My Vision on What Holds the Universe Together


God’s Final “Strange Act”

The Human Nature of Christ

Part XI

“In order to endure the trial before them, they must understand the will of God as revealed in His Word; they can honour Him only as they have a right conception of His character, government, and purposes, and act in accordance with them." The Great Controversy, 593.

“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. This is to be our study. Christ was a real man; He gave proof of His humility in becoming a man. Yet He was God in the flesh. When we approach this subject, we would do well to heed the words spoken by Christ to Moses at the burning bush, "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground" (Ex. 3:5). {1SM 244}

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My vision on the humanity of Christ is presented in this part 11 in the series on God’s character of Love and His final strange act. Over the years I have been shown the following facts on the human nature of Jesus Christ.

·       The purposes for Christ taking upon Himself our sinful human nature, were as follows:

1)   Christ was the second Adam to prove that man need never have sinned. Whereby one man (Adam) all sinned, so by one Man (Christ) all who will confess Him, will be saved.

2)   In the Sanctuary Atonement, there was a heavenly sacrifice and an earthly one. The heavenly involved a form of eternal death of the Testator, by forever divesting His humanity from His DIVINE ONLY HOLY SPIRIT PERSON.

3)   The earthly part of the Sanctuary Atonement Service was necessary for Christ to overcome temptation to sin unto death, as well as the blood sacrifice of the sprinkling of blood. The life is in the blood, and the Son had to be faithful unto the spilling of His blood, and unto His death, at which time He experienced such separation from the Father, that He could not see beyond the portal of the tomb, to wit:

Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.” {DA 753.2}

4)   The second and final choice to remain human forever, occurred on the cross just before Christ bowed His head and died. He then committed His Divine Holy Spirit to the Father as a gift to man. Henceforth, He could never again return to His former state of being DIVINE ONLY. The first “death” was His heavenly Incarnation Sanctuary Atonement at which time His Divine Nature Holy Spirit was divested from His humanity. The second and final “death” to His former state of being Divine only was on the cross.

·       New Movement Adventism has come up with many false definitions of the Human Nature of Christ since its conversations with the Evangelicals in the mid-1950’s.

·       The SDA New Movement told the world via Ministry and Questions on Doctrine, that Christ took the nature of Adam BEFORE the fall. That is an antichrist lie.

·       The Lord has shown me that the following history on this issue of the Human Nature of Christ, by Vance Ferrell, a former SDA Minister, is correct.

In the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,

Ronald William Beaulieu

History of the changeover to the Unfallen Nature position  

  We have learned that the human nature of Christ is an important truth. We will conclude this book with a brief overview of the history of the doctrinal change. It was only a few decades ago that our church was teaching the truth on this point; but now, in books, magazines, and lectures, an error is being taught.

From its earliest days, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has taught that, when God partook of humanity, He took, not the perfect, sinless nature of man before the fall, but the fallen, sinful, offending, weakened, degenerated nature of man after the fall of Adam.

The inclinations and tendencies to sin that are in fallen man's flesh were in His flesh; but that, by complete dependence upon His Father, His mind held its integrity and never by a shadow of a thought responded to the weakness or sinful cravings of the flesh.

This view of Christ's human nature in no way denied or contradicted the Church's stand on the complete Deity and absolute sinlessness of Jesus Christ.

As late as 1949, this was the accepted teaching of the Church as presented in denominationally published lesson quarterlies, books, and periodicals.

But, during the fifteen-year period between 1940 and 1955, the words, "sinful" and "fallen," with reference to Christ's human nature were largely eliminated from denominationally published materials.

Since 1952, phrases such as "sinless human nature," "nature of Adam before the fall," and "human nature defiled" have taken the place of the former terminology. These phrases are interpreted to mean that the human nature of Christ was "sinful," "fallen," or "degenerated," only in the sense of weakness and frailty of the physical organism. It is said that these weaknesses and frailties of the physical organism were not innately and intrinsically a part of Christ's human body but were borne vicariously.

