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WWN 2005 Jan - Mar


Jan 2005 -- XXXVIII - 1(05) -- The New Year -- Editor's Preface -- With this issue, we begin our 38th year of continuous publication. We thank the Lord for His guidance during these years and will seek to be so led in the months ahead. Each month of this year, we shall continue to revise and edit a chapter from the first manuscript we published in 1972 on the history of the doctrine of the Incarnation as taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Time has not lessened such a need, only intensified it.

In the final article, while using the report in Adventist Today on the problems currently plaguing 3ABN as a take off point, our primary focus is on the meaning of the "end" as indicated by Jesus in Matthew 24:14. Is the "end" a period of time, or a point in time? Besides the statement of Jesus, we also note two references in the Writings which relate to the nature of the "end" and the message to be given at that time and to whom. Are we in that period of time "after the truth has been given as a witness to all nations?" If we are, then some "independent" ministries had better rewrite their "job desription." If not, then we all had better get into "high gear" for the end hasteth greatly.

Special OPS Forces -- The Lord is looking for an all-volunteer army - no conscription. He is looking for a few good men and women whose motto is "semper fidelis;" who are willing to be true to duty as the needle to the pole; who are willing to fight the battles of the Lord when the champions are few; who will learn to gather warmness from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice and loyalty from their treason. - Allan Hamm

p 2 -- AN INTERPRETIVE HISTORY OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE INCARNATION AS TAUGHT BY THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH -- [Webnote: Parts 1 & 2 in Oct & Dec. 2004.] -- Ellen G. White on the Incarnation 1888-1915 -- Part 3 -- The presentations of Dr. E. J. Waggoner and Elder A. T. Jones on the subject of righteousness by faith during the last decade of the 19th century included of necessity a discussion of the nature of the humanity which the Son of God took upon Himself. Their concepts on the subject of the doctrine of the Incarnation produced opposition. Some of those who were opposed wrote to Ellen White. These did not write simply to obtain the light she had been given in regard to the humanity of the Son of man, but to assert their doubts as the basis of their questioning. To these questioners she replied in a morning talk given at Battle Creek on January 29, 1890. She revealed that letters had been coming to her "affirming that Christ could not have had the same nature as man, for if He had had He would have fallen under similar temptations." To this reasoning, she replied:      If He did not have man's nature, He could not be our example. If He did not partake of our nature, He could not have been tempted as man has been. If it were not possible for Him to yield to temptation, He could not be our helper. It is a solemn reality that Christ came to fight the battle as man, in man's behalf. His temptation and victory tell us that humanity must copy the Pattern; man must become a partaker of the divine nature (Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 408).

These letters reveal that among the rank and file of Adventists, there was as much a need to clarify the doctrine on the Incarnation, as to understand the 1888 message on righteousness by faith. The two go hand in hand. In this brief answer, which Ellen White gave to the questioners, there is summarized the same position as found in her writings prior to 1888, and until her death in 1915. While it is true that during this period - 1888-1915 - many more statements on the subject of the Incarnation came from her pen than prior to 1888; however, there was no altering of the basic position as first stated in 1858 - that Jesus would take .man's fallen nature" (Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 1, p. 25).

There are two approaches which can be used in presenting the material on the Incarnation in the writings of Ellen G. White during the period covered in this chapter: 1) We could simply list by year what was penned; or 2) We can bring together in an interpretive analysis of the statements irregardless of the year sequence. Since this is an "interpretive" history, we shall use the second approach.

To Ellen G. White, the Incarnation "is a great mystery, a mystery that will not be fully, completely understood in all its greatness until the translation of the redeemed shall take place. Then the power and the greatness and efficacy of the gift of God to man will be understood;" however, she cautioned that "the enemy is determined that this gift shall be so mystified that it will become as nothingness" (Letter 280, 1904; 5BC:1113).

The magnitude and the depth of the condescension revealed by the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, leaves the student "breathless." In 1896, Ellen White wrote:      In contemplating the incarnation of Christ in humanity, we stand baffled before an unfathomable mystery, that the human mind cannot comprehend. The more we reflect upon it, the more amazing does it appear. How wide is the contrast between the divinity of Christ and the helpless infant in Bethlehem's manger! How can we span the distance between the mighty God and a helpless child? And yet the Creator of worlds, He in whom was the fullness of the Godhead bodily, was manifest in the helpless babe in the manger. Far higher than any of the angels, equal with the Father in dignity and glory, and yet wearing the garb of humanity! Divinity and humanity were mysteriously combined, and man and God became one (Signs of the Times, July 30, 1896).

It is in this union "that we find the hope of our fallen race" (ibid). "The humanity of the Son of

p 3 -- God is everything to us. It is the golden linked chain that binds our souls to Christ, and through Christ to God. This is to be our study" (Ms. 67, 1998: 7BC, p. 904). Therefore, we need to "fix our minds on the most marvellous thing that ever took place in earth or heaven - the incarnation of the Son of God" (Ms. 76, 1903; 7BC:904). "We must come to this study with the humility of a learner, with a contrite heart. And the study of the incarnation of Christ is a fruitful field, and will repay the searcher who digs deep for hidden truth (Ms. 67, 1898; 7BC:905).

Where is one to begin in the study of the Incarnation? The counsel indicates that -      There are light and glory in the truth that Christ was One with the Father before the foundation of the world was laid. This is the light shining in a dark place, making it resplendent with divine, original glory. This truth, infinitely mysterious in itself, explains other mysterious and otherwise unexplainable truths, while it is enshrined in light, unapproachable and incomprehensible (R& H, April 5, 1906).

As "One with the Father,"   "the Lord Jesus Christ ... existed from eternity a distinct Person (ibid). This distinct Person became the man, Christ Jesus. While Ellen G. White definitely stated that "we cannot explain how divinity was clothed with humanity" (R&H, Oct. 1, 1889), her writings during this period unfold various fundamental aspects of what took place when Christ became man. In 1899, she wrote:      Christ at an infinite cost, by a painful process, mysterious to angels as well as to man, assumed humanity. Hiding His divinity, laying aside His glory, He was born a babe in Bethlehem (Ms. 29, 1899).

In creation, Christ had given "to humanity an existence outside of Himself;" but "in redemption He takes humanity unto Himself. He makes it a part of His own being" (M. L. Andreasen Collection #2, "The Word Made Flesh"). We might then ask - "Was the human nature of the Son of Mary changed into the divine nature of the Son of God? No; the two natures were mysteriously blended in one person, the man Christ Jesus" (Letter 280, 1904). Or we might ask the question in another way - Was the divine nature degraded by accepting the human nature formed in the womb of Mary? The answer is again - no! "In Christ, divinity and humanity were combined. Divinity was not degraded to humanity; divinity held its place, but humanity by being united with divinity withstood the fiercest test of temptation in the wilderness" (SM, bk 1, p. 408). What then is meant when the expression - Christ "united humanity with divinity" - is used by Ellen White? Observe this definitive reference:      He [Christ] united humanity with divinity: a divine spirit dwelt in a temple of flesh. He united Himself with the temple (Youth's Instructor, Dec. 20, 1900; 4BC: 1147).

The nature of this "temple of flesh" is also clearly defined in this same article. It reads:     Think of Christ's humiliation. He took upon Himself fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin (ibid).

Again:      Christ did in reality unite the offending nature of man with His own sinless nature, because by this act of condescension He would be enabled to pour out His blessings in behalf of the fallen race (R&H, July 17, 1900).

Lest it be misunderstood what she meant by the term, "human nature," or when she wrote that Christ became "flesh," she emphasized that it was "in the likeness of sinful flesh." In an article in the Youth's Instructor, "The Privileges of Childhood (August 23, 1894), she counselled, "Let children bear in mind that the child Jesus had taken upon Himself human nature, and was in the likeness of sinful flesh, and was tempted of Satan as all children are tempted." [This should dispel forever the deception that Christ bore our fallen nature only at the time of the wilderness temptation, and then merely vicariously.] On another occasion, she wrote - (Christ) "was not only made flesh, but He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh" (W-106-1896). Some might quibble that because she used the language of Scripture, "likeness of sinful flesh," the use of "likeness" meant that the nature that Christ assumed was not really sinful fallen nature, but only something which

p 4 -- physically resembled it. However, in two published sources it is plainly stated that "He took upon His sinless nature our sinful nature" (Medical Ministry, p. 181); and "He took upon Him our sinful nature" (R&H, Dec. 15, 1896).

