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. 24, No.43 Straight and Narrow April 2015
Old Faithful is a geyser located in Yellowstone National Park
in the United States. Old Faithful is so named because
it is one of the most predictable geological features on Earth,
erupting almost every sixty-three minutes.
Would it not be well for us to be as faithful to God?
In this issue:
The Full Gospel
File Cabinet of History
Stay by the Waymarks
Christ, Our High Priest
Pillars of the Faith Seminar
WV Camp Meeting
The Full Gospel
by Allen Stump
Our world today has become a news-saturated world. We have TV news, radio news, news from the Internet, podcasts, and even news from the individual that has the chance to go all over the world with social media applications, such as Twitter. If you have been watching or listening to the news lately, you know that most of these broadcasts only bring bad news. Whether it is CNN, USA Today, BBC, Twitter, or even the Weather Channel, the news seems bad.
But God is good, and his love is good, and the message of his love to mankind is good news. In the New Testament it is called the gospel. The Greek word translated gospel is euangelion, and it literally means good news. The gift of salvation embodied in John 3:16 certainly is good news. The truth that God loves humanity so much that he gave his only begotten Son to die for our sins is the best good news we will ever know. Jesus commissioned his followers to preach this good news: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15; see also Matthew 28:19, 20).
But there have been false gospels since the time of the disciples. Paul spoke to the believers in Galatia about this. False teachers had come to the area presenting errors under the guise of truth, and Paul spoke straightly to them:
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:68)
There is only one gospel, and any who preaches a false gospel, is to be accursed. Paul repeats his warning, saying: “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:9).
Paul is speaking about issues of theology, and his words echo down to us today. We should not think that current issues of theology can be brushed under the rug. There are not four, five, six, or more versions of the gospel, not in Christianity or within Adventism. There is only one gospel!
Yes, there is a lot of bad news today, and these are momentous and important times! The very fabric of society is being challenged with non-biblical marriages between homosexuals. World war seems to be knocking on our door from the crisis in Ukraine, and people are wondering what Isis will do next.
Interestingly, biblical students prior to 1844 must have felt that they were seeing the end of the world. Joshua V. Himes, a preacher and contemporary of William Miller, published a paper entitled The Midnight Cry. On November 17, 1842, he published this statement:
Our work is one of unutterable magnitude. It is a mission and an enterprise, unlike, in some respects, anything that has ever awakened the energies of man. It is not a subserviency to human institutions.It is not a conflict or a political arena.It is not the operation of a distinct religious sect. But it is an alarm, and a cry, uttered by those who, from all Protestant sects, as Watchmen standing up on the walls of the moral world, believe the WORLDS CRISIS IS COME. (Joshua V. Himes, The Midnight Cry, November 17, 1842)
Himes was sounding the alarm that the world’s crisis had come. Surely he had reason to think this way because, according to his understanding of the prophecies at that time, Christ was coming within a year.
We are currently standing on the edge of eternity as no time ever before. Today we see the hands of church and state joining. Pope Francis is to address the United States Congress later this year, Protestants are accepting the pope and Catholicism and among the professed people of God, Sunday worship with Pentecostal spiritualism through the celebration church, is making quick and strong inroads.
But I am reminded of a text in Psalm 44:1, which says: “We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old.” This was true for Israel, and it is certainly true today for the people of God. Our fathers have told us of the great work that God did for and through our people, especially the work through Ellen White. Explaining how our teachings came together, she wrote:
Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husband, Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, Elder [Hiram] Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the Word. Again and again these brethren came together to study the Bible, in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power. When they came to the point in their study where they said, We can do nothing more, the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me. (Ellen White, Selected Messages, bk. 1, pp. 206, 207)
Notice how the truth was given. The brethren would study the Bible. When they could go no further, the Spirit of God would give a vision to Ellen White. She says “a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively.”
What truth especially was given to Ellen White? The truth about “Christ, His mission, and His priesthood.” Here we have three areas. First of all is Christ himself—his very nature and identity. Second is the mission of Christ. This covers his incarnation, life, death, and resurrection. Third is his priesthood, including his high-priestly ministry since 1844.
The prophetess says that this line of truth, that which was revealed at that time (circa 1850), would extend from that time until Christ came and took his people to the city of God. Of course, truth is progressive. According to Proverbs 4:18, the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,” but any new light will not change the old light or cause it to go away. Based on the testimony of Jesus, we know that the major points necessary for the perfection of the saints had already been given to our people by 1850. That line of truth included the three angels’ messages and all that is involved in them, including the identity of Jesus Christ and of God the Father. Interestingly, in 1881, Ellen White could boldly proclaim:
It is as certain that we have the truth as that God lives; and Satan, with all his arts and hellish power, cannot change the truth of God into a lie. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 595)
Now let us consider the argument you have heard from people who say, Our pioneers were not inspired. Because they were not inspired, we cannot depend upon them. In fact, they were wrong about a lot of things, especially on the doctrine of God because they denied the doctrine of the trinity. Our pioneers were not inspired like the biblical prophets were, but according to the Spirit of Prophecy, they certainly were led of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, inspiration boldly proclaims that they had the truth as sure as God lives.
Some so-called scholars have said, Our pioneers were wrong on the doctrine of God, and Ellen White knew the truth about the trinity and taught it, as she was able to share it later; but please note that the statement from inspiration does not say I have the truth, but we have the truth (emphasis supplied).”
As true Protestants we depend upon scripture for our doctrine and teachings and when inspiration says that our pioneers had the correct biblical understanding of these vital truths, I do not think it is proper to say that they were wrong or to call them “theological crackpots,” as one leading Seventh-day Adventist has done.
Let us consider what the gospel really involves and what the preaching of the gospel means, in relationship, first, to the three angels’ messages.
The First Angels Message
Revelation 14:6, 7 begins the last warning message to the world, and this message contains the everlasting gospel!
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)
This message begins by declaring that this angel, or messenger, has the everlasting gospel. What specifically is mentioned in this gospel? Firstly, the message to fear God and bring glory to him.
Knowing God properly is vital. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). He later noted in praying to his Father, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). So knowing God properly is vital, especially to those living here at the end of time.
I would like to take a few minutes now to discuss a term found in the Bible that has caused some people a lot of confusion, but this need not be. That term is Godhead. This expression is found three places in the King James Bible. Let us look at the three usages now.
The first place we see the term Godhead is in Acts 17:29, where Paul says, “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.”
The Greek word translated Godhead here is theion, and it comes from the root word theos, the Greek word for god. Theion means divine, and it is used in two other places of the New Testament, both in Second Peter:
According as his divine (theion) power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine (theion) nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:3, 4)
When used in the LXX, theion is usually translated God.
The second place we find the term Godhead in the Bible is in Romans 1:20:
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
Here the Greek word used is theiotes, and it also comes from the root word theos. Theiotes simply means divinity, or divine nature. This is the only place theiotes is used in the New Testament, and it is never used in the LXX.
The last place we find Godhead is in Colossians 2:9, For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. The Greek work used here is theotes, and, as before, it is from the root word theos, and it simply means deity. This is the only place theotes is used in the New Testament, and it is never used in the LXX.
What we can learn from this is that the term Godhead as found in the Bible has nothing to do with a ranking of individuals or showing authority of one over another. It is simply from words that mean divine or having the divine nature. Though not unique to the King James Version, the term Godhead is seldom used outside of the King James translation. But knowing that Godhead means deity or divine, we can read statements from the Spirit of Prophecy with greater understanding, statements like:
Though He had humbled Himself to humanity, the Godhead was still His own. (Ellen White, The Desire of Ages, p. 664)
Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. (White, The Desire of Ages, p. 671)
A lack of understanding the meaning of Godhead can cause a lot of confusion such as is found in a recent publication attempting to explain the deity of Jesus Christ. Notice how confusing this statement is:
He [Jesus] is not some lesser God, some demigod, some lesser God Who is somehow sourced created or begotten out of the Father, in the dim, distant past, before all ages, making Jesus less then absolute Godhead. There is no gap there of some time when Jesus was not in existence, waiting to be begotten. No, in Jesus Christ is absolute Godhead. The Godhead has always been there, Jesus as absolute Godhead has always been there. That is what it means to be Godhead. There is nothing finite about it. The Godhead of Christ is absolute. That means I AM,eternal self-existence, with all the sum total of all the qualities and powers of the Godhead forever and ever.Amen and Amen. (Cherith Chronicle, Jan/Feb. 2015, p. 6)
Jesus, according to this author, “is not . . . ‘begotten’ out of the Father.” But this contradicts the Bible which declares Jesus is the only begotten of the Father.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Then there is that greatest of all texts:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
John also writes in his first epistle:
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. (1 John 4:9)
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. (1 John 5:1)
This last text tells us that Jesus was born of God, that he is begotten of God, and that God the Father begat him.
Some theologians and ministers have argued that the term only begotten (Greek: monogenes), as found in John 3:16, does not mean only born, but rather unique. The motivation for this hypothesis is that if Jesus is the second person of the trinity, he cannot be a literal son of God; therefore, only begotten must mean something else. To support this concept Hebrews 11:17 is quoted, where we read:
By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. (Hebrews 11:17)
It is then said by supporters of the trinity doctrine that Isaac was not Abrahams only begotten son. He had Ishmael by Hagar and also had six more sons by Keturah. That is true, but, as it has often been said, context is king. Let us go back and read Hebrews 11:17 and read verse 18 also:
By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called. (Hebrews 11:17, 18)
Notice there is not a period but a comma between verses 17 and 18. They are part of one thought. While Abraham had other sons, Isaac was the only son through whom a promise of salvation was made. Monogenes is qualified in these verses to be limited to the son of promise. It is interesting that the very theologians who decry the proof text method in the place of higher criticism conveniently neglect context in this vital verse!
Clearly, the Greek word monogenes means only born. Christ is the literal offspring of the Father, and this certainly agrees with Proverbs 8, where, speaking under the symbol of wisdom, Christ declares:
The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth [Hebrew: born]; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth [Hebrew: born]. (Proverbs 8:2225)
An English translation from the Septuagint for verse 25, says: “Before the mountains were settled, and before all hills, he begets me.”
Some have said that these verses cannot be referring to Jesus Christ but in The Signs of the Times, we read:
Through Solomon Christ declared: The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth. (Ellen White, The Signs of the Times, August 29, 1900)
Ellen White also attributes these verses in Proverbs to Christ in her great book, Patriarchs and Prophets. There, on page 34, we read:
And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting. . . . When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him. Proverbs 8:2230.
God, through Christ, brought all things into existence visible and invisible (Colossians 3:16). This includes the concepts of time and space; therefore, in the sense that Christ is the author of time, Christ has truly existed throughout all time with God. (See M. L. Andreasen, The Sabbath, pages 54, 55.)
Satan is behind the false view that Jesus is not the Son of God because he does not want you to know, believe, and dwell in Gods love, upon which the the gospel depends. (See 1 John 4:16.) Satan knows that the Bible says that we love God as a result of our understanding and appreciating Gods love for us (1 John 4:19). He also knows what 1 John 4:9 says: 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. Satan will do anything he can to keep the truth of Gods great love from us, and he has invented a false understanding of monogenes to keep us from comprehending Gods love. If monogenes means unique or special, then the biblical writers did not understand this, and neither do the people who speak Greek as their first language understand it as such.
