Dr. Colin Standish's Paper Presented at the 50th Anniversary Conference on Questions on Doctrine

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Dear Reader,

This is Dr. Colin Standish’s presentation at the October, 2007 Conference on Questions on Doctrine. I will make some commentary under some of Dr. Standish’s remarks. The link to the original source is: http://qod.andrews.edu/downloads.html

I added Emphasis in some cases by way of italics emboldenment.

Ron

 

Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine:

The U-turn in Doctrine and Practice

 

Colin D. Standish

 

 

The words of Paul to the Galatian believers could well apply to the Seventh-day Adventist believers of the latter part of the twentieth century:

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6–8)

Ron’s Commentary: Indeed, God’s instruction is to accurse ANYONE who should come with another gospel, which means have nothing to do with, but as much as I agree with the Standish brothers on most issues involving the current new movement SDA church, they are not following the counsel of Paul in Scripture to have nothing to do with the New Movement and they remain in its employ.  It is one thing to quote Scripture and quote another to follow its teachings. End note.

Time alone can determine the magnitude of an historical event. Fifty years have provided sufficient time to permit historians and Bible scholars to evaluate the enormity of the impact of the publication of Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine (QOD)1 upon the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

 

The availability of QOD in Australia in 1957 was met by me with enthusiastic anticipation. 2 Yet I was dismayed and confused as I took precious time from my full-time teaching load and full-time university studies, to read this book.3

 

My perplexity began with the early pages of the book. I believed the authors were guilty of understating the God-given role of Ellen White.4 Yet subsequently I found few who expressed concerns in regard to the QOD authors’ treatment of the role of Ellen White’s ministry.

 

Ron’s Commentary: It is interesting to note that all who agree with the heresies of Questions on Doctrine, still underrate and understate the God-given role of Ellen White. End note.

 

Further reading was encouraging until I read the section addressing the atonement.5 I could hardly believe my eyes when I read what I believed was the wholly unbiblical position expounded by the authorsthat the atonement of Christ was completed at the cross. I was greatly shaken by the fact that this position was published in an authoritative Seventh-day Adventist publication. This was the main concern of M.L. Andreasen,6 though he also challenged the book’s claim that Christ took unfallen human nature.

There goes the Atonement in the Omega of Apostasy—GONE! There goes the Sanctuary in the Omega of Apostasy—Gone!—Just as Ellen White saw such:

 

Sanctuary Gone Atonement Gone -- "In a representation which passed before me, I saw a certain work being done by medical missionary workers. Our ministering brethren were looking on, watching what was being done, but they did not seem to understand. The foundation of our faith, which was established by so much prayer, such earnest searching of the Scriptures, was being taken down, pillar by pillar. Our faith was to have nothing to rest upon--the sanctuary was gone, the atonement was gone." E.G. White, The Upward Look, 152.

 

That is exactly what occurred in Ellen White’s portrayal of the Omega of Apostasy regarding a New Movement which would allow nothing to stand in its way:

 

 "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 [Calvinistic] 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.

 

My final concern arose when I was confronted with Appendix B and the bold heading, “Took Sinless Human Nature.  7 This was Herbert Douglass’ main concern with QOD,8 though he also acknowledged the validity of Andreasen’s protest concerning QOD’s treatment of the atonement.9

 

Ron’s Commentary: If Christ took our sinless human nature, He could not have been our example. This would have proven Satan right that we cannot keep God’s law because of our sinful, fallen nature. The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan would thus have been over and there would be no point in God continuing the experiment in sin to prove Satan wrong. If Christ took man’s sinless nature before the fall, it was game over—what would He be waiting for if not the character perfection of His bride who is making herself ready.

 

Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. End note.

 

General Conference President Reuben Figuhr seems to have dismissed these vital differences  from long-held Seventh-day Adventist beliefs as simple semantics—a defense frequently employed later by the “new theology” proponents of the 1970s and early 1980s.10

 

I searched my mind but could not recall ever hearing or reading at home, at church, at school, or at college the concept that Christ “took sinless human nature.” So unanimous had been the presentations that Christ took upon Himself our fallen human nature that I had accepted it without personal study. That was to change, but not until 1974, when I dialogued with Elder Kenneth Wood and Dr. Herbert Douglass at the Review and Herald office.

 

Ron’s Commentary: After Questions on Doctrines was first printed in 1957, 250,000 copies were mailed to non-SDA pastors and libraries as a testament to what SDA’s believe. Eventually, 450,000 copies were sent out. Ministry magazine was saying flat out that Christ took the nature of Adam before the fall. End note.

 

It was during this dialogue that Elder Wood introduced a new concept to me and my then academic dean, Dr. Jack Blanco. He had asked whether I would come to his office to dialogue concerning the many letters the Review office was receiving from Australians, mainly pastors, hostile to the special righteousness by faith issue of the Review and Herald. His assertion during this dialogue was that the basis of the opposition to the message of character perfection was rooted in their belief that Christ took unfallen human nature. Until that day, I had not linked the two issues together, even though I had not wavered in my belief in the fallen human nature of Christ on the one hand and the power of Christ to enable fallen humans to gain victory over every temptation of Satan on the other hand.

 

The Role of Sister Ellen White in the Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

I was already aware that the prophetic role of Sister White was not fully accepted among Seventh-day Adventists. I heard that many in Western Europe were weak or skeptical regarding the divine origin of Sister White’s writings.11 I had heard of “California Adventists” 12 who likewise were skeptical of the validity of Sister White’s writings. However, early in the pages of QOD I was aroused by what appeared to be a casual comment; its inclusion, however, made no little impact upon me. The sentence, which introduced a quotation by Sister White, simply stated, “Ellen G. White, one of our leading writers, wrote in 1892. . . .”  13 Then followed a Spirit of Prophecy quotation.

 

I wondered, “What were the authors attempting to convey to the readers?” This was a major concern to me. It seemed that the authors portrayed Sister White as occupying no special role in our midst. It was hardly better when the QOD authors wrote, “This has been well expressed by one of our most prominent writers, Ellen G. White.”  14

 

Of the questions posed by the evangelicals to the representatives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, question 9 set forth in QOD directly addressed the role of Sister White:

Do Seventh-day Adventists regard the writings of Ellen G. White as on an equal plane with the writings of the Bible? Do you place her in the prophetic class with such men as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel? Are her interpretations of Bible prophecy regarded as final authority, and is belief in these writings made a test of fellowship in the Seventh-day Adventist Church?  15

Some of the initial answers to these questions by the authors of QOD appeared to be evasive. Below are their short answers:

 

“1. That we do not regard the writings of Ellen G. White as an addition to the sacred canon of Scripture.

“2. That we do not think of them as of universal application, as is the Bible, but particularly for the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

“3. That we do no regard them in the same sense as the Holy Scriptures, which stand alone and unique as the standard by which all other writings must be judged.”  16 

 

Let us evaluate the answers of the authors of QOD. 

 

1.               In their 3-point summary answer, the writers of QOD avoided the part of the first question of the evangelicals by not addressing whether Sister White’s writings were regarded as on an “equal plane” with the writings of the Bible. From their fuller answers, here is a portion of their reply:

We have never considered Ellen G. White to be in the same category as the writers of the canon of Scripture. (QOD, p. 90)

 

While Adventists hold the writings of Ellen G. White in highest esteem, yet these are not the source of our expositions. . . . We as a denomination accept them as inspired counsels from the Lord. But we have never equated them with Scripture as some falsely charge. (Ibid., p. 93).

 

I was amazed at the second answer provided to the evangelicals. How could the authors of QOD assert that Sister White’s writings are not of universal application? Certainly much of the writings of Ellen White have universal application?  17 Certainly some of the Bible writings are not of general universal application.18 The Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy each set forth both individualized counsel with limited application and also transcendent universal truths. Also, this second point in the response of the authors of QOD clearly implied that Sister White’s books have little if any application to those not of our faith. Yes, many books provide special counsel specifically to Seventh-day Adventists leaders and members, yet Sister White wrote many books especially prepared for those not of our faith.19

2.               Seventh-day Adventists certainly believe that the canon of Scripture is closed with the New Testament and the Bible is our foundation of all faith and practice. However, we believe that Sister White was inspired by the same Holy Spirit which inspired the prophets and writers of the Holy Bible, including Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. This question was ignored in the initial summary response. However, here is their later response:

We have never considered Ellen G. White to be in the same category as the writers of the canon of Scripture. However, apart from the chosen writers of the canonical books of Scripture, God used a line of prophets or messengers who lived contemporaneously with the writers of the two Testaments, but whose utterances were never a part of Scripture canon. These prophets or messengers were called of God to give encouragement, counsel, and admonition to the Lord’s ancient people. Among these were such figures as Nathan, Gad, Heman, Asaph, Shemaiah, Azariah, Eliezer, Ahijah, Iddo, and Obed in the Old Testament, and Simeon, John the Baptist, Agabus, and Silas in the New. The line also included women, such as Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah, who were called prophetesses, in ancient times, as well as Anna in the time of Christ, and Philip’s four daughters, “which did prophesy” (Acts 21:9). The messages that came through these prophets, it should be recognized, came from the same God who spoke through those prophets whose writings were included in the Sacred Canon. . . .

 

It is in this latter category of messengers that we consider Ellen G. White to be. . . .

While Seventh-day Adventists recognize that the Scripture canon closed nearly two thousand years ago and that there have been no additions to this compilation of sacred books, yet we believe that the Spirit of God, who inspired the Divine Word known to us as the Bible, has pledged to reveal Himself to the church through the different gifts of the Spirit.

 

Adventists believe that the closing of the Scripture canon did not terminate Heaven’s communication with men through the gifts of the Spirit, but rather that Christ by the ministry of His Spirit guides His people, edifying and strengthening them, and especially so in these last challenging days of human history. (QOD, pp. 90-95)

There is no doubt that the authors of QOD improved upon their earlier statements concerning the role of Sister White. However, she is presented in a category inferior to the major prophets of the Bible. Even John the Baptist’s prophetic role seems marginalized, no doubt because he did not contribute to the canon of Scripture. I believe wisdom dictates that we dare not seek to categorize the greatness of prophets. Let us simply confirm that the undoubted prophetic utterances of Ellen White are inspired by the Holy Spirit and are a great blessing to the church and to the world.

 

The authors of QOD correctly pointed out that all the pillars of our faith are riveted in Holy Scripture. Yet we believe Sister White was given inspired truths which are of universal application for our time. For example, that germs cause cancer,20 that tobacco is a malignant poison,21 that masturbation can cause mental illness,22 that progressive dietary reform should be made toward veganism.23 In each of these health warnings Sister White was far ahead by many decades of scientific medical research, and this counsel has proven to be applicable to all humans worldwide.

 

In other areas she presented broad principles for Seventh-day Adventists, such as the counsel that we should not vote for political parties 24 and that competitive sports are not fit activities for Christians.25 It appears the authors tried to minimize the role of Sister White.

 

4.     The QOD authors also leave much ambiguity in their answer to the third question of the evangelicals. Have we ever made belief in the Spirit of Prophecy a test of fellowship? I have not found any authoritative statement which declares that the acceptance of the Spirit of Prophecy is a test of continued fellowship in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. However, we have made belief in the Spirit of Prophecy a part of our baptismal vows which we affirm before baptism and are accepted into church membership. Indeed, in the 1951 baptismal vows this was so. These were the current vows when QOD was written, and this vow did not change until 1985 when it was ultimately modified at the General Conference session of that year and was presented in the revised Church Manual of 1986 and has remained there to the time of this presentation.26 The 1951 baptismal vow number 8 stated,

Do you accept the doctrine of spiritual gifts and do you believe that the Spirit of Prophecy is one of the identifying marks of the remnant church?

There is a great difference between the terms “the gift of prophecy” and “the Spirit of prophecy,” for we can ignore Ellen White or have no knowledge of her inspired counsels and yet affirm the gift of prophecy.

 

Nowhere in Scripture is God’s remnant identified by the term “the gift of prophecy.” We must never forget that God’s end-time remnant saints are identified as those who “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” which is “the Spirit of Prophecy.” (Revelation 12:17; 19:10.) Neither must we ever forget that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not just another church among the multitude of churches in Christendom. It is God’s remnant church which He has raised up and commissioned to take the everlasting gospel of the three angels’ messages to every creature (Mark 16:15) on the planet prior to the return of our blessed Lord and Savior.

The Completed Atonement

 

In his introduction to Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine: Annotated Edition (QODAE), Dr. George Knight offered a surprising evaluation of the QOD authors’ conclusion concerning the completed atonement. He had correctly evaluated that the QOD authors’ stated position concerning the humanity of Jesus represented “a substantial shift in understanding” from that of the preponderance of Seventh-day Adventists from the church’s beginning,27 who believed that Christ took upon Himself our fallen, sinful human flesh (nature).

 

However I cannot support Knight’s assertion that “. . . the supposed shift of position on the atonement [by the QOD authors as claimed by M.L. Andreasen] was incorrect.” 28 Indeed Andreasen’s assertion was fully consistent with the evidence.

 

Andreasen’s doctrinal position was that which had been taught by Seventh-day Adventists from early times. This position was that the sacrificial phase of the atonement was completed on Calvary by the death and spilt blood of Jesus, but the atonement of Christ would not be completed until after Jesus, as our ministering heavenly High Priest, sprinkled His blood on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. The Bible was the foundation for this conclusion 29 and was uniformly supported by the Spirit of Prophecy.30

 

Ron’s Commentary: "The intercession of Christ in man's behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven. We must by faith enter within the veil, 'whither the forerunner is for us entered.' Hebrews 6:20:" E.G. White, The Great Controversy, 1911 edition, p. 489.

 

Watch this section carefully and prayerfully, because this is where the Atonement and the Sanctuary are GONE, because if you disparage one you automatically disparage the other. End note.

 

I can attest that from my earliest understanding—and without any recalled exceptions—that I was consistently taught by teachers, pastors, and evangelists that the atonement of Christ was not completed on the cross. Beyond this, I had found the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy to be rock solid on this teaching.

 

Knight appears not to have noticed that the authors of QOD had been careless, selective, or maybe not wholly transparent in their response to question 30 proposed by the evangelicals:

“Seventh-day Adventists are frequently charged with minimizing the atoning sacrifice completed at the cross, reducing it to an incomplete or partial atonement that must be supplemented by Christ’s priestly ministry; perhaps it might be called a dual atonement. Is this charge true? Does not Mrs. White state that Christ is now making atonement for us in the heavenly sanctuary? Please explain your position, and state wherein you differ from others on the atonement.” 31

In response, Froom et al. referred to a statement from Early Writings:

The great Sacrifice had been offered and had been accepted, and the Holy Spirit which descended on the day of Pentecost carried the minds of the disciples from the earthly sanctuary to the heavenly, where Jesus had entered by His own blood, to shed upon His disciples the benefits of His atonement. 32

When taken in isolation, this statement appears to support, at least partially, the claim of the QOD authors, that

When, therefore, one hears an Adventist say, or reads in Adventist literature—even in the writings of Ellen G. White—that Christ is making atonement now, it should be understood that we mean simply that Christ is now making application of the benefits of the sacrificial atonement He made on the cross; that He is making it efficacious for us individually, according to our needs and requests. Mrs. White herself, as far back as 1857, clearly explained what she means when she writes of Christ’s making atonement for us in His ministry: [Then Early Writings, p. 260, was quoted as shown above.] 33

Yet it defies credibility to believe that the authors of QOD had overlooked the plain statements a few pages earlier in Early Writings in which Sister White taught that the atonement was completed not on the cross but in the holy of holies of the heavenly sanctuary:

As the priest entered the most holy once a year to cleanse the earthly sanctuary, so Jesus entered the most holy of the heavenly, at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a FINAL ATONEMENT for all who could be benefited by His mediation, and thus to cleanse the sanctuary. 34

The minds of all who embrace this message are directed to the most holy place, where Jesus stands before the ark, making HIS FINAL INTERCESSION for all those for whom mercy still lingers and for those who have ignorantly broken the law of God. This ATONEMENT IS MADE for the righteous dead as well as for the righteous living. It includes all who died trusting in Christ, but who, not having received the light upon God’s commandments, had sinned ignorantly in transgressing its precepts.35

Knight argues that Froom’s statement in his February 1957 Ministry article (“That is the tremendous scope of the sacrificial act of the cross—a complete, perfect, and final atonement for man’s sin.”) really meant “. . . the sacrifice on the cross was a full and complete sacrifice (in terms of the sacrificial aspect of the atonement) for sin.” 36

 

In the light of Ellen White’s statements in Early Writings, pp. 253, 254, I find this explanation overgenerous. If Froom overlooked the wrong impression many would draw from his statement, surely a copyeditor would flag the statement. Is there evidence that Froom made a correction in a future Ministry issue? I am not aware of such a correction or clarification. Surely Andreasen’s words were “prophetic”:

If the book [QOD] is published, there will be repercussions to the end of the earth that the foundations [of Adventist theology] are being removed.” 37

Some suggested, uncharitably, that Andreasen’s opposition was motivated by the fact that he had been ignored in the dialogues and in the review of the QOD manuscript. Elder Figuhr certainly ignored or rejected Andreasen’s plea to reconsider the statement that the atonement was completed by Christ’s sacrifice. Some critics of Andreasen make much of Andreasen’s change to a statement Froom made in the February issue of the Ministry magazine.38 This change, I believe, was inconsequential to Froom’s meaning.