While being specific as to the nature that Christ assumed in becoming incarnate, Ellen White was just as pointed as to the effect of such a union upon Him. She declared that "in His human nature, He maintained the purity of His divine character (Youth's Instructor, June 2, 1898); and "in taking upon Himself man's nature in its fallen condition, Christ did not in the least participate in its sin" (Signs of the Times, June 9, 1898). "No taint of sin was found on Him" (ibid., January 16, 1896).

The article in the Signs of the Times from which the last sentence quoted was taken bore the title, "Sin condemned in the flesh." In this article the various Bible texts which refer to Christ's sinlessness were quoted, such as, "that holy thing" (Luke 1:35); "He did no sin" (I Peter 2:22); "knew no sin" (II Cor. 5:21); "in Him was no sin" (I John 3:5); and that Christ was "holy harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners" (Heb. 7:26). Then this sentence is written - "This testimony concerning Christ plainly shows that He condemned sin in the flesh" (ibid).

One positive point Ellen White made in reply to the negative assumption that came to her as a result of the preaching on the subject of righteousness by faith was that if Christ "was not a partaker of our nature, He could not have been tempted as man has been" (Selected Messages, bk. 1, 408). She recognized that -      Unless there is a possibility of yielding, temptation is no temptation. Temptation comes and is resisted when man is powerfully influenced to do a wrong action, and knowing that he can do it, resists by faith, with a firm hold upon divine power (Ms. 29, 1899).

Then she declared - "This is the ordeal through which Christ passed." To pass through this experience presented a two-fold risk to the Godhead: 1) A risk to the Son of God personally; and 2) A risk to the unity of the eternal throne unless certain precautions were taken. From the beginning God had exercised great care lest sin become immortalized. Our first parents were driven from the Garden of Eden so they could not partake of the tree of life following their disobedience (Gen. 3:22-23). Now if Christ came into humanity with the immortal aspect of the Godhead - the glory He had with the Father before the world was (John 17:5) - and failed, which had to be a possibility or His temptations would have been meaningless, then there would have been two Beings in eternal antagonism. The Incarnation, of necessity, had to synthesize these two risks.

Ellen White indicated that Christ did accept in Himself this synthesis. He came a "free agent, placed on probation, as was Adam, and as is man" (Ms. 29, 1899). Christ also shielded the Eternal Throne. "He humbled Himself, and took mortality upon Him. As a member of the human family, He was mortal." Thus if He sinned, "divine wrath would have come upon Christ as it came upon Adam" (Signs of the Times, June 9, 1898). But while Christ yielded up the divine prerogatives, His place in the Godhead was held in sacred trust, and could not be lost, "while He stood faithful and true to His loyalty" (Signs of the Times, May 10, 1899; 5BC:1129).

From 1891 to 1900, Ellen White was in Australia. It was there in 1895 that she wrote a letter to an American worker doing evangelism there. This letter to William L. H. Baker has been used extensively to mitigate the force of all that she wrote during this period on the nature which Christ assumed in becoming a man. [See Appendix A for a discussion of this letter]. At this very time, she was writing the book, The Desire of Ages, on the life of Christ. Nowhere in the book can there be found statements which would sustain the interpretations being given to the letter which was sent to Elder Baker, but rather contrary wise.

Throughout the book - The Desire of the Ages - the description of the humanity which Christ took upon Himself and the victory that He obtained in the flesh reflect the same concepts the author penned in previous publications, and in articles appearing in church papers during this same time period. Of Christ it is stated that He

p 5 -- "accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity." In context, she wrote:      It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man's nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race was weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life (p. 49).

A prepublication draft of this paragraph is very expressive. It reads:      Christ was to take humanity upon Him, not as it was when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden, but as weakened and defiled by four thousand years of sin. He was to come as the Son of man, like every child of Adam, accepting the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were, what the inheritance bequeathed to Jesus in His human nature was, Scripture reveals in the history of those who were the earthly ancestors of our Saviour. With such an heredity, Jesus came as one of us, to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life (M. L. Andreasen Collection #2).

In another chapter of the book, Ellen White wrote that "as one of us He was to give an example of obedience. For this He took upon Himself our nature, and passed through our experiences" (p. 24). The expressions - "as one of us," and "our nature" - are clearly defined in the book. In one place it is written - "Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity," which for four thousand years "had been decreasing in physical strength, in mental power, and moral worth" (p. 117). "Our Saviour took humanity, with all its liabilities" (ibid). Christ knew that it was impossible for man to deny the clamor of his fallen nature, and that through this channel, Satan would seek to take advantage of hereditary weakness to ensnare Him, so "by passing over the ground which man must travel, our Lord has prepared the way for us to overcome" (pp. 122-123). "By His humanity, Christ touched humanity; by His divinity, He lays hold upon the throne of God. As the Son of man, He gave us an example of obedience; as the Son of God, He gives us the power to obey" (p. 24).

A statement appeared in the Youth's Instructor during 1897 which could serve as a summary of all that the inspired writings have declared in regard to the humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ. It reads:      To human eyes, Christ was only a man, yet He was a perfect man. In His humanity, He was the impersonation of the divine character. God embodied His own attributes in His Son, - His power, His wisdom, His goodness, His purity, His truthfulness, His spirituality, and His benevolence. In Him, though human, all perfection of character, all divine excellence, dwelt (Sept. 16, 1897).

A New Year -- Dominating this coming year will be the results of the American election. Already darkening clouds are appearing on the horizon indicating a coming storm of mega intensity. Since the election, the Cabinet shuffle is a cause of deep concern. Michael Ratner, head of the Center for Constitutional Rights stated that in some ways, Alberto Gonzales who is Bush's choice to replace Ashcroft as Attorney General "is more dangerous than Ashcroft" (Time, 11/22/04, p. 57). This Center is presently suing the Administration to grant due-process hearings to any foreigners at the U. S. detention center in Guatanamo Bay. Ratner charges that "the person who really took the U.S. outside of the law Was Gonzales. He opened the door to inhumane treatment and military commissions" (ibid.). The look down the corridor of time only adds to the concern, as Gonzales is on the list for an appointment as Supreme Court vacancies occur.

Rescheduling activities by the Vatican for John Paul II's travel as well as his conduct of important Masses of the Church as the year closed indicated a continued decline in health which could result in a new head of the Papacy in 2005. Commenting, an article in The Catholic World Report (November, 2004) stated:

p 6 -- The Vatican has released the pope's schedule for the remainder of 2004. It is a relatively light schedule, with no surprises on the list of public liturgical celebrations. Two possible trips abroad - to Ireland and to Turkey - have been pushed back to the Spring of 2005 at the earliest....

The obvious decline in the Pope's physical health has prompted Vatican planners to cut back severely on his public appearances. When the Pontiff does participate in liturgical ceremonies, he generally "presides" - remaining in place beside the altar - while one or more cardinals celebrate the Mass. On September 28, Cardinal Jospeh Ratzinger took the Holy Father's place as celebrant of a Mass in memory of Popes Paul VI and John Paul I; Vatican officials explained that the Pope was resting in preparation for the beatification ceremonies a few days later (p. 4).

Some of the final details of prophecy could quickly be fulfilled. We face a momentous year.

A High Flying Organization -- The first issue of Adventist Today (AT) for 2004 carried as its lead article a forthright and carefully written report on the problems at 3ABN using the suggestion that it was a high flying organization due to the two jets purchased by Danny Shelton to carry him between various appointments. The author, Elder Edwin A. Schwisow, was public relations officer for the North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Another article followed in the second issue of Adventist Today for 2004 written by the Chairman of the Board of 3ABN defending and explaining the activities of the organization.