I have talked with people whose first language is Greek, and always the term monogenes is understood to mean only born, not unique. I discussed this matter with a language professor once, who has himself studied Greek for many years, years in which he held trinitarian views, and Iasked him what monogenes means. He positively stated that it means “only begotten.”
As I consider this matter, it seems very strange that theologians who do not speak Greek as their first and primary language should presume to tell the Greek people what their own language means, even when considering the fact that the Greek language spans many centuries. If someone who knew or spoke English as a second language or who only studied English in part should begin to tell me that the English phrase only begotten meant unique, I would not put much stock or consideration into the rest of what he might say. Why do we dare redefine the Greek language to teach a doctrine of Satan?
To fear God and worship him requires that we correctly know who he is and also to know his son. Jesus said, And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent (John 17:3). We have also been told in the book, The Ministry of Healing:
Like our Saviour, we are in this world to do service for God. We are here to become like God in character, and by a life of service to reveal Him to the world. In order to be co-workers with God, in order to become like Him and to reveal His character, we must know Him aright. We must know Him as He reveals Himself.
A knowledge of God is the foundation of all true education and of all true service. It is the only real safeguard against temptation. It is this alone that can make us like God in character.
This is the knowledge needed by all who are working for the uplifting of their fellow men. Transformation of character, purity of life, efficiency in service, adherence to correct principles, all depend upon a right knowledge of God. This knowledge is the essential preparation both for this life and for the life to come. (Ellen White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 409)
Does our reverence and fear of God have anything to do with the gospel. Yes, it does beloved! It affects how we approach God. Not only his person but also his personality and character are vital for us to understand. Our view of God is critical to get correct. If we think of God as a hip, high-fiving God, that is the way we will approach him. Our music, dress, and attitudes towards God will all reflect the way we view him, and the way we view God will determine the way we approach Him.
For example, if our God is stern and vengeful, then we will become the same way, for by beholding we become changed. If one views God as an individual who will torture people forever and make them suffer without relief, then we will have that same character. We will look uncompassionately at the wicked and say, They deserve it; let them have eternal fire!
Does bringing glory to God have anything to do with the gospel? YES! Most gospels only are interested in saving you and getting you to heaven. Here in Revelation 14 is the gospel, and it will save you, yes, but more importantly, it brings glory to God! For whom did Noah really build the ark? For whom did Abraham really take Isaac to Mt. Moriah? For whom did Paul suffer the loss of all things? For whom did Stephen die? Satan told God, “All that a man hath will he give for his life” (Job 2:4). But friends, Satan was wrong. There are men and women whose life’s purpose and desire is to bring glory to God, and that glory is more important to them than life.
We are told to worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. The real gospel contains the message of God being the Creator and the memorial of his being the creator, is the seventh-day Sabbath. No supposed gospel may leave out this message. Worshiping the true God as creator must involve the Sabbath. The Sabbath is part of the good news! But when we lightly regard the Sabbath and when the sacred worship service turns into a swinging song and dance, the gospel is missing!
The gospel contains the message that the judgment hour has come, and to leave that out is to leave the gospel out, the very part that God wants impressed upon the people at this time.
We have all heard something like this said: I want to tell you that there are people besides the Adventists who are preaching the gospel. Then we hear of the so-called wonderful work other churches are accomplishing, but I respond, Are they telling the people that the hour of Gods judgment is come? They will say, No, I never heard them preach that. Then I must say that one of the most important parts of the gospel is being left out and that they were not telling the whole story.
The Second Angels Message
Now let us look at the second angel’s message. Revelation 14:8 says, “And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
The message of the gospel is followed up and accompanied with the denunciation of Babylon. Those who preach the gospel at this time must also warn the world concerning the fall of Babylon, for those who will be lost in Babylon are lost because of their sins. Revelation 18:1–4 says:
And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:14)
The false and deadly doctrines of Babylon have infected all the nations, and the call from heaven is the call to come out of Babylon. This is much more than simply a call to move from one day of worship to another and a call to move from one pew to another. It means to leave the doctrines and philosophies of Babylon behind. It means to leave sin behind and to leave behind the false teaching that Christians cannot overcome sin. The true gospel is one that frees people from sin, not one that leaves them in their sins. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). We have been told:
The message of the fall of Babylon, as given by the second angel, is repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the churches since 1844. (Ellen White, Early Writings, p. 277)
The fallen churches that rejected the final atonement message of 1844 have become even more corrupted, and their additional sins are to be exposed. We have also been told:
The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal powerall will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these. In amazement they hear the testimony that Babylon is the church, fallen because of her errors and sins, because of her rejection of the truth sent to her from heaven. As the people go to their former teachers with the eager inquiry, Are these things so? the ministers present fables, prophesy smooth things, to soothe their fears and quiet the awakened conscience. But since many refuse to be satisfied with the mere authority of men and demand a plain Thus saith the Lord, the popular ministry, like the Pharisees of old, filled with anger as their authority is questioned, will denounce the message as of Satan and stir up the sin-loving multitudes to revile and persecute those who proclaim it. (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, pp. 606, 607).
Thinking people today are wondering how the corporate Seventh-day Adventist Church fits into this picture. Is it possible for a church that at one time was faithful to become a harlot or at least a daughter of a harlot? In the time of Isaiah, Israel had fallen deep into apostasy, and Isaiah wrote:
How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. (Isaiah 1:21)
A city that had been faithful had become an harlot. Even Ellen White realized that this could happen to the Adventist Church. In 1897 and 1901, Ellen White called for reform measures in the administration of the General Conference, specifically stating:
It is not wise to choose one man as president of the General Conference. (Ellen White, Special Testimonies, Series A, no. 8, p. 29; 1897)
This testimony was repeated twice in the General Conference Bulletin of April 10, 1903, (pages 106, 160). Two years before, Ellen White gave the alternative to not having a man at the head of the work. When speaking in the Battle Creek College library the day before the 1901 General Conference session began, she said, Now the Lord wants his Spirit to come in. He wants the Holy Ghost king (Spalding Magan Collection, p. 166, April 1, 1901).
The brethren understood the meaning of this plain, simple language and voted to eliminate the office of General Conference president; however, in 1903, the brethren decided that they needed to be like the nations around them and have a king and so voted back the office of president of the General Conference. With this as the backdrop, Ellen White went back to her home in St. Helena, California, after the General Conference Session of 1903, and wrote these fearful words:
Who can truthfully say: Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments are unspotted by the world? I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character? How is the faithful city become an harlot! My Fathers house is made a house of merchandise, a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed! For this cause there is weakness, and strength is lacking. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 250; 1903)
Notice the quotation marks in this testimony. Most of the statement is a quote from the divine Instructor (capital I). Earlier in this same testimony, she stated:
In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence: Found wanting. By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 247; 1903)
Some sincere believers are under a terrible delusion that the corporate church has a free pass to heaven, no matter what happens, but this is not the teaching of the testimony of Jesus. Christ has declared that the church will be judged in the balances of the sanctuary. A careful examination of the condition of the church reveals that her spiritual experience does not match the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her!
Remember that we are told, Regarding the testimonies, nothing is ignored; nothing is cast aside; but time and place must be considered (Ellen White, Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 57).
The time today and the condition of the church today might well be parallel to the looking into a field and seeing a large animal. It looks like a cow. It is eating grass like a cow. It moos like a cow. When it looks, acts, and sounds like a cow, it is because it is a cow. If the church looks, acts, and teaches doctrines like Babylon, it has become a part of Babylon. To give heed to the second angel’s message, we must consider the following:
We should never give sanction to sin by our words or our deeds, our silence or our presence. (White, The Desire of Ages, p. 152)
If you have been attending a church that is teaching the doctrines of Babylon, is denying the standards that God has given his people, and has turned its back on the message sent from heaven, then can you afford to give sanction to it by your presence and silence? Not if you are to be faithful!
The Third Angels Message
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:9–12)
The gospel of today is one that warns against the beast and his image, and against the reception of his mark. True Adventists have known the truth about the papacy being the beast power, the man of sin since at least 1850. At that time Elder James White approvingly published a letter in The Advent Review stating:
History is plain, and the bible is plain, that the Sunday sabbath is purely a child of Papacy. It is THE MARK OF THE BEAST mentioned in the third angels message. The second angel called us out from the bondage of the churches, where we are now free, and can hear and obey the message of the third angel, and exchange the mark of the Beast for the Sabbath of the Lord our God. Happy exchange, indeed, to give up an institution of the Beast, for a sanctified, hallowed and blessed institution of Jehovah, as old as the world. (The Advent Review, August 1850)
Remember that date? 1850? It was the time Ellen White referenced in the testimony that they had received a clear line of truth that would take them into the heavenly city. In our first published statement of fundamental principles, published in 1872, we clearly pointed to the papal power as the man of sin and to the origin of Sunday worship:
That as the man of sin, the papacy, has thought to change times and laws (the laws of God), Dan 7:25, and has misled almost all Christendom in regard to the fourth commandment, we find a prophecy of a reform in this respect to be wrought among believers just before the coming of Christ. Isa. 56:1, 2, 1 Pet. 1:5, Rev. 14:12, etc. (Fundamental Principles tract of 1872; Signs of the Times editorial, June 4, 1874, p. 3; the 1889, 1905, 19071914 Yearbooksevery Yearbook that carried a statement of fundamental principles during that time)
Not only did our people plainly expose the papal power, but we understood the importance of prophecy in the end time and prepared a statement to that effect:
That the worlds history from specified dates in the past, the rise and fall of empires, and chronological succession of events down to the setting up of Gods everlasting kingdom, are outlined in numerous great chains of prophecy; and that these prophecies are now all fulfilled except the closing scenes. (Ibid.)
You might be thinking that Adventism still believes and teaches these principles today, but if so, you are sadly wrong!
Both of these statements were dropped when the 1931 Yearbook statement was published. That statement, of note, was the first statement of principles that included the trinitarian doctrine. That statement was printed in the new church manual of 1931 and appeared in every church manual thereafter until a new statement was voted at the 1980 Dallas General Conference Session. The 1980 statement, with its addition and revisions, included an expansion on the trinitarian doctrine, but it also failed to include any statement on the papacy or on Sabbath reformation based upon prophecy! The additional statement made during the St. Louis session did not change any of this!
Beloved, we have been told:
Prophecy is fast fulfilling. More, much more, should be said about these tremendously important subjects. The day is at hand when the destiny of every soul will be fixed forever. This day of the Lord hastens on apace. The false watchmen are raising the cry, All is well; but the day of God is rapidly approaching. Its footsteps are so muffled that it does not arouse the world from the death-like slumber into which it has fallen. While the watchmen cry, Peace and safety, sudden destruction cometh upon them, and they shall not escape; for as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. It overtakes the pleasure-lover and the sinful man as a thief in the night. When all is apparently secure, and men retire to contented rest, then the prowling, stealthy, midnight thief steals upon his prey. When it is too late to prevent the evil, it is discovered that some door or window was not secured. Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.