Let us now consider, in more detail, the history of the changeover in the doctrine of the human nature of Christ in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  


This great truth about the human nature of Christ was shared by the pioneer writers in the Advent movement. Here are a few examples, penned by some of the leading men in our church:

"[Jesus] was made in all things like unto those whom He came to save. In all points He was made like His brethren. And what the Law could not do, Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh to do .By His life He has shown that sin in the flesh is condemned, and He has destroyed it, for in Him the body of sin is destroyed .He has taken away this sinful nature, taken it upon Himself that we might be delivered from !t." E. J. Waggoner. General Conference Bulletin, 1891.

"The garment was woven in Jesus, in the same flesh that you and I have, for He took part of the same flesh and blood that we have. In my flesh; it was my flesh that He had, It was your flesh that He had. The Lord Jesus Christ, who came and stood where I stand, in the flesh in which I live," A. T. Jones, General Conference-Bulletin 1893

"Christ came the first time, clothed with humanity, taking not upon Himself the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham, that He might be made, like ourselves, subject to temptation, pain, and death, that by His connection with humanity He might sympathize with His fallen creatures," S, H. Haskell. Bible Echo, March 15, 1889.

"Very few of us realize how nearly the Divine nature approached the human in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. More properly speaking, it is impossible for us even to conceive of the infinite condescension that was necessary in order that the Son of God, the associate of the Father, should appear in mortal flesh and participate in human experiences, with all their trials and weaknesses.  But 'He was tempted in all points like as we are': consequently, He must have partaken of our nature. Should any think this expression too strong, let them read verse 16 of Hebrews 2: 'For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but. He took on Him the seed of Abraham.’ His faultless life under those circumstances becomes a constant reprover of our sins as well as an encouragement to our weakness." G. C. Tenney, editorial, Bible Echo, April 15, 1889.

"By partaking of our nature, His human arm encircles the fallen race." Stephen Haskell, Bible Echo, February 15, 1892.

"He took upon Him sinful flesh to suffer and die for guilty man. "A. W. Semmens, Bible Echo, April 15, 1892.

"But if He [Christ] comes no nearer to us than in sinless nature, that is a long way off. It is true He is holy; He is altogether holy. But His holiness is not that kind that makes Him afraid to be in company with people who are not holy, for fear He will get His holiness spoiled." A. T. Jones, General Conference Bulletin, 1895.

"The second Adam came not at the point where the first Adam stood when he failed, but at the point at which mankind stood at the end of four thousand years of degeneracy. "A. T. Jones, Review, February 18, 1896.

"So you see that what the Scripture states very plainly is that Jesus Christ had exactly the same flesh that we bear—flesh of sin, flesh in which we sin; flesh, however, in which He did not sin. But He bore our sins in that flesh of sin. And what flesh could He take but the flesh of the time? Not only that, but it was the very flesh He designed to take; because, you see, the problem was to help man out of the difficulty into which he had fallen, and man is a free moral agent. He must be helped as a free moral agent. Christ's work must be, not to destroy him, not to create a new race, recreate man, to.. restore him in the image of God." W. W. Prescott, Bible Echo, January 6, 1896.

In the section, just below, we will quote more extensively from that sermon by W. W. Prescott.

 "He did not come to this world and take upon Himself Adam's condition, but He stepped down lower, to meet man as he is, weakened by sin, polluted in his own iniquity. " Stephen Haskell, Signs, April 2, 1896.

"Infinitely superior in every respect to Boaz, yet He stooped to marry the lost race. " E. Farnsworth, Signs, May 6, 1897.

"[Waggoner:] We begin with the ninth verse:

'We see Jesus.' Where are we looking?

"[Voice:] To man in his fallen state.

"[Waggoner:] Yes, our gaze is directed to man's first dominion; as we look, we see him fail, and still looking, we see Jesus taking man's fallen condition. " E. J. Waggoner, General Conference Bulletin, 1897.

"He brought divinity from the courts of glory into fallen humanity. "S. N. Haskell, Signs, January 17, 1900.

And that this is likeness to man as He is in His flesh, sinful nature, and not as He was in His original [heavenly] sinless nature, is made certain by the Word: 'We see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death.' Therefore, as man is since he became subject to death; this is what we see Jesus to be, in His place, as man." A. T. Jones, Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection.