It is not our objective to enter into the moral questions that have been raised in other releases devoted to 3ABN's difficulties, or the monetary problems noted in AT. The purpose of this essay is to consider the basic concept behind the final gospel witnessing. The key text is Jesus' own statement - "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matt. 24:14). The verb 'hxei is simple future and conveys the concept that when the gospel of the kingdom is proclaimed as a witness to all nations, then the end would come. But is this "end" a point of time, or a period of time? How one answers this question determines one's witness.

Adventism over the decades has promoted the point of time viewpoint. Various "independent" ministries such as 3ABN and "Steps to Life" continue to do so. This is what gives them the basis for support they receive from sincere Adventists disillusioned with the present course of the regular Church. 3ABN goes a step further and connects their outreach with the very message which fundamental Adventists believe was given in sacred trust to the Church to proclaim - the Three Angels' Message of Revelation 14. This has served as a magnet for the drawing of financial support from the laity of the Church who conscientiously feel they can no longer support the regular Church. This still leaves unanswered the question asked above, "point of time" or "period of time," as well as a further question, Is 3ABN proclaiming the Three Angels' Messages as God indicated He wanted it proclaimed for this hour, or have they followed merely the "traditional" view of its final proclamation?

As 1892 was closing, this message appeared in the Review & Herald (Dec. 13): "After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations," - clearly echoing the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:14 - "every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation, and minds will be confused by many voices crying ... This is the truth, I have the message from God, He has sent me with great light." This statement definitely sets the end, not as a "point" of time, but as a "period" of time. Further it gives descriptive detail as what would take place in that period so that one could clearly identify it. Consider:
1) "Every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation."
2) "Many voices crying ... This is the truth, I have the message from God, he has sent me with great light."

p 7 -- 3) "There will be a removing of the landmarks, and an attempt to tear down the pillars of our faith."

Keep in mind that these things were to occur "after" the truth had been proclaimed as a witness to all nations.

With this message given in 1892, there is another that must be considered given as the decade closed: It reads:      The first and second angels' messages are united and made complete in the third. [Rev. 14:9-10 quoted] Under the proclamation of these messages the cry was made, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh." The believers in these messages were compelled to go out from the churches because they preached the second appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven. The whole world was to hear the message, ""Behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him."...

Had those who claimed to believe the truth acted their part as wise virgins, the message would ere this have been given to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. But five were foolish. The truth should have been proclaimed by the ten virgins, but only five had made the provision essential to join the company that walked in the light given to them.

The first, second, and third angels' messages are to be repeated. The call is to be given to the church: [Rev. 18:2-5 quoted]. (Review & Herald, October 31, 1899)

With the prophecy of Jesus (Luke 21:24) indicating in its fulfilment that "the times of the nations" are fulfilled, and with the evidence that the "land marks" and "pillars of our faith" have been tampered with, as indicated would occur "after the truth had been proclaimed as a witness to all nations," 3ABN began its ministry in the mid-1980s. What was to be their message? If to repeat the Three Angels' Messages as indicated in the masthead, "3ABN," they had to say, the "truth" had not as yet been proclaimed to all nations, when the evidence of fulfilled prophecy both in the Scriptures and in the Writings indicated it had. If then, the messages "are to be repeated," and the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, it leaves only the "church" as the one to be the recipient of this repeat. But it is plainly stated that the Fourth Angel's message is to be united with the repeat of the other three and given to the Church. This 3ABN has not done. Perhaps the emphasis needs to be altered from 3ABN to 4ABN, and Rev. 18:1-5 proclaimed as it is indicated should be done.

Into this picture also falls another statement -

The state of the Church
represented by the foolish virgins,
is also spoken of as the Laodicean state"

(R&H, Aug. 19, 1890).

p 8 -- Numerology -- A Doctor in Canada wrote me a letter in which he asked - "Have you ever commented on the numerology that seems to be consistent in the Bible?" He cited certain common Biblical numbers of time and groups such as three, seven, twelve, forty, seventy and one hundred and twenty. It must be recognized that numerology has problematical factors, and yet certain periods of time are repeated, and others divided into equal increments. To his letter, I replied:

Your letter notes various time periods and dates. I have meditated on some of these myself especially the times involved with the demise of Israel as the people of God. In AD 31, the hierarchy crossed the unseen line and crucified the Messiah. Three and one half years later (AD 34), the nation of Israel fulfilled its allotted "70 weeks." The times of the Gentiles (nations) began. Thirty six years later in AD 70, judgment fell on the nation, city, and temple. This closely parallels 40 years as a generation. If however, you use AD 31, the time period is 39 years.

In 1967 the "'times of the Gentiles" were fulfilled (Luke 24:21); Jerusalem passed once again to Jewish control. Then 13 years later, 1980, Jerusalem was made the capital of all Israel by the vote of the Knesset. Another thirteen years, 1993; and the Papacy recognized Israel as a State and press releases suggested Papal interest in Jerusalem which could mean the fulfilment of Daniel 11:45 if carried through. Another 13 years would bring us to 2006, just ahead of us. But three 13 year increments equal 39 years, just one year shy of a Biblical generation, but exactly equal to the time of AD 31 - AD 70! However, if you add 40 years to 1967 you get 2007, also "even at the door."

If God is working in 13-year increments - "3" a perfect number is involved in the events from 1967 to 2006. All of this makes for something to think about, and react to in a full preparation for the coming of Christ with our lamps trimmed and burning for light in the gross darkness of the present time. --- (2005 Jan) ---End --- TOP

Feb 2005 -- XXXVIII - 2(05) --  The Doctrine of the Incarnation As Understood by Jones &Waggoner -- Part 4 -- Editor's Preface -- The edited and revised 4th chapter of An Interpretive History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church was of such a length that it was impossible to complete it in this issue of WWN. We will conclude it in the March issue. However, a development in the plans of Papal Rome for this liturgical year dedicated to the Eucharist calls for special attention; therefore, in the March issue we shall give careful study to the chapter in the book of Revelation which portrays "the false prophet" under the symbol of the "lamb-like beast" that came up out of the "earth."

In considering the position taken by Jones and Waggoner certain historical data needs to be kept in mind. The period of time includes the last decade of the 19th century, and the first five years of the new century. In 1892, Waggoner accepted assignment to England, and with Ellen G. White in Australia, this left Jones the sole voice of the message which they presented in 1888. Waggoner did attend the 1901 GC Session and spoke on the subject of the Incarnation the night before Ellen White gave her testimony the following morning which ended the Holy Flesh Movement. Jones remained in the States and in 1897 was made editor-in-chief of the Review & Herald. His series of editorials on the subject of the Incarnation in 1900 incited R. S. Donnell, president of the Indiana Conference and titular head of the Holy Flesh Movement, to respond in the Indiana Conference paper, the Indiana Reporter. The cap sheaf to the position held by Jones was the publication of his book in 1905 by the Pacific Press, The Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection.

p 2 -- AN INTERPRETIVE HISTORY OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE INCARNATION AS TAUGHT BY THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH -- The Doctrine of the Incarnation As Understood by Jones &Waggoner -- Part 4 -- During the period of time covered in this chapter - 1888 to 1905 - the subject of the Incarnation was preached more extensively, and discussed more fully than at any other time in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church with the exception of the last three decades. To understand the why of this emphasis during this period of time, it is necessary to note the messages of righteousness by faith which came to the Church at the 1888 General Conference Session and the decade following that Session.

At the General Conference Session in Minneapolis (1888), the Lord sent "a most precious message to His people through Elders Jones and Waggoner" (Special Testimony to the Battle Creek Church, p. 35). These men enlarged and emphasized this message during the years that followed. Not only did the message present "justification through faith in the Surety;" but "it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God." Christ, through the Holy Spirit, came near to His Church with the objective of "imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent." This is "the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and to be attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure" (ibid., pp. 35-36).