The solemn fact is to be kept not only before the people of the world, but before our own churches also, that the day of the Lord will come suddenly, unexpectedly. The fearful warning of the prophecy is addressed to every soul. Let no one feel that he is secure from the danger of being surprised. Let no ones interpretation of prophecy rob you of the conviction of the knowledge of events which show that this great event is near at hand. (Ellen White, Special Testimonies on Education, pp. 107, 108)
Are you sure you are in no danger of being surprised by last-day events? You should not be sure. We need to be students now as never before.
The third angel closes his message by contrasting the multitude who follow the beast and accept his mark with those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. The last two generations of Adventists have tried to emphasize the faith of Jesus and a gospel that is overbalanced towards faith, with a very little to no emphasis upon obedience, but the Bible declares that both works and faith are in the experience of those who are faithful in the end. We have been told:
Faith and works are two oars which we must use equally if we [would] press our way up the stream against the current of unbelief. (Ellen White, The Faith I Live By, p. 115)
The true gospel has faith that works by love, faith that has action, faith that goes beyond simply claiming to believe. The Apostle James tell us that our faith is shown by our works and that without works there is no true faith.
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (James 2:17, 18)
Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16, 17). Paul says that the righteousness of God is in the gospel and Psalm 119:172 says, “My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.” God’s commandments are found in the gospel. No gospel that claims to free men from obedience to the law of God is the true Gospel.
Down through history, men of faith have been men of works and action. The Bible calls Noah “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5), and certainly a preacher of righteousness is a preacher of the gospel.
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7)
It is important to note that while Noah was a preacher of righteousness, his work, motivated by faith, consisted chiefly in building the ark. So there was something definite which the faith of Noah laid hold upon. We are told by many today that the total experience of the Christian is simply to believe, but Noah built, equipped, and entered into the ark!
Noah build a boat for one hundred twenty years, while preaching to a people who would not accept his message. His reputation was made to be mud, but Noah realized that the giving of the gospel is more about bringing honor and glory to God than about worrying about reputation or even individual salvation.
Abraham is another practical example of faith in action. We first read of Abraham in the last part of Genesis 11 in the patriarchs’ genealogies, then in Genesis 12, we read:
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy fathers house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. (Genesis 12:14)
Abraham had to endure some severe tests that the gospel might be unfolded to him and through these experiences, he was equipped to effectively preach the gospel. It means something for a man to leave his loved ones, to go into some difficult foreign field, and to not see them any more; but that is precisely what Abraham did. Abraham went out, leaving his country behind, not knowing where he was going, yet he knew he was obeying God’s command.
Later when God told Abraham to take Isaac, the son with whom his life was bound and the one he loved so much, and offer him up as a sacrifice on Mt. Moriah, that one experience meant more to him than all else in helping him to understand the gospel and God’s power to save sinners. Abraham was called the father of the faithful and in the story of Genesis 22, we find his faith working. We are told
There are many who say they believe in Christ; but do they? Have they the spiritual mind, the mind of Christ, that delights in the law of God? They claim to be the children of God, but they do not the works of God. We cannot afford to make any mistakes in this matter, for our eternal interests are at stake. A correct faith will be made manifest in godly works, and will bring the whole life into harmony with the law of God. Faith and works must go hand in hand. (Ellen White, The Signs of the Times, November 24, 1887)
The Giving of the Gospel Will Cost You
The preaching and the giving of the real gospel will cost you, perhaps everything you have. Paul summed up his experience in Philippians 3:7, 8:
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 11:23–28, Paul noted some of the physical and mental costs preaching the gospel had brought him. He had been whipped, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, and robbed. He was at times cold and without proper clothing and shelter. He missed meals and was hungry and topping it all was the anxiety he experienced over caring for the churches.
The preaching of the gospel meant to Paul the loss of his position, his fame, his family, and his church family. To lose your spiritual family is sometimes the hardest of all losses, to lose. Excommunication, or disfellowshipment, has always been difficult. You expect help and support from your spiritual family but when they turn their back on you, life can be very hard.
A man born blind, recorded in the ninth chapter of John, was excommunicated from the Jewish church for daring to acknowledge Jesus. This man’s sight was restored to him by Jesus, and the man declared that a marvelous thing had been done. The hatred of the Jews was so intense against Jesus that this man was put out of the synagogue for daring to confess Jesus, but notice what happened:
Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? (John 9:35)
Friends, when we take a stand for the gospel and for Christ that causes us to lose our church membership, Jesus knows about it, and he comes to us and brings us personal fellowship with himself.
Finally, the gospel may require us to give up our very lives. Paul tells us of suffering many things, and he finally lost his life at the hand of a Roman sword. How precious is one’s life? Satan declared, “All that a man hath will he give for his life” (Job 2:4). To the non-Christian, one’s own life is everything. To the Christian, however, the honor of God and the giving of the gospel is more than life. It means something more to have the gospel than simply to say, “Yes, I believe.”
The only way we can be motivated to be willing to let go of our lives and not hold on is to experience the love of God for what he has done for us in giving us his only begotten Son for our sins. Love begets love. We love him because he first loved us (1John 4:19), and his great love is demonstrated in the gift of his only begotten Son.
Beloved, as Paul wrote to the Galatians, there is only one gospel. Today there are over one thousand professed Christian denominations. Of these there are nearly one hundred different Baptist groups, over sixty-four Lutheran groups, ten groups of Quakers, and at least five groups of Amish. There is, however, only one gospel, and that is the gospel of the Bible, the everlasting gospel found in Revelation 14:6–12. Beloved, please ask yourself: Have I believed and been a part of a church that teaches, preaches and lives the full gospel? How you answer that question may require you to make a change in your life. If your church does not teach the everlasting gospel, including the seventh-day Sabbath, the call that Babylon is fallen , and a fearful warning against the beast and his name and number, then you need to find a church that does. You need to find a church that keeps the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Anything less is not the real, not the full gospel. The full gospel has true faith that works by love and purifies our soul. (Galatians 5:6)
The real gospel brings a man to perfection and to the state of unselfishness, where he is more concerned about bringing honor and glory to God than even his own salvation.
God is raising up a final generation of people who will preach, teach, and live the full gospel and give the last warning of the three angels messages. Will you be a part of that group today? Will you suffer shame for the gospel? Are you willing to give all for Jesus? The 144,000 will be a group who will preach the full gospel and put the honor and glory of God above all else. Will you strive with all your heart and being to be a part of that group? May God bless you to say yes.?
The study, “The Full Gospel,” is available in video format on DVD upon request. It is also on our YouTube Internet channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/swiftkayak.
This growing old is not so great;
It could be “quite a pain;
But there’s so much to thank God;
don’t want to complain.
My eyesight’s failing, I admit.
I’m told it’s cataracts.
The cure must wait ‘til they “mature;”
I must accept the facts.
My memory is “selective,”
Though it’s not mine to select;
But there are things that seem to cling
That some may not suspect!
Now there’s arthritis in my joints.
While that could be a problem,
I’m used to problems in my life,
And I know Who can solve them!
God gives me nothing in my life
That we can’t bear together.
He sticks with me through thick and thin,
In any kind of weather!
I’m comfortable ‘most all the time,
(Unless I move just right.)
Then I’m reminded to thank God,
The pain’s not day and night!
So why dwell on the negatives
When positives outnumber?
I want to love and serve my Lord,
Until in death I slumber!
Youths CornerIn the Clutch of the Russian Bear
(This month we continue the book, Escape from Siberian Exile by John Godfrey Jacques, published by Pacific Press in 1921. Editor)
On a December evening in 1914, it fell to me to conduct the service in our chapel in Odessa. The theme of the evening’s discourse was the grace of Christ.There were present in the chapel several enemies of the gospel. Hence I requested our people to disperse immediately at the close of the service, to avoid disturbance; and I likewise went directly to my apartment.
That same night, at half past one o’clock, I was awakened by the ringing of my doorbell. A cousin who was staying with me temporarily, opened the door; and then I heard a clanking of swords, which informed me that my callers were none other than policemen. There were an officer and two subordinates.
I had no doubt as to the object of this untimely visit. As an evangelist of a “sect,” I had been brought frequently into contact with the police, and had been arrested a number of times. Yet, though such experiences in the past had always caused a degree of agitation on my part, I felt strangely undisturbed on this occasion. The officer’s face seemed to me wholly benign in its expression, and I greeted him with all the cordiality I would feel for an intimate associate.
He accepted the seat proffered him, his assistants standing guard at the door; and in apology for coming at such an hour, he said that he had been at the theater, and the play did not end till one o’clock. I well knew that he had come late in order to be the surer of finding me. My cousin was greatly perturbed at the indications of trouble, but I tried to reassure him.
The officer then exclaimed that it was a pity he must do as he did, but that he was compelled to ask me to arise and dress, preparatory to going with him. When I had complied with his orders, he suggested that I leave my purse and watch, which otherwise would be taken from me when I should be searched at the police station, but that I take a blanket, as a room would be given me there. I knew what sort of room that would be.
Although I comprehended what the events now occurring portended for my future, still those initial hours of the long months of suffering I was to endure were a time of peace and restfulness — I would almost say, of joy; and the memory of them was afterwards a source of strength to me.
Before leaving my room, I inquired of the officer the cause of my arrest; but he replied that he did not know, and he in turn asked me what it was. Although I did not know what the specific charge against me was, I did know that the priests of the state church made use of any pretext they could find for bringing accusations against “sectarians.” Since the beginning of the war, taking advantage of the increased disposition of the civil and military authorities to restrict individual liberty, they had haled many nonconformist ministers into court on the most groundless charges. Often, too, a mere suspicion was taken as sufficient evidence against an accused person, and he was condemned without a trial.
When my preparations were completed, I sought again to comfort my cousin, then expressed my readiness to go with the officer. The darkness and storm into which I passed from my doorway, were typical of what I was soon to encounter.
My custodian, seeing that I was not disposed to offer resistance, dismissed his men, and called a carriage for himself and me. In a few minutes, we were at the police station — a place wholly familiar to me before that time.
One lone officer sat sleeping at the desk in the protocol department. I was delivered into his charge by my kindly captor, who then went his way. The desk sergeant, irritated at being disturbed, crabbedly proceeded to write a description of me, and afterwards he summoned policemen from another room to search me. These sleepily performed their task, not neglecting to take from me any article that a prisoner might use in an attempt at suicide, as necktie or suspenders.
Then, at a signal, a guard appeared. Having received his orders, he took me through the building to a rear exit, and thence across a small area to a low structure, where we entered a basement corridor, dark and clammy. Along the corridor were iron doors, on each of which was chalked a number. I afterwards learned that the number indicated how many prisoners occupied the cell.
We stopped at a door that bore a figure 5, and I was given into the care of the guard of that cell. Inside the cell there was a small lamp, which enabled the guard to see the inmates when he peered through a tiny orifice that he opened for the purpose. He turned the lock, lifted the heavy bar, and swung open the door; and there rushed out upon me a stench that thrust me backward as a violent blow would have done.
The guard pushed me inside, and closed the door. For a time, I was overwhelmed by the vile odors that filled the cell. But as I became somewhat accustomed to these, I saw that there were five men crouching on the floor, and one of these I recognized as a Baptist evangelist who had sometimes attended our meetings. Through him, I learned that three of the others also were Baptist evangelists or church officers, while the fourth was an actor who had been arrested as leader in a street brawl. These Baptists had been taken into custody at almost the same hour as I, and they had preceded me to the cell about half an hour only.