"Moreover, the fact that Christ took upon Himself the flesh, not of a sinless being, but of sinful man; that is, the flesh which He assumed and all the weaknesses and sinful tendencies to which fallen nature is subject, is shown by the statement that He 'was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.' " E. J. Waggoner, Christ and His Righteousness, 27.

Many, many more examples could be cited! (Later in this present book, we will document the change that later occurred in Bible Readings.)


On Sunday evening, October 31, 1895, W. W. Prescott preached a powerful sermon on the nature of Christ, at the Armadale camp meeting, in Victoria, Australia. It contained 25 statements, that Christ took our nature in His birth and life on this planet. Notice in that sermon, Prescott stated that Christ did not take the unfallen nature of Adam.

Ellen White was present and heard that sermon; and, in eight manuscripts and letters, soon after expressed grateful appreciation for that lecture (MS 19,23,47, and 52, 1895; and Letter 25,32,83, and 84, 1895). It was only a couple months later that she wrote that letter to W. L. H. Baker, which we will discuss shortly, reproving him for teaching that Christ had sinned.

Prescott's sermon was printed in the January 6 and 13, 1896, issues of the Bible Echo (our Australian journal). Here are portions of that History of the Changeover sermon. You will see why she valued it so highly:

  "The theme of redemption will be the science and the song of the eternal ages, and well may it occupy our minds during our short stay here. There is no portion of this great theme that makes such a demand on our minds in order to appreciate it in any degree, as the subject we shall study tonight, The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.' Through Him all things became; now He Himself became. He who had all glory With the Father, now lays aside His glory and becomes flesh. He lays aside His divine mode of existence, and takes the human mode of existence, and God becomes manifest in the flesh. This truth is the very foundation of all truth.  Let us consider, first, what kind of flesh, for this is the very foundation of this question as it relates to us personally (Heb. 2:1418, quoted).

"That through death, being made subject to death, 'taking upon Him the flesh of sin, He might, by His dying, destroy him that had the power of death [Heb. 2: 16, quoted] .  So you see that what the Scripture states very plainly is that Jesus Christ had exactly the same flesh that we bear—flesh of sin, flesh in which we sin, flesh, however, in which He did not sin, but He bore our sins in that flesh of sin. Do not set this point aside. 

"God made man a little lower than the angels, but man fell much lower by his sin. Now he is far separated from God; but he is to be brought back again. Jesus Christ came for that work: and in order to do it, He came, not where man was before he fell, but where man was after he fell.  Jesus Christ comes right down to where he is, and meets him there. He takes his flesh and becomes a brother to him. Jesus Christ is a brother to us in the flesh; He was born into the family.

"He came and took the flesh of sin that this family had brought upon itself by sin, and wrought out salvation for them, condemning sin in the flesh.  To redeem man from the place into which he had fallen, Jesus Christ comes, and takes the very flesh now borne by humanity; He comes in sinful flesh, and takes the case where Adam tried it and failed. 

"Christ came, and after a forty days' fast the devil tempted Him to use His divine power to feed Himself. And notice, it was in sinful flesh that He was tempted, not the flesh in which Adam fell. This is wondrous truth, but I am wondrously glad that it is so. It follows at once that by birth, by being born into the same family, Jesus Christ is my brother in the flesh, 'for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren' (Heb. 2: 11). He has come into the family, identified Himself with the family, is both father of the family and brother of the family. As father of the family, He stands for the family. He came to redeem the family, condemning sin in the flesh, uniting divinity with flesh of sin." 'For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus' (1 Tim. 2:5). There is a man in heaven now, the man Christ Jesus, bearing our human nature; but it is no longer a flesh of sin; it is glorified. Having come here and lived in a flesh of sin, He died; and in that He died, He died unto sin; and in that He lives, He lives unto God. When He died, He freed Himself from the flesh of sin, and He was raised glorified.Jesus Christ, our own brother, the man Christ Jesus, is in heaven, living to make intercession for us

"This union of the divine and the human has brought Jesus Christ very near to us. There is not one too low down for Christ to be there with him. He identified Himself completely with this human family. One version reads, 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My little brothers, ye have done it unto Me.' Christ looks upon everyone of the human family as His. When humanity suffers, he suffers. He is humanity; He has joined Himself to this family.