It needs to be understood also that Christ as High Priest in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary was desirous of completing His work for man according to covenant promise. He had upon the Cross provided a sufficient sacrifice for the sins of mankind; but as our High Priest, He was "to complete His work, and fulfil His pledge to 'make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.' Isa. 13:12." (Desire of Ages, p. 790). This work of Christ is noted in the Writings as "a special atonement for Israel," or "a final atonement" (Early Writings, pp. 251, 253).

The question of what was involved in making a man more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir, and how it was to be accomplished became the primary emphasis in the presentation of the message of righteousness by faith. The truth that the incarnation had a definite relationship to the atonement, as projected by Edward Irving (see Strong's Systematic Theology, p. 744) - though misunderstood and misapplied by him now came into its own; and it was seen to be an essential and vital part of the message concerning the special work that Jesus desired to accomplish in and for man.*

During this period, the special messengers whom the Lord sent presented the doctrine of the Incarnation. In 1890, the Pacific Press released a book of Dr. E. J. Waggoner, Christ and His Righteousness, which Froom (Movement of Destiny, p. 189) avers to be an edited presentation of the messages given by him at the 1888 General Conference Session. This is open to serious question and challenge. However, in the book, after setting forth Christ's divinity, Waggoner turns to the "wonderful story of His humiliation" (p. 189). He quotes and comments upon John 1:14 and Philippians 2:5-8. Then he writes: "Other scriptures that we will quote bring closer to us the fact of the humanity of Christ, and what it means to us - (p. 26). These other texts were Romans 8:3-4, Hebrews 2:16-17, and II Corinthians. 5:21.

*The doctrine of the incarnation cannot be separated from the teaching of the perfection of character which God intends His people to manifest in the final display of His glory on the earth. In His incarnate life, Christ finished the work the Father gave Him to do - having been given "power [exousia]" over all flesh - He glorified Him on the earth (John 17:2-4); He "condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom. 8:3). This is to be repeated; for the final victors of earth are to overcome, "even as [Jesus] overcame" (Rev. 3:21).

p 3 -- Commenting on Romans 8:3-4, he wrote:      A little thought will be sufficient to show anybody that if Christ took upon Himself the likeness of man, in order that He might redeem man, it must have been sinful man that He was made like, for it was sinful man that He came to redeem. ... Moreover, the fact that Christ took upon Himself the flesh, not of a sinless being, but of sinful man, that is, that flesh which He assumed had all the weaknesses and sinful tendencies to which fallen human nature is subject, is shown by the statement that He "was made of the seed of David according to the flesh" (pp. 26-27; emphasis his).

In commenting on II Cor. 5:21, Waggoner wrote:       This is much stronger than the statement that He was made "in the likeness of sinful flesh." He was made to be sin. Here is the same mystery as that the Son of God should die. The spotless Lamb of God, who knew no sin, was made to be sin. Sinless, yet not only counted as a sinner, but actually taking upon Himself sinful nature. He was made to be sin in order that we might be made righteousness (ibid. pp. 27-28; emphasis his).

How does the incarnation relate to us being made righteous? Observe the f urther observations of Waggoner:       He [Christ] is "touched with the feeling of our infirmity." That is, having suffered all that sinful flesh is heir to He knows all about it, and so closely does He identify Himself with His children that whatever presses upon them makes an impression upon Him, and He knows how much Divine power is necessary to resist it; and if we but sincerely desire to deny "ungodliness and worldly lusts," He is able and anxious to give us strength "exceeding abundantly, above all that we ask or think." All the power which Christ had dwelling in Him by nature, we may have dwelling in us by grace, for He freely bestows it upon us (ibid., p. 30).

Then he adds:       What wonderful possibilities there are for Christians! To what heights of holiness he may attain! No matter how much Satan may war against him, assaulting him where the flesh is weakest, he may abide under that shadow of the Almighty, and be filled with the fullness of God's strength (ibid., pp. 30-31).

Thus Dr. Waggoner inseparably linked the truth of the incarnation - that Christ took upon Himself the fallen, sinful nature of man - and the objective of the atonement - "that Christ may dwell in [our] hearts by faith," "that [we] might be filled with all the fullness of God" - the "heights of holiness" to which we may attain.

At the 1891 General Conference Session, Elder Waggoner gave a series of studies on the book of Romans. In these studies the same emphasis appears as in his book, Christ and His Righteousness. In the 8th study, he noted the attribute of a priest as one who had compassion, and observed that the compassion of Christ was revealed by the fact that "it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren." Then he asked, "What is done by the compassion of Christ? ... What benefit is the compassion of Christ to us?" To these questions, he answered:      He [Christ] knows the strength we need. He knows what we need, when we need it, and how we need it. So the work of Christ as priest, is for one thing, - to deliver us from sin.

His next question was - "What is the power of Christ's priesthood?" To this question the answer was given:       He is made a priest "not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life." That is the power by which Christ delivers you and me from sin this day, and this hour, and every moment that we believe in Him.

Dr. Waggoner considered the power of the "endless life" as coming from two sources: 1) It was a divine power, and 2) the earthly life of Christ in the flesh was a life free from sin; therefore "death could not hold Him." To the objection that this was good theory in the case of Christ, but we are the flesh of sin, he replied - "That is true; but in the flesh there may be the divine life that was in Christ when He was in the flesh" (GC Bulletin, 1891, pp. 130-131).

p 4 -- In the 10th Study, Waggoner returned to the concept of the power of an endless life as it pertains to the individual. He asked - "Now how do we get hold of Christ? How do we get the benefit of that righteous life of His? Here was his answer:       It is in the act of death. At what point is it that we touch Christ, and make the connection? At what point in the ministry of Christ is it that He touches us, and affects the union? - It is at the lowest possible point where man can be touched, and that is death. In all points He was made like His brethren, so He takes the very lowest of these - the point of death, - and there it is, when we are actually dead, we step into Christ.

But since Christ arose, we too, rise to newness of life. "That new life, - that newness of life which we have, is the life of Christ, and it is a SINLESS LIFE." In this same study, Waggoner declared this to be the very heart, life, and power of the message of righteousness by faith. He said:      In all our Christian experience we have left little loopholes along here and there for sin. We have never dared to come to that place where we would believe that the Christian life should be a sinless life. We have not dared to believe it or to preach it. But in that case we cannot preach the law of God fully. Why not? Because we do not understand the power of justification by faith. Then without justification by faith it is impossible to preach the law of God to the fullest extent (1891 GC Bulletin, pp. 156, I59).

Herein is the difference between justification by faith as presented in the Protestant Reformation and the doctrine as brought to the Church in 1888. While the basic foundation was the same - the just shall live by faith - it was in the 1888 message that the full application of what it meant was made - the power to keep from sinning. In other words, a people were to be prepared of whom it could be said - "Here are they that keep the commandments of God."

In the 12th study all the teaching of righteousness by faith was linked with the incarnation. In discussing "the old man," and our marriage to this "body of sin" as Paul presented it in Romans 7, Waggoner observed that we were one with it. Just so, when we are crucified with Christ, and rise to a new relationship, we are married to Christ, and thus one with Him. On this point, he commented:       What a precious thought it is, that we are one flesh with Christ! In this we see the mystery of the incarnation appearing again. If we can believe that Christ was in the flesh, God incarnate in Christ, we can believe this, - Christ dwelling in us, and working through us, - through our flesh, just the same as when He took flesh upon Himself and controlled it (1891 GC Bulletin, p. 195).

In 1892, Elder E. J. Waggoner accepted a call to become editor of the Present Truth published in England. He did not again speak before a General Conference Session until 1897. At that Session he presented nineteen studies primarily on the first section of the book of Hebrews. In these studies he maintained the same position on the nature of Christ's humanity that he had held six years previously.

