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. 16, No. 10 Straight and Narrow October 2007


1844 and the Sanctuary
And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. Daniel 8:14

Home of Hiram Edson

The home of Hiram Edson at Port Gibson, New York, and the barn from which he set out across the cornfield
where the meaning of what transpired on October 22, 1844 was revealed.
 

The History of the Sanctuary Message

This month marks the 163rd anniversary of the great disappointment in 1844. To some, this seemingly-long time delay may seem to cast a shadow of doubt upon the validity of the Adventist understanding of the prophecy of Daniel 8:14. However, we have no doubt about the truth of our understanding of this vital message, which is as relevant in our day as it was in the days of the pioneers. Through the years, many outside our faith have attacked the message. Some from within have decided to abandon our message of spiritual wheat for the chaff of false teachings. Men like A.F. Ballenger and D. M. Canwright have been very plain and forthright in their attacks, while others like Desmond Ford have attacked this doctrine in less forthright and even in subtle ways.

The greatest attack upon our Sanctuary message that has had waves spread far and wide is the attack that has come from the book Questions on Doctrine. This month also marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Questions on Doctrine, one of the most controversial book ever published in Seventh-day Adventism. To commemorate the publication of this book and to discuss its effects upon Adventism, a 50th anniversary conference will be sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University, October 24-27 of this year. On the home web page for the conference we read:

No other book has aroused so much controversy in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine. Published in 1957 as a direct result of the dialogues between evangelicals Walter Martin and Donald Grey Barnhouse and a select group of Adventist leaders, Questions on Doctrine was hailed initially as the apology par excellence of Adventism by its writers and promoters. However, when the book came out, it created great uproar among Adventists who questioned whether it accurately represented Adventist theology and the writings of Ellen White, in particular.

For Leroy Edwin Froom, one of the authors of Questions on Doctrine, the book “completed the long process of clarification, rectification of misconceptions, and declarations of truth before [the Christian] Church and the world.” But M. L. Andreasen, a theologian and author on the sanctuary doctrine, saw the book as “the most subtle and dangerous error” and “a most dangerous heresy.”

Hence, historian George Knight has noted that Questions on Doctrine “easily qualifies as the most divisive book in Seventh-day Adventist history,” while theologian Herbert Douglass has observed that “most, if not all, of the so-called ‘dissident’ or ‘independent’ groups of the last 45 years are direct results of the explicit and implicit positions espoused by [Questions on Doctrine] on the atonement and the Incarnation.”

On October 24-27, 2007, 50 years after the publication of Questions on Doctrine, scholars, church leaders, and pastors across the theological spectrum of Adventism, along with guest scholars from the evangelical world, who have given careful study to the theology of Questions on Doctrine and Adventist history of the past half-century, will convene at Andrews University for an engaging, reflective, scholarly dialogue (http://qod.andrews.edu/index.html).

The Background to Questions on Doctrine

During the early 1950s, T. E. Unruh (then president, East Pennsylvania Conference) wrote to Donald Barnhouse (a leader among evangelicals and editor of Eternity magazine), complimenting Barnhouse’s radio programs on “righteousness by faith.” Barnhouse was very surprised to hear complements from a Seventh-day Adventist minister, as he believed that their understanding was radically different than his. Herbert Douglass wrote an article entitled, “Thoughts on the republished Questions on Doctrine” that was published in the August 2004 issue of Ministry.

Their theological paradigms were on a different planet compared to Wesleyan and Adventist theology. For example, Barnhouse declared that Ellen White’s Steps to Christ was “false in all its parts.” (In original manuscript by Herbert Douglass but deleted in the published version found in the August 2004 issue of Ministry magazine, entitled “Thoughts on the republished Questions on Doctrine.” Manuscript in its entirety is published by Watchman What of the Night?)

Out of this initial contact came a series of meetings between leading evangelicals and Adventists. Barnhouse asked the young scholar Walter Martin to lead out in this discussion. Martin was in the process of writing his book The Rise of the Cults, and after the meetings he was to prepare a book entitled The Truth About Seventh-day Adventism. George E. Cannon and Donald Barnhouse joined with Martin in the dialogue representing the evangelicals. The Adventist leaders involved were: T. E. Unruh; Walter E. Read, then a field secretary for the General Conference; LeRoy Froom, church historian and apologist; and Roy Allan Anderson, then head of the Ministerial Association.

These meetings consisted of a dialogue over several questions proposed by the evangelicals and answers being given by the Adventists. It was determined that these questions and answers would be published in a book (Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine which became known simply as Questions on Doctrine and noted as QOD) that would be sold in Adventist Book Centers and in evangelical stores. Martin’s new book on Adventism would also be made available in both Adventist Book Centers and evangelical stores.

There are four main areas that have received the majority of interest in these meetings. They are:

1. The Deity of Jesus and the Trinity

2. Salvation by grace or by grace and works

3. The atonement of the cross

4. The nature of Jesus in the incarnation

The last two points became the most discussed and agitated and the basis for the rise of independent ministries within Seventh-day Adventism in the last fifty years. However, the real foundation to the discussions at these conferences was the Trinitarian doctrine. Roy A. Anderson later wrote about his experience of first coming in contact with the evangelicals:

“What do you folks believe about the Trinity?” was a question put to me some years ago by two gracious Christian gentlemen who came unannounced to the General Conference headquarters in Washington D. C. . . .

Both men were Christian college professors who had read much about Adventists, but all from detractors, and one of them was commissioned to write a new book about Adventist beliefs. However, they felt they should contact the headquarters to discover what we actually believe on points of vital interest rather than just quoting from others.

The answers to their earnest questions lengthened into days of prayerful discussions. Our answer concerning the Godhead and the Trinity was crucial, for in some of the books they had read that Adventists were classed as Arians (Adventist Review, September 8, 1983, p. 4).

As Martin had noted to Anderson, some books had classified Adventists as Arians because of their anti-Trinitarian belief. In fact, Martin had failed to classify Seventh-day Adventists as “Christians” in the first printing of his book The Rise of Cults. The emphasis at the beginning of the conferences was on past anti-Trinitarian statements made by the pioneers of Adventism, including Ellen White! In 1989, to a group of ministers, Martin gave a brief history about how this occurred:

The climate at that time [1955, 1956], Adventism was considered like Jehovah’s Witnesses, like Mormonism, like most of the major cultic structures of the day. . . .

When I first meet with L. E. Froom, he took me to task for about fifteen minutes on how I could ever possibly think that Adventism was a cult. “Adventism rings as true as steel,” I said. “Do you think Arius was a Christian?” And he was an excellent church historian and he said, “Of course he wasn’t a Christian; he denied the deity of Jesus Christ.” I said, “So did Ellen White.” Dr. Froom replied, “What!” I said, “Yes” and opened up a suitcase and produced at least twelve feet of Adventist publications stacked up and marked for Dr. Froom’s perusal, and for the perusal of the committee to check the sources in there. And they were in mortal shock, I might add, to think that it was as pervasive as it was. Mrs. White reversed herself later on very quickly and affirmed the doctrine of the Trinity very strongly and taught it. But she was influenced by Uriah Smith. She did deny the eternal deity of Christ at one time and relegated Him to the place of a second deity. That’s why you were classified with the Jehovah’s Witnesses early on because of the Arian emphasis in Adventism, and because of the fact that you affirmed Michael the Archangel to be Christ.

Dr. Froom and the committee decided that they would peruse this material immediately. So we adjourned the meeting and they took all the materials with them, and I guess others, and went through the materials. They came back and said, “Well, a great deal of these things you’re calling attention to are there, we agree, and we don’t agree with these statements. They do not reflect orthodox Adventist theology, and we reject it.” I said, “Good, happy to hear that. Now can you fault us because we read this material, and it’s not peripheral issues we are talking about?”

We went through all kinds of materials and then the idea came for a book where we would question and the Adventist denomination would respond. . . . Out of that came the book Question on Doctrine. Contrary to some of the fantasies and myths which I hear today from Adventists who ought to know better, the book had the approval of the General Conference (Walter Martin, videotape conference at Campus Hill Church in Loma Linda, California, January 1989).

Elder Froom and the other Adventist leaders who met with Martin “accounted as error” the foundation that had sustained the work since its early times. Dr. Barnhouse, writing in Eternity magazine, noted:

Immediately it was perceived that the Adventists were strenuously denying certain doctrinal positions which had been previously attributed to them.

The Adventists specifically repudiate any teachings by ministers or members of their faith who have believed, proclaimed, and written any matter which would classify them among Arians (Eternity, September 1956).

Elder Froom, in both Questions on Doctrine and later in Movement of Destiny, was, as George Knight says, “less than transparent” in dealing with the evangelicals. Froom attempted to show that anti-Trinitarianism was “an encapsulated cancer, gross but confined (The Sanctuary and the Atonement, p. 530).” In Questions on Doctrine we read, “The founding fathers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church over a century ago came out of various denominational backgrounds. While all were premillennialists, some were Trinitarian; others were Arian (p. 29).” This is but a half-truth. The fact is, while the pioneers were from “various denominational backgrounds,” once they became Seventh-day Adventists they all gave up their false Trinitarian beliefs. In Movement of Destiny, Froom labeled the anti-Trinitarians as having the “minority (p. 149)” view. Then he went on to explain why certain statements were made in Questions on Doctrine. Froom noted that some of the answers given to the evangelicals were made as a public disavowal of statements made by the early pioneers, “…the early erroneous concepts of a [so-called] minority clearly needed to be repudiated. So the appointed framers of the answers to their questions prepared a simple statement disavowing these personal, individual, [so-called] minority positions, for inclusion in the forth coming book, to be called Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine (Movement of Destiny, pp. 483, 484).” These statements were necessary to clear up the misconceptions from prior statements. The disavowal read in part:

The belief of Seventh-day Adventists on these great truths is clear and emphatic. And we feel that we should not be identified with or stigmatized for, certain limited and faulty concepts held by some, particularly in our formative years.

This statement should therefore nullify the stock “quotations” that have been circulated against us. We are one with our fellow Christians of denominational groups in the great fundamentals of the faith once delivered to the saints (Questions on Doctrine, pp. 31, 32).