Jesus Christ thus united Himself with the human family, that He might be with us by being in us, just as God was with Him by being in Him. The very purpose of His work was that He might be in us, and that, as He represented the Father, so the children, the Father, and the Elder Brother might be united in Him.

" 'Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world' (Matt. 28:20). By being in us, He is with us alway, and that this might be possible, that He might be in us, He came and took our flesh. This also is the way in which the holiness of Jesus works. He had a holiness that enabled Him to come and dwell in sinful flesh, and help sinful flesh by His presence in it; and that is what He did, so that when He was raised from the dead, He was glorified. His purpose was that having purified sinful flesh by His indwelling presence, He might now come and purify sinful flesh in us, and glorify us. He 'shall change our Vile body. that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself' (Phil. 3:21).

"Let us enter into the experience that God has given Jesus Christ to us to dwell in our sinful flesh, to work out in our sinful flesh what He worked out when He was here. He came and lived here that we might through Him reflect the image of God. This is the very heart of Christianity.

"By following where He leads, we shall know what Christian experience is, and what it is to dwell in the light of His presence. I tell you, this is a wondrous truth. Human language cannot put more into human thought or language than is said in these words: 'The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us,' This is our salvation. Nothing short of it will meet what we have to meet, the world, the flesh, and the devil. But He that is for us is mightier than he that is against us. Let us have in our daily lives Jesus Christ, 'the Word' that 'became flesh,' "W. W. Prescott, Sermon given October 31, 1895; printed in Bible Echo, January 6, 13, 1896.

"Therefore, just as certainly as we see Jesus lower than the angels, unto the suffering of death, so certainly it is by this demonstration that, as man, Jesus took the nature of man as he is since death entered: and not the nature of man as he was before He became subject to death." A. T. Jones, General Conference Bulletin, 1895.

E. J. Waggoner wrote, "Here is the same mystery as that the Son of God should die. The spotless Lamb of God, who knew no sin, was made to be sin. Sinless, yet not only counted as a sinner, but actually taking upon Himself sinful nature. "E. J. Waggoner. Christ and His Righteousness. 27-28 (1890).

"When sin entered, death came; so when man sinned, death came upon him. God stayed with him; therefore, in that He stayed with man. although man had sinned, God took upon Himself sinful flesh. And so He took upon Himself death, for death had passed upon all the world. "General Conference Bulletin, "Studies in the Book of Hebrews" (Series by E. J. Waggoner. No. 4. Lincoln. Nebraska, 1897), 45. "Christ taking fallen, sinful humanity upon Him is Christ crucified," Op. cit., 31.

"The fact that He came in fallen humanity is an evidence of God's presence and His presence to give life." Op. cit., 46.


  Throughout the first half of the 20th century, our speakers and writers continued to teach the truth about the human nature of Christ.

Here are a few examples:

"Over a period of years this view of Christ's human nature continued to reach the majority of church members through the medium of the Sabbath School Lesson quarterlies. Sample quotations are given below.

"Many hold that from the nature of Christ it was impossible for Satan's temptations to weaken or overthrow Him. Then Christ could not have been placed in Adam's position. to go over the ground where Adam stumbled and fell; He could not have gained the victory that Adam failed to gain. If man has in any sense a more trying conflict to endure than had Christ. then Christ is not able to succor him when tempted. Christ took humanity with all its liabilities. He took the nature of man, capable of yielding to temptation; and. with the same aid that man may obtain, He withstood the temptations of Satan and conquered the same as we may conquer .He assumed human nature. being the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. It is not true that humanity has trials to bear which the Son of God has not experience." International Sabbath School Quarterly, "The Spirit of Sacrifice" a special testimony (Senior Division, No. 41, Third Quarter. 1905, Oakland: Pacific Press Publishing Association), 89.

Jesus was God acting in sinful flesh on behalf of the sinner. He made Himself one with humanity. "International Sabbath School Quarterly. "Baptism and Temptation of Jesus, " Senior Division, No. 56, Second Quarter, 1909, Pacific Press, 20.

"By assuming sinful flesh, and voluntarily making Himself dependent upon His Father to keep Him from sin while He was in the world, Jesus not only set the example for all Christians, but also made it possible for Him to minister for sinful flesh the gift of His own Spirit and the power for obedience to the will of God. "International Sabbath School Quarterly, "The Incarnation and the Priesthood" (Senior Division, No. 71, First Quarter. 1913. Pacific Press). 15.

