romans 1:4
(14)  Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 636
(15)  II Peter 1:4
(16)  Revelation 14:12
(17)  Ellen G. White, Review & Herald, April 1, 1890
(18)  Exodus 20:2
(19)  Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 217
(20)  For full presentation obtain taped sermon - "Out of Egypt Have I Called My Son"
(21)  Revelation 17:2, 4
(22)  Revelation 18:2
(23)  Ellen G. White, Review & Herald, April 14, 1896
(24)  Ellen G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 761

A CRISIS -- The Palmdale Accord entered into by theologians and administrators of the Church has produced a crisis rather than the unity of the Holy Spirit. (It is true that these men professed to have achieved a "unity of spirit and viewpoint." But this is vastly different than a unity in the Holy Spirit.) These men agreed that "when the words righteousness and faith are connected (by 'of ', 'by ' et cetera) in Scripture, reference is made to the experience of justification." (1) Note the "period." In other words, they are saying according to the Bible, righteousness by faith is justification alone. Then in the same accord, these men declare, after enlarging the concept of "righteousness", "thus Seventh-day Adventists have often used the phrase 'righteousness by faith' theologically to include both justification and sanctification." 1  But if the first concept is true, then the second acknowledgment as to the position of the church theologically is unscriptural!

As if this weren't enough to add to the confusion, these learned men of the Church concluded the statement on "Justification and Sanctification" with this sentence: "Sanctification thus begins with the new birth and justification, and all flow from the righteousness of Christ." Is the "new birth" something apart from "justification"?  2  It has already been agreed that justification involves an "experience." What is this experience if it is not the "new birth"? Should not this sentence have read -"Sanctification begins with the new birth or justification, the whole experience thus flowing from the righteousness of Christ."

Let us consider the crisis in which this accord places us as Seventh-day Adventists. If the idea that both sanctification and justification are included in the phrase "righteousness by faith," and that this concept is not Biblical, then upon what have we based such a theological position? The answer is clear -the men whom the Lord sent to the Church with "a most precious message" In 1888,   3  - and the servant of the Lord who stood behind these men. The real crisis over justification by faith concerns, therefore, the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy in the area of theology,

p 5 -- and the heart of the message of 1888.

This crisis has been painfully pointed up by a recent publication from the Southern Publishing Association - Perfection, the Impossible Possibility. Containing essays by four men of the Church - Douglass, Heppenstall, LaRondelle, and M. Maxwell - the conclusions drawn in these presentations thwart any "unity of spirit and viewpoint", let alone "the unity of the Holy Spirit." One reviewer of the book has with clear insight classified these essays into two categories:   the possibles, Douglass and Maxwell; the impossibles, Hepenstall and LaRondelle. And with keen perception the following table was compiled by the reviewer as to the number of times each of the authors used the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy to substantiate their position:  4


This is followed by the inescapable conclusion: It cannot be doubted that sinlessness is not usually implied in the Biblical concept of perfection; the "impossibles" have proved their point. Yet they have largely ignored the Spirit of Prophecy in doing so, as the above table shows. It is difficult to deny that Ellen G. White taught sinlessness as a requirement for translation; many of her statements are simply too plain to be explained away. 4

Then the question is asked - "WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE US?" The evidence compiled in the book review on Perfection, and the Palmdale Accord on "Righteousness by Faith" spells only one answer -a crisis of the greatest magnitude!

"Christ Our Righteousness" Review, May 27, 1976, p.4
A. John Clifford and Russell R. Standish, Conflicting Concepts of Righteousness by Faith in the Seventh-day Adventist Church - Australian Division, pp 74, 75
Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers, p.91
"Book Review", Southern Accent, Sept. 16, 1975, p.6. --- (1976 Oct) --- END ---

1976 Nov -- BASIC ADVENTISM -- The Movement of 1844 -commonly called the Great Second Advent Movement -had only one basic objective, the preparation of a people to meet their God. Never before in the history of humanity was there the possibility of a group of people being alive on the earth to meet their returning Lord face to face. This would require a far different experience than was the lot of those saints who through the ages fell asleep in Jesus.

This differentiation has been difficult for God's people to realize. As early as 1850, the servant of the Lord wrote:     I also saw that many do not realize what they must be in order to live in the sight of the Lord without a high priest in the sanctuary, through the time of trouble. Those who receive the seal of the living God, and are protected in the time of trouble, must reflect the image of Jesus fully. (l)

Basic in Adventist eschatology is the concept that human probation closes prior to the return of the King of kings in the clouds of heaven. This close of human probation is marked by the completion of Jesus' intercession in the Most Holy Place. That time between the finishing of the final atonement and the coming of Christ is best described in the words of inspiration:      Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above, are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God, and their own diligent efforts, they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. (2)

Elder James White wrote succinctly on this point. Noting Revelation 22:11-12 as proof of the close of all human probation, he states:       What a thought! Probation closed; the priestly work of Christ forever ended; and the time of trouble to be passed through! The mass of the people think that if a person is prepared to die, he is prepared for the coming of the Lord. But they do not consider the difference between dying; and standing alive to meet the Lord at His appearing. It is one thing to die in the Lord, to yield our spirits to Him while He is pleading for us before His Father's throne, and quite a different thing to stand in the time of trouble, after Jesus has ceased to plead in man's behalf; after His priesthood is closed, and He is preparing to come to redeem His own, and to take vengeance on His foes. They who now realize these things will bless Heaven that means has been devised in the mercy of God for the perfecting of the saints, and that we are not left without direct help from on high to carry on such a work as that which lies before Us. (3)

p 2 -- It is not without significance that the chapter - "In the Holy of Holies" in Great Controversy from which the above statement regarding the character of those living after the close of probation must possess, first appeared in the 1888 edition. Also it should be noted that while the statement quoted from Elder White, which clearly differentiated between the saints who die in Christ, and those who are to be translated, was written prior to his death in 1881, the book containing the statement was first published in 1888. One cannot escape the conclusion that the messages of Elders Jones and Waggoner were a part of the "means ... devised in the mercy of God for the perfecting of the saints" in the progressive unfolding of divine truth. By these men truth was presented which placed the concepts of justification by faith in the frame work of the final atonement which Jesus is ministering for His people in the second apartment of the Heavenly sanctuary. This is basic Adventism, the very heart of the message entrusted to us. Any betrayal of this sacred trust is treachery to Him who has provided such a "means" through His infinite sacrifice and high priestly intercession.

