Organization Versus Disorganization –
The Organization The Bible and Ellen White Advocate Versus Satan’s Hierarchy
ORGANIZATION vs. DISORGANIZATION
by Elder David Bauer
Silver Lake, CA Campmeeting - September 1981
Do you remember last night that I read to you from Series B #2 on the first page it says that the whole chapter of Isaiah 58 is to be 'Presented and repeated over and over again'. So I'm going to talk on Isaiah 58 again. This time I want to use as my text the first verse-"Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet and show my people their sins." Who's sins? The other fellow's? Their sins. Now I'm not talking to the people in Sacramento today, I'm talking to you people. Now you are indirectly involved in what I am going to speak on. My address is going to be three quarter's introduction and one quarter message. Because if I give the message without the introduction, you probably won't feel the need of the message. So if you can sit through the introduction - then you'll get the message.
But what I intend to do is exactly what we just read, "Cry aloud and spare not" -I'm not going to hold back anything. I'm going to tell it to you just like it is- I'm going to read it to you incidentally, and you'll probably feel like I did when these things first dawned on me, I did not believe them, I did not like them. And that's why this crowd's too big.
Alright-It says "Lift up thy voice like a trumpet and show my people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins." And that is the introduction; that is what I'm going to spend three-quarters of this meeting on, then I'm going to tell you what to do about it. With that I would like to tell you that the Seventh-day Adventist church, when was it founded? I've got two dates, 1844, and 1863. When was the Seventh-day Adventist church founded? The whole point is simply this, friends, the thing that makes us Seventh-day Adventists, as Sister White says in the last part of Series B #7--and I'm going to quote a lot of these things to you without reading them because I've got a lot of material to cover and I don't want to run too long.
She says that we are Seventh-day Adventists, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. The things that make us Seventh-day Adventists were studied out after the passing of the time in 1844 and Sister White's mind was sealed- I won't review, I just want to remind you- that's when the Seventh-day Adventist church was founded. It was founded according to Early Writings in the Spirit of God's revelation to Ellen G. White; it was founded on this solid, immovable platform. Which cannot be changed. You cannot change it.
Maybe I'd better read you one quotation out of Series B, The church was built on this solid platform, you cannot tamper with it; you cannot change it. When the Alpha of deception came into the Adventist church, the Alpha of deception was merely an attempt to change the foundation upon which the Seventh-day Adventist church was built. So we find some instruction here to the people under the Alpha as to what to do, and how much of the original platform on which the church is built can be changed. And I'm going to read it to you, page 57, "The past fifty years have not dimmed one jot or principle of our faith as we received the great and wonderful evidences that were made certain to us in 1844, after the passing of the time."
Now the church was founded in 1844, after the disappointment and after the chaff had left and the faithful few, a handful, friends, of people got together and said, "We're not going to give up. We're going to restudy"
Now here is the glorious prophecy, friends, this was under the Alpha. The Omega was to come, the Omega is also an attack on the platform, and here's what it says, "The languishing souls are to be confirmed and quickened according to His word."
And then she mentions two specific groups in the church. Both of these groups, friends, one group led out in the Alpha and the other group has led out in the Omega.
"And many of the ministers of the gospel and the Lord's physicians will have their languishing souls quickened according to the word." The physicians led out in the Alpha and the ministers in the Omega. But the promise is that many of them will have their languishing souls quickened. Many of the ministers and doctors will see the light and turn back and get on the foundation again.
How much has been changed and how much can be changed of the original platform of the church? This was written in 1905.
"Not a word is changed" How much can you change it? Now when you start re-wording it friends, you're tampering and you're getting off the platform to adjust it. When you deny one word of the original platform as it was hammered out after the passing of the time in 1844 and a year or so after that it was completed and published in 1845 friends, republished in 1846 and then republished again in 1850 in its original form.
"Not a word is changed or denied. That which the Holy Spirit testified to as truth after the passing of the time, in our great disappointment, is the solid foundation of truth. Pillars of truth were revealed, and we accepted the foundation principles that have made us what we are-Seventh-day Adventists, keeping the commandments of God and having the faith of Jesus."
The church was founded on that solid immovable platform and if you change one word or deny one word, you are off the platform. Now those who stay on the platform are going through to the kingdom and those who get off the platform are not. They're nominal Adventists from that time on. That is, they may have their names on the books but that's as far as it goes. They are not Adventists any further than just having their names on the books.
Now, let's get to the other part. In Volume 1 of the Testimonies, way back at the beginning is a chapter, it's the first article in testimony # 3, the page is 141. Now the only inspired history of the Seventh-day Adventist church is the Spirit of Prophecy. All other history books are tampered and doctored and the opinion of the historian who wrote them. This is the opinion of the Holy Spirit; Not the opinion of Ellen G. White.
So we find that by 1852, as Brother Nicolici brought out last night, Sister White had a vision- "Dear brothers and sisters, the Lord has shown me in vision some things concerning the church in its present, lukewarm condition." As near as I can find out it was 1852. By 1852 friends, the Seventh-day Adventist church and that is only how many years after it was founded? Eight years after it was founded, she was shown in vision that it was lukewarm. What does that mean? Laodicean! Rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing but in reality they were wretched, poor, naked, blind and all the rest. But they thought that they were rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing.
When the church gets in that condition you've got some problems that develop. The first problem is friends, when people are self satisfied and lukewarm they usually aren't doing too much. They're lazy. And the leadership of the Adventist church by 1852 hadn't realized it because they'd slipped into Laodicea too so God now sends a message and He says Look, I'm the Physician here and I'm diagnosing the condition of the patient. You are lukewarm… read the rest of the chapter friends, it's entitled, 'Be zealous therefore and repent'. And incidentally, the only solution for lukewarmness is repentance. There is no other. You cannot buy the white raiment until you have repented.
In another place Sister White says, "The coin with which you purchase the white raiment and the eyesalve is repentance." So Laodicea is hopeless until it repents. So the message of repentance was sent to the church, it's a fascinating article; it is full of pertinent information, which you need now, if you are a Laodicean Seventh-day Adventist.
Now the brethren had on their hands here a group of people who were Laodicean so they hobbled alone and hobbled along and things weren't going good and so pretty soon the hue and cry began to arise in the Adventist church we must organize! Now Ellen G. White backed the movement for organization but she did not instigate it- you cannot find in the Testimonies a place where sister White says, "I was shown in vision that we should organize" and then the brethren said that- No. The brethren had a problem, they had a Laodicean church on their hands and it was going to sleep and it was contented and satisfied and wasn't doing what it was supposed to do.
So they said now we've got to organize. One of the men who led out in this was James White. Another man that led out in it was J.N. Andrews; and these men fought tremendous opposition because these Adventists felt a little bit like I do, and that is, if you organize you're opening the door for the devil to take over the organization. One man, Elder Storrs once wrote, "The minute you organize you have become part of Rome." So they couldn't get very far with organization.
It took them then another eleven years, actually it was nine years; they organized the Mission conference first, then two years later, the General Conference, before they could organize. The reason they needed to organize friends is: when you have a group of people who are not under the guidance of God, and are Laodicean, somebody's got to tell them what to do. They aren't getting their directions from God any more.
So we organized and the organization then attempted to take over that which the people should have been getting from God on their knees, but Laodiceans don't get instructions from God because where's Jesus? Outside. Now would you like to have me read that from the Divine account? All right, going back to Volume 2 of the Testimonies, page 441, 442. The date at the beginning of this article is 1868, that's after we organized. The organizing did not cure the problem. The Adventist church remained lukewarm but the machinery began to hum and I could read you statements where Sister White says that the smooth operation of the organization only rocked the people more soundly to sleep.
So all right, let's see what it was in 1868, five years after organization, had organization cured it? - "Like ancient Israel the church has dishonored her God by departing from the light, neglecting her duties."
What was the problem of Laodicea? Neglecting her duties. The purpose of organization? Was to get you to take care of your duties. Before, under the 1844 movement, we did not need an organization they were not neglecting their duties until they became Laodiceans. Let's read on- "and abusing her high and exalted privilege of being peculiar and holy in character. Her members have violated their covenant to live for God and Him only. They have joined with the selfish and world-loving. Pride, the love of pleasure, and sin have been cherished…" Now, listen to this, this is the part I don't like. By 1868, I want to read to you the condition of the Seventh-day Adventist church. All of these things were wrong- "and Christ has departed." It's an accomplished fact! Not will, not maybe, because in Laodicea, where is Jesus? Outside trying to get in! By 1868, under Divine inspiration, the Holy Spirit speaking through Ellen G. White says, the Adventist church, Christ is outside the church! Now that's hard to take isn't it? My church that I loved and worked for and grew up in, I suddenly find, when I read these books that Christ was outside in 1868.