 

Neither does it seem possible that the QOD authors had overlooked the clear exposition of some of the most notable writers in the ranks of the Seventh-day Adventist Church such as James White, Uriah Smith, and Stephen Haskell.39 The explanation that seems most credible to me is that the authors and their main advisors, including the then General Conference President, Elder Reuben Figuhr, were so consumed in their desire to save the Seventh-day Adventist Church from the stigma of the label “cult” that they were ready to reshape pillar beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to gain favor with these prominent evangelicals.

 

While I do not overlook the splendid answers to many questions including the state of the dead, the seventh-day Sabbath, the law of the ten commandments, the second coming, and prophetic interpretations, it is of the utmost importance to understand that Barnhouse and Martin had narrowed down their “tests” as to whether the Seventh-day Adventist Church was a cult to just four areas—(1) that the atonement of Christ was not completed upon the cross; (2) that salvation is the result of grace plus the works of the law; (3) that the Lord Jesus was a created being, not existing from eternity; and (4) that He partook of man’s sinful fallen nature at the incarnation.40 We can only continue to wonder why Barnhouse and Martin limited their test to these four questions. No doubt, long before QOD was published, Barnhouse and Martin understood that questions two and three did not pose any significant difference between their beliefs and those of Seventh-day Adventists.41

 

The second “test” imposed by Barnhouse and Martin was easily demonstrated to be false by valid evidence. While we cannot deny that there have been Seventh-day Adventists who have placed merit in law-keeping in their explanation of salvation, those who are thoroughly Bible-based Seventh-day Adventists have stood unwaveringly upon the plain words of Scripture 42 and the Spirit of Prophecy.43 Keeping the law or good works are neither the basis of salvation nor do they provide merit toward salvation. However, they are the inevitable result of God’s saving grace and power in the heart of the converted man. The presentation of Dr. Elliot Waggoner at the 1888 General Conference session in Minneapolis, fervently supported by Ellen White, was to slowly but surely redress any earlier presentations by some Seventh-day Adventists which inferred that there was merit toward salvation in law keeping or good works.

 

Further, the third “test” was just as easily answered. Once again we have had in our ranks those who deny the eternal deity of Christ even to this day, and certainly included were some of our prominent pioneers including James White, J.H. Waggoner, Uriah Smith, Joseph Bates, J.N. Loughborough, and D.M. Canright.44 However, especially after the publishing of the Desire of Ages in 1898, we have had overwhelming support for the eternal existence of Christ in the Spirit of Prophecy.45 These statements fully support the Bible.46

 

The first and fourth “tests” posed valid challenges to long-held Seventh-day Adventist doctrines. Overwhelmingly, Seventh-day Adventists prior to 1957 believed that, while the sacrifice of Christ on the cross was fully sufficient to pay the penalty for our sins, Christ’s work of atonement is to be completed in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. It appears that the authors of QOD wilted under the withering pressure of the evangelicals, and they failed the test on each of these two issues. As I have presented above, the completed atonement in the heavenly sanctuary is based upon sound Biblical evidence. If the atonement was completed on the cross, Paul’s statement to the Corinthians would be erroneous (1 Corinthians 15:17, 18)  47 for it certifies that those who die “in Christ” would perish [eternally] if Christ was not raised from the dead. Christ had to be raised to complete the atonement in the heavenly sanctuary. The fourth test, regarding the fallen, sinful human nature of Christ, is also riveted in sound Biblical evidence, as I will address later in this paper.

 

Ron’s Commentary: It is interesting to take pause here to determine exactly what Christ’s work of atonement is to be COMPLETED in the Most Holy Place. What was not completed? What did the High Priest do in the most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement which occurred once a year?

 

Basically, on the annual Day of Atonement, one was to afflict him/herself over their sins and put all sin out of the camp. In the antitypical fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, this is impossible without the aid of the Divine Nature Holy Spirit that has been proffered to man as a cure for sin. For a more in-depth study, see this link:

http://omega77.tripod.com/dayofatonement1.htm

 

In order for the Sanctuary to be cleansed, God’s people are going to have to cease sinning so that no more sins will be transferred to the Sanctuary. It was for this express purpose that God raised up His Son Jesus:

 

From the Bible:

Act 3:26  Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

 

From Ellen White:

 

"The Power of God in the Third Person.--The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.-- Special Testimonies, Series A, No. 10, p. 37. (1897).

 

Lev 23:27 Also on the tenth [day] of this seventh month [there shall be] a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

 

Lev 23:28 And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it [is] a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.

 

Lev 25:9 Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth [day] of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.

 

Chap. 364 - Bury All Bitterness

     My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle. Job 7:6. {OHC 370.1}

 

     If we have but little time, let us improve that little earnestly. The Bible assures us that we are in the great day of atonement. The typical Day of Atonement was a day when all Israel afflicted their souls before God, confessed their sins, and came before the Lord with contribution of soul, remorse for their sins, genuine repentance, and living faith in the atoning sacrifice. {OHC 370.2}

 

     If there have been difficulties, . . . if envy, malice, bitterness, evil surmisings, have existed, confess these sins, not in a general way, but go to your brethren and sisters personally. Be definite. If you have committed one wrong and they twenty, confess that one as though you were the chief offender. Take them by the hand, let your heart soften under the influence of the Spirit of God, and say, "Will you forgive me? I have not felt right toward you. I want to make right every wrong, that naught may stand registered against me in the books of heaven. I must have a clean record." Who, think you, would withstand such a movement as this? {OHC 370.3}

 

     There is too much coldness and indifference--too much of the "I don't care" spirit--exercised among the professed followers of Christ. All should feel a care for one another, jealousy guarding each other's interests. "Love one another." Then we should stand a strong wall against Satan's devices. Amid opposition and persecution we would not join the vindictive ones, not unite with the followers of the great rebel, whose special work is to accuse the brethren, to defame and cast stain upon their characters. {OHC 370.4}

 

     Let the remnant of this year be improved in destroying every fiber of the root of bitterness, burying them in the grave with the old year. Begin the new year with more tender regard, with deeper love, for every member of the Lord's family. Press together. "United, we stand; divided, we fall." Take a higher, nobler stand than you ever have before. {OHC 370.5} End note.

To argue that Froom and others did not tamper with cardinal beliefs of our church is impossible to defend validly. Certainly Barnhouse was not deceived. Here are his words:

The position of the Adventists seems to some of us in certain cases to be a new position; to them it may be merely the position of the majority group of sane leadership which is determined to put the brakes on any members who seek to hold views divergent from that of the responsible leadership of the denomination. 48

Other Evangelicals also perceived these changes.49

In the same (September 1956) issue of Eternity magazine, those who remained steadfast in the faith established from the Bible in our church’s earlier history were defamed by the vitriolic language of Dr. Barnhouse. He stated that these loyal Seventh-day Adventists were those “. . . among their numbers [who were] of their ‘lunatic fringe.’ ” 50 Both Donald Barnhouse and Walter Martin were men of caustic tongues. Knight referred to Barnhouse’s vitriolic response to those who disagreed with him.51 The experience of Dr. and Mrs. Kern Pihl, when Dr. Barnhouse was questioned during his speaking tour of Peru in late 1959, was indicative of his hatred of the Sabbath. “In the name of Jesus Christ, I curse the Seventh-day Sabbath.” 52

 

The aggressive challenge to Dr. William Johnsson by Walter Martin on the Ankerberg programs in 1985 over the role of Sister White as the “Adventist guru” was evidence of Martin’s aggressiveness. Yet the loyalty by Froom et al. to these evangelicals was amazing. In what proved to be my last conversation with Elder Roy Allan Anderson in the San Bernardino mall in the early 1980s, Elder Anderson vigorously defended Walter Martin as a “great friend” of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

 

Yet it was Elder Anderson who made it plain that the real purpose of Questions on Doctrine was a planned attempt to reshape the beliefs of our church. This was revealed in a letter to Pastor Robert Greive, (president of the North New Zealand Conference in the 1950s) who left the faith. He was dismissed from his position and disfellowshipped from the church for preaching evangelical beliefs. It was Elder Anderson, a friend of Greive, who tried “to save him.” Here is what Anderson wrote to Pastor Greive. This letter is evidence that Elder Anderson recognized that the authors of QOD were seeking to reposition certain long-held beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

If you would suffer me this little word of counsel as a friend, I would suggest that you hold those thoughts in your heart and not make an issue of them until we, as a people, come to the place where we understand the doctrine as clearly as we should, and as we do other points of our faith. . . . I am confident that the time is near when the great mystery of godliness will be understood better by us as a people. But until then it would seem wise if we could confine ourselves to a prayerful discussion of it between us as workers.53

 

The Humanity of Christ

 

The uniquely divine-human nature of the incarnate Christ was not in question in the issues raised in QOD. The issue was, What human nature did Christ take upon Himself?  54 Dr. Ralph Larson’s monumental book, The Word Was Made Flesh 55 provides the definitive research revealing how Seventh-day Adventist authors and writers in the English-speaking world were unified upon the belief that Christ took upon Himself man’s fallen human nature.

 

Dr. Ralph Larson was one of the most perceptive scholars from the 1970s, prominent in his courageous stand against QOD and its authors. Larson’s articulate pen was exercised with forceful impact, even late in his life. These extracts from an article published in 2004 reflected three decades of deep concern over the misrepresentations of the Seventh-day Adventist faith in QOD.56

 

Larson presented about 1,200 quotes from periodicals and other sources in North America, Great Britain, South Africa and Australasia. About 400 of these quotes were from Ellen White. This tome offers unchallengeable evidence which supports George Knight’s assessment that QOD’s heading “Took Sinless Human Nature” “implies that that was Ellen White’s idea when in fact she was quite emphatic in repeatedly stating that Christ took ‘our sinful nature’ and that ‘He took upon Himself fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin.’ ” 57 Larson uncovered not one Seventh-day Adventist writer before 1952 who wrote other than that Christ took upon Himself our fallen, sinful nature. 58 He also demonstrated that, over a period of almost sixty years, Sister White did not waver in her position that Christ took upon Himself our fallen, sinful nature. 59

 

That bold QOD heading, “[Christ] Took Sinless Human Nature” certainly removes any credibility from General Conference President Reuben Figuhr’s assertion that, while QOD presented the Seventh-day Adventist beliefs in language understood by evangelicals, “there has been no attempt to gloss over our teachings or to compromise.”  60 This heading was a denial of the plain truths taught in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy—that Christ took fallen, sinful human nature.

 

Ron’s Commentary: The Lord has shown me that when the Bible says “confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh,” one of the prime meanings is sinful flesh as Romans 8:3 attests and as Ellen White stated.

 

1Jo 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

 

2Jo 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

 

Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

 

I tell you before the Lord, all who believe and teach that Christ came in sinless flesh are antichrist. End note.

 

One of the most significant findings in Larson’s book is that one of the primary authors of QOD had, just a few years before the publication of QOD, affirmed that Christ took fallen human flesh. This is what Elder W.E. Read approvingly quoted from Sister White at the 1950 General Conference, “Jesus was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh even as we are.” 61

 

When I was president of Columbia Union College, I was a colleague of Elder Fenton Froom, the son of Elder Leroy Froom. It is of some significance that Elder Fenton Froom also had in print proclaimed Christ’s fallen human nature.62

 

One of the most disturbing revelations is Dr. Herbert Douglass’ declaration that “Froom took a poll of Adventist leaders and discovered that ‘nearly all of them’ felt that Christ had our sinful nature.” 63 Yet George Knight reports that the authors told Martin that “ ‘the majority of the denomination had always held’ the human nature of Christ ‘to be sinless, holy, and perfect despite the fact that certain of their writers have occasionally gotten into print with contrary views completely repugnant to the church at large.’ ” 64 These writers “who occasionally” got into print confirming the fallen human nature of Christ, were categorized as part of the “lunatic fringe” by the authors of QOD.65 Many happened to be General Conference presidents, church leaders, editors of the Adventist Review and Sabbath Herald, major authors and well-known college teachers. Larson has fully documented many scores of these writers. My personal limited research has failed to discover any exceptions to Larson’s research.

 

Ron’s Commentary: George Knight has thus proven himself to be a liar and a traitor to the cause of God. This is difficult to say because he was best man in my wedding in San Francisco in 1964. Since Ellen White taught that Christ had our sinful nature, that would place her in the class of the “lunatic fringe,” by the authors of QOD. End note.

 

However the reason that the great majority of Seventh-day Adventists then believed that Christ took upon Himself fallen human nature was because they found that this was affirmed in holy Scripture.66 The most definitive text to explain why Christ took fallen human nature is found in Hebrews 2:9, 14:

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. . . . Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.

Paul’s reasoning under inspiration is impeccable. Christ had to accept human fallen flesh and blood “that through death” He might defeat the enemy of souls both by living a life of sinless obedience to His heavenly Father and so that He might break the bands of the grave. No being with an unfallen nature has ever died. Adam and Eve had forfeited their sinless nature because of sin; therefore, they were subject to death as is every child of our first parents.

 

The concept which QOD authors borrowed from the fallen churches of Christendom is totally destructive of the atonement, for Christ could not have died for our sins without taking fallen human nature.67 Christ could not have qualified as our High Priest.68 Nor could He have strengthened us when we are tempted.69 Nor could He have been tempted as we are.70 Nor could He have served as our Example.71 The entire plan of salvation, the atonement for our sins, mandated that Christ took upon Himself our fallen human nature.

 

Whereas the debate among Seventh-day Adventists from the late 1950s to the early 1980s was focused upon the straightforward issue of whether Christ took fallen or unfallen human nature, sensing the Biblical and Spirit of Prophecy evidence overwhelmingly supported the fallen nature of our Savior’s human nature, a movement in our post-secondary institutions began to argue that Christ took fallen physical and mental human nature but took unfallen spiritual human nature.

 

The proponents of this view appear to be confused between the perfect sinless character of Christ and His inherited nature. However there is a dangerous flaw in this dichotomy. The physical, mental, and spiritual aspect of the human nature are interdependent, and in the human life of a Christian there is every goal to bring these powers into perfect harmony. The introductory section of the book Education focuses upon this harmony. The opening paragraph introduces this.72 Four other times this three-fold development is addressed.73

 

Ron’s Commentary: Ellen White said that Christ was fully human as well as fully divine. To be fully human, his spiritual nature humanly, would differ from the divine or He could not be classed as fully human. Also, she said Christ had a sinful nature. There can be no doubt that He always yielded to the spiritual nature of His Divine nature, but that is different than possessing divine/spiritual human nature as well as a divine spiritual nature per His full divinity. A denial of the human spiritual nature is the same as the denial of the sinful nature—antichrist!