What a shame to say that we were “one with our fellow Christians of denominational groups.” Froom and the rest can call it “Christian” till the plagues fall; God calls it “BABYLON,” and what authority do we have to call professed “Christianity” Christian when God pronounces it “Babylon?”

Douglass said that “many thought that the book would not amount to much because of its weakness in lucidly setting forth certain doctrines (Original manuscript for ‘Thoughts on the republished Questions on Doctrine’).”

Some who saw problems with QOD hoped they would go away. Douglass wrote about his feelings and those of others when he said, “We still felt that QOD would die a quick death and the less we all said about it the better (Ibid.).”

But go away it did not and this was to a great degree because of one man––Elder M. L. Andreasen.

Andreasen had been the church’s leading theologian in the 1930s and 1940s; but, as an older generation was retiring and dying, the way was opened for new thinking. In the consideration of such a work as QOD, a theologian of Andreasen’s stature would normally have been consulted. This could not be allowed to happen, however, because his theology was clearly different in two vital areas from those who were conferencing with the evangelicals. These areas were the nature of Christ in the incarnation and the nature of the atonement in heaven.

While Questions on Doctrine would teach that Jesus took the sinless nature of Adam before the fall, Andresean taught that he accepted the sinful nature of Adam after the fall. This was critical to Andresean’s theology. His significant contribution to Adventism was his theological development on the final generation and on the final atonement. Andresean believed that God would be vindicated by his people living just before Jesus returned. In these people, God will demonstrate how he can take people born with fallen sinful natures and bring them to a state of sinless perfection and that they will never sin again while living in the sight of a holy God without a mediator following the close of probation. To do this work, it is essential that Jesus accepted upon his sinless nature our sinful nature or God would not be operating on a fair basis to expect something from humanity that even his Son could not accomplish.

Andresean’s sanctuary theology was closely tied to this process by which the saints would live totally victorious lives. This concept of the final generation and total victory was not the doctrine that Froom and those involved in the evangelical talks wished to promote, and they well knew that Andresean would be a thorn in their flesh should they try to include him in their talks or in the writing of the answers to Martin’s questions.

When QOD was published, Andresean wrote six letters of protest under the title of “Letters to the Churches.” In these letters, he exposed the sad folly of much of the theology in QOD. His letters caused a tidal wave of protest that is still, half a century later, washing upon the shores of Adventism.

In the area of the atonement, Andresean strongly held the sound Biblical position of the pioneers that the final atonement was to occur in heaven in 1844 and that while the work of Jesus upon the cross was a perfect and complete sacrifice, it was not the complete or final atonement. Andresean knew from the tyopolgy of the sanctuary that while there was an atonement upon the cross, the atonement of all atonements (see Leviticus 23:27, 28) was to be completed in the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary in heaven after 1844. This point was strongly contested by QOD.

Questions on Doctrine states that it was “not to be a new statement of faith (p. 8; emphasis in the original),” but it took a 180-degree turn from the position of the pioneers.  One of the questions that Walter Martin submitted was, “Since Adventists hold that complete sacrificial atonement was made on the cross, what do you teach concerning the ministry of our Lord as High Priest in heaven (Questions on Doctrine, p. 369)?” To this question, Froom answered, in part: “Adventists do not hold any theory of a dual atonement (Ibid., p. 390; emphasis in the original).” Froom stated to the evangelicals that the church believed the atonement was completed on the cross and that the ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary was not, of itself, a work of atonement. In fact, he wrote:

When, therefore, one hears an Adventist say, or reads in Adventist literature – even in the writings of Ellen G. White – that Christ is making atonement now, it should be understood that we mean simply that Christ is now making application of the benefits of the sacrificial atonement He made on the cross; that He is making it efficacious for us individually, according to our needs and requests (Ibid., pp. 354, 355; emphasis in the original).”

To this statement, Elder M. L. Andreasen wrote:

If Sister White were now living and should read this, she would most certainly deal with presumptuous writers and in words that could be understood. She would not concede the right of anyone, whoever he might be, to change what she has written or interpret it so as to vitiate its clear meaning. The claim which Questions on Doctrine makes that she means what she does not say, effectively destroys the force of all she has ever written. If we have to consult an inspired interpreter from Washington before knowing what she means, we might better discard the Testimonies altogether. May God save His people (Letters to the Churches, Series A, no. 2).

Not only did Andreasen take issue with Froom trying to interpret the statements of Ellen White as he did, but he also took issue with him implying that all Adventist writers, including himself, shared these views.

Few would argue today that Anderson and Froom were bringing about a shift in the church’s theology. A few years ago, this author had the opportunity of talking to a retired medical doctor who was a personal friend of both. He stated that Anderson and Froom each knew that they were charting a new course for the church, but it was a course they felt she needed to follow. While we cannot judge the motives of these men, the last fifty years have produced not only a very different theology, but also a very different church as well. Understanding the ministry of Jesus Christ in the heavenly sanctuary is of the utmost importance. We have been told:

The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill (The Great Controversy, p. 488).

The most basic foundational teaching of the Christian religion is the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. When Jesus asked the disciples, “But whom say ye that I am?”  Peter replied, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:15, 16).” Sister White, in The Desire of Ages, writes: “The truth which Peter had confessed is the foundation of the believer’s faith. It is that which Christ himself has declared to be eternal life. . . . Peter had expressed the truth which is the foundation of the Church’s faith (pp. 412, 413).” While the truth about Jesus is the foundation of the Christian faith in general, the Advent movement was specifically based and founded on the message of the sanctuary.

The scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and the central pillar of the advent faith was the declaration: “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Daniel 8:14 (The Great Controversy, p. 409).

The correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is the foundation of our faith (Evangelism, p. 221).

Uriah Smith, a pioneer, writer, and editor among the Advent brethren, wrote what could be considered a representative statement which virtually all the early believers would have endorsed:

As is perhaps natural, the enemy of truth seems most persistent in trying to trouble and unsettle minds in reference to the sanctuary; for that is the citadel of our strength (The Review and Herald, August 5, 1875).

The uniqueness of Seventh-day Adventism is neither the keeping of the seventh-day Sabbath nor the belief of the imminent return of Jesus. There are other Sabbath-keeping churches and other churches that believe in the pre-millennial, post-tribulation view of the soon return of Christ. The uniqueness of the Advent movement is the understanding of the sanctuary message in type and antitype. Even LeRoy Froom wrote that the sanctuary truth was “the one distinctive, separative, structural truth—the sole doctrinal teaching that identifies and sets” the Seventh-day Adventists “apart from all other Christians (Movement of Destiny, p. 541).”

The roots of the Advent movement go back to William Miller and other Advent preachers such as Joseph Wolff, who taught that the second coming of Jesus Christ was imminent. Miller based his belief on the now-famous passage found in Daniel 8:14, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”  Miller believed the 2,300 days to be prophetic years that began in the year 457 BC and would terminate in 1843. The calculations were later revised to end on October 22, 1844. Miller believed the sanctuary spoken of in Daniel to be the earth and that it would be cleansed by fire when Jesus returned for his people. When Christ did not return in 1844, the believers went through what became known as “The Great Disappointment.” Ellen White described it as follows:

When the time passed at which the Lord’s coming was first expected,—in the spring of 1844,—those who had looked in faith for His appearing were for a season involved in doubt and uncertainty. While the world regarded them as having been utterly defeated and proved to have been cherishing a delusion, their source of consolation was still the word of God. Many continued to search the Scriptures, examining anew the evidences of their faith and carefully studying the prophecies to obtain further light. The Bible testimony in support of their position seemed clear and conclusive. Signs which could not be mistaken pointed to the coming of Christ as near. The special blessing of the Lord, both in the conversion of sinners and the revival of spiritual life among Christians, had testified that the message was of Heaven. And though the believers could not explain their disappointment, they felt assured that God had led them in their past experience (The Great Controversy, p. 391).

Truth Received After the Disappointment

The first Advent believer to gain an understanding of what had transpired during this disappointment was Hiram Edson, a “farmer preacher, leader of a group of early Adventists in western New York. He wrote out the experience some years later, and the story was preserved by his daughter, Mrs. O. V. Cross, of Florida (Heavenly Visions, p. 111).”

“Our expectations were raised high, and thus we looked for our coming Lord until the clock tolled twelve at midnight. The day had then passed, and our disappointment had become a certainty. Our fondest hopes and expectations were blasted, and such a spirit of weeping came over us as I never experienced before. It seemed that the loss of all earthly friends could have been no comparison. We wept and wept, till the day dawned. . . .

“I mused in my heart, saying: ‘My advent experience has been the brightest of all my Christian experience. Has the Bible proved a failure? Is there no God in heaven, no golden city, no Paradise? Is all this but a cunningly devised fable? Is there no reality to our fondest hopes and expectations?’. . . 

“I began to feel there might be light and help for us in our distress. I said to some of the brethren: ‘Let us go to the barn.’ We entered the granary, shut the doors about us, and bowed before the Lord. We prayed earnestly, for we felt our necessity. We continued in earnest prayer until the witness of the Spirit was given that our prayers were accepted, and that light should be given – our disappointment explained, made clear and satisfactory.

“After breakfast I said to one of my brethren, ‘Let us go to see and encourage some of our brethren.’ We started, and while passing through a large field, I was stopped about midway in the field. Heaven seemed open to my view, and I saw distinctly and clearly that instead of our High Priest coming out of the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary to this earth on the tenth day of the seventh month, at the end of the 2300 days, He, for the first time, entered on that day into the second apartment of that sanctuary, and that he had a work to perform in the most holy place before coming to the earth; that He came to the marriage, or in other words, to the Ancient of days, to receive a kingdom, dominion, and glory; and that we must wait for His return from the wedding (O. V. Cross, The Review and Herald, June 23, 1921).”