In discussing Hebrews 2:9, which states that Jesus "was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death," Waggoner commented - "He was made a little lower than the angels; He was man. So that when we consider Him now, we consider Him as man, and from this point through we have Jesus before us all the time, but always as man. Never forget that" (1897 GC Bulletin, p. 45). To emphasize how closely Jesus has identified Himself with man, Waggoner observed that Jesus did not abandon man when he sinned, but accepted the curse in Himself, even the curse that man received because of sin. He asked the question - "Where is that point where the curse falls upon Christ? In answer to his own question, he said - "Sinful flesh. Not only sinful flesh, but that which stands as the symbol of the curse that falls upon Christ - the cross" (ibid). To Waggoner, the crucifixion did not begin at Calvary, for he declared - "Christ taking fallen, sinful humanity upon Him, is Christ crucified" (ibid., p. 57).

In contrasting the difference between the two Adams, Waggoner emphasized what he understood the Scripture to mean which said - "The Word was made flesh." He stated, "the

p 5 -- Word was made perfect flesh in Adam, but in Christ was the Word made fallen flesh. Christ goes down to the bottom, and there is the Word flesh, sinful flesh" (ibid., p. 57).

In 1901, Waggoner gave a sermon at the General Conference Session which focused on the subject of the humanity of Christ, but because of its timing and connection with the doctrinal issues that came before that Session, his observations will be given in the chapter on the Holy Flesh Movement.

From 1892 and onward the burden for the presentation of the Message of 1888, and the truth in regard to the incarnation at the General Conference sessions rested upon A. T. Jones. At both the 1893 and 1895 sessions, Jones used the same theme - "The Third Angel's Message." In the 10th study of the 1893 series, Jones discussed the "white raiment" with which the saints are to be clothed. Of this garment, he declared:      Brethren, that garment was woven in a human body. The human body - the flesh of Jesus - was the loom was it not? That garment was woven in Jesus; in the same flesh that you and I have, for He took part of the same flesh and blood that we have. That flesh that is yours and mine, that Christ bore in this world - that was the loom in which God wove the garment for you and me to wear in the flesh, and He wants us to wear it now, as well as when the flesh is made immortal in the end!

What was the loom? Christ in His human flesh. What was it that was made here? [Voice: The garment of righteousness] And it is for all of us. The righteousness of Christ - the life that He lived - for you and for me, that we are considering tonight, that is the garment ... It was God in Christ. Christ is to be in us, just as God was in Him, and His character is to be in us, just as God was in Him, and His character is to be woven and transformed into us through these sufferings and temptations and trials which we meet. And God is the weaver, but not without us. It is the co-operation of the divine and the human - the mystery of God in you and me - the same mystery that was in the gospel, and that is the third angel's message (1893 GC Bulletin, p. 207).

In the above statement Jones clearly indicated that the doctrine of the incarnation which teaches that Christ took upon Himself the fallen nature of man is inseparably linked with the message of righteousness by faith, and this combined message is the third angel's message. Furthermore, this whole concept was linked with the perfection that must be man's in the final hour of human history.

In the 18th study, Jones discussed the demands of the Law of God. It demands "perfect love, manifested 'out of a pure heart, a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.'" Man can only respond, "I have not got it: I have done my best." But the Law replies:      That is not what I want; I don't want your best; I want perfection. It is not your doing I want anyhow, it is God's I want: it is not your righteousness I am after: I want God's righteousness from you: it is not your doing I want: I want God's doing in your life.

What can man say to this? Nothing, absolutely nothing! What is the answer? Here is the answer that Jones gave:      But there comes a still small voice saying, "Here is perfect life; here is the life of God: here is a pure heart; here is a good conscience; here is faith unfeigned." Where does that voice come from? [Congregation: "'Christ"] Ah, the Lord Jesus Christ, who came and stood where I stand, in the flesh in which I live; He lived there; the perfect love of God was manifested there; the perfect purity of heart manifested there; a good conscience manifested there; and the unfeigned faith of the mind that was in Jesus Christ, is there. And Jones added - "The law wants to see that thing in me" (ibid., p. 412; emphasis his).

In the 1895 GC series of studies which Jones gave, he enunciated the doctrine of the Incarnation and the nature of Christ's humanity more clearly and more completely than had been done previously in any single presentation. He began the study by noting the common source from which the humanity we possess was derived. "One man is the source and head of all human nature. And the genealogy of Christ, as one of us, runs to Adam. ... All coming from one man according to the flesh, are all of one. Thus

p 6 --on the human side, Christ's nature is precisely our nature" (p. 231). In commenting on John 1:14 - "And the Word was made flesh" - Jones asked the question - "Now what kind of flesh is it?" In answering this question, he asked another, and amplified the answer as follows:      What kind of flesh alone is it that this world knows? - Just such flesh as you and I have. This world does not know any other flesh of man, and has not known any other since the necessity of Christ's coming was created. Therefore, as this world knows only such flesh as we have, as it is now, it is certainly true that when "the Word was made flesh," He was made just such flesh as ours is. It cannot be otherwise (ibid.).

In this argument, Jones was but echoing Edward Irving, who had declared, "That Christ took our fallen nature, it is most manifest, because there was no other in existence to take" (See Chapter II, Footnote 7).

[As one reads closely the six studies devoted to a discussion of the humanity of the Son of God in the Incarnation which A. T. Jones gave at the 1895 GC Session, one is impressed with the emphasis which parallels the basic position of Edward Irving of England. This leads one to wonder if E. J. Waggoner, after his arrival in England, obtained Irving's Works and sent them to his friend and co-messenger. However, Jones studiously avoided the basic error of Irving in attributing to Christ's human nature the cultivated sins of man. There can be no doubt that Jones considered his 1895 presentation of the incarnation an advanced step from any previous study on this subject. He said - "We are here studying the same subject that we have been studying these three or four years; but God is leading us further along in the study of it, and I am glad" (1895 GC Bulletin, p. 330).]

Turning to Hebrews 2:9 Jones noted that Christ was not made "lower than the angels" as man was when he was created - "that was sinless flesh - but Christ was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death - where man is since he sinned and became subject to death" (1895, GC Bulletin, pp. 232-233).

The next point in his structure of truth on the incarnation was based on Heb. 4:14 - Christ "was in all points tempted as we are." Concerning this Jones said:      He [Christ] could not have been tempted in all points as I am, if he were not in all points as I am to start with. ... Christ was in the place, and He had the nature of the whole human race - and in Him meet all the weaknesses of mankind, so that every man on the earth who can be tempted at all, finds in Christ power against that temptation. For every soul there is in Jesus Christ victory against all temptation, and relief from the power of it. That is the truth (ibid., pp.233-234: emphasis his).

In the study the following evening, Jones returned to the point of inheritance which man received from Adam. He stated "there is not a single drawing toward sin, there is not a single tendency to sin, in you and me that was not in Adam when he stepped out of the garden."   "All the tendencies to sin that are in the human race came from Adam. Jesus Christ felt all these temptations; He was tempted upon all these points in the flesh which He derived from David, from Abraham, and from Adam." He reminded his hearers ? -And there is such a thing as heredity." What did this mean in Jones' thinking as it applied to the incarnation? He stated:      Now that law of heredity reached from Adam to the flesh of Jesus Christ as certainly as it reached from Adam to the flesh of any of the rest of us; for He was one of us. In Him there were things that reached Him from Adam; in Him there were things that reached Him from David, from Manasseh, from the genealogy away back from the beginning until His birth. Thus in the flesh of Jesus Christ, not in Himself, but in His flesh - our flesh that He took in the human nature - there were just the same tendencies to sin that are in you and me (Ibid., p. 266).

But as each temptation sought to draw Him through the tendencies of the flesh, Jesus Christ "by His trust in God" received power to say, No, "and thus, though being in the likeness of sinful flesh, condemned sin in the flesh."