 

To demonstrate how any error confounds and contradicts full truth, look at this notation that is found in the Adventist 27 Fundamentals:

 

Christ took upon Him “the same susceptibilities, mental and physical” as His contemporaries (White, “Notes of Travel,” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Feb. 10, 1885, p. 81)—a human nature that had decreased in “physical strength, in mental power, in moral worth”—though not morally depraved, but totally sinless (White, “ ‘In All Points Tempted Like As We Are,’ ” Signs, Dec. 3, 1902, p. 2; White, Desire of Ages, p. 49)154

 

How could one separate and differentiate the human mental quality of Christ’s human spirituality from his humanity if He had a decreased mental power of humanity?! One inaccuracy breeds contradiction and results in error! End note.

 

From Greek pagan religious philosophy much of Christianity has accepted the concept that the soul is good and the body evil. This is the basis for the belief in the destructible body and the immortal soul so common in Christianity today, but it has no foundation in Biblical instruction.

 

Ron’s Commentary: Thus being a fulfillment of Ellen White’s Selected Messages, Bk. 1, 204-5 statement that intellectual philosophy would replace our foundational doctrines. End note.

 

The reason that Barnhouse and Martin and other evangelicals fiercely opposed the concept that Christ took upon himself fallen human nature results from their acceptance of the false Augustinian-Calvinistic concept of original sin, which leads to the conclusion that sin is a state of being rather than “the transgression of the law.” 74 Thus the evangelicals believe that to affirm that Christ took upon Himself fallen human nature is tantamount to the blasphemy of saying that He was a sinner. Yet Paul is so plain that Christ’s human nature was identical with fallen man, yet that He was wholly free from sin.75

 

What Was Gained by Conceding to the Evangelicals’ Unbiblical Errors?

 

This can be determined by Barnhouse’s forward to Martin’s book, The Truth About Seventh-day Adventism (Zondervan, 1960):

Let it be understood that we made only one claim; i.e., that those Seventh-day Adventists who follow the Lord in the same way as their leaders who have interpreted for us the doctrinal position of their church, are to be considered true members of the body of Christ.76

An analysis of this limited endorsement really equates “following the Lord” with “following church leaders.” Seventh-day Adventists have long accepted that the Bible only is our rule of faith and practice.77 The true Seventh-day Adventist follows the Lord by following the words of Holy Scripture. To follow men would place God’s people in rejection of the warning of the Lord.78

 

Today, half a century later, many evangelicals still regard the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a cult. Those who see Seventh-day Adventists as part of the body of Christ do so not because our church has held steadfast to the faith delivered to us, but rather because we have increasingly been wooed toward the embrace of the ecumenical movement. Many Seventh-day Adventists no longer see the Seventh-day Adventist church as God’s chosen end-time church, unique and distinctive from all other churches. (See 1 Peter 2:9.)

 

Some may believe that our conferees in the 1950s were a witness to the Evangelicals; however, the evidence is all in the other direction. There is no evidence that Barnhouse nor Martin embraced any of the distinctive Biblical truths of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. However, Seventh-day Adventist leaders were willing to confuse the role of the Spirit of Prophecy in the end-time church and to shift from the important truth of the completion of Christ’s atonement for His saints in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary and from the belief that Christ took upon Himself sinful, fallen human nature.

 

While we believe that many of God’s saints are members of the fallen churches of Christendom, we believe it is our focused mission to call these people from these fallen churches into the glorious light of the everlasting gospel of the three angels’ messages. I have found no other church which understands the final messages to the world as expounded in the three angels’ messages. We can review the Scriptures from Genesis chapter 1 to Revelation chapter 22, and we find no other messages to be proclaimed at the end of this sin-blighted planet’s history to all the inhabitants of the world other than those three messages. This biblical mandate is what sets the Seventh-day Adventist Church apart from all other churches of Christendom, and it is this calling which precludes us from embracing the compromises necessary to be participants in the ecumenical union. Our calling is to invite God’s faithful ones out of this ecumenical movement.79 This is our work of love for those sincere brethren and sisters in these churches of other faiths. In this way we can show our love for all other earnest souls who are seeking the way of salvation.

 

The Consequences of Questions on Doctrine 

 

Many believe that two or three errors in QOD are of little consequence to the powerful overall body of truth contained in the book. But such a conclusion is uninsightful. One error is sufficient to despoil the whole body of truth. With great discernment Sister White has observed:

Men think they are representing the justice of God, but they do not represent His tenderness and the great love wherewith He has loved us. Their human invention, originating with the specious devices of Satan, appears fair enough to the blinded eyes of men, because it is inherent in their nature. A lie, believed, practiced, becomes a truth to them. Thus the purpose of the satanic agencies is accomplished, that men should reach these conclusions through the working of their own inventive minds.

 

But how do men fall into such error? By starting with false premises, and then bringing everything to bear to prove the error true. In some cases the first principles have a measure of truth interwoven with the error, but it does not lead to any just action, and this is why men are misled. In order to reign and become a power, they employ Satan’s methods to justify their own principles. They exalt themselves as men of superior judgment, and they have stood as representatives of God.80

It takes but one small error to change truth to falsehood. Once error is insinuated into the body of truth it becomes a cancerous growth which continues to metastasize, destroying other pillars of truth. This brings bitter division among God’s people, and it engenders vilification of those who hold fast to the pillars of the faith. If leaders accept errors, history attests that they make inappropriate efforts to force upon members a false unity based upon “loyalty” to leaders and “the church” rather than upon Bible truth and sanctification in loyalty to Christ. Christ provided the perfect key to unity in His prayer for unity:

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. . . . And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.81

Sister White stated, “There is no sanctification aside from truth.” 82 “We must now, by diligent, self-sacrificing effort, endeavor to walk in the love of Christ, in the unity of the Spirit, through sanctification of the truth.” 83 Without truth there is no sanctification, and without sanctification there is no unity, and without unity there is no salvation. Sister White emphasized the crucial result of accepting pure truth alone: “Unity is the sure result of Christian perfection.” 84

 

Until perfect truth is established within the ranks of Seventh-day Adventists, there can be no character perfection of the body of Christ; therefore, God’s saints cannot be sealed by the seal of the living God, and, therefore, they are unprepared to receive the latter rain, and the gospel commission cannot be completed.85

 

Paul fully confirmed the necessity of the unity of the faith that accompanies character perfection.86 He then presented the tragic consequence of disunity which results in a life alienated from the character of our perfect Pattern.87

 

I do not believe that the architects of the changes in Seventh-day Adventist doctrine in QOD fully foresaw the terrible consequences of their compromises by which they thought to please the evangelicals and to “protect” the Seventh-day Adventist Church from the slander of being “lumped” with so-called cults. That these experienced leaders surely must have had their doubts seems to be confirmed by Dr. Herbert Douglass’ anecdotal report, that frequently Roy Allan Anderson would ask him questions such as, “Herb, what is happening to our church?”88

 

Ron’s Commentary: Roy Anderson’s question to Douglass fits the description of Isaiah 56:10-12. They cannot understand the consequences of their compromises of truth. End note.

 

The mega public relations blitz presented by the General Conference through the Ministry magazine—the official organ of the Ministerial Association of the General Conference where Elders Froom and Anderson served—assured the readers that this book (QOD) assumed center stage as the most authentic publication concerning crucial Seventh-day Adventist beliefs. These books were circulated free to Bible departments of our colleges and distributed to professors and students [as well as to 450,000 non-SDA institutions and pastors]. Overnight, the errors in QOD were being taught to the next generation of ministers, some of whom were destined to become the leaders of our church. The ministers preached these errors in the pulpits, and then these errors were imbibed by the church members en masse. This problem has continued to this day. That there are those scattered world-wide who, by their own study or the presentation of faithful men and women, have embraced the correct teachings upon these doctrines is a witness to the promise that God’s Word will not return unto Him void.89

 

Was Andreasen divisive when he went public with his concerns? Decidedly not! He was following in the same pathway as did Enoch, Noah, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, all the “minor” prophets, John the Baptist, Stephen, Peter, John, James, Jude, Paul, and many others. To have been silent in the time of crisis in the 1950s would have been sin against God. His was the only valid response when the souls of humanity are in the balance.90

 

Elder Andreasen made it clear that he understood that he would face consequences for his noble, lonely stand. Here are his words, “I have counted the cost it will be to me to continue my opposition, but I am trying to save my beloved denomination from committing suicide. I must be true to my God, as I see it, and I must be true to the men that trust me.” 91

 

Over all, beginning in 1957, Andreasen published nine papers entitled “The Atonement” and six entitled “Letters to the Churches.” 92 The book Letters to the Churches is still available today. It is evident that Andreasen was branded as a radical critic of leaders when he should have been embraced as a faithful watchman on the walls of Zion.

 

The history of God’s church through the ages is replete with leaders who have endorsed and embraced false teachings and who have vilified those faithful ones who stood against the heresy and condemned it. Elder Figuhr had the prestige and power of the General Conference Presidency against which Andreasen could not prevail. Andreasen may have perceived the wholesale apostasy which QOD would foment, but he did not live to see the maturity of this apostasy.  

 

The Impact of These Three Errors in QOD

 

I acknowledge that both Barnhouse and Martin had significant fallout from other evangelicals by declaring Seventh-day Adventists to be sincere Christians while in the same article maligning Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Christian Scientists.93 However, the consequences of the U-turn away from pillar truths by the supporters and followers of QOD have had tragic mega-consequences, greatly impeding the completion of the planet-wide proclamation of the everlasting gospel, and this has delayed the return of Christ. The damage to the reputations of Barnhouse and Martin was of minor consequences in contrast with the tragedy of the delaying of the return of our blessed Lord by the adoption within the ranks of our Seventh-day Adventist Church of long-held unbiblical concepts of the fallen churches of Christendom.

 

Now I will address in capsule form the impact of these three errors in QOD. They have eroded many areas of our faith, making our church weak and very vulnerable to the evangelical errors and the dangerous web of ecumenism whereby we do not make issues of those things which divide but “unite” on those concepts only which we hold in common.94 Such an accommodation, if not arrested, would destroy the integrity of the Seventh-day Adventist church and derail its destiny. Which faithful Seventh-day Adventist would be willing to compromise the three angels’ messages, all doctrines of which are not part of the beliefs of the ecumenical churches? Which faithful Seventh-day Adventist would be willing to silence his or her voice from sharing these transcendent truths with those not of our faith? Could we avoid culpability before God if we silenced our settled Bible-founded beliefs on the doctrines of the seventh-day Sabbath? the sleep-like state in death? adult believers baptism by emersion? the pre-millennial return of Jesus to take His saints to heaven to live for 1,000 years? the power of Christ to provide victory over every temptation and deception of Satan? that Christ is now our heavenly High Priest conducting the judgment of the human race, blotting out the sins of the repentant and completing His atonement for the salvation of His saints? The answers are in the questions. Yet that is what QOD does.

 

Ron’s Commentary: The immediacy of the post 1957 meetings with Martin and Barnhouse, into ecumenical involvement was as if they chided SDA leaders by saying: “Now prove that you are good Evangelicals by joining our ecumenical associations.” Whether that was said or not, is overshadowed by the fact that this is exactly what transpired! End note.

 

Knight assigns the blame for the division QOD engendered in our church to both sides in the controversy and the strong personalities of Froom and Andreasen.95 No doubt Froom and Andreasen were passionate concerning their positions. Yet we must never lose sight of the fact that it is the infiltration of error into God’s perfect truth which, without exception, has engendered division into God’s church. Personalities may at times exacerbate the division, but no division can be assigned to those who uphold truth. Yet the upholders of truth are routinely labeled the “troublers of Israel.” The Sanhedrin accused Christ of dividing the church.96

 

One thing which I do know is that Andreasen became a model for many of us younger men, demonstrating the integrity and the earnestness by which we should speak up, address, and seek to reverse the intrusion of heresy into God’s chosen church. We cannot be silent in a time of spiritual crisis.97

 

It was the results of QOD which led to the protest of the concerned brethren in Australia.98

 

Froom explained to Elder Figuhr, “If you know the backgrounds, the attitudes, the setting of it all, you would understand why we stated these things as we have.” 99 Tragically, Froom’s explanation does not stand well in the light of history which has revealed the chaos which these changes have brought into the authentic belief system of the biblically-based doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

 

A.    Some of the Consequences of Diminishing and    Confusing the Role of the Spirit of Prophecy in the Church

 

1. It has led many to scorn what they call the exclusiveness of the identification of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as the remnant church of Biblical prophecy. This identification does not imply that all Seventh-day Adventists are part of the remnant but that it is the church which contains those who “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” 100 which is the Spirit of Prophecy.101 At probation’s close, all God’s people will be Seventh-day Adventists, for all the world’s inhabitants will have heard the everlasting gospel, and the faithful will accept every precept of God.

2. Many have ignored or opposed the promised gift of the Spirit of Prophecy as we approach the close of this earth’s history.102

3. No longer do the official baptismal vows contain reference to the Spirit of Prophecy as did the former vows.103 At the 1985 General Conference the term the “gift of prophecy” replaced the term “Spirit of Prophecy.” 104 They are not the same. The divine role of Ellen White now can be unknown to baptismal candidates.

4. It has led some to claim that after about 1884 the Spirit of Prophecy books have been tampered with and are therefore unreliable.

5. Others claim that the Spirit of Prophecy writings before 1890 are unreliable because only about 1890 did Sister White first state that she may have to pass through the portals of the tomb. Therefore, it is claimed that her early counsels do not have relevance to us today, as before 1890 she believed she would be alive when Jesus returned.

6. It has led to many rejecting God’s blessed reforms including sabbath reform,105 health reform,106 music reform,107 entertainment reform,108 recreational reform,109 dress reform,110 educational reform,111 and family life reform.112

B. Some of the Consequences of Rejecting the Final Atonement in the Heavenly Sanctuary

 

1. The rejection of the Old Testament types as a shadow of the heavenly sanctuary ministry of Christ.113

2. Some reject the belief that the completion of Christ’s atonement takes place in the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary.114

3. The rejection or reapplication of the 2300-day prophecy of Daniel 8:14, altering its reference to Christ’s Second-Apartment ministry in the heavenly sanctuary.115

4. The rejection by many of the investigative (end-time / pre-advent) judgment and/or the denial that Christ began His Second-Apartment ministry in 1844. 116

5. The blotting out of sin at the time of the latter rain is rejected by many. 117

6. Many now hold to a completed atonement on the cross. 118

C.    Some of the Consequences of Rejecting the Fact that Christ Took Our Fallen Human Nature

 

1. Many reject Christ’s provision to give humans victory over all sin and worldliness. 119

2. Many claim that Christ has a different nature from us and therefore cannot be fully our Example. 120

3. Many fail to acknowledge the maturing of our perfection of character by increasing knowledge and understanding, under the promptings of the Holy Spirit. 121

4. Many have accepted relational theology. All we need for salvation, they say, is to have a “relationship” with Jesus when the Bible teaches that we must abide in Christ, have the mind of Christ, that Christ must be in us, and we must be in Christ.122

5. Many have accepted an impotent gospel.123 One of our denomination’s most influential scholars, Englishman Edward Heppenstall, taught many students the new theology. He expressed anti-biblical concepts against the power of Christ to enable sinners to live victorious lives.124 He influenced a generation of pastors at Andrews University to accept these errors. Other professors in our tertiary institutions have followed suit. [Note by Ron: George Knight was totally straight in 1964, but it was not long before he went to Andrews and it was Edward Heppenstall who ruined him. His wife Betty made this clear by some things she said to me]. End note.

6. Many believe that unforsaken sin will not deprive them of their entrance into the kingdom of heaven.125

 

What a carnage of lost souls is in our church today, largely as a result of these three major errors in QOD! Many contemporary Seventh-day Adventists, no doubt, have no knowledge of QOD. Large numbers will have imbibed the theological errors which can be traced to QOD. Many Seventh-day Adventist scholars have no personal knowledge of the pre-QOD era of Adventism. Some of us have. What lessons can be learned?