All right, now the original organization and I'm not going into the details of it, but to show you the difference between the church and organization, let's just take a look at the first constitution and by-laws drawn up by the Seventh-day Adventists. It's extremely short and extremely to the point - It starts here on this page and half of the next page. That's two about 3X5 cards. I told you that at the last time I spoke that the current General Conference constitution by-laws and working policy takes 500 pages, each twice this size.
So let's see the difference between organization and the church. Remember the church is built on a solid, unmovable platform, not one word can be changed or denied. How about the organization? Article 9, "This constitution may be altered or amended by a two-thirds vote of the delegates present at any regular meeting, provided that any proposed amendment shall be communicated to the executive committee And notice thereof given by them in their call for the meeting."
Now the organization friends, is not built on a solid immovable platform. At its very inception under the guidance of James White, he was the architect of the original organization; it could be changed by a two-thirds vote of the delegates at any General Conference session. And it is a man-thing, created by man, regulated by man and changed by vote of human beings.
The difference between organization and church is:
God established the church on a solid immovable platform which you cannot change by a majority vote, or any other way; Because God built it. I haven't time to read all the references- Early Writings says that. So the church is built on the solid foundation. When they got into the Laodicean condition, the people went to sleep and neglected their duties; they weren't doing what they were supposed to. So the hue and cry for organization came along to try and make Laodicea look like it wasn't so sound asleep and so content and the machinery worked. It produced literature, it produced baptisms, it produced sermons, it produced money, it ran along smooth but it was still Laodicea. Now the organization and the church are not the same, they are built on different principles. The church is built by God on a solid foundation of truth. The organization was organized by men, and by a two thirds majority vote it can be changed any direction they want to go.
By 1868 it was "Christ has departed'. That leaves a problem. The brethren were still confronted. Now they had organization in 1863 it did not cure the problem so things are still bad in the church. G.I. Butler was then elected General Conference president. At the General Conference in 1873, ten years later. Laodicia is still Laodicia, the people are still neglecting their duties, they're drifting towards the world, under the original organization set up by James White and the constitution.
So G.I. Butler, being an intellectual and a thinking man and perceptive decided that something needed to be done. Consequently he diligently studied, and I don't know exactly what he studied but he published - I should say- first he read this paper he wrote to the General Conference in 1873. This is entitled "Leadership" In this, G.I. Butler is attacking the 1863 organization based upon the principles stated in the Bible.
What are the New Testament principles of organization upon which the church was built? All right, we go to Matthew, and they are very brief. You remember that the apostles had an experience and the mother of the son's of Zebadee, John and James came and said "let my two sons sit on the right hand and on the left hand in the kingdom of heaven?" And immediately the ten disciples were upset. So then suddenly Jesus stops after the discussion, verse 24, "When the ten heard it they were- What? Moved with indignation." Now with all the time I pass through churches friends, nominating committees time… As often as possible I turn the chairmanship of the nominating committee over to someone else and I try not to get involved in the office seeking and the rivalries in the Adventist church.
As soon as the people got the idea of position in the church, we had dissension even when they were only twelve. So Christ now sets forth the principles on which to operate His church. Jesus called them unto Him and said, "Ye know that the princes of the gentiles exercise dominion over them and they that are great exercise authority upon them But IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU!" No authority and no dominion in God's church.
Now Paul apparently contradicts this in some of his epistles; but if you will study very carefully all of what Paul writes, you will find that Paul agrees one hundred percent. Then He continues here- "Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister and whosoever will be chief among you let him be your servant, even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many."
Well, the disciples having been brought up in the Jewish system just as I was brought up in the Adventist system, they were thick-headed and they couldn't get it through their heads, so a little later Christ gives them a dissertation that I touched on briefly last time I spoke found in the 23rd chapter of Matthew, where He denounces the scribes and the Pharisees and their putting heavy burdens and yokes on the people and He denounces the seeking of highest seats in the synagogue and the chief seats and so forth and He rails on the Pharisees and their system and then He makes another pronouncement and He says, "But be not ye called Rabbi for One is your Master even Christ, and all ye are brethren."
Now the original, Biblical, Gospel organization is covered in what I just read you. The principles of organization upon which the Adventist church operated in 1844 are the ones that I just read to you. What conference committee sent William Miller out? What company owned the Josiah Litch publishing company that published Miller's sermons? It was all done by laymen. Was William Miller a preacher? He was a farmer. That's right – Layman. Was Josiah Litch a preacher? No, he was a printer. And you can go down the list; very few ministers took part in the 1844 movement
How many of the people who hammered out the doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist church after the passing of the time were preachers? James White had abandoned his school teaching and become a preacher. But he hadn't gone to the theological seminaries. The other men had become preachers too but there was a doctor there, some school teachers, some retired people, some young people who hadn't had a career yet, they're the ones that hammered out the solid immovable platform. We do not look to some giant theologians; or do we? Were these people theologians? What does it take to be a theologian, friends? Just a knowledge of God's Word; Not a degree.
So all ye are brethren. The original organization was this type- all ye are brethren; right around, there was none of this up and down business. From the leadership down to the laity? Or is it from the laity down to the leadership? According to the original statement of organization that we read, the leaders are which? The servants. So who is down? The leaders are the servants friends, of the people. But the original thing is servants and people and leaders all brethren and this type of a brotherhood organization. This is the way it was organized in 1863.
Butler attacks what I just read to you in this article on leadership. I won't read the whole thing, he's kind of wordy and he uses a lot of obtuse arguments. But to show you that this is what he is talking about, I'll read you just two statements. "An objection may be raised here that the spirit and genius of New Testament are against this idea because our Saviour says, "Be not ye called Rabbi for One is your Master even Christ and all ye are brethren." Now Butler is here admitting that what he is presenting looks to be against what Christ said!
This is a Review and Herald editorial page volume 42, number 23, November 18 1873. Now this is after it has been adopted by the General Conference- they publish it. So- "An objection may be raised here that the spirit and genius of the New Testament are against this idea because our Saviour says, "Be not ye called Rabbi for One is your Master even Christ and all ye are brethren."
Now Butler was advocating the up and down organization, leaders at the top and the laymen at the bottom. And that is what's in the article. Now to show you that he is attacking this parallel organization originally set up and that had existed from 1844 on, I'll read you one or two other statements:
"What would a government be if all concerned in it's administration were of equal authority?" Now are you getting the picture? Continuing: "What could it accomplish if all were captains of equal authority?"
Are you getting the idea of two conflicts that existed? Originally we had the Bible, New Testament organization, it did not get the people out of Laodicea they drift into Laodicea under it; so then we organized and that didn't cure it because I just read to you that in Volume 2, 1868 she says Christ was out, has departed. By then He was outside Laodicea knocking to get back in.
So now Butler has got a problem and he does not solve the problem friends, by repentance, and buying the gold and the white raiment and the eyesalve. That's the real cure. Butler says, "Let's reorganize the church along an up and down principle of authority contrary to the statements of Christ, and he knew it because he quoted it. He knew it because people had objected to it. I'll tell you who. Then it goes on down here and it says "but does it follow from this that there is no authority in the Christian church? That all are exactly upon a level so far as position is concerned? Has Christ forbidden the church to assign to those best qualified to guide and direct any office or authority?"
All right, do you get the drift in 1873? Here I have the actions taken by the General Conference when this paper was presented to them. And here's what they voted- "Resolved that we fully endorse the position taken in the paper read by Elder Butler on leadership, and we express our firm conviction that our failure to appreciate the guiding hand of God in the selection of His instruments to lead out in this work has resulted in serious injury to the prosperity of the cause and spiritual loss to ourselves and we hereby express our full purpose of heart faithfully to regard these principles and we invite all of our brethren to unite with us in this action"
So in 1873 friends, the Adventist church went off of the original organization of 1863 onto an organization which Butler admits is contrary, in his presentation of it to the General Conference, to the Bible principles as stated by Jesus.
You didn't know that, did you? I didn't either until I went back to Andrews and accidentally found it and then I lost it, and for another fifteen years I couldn't find it again, Until I went down to Loma Linda University.
What was the next thing they did at this very General Conference after they accepted these new principles?
Well, I'll read it to you- "We consider it for the interest of the tract and missionary society to consolidate."
