Old Paths

Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16

The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant. Psalm 25:14


Vol. 8, No. 2    Straight and Narrow     February 1999


The Wmega of Apostasy
By Allen Stump - All emphasis supplied unless noted. (Part 1)

The lessons of sacred history are varied and many, but perhaps one of the most important lessons to be learned is the tendency of God’s people to fall away from truth following the death of His faithful leaders and servants. Notice carefully the following verses from Deuteronomy:

And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. (Deuteronomy 31:16-18)

This prophecy was directly given to Moses from the LORD Himself. The history of Israel bears out the truthfulness of His prediction. God gave Israel a strong leader in Joshua following the death of Moses. His influence lasted another generation. “And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.” (Joshua 24:31)  The sacred record continues in the book of Judges:

And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. (Judges 2:7-13)

The Apostle Paul predicted a “falling away” from the truth. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-5) Writing to Timothy, Paul declared: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (1 Timothy 4:1)

Apostasy Predicted
Among Seventh-day Adventists

Ellen G. White also wrote of apostasy among God’s people. A particular set of statements describe an “alpha” and an “omega” apostasy. Ellen White declared that the book, The Living Temple, written on health, by John Harvey Kellogg contained the theories that comprised the “alpha” of apostasy. The profits from the sale of the book were to be used for the rebuilding of the Battle Creek Sanitarium that had burned. While all agreed that the portions of the book that dealt strictly with health were good and of a nature to be recommended, Dr. Kellogg had woven false concepts about God into the book. These concepts were a type of pantheism which dealt with the nature of the presence and personality of God.  {These concepts were so tightly woven into the book that W. W. Prescott wrote “it is almost impossible to take out these ideas and leave anything in the book beyond the simple statements of physiological truth.” (Letter to Dr. J. H. Kellogg, dated October 25, 1903) See also M. C. Wilcox’s review of the book in The Signs of the Times, December 30, 1903, p. 11.} Ellen White noted:

Those who have been feeding their minds on the supposedly excellent but spiritualistic theories of Living Temple are in a very dangerous place. For the past fifty years I have been receiving intelligence regarding heavenly things. But the instruction given me has now been used by others to justify and endorse theories in Living Temple that are of character to mislead. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, p. 248)

Ellen White used the term “omega” in reference to a great apostasy that was to follow the “alpha.” Notice the following:

Be not deceived; many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We have now before us the alpha of this danger. The omega will be of a most startling nature. (Special Testimonies, Series B, no. 2, p. 16)

I am instructed to speak plainly. “Meet it,” is the word spoken to me. “Meet it firmly, and without delay.” But it is not to be met by our taking our working forces from the field to investigate doctrines and points of difference. We have no such investigation to make. In the book “Living Temple” there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies. The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given. (Ibid., p. 50)

I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people. I knew that I must warn our brethren and sisters not to enter into controversy over the presence and personality of God. The statements made in “Living Temple” in regard to this point are incorrect. The scripture used to substantiate the doctrine there set forth, is scripture misapplied.  (Ibid., p. 53)

Further Statements on Apostasy

Connected with these statements are complementary statements found in Special Testimonies that do not mention the term “omega,” but deal with the same apostasy.

One thing it is certain is soon to be realized,—the great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger, and will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout. We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith, and go forward from strength to increased faith. Ever we are to keep the faith that has been substantiated by the Holy Spirit of God from the earlier events of our experience until the present time. We need now larger breadth, and deeper, more earnest, unwavering faith in the leadings of the Holy Spirit. If we needed the manifest proof of the Holy Spirit’s power to confirm truth in the beginning, after the passing of the time, we need to-day all the evidence in the confirmation of the truth, when souls are departing from the faith and giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. There must not be any languishing of soul now.  (Ibid., no. 7, p. 57)

The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.

Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth? (Ibid., no. 2, pp. 54, 55)

Whole books have been devoted to the understanding of this apostasy, however, many of the authors have been involved in this very apostasy without even knowing it! By now it should be clear that all of Sister White’s statements can be referring to only one issue, the nature of God’s presence and personality as revealed in the false, pagan-papal Trinity doctrine. Some writers have attempted to connect the omega with the collapse of the medical work as it was first established. While it is true that the alpha began within the ranks of the medical work, the medical teachings of Dr. Kellogg were never brought into question by the brethren. {See The Alpha and The Omega of Apostasy, by Julius Gilbert White.} Others, who consider themselves “historic Adventists,” have sought to connect the omega to the Seventh-day Adventist - Evangelical conferences of 1955, 1956. While  these conferences were a fruit of the omega, they were not the beginning of the omega. It was the acceptance of the Trinity doctrine that made these conferences possible.

The Alpha of Apostasy

To better understand the whole issue, we need to go back to Dr. Kellogg and look at his understanding of the Holy Spirit. As we have noted before, the problem with The Living Temple was not physiology, but rather theology. Writing to George I. Butler, Kellogg noted:

As far as I can fathom, the difficulty which is found in The Living Temple, the whole thing may be simmered down to the question: Is the Holy Ghost a person? You say no. I had supposed the Bible said this for the reason that the personal pronoun “he” is used in speaking of the Holy Ghost. Sister White uses the pronoun “he” and has said in so many words that the Holy Ghost is the third person of Godhead. How the Holy Ghost can be the third person and not be a person at all is difficult for me to see.” (Letter from J. H. Kellogg to G. I. Butler, October 28, 1903)

“I believe this Spirit of God to be a personality you don’t. But this is purely a question of definition. I believe the Spirit of God is a personality; you say, No, it is not a personality. Now the only reason why we differ is because we differ in our ideas as to what a personality is. Your idea of personality is perhaps that of semblance to a person or a human being. (Letter from J. H. Kellogg to G. I. Butler, February 21, 1904)

Kellogg was appealing to Sister White’s writings to support him in his theory. Ellen White said that Kellogg’s thoughts did not have a foundation in her writings.

I am compelled to speak in denial of the claim that the teachings of “Living Temple” can be sustained by statements from my writings. There may be in this book expressions and sentiments that are in harmony with my writings. And there may be in my writings many statements which, taken from their connection, and interpreted according to the mind of the writer of “Living Temple,” would seem to be in harmony with the teachings of this book. This may give apparent support to the assertion that the sentiments in “Living Temple” are in harmony with my writings. But God forbid that this sentiment should prevail. (Series B, no. 2, pp. 53, 54)

Kellogg, writing to W. W. Prescott, stated: “You, Elder Daniells, and others have spoken about a fine line of distinction, but I could not quite see what it was, but this statement by Sister White makes it clear to me. The difference is this: When we say God is in the tree, the word ‘God’ is understood in that the Godhead is in the tree, God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit, whereas the proper understanding in order that wholesome conceptions should be preserved in our minds, is that God the Father sits upon his throne in heaven where God the Son is also; while God’s life, or Spirit or presence is the all-pervading power which is carrying out the will of God in all the universe.” (Letter dated October 25, 1903)

Neither did Elder Butler agree that Kellogg properly represented Sister White’s thoughts in The Living Temple. Replying to Dr. Kellogg he wrote:

God dwells in us by His Holy Spirit, as a Comforter, as a Reprover, especially the former. When we come to Him we partake of Him in that sense, because the Spirit comes forth from him; it comes forth from the Father and the Son. It is not a person walking around on foot, or flying as a literal being, in any such sense as Christ and the Father are - at least, if it is, it is utterly beyond my comprehension of the meaning of language or words. (Letter from G. I. Butler to J. H. Kellogg, April 5, 1904)

While Dr. Kellogg did not appear to have accepted a full Trinitarian position at the time of the writing of The Living Temple, the concepts in it paved the way for him to later fully accept the doctrine.