The actor was quite hilarious, knowing that his imprisonment was for a few days merely; but the rest of us had no knowledge of what our sentence might be.
To describe that dungeon fully would not be permissible. The room was about six or seven feet wide by ten long. There was a very small barred window close to the ceiling; but it was so obscured by dirt as to afford less light by day than the dingy lamp gave at night. The mildewed walls dripped water. Former occupants of the cell apparently had deliberately planned to make the lot of whoever might be confined there after them, as unbearable as possible. Surely no person could long survive in that pestilential place. For ventilation there was absolutely no provision; and of the filth, I cannot speak.
My courteous cell mates invited me to share their couch of stone. Accordingly, I put my blanket on the floor, which was ice-cold, and sank upon it. As we could not sleep, we whiled away the time talking together. One of the Baptists, pastor of a large German-speaking congregation, could not take part in the conversation, as he did not understand the Russian language, and none of the others, aside from me, spoke German. This man was known among the people of his sect throughout Russia.
The morning seemed weeks delayed; and when it came, we should hardly have been aware of the fact, except that then the feeble light of the lamp was extinguished, and we could hear the sound of the electric cars in the street above.
Our cell door creaked on its hinges, and the guard brought in a pail of hot water, and for each of us a little piece of prison bread. My hunger was not sufficient to impel me to eat such food, specially in those surroundings.
I hoped that some of my friends might come to me, but none came. The day was almost an eternity to me. At noon, there was brought in a small serving of vegetable soup; and I was then hungry enough to eat. The thought occurred to me that the food provided would sustain life; but not many days afterwards, I discovered that jail fare was much poorer than this “rest house” fare.
In the evening, some food was brought for me alone, having been sent by friends. Through the watchman, I learned that they had tried to get permission to see me, but had not succeeded. However, by persistence, they prevailed in a measure; and the next morning, I was taken to the reception room in the police station, and there was allowed to speak for a few moments with three of the good women of our church, in presence of the assistant chief of police. Women could secure such concessions sometimes when men could not, as it was thought that they would be less likely to connive at the escape of the prisoners. Brief though this visit was, it greatly encouraged me.
The second night, the demand of my system for sleep was so imperative that I could but yield to it, notwithstanding the situation. The next morning, all the prisoners in the “rest house” were taken, under strong guard, into the small inclosure at the rear of the police station; and there, closely watched by policemen, we were privileged to breathe pure air for five or ten minutes. Some of the prisoners from other cells evidently found satisfaction in seeing us in the same position they were in, and they boisterously derided us.
Soon the watch master took his place in the doorway of the cell house corridor, and called to the policemen to drive us in. As the line of prisoners passed him, he told them off one by one, pushing some along, kicking others.
The same morning, our guard informed us that the religious prisoners would be transferred to the city jail that day. This was welcome news. From the time of my arrest, I had received intimations of the verdict that awaited me, and from that verdict I had no hope of escape. But what was inevitable, I preferred should not be postponed. Often I felt to say. Do with me what you will; but what you do, do quickly.
Before being sent to the jail, we were taken to the court room, and there received sentence, although we had had no hearing, nor had we even been told what the accusation against us was. The sentence was, exile to Siberia.
The time was to be as long as war conditions prevailed. This did not mean simply while the war lasted, but until the country should be restored to normal conditions, which we understood might not be till years after the close of the war.
There was little to hope for. I knew that prison bars and bared swords would long be my guardians. Yet in those early days of trial, I realized the constant companionship of Jesus. But there remained to be developed that patience which must characterize the true follower of our Saviour. Often I found comfort in James 1:2–4. I was not permitted to have my Bible, but that text was one I had memorized in previous years.
It was now time for us to start ; for a party of exiles was to be taken from the city jail that night, on the way to Siberia, and we were to be of the number.
I was required to leave my blanket at the police station, and consequently I should be without bed or bedding during the long winter journey into the frozen northland.
As we passed through the streets of Odessa, I hoped to catch sight of some of our people, but saw none.
We were led a number of miles outside the city, the jails of Russia, for the most part, not being located within the city limits. Finally we came to a high brick wall, and were halted at the massive gate. The leader of the guard rapped on the gate; and the watchman inside opened it slightly, but on seeing who were outside, closed it again, probably to report to a superior for instructions. The captain of the guard was impatient to be rid of his charge, and he pounded loudly on the gate, while the prisoners, shivering in the cold wind, wished for the shelter of even a felon’s cell.
Eventually the gate was opened to admit us; and then we were subjected to that humiliating performance, so often afterwards repeated, the “counting of heads.” We were next taken through a succession of gateways in as many high walls surrounding the jail buildings, and at last stopped in the receiving room. There we were searched — the invariable program when a prisoner enters a Russian jail, and also when he leaves. But the treatment here was more humane than that we received in any jail later.
Afterwards our names were entered in a book, and then we were searched again, more carefully, every portion of our clothing being examined. No convict could retain in his possession a particle of metal, not even so much as a needle. Nor was one allowed to keep any money, though each could have held in trust for him at the office of the jail an amount not to exceed about forty cents. Those who were citizens of another country could have ten dollars thus deposited.
As one of the Baptist ministers was a German citizen, the rest of us turned over to him such small sums as we had. With these, during the following weeks, he was able at times to purchase, through the watchman, bread and a few other articles of food, without which it does not seem as if we could have kept alive.
After the searching, we were taken to another building. As we passed along the corridors, we saw behind the iron gratings the most pitiable mortals I had ever beheld —ragged, dirty, emaciated, some of them insane. As they caught sight of us, they crowded up to the gratings, to see what sort of beings their prospective new comrades were.
A door opened, and in a moment we were in the midst of the gaping throng. Besides criminals of various classes, and prisoners of war, there were several young Russian Jews who had returned from France at the beginning of the war, to serve their country, but had been received as foes rather than patriots. Some of their original number had already met what was generally regarded, by victims of the imperial Russian penal system, as a friend — death. Those who still survived sought means of ending their existence.
One aged man in particular among the prisoners excited our pity. He was in utter despair, and must soon have lost his reason. We did our utmost to comfort him; and as he could not eat the abominable prison food, we gave him a remnant we still had of the food that had been brought to us in Odessa. He regained strength and cheer, and was most grateful to us.
About an hour after our arrival at the place, more prisoners came in; and with inexpressible joy, I saw among them my former fellow worker, Elias Gorelic. Delight at seeing this good friend made me oblivious, for the moment, to what his presence there implied to him. He had been arrested at the same hour as I; but his home being in a different section of the city, he had not been taken to the same police station. Other Baptist prisoners raised our number to nine.
At noon, attendants brought into the cell an immense wooden bowl, containing many gallons of thin soup, in which were a few small pieces of potato and cabbage and perhaps a cupful of millet. They brought also smaller bowls and wooden spoons, and undertook to dish out some of the food to each person; but almost before they could begin to do so, there was a mad rush for the bits of vegetables, and even for the few grains of millet. Some of the prisoners threw themselves upon the large bowl, thrusting their filthy hands into it, and there was wild screaming and fighting, in spite of the attendants’ free use of cudgel, kicks, and oaths.
When the liquid that remained was divided up, the wretched creatures who had not succeeded in getting any of the vegetables fell to devouring the stuff as a famished wolf devours its prey. One of the lunatics so gorged himself with it that he could not walk. Certainly we did not attempt to eat any of it.
No one could have subsisted on the miserable substitute for food that was furnished us, except for the coarse, half-baked bread served each morning — necessarily only half-baked, else it could not have been eaten, it was so coarse.
There were continual quarrels, and not infrequent blows, among the inmates of the cell. We tried to persuade them to act like human beings, but they appeared almost to have forgotten that they were such.
On the evening after we reached the jail, relatives of some of our company sent food to us, though they were not permitted to see us. Thus we were supplied with a good supper. We shared it with the other prisoners, not only as a matter of humanity, but to prevent their taking the whole by force.
As the night approached, a messenger came to our cell, and called through the bars the names of those who would that night be sent farther on their way into exile. Our party were among those named, and none of us were loath to leave the quarters we then occupied.
To be continued
From the File Cabinet of History
LeRoy Frooms response to Lief Tobiassens questions about the change in power from A. G. Daniells to W. A. Spicer as General Conference president at the 1922 General Conference Session
Stay by the Waymarks
By Onycha Holt
In February 1991 in Canberra, Australia, the seventh assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) convened. Australian aboriginals were on stage, dancing in worship of nature:
Aboriginal men girded in loincloths and feathers, their bodies painted in tribal decoration, danced around an altar and beat drums in a traditional purification ceremony that opened the Seventh Assembly of the World Council of Churches here February 7. (Christian News, February 18, 1991, p. 1; as quoted by http://www.wayoflife.org/database/wcc.html; accessed 31515).
South Korean Presbyterian Chung Hyun-Kyung also was invited on stage and evoked a female pagan god:
Combining verbal fireworks with a performance by Korean and aboriginal dancers, Chung rendered a dramatic evocation of a female Holy Spirit. She linked that spirit to that of Hagar, the Egyptian slave woman in Genesis who Chung said was exploited and abandoned by Abraham and Sarah. Chung then burned bits of paper bearing the names of other exploited spiritswhich she said were full of han, the Korean word for angerand identified them as Holocaust victims, freedom fighters, murdered advocates of non-violence, struggling Korean women, the poor, and women in Japans prostitution army during World War II. (Religious News Service, March 5, 1991)
Eighteen times Chung summoned the spirits of the dead and claimed that without hearing the cries of these spirits, we cannot hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. . . . She also summoned the spirit of Earth, Air, and Water. (http://www.wayoflife.org/database/wcc.html; accessed 31515)
The delegates gave Chung a standing ovation:
The RNS report stated that though some WCC delegates were offended by this blasphemy, most warmly received it. In fact, the audience gave Chungs blasphemous presentation a standing ovation! (Ibid.)
This should not take us by surprise, for Ellen White has warned us:
As we near the close of time, there will be greater and still greater external parade of heathen power; heathen deities will manifest their signal power, and will exhibit themselves before the cities of the world; and this delineation has already begun to be fulfilled. (Ellen White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 117)
The director of the WCC’s Inter-Faith Dialogue, Dr. Wesley Ariarajah, also addressed the assembly, cautioning them against limiting God to one particular body of faith:
The councils Director of Inter-Faith dialogue, Dr. Wesley Ariarajah, said it was inconceivable to him that God listened to Christian prayers but ignored those praying to their particular versions of God.
As a Sri Lankan Christian who has read the Hindu writings and the scriptures of the Hindu saints I simply cannot believe that there have not been other people [than Christians] who are familiar with God, he said. It is beyond belief that other people have no access to God or that God has no access to other people. Who are listening to the prayers of the Hindu? Are there many Gods? If we are thinking about a God who is the creator and sustainer of the whole universe, as in Psalm 24, then there are not two Gods. Therefore it is inconceivable to me that a Hindu or a Buddhist, or anybody, is outside God. My understanding of Gods love is too broad for me to believe that only this narrow segment called the Christian church will be saved. If you are a Christian you must be open and broad, not narrow and exclusive.