Immediately centralization began! (Review and Herald Vol 42 #24, November 25 1873, column 2, paragraph 4)
Now there were two men who wrote editorials commenting on this action, J.N. Andrews and Uriah Smith. I'll read them to you to give you an idea. The first one J.N. Andrews, "Our conference which has just closed has been a precious and blessed season. From the commencement to the close it was specially attended with the blessing of God. The preaching has been of a very solemn and heart searching character. The devotional meetings have been seasons of earnest seeking after God. The hearts of the servants of God are now more closely united in the bonds of Christian love and probably there has never been a time when such perfect unanimity of feeling and of judgment has existed as at the present time. It does seem that in an eminent sense the set time to favor Zion is come."
That's J.N. Andrews; he had gotten his way finally friends, so he sees a rosy picture in the future for God's church under the new organization.
Let's see about Uriah Smith- "All the public deliberations and actions of this people have been to a marked degree harmonious and unanimous but that true blending of spirit and union of heart contemplated in the text above referred to is what has been wanting. And this, though hidden from all eyes must impede that free working of God's Spirit which is essential to the full success of this work as effectually as Achan's golden wedge, though taken to the privacy of his own tent and then buried deep in the earth, withered the strength of the armies of Israel."
Which man was right? That's the way we see things, differently, don't we? And you have a perfect right to see them differently and back in those days friends, they didn't mind publishing conflicting editorials. Because they considered the laity to be intelligent. But let's not get on that subject. This survey was run by Andrew's University that would be most interesting to you.
Now poor James White, the architect of the original 1863 organization, had left Battle Creek, and gone to California. I talked to Dr. Andeveerd Andrews and he told me that the committee meeting notes said Ellen and James boarded the train this morning bound for California, the last words spoken were, "We're going to California because nobody's paying any attention to us in Battle Creek."
They had re-organized the church. Now James went out to California and it takes a long time for the mails to get back and forth. He was still an editor of the Review so we find on Dec. 1 1874 that James White responds now to the scuttling of his plan of organization under an editorial exactly the same title as Butler's, "Leadership" And he goes down and he hits every text practically that Butler uses and every argument that Butler uses and shows what's wrong with it. And again I'm not going to read the whole article to you; I'm going to pick out a few of the most pertinent statements.
"They pass over the teachings of Christ" Is that not what Butler had done? "They pass over the teachings of Christ and His apostles relative to discipline and the proper means of securing unity in the ministry and in the church, and do not let them have their proper qualifying bearing on the subject. This has opened a wide door …" Listen carefully! "This has opened a wide door for men to enter the ministry who have not submitted their judgment and will to Christ as their leader."
Because from the minute they reorganized in 1873, in order to get into the ministry you submitted to the leadership, friends! And so James comes right out. He was outspoken. He said [that] this reorganization, this setting aside of the Bible principles, opened the door to let ministers into the ministry who had gotten in by submitting to the leadership and not to Christ.
Continuing, "While at the same time they take the broadest ground and exercise the greatest freedom relative to the right of private judgment."
All right. The next thing that Butler and J.N. Andrews wanted to do was draw up a creed and a church manual! So what does James White say? "Creed power has been called to the rescue in vain. It has been truly said that the American people are a nation of lords. The true Seventh-day Adventist church is a group of equal sons and daughters of the King of Heaven, heirs equal. Church force can not produce unity but has caused divisions."
And I'll tell you it always does. Always!
"And has given rise to sects and parties innumerable. And there are not a few professing Christians who reject church organization on account of the use that has been made of creed and church power."
Then he comes down to the thing that was upsetting him and he says this, "The remedy, however is for these deplorable evils is found in the proper use of simple organization and church order as set forth in the New Testament."
Well, I'll skip on down. He covers every point that Butler put forth in the reorganization of 1873, and then he comes to one and this is mild compared with what he says a little later on.
"And on the other hand, the minister who submits his ministry to a superior, a bishop, a president or one of authority in the church to be sent out and directed in his ministry, cannot in the fullest sense be Christ's ambassador."
Again an editorial in the Review, Jan. 4, 1881; This is shorter but stronger. This one is entitled 'Organization and discipline' Again he goes over the points and this time he goes back-- remember, the General Conference, all the books on organization say that James White was the architect in 1863. They even nominated him as General Conference president and he says, "I can't accept it because then it would seem that I have fought all these years to organize so I could be president." So he turned it down.
All right, here we find that James White says why the church was organized, "Organization was designed to secure unity of action. And as a protection from imposters."
I tell you, at one meeting in Michigan, some people came in and this was how lax they were. I don't see how they could be that lax. Some people came in and nobody had ever seen them before and they were very friendly and they were very intelligent and they were vocal and they took the meeting over. And when the meeting was over some people began to say, "Well who were those men?" And they come to find out that they were some preachers from another denomination. That's what he means when he says to protect them from imposture. Now I tell you, those people must have been awful Laodiceans. They must have been terrible Laodiceans to let some Baptists and a Presbyterian take over an Adventist meeting and they certainly must have been ignorant if they didn't detect the fact that these men weren't Adventists. That's how bad off they were in Laodiceanism.
Are you that bad off? Well then why are we as Adventist inviting these same kinds of men into our pulpits today? We must be just about as sound asleep only this time we know who they are and we still let them come!
All right so "it was to secure unity of action and protection from imposters. It was never intended to be a scourge." What was Butler using it for? By 1881, friends, the organization was being used as a scourge. To do what? To compel obedience rather than for the protection of God's people. Christ does not drive His sheep, He calls them.
When anybody's trying to drive, friends, they're not Christ's shepherds. I doubt if they're even hirelings. They're working for somebody else.
"Human creeds", and again we find the fact that they were pushing still, and J.N. Andrews by this time had been to Europe and I believe he was dead but he was one of the first men to push for creeds and church manuals to regulate. And they tell me that on his death be he confessed that he had made almost a shambles of the work in Europe by using arbitrary authority and pushing for these things.
"Human creeds cannot produce unity" same thing as he said in '74, "Church force cannot press the church into one body." Down a little further, "No man can be Christ's ambassador until he has made a complete surrender of his right of private judgment to"… The General Conference? No! "To Christ. Neither can any man properly represent Christ who surrenders His judgment to his fellow man."
Down the bottom of the page- "But here we wish distinctly understood that officers were not ordained in the Christian church to order, or command the church, or to lord it over God's heritage."
The Butler system friends, was a system of hierarchy, an up and down system, introduced in 1873.
I'm going to skip the rest of it and go on down to a statement again on the original 1863 and who can speak better than James White when he says, "Those who drafted the form of organization adopted by Seventh-day Adventists labored to incorporate into it as far as possible the simplicity of expression and form found in the New Testament. The more the spirit of the gospel manifested and the more simple, the more efficient the system." Butler would never say something like that until he was old and about to retire, and he finally saw the light. And then they wouldn't let him in office! They shipped him out to Allegheny to raise up new churches.
Getting down to the last paragraph in James White's last article on organization the year he died, here's what I read- talking about the people in the conferences, the General Conference he says this: "They may counsel with the state conferences committees in reference to ministers laboring here or there, but they should never direct."
I have made a study of this, friends, and the most authority that I can find Ellen G. White ever gave to a conference president or Union conference president or General conference president or their committees was counsel and advice! I wrote this all up. I did it at the request of the constituency in Nevada-Utah Conference and gave it to the conference president and the men there and they knew this very well and they voted to suppress the manuscript.
Continuing - The head of every man, the minister is Jesus Christ, the minister who throws himself upon any conference committee for direction, takes himself out of the hands of Christ."
So where are our preachers? Where was I for 27 long years while I worked for them under the complete direction of the conference committee? Unfortunately, I began to see the light and pretty soon I wasn't under their direction and pretty soon I wasn't working for them anymore. But that's what James White says friends. "The minister who throws himself upon any conference committee for direction, takes himself out of the hands of Christ. And that committee that takes into its own hands the work of directing the ambassadors for Christ, takes a fearful responsibility! One is your Master even Christ, and all ye are brethren Matt. 23:8. May God (and this is his dying prayer practically) May God preserve unto us our organization and form of church discipline in its original efficiency"
That was 1863 not '73. And poor James White I think was laid to rest when he was only a year or two older than I am when he died, because what was coming upon the church at that time I'm quite sure would have broken his heart and he would have died of a broken heart.