In making these assertions, A. T. Jones was very careful to clarify two points:   1) "There is a difference between a tendency to sin, and the open appearing of that sin in the actions." And   2) "Those sins which we have committed, - we ourselves felt the guilt of them, and were conscious of condemnation because of them.

p 7 -- These were all imputed to Him; they were all laid upon Him" (ibid., p. 267; emphasis supplied). Thus Jones carefully differentiated between inherited tendencies to sin which are common to man's nature, which Christ took, and the cultivated habits of evil which each man develops in his own life through yielding to sin. The former Christ accepted in coming under the great law of heredity; the latter He bore vicariously when He became the sin offering at Calvary. Because of this Jones was able to say:       0, He is a complete Saviour. He is a Saviour from sins committed, and the Conqueror of the tendencies to commit sins. In Him we have the victory (ibid.).

What does this victory mean to us? Is it imparted, or imputed? Is it just something we look at and adore, or is it something we, too, can experience? Jones discussed this point in his next study at the Session.       (Part 4 will be concluded in the March, 2005 p.5]

The Papal Objective -- (L'Osservatore Romano, 1, December 2004) -- "On Sunday, 28, November, in St. Peter's Square before leading the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father reflected on the new liturgical year and this year dedicated to the Eucharist. The following is a translation of the Pope's address, given in Italian.

-Today begins a new liturgical year with the first Sunday of Advent, during this year, we will contemplate with special fervour the face of Christ present in the Eucharist. Jesus, the Incarnate Word who died and has risen, is the centre of history. The Church adores him and grasps in him the ultimate and unifying meaning of all the mysteries of the faith: the love of God that gives life.

"It is in Italy precisely in these days that the preparatory work for the XXIV National Eucharistic Congress, to be held in Bari, Italy, from 21 to 29 May 2005, is starting. The theme of this important ecclesial meeting, which by providential coincidence places more emphasis on the Year of Eucharist, is: ' We cannot live without Sunday.'

"I invite the Italian Ecclesial Community to prepare most carefully for this spiritual appointment, rediscovering ' with new intensity the meaning of Sunday: its 'mystery,' its celebration, its significance for Christian and human life' (Apostolic Letter Dies Domini, n. 3)." [All emphasis theirs].

p 8 -- "The Devil's Trinities" -- A friend on the West Coast sent me an article from Landmarks (Feb. 2001), with the above caption. Written by the only theologian this segment of "independents" has, I read it with interest. I was surprised that one would seek to prove "the central doctrine of [Roman] Catholic faith" (Handbook for Today's Catholic, p. 11) by Paganism, - - - and in so doing embrace it!

There is no question that paganism is devil inspired and has multiple trinities. Lucifer desired to be as God, and a part of the council of God (See Eze. 28:2; Isa. 14:13-14). He was not, but aspired to so be. If the Godhead then were a Trinity, then for Satan to appear to be a part of what he was not, Paganism would have a "Quartet" at the head of its various manifestations. It doesn't, and thus indicates rather the duality of God in the beginning. Paganism in its various "trinities" presents a duality of God plus one, Lucifer, making it Trinitarian.

The first publication of the Writings setting forth the Great Controversy motif, Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 1, had as its first sentence - "The Lord has shown me that Satan was once an honored angel in heaven, next to Jesus Christ." (p. 17). In the same paragraph one reads - "And I saw that when God said to His Son, Let us make man in our image, Satan was jealous of Jesus." A further sentence reads - "He wished to be the highest in heaven, next to God."

There is a "trinity" of "persons" noted - God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, also "an honored angel;" but only a "duality" of Gods - God and His Son. All of this requires some homework, before we take our "pens" and start writing about the "devil's" trinities. --- (2005 Feb) ---End --- TOP

Mar 2005 -- XXXVIII - 3(05) --  The Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty - It Is Pending! -- Editor's Preface -- Recent events and the forces at work behind the events as indicated in prophetic Scripture indicate that the final phase of the great controversy between Christ and Satan has begun. The final battle is pending. It dare not be overlooked that the revelation given to John on Patmos clearly and unequivocally stated that the "frog" symbols coming out of the mouth of the "dragon, ... and the beast" ... and the "false prophet" ... "are the spirits of devils" (Rev. 16:13-14). These spirits of evil gather the rulers of earth into one great combine or ecumenical assembly for the final phase of the "war" (Greek) of the great day of God Al mighty. It begins by the "false prophet" suggesting to those who "dwell on the (prophetic) earth" that they should make an "image to the beast" (Rev. 13:14).

In this issue we conclude the documentation of Jones and Waggoner's teaching on the Incarnation, noting their conviction that this doctrine cannot be separated from the message of righteousness by faith. Our faith needs to rest in the same heavenly "Father" in and on Whom Jesus in His earthly life rested and was victorious. He as our great High Priest obtains for us the victory in the final atonement as we look to Him.

p 2 -- The Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty - It Is Pending! -- The book of Revelation designates three powers symbolically represented as the "dragon," the "beast," and the "false prophet" which vomit out "frogs," which are defined as "spirits of devils" which in turn "go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world to gather them to the battle (polemon - war) of that great day of God Almighty" (Rev. 16:14). They are gathered "together into the place which is called in Hebrew, Har-Magedon" (verse 16, ARV).

These powers - the dragon, beast, and false prophet - are defined symbolically in chapters 12 and 13, and placed in a locality, "heaven," "sea," or "earth." In the 12th Chapter, "heaven" is used either as the screen on which the drama is portrayed (vs. 1, 3) or heaven itself from which is heard "a loud voice" (verse 10). Beginning with verse 12, the warfare is transferred to the earth and sea, a "beast" rising "up out of the sea (13:1);" and a second beast "coming up out of the earth" (13:11). This second beast is designated as the false prophet. Compare Rev. 13:14 with 19:20.

The first beast is a composite animal with parts from a leopard, bear and lion, thus linking it with the symbolism of Daniel 7, but in reverse order. The time allotted to the "beast" (13:5) parallels the time given the "little horn" in Daniel 7 (verse 25), and the wilderness experience of the woman of Rev. 12 (verse 14).

We have interpreted the "false prophet" as symbolic of apostate Protestantism, and rightly so, but we have failed to recognize that the second "beast" came up out of the "earth," not the "sea" where "historic Protestantism" under Luther originated. It is an evangelical "Protestantism" originating in the prophetic "earth," which has now become "the political religious right." It was coming up "in" the earth at the same time that the deadly wound was being healed in the "sea" following World War I.

It could not exercise the power assigned it in Rev. 13:12 until the deadly wound "was healed." The message to "make an image to the beast" is spoken to "them that dwell on the earth" (13:14), in other words, the electorate. Then the image once formed would proceed to fulfil the prophecy (13:15-17).

We must see the "beast" as it operates to perceive more accurately the image being formed. Let us consider just one aspect - the persecution initiated by the "beast.""it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them" (13:7). A Roman Catholic professor, Alfred Baudrillart, wrote that "the Catholic Church is a respecter of conscience and of liberty" and that she "loudly proclaims that she has 'a horror of blood.'" But ...       Nevertheless, when confronted by heresy, she does not content herself with persuasion; argument of an intellectual and moral order appear to her insufficient, and she has recourse to force, to corporal punishment, to torture. She creates tribunals like the Inquisition, she calls the laws of the state to her aid, if necessary she encourages a crusade, or a religious war, and all her "horror of blood" practically culminates in urging the secular power to shed it, which proceeding is almost more odious - for it is less frank - than shedding it herself. [Then he cites examples from history] (Source Book for Bible Students, 1940 rev. ed., pp. 408-409).