Hiram Edson, Dr. F. B. Hahn, and a young preacher and teacher named O. R. L. Crosier studied the Scriptures further and came to the conclusion that:

The 2300 years was to reach to the opening of the ministry of our High Priest in the most holy of the sanctuary in heaven, foreshadowed by the last phase of the Levitical service in the typical earthly sanctuary. The service of the last day of the earthly sanctuary was called the cleansing of the sanctuary. That was exactly what the prophecy of Daniel 8:14 described as beginning in 1844. The whole matter was plain.  Christ had come to that service in the most holy above, as the time came in 1844.  Their mistake was explained. The prophecy had been fulfilled. They had looked to this earth instead of to the most holy place above. There in heaven above, the judgment hour had come, the time of cleansing the sanctuary records, as described in Daniel 7:10, 13.  This was light. It must be published to the believers (Heavenly Visions, p. 112).

Edson and Hahn asked Crosier to continue to study the sanctuary message from the Levitical type and write out their joint findings. Edson and Hahn agreed to publish the results. The matter was prepared in 1845 and early the next year they arranged for it to be printed in a Cincinnati second advent paper called the Day Star. Crosier’s article entitled, “The Sanctuary” was published in the Day-Star Extra, February 7, 1846.

Some of the first to read and accept the light as presented in Crosier’s article were James White and Joseph Bates. When Ellen White read the article, she immediately recommended it to the brethren as “true light.” In a letter to Brother Eli Curtis, dated April 21, 1847, she wrote:

I believe the Sanctuary, to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days, is the New Jerusalem Temple, of which Christ is a minister. The Lord shew me in vision, more than one year ago, that Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleansing of the Sanctuary, c; and that it was his will, that Brother C. should write out the view which he gave us in the Day-Star, Extra, February 7, 1846. I feel fully authorized by the Lord, to recommend that Extra, to every saint (A Word to the Little Flock, p. 12).

Crosier’s article began with a discussion as to what constituted the sanctuary. After defining the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 to be the heavenly sanctuary where Jesus ministers for the believer, he related the type from the Old Testament to the antitype, or true sanctuary, as revealed in the New Testament, especially through the book of Hebrews. Crosier did not deal at length with the calculation of the 2,300 years of Daniel 8:14, as this had already been done by the Advent preachers. Crosier did, however, discuss in detail the meaning of what had begun to transpire on October 22, 1844 and concluded his article by discussing the ending of the Day of Atonement with the banishment of the scapegoat.

The early Adventists made Christ’s high-priestly ministry the center of their message. Pioneers such as James White, James M. Stephenson, Joseph H. Waggoner (E. J. Waggoner’s father), Uriah Smith, and Stephen Haskell wrote extensively on the subject of the final atonement in heaven.

The church published its first Statement of Beliefs in 1872. The opening paragraph noted that it was not put forth to be an authority among the brethren or for the purpose of securing uniformity among them. It was noted, however, that the statement contained “what is, and has [had] been, with great unanimity held by them (A Declaration of the Fundamental Principals Taught and Practiced by the Seventh-day Adventists, 1872).” Two of the twenty-one beliefs dealt directly with the high-priestly ministry of Christ:

That there is one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, . . . that he . . . lived our example, died our sacrifice, was raised for our justification, ascended on high to be our only mediator in the sanctuary in Heaven, where, with his own blood he makes atonement for our sins; which atonement so far from being made on the cross, which was but the sacrifice, is the very last portion of his work as priest according to the example of the Levitical priesthood, which foreshadowed and prefigured the ministry of our Lord in heaven. See Lev. 16; Heb. 8:4, 5; 9:6, 7; c (Ibid., belief II).

That the sanctuary of the new covenant is the tabernacle of God in Heaven, of which Paul speaks in Hebrews 8, and onward, of which our Lord, as great High Priest, is minister; that this sanctuary is the antitype of the Mosaic tabernacle, and that the priestly work of our Lord, connected therewith, is the antitype of the work of the Jewish priests of the former dispensation. Heb. 8:1-5, c.; that this is the sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days, what is termed its cleansing being in this case, as in the type, simply the entrance of the high priest into the most holy place, to finish the round of service connected therewith, by blotting out and removing from the sanctuary the sins which had been transferred to it by means of the ministration in the first apartment, Heb. 9:22, 23; and that this work, in the antitype, commencing in 1844, occupies a brief but indefinite space, at the conclusion of which the work of mercy for the world is finished (Ibid., belief X).

The unanimity with which this belief was held was also expressed in the Yearbook of 1889 as follows: “The following propositions may be taken as a summary of the principal features of their religious faith, upon which there is, so far as we know, entire unanimity throughout the body.” Fifteen years after the 1872 statement, in 1887, Uriah Smith wrote a five-point statement of the pioneers’ understanding of the sanctuary which was published in The Review and Herald:

1. That the sanctuary and priesthood of the Mosaic dispensation represented in shadow the sanctuary and priesthood of the present or Christian dispensation (Heb 8:5).

2. That this Sanctuary and priesthood are in heaven, resembling the former as nearly as heavenly things may resemble the earthly (Heb 9:23, 24).

3. That the ministry of Christ, our great high priest, in the heavenly Sanctuary is composed of two great divisions, as in the type; first, in the first apartment, or holy place, and secondly, in the second apartment, or most holy place.

4. That the beginning of his ministry in the second apartment is marked by the great prophetic period of 2,300 days (Dan 8:14), and began when those days ended in 1844.

5. That  the ministry he is now performing in the second apartment of the heavenly temple, is “the atonement” (Lev 16:17), the “cleansing of the Sanctuary” (Dan 8:14), the “investigative judgment” (Dan 7:10), the “finishing of the mystery of God” (Rev 10:7; 11:15, 19), which will complete Christ’s work as priest, consummate the plan of salvation, terminate human probation, decide every case for eternity, and bring Christ to his throne of eternal domination (“Questions on the Sanctuary,” The Review and Herald, June 14, 1887).

The early Adventists saw in the fourteenth chapter of Revelation an announcement to be given to the world that this work of cleansing the sanctuary (the beginning of the judgment) had begun. “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters (Revelation 14:6,7).” Within this announcement was the call to worship God as the great Creator through the seventh-day Sabbath. This was the time Paul referred to when he spoke to Felix and his wife, Drusilla, and “reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come [future tense] (Acts 24:25).”

The understanding the early Adventists received concerning the 2,300 day prophecy of Daniel 8:14 molded and shaped the Advent movement. The belief that Christ was to perform a work of ministry in the heavenly sanctuary was not, of itself, a new idea. The book of Hebrews clearly speaks of a ministry of Jesus in heaven. The idea was new, however, that this ministry was a work of atonement and essential to man’s salvation.

Pioneers Understood the Scope of the Atonement

The pioneers of Adventism did not just see Christ’s ministry as one that made an atonement but made the atonement. The more contemporary leaders of the church today see the atonement being made at the cross. Andreasen suggested the following solution:

Much confusion in regard to the atonement arises from a neglect to recognize the two divisions of the atonement. Note what is said of John the Baptist, “He did not distinguish clearly the two phases of Christ’s work – as a suffering sacrifice, and a conquering king.” Desire of Ages, pp. 136, 137. The book Questions on Doctrine makes the same mistake. It does not distinguish clearly; in fact it does not distinguish at all; it does not seem to know of the two phases; hence the confusion (Letters to the Churches, Series A, no. 6; emphasis in the original).

Was there an atonement made at the cross and, if so, did that preclude an atonement that would be made in heaven? Did the early Adventists have an understanding of two different phases of the atonement or a “dual atonement”? The evidence is that the pioneers did have such an understanding. However, in their zeal to lift the ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary to the proper level which the Bible elevates it to, the early pioneers of the church at times failed to emphasize the work of Christ on the cross as a work of atonement. The 1872 Statement of Beliefs places the emphasis in heaven.

While the statement does not specifically state that no atonement was made at Calvary, it does say that the atonement that Christ is making in heaven now was not made on the cross. This does not mean that the pioneers did not understand the significance of Calvary but reflects a desire on their part to proclaim the work of Christ in heaven. The following statements from several early works of the pioneers clearly express their belief of an atonement at the cross.

Crosier was one of the first to deal with the subject. He wrote:

The atonement which the priest made for the people in connection with their daily ministration was different from that made on the tenth day of the seventh month. In making the former, they went no further than in the Holy; but to make the latter they entered the Holy of Holies – the former was made for individual cases, the latter for the whole nation of Israel collectively – the former was made for the forgiveness of sins, the latter for blotting them out – the former could be made at any time, the latter only on the tenth day of the seventh month.  Hence the former may be called the daily atonement and the latter the yearly, or the former the individual, and the latter the national atonement (Day-Star Extra, February 7, 1846; emphasis in the original).

It should be distinctly remembered that the priest did not begin his duties till he obtained the blood of the victim, and that they were all performed in the court (the enclosure of the Sanctuary), and that the atonement thus made was only for the forgiveness of sins.  These points are expressly taught in this chapter and the following one on the trespass-offering.  Here is an atonement, to make which, the priests only entered the Holy, and to make it they could enter that apartment “always” or “daily” (Ibid.; emphasis in the original).

Elder James White, the first publisher of the 1872 Statement of Beliefs, followed the lead of Crosier in calling the daily sin offering “the daily atonement.” He wrote: “The daily atonement was continued only 364 days before the services of the earthly Sanctuary changed, and the tenth day atonement for the cleansing of the Sanctuary was introduced (The Parable, p. 15).” (See also The Review and Herald, June 20, 1854, article entitled “Vision on the Holy Mount.”)

Uriah Smith quoted from William Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible in his book Looking unto Jesus:

“Accordingly we find (see quotation from the Mishna in Outr. De Sacr. i.c.XV., 10) that, in all cases, it was the custom for the offerer to lay his hand on the head of the sin-offering, to confess generally or specially his sins, and to say, ‘Let this be my expiation.’ Beyond all doubt, the sin-offering distinctly witnessed that sin existed in man, that ‘the wages of that sin was death.’ and that God had provided an atonement by the vicarious suffering of an appointed victim (Looking unto Jesus, p. 141; emphasis in the original).”

Of special interest are some statements from A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner, whom Sister White called “Christ’s delegated messengers (Testimonies to Ministers and Gosepl Workers, p. 97).”

Before the lamb was offered in sacrifice the individual who had brought it laid his hands upon its head and confessed his sins and it was “accepted for him to make atonement for him (A.T. Jones, The Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection, p. 63).”