 

1. The Bible must be re-established as the basis of all faith and practice.

2. Do not marginalize the God-given Spirit of Prophecy to help His people navigate through the treacherous minefield of doctrinal error and worldly practices which Satan seeks to infiltrate into the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

3. Do not minimize the consequence of even one deviation from divine truth. Truth is only truth if it is free from all error.

4. There are times when leaders make serious mistakes which must be corrected.

5. Do not seek to silence the voices of warning.

6. Do not seek to discredit the one who raises his or her voice of warning against the intrusion of false views into the Seventh-day Adventist church. Such warnings are just as necessary as enlightening messages and are essential in this end time of earth’s history.126

 

The Influence of QOD upon Seventh-day Adventists Believe

 

A meeting of no small significance took place at the General Conference on January 27, 1988. The meeting was initiated by the General Conference President, Elder Neal Wilson, after consultation with the former General Conference President, Elder Robert H. Pierson. The meeting was between twenty-three General Conference leaders and former leaders and eight leaders of self-supporting ministries. The meeting was chaired by Elder Wilson.

 

At this time I can remember seven of the eight self-supporting leaders: Elder Joe Crews (Amazing Facts); Dr. Herbert Douglass (Weimar Institute); Pastor John Osborne (Prophecy Countdown); Elder Ron Spear (Hope International); Dr. Colin Standish (Hartland Institute); Elder Laverne Tucker (The Quiet Hour); and Elder Robert Wieland (The 1888 Message Study Committee).

 

The twenty-three General Conference leaders included Elder Neal Wilson (General Conference President); all but one of the Vice-Presidents; Elder Charles Bradford (North American Division President); Elder Robert Pierson (retired General Conference President); and Dr. Leo Van Dolson (senior Sabbath School quarterly editor).

 

During the meetings a dialogue ensued concerning the upcoming book Seventh-day Adventists Believe . . . : A Biblical Exposition of 27 Fundamental Doctrines, which was about to be released to the Adventist Book Centers.

 

There was great apprehension expressed at this meeting about the contents of this book. As I recall, those who led out in expressing concerns were Dr. Herbert Douglass, Dr. Leo Van Dolson,  and I. The expressed concerns centered about the divisions caused by QOD. The thought was expressed that, if Seventh-day Adventists Believe was no better than QOD, it would be wise not to publish it. Concern was also expressed that the original contributor to the book, Dr. Normal Gulley, was not theologically sound concerning the human nature of Christ.

 

We were assured that Seventh-day Adventists Believe was much different from QOD. This was reinforced by the emphasis that the original manuscript had been thoroughly revised by Dr. P. G. Damsteegt, a teacher in the church history department of Andrews University. That statement tended to calm our concerns, for, I believe, those who expressed concerns had confidence in the Biblical integrity of Dr. Damsteegt. However, when the book became available, I was greatly alarmed when the acknowledgements (ibid, p. v), which presented a long list of those “who gave special attention” to the book, represented a spectrum which included many known revisionists of the Seventh-day Adventist faith.

 

When Floyd Greenleaf revised and updated Richard W. Schwarz’s Light Bearers to the Remnant, 1979, in Light Bearers, A History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, he addressed the issue of Seventh-day Adventists Believe. This is what is stated: “Although at the time [1957] Questions on Doctrine was the most definitive book-length statement on Adventist beliefs, within two decades it fell into disuse. In some circles Adventists consciously opposed it. In 1988 a new volume, Seventh-day Adventists Believe, became the favored and most widely consulted declaration of Adventist doctrine.” 127

 

Greenleaf was accurate in reporting that QOD was little referenced after the 1970s. It was during the seventies and early eighties that many informal and planned public meetings were held in which the teachings of QOD—especially on the human nature of Christ and the final atonement—were exposed as error.

 

These meetings were expanded at the end of the 1970s to encompass a broader range of topics under what was now termed “the new theology,” which could be equated with the other errors which were the logical consequences of QOD. Thus errors were corrected by the presentation of these truths:

 

1. The power of the gospel enables a victorious Christian life in those who surrender their will to the will of their Savior. (2 Cor. 7:1; Jude 24) 128

2. The gospel of salvation embraces justification by faith and sanctification by faith in Christ’s blood. (Rom. 5:1, 9; Acts 26:18; Heb. 10:10; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2) 129

3. The man of Romans 7 was a convicted man but not a converted man. Compare Romans 7:17 130 to Galatians 2:20.131 This man is not converted until Romans 7:25 132 after he surrenders his life to Jesus.

4. The new birth encompasses justification and sanctification. (John 3:5) 133

5. The nature of sin is transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4) 134

6. Humans are born with innate tendencies to sin, not original sin. (Ps. 51:5) 135

7. Salvation is conditional. (Ezek. 18:20-24) 136

8. Sin is not accounted to the unwillfully ignorant. (John 9:41; 15:22; James 4:17; Acts 17:30137

9. Sister White’s writings are a fulfillment of the promise of the Spirit of prophecy’s guidance of God’s end-time people. (Rev. 12:17; 19:10138

 

To my knowledge, the first major challenge in book form took place when Dr. John Clifford and my brother Russell wrote the book Conflicting Concepts of Righteousness by Faith in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Australasian Division, published by the Burnside Press in 1976, which received encouraging reviews from Elders Robert Pierson and Kenneth Wood.

 

The first direct addressing of the new theology in public meetings took place at Vision Valley, a camp near Sydney, Australia in 1979. The main speakers were Dr. Ralph Larson (pastor of the Campus Hill Church, Loma Linda, California), two New Zealanders—Pastor George Burnside (retired South Pacific Division evangelist and former division ministerial secretary) and Pastor Austin Cooke (retired South Pacific Division evangelist)—and I (Dean of Weimar College). Of course, the righteousness by faith issue of the Review and Herald in 1974 was also seeking to redress the concepts of the new theology.

 

Soon, camp meetings on every inhabited continent were convened. These camp meetings upheld precious Seventh-day Adventist truths which had been seriously compromised by the QOD authors. Literally thousands of such meetings have been held since then, and scores of books have been written against the new theology.

 

I now address the question, “Did the book Seventh-day Adventists Believe redress the errors presented in QOD?” I think not. In the Adventist Review of November 5, 1992, an undated sixteen-page insert appeared entitled The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Certain Private Organizations. In this issue, a quote was included from an article I had written and which was published in the Our Firm Foundation magazine of June 1989. My statement quoted was, “The official Seventh-day Adventist statement of beliefs is couched in such a way that pivotal doctrines such as victorious Christian living, the nature of Christ, and the atonement are left sufficiently general that all but the most rabid New Theology teachers can give confident assent to them. Thus it is hard to take strong action against them.” 139

 

These undisclosed authors of this insert responded to this statement of mine with these astonishing words: “But that is exactly the point. The united church in session has deliberately chosen to leave some points open because general agreement on specifics does not exist.” 140

 

Is it true that “the united church in session has deliberately chosen to leave some points open . . .”? My twin brother was a delegate representing the South-East Asian Union when these 27 beliefs were voted at the 1980 General Conference Session in Dallas, Texas. He assures me that no such debate or decision was made to keep some areas open. I also attended this Dallas Session and heard the whole debate. Indeed, that issue was not discussed, and no such decision was voted.

 

Indeed, we had no idea until 2004 that the Twenty-Seven Fundamental Beliefs were not those which had been prepared by the committee which had been appointed after the 1975 General Conference Session in Vienna, Austria.

 

The members of the ad hoc committee, entrusted with the task of preparing the new Statement of Fundamental Beliefs were all men known to us:

Dr. Charles Bradford, Associate Secretary of the General Conference

Elder Reginald Dower, Secretary of the General Conference Ministerial Association

Pastor Duncan Eva, General Conference Vice-President (Chairman)

Elder Clyde Franz, Secretary of the General Conference

Elder Willis Hackett, Vice-President of the General Conference

Dr. Richard Hammill, Vice-President of the General Conference

Dr. Gordon Hyde, General Field Secretary of the General Conference

Pastor Alf Lohne, Vice-President of the General Conference

Dr. Bernard Seton, Associate Secretary of the General Conference (Secretary)

Elder Arthur White, Secretary of the Ellen G. White Estate.141

This list included some men who were very faithful to the Seventh-day Adventist message.

 

In 1980, however, the work of the ad hoc drafting committee was virtually superseded, although this was far from the intention of the General Conference. That the General Conference permitted the work of its sub-committee to be effectively hijacked by the theologians of Andrews University is a matter of the deepest concern.

This unseemly activity must be born in mind as we evaluate the Twenty-Seven Fundamentals. God never works through such means. . . .

In preparation for the 1980 General Conference Session, the General Conference ad hoc committee which was delegated to redraft our fundamental beliefs, had completed its work by August, 1979. This provided a mere eight months for further consultations and evaluations. It was in this period that the consequences of the selection of the faulty members to the ad hoc committee became evident.

 

 

We have been unable to obtain a copy of the ad hoc committee’s draft fundamental beliefs. Until this is made available we cannot know whether or not it more strongly upheld our Bible and Spirit of Prophecy-based faith than the final submission. We feel convicted that men such as Elders Dower, Franz, Hackett, Hyde, Lohne and White would not have been of a mind to leave loopholes in the fundamentals which would have opened the doors to the serious dilution of the faith. Yet the final Twenty-seven Fundamentals were full of such loopholes.

 

 

If, as we suspect, the ad hoc committee’s recommendations were firmer than those of the final Twenty-seven Fundamentals adopted, then the recommendations of Pastor Eva (chairman) and Seton (secretary) may be evaluated by some as a none-too-subtle attempt to subvert the wishes of the full committee. The liberal agenda not infrequently achieves its aims against the will of the majority. . . .

Pastors Eva’s and Seton’s recommendation ensured that any hope that a straightforward statement of the principles of our faith would be produced, irrespective of the draft suggestions of the 1980 General Conference ad hoc committee, would not be fulfilled. Their recommendations are documented:

 

Pastor Eva said that before the new statement would be submitted to the full Church Manual Committee, it would be presented to “certain professors at the Seminary with whom we will meet in September.” After the Church Manual committee gave its approval, the statement would proceed to the [General Conference] officers, the union [conference] presidents, the Annual Council, and finally to the General Conference session in Dallas [the following April]. (Dr. Lawrence Geraty, President, La Sierra University, “A New Statement of Fundamental Beliefs,” Spectrum, Vol. 11, Issue No. 1, Summer, 1980, p. 3).

Further, Pastor Seton recalled:

When that further limited revision was completed, I ventured to suggest that it would be wise to submit the document to our professional theologians on the basis that it would be better to have their reactions before the document went further rather than await their strictures on the session floor. There was some hesitation, but eventually the suggestion was accepted, and the document went to Andrews University with the request that it be studied, that comments and recommendations be referred back to the ad hoc committee. Those terms of reference did not register, for the University prepared its own set of Fundamentals. (Dr. Lawrence Geraty transcription of a presentation to the San Diego Forum, presented April 18, 2000 in which he presented his recollections from a conversation with Pastor Bernard Seton as recorded in Dr. Fritz Guy, Spectrum, Vol. 32, Issue 3, Summer 2004, p. 23).

The recommendations of Pastors Eva and Seton were to alter Seventh-day Adventist history. Despite the wise reservations of some of the members of this 1980 ad hoc committee, the recommendations of Pastors Eva and Seton were adopted. As a result Australian, Pastor Walter Scragg, then Northern European Division President—1975-1983 (and later President of the South Pacific Division—1983-1990) reported that:

W. Duncan Eva has described to me his surprise when he received back from [the Andrews scholars] not a reworking of the material submitted but a completely rewritten document. (Walter R. L. Scragg, “Doctrinal Statements and the Life and Witness of the Church,” unpublished paper presented at a workers’ meeting in Vasterang, Sweden and Manchester, England between August 24 and September 4, 1981).

As a result the Andrews theologians effectively routed the General Conference 1980 ad hoc committee in a doctrinal coup, possibly unprecedented in our church history, for the Andrews University version of fundamental beliefs completely overshadowed [replaced] the 1980 General Conference ad hoc committee’s recommendations.142

I can only wonder what would have been the response of the delegates to these twenty-seven fundamental beliefs if it had been known that the recommendations of the officially appointed committee had been hijacked by an unauthorized group of Andrews University professors. With this knowledge not revealed to the delegates at the Dallas General Conference Session, the statement of the authors of The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Certain Private Organizations, that “the united church in session has deliberately chosen to leave some points open . . .” proves quite false.

 

A review of the large quarto-size 467-page book, Issues: the Seventh-day Adventist Church and Certain Private Ministries also shocked many readers by what they could hardly believe could be in a book authorized by the North American Division officers and the union presidents. It condemned Hope International and Our Firm Foundation for holding “certain views on the human nature of Christ, the nature of sin, and sanctification. These issues have never been settled among Christians, much less among Seventh-day Adventists. They are not issues so essential to salvation that souls will be lost unless they are resolved. The problem that Hope International / Our Firm Foundation has created is that this independent ministry feels driven to charge the SDA church with being in a state of apostasy because it does not accept their views on these moot theological issues.” 143

 

Surely, most Seventh-day Adventists are shocked that such a statement would be immortalized in print form. The human nature of Christ not essential to salvation!! (Romans 8:3, 4; Hebrews 2:16, 17; Selected Messages, book 1, p. 244) 144 The nature of sin not important to man’s salvation!! Seventh-day Adventists do not know what sin is?? (1 John 3:4) 145

 

If we do not know what sin is, we do not know God’s perfect law of liberty. (Romans 7:7; James 1:25; 2:12146 If we do not know what sin is, we will be separated from God (Isa. 59:2) 147; we cannot discern righteousness or sanctification; and finally we do not know what sanctification is!! We are saved by grace through sanctification (together with justification) (2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2).148 All these are moot theological issues! May our precious Saviour spare us from such shocking declarations!

 

Have the twenty-seven (now twenty-eight) fundamental beliefs redressed the dangerous errors of QOD? Sadly, I must answer, “No.” Indeed, they demonstrate how far we have parted from the blessed truths of salvation.

 

Did the book Seventh-day Adventists Believe redress the errors of QOD on the issue of the Spirit of Prophecy, the completed atonement of Christ, or the human nature of Christ? Tragically, it now reflected these errors.

 

1.   The Spirit of Prophecy – the gift of prophecy is not the Spirit of prophecy; yet there is an attempt to equate the two. When an attempt is made to explain the Spirit of Prophecy (Ibid. p. 221), there is no reference to the works of Ellen White.

These definitions of the Spirit of prophecy are proposed:

So the expression the Spirit of prophecy can refer to (1) the Holy Spirit inspiring the prophet with a revelation from God, (2) the operation of the gift of prophecy, and (3) the medium of the prophecy itself.149

Sister White is introduced by the subheading “The Spirit of Prophecy in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” When addressing the role of Ellen White under this heading, it says, “The gift of prophecy was active in the ministry of Ellen G. White.” 150 Are the authors of Seventh-day Adventists Believe equating the term “Spirit of prophecy” with the “gift of prophecy”? It is appropriate to associate both designations, but it is the Spirit of prophecy which identifies Sister White as an end-time prophet.

 

2. The Final Atonement – Consistent with the error of QOD, Seventh-day Adventists Believe says, “The atonement, or reconciliation, was completed on the cross…” 151

 

2.   The Human Nature of ChristSeventh-day Adventists Believe gets closest to redress the issues on the nature of Christ but it seems to stop short of a clear and decisive statement that Christ took upon Himself fallen, sinful human nature. Here is an example: “He clothed His divinity with humanity, He was made in the ‘likeness of sinful flesh,’ or ‘sinful human nature,’ or ‘fallen human nature,’ (cf. Rom. 8:3).” 152 However, just two paragraphs later, in the authors’ efforts to further clarify our position, they stopped short of inspiration.