What could God do with a situation like this, friends? Now the thing drifted from bad to worse. But God sent two men, Jones and Waggoner to cure the thing. And you say, "Wait a minute, Jones and Waggoner preached justification by faith," That's what you've been taught, but they had a whole lot more to say than that, friends. And you say, "What authority do you have for that?" Well, I think that on occasion the General Conference men are wise and learned and scholarly men so I'm going to quote from the General Conference and a pamphlet issued in 1963 by the literature defense committee in Washington DC, who were supposed to be the intellectuals. This was printed to meet Elder Andreasen and his letters to the churches; Elders Wieland and Short and their 1888 reexamined, and a fellow by the name of Robert Brimsmead, who had read this literature and was agitating it. It's a fascinating little piece of paper. Some of you people here have copies of it because you made it.
I'm going to turn now to page 47, and I'm going to read just a portion of a paragraph that is pertinent to what I just said. "Those who are trying to resurrect the controversies of A.T. Jones with the denomination are caught on the horns of a dilemma. They can hardly disagree with him on organization, which he opposed in quite immoderate language, if they accept his theology." Do you get the picture?
"Those who are trying to resurrect the controversies of A.T. Jones with the denomination are caught on the horns of a dilemma. They can hardly disagree with him on organization, which he opposed in quite immoderate language, if they accept his theology." Now this was written to Wieland and Short because Wieland and Short had tried to do this very thing. They have tried to accept his theology and reject his ideas on organization. I've talked to Wieland personally on it. I've shown him this quotation. He has a problem. And the brethren said they are in a dilemma. He's still in that dilemma, friends.
So the 1888 message was sent to cure what they hadn't cured in 1863, because we read that Christ was still outside in '68; what Butler had failed to cure with his complete up and down reorganization, God attempted to cure, friends, with the message of 1888, which had to do with 'repent and get the eyesalve and white raiment and the gold and get out of the Laodicean condition'. I am going to say something in favor of Butler, Butler was nobody's fool and had I been General Conference at that time, I probably would have ended up doing the same thing Butler did and that was: Butler had a bunch of Laodiceans on his hands, who were neglecting duty as it says in volume 2, and he says, "We got to make this church look alive and look respectable so let's set up an up and down organization, and let's crack the whip." And that's what James White was talking about when he said organization was not designed to be a scourge, to compel obedience. So Butlers says, "I'm going to have a church that looks alive and is doing something." So he set up this up and down organization, he cracked the whip! And the people snapped to, friends, and sister White in volume 4 says that the presses were humming and the busy activity; she said, however, she feared was only rocking Laodicea more soundly and contentedly asleep. [Ellen White accused Butler of “Kingly rule or ruin tactics”]
But Butler got a moving, going concern going; he had a business running. He was a good businessman, friends, and he had a denomination that was the admiration of other denominations under his reorganization but the sad thing was, it was still Laodicea! And to this day friends, as long as we are Laodicea, we must if we're going to have any semblance of activity in Laodicea we have to have Butler's principles and we can't operate on Bible principles because they're not for Laodiceans, they're for people who are out of the Laodicean condition. This is why the 1888 message had to do with organization. Had they accepted the preaching of A.T. Jones and Waggoner in 1888 the church would have gotten out of the Laodicean condition; that's what was the purpose of it.
Now you cannot put new wine in old bottles. And people out of the Laodicean condition will burst Butler's concepts of organization, because they're being led by Jesus, not Butler and they don't need a whip to be cracked. They're getting their orders on their knees in prayer and in Bible study and not from a Conference committee. A minister who gets out of the Laodicean condition doesn't run down to the conference to find out what he is supposed to do and when he gets a bunch of directives, he throws them in the waste paper basket because he got his that morning on his knees in prayer.
So Butler's teaching and A.T. Jones' teaching were at absolute collision course. And who do we find was the terrible bad guy that we blame the rejection of the 1888 message on? Butler! He was General Conference president and he opposed it friends, bitterly. He fought it! So did all the rest of the men in power at that time except one or two. About the only man I can find that Sister White says accepted it, and you'll be surprised at this, was Dr. Kellogg, and she says he accepted it at the Minneapolis General Conference in 1888. And he backed and befriended Jones and Waggoner while all the rest of the men attacked them and tore then to shreds. Later on this proved a snare to these brethren.
All right, the General Conference agrees, friends, but I want a higher authority than that, don't you? So how about inspiration? Going to Testimonies to ministers page 363, Let's see what it says was the reason that the 1888 message of Christ our righteousness or the righteousness of Christ by faith, whatever you want to call it, was rejected, "the righteousness of Christ by faith has been ignored by some for it is contrary to their spirit and their whole life experience. Rule, Rule has been their course of action." That's inspiration, friends, why did the brethren reject the message? Because they saw that if they got Laodicea out of the Laodicean condition, this power structure that was erected in 1873 would crumble! And their spirit was Rule, Rule!
Ever hear that in any of these so-called 1888 preachers? No, friends, they won't touch it; I've pled with them, I've talked to them, I've tried to and they won't touch it. Because to say what I'm saying today, if you are on the denominational payroll is to have it stopped, that's all. Because what I'm saying today friends, is there is a problem that can be solved in only one way and that is get out of the Laodicean condition. No Other way!
I would recommend that you read the entire last part, well read the whole book but especially the last part, this part here is on the problem I'm talking about today and gives the solution—Testimonies to Ministers. This chapter happens to be, "Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods". Why was the message of 1888 given? Don't take my word for it- again inspiration, page 91 bottom of the page, "The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones, this message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification by faith through the surety, it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ which is manifest in obedience to all commandments."
Now friends, these people that are supposedly preaching the 1888 message that say you cannot keep the law of God are liars and deceivers and they are not preaching the message of the righteousness of Christ which is manifested in obedience to all the commandments. That's what it does for you when you accept it. The message that is being proclaimed in our churches today as righteousness by faith and as the 1888 message is saying to the people you can't stop sinning. I've heard it. This message says if you accept it, you obey.
Why was it needed? "Many had lost sight of Jesus." That's why the message was sent, friends, the organization had attempted and stepped in to carry on the work which Christ could not because he was outside the church. I read it to you right straight from inspiration.
All right, the problem of 1888, friends, they rejected it. Sister White went around the country backing Jones and Waggoner to the various camp meetings; the brethren didn't like that very well. They got a plan together and they said, "Let's get rid of" -- and I'm not even going to say the words they called her, so they voted to send Sister White to Australia. And I have said for years that God didn't send her down there and the brethren say, "You don't know what you are talking about. God sent her down there" And then last year in the devotional, I think it is Feb. 22 they published the letter from Sister White sent from Australia in which she said, "I had not one ray of light that I should go to Australia. The brethren sent me down here and I wonder if I did wrong."
Now they sent her to Australia, friends to get her out of their hair over the 1888 message. All right, I think it was part of God's plan, because with her gone, they just kind of shunted Jones and Waggoner; they tried to keep Jones busy at other things and made him religious liberty secretary of the General Conference, and Waggoner they tried to shunt him off some other place and got these men busy, they thought, doing something else and what happened to the church? Would you like to know?
Well in 1896 they wrote to Ellen G. White and they wanted her to come back from Australia to the General Conference the next year. Now they had written to her and asked her to come back over to help them because the thing had gotten so bad, friends. I'll tell you how bad it was. The church had broken up into three factions. Jones and Vandervere labeled them (1) The General Conference faction, (2) the Educational Reform faction, (I think the better name for that would be the Spirit of Prophecy faction), and (3) the Kellogg faction. And it was about to fall apart and these General Conference men even with their up and down regulation cracking the whip, had lost control.
So now they're pleading for the prophet, like Saul you know? Remember? He had a crisis, Samuel wasn't there so he sends for Samuel; "Samuel I need you." Now the General Conference had a crisis. Now they sent the prophet away, now they want the prophet to come back and back them. Let's read what the prophet wrote:
"Oh that I could have the joyful news that the will and minds of those in Battle Creek who have stood professedly as the leaders were emancipated from Satan's teachings and slavery."
What?! Who's teachings? Who's Satan? Is he the good guy or the bad one? The worse one!
Page 396 Testimonies to Ministers, And then she says if she could have the news that they were emancipated from Satan's teachings and slavery "I would be willing to cross the broad Pacific to see your faces once more." Now you don't really get the full impact of that until you realize that Sister White was terribly sea-sick on boats -- practically from the time she stepped foot on them until she got off. But she was willing to endure that and it wasn't a short trip then. It took weeks--almost a month. "But I am not anxious to see you with feeble perceptions and clouded minds because you have chosen darkness rather than light." Addressed to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in 1896.