This act of mercy on the part of God is eminently just, because in the first place the sin is against God, and he has a right to pass by offenses against him; and, further, it is just, because he gives his own life as an atonement for the sin, so that the majesty of the law is not only maintained, but is magnified. “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Ps. 85:10. God is just and the justifier of him who believes in Jesus. All righteousness is from him alone (Waggoner on Romans, p. 74). (This book was compiled from The Signs of the Times articles published from October 1895 through September 1896.)

Ellen White clearly saw the death of Christ upon the cross and his ministry in the heavenly sanctuary as being essential for the salvation of man. She referred to both of these works in the typical service as an atonement. With heart-moving words, she wrote:

As you near the cross of Calvary there is seen love that is without a parallel. As you by faith grasp the meaning of the sacrifice, you see yourself a sinner, condemned by a broken law. This is repentance. As you come with humble heart, you find pardon, for Christ Jesus is represented as continually standing at the altar, momentarily offering up the sacrifice for the sins of the world. He is a minister of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man. The typical shadows of the Jewish tabernacle no longer possess any virtue. A daily and yearly typical atonement is no longer to be made, but the atoning sacrifice through a mediator is essential because of the constant commission of sin. Jesus is officiating in the presence of God, offering up His shed blood, as it had been a lamb slain. Jesus presents the oblation offered for every offense and every shortcoming of the sinner (Selected Messages, bk. 1, pp. 343, 344; MS 50, 1900). Allen Stump


Prayer Requests

The Waldensian Center in Colorado will be opening its doors in a few days, and we invite all of our readers to remember this endeavor in prayer with us that each student and each teacher will be filled with God’s Spirit as they work together for the completion of God’s cause here on earth, not only in their own individual lives, but also in the lives of those they touch in their community.

Will you also remember Brother Lynnford Beachy’s ministry in prayer? He will be holding meetings, in addition to an evangelistic series, this month in Wyoming. We pray that God’s Spirit will be mightily felt there.

And lastly, our hearts are burdened with the loss of our brother Hans Stump. We especially seek your intercession at the throne of grace for abiding comfort to be supplied to his mother, Charmaine Stump; his sister, Heidi Stump; and his father, Allen Stump. Onycha Holt


Hans Michael Stump

By Allen Stump

Hans Michael Stump, 25, of Pineville, West Virginia, died Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his sister, Heidi Stump, of Coalwood, West Virginia.

He is preceded in death by one brother, Daniel Allen Stump.

A memorial service was held at Smyrna Gospel Ministries, September 30.

Hans’ life began with adversity. Shortly after being born, Hans experienced sleep apnea and was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis.

At an early age, Hans developed a love for trucks and singing, especially selections from Handel’s “Messiah.” When barely able to talk, he was singing “Every Valley.” This love for music continued to grow until the day he died.

Hans was home-schooled by his mother, Charmaine. He was an earnest student, who always tried to find the answers to questions on his own.

As Hans grew, his love for spiritual things, especially music, also grew. Hans loved to sing, as well as listen to, gospel hymns and tunes. The singing was a highlight of each church service for Hans, whether it was prayer meeting, Sabbath School, or the worship hour.

His love of being at even prayer meeting is well illustrated by an incident that happened one evening when Hans was about eight or nine years old. He and I had been walking out our hollow road here at Smyrna and on our way back we were offered a ride in the bed of a truck. Instead of getting into the bed of the truck, we stood on the back bumper and held onto a lumber rack attached to the truck. When we were to arrive at the house, the truck would stop momentarily and we would let go and step off. Somehow it did not work out like that for Hans. The truck stopped and then left with Hans hanging half on and half off. After being dragged for maybe fifty yards, Hans finally was jolted loose, and we recovered a very bruised and battered child but one blessed with no broken bones or serious injuries. As his mother was cleaning up his wounds, I mentioned that he would not be able to attend prayer meeting. Prior to this time, Hans, though very sore, had not cried, but when I mentioned that he might not be able to go to prayer meeting, his face changed shape and little trickles of tears began to come down his cheeks. Upon seeing this, I consented to carry him the 150 yards from the house to the church and lay him in a pew so that he would not miss the service. He immediately was relieved when he knew he could attend services!

Hans and his sister, Heidi, were the best of friends. Unlike many brother and sisters who fight early and often, they always had a deep love and care for each other. He was her “bubby” and she was his “little sissy-all.”

As noted earlier, Hans was home-schooled with his sister Heidi by their mother, who provided an excellent learning environment and instruction. With Heidi being the only other classmate, they learned to do just about everything together. They took their lessons together, played together, and prayed together. God certainly gave them a love for each other.

Hans loved to hike, camp, and be outside in God’s second book, nature. He logged many miles on the family’s numerous camping trips to areas such as Seneca Rocks and Black Water Falls in West Virginia to Yellowstone and Grand Canyon National Parks. When Hans was growing up, many Friday evenings were spent looking at slides projected onto the living room wall of the various places the family had vacationed or visited, as well as at pictures of family, friends, and nature scenes.

Hans never lost his love for trucks. When we lived by a road that was frequented by coal trucks, Hans would stand in the yard for hours waiting for the trucks to pass by so he could see them and pump his fist and arm up and down in an effort to ask the truckers to blow their air horns for him as they passed.

Later his love for trucks expanded to a passion for trains. Hans loved to watch and learn anything he could about trains. During his home-schooling, Charmaine placed a heavy emphasis on reading, knowing that if Hans could learn to read, he would have many opportunities that would not otherwise be available. Hans loved to read anything about trains. From setting up his own model railway system to running a computer train simulator, watching trains, and taking train trips, Hans truly had a hobby he appreciated.

Later, Hans took quite an interest in ham radios and taught himself so that he could pass the test to be a licensed ham radio operator (call sign-KC8ZFW). Hans acquired several types of ham radios and on Wednesday nights after prayer meeting he  listened and talked to several of his radio friends on a weekly talk-around. Hans’ love and knowledge of radios would later play an important and fulfilling part of his life.

Hans loved good friends and good food, especially Mexican food. When traveling and looking for a place to eat, Hans’ choice was almost always Taco Bell!

Hans’ family was very important to him. He dearly loved and respected his mother, and rightfully so, for she was an excellent mother to him. Not only did he have a wonderful sister, Heidi, Hans was blessed to have not two, but three sets of grandparents. Firstly, there were his maternal grandparents, John Paul and Della Sauer. The love and affection between them and Hans can never be denied. Secondly, there were his paternal grandparents, Robert and Mary Sinnett who also seemed to live for the grandchildren. Thirdly, there were his spiritual grandparents, Glen and Ann Ford, better known as Papa Glen and Granny Ann. Being raised so far from his biological grandparents, Glen and Ann stepped in to help provide that little extra day by day. Someone might say something bad about me, but nobody had better touch or say anything bad about Hans or Heidi, unless they were willing to face Granny Ann, a force greater than a she bear robbed of her whelps.

When Hans was twelve, he and I attended some Adventist evangelistic meetings to help support the effort. Nightly as we would be bowed in prayer and the evangelist would ask for uplifted hands of those who wanted to follow Jesus all the way, Hans’ little right hand would always slowly go up. As we read and studied the Bible at home, it was clear that God was speaking to Hans’ heart and Hans was listening. Soon was the day of my ministry that I have always treasured more than any other, the day that I not only baptized Hans, but Heidi as well. Hans made the greatest decision he could ever make and he never turned back from it.

On Friday, October 1, 1999 Hans was typing at our home computer and he felt a sharp pain in his neck. Only the good Lord knew that there was a cancerous tumor growing inside the neck area of his spinal cord. The tumor was bleeding and soon Hans began to loose sensation and the ability to move his legs. He was diagnosed with an astrocytoma. The neurosurgeon, Dr. Sherry Apple, informed us of the difficult and challenging news: This tumor could not be completely removed surgically. On Sabbath, October 2, Hans was anointed and the next day surgery was performed. Before the surgery, we straightly informed Dr. Apple that we did not want any information sugar-coated and to tell us all she would find in the plainest terms. She was certainly faithful to this request. After the operation, Dr. Apple informed us that she did not believe Hans could live more than two weeks and we should consider making funeral arrangements. She said this with only care and concern, but it was the blunt truth as she saw it.

God, however, does not see things as man does. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD (Isaiah 55:8).” After six weeks of radiation therapy and gallons and gallons of carrot and other juices, no more cancer could be found in Hans!

When Dr. Apple operated on Hans, she intentionally did not replace a piece of bone that had been removed during surgery for access to his spinal cord. She said, “This will give Hans more room for the tumor to grow before it kills him.” She also informed us that if he lived he would develop a “swan neck” but that would be the least of his troubles. After a stabilization surgery, Hans’ neck continued to droop, necessitating a major fusion of the neck bones to relieve pressure upon his spinal cord, causing him to have functional loss again. Part of this surgery involved the attachment of a titanium halo that was literally screwed into Hans’ skull. This halo had graphite rods attached to it that connected to a body vest. This structure held his head perfectly still during the four and half months needed for the bone and tissue to heal. Hans bravely faced the screws turning into his head securing the halo. While the halo was never comfortable to wear, by the grace of God, Hans never complained of being so immobile. Hans was understanding by experience what Paul taught in Hebrews 13:5 about being “content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

After healing from the neck fusion surgery, Hans continued his study of radios and obtained his ham radio license. Hans was handicapped in several ways, most notably his fused neck which would not allow him to move his neck up and down or side to side, but he did not allow that to drain his desire to work and be productive. With a good word from his sister, who was working as an EMT, Hans became a part-time ambulance radio dispatcher at the Welch Ambulance Authority where Heidi worked. At first he was only given a few midnight shifts a week, but later, as he proved his proficiency, on many weeks he was given full-time work and some weeks he even received overtime.

Unlike many today, Hans truly loved to go to work. He loved his job and greatly appreciated having even a limited ability to work. He became loved and accepted by all his coworkers, despite, in his kind and meek way, always insisting that the EMT’s run sheets be turned in for him to process.

Despite his neck bones being fused and despite many handicaps, he never complained. Even when Hans was in noticeable pain, you almost had to drag a confession out of him.