To present the message of justification by faith in the setting of the final atonement, and not give the "how" of the realization of the experience which such a message requires would leave the presentation a lifeless theory. In the messages of 1888, and onward the "how" was interwoven in the concept of the Incarnation - Christ taking upon Himself the fallen nature of man, and demonstrating that man fallen could likewise live the life which He lived in the flesh. The Incarnation forms a basic and integral part of the presentations of both Jones and Waggoner, for to present the message of righteousness by faith separated from the true concept of the Incarnation is to present an incomplete and faulty message in regard to righteousness.

In 1888,(4) E. J. Waggoner after commenting on John 1:14 and Phi 1.2:5-8 stated:     Other Scriptures that we will quote bring closer to us the fact of the humanity of Christ, and what it means for us. (5)

And how did Waggoner understand the "means" to work? Note -Christ "having suffered all that sinful flesh is heir to, ... knows all about it, and so closely does He identify Himself with His children that whatever presses upon them makes a like impression upon Him, and He knows how much Divine power is necessary to resist it." (6)

In all the presentations of both Waggoner and Jones in the sessions of the Church following 1888 through 1901, the basic doctrine of the Incarnation was interwoven in the presentation of righteousness by faith. One statement from Jones will reveal the tenor of his thinking as he presented the subject at the 1895 General Conference Session. Here it is:      In Jesus Christ as He was in sinful flesh, God has demonstrated before the universe that He can so take possession of sinful flesh as to manifest His own presence, His power, and His glory, instead of sin manifesting itself. And all that the Son asks of any man, in order to accomplish this in him, is that the man will let the Lord have him as the Lord Jesus did ...

Then God will so take us, and so use us, that our sinful selves shall not appear to influence or effect anybody; but God will manifest His righteous self, His glory, before men, in spite of all ourselves and our sinfulness. That is the truth. And that is the mystery of God, "Christ in you, the hope of glory," - God manifest in sinful flesh. (7)

p 3 -- We must sadly confess that the messages of Jones and Waggoner did not produce the results that Heaven intended, and after a decade deep concern developed among some of the revivalists within the Church. At the Camp Meetings and Worker's meetings during 1898, one of the ministering brethren - Elder A. F. Ballenger - emphasized the need for purity of life as a prerequisite for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Impressed with his messages was newly ordained minister in Indiana - S. S. Davis. Contacts through evangelism with the beginnings of modern Pentecostalism also left an impression upon his mind. The ultimate result was what we have called the Holy Flesh Movement. It finally involved a whole conference - but let us not forget that these men were basically good, well intentioned men. (8) They were seeking to realize the "how" of that righteousness which would lead to translation. Haskell in a letter describes "one of their great burdens." He wrote to Sister White:      One of their great burdens is moral purity, and "holy flesh" and "translation faith", and all such terms, which carry the idea that there are two kinds of "sons of God" -the adopted sons of God and the "born" sons of God. The adopted are those who die, because they will not have "translation faith". Those who are born, get "holy flesh", and there is no sin inside of them, and they are the ones that will live and be translated; and as they say, these who are "born" sons of God are not "going to heaven on the underground railway", meaning they are not going to die. (9)

These men of Indiana made a major alteration in their basic doctrines from the teaching of Jones and Waggoner. They taught that Christ took the nature of Adam before the Fall in becoming a man. Thus to be perfect for translation, they had to have the fallen nature eradicated in man so that he could reflect the image of Jesus fully.

It must not be forgotten that when the final confrontation came at the 1901 General Conference Session over this Indiana Awakening, Elder E. J. Waggoner spearheaded the attack. His sermon the night prior to Sister White's statement on "the experience of the brethren in Indiana" dealt with the subject of the Incarnation and how a true understanding was incompatible with the teaching of holy flesh. (10) Further, due consideration must be given to the fact that three of Ellen G. White's strongest statements describing the humanity of our Lord are dated 1900, and 1901 at the very height of the controversy regarding the Holy Flesh Movement in Indiana. (11) Documentation supports beyond question that the pivotal issue around which the whole of the Holy Flesh Movement revolved was the doctrine of the Incarnation. And do not forget that these men taught that Christ took the nature of Adam before the Fall which is now accepted as an orthodox doctrine in the Church today. (12) Would to God that we would be willing to accept what Sister White said concerning this Movement:   "None are to pick up any points of this doctrine and call it truth. There is not a thread of truth in the whole fabric." (13)

A more recent attempt to explain the "how" of the perfection which must be the saints who shall stand after the close of probation is to be found in Brinsmeadism - Decade 1. Now let it be clearly understood that Robert Brinsmead himself was and is a good man with sincere intentions, even as the men of the Holy Flesh Movement. It is not an issue of persons, but a theological issue which involves our final and full character development. When Brinsmead began his so-called Awakening Movement, he was teaching the historic position of the church in regard to the Incarnation. This is clearly revealed in his first major publication - God's Eternal Purpose. (14) But with it he coupled the Holy Flesh doctrine -the eradication of the fallen nature. He

p 4 -- described it as a "blotting out" of not only the record of sin but also sin in the lives of the saints at the time of the "marriage" of the Lamb.