Would you like to have A.G. Daniels' summery of this same time period in the Seventh-day Adventist church? This little pamphlet here published by the General Conference, Washington DC 1906- Here's the comment made by Elder A.G. Daniels on this General Conference that they wanted Sister White to come back to- and here's what it says: "During the session of the General Conference, however, testimonies were read showing that wrong principles of dealing had permeated the entire cause."
What?! (NOTE- a few words missing on tape)…Sister White came across and met with the brethren. Now things had gotten so bad that they had thrown these culprits out. That's more than we have done! And they'd put a new batch of men in the General Conference and Sister White was now willing to come back and meet with them.
And in 1901 they reorganized again; this is the third organization of the Adventist church. So let's read. The author of the reorganization this time was A.T. Jones, not James White, so not quite a year after 1901 General Conference we have a brief report, and I'm glad for something brief by A.T. Jones, as he was accustomed to writing 800 paged books. And he says, in Review and Herald, May 6, 1902:
"Reorganization has begun. It is going on and we are in it. But what really is it? In what does this reorganization consist? Let us study it. This reorganization began in the General Conference a year ago. When the General Conference pushed back to the Union conferences all that was possible of the work that was formerly done by the General Conference, but it does not stop there; that is only the first step towards reorganization for the Union Conferences must as truly push back to the State Conferences all that can possibly be done by the State Conferences; and it does not stop there; the State Conferences must push back to the churches all that can possibly be done by the churches and it does not stop there; the churches must push back to each individual all that can possibly be done by each individual, but it does not stop there; here each individual must push back to God all that can be done by God."
Now here is the upside down thing; under Butler's system it was 'God' and G.I. Butler and the General Conference and then the Union and then the local conference and then the local church and the layman was bottom man on the rung and he got his orders from 'God' through all of the other people.
Under A.T. Jones' concept, the Bible idea of organization, friends, God is up here and the layman is next, and then the church and then the conference and then the Union, and the General Conference is at the other end. This is why when the apostle Paul taught the gospel under the Roman Empire which was run under the devil's program, they said, " These that have turned the world upside down have come hither also." And I like the remark I heard back in Arkansas: 'Really Paul wasn't turning the world upside down, he was righting it and turning it back right side up.'
Now that's what was attempted in the reorganization of 1901. Now Jones had one word to summarize his philosophy of organization, it's found in the next paragraph. Briefly this sketches the course, which reorganization takes and discovers the point at which it culminates and the principle of reorganization is seen to be the principle of self-government (But under whom?) Christ! The Layman and God together and the organization helping the layman and God do the work he is supposed to do " That's why the organization was created friends.
Now is Jones right in this? After all, Sister White says he had a way of overstating things. Again, this pamphlet. Is this exactly what happened in 1902? Now this is a very interesting pamphlet to read because it discusses the 'No General Conference president idea and just about everything else that was being discussed at the time. Chapter entitled, 'Reorganization' now mind you this was published by the General Conference, 1906. Jones had charged that they had gone back in 1903, on the 1901 plans. Now here's Daniel's answer to saying that he didn't because he was the General Conference president. After going through 6 points, they come to a summary, and here's the summary- now I want you to listen very carefully, "So that at this time the General Conference does not own or manage a single institution in all the world." So what was it in 1901? They took away from the General Conference the management of everything except themselves.
Note: Ellen White, as part of the minority committee in 1901, said that there should not be a general conference president, but rather a committee of 25 men. End note by rwb.
Next Paragraph, "It is very doubtful whether any delegate at the 1901 General Conference had any true conception at the time of the marvelous changes that were to follow the simple steps"- What kind of steps? The ones James White called for:
"Simple steps taken in harmony with the counsel given, these changes have given new life and strength to our organized work in all lands. We have proved that the distribution of administrative responsibility and the transfer of ownership and management of institutions from the General to the Union and local Conferences does not mean disorganization. We have proved that all these changes do not cut ourselves apart from one another and make us separate independent atoms. On the contrary, they unify and bind together."
James White was right the whole time wasn't he? "This is the testimony born by scores of men bearing official responsibility in all parts of our great world field. According to these facts, all of which can be fully confirmed by official documents the General Conference has been steadily and resolutely working away from a centralized order of things."
Decentralization was the reform of the time.
"Into an administrative policy that is as wide as the world, one that establishes local ownership and control of institutional properties and full administrative responsibilities in all departments of the work." Now friends, that's 1901, Jones and the brethren agree- decentralization, Local control and ownership. Well I want to tell you friends; you don't even own the church you meet in. They proved that in the courts and kicked the people of Burbank out. That very thing is contrary to the 1901 reorganization [proposed by Ellen White and the minority committed].
Just before I started in the ministry, and when I was a child, all churches were held by the conference in trust, and they were still owned by the congregation. All right- what happened? 1903 General Conference came along, Jones yelled his head off. I've got the debate. There was a debate, friends, there was a minority report on organization. The men who signed it are Jones, Waggoner, Willie White, Ellen G. White, Haskell, Magan, Spalding, these men.
The men on the other side were Loughborough, A.G. Daniels and you list the rest of them. They turned down the minority report that A.T. Jones, Waggoner, Ellen G. White, etc. Now Willie White, actually was a fence straddler, he appeared to be supporting his mother while he was actually supporting Daniels too.
Now the thing happened. Would you like to know the divine inspired comment on the 1903 General Conference? Now Jones says they went back and this whole pamphlet says they didn't. What does God say? We got a difference of opinion here. General Conference says "No we did not go back on the 1901", this is 1906, incidentally. A.T. Jones says they did, so let's see what God says. Volume 8, chapter date April 21, 1903. A minority report was rejected on April 10. Eleven days after the rejection by the General Conference of A.T. Jones' concepts of organization, here is what Ellen G White was shown in vision and told in vision.
I'm not going to read the introduction excepting the first part that says, "Our position in the world is not what it should be." Pg. 247 now I'm skipping to 249,now she's hitting the problem. "One who sees beneath the surface who reads the hearts of all men says of those who have had great light, "They are not afflicted and astonished because of their moral and spiritual condition." Yea, they have chosen their own ways,"
Note: The General Conference never did implement the counsel of the minority committee which included Ellen G. White. The church still has a General Conference president. It still uses kingly rule or ruin tactics. It still operates on a hierarchical structure much like the Roman Catholic church and has centralized all power into the hands of the General Conference. This is not the organization that God intended, so when folk defend the organization as it is today, they defend a system devised by Satan.
Change Leaders: "Satan has COME IN with his specious temptations, and has led the professed followers of Christ away from the [PILOT] Leader (Christ), classing them with the foolish virgins." Testimonies to Ministers, p. 130.
End note by rwb.
What had they done, the General Conference? Chosen their own ways. "-and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before Mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not." "God shall send them strong delusion,"
That's the Adventist church leadership after 1903! "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie," because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved," "but had pleasure in unrighteousness." Isaiah 66:3, 4; 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 10, 12."
Now she gets down to the nitty-gritty-
"The heavenly Teacher inquired: (and here is where Ellen G. White's words stop--from this point on it is quotes) "What stronger delusion can beguile the mind than the pretense that you are building on the right foundation and that God accepts your works, when in reality you are working out many things according to worldly policy and are sinning against Jehovah? Oh, it is a great deception, a fascinating delusion, that takes possession of minds when men who have once known the truth, mistake the form of godliness for the spirit and power thereof; when they suppose that they are rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, while in reality they are in need of everything."
And here comes a change in God's dealing with the Seventh-day Adventist church friends, it's announced here in this book.
"God has not changed toward His faithful servants who are keeping their garments spotless." Now I hear a lot about 'corporate responsibility.' Corporate responsibility ended with this vision! And God changed from operating through the corporation, the body, the leadership, the organization, the church as a whole, toward which He had changed, because they had chosen wrong, and then she announces, " God has not changed toward His faithful servants who are keeping their garments spotless." And then she describes the rest as those who are crying "Peace and safety," and glossing over what was wrong with the church.
Note: Bauer is expressing a different concept of corporate responsibility. He is saying that we are no longer corporately responsible to an apostate organization which God no longer operates through. That is true. But we are corporately responsible for the sins of the organization that has removed God and supplanted Satan if we remain supporting members of that Synagogue of Satan, just as we would be corporate responsible for Babylon’s sins if we remained a member of any other church in her brothel, and that is one of the reasons we have to separate from such churches when we learn the truth of their apostasy. End note by rwb.