Near the end of April this year, Hans’ left arm began to swell. After being checked by different doctors and being admitted to the Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston, West Virginia, it was discovered, through a CT scan, that there was a tumor in his chest disrupting blood flow out of the left arm. The seriousness of the tumor was quickly realized when some of the best doctors in West Virginia plainly stated that the tumor was out of their league. Hans would need to be transferred to another medical center. A decision was made for Hans to go to the University of Virginia Medical Center, where his neck fusion surgery had earlier taken place.

At first, we were told by the surgeons at UVA that they believed that they could operate on the tumor. After another CT scan and consultation with a team of surgeons, however, the main surgeon brought us the news that because the tumor was so intertwined with his vascular system and organs such as his heart they now believed the tumor to be inoperable. From May until September, the doctors attempted non-surgical treatments for this tumor and other tumors that followed.

Hans always loved to attend camp meeting. He had attended every Florida camp meeting in the movement perhaps, except last year when he was taking an EMT class, which he successfully completed. He also attended camp meetings in Illinois, Jamaica, and every camp meeting we have held in West Virginia. However, it looked like, due to being hospitalized, that he might miss the West Virginia camp meeting this year. This was a real concern for Hans, but, knowing how much he wanted to attend, many joined in much prayer with Hans that he might be released in time to attend, if not all of camp meeting, at least the Sabbath portion. God was so good to answer our requests and Hans was able to come home Friday afternoon. There were some wonderful messages shared Sabbath, but I am sure that the memory many will have of that Sabbath is not any spoken message but rather being able to see Hans. While Hans never “preached” a sermon in his life, he certainly was an “epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men (2 Corinthians 3:2).”

Knowing of Hans’ love of trains and his desire to take a cross-country train trip, some of Hans’ EMS co-workers, led by Susie Shelton, raised money to send him and Heidi from West Virginia to Seattle, Washington and back. Along the way, they stayed three nights at the famous Izaak Walton Inn near Glacier National Park, and Hans was able to revisit some places that he had seen several years before during one of our family camping trips.

This trip, though a great blessing to Hans, caused those of us back home to pray a lot knowing his condition was becoming more fragile all the time. Shortly after returning, it was discovered that Hans had an aneurysm that had developed in the left subclavian branch of his aorta. This aneurysm was most likely bleeding some while Hans was on his train trip and was ready, at any time, to cause a catastrophic failure of his system. Just as matters became critical, a ten centimeter stent was inserted into this artery and his life was saved. One of the doctors described it as one of the top ten scariest operating room moments he had ever seen, as it appeared that Hans would bleed to death before the stent could be placed and secured. It was very sobering to look at the x-ray films of the procedure later and to see the blood spurting in large amounts from the damaged artery.

It was not on God’s timetable for Hans to die that night. He lived almost another four weeks. During that time, he never gave up the hope that he might get better. He had fought disease so many times and, with the Lord’s help, had been victorious. He knew that if it was God’s will he could yet recover. Hans became well enough that he could come home and be with his family and friends some more. As his work for the Lord was finishing, he was back in the hospital and finally in the Medical Intensive Care Unit. Hans’ body finally laid down its fight with two light breaths. Hans was brave, courageous, and faithful unto the end. Like Paul, he could say, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day (2 Timothy 1:12).”

Hans loved life and had an appreciation for life that many miss. He carried a key chain with the inscription, “Every day is a gift from God.” Hans loved others and he was clearly loved by many. Hans truly did not have an enemy in this world except the devil and death. He was so blessed, for when you have God’s love in your heart and others love you there is really nothing else in this world ultimately important, not even health.

When Hans had his neck fusion surgery, cadaver bone was used for fusing the vertebrae together and for supporting struts. Hans was thankful for the gift of love someone supplied so that he might have a better life. That same spirit of love motivated Hans to want to be an organ donor if death should suddenly take him. Unfortunately, with his body full of cancer when he died, his organs could not be so used. To help honor that spirit of giving, and to provide the next person like Hans a better chance at life, his body was donated to the West Virginia University Medical School for research and to help train the next generation of doctors. We think Hans would have been very happy with this decision.

During his life, Hans was able to travel and visit many places from Seattle, Washington, on the west coast to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., on the east coast of the United States. He was able to attend several performances of Handel’s “Messiah.” Last year, he, with some friends, attended a performance of “Messiah” in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, that he truly loved. Just a week before his death, still hoping to become better, he checked performance schedules on the Internet and alerted me that the Pittsburg Symphony would again have a performance of the Messiah and he wanted to know if we could all go again. I said, “Of course. We just need for you to get better first and not be in treatment at that time.”

The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., with its magnificent pipe organ, was one stop that Hans wanted to make but did not get the chance. We are told in the Bible that there is a place prepared more magnificent than any cathedral built by men where God is worshiped. Heaven will be a place where music and the hallelujah choirs will surpass anything that has ever fallen upon human ear. The Bible says, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him (1 Corinthians 2:9).”

Hans will never more hear earthly music. The next sound his ears hear will be the trumpet of God and the voice of Jesus calling him forth to life everlasting. In the celestial city of transparent gold with walls of jasper, Hans can join the hosts of heaven in that great choir that will sing:

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. … Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever (Revelation 5:12, 13).


Insights on Calvary

The prophet Isaiah described the aspirations of Satan in this way: “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 said he wanted to be like the most High, but he wanted to be like God in only a partial way. Satan wished to have the power of God without his character.

There are certain aspects of divinity that we generally attribute to God. We say these attributes are inherently divine and are not present in his creatures, and these are the things that Lucifer probably coveted, one of which is the ability to be omnipotent or all-powerful. Humans can perform acts or make displays that appear to be unusual and hard to do. A magician can pull a rabbit out of a hat, for example, and we wonder how he accomplished it. Perhaps someone behind the scenes is helping him, but when it comes to God, no one in heaven ever questioned his omnipotence. No one wondered if he really had the power to create boundless things. All they had to do was to look beyond them to the limitless universe; to the galaxies of stars, suns, planets, and moons; and to the intelligent life in many other places of the universe. They knew there was no one else behind the curtain, so to speak, helping God. They knew it was God alone who created all things, and this ability is something Lucifer coveted. He coveted the ability to be omnipotent.

God is omniscient, which means he knows everything. He has all knowledge and this is another quality that Lucifer coveted. The Bible also tells us that God fills heaven and earth: “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD (Jeremiah 23:24),” and Lucifer may have desired the ability to be in many places at once, although I am not sure how he could have ever thought that possible except that angels are very fast. We also know that Lucifer wanted to be worshiped, and throughout history we find that false religions, in some way or another, always brought back worship to Lucifer.

These characteristics, however, are not the essential qualities of God. The essential quality of God is his character. His is a character of pure, undefiled love, a love that is totally untainted with selfishness, and a love that is forever beyond the ability of any human being to have of himself. This is a quality, however, that Lucifer did not covet in wanting to be like the most High, so, as the Bible says, there was war in heaven. “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him (Revelation 12:7-9).” There was war in heaven concerning who would stay and rule. Michael is the name of Jesus before he became a human, and it is Jesus who fought against the dragon. The term dragon is another name for the devil. The word for devil in the Greek is diabolos (diaboloV) and it means accuser. Satan is a false accuser and we are counseled not to be like him. In Titus 2:3, Paul tells the aged women not to be “false accusers,” and this expression is the same Greek word for devil, diabolos.

Satan was the highest of created beings in heaven. He was created as much like God as God could create an individual. “Lucifer had been the covering cherub. He had stood in the light of God’s presence. He had been the highest of all created beings, and had been foremost in revealing God’s purposes to the universe (The Desire of Ages, p. 758).” His rebellion did not take God by surprise, however. The Bible says: “Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both (Zechariah 6:13).” The Hebrew word for both means two. Whom was this counsel between? It was between the Father and his only begotten Son a long time ago. In Revelation 13:8, Christ is described as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Before this world was created, before Lucifer or before any creation occurred, this counsel was brought together by God. He and his Son covenanted what they would do when sin occurred. Jesus would give his life as a ransom for the sinner. Did the Father approve of this plan? He surely did. It was a hard plan for him to approve, but he knew it was the only plan whereby man could be redeemed.

There is an interesting expression in Isaiah 53 that speaks about the suffering of Christ. “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him (v. 10).” Whom is referred to as LORD? The Father. He is the One that ultimately bruised Jesus, and it pleased him to do so. It seems like a strange thing that the Father brought the greatest suffering to Christ, but he did so because of his great love for us. The Bible says that the Father loved us so much “that he gave his only begotten Son (John 3:16)” to die for us. This was the only way we could be redeemed and the only way for harmony and peace to remain in the universe. Jesus came down to this earth to do the Father’s will and follow the plan of the Father.

Let us read a few verses in John 5 that speak about this plan and about Christ’s involvement in it. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life (John 5:24).” Whom is referred to as “him” in this verse? If I were to say, “I came over to see you,” by whom was my visit initiated? By me! But if I were to visit you and say, “Glen sent me to get a sickle from you,” am I there because I came on my own volition? No. I am there because Glen sent me. John 5:24 tells us that the Father sent the Son.

Jesus said in verse 30, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” Here again we read that the Father sent Christ—it was the Father’s will and great desire to do so. Jesus also tells us he was in complete agreement with this plan. “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work (John 4:34).”

In the counsel of Zechariah 6, an agreement was reached, and Jesus says that it was his will to do the will of the One that sent him. He wanted to do the will of the Father. I would like to propose to you that there was nothing in this counsel that was hidden from the Son of God concerning what was involved in the plan of salvation. Even today, when we volunteer or ask for volunteers for a very dangerous and possibly suicidal mission, we clearly spell out what the risks of the mission are—how dangerous it is going to be and what the odds are of coming back—because someone really cannot volunteer for a mission if he does not fully understand what the risks and benefits are. I propose that Christ knew every risk. He knew everything that was going to happen to him before he came to this earth. He was well aware of the censure he would receive, as well as the belittling, the cruel treatment, the mockings, and the scourgings. He understood what Gethsemane would be like and the sweating of blood. He understood in heaven all that was involved with Calvary.

Jesus came to do his Father’s will. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me (John 6:38).” He did his Father’s will because he was close to his Father and loved him. He knew this was what his Father wanted and so he wanted it also. “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me (John 6:57).” Jesus said, “I live by the Father.” Jesus could have said of the Father, “In him I live, and move, and have my being (Acts 17:28).”