 

3.               When He took on human nature the race had already deteriorated through 4,000 years of sin on a sin-cursed planet. So that He could save those in the utter depths of degradation, Christ took a human nature that, compared with Adam’s unfallen nature, had decreased in physical and mental strength—though He did so without sinning.153

 

 

The following endnote is added to the end of the above paragraph:

Christ took upon Him “the same susceptibilities, mental and physical” as His contemporaries (White, “Notes of Travel,” Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Feb. 10, 1885, p. 81)—a human nature that had decreased in “physical strength, in mental power, in moral worth”—though not morally depraved, but totally sinless (White, “ ‘In All Points Tempted Like As We Are,’ ” Signs, Dec. 3, 1902, p. 2; White, Desire of Ages, p. 49).154

This is the confusion that Seventh-day Adventists Believe presents, for the authors do quote the italicized portion of the following plain statement on Christ’s humanity:

For four thousand years the race had been decreasing in physical strength, in mental power, in moral worth; and Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity. Only thus could He rescue man from the lowest depths of degradation.155

Unfortunately, in their own words, however, the authors state in the endnote above that Christ took “a human nature . . . totally sinless.” Note how the authors fell short of Ellen White’s inspired revelation.

Laying aside His royal crown, He condescended to step down, step by step, to the level of fallen humanity. 156

The King of glory proposed to humble Himself to fallen humanity! He would place His feet in Adam’s steps. He would take man’s fallen nature, and engage to cope with the strong foe who triumphed over Adam. 157

Clad in the vestments of humanity, the Son of God came down to the level of those he wished to save. In him was no guile or sinfulness; he was ever pure and undefiled; yet he took upon him our sinful nature. 158

There is another concern regarding the section in Seventh-day Adventists Believe on the humanity of Christ. I noticed the heading on page 49: “6. The sinlessness of Jesus Christ’s human nature.  To me, the heading and the following discussion creates an unfortunate confusion of nature and character. It is true that the word “nature” does sometimes refer to a person’s character, but I do not believe that “human nature,” in this context, is referring to “character.” This confusion would make it very difficult for someone to grasp the fact that Jesus took our sinful nature while maintaining a sinless character.

 

In the end, the author(s) straddled the issue, choosing the dichotomy more consistent with the concept of the evil body but the good soul (spirit), couching it in such language as to confuse nature with Christ’s perfect character and sinless life.

Thus “Christ’s humanity was not the Adamic humanity, that is, the humanity of Adam before the fall; nor fallen humanity, that is, in every respect the humanity of Adam after the fall. It was not the Adamic, because it had the innocent infirmities of the fallen. It was not the fallen, because it had never descended into moral impurity. It was, therefore, most literally our humanity, but without sin.” 159

Thus QOD’s ambivalence sadly still reigns within our “official” presentation of fundamental beliefs. Let us remember, confusion and error is frequently more dangerous than outright error.

 

The Origin of Present-Day Errors in the Seventh-day Adventist Church

 

The test of Christian integrity is the same today as it has always been—implicit loyalty to God and His Word. Since the garden of Eden, Satan has insinuated his admixture of truth and error, and with amazing success he has ultimately prevailed against every reform movement which God has raised up in the history of the world.160

 

Augustine (354–430), Bishop of Hippo (396–430) in North Africa, has been the architect of the theological turmoil in the early Christian church, the medieval church, the Reformation churches, and now his theology is infecting the Seventh-day Adventist Church today. Like so many Western theologians, beginning in the second century, Augustine viewed Christianity through the prism of pagan concepts.161

 

Like almost all pagans, Augustine had learned as a youth, probably, from his father to believe that the gods were in complete control. Yet he believed in limited free-will. Toward the end of his life, however, he became strong in following the Greek pagan false concept of predestination.162 He thus accepted that by God’s predetermined edict, some humans would be saved and others would be punished eternally.163 He rejected the truth that one’s personal acceptance of Christ’s free grace through faith with its offer of salvation determines his eternal destiny.164 Augustine’s belief that some were predestined by God to eternal burning hell, and others were predestined to eternal salvation fearfully defames the character of our God of love.

 

Augustine seemed unable to comprehend or failed to accept the clearest statements of Scripture on the choice which God gives to man. He did not give due weight to these texts.165

 

The concept of predestination led many ultimately to the conclusion that once we are saved, we are always saved, for God is constant. Once He has saved us, He cannot change—no matter what our subsequent life history is, whether we possess holy or unholy characters. This false teaching, termed by some as the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, set forth a train of false doctrines which included that once we are saved by Christ who changes not, we are always saved, irrespective of our conduct, whether virtuous or evil. Both the Old and New Testaments attest to the falsity of this concept.166 Thus was laid the foundation of the “sin-and-live” theology, whose adherents are quick to point out that we are not saved according to our works. While this is true, the sin-and-live theology fails to emphasize that no one will be saved without the good works of the Spirit.167 Salvation does not encompass forgiveness only; it also frees us from the slavery of the practice of sin.

 

These teachings of Augustine opened the doors to the pagan concept of original sin, which taught that the original sin of Adam required the punishment of all the human race. In other words, we are guilty for Adam’s sin. This teaching proclaimed that we sin because we are sinners, not that we are sinners because we have sinned. This teaching is a major error and is contrary to the Bible. While we inherit from Adam sinful flesh and his tendency to sin, the act of sin itself is a volitional act.168

 

Every human being is born unconverted, with a predisposition to sin. An unconverted person will fall into sin as all have done. Nevertheless, no sin is accounted against us unless it has resulted from our choice or, at the least, deliberate negligence. Until God provides us knowledge of sin He does not count us guilty.169

 

Augustinian theology created a great dilemma. It had been understood that Christ took upon Himself our fallen nature and that, in the power of His Father, He resisted Satan. However, the logical implication of Augustine’s theory of original sin was that Christ, too, was a sinner if He possessed the same fallen genetic nature of human beings. Therefore, the view was proposed that Christ had a different inherited nature from fallen human beings—that He had inherited the unfallen nature which Adam had before the Fall. In this sense, He could not be fully our example; yet the Bible is plain on this point.170

 

Here we see the development of a body of doctrines which defies pure Scripture, but is both logical and consistent with the false premise upon which Augustine based his theology.

 

The New Testament is emphatic that Christ did inherit the fallen nature of mankind. There is no excuse for us to err on this matter.171

 

Christ could not have provided an example to us who are born with fallen natures unless He possessed the same nature as us and was tempted as we are. He could not have demonstrated that we, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, have no excuse for sin. Thus, one error, the doctrine of original sin, has led to another error and many more.

 

For example, Christians of that era began to ask how the curse and the penalty of original sin was taken away. The answer eventually provided was that the curse of original sin is abrogated by baptism. Other questions naturally followed, such as, “What happens if someone dies unbaptized?” It was then declared that they would suffer eternal burning torment. We can only begin to imagine the chilling terror and anguish which filled the hearts of parents who had lost their little ones and now were informed that their deceased babies were consigned to eternal burning fire because their little ones had died unbaptized. Even the most heartless priests were surely troubled by this declaration. Thus, step by step, the wholly unbiblical concept of infant “baptism,” entered fully into the beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church.

 

Centuries later, indeed not until the thirteenth century, a totally unbiblical word—“limbo”—was introduced into the ecclesiastical language of the Church. Limbo was said to be some intermediate place where the souls of unbaptized infants and “innocents” went at death.

 

When men commence with one false premise as Augustine did, and then others attempt to bring every concept incompatible to it into unity with this false premise, wholesale destruction of the faith inevitably ensues. This deviation was the certain result of Augustine’s promotion of predestination. Now, two clear distinct strands of Christianity were developed throughout Christendom. One was built upon the purity of God’s Word, the other was established upon false premises which proved to be null and void when examined in the light of Holy Scripture. To support the false concepts, church tradition assumed equal status with the Bible and in many instances superseded the authority of the Bible.

 

Some also trace the concept of the immaculate conception of Mary back to Augustine’s concept that Christ had an unfallen nature. Even though this doctrine was not finally adopted by the Roman Church until 1854, during the reign of Pius IX (Pope 1846–1878), nevertheless it was a logical extension of Augustine’s error.

 

Augustine was also the architect of persecution of other Christians who stood against his beliefs. The most to suffer were his fellow Africans, the Donatists. They opposed the church-state union and state enforcement of the edicts of the church. Augustine threatened dire consequences to the Donatists, and indeed they were persecuted out of existence.172 Perhaps the annihilation of the Donatists was the major event which permitted the Muslims to wipe out Christianity in North Africa two to three centuries later.

 

Augustine’s beliefs, such as predestination, were imbibed by the Augustinian monk Martin Luther, who taught Calvin, who then taught these Augustinian concepts to Beza, Knox, and many others.173 In turn, they have flooded into the ranks of the Baptists and are now invading the Seventh-day Adventist Church. These Augustinian concepts also influenced the philosophers Immanuel Kant and Blaise Pascal.174

 

We must look to see how some of these false doctrines have become embedded to a significant extent into the Seventh-day Adventist faith of today, partially through the training of our Bible professors in the universities and seminaries of the fallen churches of Christendom. Augustine, who died in the first half of the fifth century, is casting his shadow across the Seventh-day Adventist Church today, thus causing spiritual turmoil and doctrinal uncertainty in the ranks of God’s people. Thus today, some of these Augustinian heresies are preached from the Seventh-day Adventist pulpits and are accepted increasingly by many of our lay people.

 

When chairman of the Education Department of Avondale College in the latter part of the 1960s, I was so exercised by the intrusion of evangelical beliefs into the Bible classes taught by Dr. Desmond Ford that I was constrained to utter this warning, “What is taught in our college today, will be preached in our pulpits tomorrow and will be believed by our members the day after tomorrow.” While I am not a prophet, that statement has been tragically fulfilled with dire consequences.

 

Commonly presented in one form or another is the “sin-and-live” theology. Many are increasingly proclaiming the concept of original sin. Others are urging the doctrine that Christ came in the nature of unfallen Adam. QOD opened the floodgate to these false teachings. It would be logical to believe that some of the other teachings of Augustine will eventually surface within our ranks unless we take conscientious stands and definitive actions now.

 

Let us be reminded that when QOD was released in 1957, the membership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was a little more than 1,000,000. Very few of us who were members then are still alive today. Almost all the leaders and pastors of that era have ceased their labors for the Lord, and most are resting in the grave. As we approach 16,000,000 members, we face the likelihood that only a tiny fraction of our members have heard the unvarnished truths of the everlasting gospel. Further, it will be true that the great majority of our pastors are in the same predicament and therefore are incapable of teaching these precious truths.

 

To preserve and proclaim the everlasting gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15) demands a mighty, diligent effort to teach the professors in our colleges, universities, and seminaries, to train pastors and teachers at all our schools, and by extension all our members these sacred truths so that all can know them, believe them, live them, and proclaim them to the world. I pray that our leaders will take up this monumental challenge necessary for the hastening of Christ’s return.

 

Conclusion

 

The Seventh-day Adventist Church, with the weightiest commission in church history, must not fail. Attendees at this conference have a solemn responsibility to do all, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to make sure that the tragic failures of the last fifty years be redressed. I do not hark back to the past history of our church. Our generation should not have been born, for our forefathers failed to be ready for the sealing, and God had to delay the return of our Savior.175 If in the last 50 years we had moved courageously forward, we might well now have reached the heavenly home, but we are far, far from home. Let us solemnly vow together to lead a reformation led by the Holy Spirit, which will guide our people back to “the old paths, where is the good way.” 176 Unlike the Jews of Jeremiah’s day, let us unite our voices to respond, “We will walk therein.” Let us heed the counsel of Paul to the Colossian believers.177

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.178

While this gathering has not been officially assembled for the purpose of making recommendations to the world-wide Seventh-day Adventist body of believers, and while there has been no official mandate from the General Conference leadership to do so, nevertheless, I believe that we, the delegates gathered at the Fiftieth Anniversary QOD Conference, convened at Andrews University, October 24-27, 2007, will be greatly remiss if we do not make our voices heard to leadership, pastors, evangelists, teachers, and laity, seeking to redress the tragic errors inserted into QOD. These errors have led to the great theological division and confusion now in the Seventh-day Adventist ranks. Not only have our church’s doctrines been compromised on the role of the Spirit of Prophecy, the completed atonement in the heavenly sanctuary, and the fallen human nature of Christ, these alterations have opened the floodgate to allow many of the beliefs of Augustinian Catholic doctrines to infiltrate into our church. God’s church is too special to permit this situation to continue. Dr. Douglass’ enlightening booklet was entitled The Opportunity of the Century. Today, we must grasp the opportunity of this moment, for to permit it to pass without a decided, united thrust to rectify the failings of our spiritual forebears would lead to our own complicit culpability.

 

 

 


Notes

1         Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Assoc., 1957), (hereafter referred to as QOD) was written to answer 40 questions provided by Evangelical Pastor Walter Martin. After many consultations, mainly with Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse, pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, editor of Eternity magazine and popular radio Bible expositor, and Walter Martin, founder and director of Christian Research Institute in California, QOD was prepared for publication.

2         I eagerly drove to the Greater Sydney Conference A.B.C. to purchase my copy of QOD. I was then a 24-year-old undergraduate full-time student at the University of Sydney. At the same time I was holding a full-time time job as a primary (elementary) school teacher. The pre-publicity for the book was the most extensive from a Seventh-day Adventist press that I can remember in my lifetime.

“At last,” I thought, “there is a definitive book which will provide the Bible bases by which to substantiate the pillar truths of our faith. What a tool to help me witness to fellow university students!” No such tool had previously been available.

With a confidence born of naïvety, I believed this book would “fill in” all the blanks in my Biblical knowledge. I made the most of any spare time I had, especially during Sabbath hours.

Yet, early in my reading I was confronted with my first perplexity, and later I discovered two others which were of critical concern to me. At that time, I had no knowledge that any other church members was perplexed. My first perplexity was in reference to Ellen White. Some statements did not seem right. I had already read much of the Spirit of Prophecy from my mid-teens. Some of the answers in QOD seemed carefully crafted to placate rather than enlighten those Christians not of our faith. While I realized that we need to introduce the role of Sister White with wisdom, her divinely appointed role can clearly be explained within the spotlight of Biblical prophecy. What I had been taught by my father and mother and instruction I received at the Hamilton Church in Newcastle, Australia, the Newcastle Seventh-day Adventist high school, and at Avondale College were consistent and soundly supported by Scripture, the foundation of all Seventh-day Adventist beliefs and practices. Fifty years of constant study of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy has served to reinforce the convictions of my early life regarding the blessed role of Ellen White in the Seventh-day Adventist church and the world.

Later in my reading of QOD, I was startled by the positions proposed concerning Christ’s atonement for the human race and the human nature of Christ. Surely these were foreign to the learning of my childhood, youth, and early manhood. I was greatly shaken by the discovery that the book appeared to have the endorsement of the General Conference and a large section of leaders and scholars in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

I was troubled. In despair, I sought to counsel with the pastor of the Woollahra Church (Sydney), Pastor George Best. He seemed taken aback by my comment, “Pastor Best, I don’t believe that book Questions on Doctrine should ever have been published.” However, he revealed that he had not read the book and so was unable to help me.

I knew nothing about the Barnhouse-Martin dialog held with some of our leaders. It was not until a few years later that the puzzle of the book become clear to me as I witnessed the monumental changes it was effecting within God’s chosen church.

Time has only deepened my concerns. It has led to the tragic fractionation of our beloved church and has led multitudes to accept a gospel foreign to the everlasting gospel of the three angels. It is surely evident that many who have been influenced by this “other gospel” have been led astray from their eternal salvation directly or indirectly by the influence of this book.

3         The book Questions on Doctrine was a response largely prepared by Leroy Froom (1890-1974), an American and a former ministerial secretary of the General Conference; Roy Allan Anderson (1895-1988), an Australian who was then ministerial secretary of the General Conference; and W. E. Read (1883-1976), an Englishman who served as a field secretary of the General Conference. It provided answers in response to forty questions presented by prominent Evangelical leaders led by Donald Grey Barnhouse, editor of Eternity magazine, a popular radio speaker and pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia; and Walter Martin, a Baptist minister, author and founder of the Christian Research Institute.