The Omega of Apostasy

False concepts about God constituted the “alpha” of apostasy and false concepts about God constitute the “omega” of apostasy. As we carefully examine Sister White’s statements concerning the “omega” we will see that the Trinity doctrine and its acceptance within the larger body of Adventism perfectly fits her predictions.

First, she stated that “The Omega will be of a most startling nature.” (Series B, no. 2, p. 16) Let us consider this statement in the light of the following candid acknowledgment by Elder William Johnsson, editor of the Adventist Review:

Some Adventists today think that our beliefs have remained unchanged over the years, or they seek to turn back the clock to some point when we had everything just right. But all attempts to recover such “historic Adventism” fail in view of the facts of our heritage.

Adventist beliefs have changed over the years under the impact of “present truth.” Most startling is the teaching regarding Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. Many of the pioneers, including James White, J. N. Andrews, Uriah Smith, and J. H. Waggoner, held to an Arian or semi-Arian view—that is, the Son at some point in time before the Creation of our world was generated by the Father.

Likewise, the Trinitarian understanding of God, now part of our fundamental beliefs, was not generally held by the early Adventists. Even today a few do not subscribe to it. (Adventist Review, January 6, 1994, pp. 10, 11)

Johnsson writes of “present truth,” but real “present truth” will never contradict established truth! Johnsson makes the forthright admission that nothing would be more “startling” to the pioneers of this movement than to see the concepts of God and Christ that are in the Church today! Johnsson further candidly admits that our teachings have changed and that the “Trinitarian understanding of God” is “now part of our fundamental beliefs.”

The omega would come and it would be of such a nature that Sister White trembled “for our people” indicating that it would attack the entire denomination. “The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given.” “I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people.” (Series B, no. 2, pp. 50, 53) Today, acceptance of the 27 Fundamentals, which includes the Trinity doctrine, is necessary to be part of the corporate S. D. A. Church.

Ellen White also predicted the time frame within which the Omega would exist. She stated in 1904 “that the omega would follow in a little while.” She also indicated that it would arise primarily after her death. “Great things shall come to pass after I am gone; Satan will work as never before. All that can be shaken will be shaken out. We must draw near to God, for we cannot lean upon man or the crowd. We must know the Lord deeply as never before.” (Asiatic Division News, May 1-15, 1915, p. 43, quoted from The Alpha and the Omega of Apostasy by Julius Gilbert White.) She also stated: “One thing it is certain is soon to be realized,—the great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger, and will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout.” (Series B, no. 7, p. 57) The omega apostasy would breach the church ranks shortly after the death of Ellen White and would continue until Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven.

To be continued next month.


Western
Camp Meeting

There is camp meeting currently being planned for the western part of the United States May 5-9 at Wilhoit, Arizona (near Prescott). There will be a variety of speakers and subjects covered. We wish to encourage all in the west to start making plans now to attend.  There will be room for tenting and self-contained recreational vehicles. There are also motels 30 minutes away.

For more information contact: Richard & Kim Mauzy at (520) 442-9868,  Arlene Bailey at (520) 442-3275, or Doug & Terri Goslin at (520) 442-9867.


Youth’s Corner
No One Makes It Alone

Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children.  Eighteen!  In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood.

Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of Albrecht Durer the Elder’s children had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.

After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring in the mines.

They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church.  Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg.  Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht’s etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.

When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht’s triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition.  His closing words were, “And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn.  Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will take care of you.”

All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated, over and over, “No … no … no … no.”

Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks.  He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, “No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg.  It is too late for me.  Look … look what four years in the mines have done to my hands!  The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother … for me it is too late.”

prayinghands.JPG (28891 bytes)More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer’s hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer’s works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.

One day, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother’s abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply “Hands,” but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love “The Praying Hands.”

The next time you see a copy of that touching creation, take a second look.