Dr. Ariarajah said being a good Christian did not include going around telling people of other faiths they had got it all wrong. (http://www.wayoflife.org/database/wcc.html; quoting The Australian, February 11, 1991; accessed 31515))
And during one session a few errant members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church rushed through the open doors of the assembly and unfurled a huge banner denouncing the Catholic Church and accusing the WCC of pandering to Rome (Roy Adams, Bert B. Beach: Adventist Statesman, Adventist Review, November 8, 2001). Helium balloons lifted the banner high in the air, where it remained for more than thirty minutes, while the stunned audience and leaders contemplated the next step.
Attending the seventh assembly of the World Council of Churches was a delegated representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church:
In the listing of Whos Who at the WCC Seventh Assembly, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is listed as being represented by Dr. Bert Beach as a Delegated Representative. (William Grotheer, Watchman, What of the Night?, XXXV - 5 (02), pp. 6, 7; accessed at http://adventistlaymen.com/WWN%20Text%20Versions/wwn5(02).htm on 31515)
Elder Beach was given the opportunity to address the convocation in the wake of the affront, and when Beach assumed the podium, he denounced the actions of the fringe Adventists, stating, in effect that every religious body has its detractors and that this assemblage was not to consider these rude interlopers representative of the body of Adventists. He received sustained applause for his speech, and Adams considered Beachs impromptu speech the act of a great statesman (Adams, Adventist Review, November 8, 2001).
But the question is: What was Elder Beach doing there in the first place? Moses was a great statesman, but he never offered a conciliatory hand to Pharaoh nor did he to the heathen religions he found in Canaan.
God has not changed. He is as particular and exact in his requirements now as he was in the days of Moses. (Ellen White, The Review & Herald, March 25, 1875)
The Second Vatican Council convened on April 11, 1962, and lasted for over three years. One of the documents the Council issued states:
The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council. . . .
This movement toward unity is called ecumenical. Those belong to it who invoke the Triune God and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, doing this not merely as individuals but also as corporate bodies. (Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19641121_unitatis-redintegratio_en.html; accessed 31915; all emphasis in this article supplied unless otherwise stated)
This document also declared:
For it is only through Christs Catholic Church, which is the all-embracing means of salvation, that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God. (Ibid.)
Both Bert Beach and Arthur S. Maxwell (Uncle Arthur) attended Vatican II as observers. Beach reported his experience in several articles in The Review & Herald, and at the conclusion of one of his articles, he stated that the Roman Catholic Church hoped to heal the breach and catholicize the world (B. B. Beach, The Church and the World, The Review & Herald, February 18, 1965, p. 4). Was Beach helping to heal the breach when he met with Pope Paul VI on May 18, 1977, and gave him a gold-covered medallion as a witness to the Adventist faith? One General Conference official expressed the medallion’s purpose this way:
The medallion is an engraved witness to the Adventist faith in Christ as Creator, Redeemer, and soon-coming Lord, in the cross and Bible, and in the lasting validity of the Ten Commandments. (W. D. Eva, Review, August 11, 1977, p. 21)
In Adams’s interview with Beach in 2001, Beach explained two meetings he had with a pope or popes:
Church leaders who visit Rome like to be able to say they met the pope, and thats what happened when the Christian World Communions (CWC) met for meetings in that city back in 1997. It was then, as a member of that organization, that I had opportunity to meet the current pope. Another time there was a celebration honoring the martyrs of the twentieth century, and I felt it would be an appropriate thing to be involved in that, even though I was not there representing the Adventist Church. (Adams, Bert B. Beach: Adventist Statesman, Adventist Review, November 8, 2001)
Adams responded, So you were not representing the Adventist Church, as such? (Ibid.)
Thats correct (Ibid.), said Beach.
Adams then asked Beach about the medallion Beach had given Pope Paul VI in 1977. Beach answered: Once again, it was in the context of a meeting of the CWC, and I was among a group of some 13 persons meeting with the pontiff (Ibid.) The impression thus given is that his meeting with Pope Paul VI was also not as a representative of the Adventist Church. William Grotheer wrote Elder W. Duncan Eva, then a vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, on January 18, 1978, asking what committee or church official authorized Beach’s audience with Pope Paul VI, as well as who authorized the presentation of the medallion and who paid for the trip and for the medallion. Eva answered that the Northern Europe-West Africa Division Committee (of Seventh-day Adventists) authorized his trip, knowing that a visit with the pope was a probability, that the committee also authorized his trip to the meeting of the World Confessional Families, and that the division committee paid his travel costs. The medallion was paid for from the departmental expense funds of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division (see http://www.adventistalert.com/medallion/medallion.htm). It can’t get much more official than this, and Beach was definitely throwing a curve ball in 2001 to avoid saying so. Let us remember:
The Romish Church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christ-like garments; but she is unchanged. Every principle of popery that existed in past ages exists today. The doctrines devised in the darkest ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves. The popery that Protestants are now so ready to honor is the same that ruled the world in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up, at the peril of their lives, to expose her iniquity. She possesses the same pride and arrogant assumption that lorded it over kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. Her spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when she crushed out human liberty, and slew the saints of the Most High. (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, 1888 edition, p. 570)
Between the approximate years of 1890 and 1913, Ellen White wrote several letters, articles, and testimonies to ministers, physicians, and other members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. These documents were later gathered into pamphlets and then into two sets of published worksSpecial Testimonies Series A and Special Testimonies Series B. In these two sets of materials, vital information has been provided on several topics, including issues dealing with Dr. Kellogg and the 1903 publication of his book, The Living Temple, which Ellen White warned contained the alpha of apostasy. Thirteen years before The Living Temple was published, however, she wrote:
Brethren in responsible positions, you are in danger. I lift my voice in warning. Beware. Unless you watch, and keep your garments unspotted from the world, Satan will stand as your captain. It is no time now to hide your colors, no time to turn traitor, when the battle presses sore. It is no time to lay down or hide our weapons, and give Satan the advantage in the warfare. Watchmen on the walls of Zion must be wide awake. Call to your fellow-watchmen in no sleepy terms, The morning cometh, and also the night, If no response is made, then know that the watchman is unfaithful. It is no time now to relax our efforts, to become tame and spiritless; no time to hide our light under a bushel; to speak smooth things, to prophesy deceit. No, no; there is no place for sleepy watchmen on the walls of Zion. Every power is to be employed wholly and entirely for God. Maintain your allegiance, bearing testimony for God and for truth. Be not turned aside by any suggestions the world may make. We can make no compromise. There is a living issue before us, which will be of vital importance to the remnant people of God, to the very close of this earths history; for eternal interests are here involved. We are to look constantly to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Captain of our salvation. . . .
The Revelator says, I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. This is the same message that was given by the second angelBabylon is fallen, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. What is that wine?Her false doctrines. She has given to the world a false Sabbath, instead of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and has repeated the lie Satan first told to Eve in Edenthe natural immortality of the soul. Many kindred errors she has spread far and wide, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Ellen White, Special Testimonies Series A, no. 1b, pp. 9, 15)
Babylon teaches the sacredness of Sunday worship and the immortality of the soul, and many kindred errors.” Could one of those errors be seeking a more congenial relationship with the man of sin and a lessening of the distance between God’s church and the papacy?
It is a backsliding church that lessens the distance between itself and the Papacy. (Ellen White, The Signs of the Times, February 19, 1894)
Merikay Silver began employment at the Pacific Press Publishing Association in 1971 and eventually sought legal redress against the Pacific Press because the press did not abide by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and afford her, or any other woman employee, equal pay for equal work and also because the press did not give a woman head of household any of the extra benefits a man received as head of household. It was the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that finally brought the case to court, and judgment was ordered in favor of the commission in 1979.1 But the question is: Why must a court force the Seventh-day Adventist Church and one of its publishing houses to abide by a fair law and to do justly to its women employees?
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8)
In the deposition given by Neal C. Wilson on November 27, 1974, he stated: I am Vice President for North America of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the spiritual leader (not a spiritual leader)2 of the Seventh-day Adventists in North America, and administrative overseer of all of the departments and institutions of the Church in North America, including its publishing houses and specifically Pacific Press Publishing Association (Affidavit of Neal C. Wilson, Civ. No. 742025 CBR; accessed at http://www.adventistalert.com/legal/legal.htm on 32215). More disquieting is the testimony of Robert Pierson, then president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, in his affidavit of November 30, 1974, in which he stated the church is the General Conference: the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which is the Seventh-day Adventist Church (Affidavit of Robert H. Pierson, Civ. No. 742025 CBR; accessed at http://www.adventistalert.com/legal/legal.htm on 32215). This definition does not allow anything else to be the church. We acknowledge that the modern concept of church can refer to a place of worship, to an organization, or to the believers of a like faith, depending on the context, and Wilson allowed some flexibility in his affidavit for this, when he stated the term church is used to apply to the general organization and headquarters for Seventh-day Adventists under the name of General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and to all the subordinate units engaged in fulfilling the mission of the Church (Affidavit of Neal C. Wilson, Ibid.) because he does not limit the concept church to only this usage.
Most disquieting, however, is the Reply Brief written for the defendants (Pacific Press Publishing Association, et al.) by their counsel, Malcolm T. Dungan, James H. Quirk, and Boardman Noland, and submitted to the court by Malcolm T. Dungan on March 3, 1975, in which it is stated:
Although it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint, and the term hierarchy was used in a pejorative sense to refer to the papal form of church governance, that attitude on the Churchs part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative protestant denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been consigned to the historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned. (Reply Brief for Defendants in Support of Their Motion for Summary Judgment, Civ. No. 742025 CBR, footnote #2)
Now it is true this brief was written by counsel, but surely it was not written without the approval of the defendants, and to say that Neal Wilson or Robert Pierson never said this is technically true, but it is definitely true it was said for them (and the rest of the defendants) by their counsel, one of whom was a Seventh-day Adventist and the General Counsel for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists at the time (Noland, who served from 1961–1975); however, this quotation is often misapplied to Neal Wilson, as we read in the following:
When he [Elder Neal Wilson] was North American Division president, he made a remarkable statement under oath in the Merikay Silver case during 1976 [sic] (four years prior to Fords Glacier View trial). The Equal Employment Opportunities [sic] Commission (EEOC) had taken the church to court on Silvers behalf over the churchs failure to give equal pay for women, and the church defended its action by claiming to be a hierarchy like the Roman Catholic Church. In a sworn affidavit, Wilson denied anti-Catholicism as a modern tenet of the SDA church as follows:
Although it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint, and the term hierarchy was used in a pejorative sense to refer to the papal form of the church governance, that attitude on the churchs part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative Protestant denominations in the early part of this century, and the latter part of the last, which has not been consigned to the historical trash heap as far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned.