"That Son took the flesh of sinful man, and overcame where man failed, overthrew sin in the flesh."International Sabbath School Quarterly, "The Flesh and the Spirit" (Senior Division, No. 75. First Quarter, 1914, Pacific Press), 16.

"Christ assumed, not the original unfallen, but our fallen humanity. In this second experiment. He stood not precisely where Adam before Him had, but as has already been said, with intense odds against Him. ."International Sabbath School Quarterly. "The Purpose of the Incarnation" (Senior Division. No.103. First Quarter. 1921), 248-249.

As the Son of man, He accepted the limitations and conditions of our common humanity." International Sabbath School Quarterly, "The Last Adam" (Senior Division. No.105. Third Quarter. 1921. Pacific Press). 3.

"Christ took upon Himself the infirmities and sins of the flesh. but to every sin He died, every lust He crucified, every selfish desire He denied Himself—and all for our sakes." International Sabbath School Quarterly, "The Godly Life" (Senior Division, No. 112, Second Quarter, 1923, Pacific Press), 22.

In 1924, Southern Publishing Association published a book by our evangelist, Carlyle B. Haynes, in which (on pages 80, 83) he unequivocally states that as a people we believe and teach that Christ took sinful. fallen flesh. He points out that there really was no need for Christ to come at all unless He was to take such flesh.

Through the efforts of colporteur evangelists, this Seventh-day Adventist teaching regarding Christ's human nature entered thousands of non-Adventist homes tucked between the covers of Bible Readings for the Home Circle. This book, under the heading, A Sinless Life," contained the following note:

.. 'In His humanity Christ partook of our sinful. fallen nature. If not, then He was not 'made like unto His brethren,' was not 'in all points tempted like as we are,' did not overcome as we have to overcome, and is not, therefore, the complete and perfect Saviour man needs and must have to be saved. On His human side, from His very conception He was begotten and born of the Spirit." Bible Readings For the Home, Review and Herald, 174 (1942).

It was apparently with a similar view of Christ's sinful flesh but sinless life that L. A. Wilcox wrote in the Signs of the Times in 1927: He came where I was, He stood in my place. In His veins was the incubus of a tainted heredity like a caged lion ever seeking to break forth and destroy. For four thousand years the race had been deteriorating in physical strength, in mental power, and in moral worth: and Christ took upon Him the infirmities of humanity at its worst." Llewellen Wilcox, Signs of the Times, March, 1927.

"In every temptation that assails, it is strength to know that just such a temptation in all its overwhelming force attacked Him in unexpected times and ways; and that, with equal tendencies toward evil, in spite of bad blood and inherited meanness, by the same power to which I have access, He conquered." Ibid. Like A. T. Jones and others, even while expressing this view of Christ's humanity, Elder Wilcox believed in the perfect sinlessness of Jesus Christ. (See Walter R. Martin, The Truth about Seventh-day Adventists [Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1960],8687.

" 'Seventh-day Adventists teach that, like all mankind, Christ was born with a 'sinful nature.' " This plainly indicates 'that His heart, too, was 'deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.' In harmony with this, they also teach 'that Christ might have failed while on His mission to earth as man's Saviour that He came into the world at the risk of failure and eternal loss,' But the Bible repeatedly states that Christ was holy, that 'He knew no sin,' and that He would 'not fail nor be discouraged,' "Frances D. Nichol, Answers to Objections, Review and Herald, 1952,389.

In part, the author replied that the "distinguishing mark of fallen mankind (that is, a deceitful heart or mind) is not necessarily involved in the possession of a human nature that is capable of sin" (op. cit., 392). He cites as an example, Adam, who as a human being was capable of sin but who did not sin until he exercised his will in the wrong direction.

"In other words, Adventists believe that Christ, the 'last Adam,' possessed on His human side, a nature like that of the 'first man Adam,' a nature free from every defiling taint of sin, but capable of responding to sin, and that nature was handicapped by the debilitating effects of four thousand years of sin's inroads on man's body and nervous system and environment," Ibid.. 393.