Let it be your reminder, if you still need one, that no one – no one – ever makes it alone!

               -Author Unknown


The Promised
Comforter

By Doug Goslin

The greatest joy in the Word of God is experiencing the victorious “Christ in you the hope of glory.” Why? The answer is simple and for each Christian it is their confidence. “Being confident of this very thing that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) The experience of having the man, Christ Jesus, in you in the fullest sense has not always been possible on this earth. There were 4,000 years when men and women labored for the cause of the man Christ Jesus but never were able to enjoy the promise.

From Adam and Eve to Malachi God’s people looked for the promise. “Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.” (Hebrews 11:35-38)

They knew that God the Father had prepared that promise for the future but always had hope that the Christ would come in their time. The Lord declared unto Israel, “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” (Psalm 40:6-8) These men and women could understand the deeper significance of the words of the Psalmist. This offering had been prepared in the eternal purposes to do the very work which God would do for fallen man. Yet they themselves did not receive the promise during their lifetimes.

“And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise, God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:39, 40) What was it that the disciples received that was better than what the prophets received? It was the Spirit of the victorious man, Christ Jesus, living in them.

We May Receive the Promise

“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore [or, this is how] thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” (Galatians 4:6-7) By receiving the life-giving current of the man Christ Jesus we can experience what it means to be sons and daughters of God.

“And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” (Acts 13:32, 33) After raising Jesus from the dead the long-awaited promise would be fulfilled. Now the One who overcame sin in our fallen human nature would live in us. “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (Acts 3:26) Inspiration declares that it is Jesus who is turning you away from your iniquities! That’s what a comforter does.

Our human nature craves, even requires, a person who has experienced the same hardships to help us with our problems. It might be sickness, discouragement, or the loss of a loved one but whatever the problem is, the greatest comfort is found in someone who has experienced the same trials we are going through.

“This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” (Acts 2:32, 33) Often I have wondered why the Holy Spirit has more emphasis in the New Testament than in the Old. The answer is found in the Word of God.

John 7:37-39 says: “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

The Holy Spirit that now comes from God the Father is the promised Comforter. The greater emphasis of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament comes through the victorious man, Christ Jesus! He would now be able to shed the Father’s Spirit in yet a more precious way than ever before: “God having provided some better thing for us.” (Hebrews 11:40)

“Another Comforter”

Jesus “being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.” (Acts 1:4) Jesus had told them earlier of the promised Comforter and exactly who it would be. He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:15-18)

The word “another” should be considered here but not as another individual other than Jesus Christ. Micah 5:2 teaches us that Christ was born twice, but in two separate forms. The first was the form of God; the second form was as a man. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting [the days of eternity].” (Micah 5:2 margin)

We can see clearly that Christ did not come in the form He had in heaven. He came in another form, the form of a man, yet He was still the same person.

The Father had sent Michael to His people as their mediator to comfort them for four thousand years. The comforting promise of placing enmity between mankind and Satan would only be fulfilled through His death and resurrection. Christ was a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He stood with Joshua and Daniel and with the Psalmist as he wrote, “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

Now the Father was preparing to give us another Comforter. The Comforter He would send was one with another experience—the same person, but after experiencing humanity He would be able to further enter into our experiences and help humanity in a manner not before available. “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour [help] them that are tempted.” (Hebrews 2:18)

The Comforter whom we have is Jesus, who will “abide with you for ever.” Jesus is the Spirit of truth, for it is He who is “the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) The world will not receive Him because it cannot see Him nor does it know Him. Now here is the promise spoken in no uncertain terms to His disciples: “…but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:17, 18)

Jesus makes it abundantly clear to the believer that he or she may rest in the fact that our Comforter is one who has experienced humanity and was victorious in the fallen nature. In John 14:20 He says it will be He and His Father in us. In verse 21, He says that He will manifest Himself to us.