Wilson, speaking to the outside world in a court of law, consigned to the historical trash heap the traditional anti-Catholic views that he would later insist Ford and others teach within the denomination. (Gillian Ford, Apotelesmatic Principle: How a Seventh-day Adventist Scholar in Biblical Eschatology Found His Denominations Prophetic Traditions Wanting, in For the Sake of the Gospel: Throw Out the Bathwater, But Keep the Baby by Desmond and Gillian Ford, pp. 140, 141)
I am sorry to say Gillian Ford, in her recent book co-authored with Desmond Ford, her husband, has misstated the facts—Wilson did not say these words, counsel for the defendants did, and they were not stated in a deposition but in a reply brief; but she is not the only one to perpetuate this particular error. Many blogs have replicated it. Whatever our opinion of Wilson or Pierson may be, let us treat them with fairness and honesty.
Some of the major revelations found in the opening brief for the defendants, in Wilson’s affidavit, in Pierson’s affidavit, and in the reply brief, all Civ. No. 74–2025 CBR, are:
1) The president of the General Conference is the first minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church” (opening brief and Pierson’s description of himself in his affidavit)
2) Wilson is the spiritual leader of Seventh-day Adventists in North America (opening brief and Wilson’s description of himself in his affidavit)
3) Those who work for the Seventh-day Adventist Church respond to a religious vocation in exactly the same sense of a cloistered nun. Mans law is by its very nature not applicable. (opening brief). [The church, however, accepted man’s law when it became a nonprofit corporation licensed in the District of Columbia and again when the General Conference Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists was established.]
4) It is also necessary for the Church to establish its authority in the community of believers.” (Wilson’s affidavit)
5) If women are doing work traditionally done by men, they should not be penalized financially” (Pierson’s affidavit). This skirts the issue of equal pay for equal work, whether it is traditional or not.
6) “The plain and undeniable fact is that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is most assuredly not a ‘congregational’ one (although it contains elements of congregationalism) but is clearly of the ‘representative’ or ‘hierarchical’ variety.” (Reply brief)
The issue of being a hierarchical organization (alluded to in points 1, 2, 4, and 6 above) is further explained by: The Seventh-day Adventist Church follows a model of organizational order in the church which is modified from the orders of Roman Catholicism, but it retains the same notions of clerical order which separates the members of the Church into two classesclergy and laity (D. Douglas Devnich, Presidents Perspective, The Canadian Adventist Messenger, December 1993, p. 2), and you might think, What difference does it make? We are functioning well in our community using this system. It makes a difference when your church decides to do something without conference approval, such as removing the steeple from the church building or by inviting someone in to speak who is not conference-approved. You soon learn who holds the deed to the church building and who makes the decisions. The system is, indeed, hierarchical, with the local congregation powerless at the bottom level.
This is important for a vital reason. It is not Gods way. True, he has an order to all things gospel. There are preachers, teachers, deacons, etc., in his order, but no one person is to dictate to or to rule over another. The Holy Spirit is to rule. This is why hearing another person say he is the spiritual leader of others, without any qualifiers being added, is offensive because God is our leader, and all that God provides as gifts and talents to us is simply to be used in his service, whether it be the gift of administration or the gift of preaching. We are brothers and sisters to each other (Matthew 23:8), and marvel of marvels, brothers and sisters to Jesus, our elder brother (Hebrews 2:11). We do need human leaders, but only those who acknowledge God as the true and faithful leader of us all and who follow him just as faithfully and truly as each of us is to follow him. Ellen White also gave counsel about not having one man as head of the church organization: It is not wise to choose one man as president of the General Conference (White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 342)
Could a hierarchical church organization be another of the “many kindred errors” of Babylon? Or treating others unjustly, based on gender?
Errors were also creeping into the early Christian church, and Jude stood as a watchman on the walls of Zion, sounding the alarm:
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 3, 4)
What were these ungodly men doing? Turning the grace of God into lasciviousness and denying the Father and the Son. We quickly think of the trinitarian doctrine when we think of the denial of the Father and the Son, but this teaching was not present in the church during the time of Jude, but the concept of denying the Father and the Son in other ways was present. Most biblical scholars think Jude was referring to a Gnosticism creeping into the church, a philosophy which, among other things, placed value on a knowledge about God, a gnosis, but denied any need for a personal relationship, or walk, with him.
These ungodly men also exchanged the grace of God for lasciviousness. We get some clues about what Jude meant from verse 11:
Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
The Way of Cain
Ellen White contrasts the followers of Cain with the followers of Abel:
Upon receiving the curse of God, Cain had withdrawn from his fathers household. He had first chosen his occupation as a tiller of the soil, and he now founded a city, calling it after the name of his eldest son. He had gone out from the presence of the Lord, cast away the promise of the restored Eden, to seek his possessions and enjoyment in the earth under the curse of sin, thus standing at the head of that great class of men who worship the god of this world. In that which pertains to mere earthly and material progress, his descendants became distinguished. But they were regardless of God, and in opposition to His purposes for man. To the crime of murder, in which Cain had led the way, Lamech, the fifth in descent, added polygamy, and, boastfully defiant, he acknowledged God, only to draw from the avenging of Cain an assurance of his own safety. Abel had led a pastoral life, dwelling in tents or booths, and the descendants of Seth followed the same course, counting themselves strangers and pilgrims on the earth, seeking a better country, that is, an heavenly. Hebrews 11:13, 16.
For some time the two classes remained separate. The race of Cain, spreading from the place of their first settlement, dispersed over the plains and valleys where the children of Seth had dwelt; and the latter, in order to escape from their contaminating influence, withdrew to the mountains, and there made their home. So long as this separation continued, they maintained the worship of God in its purity. But in the lapse of time they ventured, little by little, to mingle with the inhabitants of the valleys. This association was productive of the worst results. The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair. The children of Seth, attracted by the beauty of the daughters of Cains descendants, displeased the Lord by intermarrying with them. Many of the worshipers of God were beguiled into sin by the allurements that were now constantly before them, and they lost their peculiar, holy character. Mingling with the depraved, they became like them in spirit and in deeds; the restrictions of the seventh commandment were disregarded, and they took them wives of all which they chose. The children of Seth went in the way of Cain (Jude 11); they fixed their minds upon worldly prosperity and enjoyment and neglected the commandments of the Lord. Men did not like to retain God in their knowledge; they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21. Therefore God gave them over to a mind void of judgment. Verse 28, margin. Sin spread abroad in the earth like a deadly leprosy. (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 81)
These evil men, creeping into the church unawares, were following after the way of Cain and leading others to do the same. The way of Cain involved murder, polygamy, living in cities, the seeking of earthly and material progress, opposition to God, worship of the god of this world, and the presumption of Lamach in thinking that if God did not destroy Cain for murder, he would not destroy him for the same crime. The sad part is the followers of Abel gradually left their mountain retreats to follow the ways of Cain.
Apostasy should always lead to division. The followers of Abel, for a time, separated from the followers of Cain and after the flood, the opponents of God separated from the followers of God:
As Noahs descendants increased in number, apostasy soon led to division. Those who desired to forget their Creator, and to cast off the restraint of His law, decided to separate from the worshipers of God. Accordingly they journeyed to the plain of Shinar, on the banks of the river Euphrates. Here they decided to build a city, and in it a tower reaching unto heavenso high that no flood could rise to the top, so massive that nothing could sweep it away. Thus they hoped to make themselves independent of God. (Ellen White, The Kress Collection, p. 1)
Some God-fearing men were deceived and went with them:
But among the men of Babel there were living some God-fearing men who had been deceived by the pretensions of the ungodly, and drawn into their wicked schemes. These men would not join this confederacy to thwart the purposes of God. They refused to be deceived by the wonderful representations and the grand outlook. (Ibid.)
The great majority, however, confederated to rebel against God:
This confederacy was born of rebellion against God. The dwellers on the plain of Shinar established their kingdom for self-exaltation, and not for the glory of God. Had they succeeded, a mighty power would have borne sway, banishing righteousness, and inaugurating a new religion. The mixture of certain religious ideas with a mass of erroneous theories would have resulted in closing the door to peace, happiness, and security. These suppositions, erroneous theories, carried out and perfected, would have banished a knowledge of the law of Jehovah from the minds of men, who would not think it necessary to obey the divine statutes. (Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, p. 42)
As we can see also by the Australian aborigines and the pagan spiritualism of Chung Hyun-Kyung at the seventh assembly of the World Council of Churches, this new religion would result in a banishment of the knowledge of the law of God from the minds of the people, so that they would not think it necessary to obey it. They could follow, instead, the dictates of their own hearts. The secret invaders of Jude’s congregation were advocating lasciviousness, which is a following after feelings and desires instead of a steadfast standing for the word of God. The way the new religion of the post-flood days was to be accomplished was by mixing “certain religious ideas with a mass of erroneous theories.” The same was true for Jude’s day and is true for our day, as well:
Jude bears this message to guard believers against the seductive influence of false teachers, men who have a form of godliness but who are not safe leaders. In these last days, false teachers will arise and become actively zealous. All kinds of theories will be presented to divert the minds of men and women from the very truth that defines the position we can occupy with safety in this time when Satan is working with power upon religionists, leading them to make a pretense of being righteous, but to fail of placing themselves under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
False theories will be mingled with every phase of experience, and advocated with satanic earnestness in order to captivate the mind of every soul who is not rooted and grounded in a full knowledge of the sacred principles of the Word. In the very midst of us will arise false teachers, giving heed to seducing spirits whose doctrines are of satanic origin. These teachers will draw away disciples after themselves. Creeping in unawares, they will use flattering words, and make skillful misrepresentations with seductive tact. (White, The Kress Collection, p. 5)
We see false theories, false teachers, and seducing spirits at work in our midst today. The father, son, and daughter of the Kaiser family were members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and may still be. Between them, they founded the Kaiser Institute, which uses what they call alchemy to achieve transformation in business organization and in individual lives, and the Two Worlds Wisdom School, which teaches about archetypes, emergence, the law of Akasha, and more. A strong flavor of Carl Jung is found on their websites, and spiritualism seems to rise from the screen in the graphics at the Two Worlds School website and in the descriptions at both sites. The unfortunate part is this family team lists the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the Florida Hospital, the Florida Hospital Foundation, the Florida Hospital Association, and other possible Adventists as clients (http://www.kaiser.net/kaisers/our-clients).
Error of Balaam
Balaam loved the wages of unrighteousness. 2 Peter 2:15. The sin of covetousness, which God declares to be idolatry, had made him a timeserver, and through this one fault Satan gained entire control of him. It was this that caused his ruin. The tempter is ever presenting worldly gain and honor to entice men from the service of God. He tells them it is their overconscientiousness that keeps them from prosperity. Thus many are induced to venture out of the path of strict integrity. One wrong step makes the next easier, and they become more and more presumptuous. They will do and dare most terrible things when once they have given themselves to the control of avarice and a desire for power. Many flatter themselves that they can depart from strict integrity for a time, for the sake of some worldly advantage, and that having gained their object, they can change their course when they please. Such are entangling themselves in the snare of Satan, and it is seldom that they escape. (White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 439)
The Gainsaying of Core
In the rebellion of Korah is seen the working out, upon a narrower stage, of the same spirit that led to the rebellion of Satan in heaven. It was pride and ambition that prompted Lucifer to complain of the government of God, and to seek the overthrow of the order which had been established in heaven. Since his fall it has been his object to infuse the same spirit of envy and discontent, the same ambition for position and honor, into the minds of men. He thus worked upon the minds of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, to arouse the desire for self-exaltation and excite envy, distrust, and rebellion. Satan caused them to reject God as their leader, by rejecting the men of Gods appointment. Yet while in their murmuring against Moses and Aaron they blasphemed God, they were so deluded as to think themselves righteous, and to regard those who had faithfully reproved their sins as actuated by Satan. (Ellen White, Conflict and Courage, p. 108)Korah, the leading spirit in this movement, was a Levite, of the family of Kohath, and a cousin of Moses; he was a man of ability and influence. Though appointed to the service of the tabernacle, he had become dissatisfied with his position and aspired to the dignity of the priesthood. The bestowal upon Aaron and his house of the priestly office, which had formerly devolved upon the first-born son of every family, had given rise to jealousy and dissatisfaction, and for some time Korah had been secretly opposing the authority of Moses and Aaron, though he had not ventured upon any open act of rebellion. He finally conceived the bold design of overthrowing both the civil and the religious authority. He did not fail to find sympathizers. . . .