In John 7:29 we read more about this closeness: “Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me (John 7:28, 29).” Jesus was saying, “You may not know him, but I know him. I know what he is like. I can trust him. He is good and he is worthy.” Jesus also said, “And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me (John 8:16).” Notice the expression, “I am not alone.” Could Jesus say that because he had twelve disciples with him? Could he say it because there were multitudes frequently gathering and flocking around him? No. He said he was not alone because the Father was with him. Jesus always felt that close, immediate presence of the Father. “I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me (John 8:18).” “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him (John 8:29).” The experience of Christ was one of close intimate fellowship with God, day by day and moment by moment. I believe the nights he spent alone with his Father were necessary in preparing him, but even during the day, while he was preaching to the people, while he was doing seemingly common and mundane things such as traveling down a road or drawing water, he felt the Father’s presence and he knew God was with him.

Jesus did not come to this earth omnipotent. As noted in John 5:30, Jesus said, “I can of mine own self do nothing.”

When Jesus was awakened to meet the storm, He was in perfect peace. There was no trace of fear in word or look, for no fear was in His heart. But He rested not in the possession of almighty power. It was not as the ‘Master of earth and sea and sky’ that He reposed in quiet. That power He had laid down, and He says, ‘I can of Mine own self do nothing.’ John 5:30. He trusted in the Father’s might. It was in faith—faith in God’s love and care—that Jesus rested, and the power of that word which stilled the storm was the power of God (The Desire of Ages, p. 336).

Jesus had no external powers that we do not have, but he was able to perceive the presence of God clearly in his life, and we should be able to do likewise. Throughout his life and ministry, Christ felt the closeness and nearness of the Father. In fact, when he instructed his disciples that he would be betrayed just before his passion, he said he still would not be alone, for the Father would be with him. “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me (John 16:32).”

Let us move ahead to later that evening. As Jesus prayed in the garden, he sweat great drops of blood, and then he told the disciples, “Let us rise, it is time.” He knew what was coming next. “And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels (Matthew 26:51-53).” Jesus said he could pray to his Father even at that seemingly very dark time. Later, when he was before the high priest, the high priest adjured him in the name of the living God to state if he were really the Christ, and “Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven (Matthew 26:64).” Jesus spoke that night with an assurance of being victorious.

Now let us turn to Matthew 27:45. “Now from the sixth hour [12 noon] there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour [3 p.m.].” So, during the time it was normally the brightest, there was a supernatural darkness upon the land. “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me (v. 46)?” Now I ask you a question: “Were these words of Jesus an act or something from a script?” No, they could not have been an act. The answer to why he cried out helps us to understand what the great controversy is all about. In the counsel of peace Jesus volunteered to do the work of the Father. When you volunteer for a mission you need to know everything about that mission beforehand; otherwise, you are not truly volunteering but are being conscripted or brought in by hood-winking or trickery, and God does not work like that. In this counsel, God opened before Jesus everything that would be involved, but Lucifer had made accusations in heaven. “Satan had accused God of requiring self-denial of the angels, when he knew nothing of what it meant himself, and when he would not himself make any self-sacrifice for others. This was the accusation that Satan made against God in heaven; and after the evil one was expelled from heaven, he continually charged the Lord with exacting service which he would not render himself. Christ came to the world to meet these false accusations, and to reveal the Father (The Review & Herald, February 18, 1890).” Christ came to reveal the Father, to meet these accusations, and to show that God was willing to serve. Satan had claimed that God would not serve. He had accused God of only demanding service and homage from us and of refusing to serve us and show us sacrificial love. God sent Christ so that Christ could prove these accusations to be totally unfounded and false.

Christ came from the counsel of peace in the time of eternity past with the counsel of knowledge. Jesus knew from this counsel that he would be born as a baby in Bethlehem. He knew that for the first thirty years of his life he would be a common carpenter, mostly not seen of or heard from, but that during the next three and half years he would take this world by storm. A revolution would take place like no other revolution. He was going to change men’s hearts. He knew his life would involve torture, mistreatment, and misunderstanding. He knew all these things ahead of time. In the counsel of peace he knew that he would go to Gethsemane, he knew he would go to Calvary, and he knew he would be victorious. There was one part of this plan, however, that he was not to know while on earth. In the counsel, this was explained to him, and he agreed to it. While on earth, a part of the knowledge of the plan of redemption was withheld from him because he had to be faced with a test, a real test, to show what God is really like. If it was anything other than a true test under the most stringent of circumstances, how could it truly reveal what God is like? Satan would still be able to say that under the most trying circumstances God would walk away from being a compassionate and loving God to lost mankind. This exacting test occurred at the cross. Jesus had said continually that he was not alone because the Father was always with him. Even the very night before his death he had said his Father was with him even though others would forsake him and that could call twelve legions of angels and they would come to him. He told Caiaphas that he would see the Son of Man come in clouds of glory with great power. The part, however, that he did not understand and was never instructed in by the Father while on earth was the spiritual darkness. The darkness represented something much more than physical darkness. It was the separation of the Father’s known presence from the Son.

As the weight of the sins of the world was laid upon Jesus, he began to wonder if this sin, which he had only know about intellectually but now was knowing experientially, was too hideous and too horrible for his Father to ever accept him back if he took it upon himself. Christ suffered in darkness for three hours, if you please, the experience of the second death, an experience of being totally stripped of the presence of God. During this time, he had nothing to help him except his divine character. He was never omnipotent when he was a man; he did not have power of his own to help him. He did not have supernatural knowledge of the future. He did not know the one missing piece of knowledge about the future that had been withheld from him because if he had known, then his cry, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me” would have been worthless, meaningless, and, in fact, a lie. He would not have been asking, “Why have you done this?” because he knew. He did not know, however, and this was part of the plan. He knew the plan in heaven, but it had been determined that when he came to earth he would not know because in this way his character could truly be tested. What would Jesus do now that he was faced with separation from his Father? Would he denounce this planet? Would he come down from the cross to save himself? If he could not see through the portal of the tomb, would he go ahead and die eternally? This is what his test involved—that he may never see his Father again, One with whom he had known pure joy, bliss, and the sweetest fellowship for eons. If it would mean that he would never see his Father again, he would go through with it just for me! He would do it for just you! If it would have been for just one of us, this whole great experiment would have been completed start to finish.

While the nails were being driven through His hands [at 9 a.m.], and the sweat drops of agony were forced from His pores, from the pale, quivering lips of the innocent Sufferer a prayer of pardoning love was breathed for His murderers: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” All heaven was gazing with profound interest upon the scene. The glorious Redeemer of a lost world was suffering the penalty of man’s transgression of the Father’s law. He was about to ransom His people with His own blood. He was paying the just claims of God’s holy law. This was the means through which an end was to be finally made of sin and Satan, and his host to be vanquished.

Oh, was there ever suffering and sorrow like that endured by the dying Saviour! It was the sense of His Father’s displeasure which made His cup so bitter. It was not bodily suffering which so quickly ended the life of Christ upon the cross. It was the crushing weight of the sins of the world, and a sense of His Father’s wrath. The Father’s glory and sustaining presence had left Him, and despair pressed its crushing weight of darkness upon Him and forced from His pale and quivering lips the anguished cry: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp. 208, 209)?”

“It was the sense of his Father’s displeasure.” When you really love someone, nothing hurts you more than to think that you have displeased or hurt that person. At the cross, Christ felt the displeasure of his Father. He knew now how his Father felt about sin and Christ had become so associated with this great weight of sin that he did not know if his Father could ever love, accept, or bring him back to heaven again.

Jesus had united with the Father in making the world. Amid the agonizing sufferings of the Son of God, blind and deluded men alone remain unfeeling. The chief priests and elders revile God’s dear Son while in His expiring agonies. Yet inanimate nature groans in sympathy with her bleeding, dying Author. The earth trembles. The sun refuses to behold the scene. The heavens gather blackness. Angels have witnessed the scene of suffering until they can look no longer, and hide their faces from the horrid sight (Ibid., p. 209).

How awful it would be if your child were dying. It would be so horrible that you could not even look upon it, and you would have to turn your eyes from it.

Angels have witnessed the scene of suffering until they can look no longer, and hide their faces from the horrid sight. Christ is dying! He is in despair! His Father’s approving smile is removed, and angels are not permitted to lighten the gloom of the terrible hour. They can only behold in amazement their loved Commander, the Majesty of heaven, suffering the penalty of man’s transgression of the Father’s law

Even doubts assailed the dying Son of God. He could not see through the portals of the tomb. Bright hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the tomb a conqueror and His Father’s acceptance of His sacrifice. The sin of the world, with all its terribleness, was felt to the utmost by the Son of God. The displeasure of the Father for sin, and its penalty, which is death, were all that He could realize through this amazing darkness. He was tempted to fear that sin was so offensive in the sight of His Father that He could not be reconciled to His Son. The fierce temptation that His own Father had forever left Him caused that piercing cry from the cross: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me (Ibid.)?”

Satan had accused God of being unwilling to serve others. He accused him of being a tyrant and of being someone who was all-powerful but using that power for his own benefit. Christ came to refute these accusations, but how does Christ do that? He comes to the cross and at the cross he has no omnipotence and no omniscience. He is neither immortal nor omnipresent. All this was laid aside and upon him was placed the sin of the world, making him the most despised of everything there is. Lastly, the most important thing in the universe to him is withdrawn—his Father’s presence. What will he do now? Will he curse God? Will he curse man and leave them to their sin? What is the true nature of God? Here is the greatest proof of the divinity of Jesus Christ, because he did exactly what God would have done, what he wanted him to do. He was willing to die unsure of his future. He was willing to suffer eternity without the Father. Here you see the love of the Father exemplified.

As agonizing as it was for the angels, as terrible as it was for Christ, we have the agony of God! It is as if God had gone into a hospital where Christ was on a respirator. The Son looks pitifully up at him, but the Father pulls the plug, knowing that Christ will not be able to live. Then he turns his back and walks away, knowing that when he veils his presence from his Son he will die. Lucifer claimed that God would not sacrifice to serve his people. God’s answer to Lucifer’s claims is: “I will serve these people. I will put my Son through the sufferings of hell that they might live. That is what I am like.”