The next year, and from that time to her death, friends, Sister White, advocated self-supporting institutions, independent of the denomination, so as to never to be controlled by the General Conference or Union conference to finish the work.
…Was establishing a true education program under the denomination and she sent him down to start Madison College. Are you getting the picture, Friends of what happened in 1903? A change. I haven't finished reading yet- we will skip the rest of that paragraph.
Note: Madison College was established by E.A. Sutherland and Percy Magan at the direction of Ellen G. White. End note by rwb.
" God has not changed toward His faithful servants who are keeping their garments spotless." The ones that were unfaithful, God had changed towards, friends. He was sending them strong delusion. Not the faithful ones. The ones who started the very next year and started Madison College, God had not changed towards them. I knew some of these men personally, friends, they were saints. I wish I were half as good as they were.
Now we get back to the instructor, the words of Jesus in assessing the church after 1903.
"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."
Friends we are living in the day when God is doing that, and you are now going to see the Davenport corruption and the corruption of many of our leaders who may end up in jail. Was this prophesied? And here we are. Stripping off the garments of so-called righteousness.
"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 Father's house is made a house of merchandise,"
And I'll tell you how bad it got. In the 1933 General Conference they passed a resolution that said because of the pressure to raise goals and money, parents are refusing to allow their children to be baptized because it would put an unbearable financial burden upon the family. Therefore we resolve that such promotions stop. Now if it wasn't going on, why did the General Conference in session vote that it stop?
"My Father's house is made a house of merchandise, a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed!" I lived all my life, friends in a church whence the divine presence had departed, it was Laodicea and Christ was outside trying to get back in. He's still trying to get back in friends.
Note by Ron: Christ is still trying to reach the sincere in the church, but that church has committed unpardonable sin via ecumenical conspiracy/confederacy with Babylon’s councils and local Ministerial Associations. It is at that point of apostasy that God instructs not to pray for His people, Jeremiah 11:9-15 and Isaiah 8:9-12, wherein the only option is “broken in pieces.” End note by rwb.
Do you know what's keeping Him out? You! Not the leadership. The leadership are the men that you choose. I was challenged on that and that's not one hundred percent true, but they're the men that you should choose, but because you are derelict in your responsibilities you're letting the organization choose them.
There is a yet sadder picture. 1905 Sister White wrote the quotation that our brother referred to over here. She had made a prediction. [In 1901] We had the 1901 principles introduced. [In] 1903 they started down the wrong road and she then advocated self-supporting institutions. Who did the dirty work? Going again to Series B, #2 pg 54.
"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."
Now it's deceptive to read it from this book here because the date on this one is 1904. It's repeated again in Series B #7 which is 1905 but would you like to know when it was first printed? 1903. (Editor's Note: You can see that in Battle Creek Letters, pg. 79, "Decided Action to be Taken Now" St. Helena, CA, October, 1903)
Now she says here that the devil was going to try to reorganize the church after 1901, she wrote of it in 1903 and I believe the date is ahead of the 1903 General Conference. The devil got into that conference, he started the process, a process, not a major reorganization. The Butler reorganization was a one act, one vote thing. The 1901 reorganization was a one act, one vote thing. The next reorganization sister White was shown in vision would be a process, not a one act, one vote but a little change in the wording here, and the next session a little change here; And another change and another change. [Referring to the statement of 1 SM 204-205]. And the thing moved slowly at first but the minute they started down that wrong road the pronouncement was made, "They have chosen their own ways." And the statement was made, "A place whence the Divine Presence has departed." [And the words: “God being removed…” 1SM 205].
The process of re-organization has gone on and on and on. I have in my file at home, very carefully traced as much as possible of the reorganization. Now at the time this was written and at the time this re-organization- which is it now? Fourth reorganization of the Adventist church began. We had no General Conference working policy, we had no church manual, we had no centralized control of anything in the entire denomination.
And under A.G. Daniels, who in the 1903 General Conference said that he put no stock in constitution and by-laws that the problem was in the hearts of men, and G.I. Butler now had his eyes open and took a stand on the fence but mostly on the right side. And G.I. Butler made a speech and he said that the problem is not in organization but it is in the minds of men who are determined to go contrary to the Spirit of Prophecy regardless of what it says.
Now continuing this sad story, friends, this bring us down to today. Daniels didn't allow any changes in the organization, but Daniels cracked the whip harder than any president we have had before or after. He used this book, which was written in 1902 and said that he was the right man for the right job. That was when they put him in as a member of the General Conference committee, not as General Conference president. And he was one of the leaders on the General Conference committee but not… but then he was elected chairman but not General Conference president, there wasn't even any such job. It says in here he was the right man in the right place.
Note by Ron: Daniels was made a member of the General Conference Committee of 25 in 1901, but in 1902 he was elected president in defiance of Ellen White’s counsel that there should be no president. End note by rwb.
In 1902 he got himself voted in as General Conference president and in 1903 he made the wrong choice and was on the wrong side and rejected the minority report [which included Ellen White’s counsel] on organization. The whole thing is, friends, Daniels ruled with a rod of iron without making hardly any changes actually, officially in the organization.
I have the entire 1922 report of the General Conference committee in my file at home. That was the first General Conference after my father went into denominational work. I don't think I ever heard my father say one good thing about A.G. Daniels. But my father was a great admirer of A.T. Jones. He collected his books and that's where I got mine. So they put Daniels out in 1922 and it's a sad, dark story in the Seventh-day Adventist church. Newspaper headlines hit the street in San Francisco saying, "A.G. Daniels, and W.A. Spicer in contention for control of the Seventh-day Adventist church." I have Daniels speech on it and he accused the brethren who didn't vote for him of dirty politics.
And it was evidently so dirty and so wide spread that at that General Conference they passed a resolution condemning dirty politics, and again if the brethren say that there weren't any, then why did the General Conference in session vote a resolution against something that did not exist?!
The next year friends, the brethren again, God leading them, attempted to start to rectify things so they published this marvelous book entitled Testimonies to Ministers which is a republication of certain pertinent portions of Series A and B special testimonies. And the brethren for reform, printed this book with its strong statements on organization and centralization and the desire to rule or ruin and they were trying to then, again, reorganize the Seventh-day Adventist church. It was published the year I was born, so if you want to look that up you can tell how old I am.
Next year when Daniels found this out and looked at this book it made him look pretty sad, because friends, the entire time that A.G. Daniels was president, the whole twenty years, his main aim was to squelch A.T. Jones and what he called 'Jonesites'. And hardly no preaching of the 1888 message went on during this entire period. Anybody that advocated Jones' ideas on reorganization lost their job. It was from one of these Jonesite preachers that I got a lot of my material including this pamphlet here because he passed away up in Washington State and his children had left the church and when they went through his things they called me up and said would you like to have them? Daniels then, as ministerial secretary of the General Conference, got the ministerial department to authorize him to make a collection and compilation, the action says, on Sister White's statements on justification by faith, which he promptly went to work on, and he must have started right after Testimonies to Ministers, because he had it done and ready to go to press. But when the book came out from press, it was called 'Christ Our Righteousness'. And Daniel's view of Christ our Righteousness, which has nothing to do with reorganization or the practical application of the principles of 1888 has been sold to the church and consequently Daniels then used his position as ministerial secretary of the General Conference and the men with him, Meade McGuire etc. to go across the entire denomination preaching Daniels version of the 1888 message and that is what you are hearing today.
Testimonies to Ministers did not solve the problem because Daniels had the pulpit and he had some very good speakers. I used to listen to Meade McGuire and these men preach and they sold this new view so there was no reorganization as the result of the publication of these principles again in Testimonies to Ministers. But the church was in a steady slide to apostasy. Elder McElhany was a very sincere man. He was very concerned about the condition of backsliding in the church. And McElhany picked up J.N. Andrews' idea that a church manual would serve to unify and stop the apostasy.
He finally got it voted at the General Conference in 1930 to get a church manual out. Well committees do nothing! I found when I served on them, people do things and since it was J.L. McElhany's burden to write a church manual, he wrote the first one. And it was published in 1932. In the mean time they decided that they needed to specify and try to cure the problems of the church by rules and regulations. I found a very interesting thing voted in the General Conference of 1924, I can't quote it verbatim, but I have one of these copies you make of the document at home. And it says, "Because our institutions and our leaders and conferences have steadily piled up debts, contrary to the instruction in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy WE therefore resolve…"
Now I want you to think about that, what higher authority is there than the Bible? How about the Spirit of Prophecy? Now the leadership, in their action in 1924 said that the leadership were not paying any attention to this or this, so now they’re going to pass their own rules on debt regulation and they passed nine rules. Somehow or other the brethren found that they couldn't enforce the Bible, or the Spirit of Prophecy, but when they, as General Conference men, voted nine rules for debt control, they didn't find any problem enforcing it. And they got the denomination pretty much out of debt.