Since the historic and Biblical position on the Incarnation, and the eradication of the fallen nature are theologically incompatible, therefore, by 1968 divorce proceedings between the two concepts began to appear in Brinsmead literature. Brinsmead was leading his followers into the idea that Christ received a sinless human nature through the creative activity of the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary. (15) Finally he scuttled the whole of that Decade of teaching and went over to the viewpoint of the Evangelicals which is basically in agreement with certain theological trends in the Church centering in Avondale College and Andrews University. This trend is a denial of the historic position of the Church on the Incarnation, and the teaching of perfection - righteousness by faith - in such a way that the very essence of Adventism Is compromised.

So that you the laity might know the truth, the Adventist Laymen's Foundation has prepared and published two manuscripts on the Incarnation, and one on the Holy Flesh Movement. The first manuscript traces the historic teaching of the Church with the emphasis on the Spirit of Prophecy writings, and how it was taught by the men whom the Lord raised up and sent to the Church in 1888. The final manuscript -In the Form of a Slave -sets forth the Biblical teaching on the Incarnation with Spirit of Prophecy comments which parallel these Bible pronouncements. The Holy Flesh Movement - a rewrite of a Thesis written by the author for the Course, Research in Theology, at Andrews University - not only traces the history of the Movement, but shows the threads of this theological fabric as they are intermingled into the teachings of the Church today.

(1)  Ellen G. White, Early Writings, p. 71
(2)  Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 425
(3)  Life Sketches of James White and Ellen White, p. 430 - 431
(4)  According to Dr. L. E. Froom, Waggoner's studies at the 1888 General Conference were published in a book form under the title - Christ and His Righteousness. See Movement of Destiny, p. 189
(5)  E. J. Waggoner, Christ and His Righteousness, p. 26
(6) Ibid., p. 30
(7)  A. T. Jones, "The Third Angel's Message" - No. 15, General Conference Bulletin, 1895, p. 303
(8)  We should not judge too severely these men of Indiana because some of the reforms that they advocated, such as moral purity, have been taught and practiced on some of the most highly respected campuses of the self-supporting work. The modern version of marital celibacy could be called Tyndallism after its most recent advocate. It is not men as men that need to be judged - that is God's prerogative alone - but the truth or error of their teachings or practices that needs to be called into account. It is truth - sacred and divine - that is the supreme deciding factor. Truth "is stronger and more powerful than anything else in the formation of a character after the likeness of Christ." In Heavenly Places, p. 140. Error and apostasy have the opposite effect.
(9)  S. N. Haskell, Letter to Ellen G. White #1, September 25, 1900. Ellen G. White Document File #190.
(10)  E. J. Waggoner, Sermon April 16, 1901, 7 PM, General Conference Bulletin, 1901, p. 403f.

p 5 --
(11)  See Appendix B - The Holy Flesh Movement - 1899 - 1901, p. 53-56
(12)  The Ministry, August 1976, p. 6, col. 2. This is a report prepared by a committee appointed by the officers of the General Conference, May 30, 1973.
(13)  Ellen G. White, as quoted by G. A. Roberts, "The Holy Flesh Fanaticism", Ellen G. White Estate Document File #190.
(14)  Robert D. Brinsmead, God's Eternal Purpose, pp. 96-97.
(15)  Robert D. Brinsmead, "The Atonement in the Light of the Nature of Man," Present Truth, #2, 1968, p. 13.

CONTINUING COMMENT -- In last month's thought paper, we noted the crisis which has developed in the Church over the inspiration of the writings of Ellen G. White. This has been heightened by the publication of Dr. Ronald L. Numbers' book - Prophetess of Health (1) - and the comments on the book in Time. (2) It is, tragically, the attitude of the Church regarding the Spirit of Prophecy which causes panic anytime and every time questions are raised which question the integrity of Ellen G. White as a prophetess. This is not difficult to understand because the hierarchy use these writings as one of their chief weapons to keep the laity under their control. This compounds the tragedy.

The basic question that needs to be considered is simply -How does one view the Scriptures or any other inspired writing as to their credibility. The leaders of the Reformation set the Word of God above the Church. Their conviction was that "if the Scripture as the Word of God is in such doubt as to whether it is the Word of God or not and so needs the church to declare it to be such, then it is not the Word of God." (3) The Catholic Church takes the position that by grace given it by God, it can recognize the Word of God, and can, therefore, define what is inspired and what is not inspired. If the church can thus rule, then the church precedes the Inspired Word, and it can be said "that the church gives the New Testament to the church." (4) Instead of the Word of God being God's gift to His church, the church gives itself a gift!

In a recent series of Sabbath School Lessons - God Is Not Silent - the Catholic viewpoint was emphasized. An introductory comment to the lesson - "He Speaks Through His Church" - stated:      The same Holy Spirit, working through the apostles of Jesus Christ, gave us the New Testament and guided the church in the development of the canon of Scripture, determining which writings were "given by the inspiration of God." (5)

(This position raises an interesting question -At the same time the Church Councils were defining the canon of the Scripture, they were also declaring that the day for Christian worship was Sunday! Which Councils were being guided by the Holy Spirit, and which were not?)