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God (Philippians 2:5, 6).” Christ was willing to lay aside the divine form of God when he came to this earth. “But made himself of no reputation [he emptied himself], and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (vs. 7, 8).” Christ became obedient unto death for us. What is the character of God truly like? It is a character of supreme love, of agape, and of total selflessness so that no matter what is necessary for my salvation or for yours, he is willing and ready to do. Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me (John 12:32).” The lifting up here involves something much more than just the physical lifting up on the cross. If we will lift up Christ before men as he truly is in all of his loveliness of character, in what he has done in love for us, and in what he shows the Father to have done in giving his Son, that will have a drawing power. The Bible says that “We love him, because he first loved us (1 John 4:19),” and then “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:8-10).”

The trinity doctrine and every other falsity of God hide this kind of love. No provision is allowed for a Son who could truly come to this earth and have this experience. No provision is made for a Father, who really has a Son to give, to have this kind of experience . You can see why Satan has at the heart of every false religion some perversion of the knowledge of God. He does not want us to know this love because it is this love that will draw us to God and it is this love that will keep us with God. It is a love that will help us to obey him and become like him. Satan wants to take this love away from us more than anything else. He wants to malign the character of God. The Bible says God is love, but Satan says God is not love but is, instead, arbitrary and selfish. God could say he was love and say he was not selfish for all eternity but that would not justify him or prove him to be right to others. He had to do something that would dramatically, clearly, and beyond any argument show that he really is love, so he sent his Son, his only-begotten Son, to die the death of the cross. He sent him to have the Father’s visible, heartfelt, and known presence withdrawn from him. He sent him to take away the sin of the world, to contemplate and be willing to die eternally for us. We do not understand the horrors of the cross. No one has ever experienced what Jesus experienced on the cross. He is the only person to have ever truly, fully died and to have known what that death is like. He did it so that we could have eternal life, so that we could understand his love and be drawn to the love of the Father, and so that God’s character in the great controversy issue would be vindicated. Not only has Jesus done all this, but he has also made provision whereby we can live in a way that we will honor and glorify God.

Let us think about God’s people in the end time and especially about those who will make up the 144,000. We know that God’s people are going to be tested in the end also. How are they going to be tested? We think we know. We know the Sabbath, the mark of the beast, and the image to the beast will have a test. All these things are coming as tests for God’s people, but I believe there is something yet to come that we do not have any idea of right now. It is going to truly test us for who and what we are. It will be clear, as we make that demonstration, that not only could Christ show totally unselfish love but these people will have that same kind of love in their hearts also, not to the same degree that Christ has, we will never have that, but we will have that same type of love. How this test will be done, I do not know. I do not believe it is God’s purpose to reveal it yet, and I do not think it will be his purpose to reveal it until it happens. I believe we are going to be tested in a way that we too are not expecting and it will really show who and what we are. If we have accepted Christ’s life as ours, if Christ really is in us, the hope of glory, then we will be sure through this test. We will also be able to help vindicate the character of God. May we allow the love of Christ to constrain us and change us into the people that God desires us to be, so that we, with heaven, may be a part of the one pulse of harmony and gladness that beats throughout God’s vast creation.  Allen Stump


BREAKING THE
SIXTH COMMANDMENT

The June 14, 2007, Adventist Review featured two articles about Adventist men and women in time of war. The first one entitled, “Young Adventists in a World of War,” was authored by Elizabeth Lechleitner, a news assistant for the Adventist News Network of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The main thrust of her article was how Adventist young people currently deal with the issue of bearing arms when in military service. Some feel that part of belonging to the military has to do with fulfilling one’s duty to God and country. Others serve because there are financial advantages when it comes to going to college after a person completes his or her military service.

While traditionally American Adventists have admired and practiced a noncombatant status, such as was done by Desmond Doss, today’s Adventists are increasingly inclined to bear arms and do not seem to find it incompatible with clear statements in God’s Word regarding the sixth commandment, “You shall not kill.” (Exodus 20:13, RSV)

Subsequently, Douglas Morgan, professor of history at Columbia Union College, takes a good look in his article, “Following the Prince of Peace in a Time of War,” at how the Adventist pioneers dealt with war and military service. The early Adventists were a pacifist group. They believed they ought to obey biblical teachings about killing human beings to the letter. When the Civil War broke out, there was no general draft. James White recommended that no Adventist should volunteer for military service and if someone were drafted, he should do his best to get Sabbath privileges (The Review and Herald, September 9, October 14, and October 21, 1862). Ellen G. White penned, “I was shown that God’s people, who are His peculiar treasure, cannot engage in this perplexing war, for it is opposed to every principle of their faith. In the army they cannot obey the truth and at the same time obey the requirements of their officers (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 361).”

When the federal draft was instituted in March 1863, greater pressure came on the Adventist people. What should Adventist young men do if they were drafted but also wanted to follow Jesus’ command to love their enemies? The Seventh-day Adventist leadership decided to speak to government representatives, who replied to John N. Andrews to either accept hospital duty, care of freedmen, or pay a $300 commutation fee (The Review and Herald, May 17, 1895). James White affirmed that, according to the teachings of the Adventist Church, “war is sinful and wrong, and not in accordance with the teachings of the Holy Scripture (Compilation or Extracts From the Publication of Seventh-day Adventists Setting Forth Their Views of the Sinfulness of War, Referred to in the Annexed Affidavits).” Thus it became clear that the early Adventists made a firm commitment to pacifism.

Chaplain Gary R. Councell, associate director of the Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries at the General Conference headquarters, estimates there are now 7,500 Adventists serving in the American military, practically all as combatants, while there are 50 noncombatant chaplains. Whatever happened to the earlier, traditional Adventist pacifist stance?

Our church needs to take a hard look at this issue and at issue of Adventist people serving in the armed services as noncombatants, because we should not forget the purpose of having medical personnel in the military. According to a Korea War veteran I spoke with, the motto of the Medical Corps is to conserve the fighting strength of the military. The purpose of having medics, doctors, and nurses in the military is obviously to save lives and heal wounded and injured military personnel. Another important objective is to send as many troops as possible back to the front to fight. Thus it becomes evident that medical personnel become accomplices with the armed forces, whose aim is to defeat, kill or destroy the enemy. This is completely out of line with what Christ says concerning our duty to love our enemies.

On page 12 of the June 14, 2007, Adventist Review issue, we find a timeline, a list of important dates and decisions made by the General Conference. In my view, the tragic and fateful date was 1972 when the General Conference Executive Committee watered down the noncombatant principle by making allowance for those “who elect to train with or carry arms.” Near the bottom of the same page we read, “The Seventh-day Adventist Church advocates that members serve in the military as noncombatants, but accepts those who elect to serve in other capacities or not to serve at all— according to the conscience of the individual member.”

This is a “troubling development,” writes Duane Cronk, a  Adventist church member (Letter, Adventist Review, July 26, 2007, p. 3). He goes on to ask what would happen if our church were to “proclaim that the keeping of the seventh day as the Sabbath were a matter of individual conscience.” This is, of course, the fourth commandment. Charles Scriven, writing from Kettering, Ohio affirms, “The weapons-bearers who were interviewed, and the chaplains who failed to critique them, gave not a single argument based on the testimony of the Adventist pioneers, and made not a single reference to the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus (Ibid.).” Roger Dudley, writing from Berrien Springs, Michigan to the Adventist Review, feels “deeply disturbed” and thinks that we have “compromised” our traditional pacifist position concerning war and military service and that the 1972 action of the Executive Committee of the General Conference was a “terrible mistake.” He adds, “We should be instructing our young people that killing is wrong, violating the spirit and teachings of Jesus (Ibid.).”

Yes, indeed, what happened to our acceptance of Jesus’ words to Peter, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword (Matthew 26:52)?” Notice the word “all.” There are no exceptions here. I am wondering whether we, as Adventists, still believe and accept Jesus’ words, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 26:43 RSV).”

On page 589 of The Great Controversy, Ellen White makes a significant statement that should remove all doubt or uncertainty regarding a Seventh-day Adventist Christian’s attitude to war and military service: “Satan delights in war, for it excites the worst passions of the soul and then sweeps into eternity its victims steeped in vice and blood. It is his object to incite the nations to war against one another, for he can thus divert the minds of the people from the work of preparation to stand in the day of God.” Please note that she calls war “satanic” and that it distracts Christian believers from the work and need to prepare their characters for eternity.

How can any Christian be connected to war and military service of any kind? It is beyond my comprehension, yet thousands of Adventists and many other “Christians” see no problem here. How can anyone ignore the sixth commandment? A person who breaks one commandment breaks them all. How can a person love his or her enemies and be part of a military machine whose object it is to slay them?

A person might say, “If all Americans thought like that, America would be without any defense against its enemies.” It is like saying, “If all people were Seventh-day Adventists, everybody would keep the Sabbath holy.” We all know this is a highly unlikely hypothesis and impossible to believe. My reply is that if all people all over the world wanted to live in peace and were pacifists, there would be real peace and there would be no war. Is that not what we all want?

It becomes obvious that the corporate Adventist Church has abandoned its Christian duty to counsel its young people about serving in the military and is denying the principle of love and the true gospel of Jesus. It is time to call this omission and dereliction of duty by its rightful and proper name: APOSTASY.

Yet, there is a way out of this Adventist dilemma but unlikely to be fulfilled. The Adventist Church needs to take the following steps toward adopting a fully pacifist stance. It ought to do the following at the next General Conference session to be held in Atlanta in 2010:

1. The General Conference Executive Committee should carefully and prayerfully review the issue of Seventh-day Adventist military participation and study what the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy state about a true Christian’s attitude toward war and military service.

2. The General Conference Executive Committee should repent of the error that was made in 1972 when it recommended that Seventh-day Adventist men and women be allowed to participate in military service as combatants or noncombatants, according to the individual conscience of each person.

3. Then this committee should revoke and rescind the 1972 fateful decision and openly and publicly affirm and adopt the pacifist viewpoint as expressed by Ellen and James White.