A simple identification of the "beast" is:   it is the religious power which arose from the prophetic "sea" and for "forty and two months" (13:5) used the state to carry out its agenda until the state turned on her and inflicted a "deadly wound." The "image to the beast" would be the creation of a government in the prophetic "earth" which would carry out the agenda of the "false prophet." To this end the "religious right" has been seeking to create through the Christian Coalition a theocratic government which will enact and force their agenda on the people of the United States of America revoking the liberty and freedom so long enjoyed by those dwelling in the prophetic "earth."

p 3 -- A perceptive, documented, analysis of the current situation in the prophetic "earth" is to be found in the Yurica Report prepared by Katherine Yurica, a lawyer, and her Editorial and Research Assistant, Laurie Hall - "The Despoiling of America." This report which was first issued, February 11, 2004, documents "How George W. Bush became the head of a new American Dominionist Church/State." A footnote [# 58] was corrected Nov. 6, 2004. This correction alone is alarming. It reads:      Taking his cue from Leo Strauss, Scalia [the Vatican "voice" on the Supreme Court] argued, a democratic government, being seen as 'nothing more than the composite will of its individual citizens, has no more moral power or authority than they do as individuals ...' Democracy, according to Scalia, creates problems: it can foster civil disobedience."

The Report begins with a discussion of "The First Prince of the Theocratic States of America:"      

It happened quietly, with barely a mention in the media. Only the Washington Post dutifully reported it. And only Kevin Phillips saw its significance in his new book, American Dynasty. On December 24, 2001, Pat Robertson resigned his position as President of the Christian Coalition.

Behind the scenes religious conservatives were abuzz with excitement. They believed Robertson had stepped down to allow the ascendance of the President of the United States of America to take his rightful place as the head of the true American Holy Christian Church.

Robertson's act was symbolic, but it carried a secret and solemn revelation to the faithful. It was the signal that the Bush Administration was a government under God that was lead by an anointed President who would be the first regent in a dynasty of regents awaiting the return of Jesus to earth.

Robertson himself had sought to run for the presidency of the United States and entered the primaries as a candidate for the Republican Party. He has promoted via his 700 Club TV show, a political religious movement called Dominionism. Dominionism started with the Gospel teaching of the invisible and spiritual "kingdom of God" and turned this concept into a literal political empire that could be taken by force. Forgetting that Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world," the framers of Dominionism boldly presented a gospel whose purpose was to inspire Christians to enter politics and execute world domination so that Jesus could return to an earth prepared for His earthly rule by His faithful "regents." This cult has gathered in an estimated thirty-five million Americans who calling themselves Christian form the core of the religious right. Unless recognized for what it is, Americans will find themselves living in a theocracy that has already spelled out its intentions to change every aspect of American life including its cultural life, its Constitution and its laws.

This cult, born in Christian Reconstructionism, was founded by the late R. J. Rushdoony. The core included Rushdoony, his son-in-law, Gary North, Pat Robertson, Herb Titus, the former dean of Robertson's Regent University School of Public Policy, Charles Colson, Robertson's political strategist, Tim LaHaye, Gary Bauer, the late Francis Schaeffer, and Paul Crouch, the founder of TBN, the world's largest television network, plus an army of television and radio evangelists and news talk show hosts.

Prior to his death, Schaeffer was the leading evangelical theologian. Appearing on the 700 Club show, he urged revolt against what he termed a humanistic society. While not using the word "Dominionism," he charged that the "dominant culture" in the United States was the humanistic, and that Christians had to regain the dominance. He was joined in this appeal for Christians of the religious right to get into politics by Billy Graham. Appearing on the same show, April 29, 1985, he stated:      I'm for evangelicals running for public office and winning if possible and getting control of the Congress, getting control of the bureaucracy, getting control of the executive branch of government. ... I would like to see every true believer involved in politics in some shape or form.

p 4 -- According to these men, Schaefer, Graham and Robertson, - leading voices in the American protestant church which arose in the "earth," "God's people" have a moral duty to change the government of the United States.

Already the "Religious Right" has achieved the time table which they set for themselves, that by 2004 they would complete the take over of the American government. Controlling the executive and legislative, they are poised to alter the judicial to their liking.

Into the picture enters US Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia. He was appointed to the Court in 1986 by the then President Ronald Reagan. Now, with speculation that William Rehnquist is on the verge of retirement after the diagnosis of thyroid cancer, Scalia may be the leading candidate to take his place. The online edition of the Jerusalem Post (Nov. 23, 2004) reported an appearance of the Justice at the Orthodox synagogue in New York. He used the appearance to assail the notion that the US government should maintain a neutral stance toward religion maintaining that "the founding fathers never advocated the separation of church and state."

Another interesting aspect has been noted by Pastor Rich Lang of the Trinity United Methodist Church of Seattle, Washington. In a release on Feb. 14, 2004 (ICH) he called attention to the checks and balances of the Constitution which created a system that while not perfect "kept alive the possibility of true democracy." Then he noted:    "That dream died in December 2000 when the checks and balances of our Constitution collapsed and George Bush was inserted into the Presidency of the United States." Instrumental in that collapse and "insertion" was Scalia.

One of Scalia's concepts needs to be carefully noted. Several months after the first inauguration of Bush, he wrote in First Things (May 2002) that the Bible teaches and Christians believe "... that government ... derives its moral authority from God. Government is the 'minister of God' with powers to 'revenge,' to 'execute wrath,' including even wrath by the sword. ..." Placing this concept beside the objective of Dominionism, you think you are reading Revelation 13. Journalist Frederick Clarkson in 1994 warned that Dominionism "seeks to replace democracy with a theocratic elite that would govern by imposing their interpretation of 'Biblical Law.'" He then describes the creation of a new class of citizens:      Women would be generally relegated to hearth and home. Insufficiently Christian men would be denied citizenship, perhaps executed. So severe is this theocracy that it would extend capital punishment [to] blasphemy, heresy, adultery, and homosexuality (Public Eye Magazine, Vol. VIII, Part 1, 1994; emphasis mine).

In the Janaury 17, 2005 issue of U.S. News & World Report was a Special Report, "The Dobson Way" (pp. 62-71), which is a "must" reading for all who know and are concerned about the prophecy of Revelation 13. The objectives of Focus on the Family, founded by Dobson, are in line with the objective to make Sunday a family day. The Catholic Church has already shifted schedules in many places to make Sunday such a day by celebrating Mass on Saturday night,leaving the Catholic family free to do as they wish on Sunday.

Further, in the article it is noted that Dobson is ready to play "hard ball," threatening any Senator facing re-election in 2006 who filibusters Bush's appointments to the judiciary. Thus the take over of the three branches of the American government, the executive, legislative, and judicial has been accomplished by the election in November. We have only to await the imposition of the theocratic state as envisioned by the Dominionists and "the image" to the beast will have spoken. The "battle" of the great day of God Almighty has been joined.

"The last great conflict between truth and error is but the final struggle of the long standing controversy concerning the law of God. Upon this battle we are now entering, - a battle between the laws of men and the precepts of Jehovah, between the religion of the Bible and the religion of fable and tradition" (Great Controversy, p. 582).


The Duality of the Fourth Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work ... (Exodus 20:8-10)

p 5 -- The Doctrine of the Incarnation As Understood by A. T. Jones & E. J. Waggoner --Part 4 [continued from Feb, 2005] -- He stated:      Weak as we, sinful as we, simply ourselves, - He went through this world, and never sinned. *He was sinful as we, weak as we, helpless as we, helpless as the man is who is without God; yet by His trust in God, God so visited Him, so abode in Him, so strengthened Him, that, instead of sin ever being manifested, the righteousness of God was always manifested.

But who was He? He was ourselves. Then God has demonstrated once in the world, and to the universe, that He will so come to me and you; and so live with us, as we are in the world today; and will cause His grace and His power to so abide with us; that, in spite of all our sinfulness, in spite of all our weaknesses, the righteousness and the holy influence of God will be manifested to men, instead of ourselves and our sinfulness. (ibid. p. 302)

* -- Admittedly, Jones used "strong language" when he used the expression - "sinful as we" - in identifying Christ with man. This is another echo from Irving's teaching. But in reality, what difference in basic thought, from Jones, is this statement: - "With the terrible weight of the sins of the world upon Him, Christ withstood the test upon appetite, upon the love of the world, and upon that love of display that leads to presumption" (Desire of Ages, p. 117). The question is how are the Biblical expressions of Christ's identity with man to be verbalized? Paul wrote that God "hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin" (2 Cor. 5:21). Also he penned that Christ abolished in His flesh the enmity" (Eph. 2:15). Peter stated that Christ bore "our sins in His own body to the tree" (I Peter 2:24). Jones was speaking of Christ in the context of the Psalms. Psalms 69:5 was quoted - "0 God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from Thee." Jones commented - "We read here His confession of sin. This was He as ourselves, and in our place, confessing our sins." Thus, "sinful as we," is not to be understood that Christ was a sinner, but that He had put Himself in the sinner's place.