When one of His disciples questioned how this could be, Jesus patiently answered, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14:23) This was being fulfilled when the Father gave of His Spirit through His Son at Pentecost.

The Bible proves over and over again that Christ is our Comforter, the one Who could be tempted in all points such as we are. We are also reminded that Christ is “that Spirit” that brings unity to the Church. Paul states, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)

A Teacher of Righteousness

The Old Testament prophet Joel spoke of the future outpouring of the Holy Spirit: “Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain [a teacher of righteousness] moderately, [according to righteousness] and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.” (Joel 2:23 margin)

At the time of the former and the latter rain the Father will send “a teacher of righteous according to righteousness.” Christ has been sent to us as our teacher, “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master [Greek: kathegetes — teacher], even Christ; and all ye are brethren.… Neither be ye called masters [kathegetes]: for one is your Master [kathegetes], even Christ.” (Matthew 23:8-10) Jesus tells us that He is our one teacher.

When we know Christ is our teacher John 14:26 becomes easy to understand: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)

There are many in the religious world who have a teacher other than Jesus as their Comforter. They have a concept of a teacher that has not come in the name of Jesus. This teacher was not born of a woman therefore he does not know, nor could he know, of the saving grace of Jesus. Our Saviour said, “…I go away and come again to you.”

Beloved, there is only One who has died the death and has been raised from that death to turn us away from our iniquities. His name is Jesus.

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” (John 15:26) Compare this verse to Acts 2:33. “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” In this verse Christ rightly takes the credit for shedding or sending the Holy Spirit which originally proceeds from God the Father.

It was no coincidence that before the Comforter could return to the earth, Jesus had to return to the Father. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:17) “Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28) John wrote of Christ stating, “(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:39)

Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit in this way: “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” (John 16:10-12) The question would be, when will He reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, of judgment, and say the things that the disciples could not bear at that time?

After His death Jesus said, “All power [Greek: exousia - authority] is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Matthew 28:18) Who reproves the sinner? It is Jesus: “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.” (John 15:22) “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (Acts 3:26) Also read John 3:18-21.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13)

Much talk has been given to the idea that the Holy Spirit is a third being of a Trinity and that He is so humble He wouldn’t even speak of himself. Our Savior said that He didn’t speak of Himself and yet He said, “I am the bread,” “I am the light,” etc.  He could say things concerning Who He was because the Father told Him what to speak: “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” (John 12:49-50)

The Spirit of truth has the identical character of the Son of God for it is the inner man of Jesus. When He comes as the Comforter He will not speak of Himself.

The Parakletos

One important and insightful point that should be mentioned is that the Greek word for “comforter” in John chapters14-16 is parakletos. This word is used five times in the Bible. The first four times it was translated “comforter.” (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7)

In 1 John 2:1, parakletos was translated into the English word “advocate.” “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate [parakletos - comforter] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1) The writer of the Gospel of John was the same writer of the epistle of 1 John. He uses the same word to express two similar thoughts. The concept of “advocate” as given in 1 John and the concept of the “comforter” as recorded in John are therefore synonymous. The Bible teaches plainly that the Son of God is our parakletos, or Comforter.

First Corinthians 1:30 says, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” It was Christ who discussed the creation of man together with the Father. It was Christ who formed us with His hands. It was Christ who placed enmity between the church and the spirit of Satan. He spoke with Abraham, Noah, and Moses; led the Children of Israel through the Red Sea, the Jordan, and the captivity of Babylon. It was Jesus who was born of a woman, grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Christ led the disciples for three and a half years. Then He told His disciples that though He lived with them He would go away so He could live in them.

In closing, the Bible teaches us that there is a fallen angel who wants to hide our Comforter, Jesus Christ, from our view. He wants to receive the worship due to God and His Son. Isaiah describes the desires of Satan: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:12-14) Satan desires that the whole world should worship him instead of Christ. Beloved, false concepts of God such as the doctrine of the Trinity will prevent you from understanding the beautiful truth that the Son of the living God is your Comforter. In fact, these false views pave the way for the acceptance of the spirit of Satan in place of the spirit of the Lord. Beloved, I pray that the Lord Jesus will bless you and that you may receive Him as your Comforter.    ?