4. Urge that all Adventist men and women desist from any participation in the military and that all Seventh-day Adventist chaplains and ministers give proper biblical counsel to those planning or wishing to participate in military service.

5. Exhort that Adventists all over the world follow the same moral code.  -- Alexander Clark


Youth’s Corner — How Stanley Became Brave

Our story this month is about Stanley, who lived many years ago. When Stanley grew up to be a man, he did some very important things but when he was a little boy about eight years old, he went to school. Stanley was a small boy for his age and  angular in shape. The other boys at school were bigger than he was, and they picked on him. When he walked home from school, they would make a circle around him and push him one way and then the other. They would push him down in the mud and sometimes they would hit him. This happened over and over. On one particular day they were pushing him again, and he fell down into the mud. They called him names, and he felt so badly that he started to cry, which only made things worse. When they became tired of picking on him, they walked away and Stanley rushed home.

But at home were Stanley’s mother and father. His father was mean and rough and did not believe in God. He also drank alcohol, and the family was afraid of him. His mother was always busy thinking about becoming famous as an actress, so she did not help Stanley very much with his school problems. At home, his father said gruffly, “What’s the matter? Why are you crying?” Stanley said, hesitantly, “The big boys at school pushed me around and they called me a weakling.” His father said roughly, “Well, that is just what you are—you’re a weakling.” Oh, that made Stanley feel worse, and he started to cry again! Then he said, “But, how can I be strong?” And his father said, “Well, you will just have to figure that out for yourself,” and he walked away. Stanley did not know what to do. He knew his mother could not help him. His two sisters were too young to know what to do, but then he started to think, “Well, if my father won’t help me and my mother can’t, and the kids at school won’t because they pick on me all the time, maybe my teacher will.”

It wasn’t long until one day  at school that the teacher said, “We are each going to take turns reading a poem out loud today.” Stanley thought, “I don’t want to do this. The boys will make more fun of me if they hear me reading a poem.” This was not like Stanley at all because he was a very good student and he had a very sharp mind. Then he heard the teacher say, “Stanley, you will read the first verse.” Of course, Stanley obeyed. He stood up, opened his book, and started to read. And the more he read, the more interested he became in the poem! In fact, some of the things he read in the poem really made him perk up! He read, “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, or being hated, don’t give way to hating…” and the poem continued on for several more verses. Stanley sat down and someone else started to read, but the ending is what really caught Stanley’s attention. At the end, the poem said the person who could be like this would be a man! “So that’s how!” Stanley thought. “I need to be able to do all these things and then I will be a man!” Stanley started to have hope. That afternoon after school, Stanley took the book home. He somehow was able to leave school before the big boys found him, and he went up a hill to where he could be by himself and read the poem again. Then he read it when he got home, and he thought, “If I can just do these things (and many other things were named in the poem) then I can be a man! This is just what I need to be able to meet those bullies.” So, the next time the big boys made a circle around him and started to push him (because he was still only eight years old, still small for his age, and still thin and angular) he did not cry at all! Then he decided that if there was that one good poem, there must be others! So he went to the library and started to read books. He read other poems that men and women had written about how to be a good, strong person, and then he read biographies. He read biographies about Alexander the Great, about Hannibal, Cromwell, Nelson, and other strong people, and he learned what made them strong.

As he grew older, he became stronger. In fact, the big boys started to call him something else instead of weakling. They called him “Toughie” because whatever they suggested to him to do that wasn’t bad, he would do to show that he was strong. For example, there was one house on the way home from school that nobody lived in and that everyone at school was afraid of. They thought that if they went into this house they would hear strange noises and see strange things, and when they suggested that Stanley go in, Stanley said, “Watch me!” And off he went to the house. He went through all the rooms, went to the windows and waved at the boys standing outside, went upstairs and waved to them from upstairs and then came back downstairs and out the door. Another time they said they did not think he could swim to the island across the harbor, and he said, “Watch me!” He was fourteen years old and a good swimmer by now. Into the water he went, and he started swimming. His friends started thinking, “What if something bad happens to him out there? It would be our fault because we said he should go.” The water in the harbor had white caps and the wind was picking up, so they got in a boat and went after him. They pulled him out of the water even though he wanted to keep swimming. The big boys were learning that Stanley was becoming strong.

Well, Stanley grew up to be a man and then something very important happened to him. He thought he knew everything about how to be a man and how to be strong. He exercised a lot to stay strong. He was brave and intelligent. He thought he knew all there was to know about manliness, but one day someone handed Stanley a book to read. The name of the book was “Four Things God Wants You to Know.” Now remember, Stanley had grown up in a home where there was no knowledge of God. His father, who was an atheist, never mentioned God, and neither did his mother. Nobody had even taught him there was a God in heaven. Even though he had read poems and stories about men who were strong and who had chosen to do the right things, nowhere was God mentioned, but now here he was holding a book that said, “Four Things God Wants You to Know.” Stanley had gone to the library and read many books, but never had he read one like this. Do you know the first thing God wanted him to know? That he, Stanley, (and everyone else too) was to bring glory to God! That is why he was here on this earth—to bring glory to God! This was a new thought to Stanley and it made him a little scared inside. He did not know anything about God, so how could he bring glory to him? Then the thought came to his mind that if he failed in this he would not be a man, so he read on in the book to learn what God wanted him to know.

God spoke to Stanley’s heart and mind that day, and Stanley realized that up to this point he had been leaving something very important out of his life, something that was all about being a man in God’s sight. Stanley learned that he needed to surrender his life to God and ask God to come into his heart and mind and teach him what God wanted him to do. Then other things happened. Stanley joined a special unit in the Army during World War II. Two thousand men were in his unit and they were ready to be shipped out. Stanley had already given his heart to God, and these men had heard about how strong and brave Stanley was. They had watched him during practice maneuvers, but the first night when they were gathered altogether in one big room before being shipped out, Stanley had a decision to make. He had to decide whether, in front of all these men, he would do what he always did, which was to kneel down and pray before he went to bed to thank God for all his blessings that day, and then to kneel again first thing in the morning when he awoke to ask God to direct him through the new day. All these men were in the room, and do you know what Stanley did? He decided that if he could not live for God there, he cannot live for him anywhere. So he knelt by his bed, as his habit was, and prayed. Suddenly it was quiet all through that huge room. Everyone, it seemed, was watching Stanley, and then someone started to laugh, and someone else laughed, and pretty soon it seemed like everyone was laughing and making fun of him. “He thinks he is so strong, look what he is doing!” they said, but Stanley did not pay any attention to them. Because he was a man, he did what he knew was right, day after day after day.

The reason I am telling you this story is that even though Stanley was small and thin for his age when he was young, and even though other children made fun of him, God still had a plan for Stanley. Even though Stanley was not taught about God in his home or even taught how to become a man, he learned about it on his own by reading and by trying to practice what he read. He learned to be brave and strong. Then God used someone to share a book with Stanley that taught him about God and Stanley then did the brave and manly thing by surrendering his life to God and following him. Eventually God sent Stanley to a tribe on the western part of the island of Papua New Guinea, to people who had never, ever heard that there was a God in heaven, let alone a God that loved them. They did not know there was a book called the Bible. These tribes people lived far away and were very isolated in the mountains of New Guinea. In fact there were three rings of mountains around them and it was very hard to find their villages. The mountains were so steep that their huts were built on the uneven ground as it sloped down the mountainside. Even the paths between the huts were not level and had rocky ridges jutting out of them. The rest of the world did not know these tribes existed until the 1970s when Stanley and his friend went there as missionaries.

These tribes very high up in the mountains were very dangerous people to live among. Tribes warred with each other often, and you never knew when you would be attacked, but Stanley went there anyway. He had learned not to be afraid. Remember how he was with the funny house that no one wanted to go in and how he tried to swim across the harbor? But now he was even braver and stronger because he had the strong and all-powerful God by his side. The tribes people he went to are called the Yali people and they worshiped spirits before Stanley came. They had never seen a white man, so when Stanley came they thought, “Who is this man? We have never seen a white man before, but he looks like one of our men who died a few years ago. He must be this friend of ours who has come back from the dead. Even though his skin is white and his hair is different, he still has the same features.” So the tribesmen allowed him to come into their tribe because they thought he was someone they already knew. This gave Stanley a little bit of safety at first and he could mingle with the people, but then he began to teach things against their spirit worship that the tribesmen did not like, and later Stanley was killed by these men. After Stanley died, however, other missionaries came and gradually these tribes people began to understand that God in heaven was far greater and better than the spirits they worshiped, and they surrendered their lives to our heavenly Father.  God had a plan and a purpose for the life of Stanley, and it began to take shape when this one little boy decided to be a man. Perhaps you are small and others may make fun of you, but God has a great and magnificent plan for your life if you will only surrender your plans to him. He will guide and teach you all the way, now as well as when you grow up. Onycha Holt


A Letter of Encouragement

Dear Friends,

I desire to speak to you about a book that I have recently read entitled The Foundation of Our Faith, written by Allen Stump. This book was first printed several years ago. At that time, I read the book at least three times and I came away greatly blessed in my understanding as to who we are as Seventh-day Adventists, why we are here, and what our special message for the world is. This book has been printed again here at Smyrna Gospel Ministries. I find it much improved with more information and one of the best tools we now have. Every family should have this book and read it. This book contains 254 pages of vital information and you may have it for a donation of $7.50, plus postage and handling. Procure a copy for yourself. You will be greatly blessed and much more informed as to our standing before the world at this special time of the end.

Your brother in Christ,

Glen Ford 


Old Paths is a free monthly newsletter/study-paper published monthly by Smyrna Gospel Ministries, HC 64 Box 128-B, Welch WV 24801-9606. U.S.A. It is sent free upon request. The paper is dedicated to the propagation and restoration of the principles of truth that God gave to the early Seventh-day Adventist pioneers. Duplication is not only permitted, but strongly encouraged. This issue, with other gospel literature we publish, can be found at our web sites. The urls are: http://www.smyrna.org and http://www.presenttruth.info. Phone: (304) 732-9204. Fax: (304) 732-7322.

Editor: Allen Stump - E-mail: editor@smyrna.org.
Assistant to the Editor: Onycha Holt - E-mail Onycha@smyrna.org

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