To A. T. Jones, it would be no mystery for God to be manifest in sinless flesh. "But the wonder is that God can do that through and in sinful flesh. That is the mystery of God, - God manifest in sinful flesh." Then he stated:      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 affect 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 (Ibid., p. 303).

The "false idea that [Christ] is so holy that it would be entirely unbecoming in Him to come near to us, and be possessed of such a nature as we have, sinful, depraved, fallen human nature" had its source in "the incarnation of that enmity that is against God, and that separates between man and God, the papacy." To accomplish this, "Mary must be born immaculate, perfect, sinless" and "then Christ must be so born of her as to take His human nature in absolute sinlessness from her." But Jones declared for himself [and for all of us] - "I need someone to help me who knows something about sinful nature; for that is the nature that I have; and such the Lord did take. He became one of us." Then Jones challenged those present at the meeting that in the light of a revival of papal power, and the formation of the image to the beast - "having the form of godliness without the reality, without the power" - is not the truth of the incarnation needed as never before so that there can be proclaimed "the real merits of Jesus Christ ... and His holiness?" (ibid, p. 311).

By the time Jones reached his 16th study, some of the delegates were either openly challenging his presentation of the Incarnation by calling attention to the statements in Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, or else were beginning to study carefully what had been presented and

p 6 -- sought an answer to what appeared to be a contradiction between Jones' presentation and the Spirit of Prophecy. At the close of the study, Jones made the following comment:      Some have found, and all may find, in the Testimonies, the statement that Christ has not "like passions as we have." The statement is there; everyone may find it there, of course.

Now there will be no difficulty in any of these studies from beginning to end, if you stick precisely to what is said; whether it be Church or State, separation from the world, or this of Christ in our flesh (Ibid. p. 312).

Even though the concept that the Son of God assumed man's fallen nature had been presented with clarity during the previous four years by the "messengers" of the Lord (See bracketed comment, WWN 2 (05), p. 6, col. 1), many were still reluctant to express themselves in regard to this basic truth. At the beginning of his presentations on the Incarnation during these 1895 studies, Jones asked the assembled delegates - "Well, then, in His human nature, when He was upon earth, was He in anywise different from what you are in your human nature tonight?" A stenographer noted the reaction:   "[A few in the congregation responded, 'No']" To this Jones replied - for to him this concept was basic to the teaching of righteousness by faith:      I wish we had heard everybody in the house say, "No," with a loud voice. You are too timid altogether. The Word of God says that, and we are to say, That is so; because there is salvation in just that one thing. No it is not enough to say it that way; the salvation of God for human beings lies in just that one thing. We are not to be timid about it at all. There our salvation lies, and until we get there we are not sure of our salvation. That is where it is. "In all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren." What for? - 0, "that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted." Then don't you see that our salvation lies just there? Do you not see that it is right there that Christ comes to us? He came to us just where we are tempted, and was made like us just where we are tempted; and there is the point where we meet Him - the living Savior against the power of temptation (ibid., p. 233).

In the 17th study, Jones devoted the time answering the questions some had raised because of the statements found in Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2. He began the study with these words:       Now as to Christ not having '"like passions" with us: In the Scriptures all the way through He is like us, and with us according to the flesh. He is the seed of David according to the flesh. He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh. Don't go too far. He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh; not in the likeness of sinful mind. Do not drag His mind into it. His flesh was our flesh; but the mind was "the mind of Christ Jesus" (ibid. p. 327).

In this distinct differentiation, Jones was not only doing what he had done previously, separating between the inherited tendencies to sin common to man, and the habits of sin which men have cultivated by yielding to temptation. On this point, he elucidated as follows:      Our minds have consented to sin. We have felt the enticements of the flesh, and our minds have yielded, our minds have consented, and did the wills and desires of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind. The flesh leads, and our minds have followed, and with the flesh the law of sin is served. ...

Now the flesh of Jesus Christ was our flesh, and in it was all that is in our flesh, - all the tendencies to sin that are in our flesh were in His flesh, drawing upon Him to get Him to consent to sin. Suppose He had consented to sin with His mind; what then? Then His mind would have been corrupted, and then He would have become of like passions with us. ... But until that drawing of our flesh is cherished, there is no sin. ...

Therefore Jesus Christ came in just such a flesh as ours, but with a mind that held its integrity against every temptation, against every inducement to sin, - a mind that never consented to sin, - no, never in the least conceivable shadow of a thought (ibid. p. 328).

During this study Jones quoted from two sources in the Spirit of Prophecy. One was an article in the Review & Herald, July 5, 1887,

p 7 -- from which he quoted extensively, and the other was a pre-publication copy of the Desire of Ages, which he referred to as "the new Life of Christ, advance copy." After quoting from this advance copy at length, Jones concluded his study with these remarks:       You see, we are on firm ground all the way, so that when it is said that He [Christ] took our flesh; but still as not a partaker of our passions, it is all straight, it is all correct; because His divine mind never consented to sin. And that mind is brought to us by the Holy Spirit that is freely given to us.

"We know that the Son of God has come, and hath given us a mind; "  and "we have the mind of Christ."  'Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Ibid., p. 333).

In 1905 the Pacific Press published, The Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection by A. T. Jones. This book based in Hebrews contained the same basic concepts in regard to the human nature of our Lord, which he had so clearly presented in the 1895 studies at the General Conference Session. As indicated by the title and summarized in the book, the humanity of the Son of God as the Son of man, and the perfection of character to be manifested by the Christian cannot be separated. Here is that summary:      Perfection, perfection of character, is the Christian goal - perfection attained in human flesh in this world. Christ attained it in human flesh in this world, and thus made and consecrated a way by which, in Him, every believer can attain it. He having attained it, has become our great High Priest, by His priestly ministry in the true sanctuary to enable us to attain it.

Perfection is the Christian's goal; and the High Priesthood and ministry of Christ in the true sanctuary is the only way by which any soul can attain this true goal in this world. "Thy way, 0 God, is in the sanctuary." Psalm 77:1 (p. 84, emphasis his).

Jones in his studies and presentations during a lifetime of ministry for the Church rescued the truth of the Incarnation of the Son of God presented by Irving during the Second Advent Awakening in England.He freed it from misstatement and overstatement, and placed it in its rightful place in connection with the "final atonement." [Webnote -- Part 5 Apr, 2005].

p 8 -- U.S. Catholic Bishops to Join New Ecumenical Group -- The top hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States decided on November 17th, 2004, to join the broadest alliance of Christian churches in the country so far, a new ecumenical group that would bring the [Catholic] church to the same table as conservative evangelicals and liberal Protestants.

Members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have played a central role in the formation of the group, Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A., since discussions began with leaders of other denominations in the fall of 2001.

The organization has about 23 members, Rev. Arthur Kennedy (executive director of the secretariat for ecumenical and interreligious affairs at the bishops conference), said, including Eastern Orthodox churches; the historic Protestant denominations, like the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; evangelical churches; ethnic churches; and religiously oriented groups like the Salvation Army and World Vision.

The National Council of Churches helped create this new group but is not joining, although many of its member churches are. Its general secretary, Rev. Bob Edgar, said, "My sense is that this group is less interested in action items than in building bridges, and having a forum where we can talk together on issues that concern everyone, for example, how do we model interfaith ties with our Muslim and Jewish brethren?" (The New York Times, Nov. 18, 2004 {nytimes.com}).

A question - Has the SDA Church joined? Documentation one way or the other would be welcomed by this editor. --- (2005 Mar) ---End ---