From that time on friends, the brethren have been on a program of curing the problems of the church by voting themselves more authority and passing more rules. In 26 they published the first General Conference working policy constitution and by-laws, which contained 83 pages. The current one contains well over 500 pages of man-made rules to solve the problems of the church because- what did they say in 1924? They were not following the rules of the Bible or the Spirit of Prophecy.
We have a thousand pages of educational rules to govern our churches last time I counted them, [within] our church school system from Andrews University [on] down. There are rules, rules, rules; I used to have a lot of fun on committees because I had the copy and I read them and nobody can remember 500 or 300 pages of rules. In 1970 I wrote a paper on this and I counted up the number of pages in the General Conference constitution by-laws, working policy and the church manual and they added up to 666. I don't think it's significant but maybe it is. Because 666 is the mark of man, friends. Who wrote those things? Men, of course there's not 666 now, maybe pretty soon we'll have 666 pages of the constitution by-laws and working policy.
Well friends we have been multiplying rules and regulations. I went to the last General Conference last year almost the entire session was devoted to rewriting the church manual and redrawing and redoing the rules and regulations collected by men to run the Adventist church. I have a whole folder at home and I'm sorry I forgot to bring it, of material I've collected on centralization. The brethren have become so bold, friends that in the Pacific Union recorder a year or two ago printed a center page spread and it says 'Centralization'. What were the principles of 1901? Decentralization!
And we have been in the last ten years in such a plunge friends, into centralization of authority in this denomination that you who are still Seventh-day Adventists do not even belong to the same church that you did ten years ago. It has very little resemblance to the same church as organization goes. They have consolidated control of our hospitals so that one man is chairman of the board of all the hospitals in every union. They are now planning to put one man as chairman of the boards of all the hospitals in the entire United States and Canada. They have centralized under General Conference control all the auditing of the books. They needed to or something needed to be done in the light of Davenport. That man got that change made.
Note by Ron: Here are some Google results on the Davenport scandal:
14 Nov 2003 – I pointed out to them that the SDA Church has a long history of misusing church funds. Such as the Davenport scandal, misuse of ADRA money, ...
2 Jul 2009 – Chapter 2 Davenport and the Divines ... monitor the developing financial corruption of the Seventh-day Adventist Church's Davenport Scandal. ...
Bible Truth Versus SDA Truth - Dangers of Seventh-day Adventism. ... when caught in the financial corruption of the Davenport scandal was to engage in deceit. ...
Dr. Davenport's estranged wife happened to attend the SDA Church Dr. Rea was ... lost by Adventist leaders in the Davenport Scandal came to the Church in the ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
2 Aug 1982 – The 3.8 million-member Seventh-day Adventist Church is normally the most ... of fellow Adventist Donald Davenport, a Los Angeles developer. ... On top of this, the church has been hit by a second scandal: the charge that the ...
End note by rwb.
They have centralized under the board of higher education control of our colleges and universities under one board. And when the man who was executive secretary in other words the boss of that board, General Conference president's chairman, wrote up his blueprint or his master plan for Seventh-day Adventist higher education in the denomination, Elder Robertson who was down at La Sierra at the time, a personal friend of mine, pastor of the district adjacent to mine, went through it and he has his PhD and his thesis was on existentialism or situation ethics and he looked at this master plan, Fred Harder was his name, and he says, "I've read all of this somewhere before." So he took the master plan down and he opened up the books, which he had used to write his PhD on existentialism and he wrote the pages on which Fred Harder had copied his master plan for Seventh-day Adventist education in the thing. He took it to Elder Blacker of the Union conference president, Elder Blacker took it to the General Conference committee that was to vote to confirm Fred Harder in as executive secretary of the board of higher education and I Got this straight from Elder Blacker and Blacker said he went over to Pierson before the committee opened and he said, I have something that I think you and I should talk over before we open business and Pierson said, "I'm tired of fooling around about this let's go straight ahead."
So they brought the matter of Harder's appointment up and Blacker said, "Well, I tried to present this to Elder Pierson before but now I have to present it to the whole committee" so he read to the entire General Conference committee Dr, Robertson's analysis that the entire master plan by Fred Harder was existentialist. And the General Conference committee tabled it. Elder Pierson hopped a plane to come out and see Dr. Robertson at La Sierra and then go to PUC because each college had been sent a copy of this for their criticism, and I have a copy of the PUC answer, and I tell you those men did a beautiful job of showing that Harder's plan was absolutely contrary to the Master plan in the Spirit of Prophecy. And I have this in my file. But do you know what happened? Elder Pierson went back to the General Conference committee and they put Harder in, and he just retired last year. But the men he trained are still there.
Now friends, this whole system we're under now is of which reorganization? First one 1863 that's number 1 organization, next one 1873 that's the second one, next on is 1901 that's the third one, next one is 1903 in which they began a process of reorganization which is still going on, which is organization number 4. And when they tell you that the organization we're under now is founded by James White, they are saying what they think is the truth because you know something today that is not known by the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist church, that I have just given to you unless they have listened to the tapes I just made last month. They'll listen to them eventually. But this is something that you know that hardly any Adventists know. And we now find ourselves in the middle of what was described in 1903, sister White warned them, "we can not now enter into a new organization for this would mean apostasy from the truth." She was not talking about the reformed Adventists or the Shepherd's Rod; they weren't in existence. She was warning the brethren not to depart from the 1901 organization and enter in to a new organization. Now friends we have entered in for the fourth time into an apostate organization, which Sister White said if we did it, it would mean apostasy from the truth. We're going full steam ahead. I went to some of the leaders in 1975 because in 1975 they sent out a Review and Herald that said the church moves ahead in reorganization. The entire article describing the reorganization plan that the 1975 General Conference is centralization. One of the main things was that they were going to combine the Northern union with the central union. They did it at the last General Conference. There was enough opposition that it took them five years, but it was accomplished at the last General Conference. Not only that, friends, they combined and recombined conferences. The program of the church today is centralize, centralize, and move you people further and further away from having any voice in the denomination. There is no longer any Northern or Central Union, they have combined them into one union conference. They have combined three or four of the conferences up there, put them together. I know because my nephew was the ministerial secretary of the Minnesota conference and my brother in law is a pastor up there and kept me posted on the entire thing and I have the material in my files.
They have changed the name of the Pacific Union. Drive by the Union office in Thousand Oaks and you will see the new sign, it says South-Western Regional Offices of the Seventh-day Adventist church. The term regional is a term used by the one world government people. They are setting up regional governments and their plan is to do away with state governments in the United States if they can, and set up regional governments over the states. Don't ask me why they are doing things. It's incomprehensible sometimes, to me at least.
Now here we are, we are marching steadfastly down the road towards Catholicism. The brethren in court in San Jose swore under oath to tell the truth and the whole truth that the Adventist church is a hierarchy. They also swore that their antipathy and their aversion and animosity to Roman Catholicism has been relegated to the trash heap. It's all on record in the court. Under oath, presented as testimony. But you know the chickens always come home to roost. Now that the Davenport scandal has hit them, because they are a hierarchy, the General Conference may be sued for any misdeed done by any employee anywhere. Had they left it under the old organization they could not. And they presently have a 4 million dollar lawsuit on their hands, which they could have avoided if they had not sworn they were a hierarchy in court in San Jose [That would be the Federal Court in San Francisco. I have a copy of the entire document. rwb]. I know how broke they are friends. I know exactly how broke they are! They're having a very hard time in some conferences to meet the payroll. I'll give you quotes that was told to me by a man on the conference committee in Nevada-Utah, who is a business man and I was talking to him one day and he said:
"Brother Bauer, now I understand what you've been protesting over. I've been on the Conference committee and they lose ten thousand here and they loose five thousand over there and six thousand elsewhere- I was aghast! No business can operate losing money that way! And I turned to the conference president and said: 'What are you going to do about these losses?' He says,' we don't worry about that; we just make another appeal for evangelism and mission projects. The people are generous—they give."
You're going to be asked to cover them out of your pockets. They're not going to tell you what for probably, although this time they might be honest enough since you know. How many of you are going to give them support to cover their loses? I'm not.