(Brother Doug Goslin is currently laboring in the western part of the United States. You may contact Doug at: P. O. Box 78, Kirkland, AZ  86332. His phone number is (520) 442-9867.)


You are Invited to a Special Convocation

The year 1998 is history and with the final movements being rapid ones, 1999 is going to pass before us more quickly than we realize. Are we getting ready for the coming of our Lord and what are we doing to help others get ready?

It is our conviction that with the nearness of the end, we need to be earnestly seeking the Father’s will. We believe that God can speak through His people and will, given the opportunity. Two years ago the Smyrna Church hosted a planning session where believers came together to study church leadership and ways to improve our common witness. We believe that another meeting would be a great blessing to the movement. Therefore, we are scheduling an open meeting for February 10 and 11 with a special Sabbath of meetings on the 12th.

There are several issues that should be addressed. One idea proposed has been to study the concept of having two major camp meetings this year: one to be in the eastern part of America and another in the western part. These camp meetings would be well organized and participation by all in the respective areas would be highly encouraged. From the standpoint of publishing, Smyrna needs input from the brethren in other areas. We wish to produce the highest quality literature in both content and visual appeal possible. To do this we need help to know what the needs in the field are and how we can work with others to see that those needs will be met. We need to have help to know what types of materials will be used and what would not be used, etc. Discussion on the work in other localities and in the various branches of the message will be encouraged. We would like to encourage you to send us possible suggestions that could be put on the agenda as soon as possible. This meeting is not being called to deal with personal issues concerning any individuals or any local church matters.

We at Smyrna can only accommodate a limited number of people with housing. Priority will be given to ministers and those leading out in groups in various areas. There are several motels in the area that would be able to handle an overflow. All who come will need to be responsible for providing and preparing their own food. The church kitchen and fellowship hall will be available but they are limited in size. The local church will provide the Sabbath fellowship dinner.

I realize that this is short notice. However, since the final movements will be rapid ones, some of our planning must be also. At the time this letter is being written we are getting ready for the Papal visit to St. Louis and it all seems to be going very fast indeed! We do ask for an attendance response as soon as possible so we will know how to plan accordingly.

Please plan to arrive on or before Wednesday evening, February 9 as there will be meetings the next morning. We look forward to seeing you come. Please bring your Bible and a willing heart to seek the Father’s direction for us. For more information please write, call, or e-mail us.

Allen Stump


1844 - A Valid Date
By Glen Ford

“Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?” (Psalm 77:13)

Many Protestants in the mainline churches have made light of Seventh-day Adventists for their holding 1844 as a date worthy of notice. It should not surprise us that the worldly Babylonian churches are confused on this issue because God foretold for His people that “none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Daniel 12:10b) It is difficult to comprehend why Seventh-day Adventists should ever deny that something happened in 1844.

To state that 1844 is not a date of prophecy, that nothing really took place then, denies the sanctuary doctrine, the heart of Adventism. If 1844 is not a valid date for the prophecy of Daniel 8:14, then Seventh-day Adventists must admit that they have no special purpose for existence. Further, if they are teaching a false doctrine on the plan of salvation, then Seventh-day Adventists would be one of the daughters of the harlot described in Revelation 17:5. “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” But wait, “we have not followed cunningly devised fables.” (2 Peter 1:16) The pillars of this movement, especially the understanding of Daniel 8:14, stand solid. Let us look at some simple and clear evidence that should speak to any unprejudiced mind.