Korah and his fellow conspirators were men who had been favored with special manifestations of Gods power and greatness. They were of the number who went up with Moses into the mount and beheld the divine glory. But since that time a change had come. A temptation, slight at first, had been harbored, and had strengthened as it was encouraged, until their minds were controlled by Satan, and they ventured upon their work of disaffection. Professing great interest in the prosperity of the people, they first whispered their discontent to one another and then to leading men of Israel. Their insinuations were so readily received that they ventured still further, and at last they really believed themselves to be actuated by zeal for God. (White, Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 395, 396)
The way of Cain is demonstrated by the desire for earthly and material progress to the point of opposing God, by murder, by polygamy, by congregating in cities, and by presumption. Balaam cherished worldly gain, honor, and power; and Korah fell because of pride, ambition, jealousy, and dissatisfaction with the work God had given him to do. The secret infiltrators of Judes church exhibited similar qualities. They turned the grace of God into lasciviousness, or into a going after their own lusts and desires. The Greek word translated lasciviousness (Root: aselgeia) connotes an immoral perversion, and Jude used it to describe the false teachers, perhaps because they perverted the words of Scripture for their own immoral ends (Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, pp. 704, 705).
Ellen White warned that perverted truths would also come in among us, destroying the pillars of our faith, and she warned that a great reformation would be urged upon us that would result in a reorganization. On July 23, 1904, one year after the publication of The Living Temple, Ellen White wrote to P. T. Magan and E. A. Sutherland:
In a vision of the night I was shown distinctly that these sentiments [of Kellogg] have been looked upon by some as the grand truths that are to be brought in and made prominent at the present time. I was shown a platform, braced by solid timbersthe truths of the Word of God. Someone high in responsibility in the medical work was directing this man and that man to loosen the timbers supporting this platform. Then I heard a voice saying, Where are the watchmen that ought to be standing on the walls of Zion? Are they asleep? This foundation was built by the Master Worker, and will stand storm and tempest. Will they permit this man to present doctrines that deny the past experience of the people of God? The time has come to take decided action.
The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.
Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth? (Ellen White, Selected Messages, vol. 1, pp. 204, 205)
Again—a “great reformation” would be attempted, and if it occurred, it would consist in “giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith” and “a process of reorganization.”
A great reformation has taken place, brothers and sister, and we see an example of this in the reorganization, so to speak, or the re-formation of some of our fundamental principles of belief. Consider onethe statement on the Bible. The Bible has gone from being a full revelation of his [Gods] will to man3 to the infallible revelation of his will.4 It is no longer the full revelation of his will, which leaves room for more to be added to the present revelation, and it is also not the only revelation of his will, which also leaves room for more to be added to the revealed will of God. This change is crucial because it provides the opportunity for one to consider, for example, the Koran or the I Ching, or parts of them, to be a revelation of Gods will, too. The word infallible does not stop this from happening, as long as additional revelations do not contradict the Bible, but the words full and only do stop it from happening. With the current definition, one can be a Seventh-day Adventist and believe the Bible to be inspired by God and also believe any other book or document to also be inspired, as long as the two do not contradict.
The Bible has also gone from being the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Article III, Declaration) to the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of Gods acts in history (Fundamental Belief, 1; 28 Beliefs). The Bible is not declared to be the only infallible rule of character, the only infallible test of experience, the only infallible revealer of doctrines, and the only infallible record of Gods acts in history, opening the way to believe anything you want concerning character development, experience, doctrine, and the biblical record of history, including creation! Do you think these seemingly slight wording changes in the Adventists belief about the Bible were planned? Most certainly, but not by the Spirit of God, for it takes the prior authoritative statements and waters them down to wishy-washy declarations that sound good on the surface (arent infallible, standard, test, authoritative revealer, and trustworthy record good, strong words?) but disintegrate under inspection.
Also consider the statement in the Declaration that Jesus took on him the nature of the seed of Abraham (Article II, Declaration). This particular fundamental belief was addressed by J. R. Zurcher:
The declaration does not specify how Adventists of that time understood the expression the nature of the seed of Abraham. . . . As we shall see, most of those who used the expression [before and after 1872] gave it the same meaning as Ellen White: Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His early ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.5
It is interesting to note that the official declaration of 1872 on the human nature of Christ remained unchanged until 1931. At that time it was changed to express with different words the same basic conviction. While retaining His divine nature, He took upon Himself the nature of the human family, and lived on the earth as a man.6 Placed within the context of the writings of that period, this new formulation continues what had been the unanimous teaching of the church until 1950, namely, that the flesh of Jesus was flesh like unto sinful flesh.
The official declaration of 1872 as to the human nature of Jesus constitutes the cornerstone of pre-1950 Adventist Christology. According to Ralph Larson, it has been reaffirmed up to 1,200 times by Adventist writers and theologians, of which about 400 are by Ellen White herself.7
About 1950, however, influenced by extrabiblical considerations, another interpretation arose in Adventist circles, affirming that the human nature of Jesus was that of Adam before the Fall. This was clearly a return to the creeds of former centuries. . . .
One can only be astonished at this sudden change of interpretation within the church, especially after presenting a unanimous front for a century of consistent teaching on this subject. In fact, since the beginning of the movement, the fallen human nature of Christ had never been the subject of any controversy . . .
As our study will verify, the work of redemption can be explained only with the proper understanding of the divine-human person of Jesus Christ. To be mistaken about Christology is to be mistaken about the work of salvation as accomplished in human beings, by Christ, through the process of justification and sanctification. (J. R. Zurcher, Touched with Our Feelings: A Historical Survey of Adventist Thought on the Human Nature of Christ, pp. 4749)
What is our current official position on the nature of Christ? He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God (Fundamental Belief, 2; 28 Beliefs). This ambiguous statement makes no reference to the nature of Christ—pre-fall or post-fall—just that he was a human being, but, as Zurcher has stated, the Adventist Church, for the most part, has done an about face in its teaching on the human nature of Christ, changing from a post-fall view to a pre-fall view, and this is extremely important because if Jesus assumed the human nature of Adam before his fall, then he can only be our substitute, important as that is, and not our example, as well. We can never be perfect like Jesus was on earth because we can never have the nature of Adam before the fall; therefore, perfection is not a possibility and therefore also, Jesus had an advantage we are not able to obtain. Do you see why a correct Christology is vital to our salvation?
How can we protect ourselves from modern versions of the ungodly men of whom Jude spoke? Peter calls them false teachers of damnable heresies who speak evil of the truth with feigned words (2 Peter 2:1–3).
He [Satan] works today as he worked in heaven, to divide the people of God in the very last stage of this earths history. He seeks to create dissension, and to arouse contention and discussion, and to remove if possible the old landmarks of truth committed to Gods people. He tries to make it appear as if the Lord contradicts Himself.
It is when Satan appears as an angel of light that he takes souls in his snare, deceiving them. Men who pretend to have been taught of God, will adopt fallacious theories, and in their teaching will so adorn these fallacies as to bring in Satanic delusions. Thus Satan will be introduced as an angel of light and will have opportunity to present his pleasing fables.
These false prophets will have to be met. They will make an effort to deceive many, by leading them to accept false theories. Many scriptures will be misapplied in such a way that deceptive theories will apparently be based upon the words that God has spoken. Precious truth will be appropriated to substantiate and establish error. These false prophets, who claim to be taught of God, will take beautiful scriptures that have been given to adorn the truth, and will use them as a robe of righteousness to cover false and dangerous theories. And even some of those who, in times past, the Lord has honored, will depart so far from the truth as to advocate misleading theories regarding many phases of truth, including the sanctuary question.Manuscript 11, 1906. (Ellen White, Evangelism, pp. 359, 360)
First of all, we need to know what the pillars of our faith are and then when we see dissension and contention about them, walk away. We want harmony and unity, yes, but never at the expense of truth. I know Ellen White says the false prophets will have to be met, but until God calls you do that, do not get involved in debates over truth, for you will be standing on enchanted ground. You would not listen for a moment to someone who told you your car can run on Coca-Cola® instead of gasoline, for you know better, and we need to have the same certainty about the pillars of our faith. We have seen how simply changing the wording of something can cast a whole new meaning to it, and it is only when we are unsure of our beliefs that we will stop to listen to a new angle to an old truth. This may sound close-minded in our scientific age, when we are always open to new truths in the physical world. For example, in the 25th anniversary edition in 2013 of Physics World, two of the top five unanswered questions were: What is time and what is the nature of the dark universe? We also do not know what causes cancerresearch is ongoing. We do not understand how a dog can find its way home from hundreds of miles away. There may also be things we do not understand in Gods word, and we expect new light to shine from its sacred pages, but new light will never contradict the truths God has already established for his people. When it does, we need to steadfastly turn, without looking back, and walk away from the temptation to contemplate error.
Let us consider the concept of time for a moment. Philosophers have tried in many ways to explain what time is. Immanuel Kant, in 1781, for example, wrote that space and time do not really exist but are simply constructs of our imagination so that we can make sense of the world in which we live. Augustine suggested that time was a feeling; another philosopher suggested it was an experience that developed as a person grew from babyhood up. All these ideas were purely subjective, but things changed drastically with the objectivity of Albert Einstein, who believed that physics should only make statements about phenomena that could be observed and measured:
. . . Einstein simply stated: Time is what we measure with a clock. According to Einstein, there was no place in physics for philosophical musings about the nature of timeall that was important was what could be measured. (Andrew Thomas, Hidden in Plain Sight3: The Secret of Time, p. 3, Kindle version)
And the same principle can be applied when we consider the nature of sin, the nature of man, the nature of Christ, and the nature of anything. We can get confused when we look at something philosophically and objectively at the same time. The Bible says sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). Theft, murder, and adultery are things that can be observed and measured. Covetousness begins in the heart, it is true, but it is revealed by our actions. Sin, however, is not ones intangible nature. Such a nature is something which cannot be observed and measured but is revealed by ones actions. Sin is also not a broken relationship with God, another subjective situation, but our actions (righteous or sinful), again, reveal our walk with or without God. Sin is, instead, something concrete and measurable. When it resides in the heart, it is unseen and unmeasured by human eyes, but God sees and measures it, and it will eventually be revealed in our actions. The mixing of the concrete with the philosophical is readily seen in the section in Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine (QOD) on the incarnation. The unseen and not measurable nature of Christ is often equated with his human body (seen and measurable), and thus Christ can be said by the writers of QOD to have a sinful human nature, when really what is meant is that he had a human body, degenerated by the effects of sin, (but not his sin). Statements by Ellen White in QOD about the nature of Christ are applied to his human body and vice versa, and without the discernment and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we become confused and accept what appears to sound right on the surface. What is not addressed by QOD is the perfect mind of Christ, which mind we are to have and which mind will give us the perfection we are required, as children of God, to have, and here again the intangible and the tangible often cross boundaries and cause confusionthe mind (unseen and not measurable) is not the brain (tangible and measurable). M. L. Andreasen sensed this mixed message about the human nature of Christ in QOD and objected to it, as well as to other issues in QOD, such as the ministry of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary.