This is the sad tale, the inspired record of the Adventist church. Now we have some problems that you're going to run into. What are you going to do about it? Now the question really is, what can you do about it? How many of you think that you have as much influence in the Adventist church as James White? Now James White tried from 1874 until 1881 to change the system. Did he succeed? No.
Maybe if you had as much influence as Ellen White had you could have changed it? Ellen White tried to change it until she died friends. Did she change it? No. So how many of you think you can change it? I tried. I changed it in one conference until the General Conference sent the General Conference secretary out to order that it all be changed back. Elder R.R. Beitz liked what was done in the Nevada conference and set up a committee friends, to study it and draw up a sample constitution to be adopted by all the conferences in the Pacific Union. He also advocated certain changes in the North American Division. When the brethren heard it they suddenly promoted him to be Vice President of the General Conference where he could do nothing about it. Then they started after me until I said I can't work for you any more. So don't try to change it- it is too far gone.
Note by Ron: Ellen White said “nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement, the new organization, to wit:
"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 [NEW] 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?" E.G. White, Selected Messages, Vol. 1, 204-205.
End note by rwb.
Now what did Sister White say? At the end of this process of reorganization, what is going to happen? " Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure." The organization friends, stands not a ghost of a chance of going through to the second coming of Christ.
But the church founded in 1844, on the solid immovable platform, of which not one word is changed or denied and you have no authority to change or deny one word, is going through to the kingdom. And this corrupt, vile organization that has been reorganized four times, is in the way, just as it was in the way in 1888.
What can you do? It frightens a lot of people to think they can't go to the conference and get advice and counsel and direction. I'm not going to read it to you, but friends, in this book it tells you exactly what to do. It says go to Jesus. Get your Bible out, claim the promises of God. Now you may say, when the thing is gone, who am I going to turn to? Now let's go back to the Bible and I want to go to Isaiah 58 again, the whole chapter must be repeated over and over and over again. I've just been talking about the first verse so far. If you will do what you're supposed to and go to Jesus and go to your Bibles and break every yoke as I asked you to last night, here's what's going to happen. "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning and thy health shall spring forth speedily and thy righteousness shall go before thee and the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward."
Why friends, it's a bright day! When that organization collapses then this is going to happen. When we throw the yoke off of our neck then this is our experience. I'm not discouraged, are you? I'm not even upset. I've done my sighing and crying about the abominations done in the church for about 30 years. I'm through. I'm through sighing and crying. The day now is for the expose. The day now friends is to throw off the yoke. The day now is to get this experience, "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning and thy health shall spring forth speedily and thy righteousness shall go before thee and the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward. Thou shalt call and -who will answer? The General Conference president? The local president? The pastor? Me? No, friends, you'll call and the Lord shalt answer,- thou shalt cry and He shall say here I am. If thou wilt take away from the midst of thee the yoke" What do we have to get out of the midst of us? What do we have to throw off our neck to have this experience, friends? The Yoke of organization. Of an apostate organization.
Ron’s note: I don’t agree with stopping the sighing and crying for our very sealing is determinant upon that condition of Ezekiel 9. We have to continually warn others who have not heard of the abominations. End note.
You believe your Bible? You believe your Spirit of Prophecy? You believe History? My friends, until we do what I've been presenting to you, we're either going to die in our sins. Until some people do what this chapter calls for, the Lord will never come. Your grandchildren will still be under some galling institution, apostate organization. Until you act- now you can't do it for any one else and don't try to save the organization. The storm and tempest has started and you can't stop them they are of God. Don't curse Davenport and don't curse Ford, friends, they're instruments in God's hands. In Vol. 5 she calls them Hazaels to be a scourge to God's people.
Continuing- "If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke the putting forth of the finger and speaking vanity if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted." Now that's not talking about the poor beggar on the street friends, the afflicted people are the church members in the Seventh-day Adventist church who have been scourged by the organization to be silent and to act in line and to shut up on the Spirit of Prophecy- the afflicted ones. Satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity. We're just a little group up here aren't we, here at Silver Lake? When you leave here you're going to go back home and maybe you'll be the only person in your local church that knows these things and you're real obscure aren't you? Are There any real important people here, I think there are some extremely important people here, but as far as the church is concerned none of us are very important. As far as the world is concerned they haven't even heard my name hardly.
But friends if we will do what Isaiah 58 says, listen to this, obscure small group up here in the mountains, nobody knows about us. We haven't any clout or political power and I don't think there is any millionaire here so we haven't got much money. But what's going to happen? "Then shall thy light rise in obscurity and thy darkness shall be as the noon day - why the darkest place will be bright as noon- and the Lord shall guide thee--occasionally--is that what it says? Continually Friends, and satisfy thy soul in drought and make fat they bones and thou shalt be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places and thou shalt raise the foundation of many generations and thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach the restorer of the paths to dwell in."
My friends, that's what Seventh-day Adventists were supposed to have been the whole time. But instead the devil has gotten a major victory in the organization, not in the church but in the organization and now we, an obscure group that know these things if we will do what Isaiah 58 says, God says, "Your light's going to spring forth" Obscure, well you won't be any more. God will be with you!
As I have traveled in the last few months from Ohio and back to California and met with people that I've never seen before, I find that the people are ready to listen. For years, friends, I've tried to tell these things to the people and it was like trying to talk to rocks. They couldn't accept it, they couldn't get it through their head, but thanks to Dr. Davenport and the newspapers, people are beginning to think I know what I'm talking about. And there are people everywhere friends, who are getting on fire for God. and they've decided from now on, I'm going to be guided by God continually instead of the conference or the Pastor. I'm going to make this personal relationship. I'm going to have this experience, I'm going to be where I'm supposed to be, friends, and Isaiah is the marvelous book that we are to study. I'd like to read you 2 more texts. This last part is my message to you - the future is bright if we'll do what we're supposed to do. If you don't- it is nothing but darkness!
Let's go to the 30th chapter of Isaiah, verse 21- "Thine ear shall hear a word behind thee saying this is the way walk ye in it when you turn to the right hand or to the left" Friends, you can have God's guidance! You don't need me. I can't do a thing for you except what I just got through doing for you- telling you what's happened so you can go to Jesus and remove your dependence from mankind and from organizations and everything else. Because if you don't they're going to vanish and you can't depend on them anyway. In fact friends, if I read my Spirit of prophecy correctly, because we have put our confidence in the organization this is why God is going to destroy it. In the hope that you will not erect another one to take its place, but go to Jesus. Jesus is the head of every man, how many? Everyone. Man woman and child. Now let's go to the 26th chapter, Now you might say, these are troublous times this is going to be hard on my mind. Well, let's see what it says, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." Not weakness. Friends the day is coming Spirit of prophecy says the weakest of the saints shall be as David willing to do and to dare and the strong shall be as the house of David. Now the house of David means his generals and cabinet. They were his uncles and his brothers.
The glorious days are ahead of the church if we will obey in this crisis and make the right decision and go to God and take Jesus as the head and answer the call of Christ to Laodicea when he is knocking on your heart's door and open the door and say Jesus come in I'm sorry I kept you out so long. And then you'll be able to obtain the eye salve. You'll be able to see clearly; you won't have to worry about what's truth and error, you won't even have to consult somebody because you'll have the eye salve. And you'll get the white raiment, we need it don't we? Every one of us. The robe of Christ's righteousness. And you'll get the gold, what is the gold tried in the fire? Faith and love.
Friends there are glorious days ahead of us. Let's forget bickering and criticizing and condemning and differences of theology and let's every one of us attend to the only business that we can do anything about and that's our own selves and be sure that we are following Christ. Volume 8, pg. 250:
"Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own backsliding shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the fruit of her own doing until she shall abhor herself." That is right now friends. "When she resists the evil and chooses the good. When she seeks God with all humility and reaches her high calling in Christ, standing on the platform of eternal truth-when was that laid down? 1844- and by faith laying hold of the attainments prepared for her, she will be healed. She will appear in her God-given simplicity- that's what James White was advocating - and purity separate from earthly entanglements (the stock market, Davenport's investments and the National Counsel of Churches and the United Nations-… you name it friends… I don't know hardly anything they're not mixed up with…) separate from all earthly entanglements showing that the truth has made her free indeed. Then her members will be indeed the chosen of God, His representatives. The time has come for a thorough reformation to take place, when this reformation begins, the spirit of prayer will actuate every believer- (Not every church member, friends - every believer) and will banish from the church the spirit of discord and strife. Then she says: Our prayer should be- Thy kingdom come! "
That's where we're all going, friends, that's our business down here. Let's get to business!