The basic problem is the fruitage of this Catholic position. The Catholic Church is not slow in recognizing the potential. One writer has clearly stated:

p 6 -- The testimony as to the inspiration of the biblical writings is obtained only through the Church. It is from this point we first discern, in all its magnitude, the vast importance of the doctrine of Church authority, and can form a notion of the infinite multitude of things involved in that doctrine. (6)

If we, therefore, base our conviction as to the inspiration of the writings of Ellen G. White upon the authority of the church, then we are opening the door to a surrender of our very spiritual welfare to the authority of the Church. Instead of coming boldly and directly to the throne of grace, we permit a human organization to intervene between us and our great High Priest. In so doing, we violate the very first commandment, and make it impossible to truly observe the law of perfect liberty.

In my own experience, the matter of the Spirit of Prophecy was settled long ago, when as a youth I accepted this blessed Truth. I read carefully the book -Messages to Young People. Next to the Bible, it did more than any other book to mold my life. I heard the voice of God speaking to me from its pages. I knew it to be the Word of God. No church council or session had to tell me about the inspiration of the writings. But by so discovering, I have in my life placed the Word of God above the Church! So when questions are raised about the work of Ellen G. White stating that she quoted this thought from some source, and that the Spirit of God did not give it to her originally -this does not disturb me. For I know that as far as the teaching of the world's great thinkers is true, it but reflects the rays of the Sun of Righteousness. "Every gleam of thought, every flash of the intellect, is from the Light of the World." (7)

I am thankful to God that He has seen fit to give in these last days, when so much of the thoughts of men have been written, an inspired guide so that the precious gems of truth might be rescued from the rubbish of error. If, therefore, Ellen G. White was guided to glean from the thinkers on Health Reform certain truths to become the heritage of God's people, why should I question her as a Prophetess of Health? The problem is not the inspiration of Ellen G. White, but how the Church has presented her to the laity to keep the laity bound to the control of the leaders.

Having recognized that Ellen G. White was used by God to speak for Him, I can also recognize that she was a human being - an individuality with a few thoughts of her own. She was not a machine that merely wrote and spoke when the Holy Spirit turned on a switch button. I recognize, too, that she was willing to adapt to changing modes when these did not violate basic eternal truths. By so recognizing, I am not structured into a salvation by works program which is the hallmark of sincere and earnest reform movements that have come and gone within the church. I can see the purpose for which these reforms were intended, and adapt these principles to the day by day living which I face in 1976.

(1)  Ronald L. Numbers, Prophetess of Health: A study of Ellen G. White, Published by Harper & Row
(2)  "Prophet or Plagiarist", Time, August 2. 1976. p. 43
(3)  Bernard L. Ramm, The Evangelical Heritage, p. 27
(4)  Ibid., p. 25
(5)  Adult Sabbath School Lessons, 2nd Quarter, 1976. p. 71 (Daybreak Series)
(6)  John Adam Moehler, Symbolism, p. 293 (SDA Bible Students' Source Book, p. 130)
(7)  Ellen G. White, Education, p. 14

p 7 -- HEADLINES -- The Press -a Riverside, California newspaper, on page 1 of Section E carried on October 6, 1976, the following headline:       ADVENTIST STOCK FUND LOST NEARLY $1 MILLION IN 1975 -- The staff writer revealed from his investigation that "at the end of 1975, the total assets in trust with the Southeastern California Conference of the church in Riverside were $12,159,815.99, according to a church balance sheet." (Keep in mind, this is but the report of just one conference in the North American Division.)

"According to the church balance sheet, the value of the Southeastern California trust account's stock investments, which were made through the regional church investment program, decreased $950,373.15 from the beginning to the end of 1975. The 24 per cent decrease ... occurred at the same time the Dow Jones 30 Industrials, the major index of stock market trends, increased 38 per cent, the third largest percentage gain in history."

According to the local church leadership - Elder Walter Blehm and S. D. Bietz, this loss was only a "paper loss" Elder Cree Sandifer, the president of the Pacific Union Conference, "declined to reveal performance figures for the investment funds" but admitted that "two of the three Investment counseling firms used by the union conference were released ... because the church was not satisfied by the company's performances in selecting investments for the funds."

When the staff writer questioned by telephone Elder Robert Osborn, the world church official in charge of investments as to why the church is involved in such activities contrary to the counsel of the Spirit of Prophecy, Osborn stated -"We have taken the position that Ellen White's counsel was directed more to the individual than to the church itself. ..She was writing that individuals should not speculate with money, but should put it into denominational work." Elder Osborn affirmed, however, that the church "feels it may invest in stocks."

Commenting on Elder Robert H. Pierson's acknowledgment that the church was playing the stock market, the staff writer wrote - "Pierson said there were no problems, and the church had annually made a profit in the stock market."

On the same page in The Press was a second release captioned - OREGON PROBES ADVENTIST FUND. It revealed that the Attorney General's office in Oregon had begun an investigation into the trust funds administered by the North Pacific Union which is headquartered in Oregon. The Attorney General indicated it was a "consumer protection thing" and the office wanted to know if the people donating the money "are being taken." "We are concerned," he said, "about the amount of money that is apparently there with no checks." James Hoops, legal counsel for the Union countered that "the church headquarters has not been contacted by any persons who are dissatisfied with the administration of their trust accounts." A telephone conversation with a resident of the State of Oregon advised us that Hoops statement was a lie, and we have on our desk a photocopy of a newspaper account supporting such an assertion. Our laity need to awaken and withdraw their funds from revocable trust agreements, and press for investigations as to how the funds have been managed.

As other documented material comes to this desk, we shall keep you the laity informed. --- (1976 Nov) ---END --- TOP

1976 Dec -- JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH -- Today a controversy is raging within the Church -as desperate, as consequential as any battle ever fought in human history. Carchemish, Arbella, Pydna, Waterloo, the Marne, Dunkirk - even our own Lexington, Yorktown, and Gettysburg - all pale into insignificance. In the realm of the spiritual, only the battle fought in Gethsemane and continued through Calvary exceeds it. The controversy is concerning righteousness by faith, which in turn involves the doctrines of the incarnation, justification, sanctification, and the ultimate - the final atonement. In this thought paper, we shall be primarily concerned with the concept of justification, and what it means for the believer in Jesus Christ.