Here are two examples of Ellen White’s use of human nature in reference to the intangible mind:
Goodness is the result of divine power transforming human nature. (Ellen White, Christ Triumphant, p. 49)
The determined priests and rulers designed that the scourge should not be left out, but nothing short of the cross would they consent to be His punishment. This is human nature today when under the control of Satan. (Ibid., p. 272)
And here are two examples of Ellen White’s use of human nature in reference to the human body:
But when after the second scourging the cross was laid upon Him, human nature could bear no more. He fell fainting beneath the burden. (Ellen White, A Call to Stand Apart, p. 36)
In the wilderness of temptation the riches of the world was the bribe presented to our Lord. Satan did not come to Him with his temptations until the human nature was weakened and was crying out its necessity. (White, Christ Triumphant, p. 202)
Could another example of the “many kindred errors” be found in the changing of some of our fundamental beliefs given us by God?
When Ellen White warned against errors creeping into the church, she faced several key issues, such as fanaticism, Ballengers errors on the sanctuary, and Kelloggs errors in The Living Temple, with Kellogg’s insidious errors being the most dangerous. Today we still face all of these issues, plus many more! It is a fearful time in which to be living. Today we hear of justification only; no investigative judgment; no perfection of character until Jesus comes; no heavenly sanctuary; no Father and Son, but a trinity; unhealthy health reform; spiritualism in holy garb; and a reformed, friendly papacy. Doubtless you can think of more.
What’s a God-fearing person to do?
Stay by the waymarks!
Our faith in reference to the messages of the first, second, and third angels was correct. The great waymarks we have passed are immovable. Although the hosts of hell may try to tear them from their foundation, and triumph in the thought that they have succeeded, yet they do not succeed. These pillars of truth stand firm as the eternal hills, unmoved by all the efforts of men combined with those of Satan and his host. We can learn much, and should be constantly searching the Scriptures to see if these things are so. Gods people are now to have their eyes fixed on the heavenly sanctuary, where the final ministration of our great High Priest in the work of the judgment is going forward,where He is interceding for His people. (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, November 27, 1883)
What’s a person to do when the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and/or the elite of the Adventist scholarly world endorse trinitarianism, endorse a type of semi-antinomianism because they say the law can’t be kept, endorse a pre-fall incarnation, endorse theistic evolution, endorse women’s ordination, and offer handshakes to the papacy?
Stay by the waymarks!
The passing of the time in 1844 was a period of great events, opening to our astonished eyes the cleansing of the sanctuary transpiring in heaven, and having decided relation to Gods people upon the earth, [also] the first and second angels messages and the third, unfurling the banner on which was inscribed, The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. One of the landmarks under this message was the temple of God, seen by His truth-loving people in heaven, and the ark containing the law of God. The light of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment flashed its strong rays in the pathway of the transgressors of Gods law. The nonimmortality of the wicked is an old landmark. I can call to mind nothing more that can come under the head of the old landmarks. (Ellen White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 30)
What’s a person to do when even the reliability of Ellen White’s inspiration is questioned?
Stay by the waymarks!
The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of Gods remnant people in the true testimony.Letter 12, 1890. (Ellen White, Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 48)
What’s a person to do when miracles abound, but no change of heart?
Stay by the waymarks!
And Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Gods people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan will counterfeit the miracles that will be wrought. Gods tried and tested people will find their power in the sign spoken of in Exodus 31:1218. They are to take their stand on the living word: It is written. This is the only foundation upon which they can stand securely. (Ellen White, Counsels for the Church, p. 39)
What’s a person to do when the brightest lights go out?
Our only hope is to stay by the waymarks!?
Christ Our High Priest
By Stephen Haskell
The Saviour has many titles, for He “hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name” (Hebrews 1:4) than all the angelic host of heaven. Of the many titles bestowed upon Him, there is none more dear to humanity than the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29, 36) and “High Priest.” By virtue of these two offices He lifts poor fallen humanity up where they can share in His glorious kingdom of grace, even while in the midst of this sin-cursed earth.
In the typical service the one who realized he was a sinner must bring a lamb for a sin-offering. The priest could not officiate for him without this offering (Leviticus 4:27–29). That entire service was but a great kindergarten lesson, making the way of salvation so simple that none could fail to comprehend it. When we realize that we have sinned, we remember our “Lamb,” confess our sins, and in His name they are forgiven; then He officiates as High Priest in our behalf before the Father. He pleads the merits of His blood, and covers our life, stained with sin, with the robe of His spotless righteousness, and we stand before the Father “accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6) How can we fail to love Him who offered His life for us? Christ could say of His Father, “Therefore doth My Father love me, because I lay down My life” (John 10:17). Even the infinite love of the Father for His Son was increased by that act.
In the type, the blood of the sin-offering was shed in the court, and then the priest entered the sanctuary with the blood to present it before the Lord (Hebrews 9:12).8 The Saviour gave His life a sacrifice for sin here upon the earth; and as he entered the heavenly sanctuary as High Priest, He is called the Forerunner. Under no circumstances, except as He enters within the veil of the heavenly sanctuary, is that name applied to the Saviour (Hebrews 6:19, 20).
In all monarchical forms of government the forerunner is a familiar character. In gorgeous uniform, with waving plumes, he rides before and announces the approach of the royal carriage. While he is always hailed with joy by the waiting crowds, yet he is not the center of attraction; their eyes do not follow him as he passes on, but are turned down the road whence he came to get the first glimpse of the royal personage of whom he is the forerunner.
Of the many condescensions on the part of our blessed Master, this is one of the grandest. When He entered heaven a mighty Conqueror over death and the grave, before the entire heavenly host and representatives of other worlds, He entered a forerunner for us. He presented the “wave sheaf,” those brought forth from their graves at the time of His resurrection, as a sample of the race He had died to redeem, (Ephesians 4:8, margin; Matthew 27:52, 53) thus directing the attention of that wonderful assemblage down the road whence He came to watch-for royalty?-yes, for royalty made so by His precious blood (Revelation 1:6, 5:19). It is only a company of poor, frail mortals stumbling along and often falling by the way; but when they reach the heavenly gate, they will enter “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:17)
It meant much for us that Christ entered within the veil as our Forerunner, for all heaven is watching the church of God on earth. When tempted by the enemy to doubt God’s love and care, remember that on account of the great sacrifice made, you are so dear to the Father that “he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8). Heaven and earth are closely united since Christ entered within the veil as our Forerunner. The attention of every angel in glory is centered upon those striving to follow in Christ’s footsteps (1 Peter 2:21). “Are they (the angels) not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:14)? Why should we falter by the way, and disappoint the heavenly host who are watching for us to come over the same road that our Forerunner passed as a mighty Conqueror over death and the grave?
But let us never forget that it is a blood-stained pathway.
“Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). We can not follow in His footsteps in our own strength. For that reason “in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted. Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Hebrews 2:17, 18; 3:1).
In the earthly sanctuary [including courtyard] not only the high priest but also common priests officiated, because it was impossible for one man to perform all the work; but it required the work performed by all the priests in the typical services to represent the work of our High Priest. The work of one year was taken as a type of the entire work of our High Priest. During the year “the priests (plural, both high and common) went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.” This continued all the year, except one day; on that day, the service changed and “into the second (apartment) went the high priest alone,...not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people” (Hebrews 9:6, 7). These priests served “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things” (Hebrews 8:5).
When Christ entered heaven, He went as the Antitype of the earthly service God had ordained, and entered upon His work within the first veil of the heavenly sanctuary. When the typical work ordained by God in the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary had fully met its Antitype, He passed through the second (Hebrews 9:3) veil into the glorious apartment of the antitypical holy of holies. There He is to perform the marvelous service which will end in the blotting out and total destruction of the sins of the righteous, nevermore to be remembered by the redeemed host nor by God Himself.
When Christ stands upon the sea of glass, and places the glittering crowns upon the heads of the company who have traveled the road made sacred by the foot prints of their Forerunner, albeit with faltering step and through falling tears, and who are clad in robes made white in the blood of the Lamb, He will see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied (Isaiah 53:11). He will rejoice over them with singing, and all heaven will ring with melody as the angels who have served under their Commander in the work of saving souls, join in singing (Zechariah 3:17), “Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever” (Revelation 5:13).
Our High Priest
Hebrews 7:25. He ever liveth to make intercession for us.?
The Pillars of Our Faith Seminar
If you live in Arizona or anywhere within 15,000 miles of it, you are invited to please join us May 1–3, as we consider the truths that make us Seventh-day Adventists! Some of the topics we will study include:
We will also have questions and answers and provide a lunch on Sabbath and Sunday for those who attend.
688 Fletcher CT (Just off Rt 89)
Chino Valley, AZ 86323
Friday Evening, May 1, through Sunday, May 3
Please call 530-708-2381 for details.
I t is essential that we study the Scriptures far more earnestly than we do. With fervent prayer we should earnestly and thoroughly examine the pillars of our faith, to see that we have no false support. (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, February 25, 1890)
Let the truths that are the foundation of our faith be kept before the people. Some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. They talk science, and the enemy comes in and gives them an abundance of science; but it is not the science of salvation. It is not the science of humility, of consecration, or of the sanctification of the Spirit. We are now to understand what the pillars of our faith are,the truths that have made us as a people what we are, leading us on step by step. (Ellen White, The Review and Herald, May 25, 1905)
The West Virginia Camp Meeting
The 2015 camp meeting will soon be upon us, and we hope you are seriously considering attending this special time of spiritual enrichment. We are prayerfully seeking Gods direction and we anticipate a rich blessing for all. The theme of our camp meeting will be Preparing for the End. We are currently arranging presenters for the meetings and believe that God will provide richly. Interspersed among all of this will be meetings for our young people, early morning and other meetings, special music, health nuggets, good food, stories, seasons of prayer, and more! You won’t want to miss this opportunity to grow in grace and to fellowship with one another.
If you need camping accessories to make this trip possible, please contact us, and we will try to meet your needs. We want you to be here. If you cannot afford food expenses while here, let us know, and we will put an extra pot of soup on for you! We do not want you to stay away. Do all you can to be here, and we will do all we can to make your stay pleasant and blessed. Please come prepared for the visitation of Gods Holy Spirit (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 162), knowing that at home is the place to find Jesus; then [you can] take Him with you to the meeting, and how precious will be the hours you spend there. But how can you expect to feel the presence of the Lord and see His power displayed when the individual work of preparation for that time is neglected (Ibid., p. 164).