The book caused what has proven to be the greatest and most enduring split in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, with great repercussions fifty years later. Elder Froom, the senior author, declared that the book “completed the long process of clarification, rectifications of misconceptions, and declaration of truth before the Church [of Christendom] and the world.” Froom’s contemporary, Milian Lauritz Andreasen, a former college and conference president, field secretary of the General Conference, and author, declared the book to be “the most subtle and dangerous error” and “most dangerous heresy.” These evaluations are the foundation of the polarized Church which new members now inherit.

4         QOD, pp. 29, 51, 89.

5         Ibid., pp. 353–355.

6         George Knight, Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine: Annotated Edition (Berrien Springs, MI: University Press, 2003), p. xviii (Hereafter referred to as QODAE)

7         QOD, p. 650

8         Herbert Douglass, Opportunity of the Century (Highland, CA: greatcontroversy.org, 2006), pp. 17-23.

Froom admitted [to the Evangelicals] that some Adventists had made it into print emphasizing these “atrocious ideas” [that Christ took fallen, sinful human nature], but offered that such were from those in the Adventist “lunatic fringe”! Remember, Froom and Anderson were trying to find some common ground with their Calvinistic friends! They used language such as “exempt from the inherited passions and pollutions that corrupt the natural descendents of Adam.” [QOD, p. 383] And “all that Jesus took, all that He bore, whether the burden and penalty of our iniquities, or the diseases and frailties of our human nature—all was taken and borne vicariously.” [QOD, pp. 61, 62] Pure Catholic and Calvinistic notions! (Douglass, op. cit., p. 18)

9         Ibid., p. 17.

10              The point of special interest is [DeHaan’s] testimony to the fact that the book does not represent any change in Adventist doctrine. . . . What has apparently confused some is the avoidance of certain Adventist phraseology and the employment of “terminology currently used in theological circles.” Adventists through the years have developed a vocabulary of their own that to them means much but does not always rightly convey to non-Adventists the ideas intended. The book endeavors to set forth as clearly as possible a reason for the hope that is ours so that sincere non-Adventist inquirers may understand. (R.R. Figuhr, G.C. President, Review and Herald, April 24, 1958; as quoted in QODAE, p. v)

11       “One scoffer, Louis R. Conradi, did much to build up Adventism in Germany, only eventually to turn openly against it in the 1930s. His doctrinal deviations began in 1888 [by rejecting the message of Christ our Righteousness at the Minneapolis General Conference in 1888. By extension he rejected the role of Ellen White in the Seventh-day Adventist Church].” Richard W. Schwarz, Floyd Greenleaf, Light Bearers: A History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2000), p. 186

12       Having lived in California for five years, I have discovered that California does have many faithful Seventh-day Adventists.

13       Ibid., p. 29

14       Ibid., p. 51

15       Ibid., p. 89

16       Ibid.

17       Here are two of many diverse examples of statements by Mrs. White which have universal application:

When the Spirit of God, with its marvelous awakening power, touches the soul, it abases human pride. Worldly pleasure and position and power are seen to be worthless. (The Desire of Ages, p. 135)

The worship of images and relics, the invocation of saints, and the exaltation of the pope are devices of Satan to attract the minds of the people from God and from His Son. (The Great Controversy, p. 568)

18       Below are a few examples of commands in the Bible which do not have universal application:

Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. (Joshua 10:12)

And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted. And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. (Exodus 16:19–24)

And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. (Numbers 11:31)

And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. (Numbers 21:6–9)

19       Books written by Sister White applicable to those not of our faith include Patriarchs and Prophets; Prophets and Kings; The Desire of Ages; Acts of the Apostles; The Great Controversy; Steps to Christ; Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing; Christ’s Object Lessons; The Ministry of Healing; and Education.

20              Those who use flesh foods little know what they are eating. Often if they could see the animals when living and know the quality of the meat they eat, they would turn from it with loathing. People are continually eating flesh that is filled with tuberculous and cancerous germs. Tuberculosis, cancer, and other fatal diseases are thus communicated. (The Ministry of Healing, p. 313)

21              Tobacco is a poison of the most deceitful and malignant kind. (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4, p. 128)

Tobacco is a slow, insidious, but most malignant poison. (The Ministry of Healing, p. 127)

22              . . . both mind and body were enfeebled through the habit of self-abuse. (Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5, p. 91)

The effect of zinc deficiency has particularly profound effects on the male, because extraordinary amounts of zinc are found in the testicles and the prostate gland. . . . The amount of zinc in semen is such that one ejaculation may get rid of all the zinc that can be absorbed from the intestines in one day. . . . In humans, among the most consistent effects of zinc deficiency are changes in mood an behavior. There is depression, extreme irritability, apathy and even in some circumstances, behavior which looks like schizophrenia. . . . It is even possible, given the importance of zinc for the brain, that 19th-century moralists were correct when they said that repeated masturbation could make one mad! Similarly, the high livers were also correct when they said that a diet rich in oysters was necessary to compensate for excessive sexual indulgence. [Oysters supply a high level of zinc]. (David Horrobin, M.D., Ph.D. [Oxford University], Zinc (St. Albans, Vt.: Vitabooks, Inc., 1981), p. 8).

We hate to say it but in a zinc-deficient adolescent, sexual excitement and excessive masturbation might precipitate insanity. (Carl Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D. [Harvard University], Zinc and other Micro-Nutrients, (New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, Inc., 1978), p. 45).

23              Human beings are suffering the results of their own course of action in departing from the commandments of God. The beasts also suffer under the curse. Disease in cattle is making meat-eating a dangerous matter. The Lord’s curse is upon the earth, upon man, upon beasts, upon the fish, and as transgression becomes almost universal, the curse will be permitted to become as broad and as deep as the transgression. Disease is contracted by the use of meat. The diseased flesh of these dead carcasses is sold in the market-places, and disease among men is the sure result. The Lord would bring His people into a position where they will not touch or taste the flesh of dead animals. There is no safety in eating of the flesh of dead animals, and in a short time the milk of the cows will also be excluded from the diet of God’s commandment-keeping people. In a short time it will not be safe to use anything that comes from the animal creation. (Pacific Union Recorder, November 7, 1901)

24              The Lord would have His people bury political questions. On these themes silence is eloquence. Christ calls upon His followers to come into unity on the pure gospel principles which are plainly revealed in the word of God. We cannot with safety vote for political parties; for we do not know whom we are voting for. We cannot with safety take part in any political scheme. (Gospel Workers, p. 391)

25              Some of the most popular amusements, such as football and boxing, have become schools of brutality. They are developing the same characteristics as did the games of ancient Rome. The love of domination, the pride in mere brute force, the reckless disregard of life, are exerting upon the youth a power to demoralize that is appalling. (Education, p. 210)

A view of things was presented before me in which the students were playing games of tennis and cricket. Then I was given instruction regarding the character of these amusements. They were presented to me as a species of idolatry, like the idols of the nations. (Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 350)

26      The 1986 manual changed the wording from the “Spirit of Prophecy” to the “gift of prophecy” as voted at the 1985 General Conference Session held at New Orleans, Louisiana. This is how the vow now appears:

Do you accept the Bible teachings of spiritual gifts and do you believe that the gift of prophecy in the remnant church is one of the identifying marks of that church? Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, 1986 ed., p. 44.

27       QODAE, p. xxix

28       Ibid.

29              And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel. (Leviticus 16:17)

Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. . . . But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. (Hebrews 8:1–3, 6)

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. . . . It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:11–15, 23–26)

30              Thus those who followed in the light of the prophetic word saw that, instead of coming to the earth at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844, Christ then entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary to perform the closing work of atonement preparatory to His coming. (The Great Controversy, p. 422)

It is those who by faith follow Jesus in the great work of the atonement who receive the benefits of His mediation in their behalf, while those who reject the light which brings to view this work of ministration are not benefited thereby. (Ibid. p, 430)

31       QOD, p. 349

32       Early Writings, p. 260; emphasis by the QOD authors.

33       QOD, pp. 354, 355; emphasis in the original.

34       Early Writings, p. 253 (emphasis added)

35       Ibid. p. 254 (emphasis added)

36       Knight, QODAE, op. cit., p. xviii

37       M.L. Andreasen letter to Bro. R.R. Figuhr; quoted in QODAE, p. xxi

38       Here is what Froom wrote, “That is that tremendous scope of the sacrificial act of the cross—a complete, perfect, and final atonement for man’s sin.” (Leroy Froom, Ministry, February 1957) Unfortunately Andreasen changed the dash after the word “cross” to the word “(is)”. The opponents of Andreasen quickly made capital of this modification. Yet it is difficult for me to discern that this alteration changed the intent of what Froom had written to any significant extent. Indeed it appears to me that Froom’s original presentation is more impactful with the dash rather than (is). Either way there is no ambiguity in this statement. Froom asserted that the atonement was completed and finalized at the death of Christ. By extension the conclusion is that the high priestly ministry in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary has no relevance to the atonement for the sins of humanity. This was not the position of the early Seventh-day Adventist leaders and far more importantly, it was not the position of Holy Scripture nor the position found in the Spirit of Prophecy.

39              The word “atonement” means at-one-ment; and when Christ pronounces the decree which determines the eternal destiny of every soul, He and the subjects of His kingdom are at-one-ment. Sin will never again separate Christ from His people.

But the territory of His kingdom is still cursed by sin so the at-one-ment of Christ and His kingdom will not be complete in every sense of the term until the fires of the last day there comes forth a new earth with every mark of the curse removed. Then not only the subjects of Christ’s kingdom, but the entire earth, will be at-one-ment with Christ and the Father. (S.N. Haskell, The Cross and its Shadow, Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1914, pp. 217-218)

Reconciliation the church has all along received through Christ; but we receive the atonement only when it is made as the closing service of our Lord in the sanctuary above. (Uriah Smith and James White, The Biblical Institute, Pacific S.D.A. Publishing House, 1878, p. 81.)

40       QODAE, p. xiv.

Why did the evangelicals confine themselves to just four “tests” of whether Seventh-day Adventists are genuine Christians? Unarguably all four of these tests are crucial to salvation. Why did they not include the infallibility of Scripture, why not the Protestant principle of sola Scriptura (the Bible only)? Why not the ordinance of baptism? The secret rapture? I can only speculate that the evangelicals chose the four issues and ignored the others because the evangelicals themselves are split on these other crucial doctrines. Then there are the very distinctive Seventh-day Adventist beliefs such as the three angels’ messages, the full sanctuary message, the Sabbath, the state of the dead, the millennium, the Spirit of Prophecy, and the investigative judgment? There is no doubt that both Barnhouse and Martin had no love for many of these Seventh-day Adventist beliefs. While a number of these issues were superbly answered in QOD, Barnhouse and Martin did not make these tests of Seventh-day Adventists’ Christian authenticity. Maybe they recognized that they could not adequately argue effectively against these Scriptural doctrines?

41       We can only speculate why Barnhouse and Martin made no testing challenge to the Seventh-day Sabbath, death as sleep, the sanctuary ministry of Christ (beyond the atonement), or the three angels’ messages. Were they convinced of these truths or did they feel inadequate to answer them?

Why did not they address our belief and practice of baptism or our understanding of the anti-Christ, or the millennium, or the rapture? Possibly they avoided making these beliefs a test because the evangelicals are greatly divided on these issues.

I am mystified by Knight’s interpretation of the statement of Froom’s which is too plain to require added explanation. Here is Knight’s interpretation: “…the sacrifice on the cross was a full and complete sacrifice (in terms of the sacrificial aspect of the atonement) for sin.” (Knight, QODAE, p. xviii) Froom was too gifted as an author to write what he did while really meaning what Knight suggests.

However, in fairness to Knight, we cannot ignore other statements of Froom concerning the atonement in the same article which are in accord with the long-held Seventh-day Adventist belief on the atonement. Here are Froom’s words: “The term ‘atonement,’ which we are considering, obviously has a much broader meaning than has been commonly conceived. Despite the belief of multitudes in the churches about us, it is not, on the one hand, limited just to the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross. On the other hand, neither is it confined to the ministry of our heavenly High Priest in the sanctuary above, on the antitypical day of atonement—or hour of God’s judgment—as some of our forefathers first erroneously thought and wrote. Instead, as attested by the Spirit of prophecy, it clearly embraces both—one aspect being incomplete without the other, and each being the indispensable complement of the other.” (Froom, ibid)

I can only wonder why Froom did not explain that “atonement” has both of these meanings in this Ministry article and in his answer to the evangelicals. There is no doubt that Froom understood the Biblical foundation for the belief that both the sacrifice of Christ and the heavenly ministry of Christ in the Most Holy Place were essential elements of the atonement for the salvation of fallen humanity. This atonement was not completed at Calvary. This explanation would not have pleased the evangelicals. It may have led to their designating the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a cult, but it would have presented the truth of the words of Scripture plainly.

Froom was certainly giving mixed signals, maybe one message for the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and one more palatable for the Evangelicals. Surely Froom could have redressed the situation when Andreasen drew the attention of leadership to the duplicity and inaccuracy of what was being placed in QOD. Again I can conclude only that the goal to accommodate the evangelicals was of such a priority that the writers of QOD felt compelled to satisfy the expectations of these evangelicals to court favor with them.

If Elder Figuhr and the authors of QOD had harkened to the wise counsel and plea of M. L. Andreasen, they could have quickly brought unity with arguably the best scholar in the Seventh-day Adventist ranks rather than the infliction of terrible retribution upon Elder Andreasen and grief to his wife for his noble, courageous stand for the precious truth which God has entrusted to His remnant church.

While Knight infers that Froom was to all intents and purposes supporting the same belief on the complete atonement as was fervently cherished by Andreasen, the actions of the General Conference do not sustain this conclusion; neither do the comments in QOD on what Sister White meant by writing “that Christ is making atonement now.” She meant, they said, “that Christ is now making application of the benefits of the sacrificial atonement He made on the cross.” (QOD, pp. 354, 355) Sister White meant nothing of the sort. She clearly meant what she wrote.

 

1.  Leaders expressed themselves accurately concerning the final atonement in the Heavenly Sanctuary in Seventh-day Adventist circles, but they denied this in QOD. For example, here are the words of the General Conference President less than a year after QOD was released for sale: “The sole hope of our salvation, Christ, His atoning sacrifice on Calvary, the final phase of His atoning ministry now going on in the heavenly Sanctuary must by word and voice be clearly proclaimed to the world…” (Elder R. R. Figuhr address, June 1958 at the General Conference Session, Cleveland, Ohio; published in “The Faith Once Delivered to the Saints,” Review and Herald, June 23, 1958, p. 56; as quoted in ibid. p, 177)

 

QOD stated the opposite of this. It proclaimed that the atonement was completed at the cross. This is yet another evidence that the message to Seventh-day Adventists was strikingly different from the message to the evangelicals. This was clearly a case of duplicity. These differences went far beyond a simple attempt to couch the Seventh-day Adventist message in language understandable to the Evangelical scholars. It was a contradictory message presented to the Evangelicals in QOD. As I have presented earlier, the presentation to the Evangelicals was contrary to the Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, as the Evangelicals themselves recognized—as is confirmed later in these endnotes. QOD was to infect the minds of Seventh-day Adventists with the false evangelical belief because of the book’s wide distribution to professors and religion majors in our seminary, colleges, and university. Remember, Elder Figuhr spoke the above words after the publication of QOD and his strong endorsement of its content. Had he changed his view? Was the spoken message for Seventh-day Adventists different from the message prepared for the consumption by Evangelicals? Was QOD written for the approval of the Evangelicals rather than to affirm the precious truth to Seventh-day Adventist believers?

 

2.  Andreasen was the Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel of his day. He lost his ministerial credentials (April 6, 1961) (Ibid.) and his sustentation for standing faithful for truth and righteousness, and he was refused the opportunity to preach in the churches. These actions were not taken because Andreasen departed from the truth of the everlasting gospel, nor for abandoning the Seventh-day Adventist Church, nor for beginning a new organization. He suffered these punitive actions because he opposed leaders who compromised the precious truths of the Seventh-day Adventist faith to court favor with the Evangelicals.