Before entering into the study proper, we need to note certain literature which is being published privately within the church which focuses the attention of the laity upon this important controversy. In Australia two publications have been released. One is by Mrs. Gillian Ford, wife of the head of the theological department of Avondale College. (1) Three pages of parallel columns present what Mrs. Ford considers "The True and False Gospels". Under the true she states that "Righteousness by Faith is justification alone;" and under what she considers to be false:- "Righteousness by faith is both justification and sanctification. (2) (That there be no confusion in the mind of the reader, the Adventist Laymen's Foundation considers the conclusions of Mrs. Ford to be rank heresy.) Two doctors, also residing in Australia, have replied in a limited edition of an analysis of the conflicting concepts in the Seventh-day Adventist Church - Australian Division. (3) Here in America, Dr. Lloyd Rosenvold and his wife have prepared a brochure on the Gospel, and in the latest edition of this publication included a paper presented to the Biblical Research Committee of the Australian Division by an Elder F. A. Basham in which he challenged rightly the position of the theological department of Avondale College. (4)

Justification does involve an historical event in time. The Son of God died on the Cross of Calvary. That public sacrifice will never again be repeated in the manner or circumstances which surrounded that fateful Passion Week in the earthly life of our Lord. The words of faith which Abraham spoke to his son Isaac as they neared Moriah's height were fulfilled in the death of Jesus -God Himself did provide the sacrifice. (5) As one meditates at the foot of the Cross, he is impressed with one stupendous fact - Man cannot atone for himself. This is humiliation most difficult for the mind and heart of man to grasp and accept.

Justification is general and provides for all men everywhere under all conditions regardless of individuality, circumstance, or disposition. This is true because all men have sinned, and sin is sin regardless of degree. Paul summarizes it this way:      Therefore as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (6)

p 2 -- The purpose of justification is also presented by Paul based in the fact that all have sinned. He wrote:      For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (7)

This is much more than a legal transaction based in a single historical event. Even as I can crucify the Son of God afresh, (8) even so, the results and purposes of Calvary are ever in the present. Justification is to be a present daily experience to the one who is of the faith of Jesus. "I die daily" declared Paul. Every living child of God will experience "a conversion to God every day; and this conversion is not completed until he attains perfection of Christian character." (10)

It should be noted that the clause in verse 26 -"the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" -in the Greek text reads -"justifying the one who is of the faith of Jesus." The participle -justifying -is in the present tense signifying continuous action in what Paul calls the "now time". Now is the day of salvation, and it shall continue to be until the close of all human probation. The use of the noun to describe the believer, instead of the verb as translated in the KJV, is a significant parallel to the use made by John of the same in Revelation. Those who respond to the "everlasting gospel" and are finally declared to be steadfast are those saints, who not only keep the commandments of God, but who also keep "the faith of Jesus." (11)

The faith which is of and in Jesus justifies. And what was that faith? It was accepting what God said and did as is, regardless whether He could see it or not. (l2) This is simply the same faith as defined by Paul of which Jesus is the author and finisher. (l3) Such a faith exercised by us gives us our title-deed. (14)

Since justification is the act of God which justifies us from sin, what has God said about this action on His part? "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (15) There is just one simple condition -confession, a recognition that we are sinners. The recognition of that forgiveness exceeds all human reasoning of justice -"through the righteousness of Christ we shall stand before God pardoned, as though we had never sinned." (16) "It is our privilege to go to Jesus and be cleansed, and to stand before the law without shame or remorse." (l7) It is most difficult for the human mind to accept the results of justification, or the simple condition upon which it is based. But God so states; I accept by faith and act accordingly.

In the parable of the Prodigal Son we see justification from God's viewpoint, and how we in our human reasoning view it. The runaway son was sitting in the midst of swine when he finally came to himself and said that he would return to his father's house. He prepared his speech. He would say - "I have sinned; I am no more worthy to be called thy son, so make me a hired servant." So he leaves the hog pen and starts the homeward journey. The father sees him a great way off, and comes running to meet him. The prepared speech is given - except the father does not let the last part escape the son's lips. The request of the son to work his way back into the father's mercy is not recognized. All that the father asks is the confession as a - sinner -the results follow - "Bring forth the best [Greek -first] robe and put it on him." The runaway boy is restored to his former position as if the days, and

p 3 -- months, and years that intervened since he left home had not been. He is pardoned; he is justified. (18) He stands before the Father as if he had never sinned. 0 the height and depth of redeeming love!

There is still another parable which illustrates justification. (19) "Two men went up into the temple to pray." Both were professed believers in the true God of Israel. They frequented the house of worship. Because of our present day concepts, we fail to catch the significance of this parable. A "Pharisee" and a "publican" in our mind today are different than they were viewed in the days of Christ. The Pharisee of Christ's day was the religionist, the one devoted to all the rules and regulations prescribed in the law of Moses plus some of his own applications of these rules. He gave alms; he prayed much. He was very pious, and was considered the really "spiritual" in Israel. The publican was a man employed in the government service of Rome. He didn't work for the church, nor was he connected to one of the religious groups of his day who had "separated" themselves from the world.