The Prophecy of Daniel 7

In Daniel 7, the first eight verses, there is laid out a panorama of history beginning with 606 B. C. when Nebuchadnezzar became sole king of Babylon, then moving us to 538 B. C. when Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians. They in turn became the second world power until the year 331 B. C. when the Grecians, under Alexander the Great, defeated them at the Battle of Arbela.

Grecia, the third world power, continued until 168 B. C. when Rome defeated them and became the fourth world power. God, through Daniel, tells us in the seventh chapter of Daniel that there would be four world kingdoms, just as He revealed the four kingdoms to Daniel in chapter two. History reveals the same account. Prophecy is history foretold and history is prophecy fulfilled.

The vision given to Daniel in chapter seven does not stop at 168 B. C. when Rome became the fourth world kingdom, but goes on to say that the fourth beast had ten horns. History tells us that by the year 476 A. D. the glory of western Rome collapsed and ten other nations had come up and were in place by the year 476 A. D.; namely, the Lombards, Franks, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Burgundians, Suevi, Heruli, Vandals, Alamanni and Saxons. In Daniel 7:8 we are told that “another little horn” came up among the ten and “plucked up by the roots” three of the original horns. In the same chapter we are given at least nine identifying marks that tell us the “little horn” could be none other than papal Rome. The three horns that were plucked up were all Arian or non-trinitarian powers. The last kingdom to be uprooted was the Ostrogoths in 538 A. D. In this year the city of Rome was recaptured from the Ostrogoths by Justinian under his general Belisarius. Justinian had, prior to this (533 A. D.), issued a decree making the bishop of Rome the head bishop of all the churches and corrector of heretics. When the Ostrogoths were driven out of Rome, the pope, or bishop, took the scepter and began to exercise his power.

In Daniel 7:25 we see this little horn would rule for “a time times and the dividing of time.” Adventists have held, and still do, that this is telling us that this power, papal Rome, would continue for 1260 years—from 538 A. D. to 1798 A. D., using the day for a year principle. (See Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6.)

In 1798 Napoleon sent General Berthier to Rome and took the pope prisoner and confiscated his lands, thus bringing an end to the papal power as a state holding authority over the nations of Europe. Revelation 13:3 tells the fulfillment of Daniel 7:25, and in Daniel 7:26, it states “But the judgment shall sit.” Back in verses nine and ten it gives more detail about this judgment. The last part of verse ten says, “the judgment was set.” Those verses tell us the very next thing to take place after verse eight. The judgment was set and the books were opened. This also corresponds with Daniel 8:14.

The Time of the Judgment

Daniel’s next two visions as recorded in chapters eight and nine give the time of this judgment mentioned in chapter seven. Daniel 8:14 lays out the longest time prophecy in scripture, starting in 457 B. C. at the decree of Artaxerses to rebuild Jerusalem. This decree carries to 1844 A. D. At the termination of the time period given in Daniel 8:14 the sanctuary would be cleansed or “set right.”

The Hebrew word “cleansed” in Daniel 8:14 is tsadaq. It can carry the meaning of cleansed, made right, justified, vindicated, and restored. Truly all of these concepts apply but, specifically, how can tsadaq be linguistically tied to the Hebrew word tahar translated “cleanse” in Leviticus 16:30? Much of the Hebrew portions of the scriptures were written using what is described as parallelism. One type of parallelism is called synonymous. In this type of structure the second line repeats the first using slightly different words that carry the same meaning. Notice how tsadaq and tahar are used in the following verses:

“Shall mortal man be more just (tsadaq) than God? shall a man be more pure (tahar) than his maker?” (Job 4:17)

“The righteous (tsaddiya -  tsadaq in noun form) also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean (tahar) hands shall be stronger and stronger.” (Job 17:9)

“The fear of the LORD is clean (tahowr from tahar), enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous (tsadaq) altogether.” (Psalm 19:9)

These verses help us to see that the Hebrew mind considered the “cleansed” (tsadaq) of Daniel 8:14 to be synonymous with “cleanse” (tahar) of Leviticus 16:30.