3.  Elder Andreasen’s call from his death bed for reconciliation with the denominational leaders and the restoration of his ministerial credentials posthumously, did not redress the great chasm which had rendered apart the Seventh-day Adventists on some pillar issues of our faith. Fifty years later surely the time is overdue to, in sorrow and repentance, restore the integrity of God’s faith. Let ministry and laity unite together to bring this restoration.

42              Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8–10)

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16)

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17)

43              While good works will not save even one soul, yet it is impossible for even one soul to be saved without good works. (Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 377)

Good works can never purchase salvation, but they are an evidence of the faith that acts by love and purifies the soul. And though the eternal reward is not bestowed because of our merit, yet it will be in proportion to the work that has been done through the grace of Christ. (The Desire of Ages, p. 314)

There is not a point that needs to be dwelt upon more earnestly, repeated more frequently, or established more firmly in the minds of all than the impossibility of fallen man meriting anything by his own best good works. Salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ alone. (Faith and Works, p. 18. See also ibid., pp. 19-26)

44       Richard W. Schwarz, Floyd Greenleaf, Light Bearers (Boise, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2000), p. 161

45              In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. (The Desire of Ages, p. 530)

Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore. The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father. (Selected Messages, book 1, p. 247; see also p. 228.)

46              Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. (Psalm 90:2)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1–4)

For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us. (1 John 1:2)

47              And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 1 Corinthians 15:17, 18

48       Donald Barnhouse, Eternity, September 1956.

49              “The Editor once held, with many of our beloved reader-family, that Seventh-day Adventism is heretical and not Christian. Investigation that has lasted throughout nearly a year has convinced us that we were mistaken, that SDAism has been undergoing a change through the past decade, and that there are many brethren in Christ who are within the fold of Adventism.” (E. Schuyler English, Our Hope, November, 1956, p. 271)

50       Ibid.

51              The Adventists were dealing with some fairly prejudiced and aggressive fundamentalist leaders. That was certainly true of Barnhouse, who has been described as “merciless with other views, including . . . those who did not share his pre-millennial [dispensational] view of the second coming.” Other authors have described him as “fiery,” “fearless and brusque,” and one who was willing to criticize “freely.” (Knight, QODAE, p. xvi, xvii)

 

Barnhouse described the failure of Seventh-day Adventists to accept the doctrine of the immortality of the soul as “folly.” (Barnhouse’s telephone conversation with Al Hudson, May 16, 1958)

52       Confirmed in a letter from Sister Jane Pihl, dated May 11, 2007. Here is the relevant part of Sister Pihl’s letter:

There was a house meeting in Lima and we, the S.D.A. missionaries and other denominations all met together to hear this well known speaker!

After the discourse Mr. Barnhouse opened the floor for questions!

A young pastor SDA asked a question (I think) concerning Justification and sanctification!

Barnhouse exploded! He turned livid red and with clenched fist he hit the palm of his other hand, and said this.

“In the name of Jesus Christ I “curse” this Seventh-day Sabbath!!

I whispered to Kern [her missionary Doctor husband] “He is going to die.”

Of course we were all horrified! He actually did die a few years later!”

—“Jane Pihl” and Kern H. Pihl MD

 

[Reproduced without change to punctuation, capitalization or additions or deletions from the original letter except her opening greetings and affirmation that she would try to answer and organize what happened. There were final greetings to my wife.] Letter on file in the office of the President of Hartland Institute.

53       Letter to R.R. Greive, President of the North New Zealand Conference, dated 19 January, 1956 from Elder Roy Allan Anderson (Quoted in Standish and Standish, Half a Century of Apostasy, pp. 483, 484)

54       This was a very important issue because Barnhouse and Martin were Calvinistic-oriented in their beliefs. John Calvin had learned the Augustinian theology which was riveted upon the belief that fallen man inherited the guilt of Adam’s original sin. Thus for Seventh-day Adventists to proclaim that Christ took upon Himself sinful, fallen human nature was perceived by Barnhouse and Martin to be saying that Christ was born a sinner. Yet Seventh-day Adventists believed the plain statements of Paul that Jesus was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) Never have Seventh-day Adventists taught other than that Christ was free from sin during His life on earth. It would be vile blasphemy to entertain the thought that at any time throughout His life Jesus had ever yielded in the slightest way to Satan’s temptations. Likewise, Seventh-day Adventists have always taught that Christ’s character was perfectly sinless.  

55       Dr. Ralph Larson, The Word Was Made Flesh: One Hundred Years of Seventh-day Adventist Christology, 1852–1952, (Cherry Valley, California: The Cherrystone Press, 1986). (Hereafter referred to as WMF.)

56              The “evidence” presented to Martin consisted of the misrepresentations and falsifications discussed in previous parts of this series, which were a methodological monstrosity and a historical fraud.

The “group” at our world headquarters had a very difficult assignment. They had to produce a double deception, for two different audiences. They had to prove to the Calvinists that we had changed our doctrines, and at the same time prove to the Adventists that we had not changed our doctrines. . . .

Fact number one: There is no way, absolutely no way, that a trained scholar with a Doctor’s degree, like Dr. Leroy Edwin Froom, could put forth such a mass of mangled, misrepresented and misstated materials as this without knowing what he was doing. No PHD is that dumb. This “presentation” could not have been an accident. It had to be a deliberate and intentional deception.

Fact number two: There is no way, absolutely no way, that a trained scholar with a Doctor’s degree, like Dr. Walter Martin, could accept such a mass of mangled, misrepresented, and misstated materials as this without knowing what he was doing. No PHD is that dumb. This “acceptance” could not have been an accident. It had to be a deliberate and intentional deception. (Our Firm Foundation, May 2004)

57       George Knight, QODAE, p. xvi.

58       Here are a few examples of the contribution of Seventh-day Adventist authors:

[1854] To say that God sent His own Son “in the likeness of sinful flesh,” is equivalent to saying that the Son of God assumed our nature. (J.M. Stephenson, RH, 11/09/54, p.99, col. 3. Quoted in WMF, p. 34)

[1872] And He left that throne of glory and of power and took upon Him the nature of fallen man. In Him were blended “the brightness of the Father’s glory” and the weakness of “the seed of Abraham.” In Himself He united the Lawgiver to the law-breaker—the Creator to the creature. (J.H. Waggoner [Signs editor], The Atonement (1872), p. 161. Quoted in WMF, p. 36, 37)

[1874] He took on Him the nature of the seed of Abraham for the redemption of our fallen race. (James White [General Conference president, Review editor, etc.], ST, 6/04/1874. Quoted in WMF, p. 39)

[1890] It must have been sinful man that He was made like, for it was sinful man that He came to redeem. . . . Moreover, the fact that Christ took upon Himself the flesh, not of a sinless being, but of sinful man, that is, that the flesh which He assumed had all the weaknesses and sinful tendencies to which fallen human nature is subject, is shown by the statement that He “was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” . . . actually taking upon Himself sinful nature . . . having suffered all that sinful flesh is heir to, He knows all about it. (E.J. Waggoner [Signs editor], Christ and His Righteousness [later Christ Our Righteousness], 1890, pp. 26, 27, 28, 30. Quoted in WMF, p. 46)

[1893] He took upon Himself our sinful natures, yet without sin. (S.N. Haskell, GCB, 1893, p. 214, col. 1. Quoted in WMF, p.51)

[1895] Although Jesus Christ took sinful flesh,—flesh in which we sin, . . . God was able to keep Him from sinning in that sinful flesh. So that although He was manifested in sinful flesh, God by His Spirit and power dwelling in Him, kept Him from sinning in that sinful flesh. . . . (God) made a perfect revelation of His mind in that sinful flesh. (W.W. Prescott, GCB, 1895, p. 319, col. 2. Quoted in WMF, p.71)

[1896] Do not forget that the mystery of God is not God manifest in sinless flesh but God manifest in sinful flesh. There could never be any mystery about God’s manifesting Himself in sinless flesh, in one who had no connection whatever with sin. That would be plain enough. But that He can manifest Himself in flesh laden with sin and with all the tendencies to sin, such as ours is,—that is a mystery. (A.T. Jones, BE, 11/30/1896, p. 370, col. 3; emphasis his. Quoted in WMF, p. 60)

[1910] Because we dwell in flesh that is mortal, corruptible, temptable, having in it the accumulated tendencies of centuries of sin, “He also Himself likewise took part of the same.” (C.M. Snow [Review and Signs associate editor, Australian Signs editor], RH 6/02/1910, p. 12, col. 2. Quoted in WMF, p. 150)

[1920] He took the same kind of flesh that you have—sinful flesh. . . . He came “in the likeness of sinful flesh” and lived a sinless life. (J.L. Schuler [evangelist, ministerial secretary, conference president], The Watchman, July 1920, p. 18, col. 2. Quoted in WMF, p. 156)

[1923] As (man) grasps the truth that there actually lived upon this earth One possessed of the same nature as himself, who “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” he realizes that there is hope for him. (F.D. Nichol [Signs assistant editor, Review editor], RH 3/01/1923, p. 7, col. 2. Quoted in WMF, p. 159)

[1923] None but a human being—“made in the likeness of sinful flesh”—could serve as a mediator on behalf of sinful men. All the attributes of the Godhead, and those of sinful humanity, must be made to meet in the one who should effect the reconciliation. (Asa T. Robinson [conference president, pioneer missionary], RH 12/20/23, p. 4, col. 1. Quoted in WMF, p. 159)

[1924] Christ united Himself to man in his fallen condition. When He took our nature He did not take it as it was originally created, before sin entered, but as it was after four thousand years of the ravages of sin. He came to us where we are. . . .

If Christ did not come in sinful flesh, to men just where they are, He did not need to come at all, for He could bring them no help otherwise. If He came only to where men were in their original innocence and purity, . . . then He might just as well have remained in heaven, . . . for in this way He could not reach men. . . .

He partook of the essential nature of fallen humanity. . . . The Bible very clearly teaches that Christ was truly human, that He partook of human nature as it now is. . . .

Paul makes it clear that this flesh that Christ partook of was “sinful flesh,” [Romans 8:3 quoted]. . . . He did bear our sinful nature for thirty-three years. . . .

In the weary, sinful, fallen, helpless nature of humanity, . . . Christ worked out the perfect way of human salvation. (Carlyle B. Haynes [evangelist, author, administrator], The Watchman, November 1924 p. 14, col. 2. Quoted in WMF, p. 161–162)

[1926] Christ came and tabernacled in our sinful flesh. (R.A. Salton, AST, 11/15/26, p. 13, col.1. Quoted in WMF, p. 165)

[1929] [He was made] like you—like me. . . . Having triumphed over sin in sinful flesh. (A.G. Daniells [conference president, union president, General Conference president], RH, 11/07/29, p. 5, col. 3. Quoted in WMF, p. 174)

[1930] Jesus came into this world on human plane. . . . In his human nature Jesus stands on our ground. (Allen Walker, ST, 11/25/30, p. 11, col. 2. Quoted in WMF, p. 176)

[1933] In order for Christ to understand the weakness of sinful nature, He had to experience it. . . . Therefore He become bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. W.H. Branson [evangelist, author, conference administrator, General Conference president], AST, 10/30/33, p. 11, col. 2. Quoted in WMF, p. 180)

[1936] Jesus Christ took upon Himself sinful flesh. (Leonard S. Barnes, AST 1/13/36, p. 5, col. 1. Quoted in WMF, p. 182)

[1938] In fact, as one writer says, These thirteen verses (John 1:1–13) were intended to raise the reader to the altitude of the climax, “The Word was made flesh.” And in several other scriptures, “Flesh” denotes man’s present frail, moral condition. . . .

By His incarnation He became married to our human nature, and is as conscious of our infirmities, weaknesses, and frailties as He is of all that is properly divine. . . .

Jesus, to redeem us, reached down to humanity’s lowest depths. He took our nature. He became man. . . . Christ “came where he (man) was” by His humanity. . . . For taking our nature, thus He is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” . . .

With His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Infinite, and with His human arm He encircles the fallen race. . . .

(John 1:51) Jesus is the ladder. This ladder is set upon earth. He is the Son of man, and by His humanity He is linked to humanity. The ladder is within our reach. (J.E. Fulton [missionary, administrator], AST, 9/05/38, p. 1, cols. 2, 3, p.3, col. 1. Quoted in WMF, p. 192)

[1940] He knows by experience all that man must pass through. . . . It was necessary for Him to be made like His brethren in all things. (M.L. Andreasen [conference president, college president, seminary professor], RH, 10/10/40, p. 5, col. 2. Quoted in WMF, p. 195)

[1942] Jesus inherited . . . the nature of His mother. . . . A man named Jesus, made of flesh and blood like other men, had actually lived in their midst. (A.V. Olson [conference president, union president, division president, general vice-president], RH, 8/06/42, p. 4, col. 1, p. 5, col. 1. Quoted in WMF, p. 196)

[1944] Men seem to forget that Christ . . . divested Himself of His kingliness and clothed Himself in sinful flesh. (S. George Hyde, AST, 3/27/44, p. 1, col. 1. Quoted in WMF, p. 199)

[1945] To reach and redeem fallen men the Redeemer must be one with them. He must share their weakness. . . . He must enjoy no privilege that is not within the reach of the weakest of His fellows. . . . He came and took upon Himself the flesh He had made, not as it was when endowed with original strength, but after it had been weakened and corrupted by centuries of sin. (F.G. Clifford, Signs of the Times [South Africa], June 1945, p. 6, col. 2. Quoted in WMF, p. 200)

[1945] Jesus took upon Himself the nature of man. . . . As the son of David, the descendant of David, He inherited all the frailties and weaknesses of His ancestral line . . . (Hebrews 2:14–17 quoted). . . . This scriptural doctrine of the incarnation is absolutely essential to a true conception of the atonement. . . . Rome teaches that Jesus and even Mary, His mother, were “immaculate” in their conception. They were not born of the same flesh—subject to sin—as are the multitudes of men who inherit the weakness of Adam. (Varner Johns, RH, 11/01/45, p. 11, col. 2. Quoted in WMF, p. 200)

[1947] Christ must partake of man’s sinful nature. (A.G. Stewart [missionary, administrator, author], RH, 1/09/47, p. 44. Quoted in WMF, p. 201)

59       A few Ellen White statements, one from each decade from the 1850s:

[1858] Jesus also told them [the angels] that . . . he should take man’s fallen nature, and his strength would not be even equal with theirs. (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, p. 25)

[1864] It was in the order of God that Christ should take upon himself the form and nature of fallen man. (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, p. 115)

[1874] Through his humiliation and poverty Christ would identify himself with the weaknesses of the fallen race. . . . The great work of redemption could be carried out only by the Redeemer taking the place of fallen Adam. . . . The King of glory proposed to humble himself to fallen humanity! . . . He would take man’s fallen nature. (The Review and Herald, February 24, 1874)

[1889] The divine Son of God, who had, with unprecedented self-denial and love for the creatures formed in his image, come from heaven and assumed their fallen nature. . . . He took upon Him our nature that He might reach man in his fallen condition. . . . He came to bring to man moral power, to unite the fallen race with Himself. (The Signs of the Times, September 23, 1889)

[1893] The Son of God . . . humbled Himself in taking the nature of man in his fallen condition, but He did not take the taint of sin. (Ms. 93, 1893, p.3; Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, p. 324)

[1903] Christ assumed our fallen nature, and was subject to every temptation to which man is subject. (Ms. 80, 1903, p. 12; Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, p. 29)

[1915] He made Himself of no reputation, took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of sinful flesh. . . . Sinless and exalted by nature, the Son of God consented to take the habiliments of humanity, to become one with the fallen race. The eternal Word consented to be made flesh. God became man. (The Signs of the Times, January 5, 1915)

60       QODAE, p. xxix

61       1950 General Conference Bulletin, p. 154.