With this background, let us now translate this lesson to our own day. The Pharisee prayed -"I thank Thee that I am not as other men -I do not eat meat, nor eggs, nor drink milk. I fast; I tithe; I use herbs; and drink teas." [If there were women Pharisees, such might have added - "I wear my dresses just so many inches from the floor."] But the Publican -all he could say was -"God be merciful to me a sinner." AND what did Jesus say - "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other." Justification, and our standing before God is not based on how many reforms I practice, nor how much I do to show my piety and spiritual graces to reveal that I am not as other men. My acceptance with God is simply that I confess myself a sinner, which in reality is one of the hardest things for the proud, heart of man to do.

Let us face up to the simple, plain teaching of Jesus. Even though I practice health reform -and I do -and any and all of the other reforms which we could mention, we are to admit -no matter how painful to our ego it is -"We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do." (20) Doing what is our duty does not accrue merit, nor does it produce justification. We are justified solely by the mercy of our Heavenly Father, and the redemption that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. And this justification comes on only one condition -our confession as a sinner.

Why are we prone to be Pharisees? Because we want to atone for our sins. We want to be hired servants and work our way back into the mercy and favor of God. This cannot be! The very perversion of our human nature makes confession most difficult. I have a three-year old grandson. He was helping me mix mud for some rock laying here on the campus. He likes to pull the hoe back and forth through the mixture. I had it at just the right consistency, and went about my work. Jonathan also likes to play with water, and so proceeded to add some water when my back was turned. The first time he did not add enough to effect the mixture; but the second time was too much, so I reprimanded him. I told him that he could use the hoe no longer. He went off and crawled under the house for awhile. He did some thinking, and in a few minutes he came carrying some rocks really too large for him to carry. He was going to help, and knowing what I needed, he was going to win my approval so that he could, use the hoe again. Now I dearly love him, and if he had only said - "Papa, [his name for me] I am sorry; I did wrong" - I would have let him continue to use the hoe. I would have made the adjustments to restore the consistency of the mixture, because he couldn't do it! There was nothing that he could do to atone for his overstepping.

Our Father loves us more than I can ever love my grandson. He has, and had to make

p 4 -- the restorations caused by sin -we cannot not -and so He says, "If you will confess, I will justify; I will forgive." And when we stand at last in the sight of an holy God without an intercessor, there will be no room to boast. Who covered my past sins so that I could stand on vantage ground? Did I atone because I practiced all the reforms? Who provided the power so that I could do that which was my duty to do? Was it my strength and spiritual vitality? No! - never can I boast, but only say:

Just as I am without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee,
0 Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Charlotte Elliott, 1836

(1)  Gillian Ford, The Soteriological Implications of the Human Nature of Christ, Undated, 53 pages.
(2)  Ibid., p. 9
(3)  John Clifford, M.D. & Russell R. Standish, M. D., Conflicting Concepts of Righteousness by Faith in the Seventh-day Adventist Church - Australian Division, April, 1976, 161 pages.
(4)  Lloyd and Leola Rosenvo1d, The Gospel of the Kingdom, Undated, 35 pages.
(5)  Genesis 22:7-8
(6)  Romans 5:18
(7)  Romans 3:23-26
(8)  Hebrews 6:6
(9)  1 Corinthians 15:31
(10)  Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, p. 505
(11)   Revelation 14:12
(12)  Matthew 11:25-26
(13)  Hebrews 12:2
(14)  Ellen G. White, Messages to Young People, p. 35
(15)  1 John 1:9
(16)  Ellen G. White, Ms. 1, 1892. See Review, June 17, 1976, p. 9
(17)  Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, Chap.: "Faith and Acceptance", par. 7.
(18)  Luke 15:17-24
(19)  Luke 18:9-14
(20)  Luke 17:10

A QUESTION: Why is it essential that we know and experience what it means to be justified by faith?

In Isaiah, Chapter 6, the prophet tells of his own experience and call to service. (1) He saw in vision the Lord sitting upon His throne, and the voices of the seraphims crying - "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts." This vision of the holiness of the Lord unnerved Isaiah, and he recognized himself as a man of unclean lips dwelling in the midst of a people with unclean lips. Then a remarkable thing happened upon his recognition of his undone condition. One of the seraphims came with a live coal from off the altar, and touched his lips, declaring - "Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged." The next thing he heard was the voice of the Lord calling for a volunteer to represent Him to the people. Now Isaiah could respond - "Here am I; send me."

We are told that this "vision given to Isaiah represents the condition of God's people in the last days. ...But if they, like Isaiah, will receive the impression

p 5 -- the Lord designs shall be made upon the heart, if they will humble their souls before God, there is hope for them. ...The work done for Isaiah will be performed in them. God will respond to the petitions coming from the contrite heart." (2) God's mouthpieces must be justified. They must know what justification by faith means to them. How can one go forth and proclaim the loud cry -pointing out sin with the consciousness of personal guilt and shame for his own sins? But one who is justified stands before the law "without shame or remorse." (3) Because of the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, he stands before God pardoned as though he had never sinned. (4) Without fear he can respond to God's invitation - "Here am I; send me."

Consider briefly Peter's experience. On the day of Pentecost, he openly charged the House of Israel with the murder of the Son of God. He, who a few weeks before had declared - "I know not this man" -now declared Him to be both Lord and Christ. (5) As I read the account in Acts 2, I do not find where anyone of the assembled group yelled back at Peter - "You cursed and swore and denied the Son of God yourself." There was only one response, being pricked in their hearts, they asked - "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (6) Why was it possible for Peter so to speak, and the reaction so to be? Because Peter after the denial had gone out and wept bitterly. He knew by experience what it meant to be justified.

Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (7)

"The souls that turn to Him for refuge, Jesus lifts above the accusing and the strife of tongues. No man or evil angel can impeach these souls. Christ unites them to His own divine-human nature. They stand beside the great Sin-bearer, in the light proceeding from the throne of God." (8)

Let me tell you in all sincerity -the men and women who give the loud cry will be those who know by experience that they have been justified. They will have an experience with their great Sin-bearer which will set them above the strife of tongues - unimpeachable because the live coal from off the altar has touched their lips. Their iniquity is taken away, and their sin purged. In their mouths will be found no guile for they will be without fault before the throne of God.