Within Daniel chapters eight and nine there are other points that reveal to us events to take place. Let us notice the following four points:

1. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city.” (Daniel 9:24) This is the time allotted to the Jewish nation—457 B. C. to 34 A. D.

2. “That from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem.” (Daniel 9:25) See Ezra 7:12 & 21.

3. “Unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks.” (Daniel 9:25) Christ’s baptism and the beginning of His public ministry are here noted.

4. “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” (Daniel 9:27) The Jewish nation still had the last half of the 70th week left of their probation, which would bring them to 34 A. D. at the stoning of Stephen. Then there were still left 1810 years which extended to the fall of 1844. (See chart.)

2300_days.GIF (3792 bytes)It is clear that God has not left us in darkness. “But, ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” (1 Thesssalonians 5:4-5)

In my studies of the scriptures I have found that if there is something very important for us to understand God will reveal the matter several times in various places that we may know for a surety. The time of the judgment is clear. (See Daniel 12:7-12, Malachi 3:1-5, Matthew 24:50, 51 and Revelation 10; 11:1-2; 14:6-12.) Revelation 14:7 states, “the hour of his judgment is come.” Paul, in his time, preached of “judgment to come” (Acts 24:25); today we can preach of the judgment that has come.

The Philadelphia Church

Another scripture that needs to be taken into consideration, relating to this date, is Revelation 3:7-12 concerning the Philadelphia church.

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.” (Revelation 3:7) J. N. Loughborough, a Bible student with great penetrating powers of the mind, stated: “The Philadelphia church has an open door set before it, by him who hath the key, (power, or throne,) of David.  This refers to the open door of the Sanctuary in heaven, which (in vain) many have tried to prove was not open, but they cannot shut the door.  According to the type, that door can be open for no other purpose than to cleanse the Sanctuary, which we firmly believe is a work that commenced in 1844.” (Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, March 19, 1857 - emphasis supplied)

Elder James White correctly noted: “The second angel’s message called the second advent host from the various sects, and formed the Philadelphia church, or church of Brotherly Love, in the fall of 1844. To this church it is said - ‘Behold, I have set before thee an open door.’ This doubtless refers to the tabernacle of the testimony which was then opened, that the light of the holy law of God might shine out upon the waiting saints.  Now we are prepared to see and feel the force of the declaration of the third angel - ‘Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God.’ Our past experience and present position is so clearly marked that the saints may see their whereabouts, and understand present truth and present duty. (James White - The Third Angel’s Message, p. 14 - emphasis supplied)

While most Adventists today reject this understanding of the Philadelphia church, the early Adventists saw here a prophecy that foretold the beginning of Christ’s work in the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary.

Brothers and Sisters, I hope by this short study you have been benefitted, edified, and fortified in your mind concerning the date 1844. Doesn’t God make 1844 a real, valid, and plain date? This judgment takes place before the destruction of the fourth beast of Daniel 7:11. These are just some of the scriptures that could be used in defense of this important doctrine. There are many more. Let us come to Christ now that He may blot out our sins and prepare us for His coming.    ?

(Glen Ford has studied Bible prophecies for over fifty years. He is a Bible instructor and an avid reader with such titles as Josephus’ Complete Works, Wylie’s History of the Protestant Reformation, The Two Republics, and virtually the entire Spirit of Prophecy writings to his credit along with the Bible of course.  You may write to Glen at: HC 64 Box 128B, Welch, WV  24801. E-mail: fords@smyrna.org.)


Old Paths is published monthly by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, HC 64 Box 128-B, Welch WV 24801-9606. It is sent free upon request. Office phone: (304) 732-9204. Web site: http://www.smyrna.org.

Editor: Allen Stump - E-mail: editor@smyrna.org.

Associate Editor: Lynnford Beachy - E-mail berean@smyrna.org

This page was last updated: Sunday, May 26, 2013