62               He was born as a babe in Bethlehem, subject to like passions as we are. . . . If Christ had been exempt from temptation, without the power and responsibility to choose, or without the sin-filled inclinations and tendencies of our sinful nature, He could not have lived our life without sin. (Fenton Edwin Froom, Our Times, December 1949, p. 4, col. 2. Quoted in WMF, p. 206)

63       Herbert Douglass, Opportunity of the Century (Highland, California: Great Controversy.org, 2006), p. 13

64       George Knight, QODAE, pp. xv, xvi.

65       See ibid.

66       For example,

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. (Romans 1:3)

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. (Romans 8:3)

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (Hebrews 2:14–18)

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

67              But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9; see also Romans 8:3; Philippians 2:5-8)

 

Some Seventh-day Adventist scholars have concluded that a letter written by Ellen White to an American pastor serving in Tasmania, Australia in 1895, W.L.H. Baker, supports their views that Christ took unfallen human nature.

Portions of this letter are reproduced in The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, pp. 1128–1129. The full text of the letter is found in Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, pp. 13–29.

The first conclusion which can be drawn from Sister White’s letter is that nowhere is the human nature Christ assumed at His incarnation addressed. Clearly, this was not the issue to which Sister White was addressing when she wrote,

. . . let every human being be warned from the ground of making Christ altogether human, such an one as ourselves.

In The Word Was Made Flesh, author Ralph Larson also reprinted the majority of the Baker letter (see pp. 311-320). In the following pages, Larson analyzed the focus of the letter very effectively:

I find Ellen White’s own statement of the problem clear and satisfactory. She wrote: “Let every human be warned away from the ground of making Christ altogether human, such an one as ourselves.” (Emphasis mine.) . . .

Let us try to fully internalize this statement, taking care that no eisegesis (putting our meaning into the text) is mingled with our exegesis (getting the writer’s meaning from the text). These points would appear to be beyond question:

a.  The message is intended as a warning.

b.  The warning, although primarily addressed to Baker, is widened to include “every human being.”

c.  The subject matter of the warning is Christology, the doctrine of Christ.

d.  The warning is not limited by its wording to either the human nature of Christ or the divine nature of Christ. The writer is speaking of Christ in His totality, the complete Christ, the entire Christ, the divine-human Saviour who is both God and man. This is made clear by the wording of the sentence itself, and by the context, in which care is urged lest we “. . . lose or dim the clear perceptions of His humanity as combined with divinity.” (Emphasis mine.)

e.  The specific content of the warning is that we be careful to not present Christ to the people as (1) altogether human, (2) such an one as ourselves. (Ralph Larson, The Word Was Made Flesh, op. cit., pp. 321–322.)

While we cannot be sure precisely what belief Elder Baker held to which Ellen White was responding, Larson concluded that Baker may have been proposing the “adoptionist” concept. Here is Larson’s explanation of this belief and of Sister White’s response:

Without identifying the Christological error by its specific technical name, Ellen White found occasion to refute the principles of Adoptionism. This was a view that Christ was not the Son of God at birth, nor during the first phase of His earthly life, but became the Son of God by adoption. . . .

In this interesting letter, we find (1) a warning to Pastor Baker about spending too much time in reading, (2) a caution against accepting the traditions of the Fathers (a term which, when capitalized as in the letter, is understood to refer to the church Fathers), and (3) a warning about teaching speculative theories that would not be of benefit to the church members. She also presents a specific, point-by-point refutation of the errors of Adoptionism. (Ibid., pp. 324–325.)

The Desire of Ages, which Ellen White was writing at the time of the Baker letter, dispels any doubts concerning her belief that Christ took upon Himself fallen, sinful human nature:

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

Notwithstanding that the sins of a guilty world were laid upon Christ, notwithstanding the humiliation of taking upon Himself our fallen nature, the voice from heaven declared Him to be the Son of the Eternal. (Page 112)

For four thousand years the race had been decreasing in physical strength, in mental power, and in moral worth; and Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity. Only thus could He rescue man from the lowest depths of his degradation. . . . If we have in any sense a more trying conflict than had Christ, then He would not be able to succor us. But our Saviour took humanity, with all its liabilities. He took the nature of man, with the possibility of yielding to temptation. We have nothing to bear which He has not endured. (Page 117)

In our own strength it is impossible for us to deny the clamors of our fallen nature. Through this channel Satan will bring temptation upon us. Christ knew that the enemy would come to every human being, to take advantage of hereditary weakness, and by his false insinuations to ensnare all whose trust is not in God. And by passing over the ground which man must travel, our Lord has prepared the way for us to overcome. (Pages 122–123.)

Also, in a more recently discovered letter addressed to Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, Sister White presented her strong belief in the fallen nature of Jesus eight years after she wrote the letter to Baker. Her interlineations, which she added in her own handwriting (indicated by the White Estate in <brackets> as shown below), is indicative:

When the fullness of time was come, He [Christ] stepped down from His throne of highest command, laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to this earth to exemplify what humanity must do and be in order to overcome the enemy and to sit with the Father upon His throne. Coming, as He did, as a man, <to meet and be subjected [to]> / with all the tendencies to which man is heir, <working in every conceivable manner to destroy His faith,> He made it possible for Himself to be buffeted by human agencies inspired by Satan. (Letter K-303, 1903)

68              Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17)

69              For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (Hebrews 2:18)

70              For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrew 4:15)

71              For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. (1 Peter 2:21, 22)

72              Our ideas of education take too narrow and too low a range. There is need of a broader scope, a higher aim. True education means more than the pursual of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come. (Education, p. 13)

73       Ibid., pp. 14, 15, 16, 21

74       1 John 3:4

75              For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. (Romans 8:3)

76       Barnhouse, Donald G., Forward to Walter R. Martin, The Truth About Seventh-day Adventists, Zondervan, 1960, p. 7 (as quoted in “Introduction to the Annotated Edition,” QODAE, p. xxiv)

77       The Great Controversy, p. 243

78              Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. (Jeremiah 17:5)

79              And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. (Revelation 18:4–5)

80       Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 363-364.

81       John 17:17, 19

82       Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 432

83       Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 197.

84       The Sanctified Life, p. 85

85              Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 214)

The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God—candidates for heaven. (Ibid., p. 216)

86               Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:13–16)

87              This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (Ephesians 4:17–19)

88       Hebert E. Douglass, Opportunity of the Century, p. 42

89       See Isaiah 55:11

90              Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul. (Ezekiel 3:17-21)

So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. (Ezekiel 33:7-9)

Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. (Isaiah 58:1)

For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. (Isaiah 62:1-3)

91       Letter from M. L. Andreasen to R. R. Figuhr, May 9, 1958

92       QODAE, p. xxiii

93               Eternity lost one-fourth of its subscribers in protest, and the sale of Martin’s books plummeted.” (T. E. Unruh, “The Seventh-day Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956,” Adventist Heritage, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1977, p. 44; quoted in QODAE, p. xvii)

94       See Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, Faith and Order Paper Number 111 and comments from the Churches of Christendom (Lima, Peru: The Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, 1982).

95              Looking back, one can only speculate on the different course of Adventist history if Andreasen had been consulted regarding the wording of the Adventist position on the atonement, if Froom and his colleagues hadn’t been divisive in their handling of issues related to the human nature of Christ, if both Froom and Andreasen would have had softer personalities. (QODAE, p. xxvi)

96              . . . The rabbis hoped to excite suspicion of Christ. They represented Him as trying to overthrow the established customs, thus causing division among the people. . . . (The Desire of Ages, p. 205)

97              If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God. (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 3, p. 280)

98       The Concerned Brethren (often called the CB’s) included a retired Union President, retired conference and mission presidents, retired department leaders from the local to the General Conference level who protested the rampaging apostasy which developed rapidly in Australia in the 1970s. It became a term of derision and led to the discrediting of these anguished retired leaders. One of them, a retired evangelist and Division ministerial secretary, Pastor George Burnside, when warned by a minister friend that he was being classified with the CB’s, responded, “I am not a CB, I am a DB—a disgusted brother.” All the original “CB’s” have now passed to their earthly rest. (Pastor Burnside’s report to me.)

99       L.E. Froom, letter to R.R. Figuhr, April 26, 1955; quoted in QODAE, p. xxvi.

100     Revelation 12:17

101     Revelation 19:10

102     Joel 2:28

103                      Do you believe the Bible doctrine of “spiritual gifts” in the church, and do you believe in the gift of the Spirit of prophecy which has been manifested in the remnant church though the ministry and writings of Mrs. E. G. White? (1932 Church Manual, Baptismal Vow #18)

Do you accept the biblical teaching of spiritual gifts and believe that the gift of prophecy is one of the identifying marks of the remnant church? (1990 Church Manual, Baptismal Vow #8)

104     See 1986 Church Manual, Baptismal Vows

105                      Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:30)

If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 58:13–14)

106                      Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

107                      Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19)

108                      For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. (Psalm 5:4)

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalm 16:11)

109                      And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. (Acts 18:3)

And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. (Mark 6:31)

110                      The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God. (Deuteronomy 22:5)

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. (1 Timothy 2:9–10)

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. (1 Peter 3:3–4)

111                      Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4–9)

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)

112                      Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. (Ephesians 5:25–28)

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God. (Colossians 3:18–22)

113                      Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. (Hebrews 8:5)

114                      And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel. (Leviticus 16:17)

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

116                      And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. (Acts 24:25)

Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14:7)

117                      Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19)

118                      A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. (Hebrews 8:2)

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. (Hebrews 9:24)

And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. (1 Corinthians 15:17–18)

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10)

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? (Romans 8:24)

119                      Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (Jude 1:24)

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1)

And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (1 John 3:5–9)

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:4)

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)

The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. (Zephaniah 3:13)

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:12)

120                      For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. (1 Peter 2:21–22)

121                      That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. (Ephesians 4:14–15)

For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. (Mark 4:28)

122                      Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. (John 15:4–10)

If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:17)

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:21)

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5)

He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. (John 6:56)

Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:13–16)

123                      For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

124                      Sinless perfection is God’s ideal for His children. . . . This will be realized with the return of Christ, not before. (Edward Heppenstall, Perfection, p. 64)

The Bible rejects every possibility of our reaching sinless perfection in this life. (Ibid., p. 75.)

125                      Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21–23)

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:2)

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4)

Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. . . . The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. . . . But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. (Ezekiel 18:4, 20, 24)

126                      Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. (Ezekiel 3:17–19)

So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. (Ezekiel 33:7–9)

Work with all your might to save your own souls and the souls of others. It is no time now to cry, “Peace and safety.” It is not silver-tongued orators that are needed to give this message. The truth in all its pointed severity must be spoken. Men of action are needed --men who will labor with earnest, ceaseless energy for the purifying of the church and the warning of the world. (Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 187)

127     Greenleaf, Light Bearers, p. 456

128                      Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1)

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. (Jude 24)

129                      Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (Romans 5:1, 9)

To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 26:18)

By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10)

But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. (1 Peter 1:2)

130                      Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (Romans 7:17)

131                      I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

132                      I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God… (Romans 7:25)

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

133                      Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)

134                      Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4)

135                      Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Psalm 51:5)

136                      The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. (Ezekiel 18:20-24)

137                      Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. (John 9:41)

If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. (John 15:22)

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent. (Acts 17:30)

138                       And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17)

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10)

139     Undisclosed authors, Insert in Adventist Review, November 5, 1992, p. 8

140     Ibid.

141     Russell and Colin Standish, The Twenty-eight Fundamentals, Apostasy Proclaimed in Silence, Highwood Books, Australia, 2005, pp. 25, 26

142     Ibid. pp. 26-29

143     Issues: The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Certain Private Ministries, p. 109

144                      For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:3, 4)

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:16, 17)

The humanity of the Son of God is everything to us. It is the golden chain that binds our souls to Christ, and through Christ to God. (Selected Messages, Vol. 1, p. 244)

145                      Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4)

146                      What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (Romans 7:7)

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (James 1:25)

So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. (James 2:12)

147                      But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:2)

148                       But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. (1 Peter 1:2)

149     Seventh-day Adventists Believe, p. 221

150     Ibid. p. 224

151     Ibid. p. 315

152     Ibid. p. 46

153     Ibid. p. 47

154     Ibid., endnote 12, p. 57

155     Signs of the Times, December 3, 1902

156     Selected Messages, book 3, p. 128

157     The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 1085. See also Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 147; vol. 3, p. 566-567

158     Review and Herald, December 15, 1896.

159     Seventh-day Adventists Believe, p. 47

160     The Eden paradise, the patriarchal system, the Mosaic education, the schools of the prophets, the rabbinical schools, the synagogue schools, the Celtic schools, the schools of the Waldensians, the Huguenots, the Albegenses, the Reformation schools, the schools which arose under the holiness movement of Wesley—all drifted into apostasy or were destroyed.

161     Unlike men such as Justin Martyr (born about 100 AD), Tatian (second century AD), Clement of Alexandria (150–215), and Origen (184–254), all of whose background was Greek, Platonian (Plato—427–347) and/or Aristotelian (Aristotle—384–322 BC) Paganism, Augustine’s background was Manichaeism. Mani (215–274 AD, also called Manes or Manichaeus) attempted to “marry” the pagan Zoroastrianism of the Persians and Buddhism of India with Christianity. Mani viewed the world “as a fusion of spirit and matter, the original contrary principles of good and evil respectively” (“Mani,” Encyclopedia Britannica, 2007 edition), as concepts of the conjunction of the kingdom of the light (good) and the kingdom of darkness (evil). He believed that the soul is part of the kingdom of light. It is trapped inside the body, and it yearns to escape the body, but the escape can only occur at death. (World Book, 1999 edition, vol. 13, 141) Manichaeism incorporated some of the same characteristics as Greek paganism, such as the balancing of the polar opposites in the universe. Augustine, himself, also attempted to base Christian theology upon facets of the philosophy of the Greek Plato, no doubt as a result of studying the Neo-Platonist philosophies as a young man in Carthage early in the 380s.

162     See “Augustine / The City of God,” Encyclopedia Britannica, 2003 ed., vol. 1, p. 700

163     Ibid.

164                      For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8–9)

165                      And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. (1 Kings 18:21)

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:42)

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37)

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17)

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17; emphasis added)

166                      Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. . . . The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. (Ezekiel 18:4, 20–24)

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:4–6)

167                      For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8–10)

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:2–4)

168                      Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4)

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent. (Acts 17:30)

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)

169                      Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. (John 9:41)

If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. (John 15:22)

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent. (Acts 17:30)

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him? (Hebrews 2:3)

Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. (Hebrews 5:2)

Coming, as He did, as a man, to meet and be subjected to / with all the tendencies to which man is heir, working in every conceivable manner to destroy His faith, He made it possible for Himself to be buffeted by human agencies inspired by Satan. (Letter K-303, 1903)

Christ declared, where stands Satan’s throne, there shall stand My cross, the instrument of humiliation and suffering. No single principle of human nature will I violate. Clothing My divinity with humility, I will endure every temptation wherewith man is beset. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, p. 114)

He left the glories of heaven, and clothed his divinity with humanity, and subjected himself to sorrow, and shame, and reproach, abuse, denial, and crucifixion. Though he had all the strength of the passion of humanity, never did he yield to temptation to do that which was not pure and elevating and ennobling. (Signs of the Times, November 21, 1892)

170                      For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. (1 Peter 2:21–22)

171                      And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. (Romans 1:3)

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. (Romans 8:3)

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Galatians 4:4–5)

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Timothy 3:16)

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (Hebrews 2:14–18)

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

172     Leonard Verduin, The Reformers and their Stepchildren (Sarasota, FL: The Christian Hymnary Publishers), 1964, pp. 21–62

173     World Book Encyclopedia, 1999, vol. 1, p. 888, and vol. 15, p. 734, also Encyclopedia Britannica, 2003 ed., vol. 9, 673.

174     Ibid.

175                      And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. (Revelation 7:2–3)

176                      Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. (Jeremiah 6:16)

177                      Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

178     Colossians 2:8

179       Sanctified Life, p. 85