(1)  Isaiah 6:1-8
(2)  Ellen G. White, Review & Herald, December 22, 1896
(3)  See Footnote #17, p. 4
(4)  See Footnote #16, p. 4
(5)  Acts 2:36
(6)  Acts 2:21
(7)  Romans 8:33-34
(8)  Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 568. (1976 Dec) --- END ---

1976 Sept -- Special Report -- OBSERVATION -- Part 1 -- A tape recording of a presentation by Geoffrey J. Paxton on "The Reformation and Adventism" came to my attention this past week - July 15, 1976 - and I listened to it with a great deal of interest. Not only in the naming of names, but also in the analysis of the theological atmosphere within the Church, the presentation was very acute. Mr. Paxton divided what he called the theological "mentality" of the church into three categories; namely, the "Liberals," centered at Loma Linda, the "Traditionalists" as represented by the Review and General Conference leadership; (Do not confuse the term used by Paxton as synonymous with "historic" Adventism) and the "Reformationists" as represented at Andrews University and Avondale College in Australia, as well as Brinsmeadism itself.

One professor at Andrews University - Dr. Raoul Dederen - recommended a book by Bernard Ramm entitled - The Evangelical Heritage - commenting as quoted by Paxton - "It could have been written by an Adventist" - and that except for a minor point here and there in the book, he "subscribed unequivocally" to the theology of the book. Paxton read the book, and couldn't figure out in the last analysis "why Dederen wasn't an Evangelical in the technical sense of the term", or why he himself wasn't an Adventist if that was what Adventists believed. (Paxton is an Anglican clergyman, and a traveling partner with Robert D. Brinsmead.) I cite this from the taped message only to show how we are selling out our Adventist heritage for a bowl of Evangelical porridge served up by the theologians we have imported from the seminaries of Europe. Remember these are the men who are teaching our young ministers, who in turn are feeding you, the Laity, with adulterated concepts which are passed off for the truth!

The Main thrust of the message of Paxton lies in what he is holding out to the leadership of the Church. He stated that the Adventist Church -if they are willing to accept the theology of Dederen and LaRondelle at Andrews, and Ford at Avondale College in Australia -was standing on the threshold of a spiritual breakthrough which could enable the Church to make a real contribution to the Christian church at large. He pointed out that "P. T." (Present Truth, publication by Brinsmead) whose theology was synonymous to the "Reformationist mentality" within the Church, was widely accepted on the seminary campuses here in America, including Andrews University, and was making a great impact on the thinking of the leading lights of Evangelicalism. Even the editor of Christianity Today is reading "P. T." from a theological point of view. Furthermore, Paxton indicated that "P. T." had such a wide circulation, and reading clientele that it could no longer be ignored by the Church. This latter evaluation is true.

p 2 -- The closest parallel that I could think of between what Paxton was saying and the Bible itself was the experience of Christ in the Wilderness of Temptation. You will recall that the devil took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and suggested that He cast Himself down. To assure the Son of man that it would be all right, he quoted Psalm 91:11-12. But by comparing the actual words of the Inspired Psalmist and what the devil said he wrote, one finds that the words, "at any time", were added. (See Matt. 4:6) Now Paxton would have us believe that the messenger of the Lord endorses his theory of "justification by faith" by quoting her statement as found in the Review & Herald, April 1, 1890. But he, too, adds a word! The statement reads, and I place in brackets the word Paxton supplied:       Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith [alone] is the third angel's message, and I have answered, "It is the third angel's message in verity."

But while quoting Ellen G. White to give his position respectability, he also quotes Elder E. J. Waggoner and infers that he is teaching a false gospel in his presentation of righteousness by faith.

The second parallel between the Wilderness of Temptation and Paxton's appeal is that Christ was taken to a high mountain and shown the kingdoms of this world with the promise that if He would bow down to the devil, all could be His without the Cross. So Paxton suggests that if the leadership of the Church will bow down to Dederen, LaRondelle, Ford, Brinsmead, and Paxton, all the denominations and the glory of them could be the Church's. Tragically, this is what the leadership of the Church has envisioned the "loud cry" to be - the Adventist Church accepted by the religious world and exalted before the eyes of the men of this world. This was the basis of the Barnhouse-Martin sellout in the early fifties. We did not want to be considered a "sect" or a "cult". Paxton infers that this is still how we are viewed, by telling of a man he had interviewed who had written a book of the Cults which included Adventists. So now if we really want to get free from the stigma, join the cutting edge of the theology of Brinsmead, Ford, LaRondelle, Dederen, and all the churches will be ours. And because the Cross is too much of an offense to the administrative pride of men, we shall bow. Tragically, in the wrath of an offended God, "men, maidens, and little children all perish together." (5T:211).

OBSERVATION -#2 -- All comments made in this section, unless otherwise documented will be from a Preliminary Prospectus dated June 3, 1976, and issued by Morgan, Omstead, Kennedy & Gardner, Inc., members of the New York Stock Exchange. The page quoted from this Prospectus will be placed in parentheses following the quotes. For example, [(p. 3)]

In harmony with a Declaration of Trust dated March 18,1976, an Adventist Properties & Mortgage Trust was organized in California. This Trust was formed upon authorization by the General Conference Corporation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (p.5) While it was stated by the General Conference that this Trust "be operated independently of the Church", nevertheless, they advised "the Trust that the Trust will have first right of refusal ... with respect to real estate financing transactions of entities owned or controlled by the Church." (p.5)

"The Trust has been formed to invest in properties or entities owned or controlled by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the United States. Such properties include

p 3 -- office buildings, industrial properties, shopping centers, hospitals and other medical facilities, multifamily dwellings and educational institutions." (p. 3) "The affairs of the Trust will be managed by seven Trustees of whom four are affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church", however, the non-Church members have veto power over all actions taken in regard to Church owned or controlled properties as such decisions must receive the majority vote of the "non-Church affiliated Trustees" (p. 3).

The Adventist Trust Management Company, which is a general partnership "will advise the Trust with respect to investments and investment policy and will administer the day-to-day operations of the Trust, subject to the supervision of the Trustees." In this partnership, only one of the partners is a member of the Church. (p. 5) The Adventist member of this partnership, Mr. DeVere W. McGuffin II, will serve on the board of Trustees itself, and be Secretary-Treasurer of the Trust. (p. 20) For these services, the Management Company will receive annually between $52,200 to $181, 800 depending on the amount of stock sold. (p. 5)

Other members of the Board of Trustees of the Trust include Elder Walter R. Beach, former Secretary of the General Conference and General Vice President. He will serve as Chairman of the Board. President of the Trust will be Elder Alvin G. Munson who is serving as President and Treasurer of the Adventist Radio-Te1evision-Film Center. His choice to serve as a Trustee is most interesting. To finance the organization of this Trust, and to cover the costs of offering the stock, the Seventh-day Adventist Radio-Te1evision-Film Center authorized a loan up to $150,000 at 8.5% interest. Then as its initial investment, the Trust will loan back to the Adventist Radio-Television-Film Center under a first deed of trust up to $3,000,000 for 19 acres of partially developed land located in Newbury Park California. This will be secured by a 30 year note bearing an interest rate of 9.5%, plus a loan fee of 2%. (p. 15) Now it is stated that Elder Munson "will abstain from voting as a Trustee with respect to such transactions and any subsequent modification thereof" as has been noted above. (p. 6) But he doesn't need to vote as a Trustee of the Trust, as he has used his influence as President and Treasurer of the Center itself!

For background, one needs to keep in mind that the Adventist-Radio-Film Center is a California Nonprofit Corporation which through its Television Operations Board controls Faith for Today, and It Is Written Telecast. Further through its interlocking Board Chairmen, it controls also the Voice of Prophecy operations. The Chairman, Elder F. W. Wernick, and three Vice Chairmen, Elders Neal C. Wilson, Cree Sandefer, and Alvin G. Munson are the same on all controlling Boards, and where there are any variations in subcorporations, Elder Munson is both chairman and president of the Board of Directors. (See Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1976, pp. 24-6)

In setting up this Trust, a minimum of $5,000,000 and a maximum of $17,000,000 in shares are being offered at $10.00 per share, with a minimum purchase being $1,000. These shares are being offered through the Underwriter, Morgan, Olmstead, Kennedy & Gardner, Inc., who "will receive a commission of 10% of the Offering Price upon the sale of the Shares." (pp. 32-33) This means simply that if the maximum offering is realized this company will receive $1,700,000. Besides this, Parker Dale who is Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing of this stock broker company is also one of the non-Church members of the Trust.

There is another interesting aspect to what this Trust plans to do. The Prospectus states -"Entities of the Church [Conferences, etc.] have interests in a wide range

p 4 -- of real estate located throughout the United States. Such interests range from fee simple title to leasehold interests." (p. 13) This latter investment of trust funds and other funds given by the Laity to the Conferences lacks liquidity, and thus those Conferences who have these monies in leasehold investments cannot convert readily in case of emergency. Now this new Trust which has set 80% of the appraised value of the property as the basis of' mortgage loans, will give 100% in purchasing "lease back financing or other equity investments." (p. 3) As an example of' "leasehold interests", some Conferences have invested in the building of Federal Post Offices and then leased them to the government. "Equity Investments" are defined as "medical offices, shopping centers, office buildings, industrial buildings and multifamily dwelling units located on or near college and university campuses owned by entities of the Church." (p. 13)

The questions that could be asked in regard to what was the objective of' the General Conference Corporation in authorizing this Trust could only be answered by an impartial probe of all the financial maneuvering of the hierarchy of the Church. Perhaps another article in the Review by the President of the General Conference would be timely, if this time instead of dwelling on the mimeograph press, he would be specific, honest and forthright. Otherwise, those who are interested might wish to write to Adventist Properties & Mortgage Trust, Lemmon Bldg., 1500 East Chevy Chase Dr., Glendale, California, 91206. The response and material you might receive, we would appreciate copies of the same for further evaluations to share with our readers.

WHAT SAITH THE LORD? -- "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and "what communion hath light with darkness?" II Cor. 6:14

"This means in a special sense, marriage with unbelievers, but it covers more ground than this: it means in our instrumentalities ordained of God, in our institutions for health, in our colleges, in our publishing houses ...

"You are not in any case to become contaminated with the spirit or influence of unbelievers. Be afraid of uniting or binding up in bundles with them. Be afraid of communicating the works connected with the Lord's cause, to those who have no part with God, or sympathy with those who love the truth of God." Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 271-2.

"The most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals have been given to us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is our work. The world is to be warned, and God's people are to be true to the trust committed to them. They are not to engage in speculations, neither are they to enter into business enterprises with unbelievers ; for this would hinder them in doing the work given them." Counsels on Stewardship, p. 38.

A Definition: "The word fellowship means participation, partnership. God employs the strongest figures to show that there should be no union between worldly parties and those who are seeking the righteousness of Christ." Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 476
. --- (1976 Sept -- Special Report -- OBSERVATION -- Part 1 ) --- END ---