In 1950, Southern Publishing Association printed the book, Drama of the Ages. Authored by the General Conference president, William Branson, this book was distributed and sold all over the English-speaking world. On page 70 of this missionary book, Branson wrote that Christ "had taken upon Himself the nature of fallen man."  


   On the next two pages (pages 68-69) (In printed book only) will be found documentary reprints of four pages from Bible Readings for the Home Circle. Here is a brief overview of the printing history of that book: In 1888, the first edition of Bible Readings came off the Review presses. Those who have read the present writer's book, Editions of Great Controversy, will know that the Review managers pushed that book ahead of the 1888 edition of Great Controversy, because the several authors of Bible Readings relinquished royalty payments, whereas Ellen White refused to do so. She had been instructed that she should receive that money, so it could be used to help Advent work in various areas where needed. For this reason, the "1888 edition" of Great Controversy did not come off the presses at the Review until 1889, and at Pacific Press until 1890. (See the author's book, Editions of Great Controversy for the full story of the history of that most important book—in all its editions.)

On page 174 of the 1915 edition of Bible Readings, a note was added to the chapter, A Sinless Life." which clearly stated that Christ took our nature.

But in the late 1940s, the decision was made to revise Bible Readings. On pages 143-144 of the 1949 edition, that note was changed to a different one which downplayed the idea that Christ took our nature. It questioned "how far that 'likeness' (to sinful flesh) goes."

So, in this new edition the statement, which had circulated with the book for thirty years, was omitted because "it was recognized as being out of harmony with our true position" (Roy A. Anderson. "Human- Not Carnal"; The Ministry, September. 14, 1946). It was replaced by the following statement:

"Jesus Christ is both Son of God and Son of man. As a member of the human family 'it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren' in the likeness of sinful flesh.' Just how far that 'likeness' goes is a mystery of the incarnation which men have never been able to solve."Bible Readings (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1949). 143.

In that same September 1956, Ministry magazine article. Anderson discussed the revision in Bible Readings, and gave the reason why the change had been made—because non-Adventists did not like it!

"In fact, this particular point in Adventist theology had drawn severe censure from many outstanding Biblical scholars both inside and outside our ranks. "Ibid.

R. A. Anderson went on to state that the idea that on His human side Christ partook of man's sinful, fallen nature was eliminated because it did not represent our "true position" (see Ministry. September 1956. 12-14).

Although that statement had first appeared in Bible Readings in 1915. we have observed that it correctly represented our "true position," held down through the years from the time of our earliest pioneers. In addition, the terms "sinful nature" and "fallen nature" were repeatedly in the writings of Ellen G. White.

(For your information, in our own edition of Bible Readings, initially released in the late 1980s, we included that 1915 note in the chapter. "A Sinless Life." This happens to be the lowest-cost Bible Readings available anywhere. And is also the first Bible Readings in history to include a Scripture Index—which the book has always obviously needed. The main print size is also slightly larger than the $50 colporteur edition!)  


As Walter Martin and Donald Barnhouse later wrote in Evangelical magazines. the conferences (many of which were held at our General Conference building in Washington. D.C.) began when Martin, a Baptist writer, approached our leaders and told them he was going to write an in-depth book, exposing the doctrinal errors of our denomination.

As he later wrote, they entered into a series of discussions with him that lasted two years, during which they vigorously denied that the Adventist denomination still held to earlier doctrines which the Evangelicals did not like. It was obvious that the men on the other side of the table were determined to gain acceptance by Protestants!

"There were eighteen conferences, lasting one to three days and usually with three sessions a day. These were held periodically, in Washington, D.C., Reading [Pa.]. Philadelphia, and New York City over a period of eighteen months.," L. E. Froom, Movement of Destiny. 477.

The two men in charge of what became a doctrinal sellout were Leroy Edwin Froom and Roy Allen Anderson. Martin would come to the meetings with questions to be answered; and in collaboration with Anderson, Froom would write those answers. Anderson's key work was keeping Reuben Figuhr, the General Conference president, contented with the progress of the conferences.

Froom later described the first conference: "The first conference with Martin and Cannon [Dr. George Cannon. Greek professor at a college in the Hudson Valley of New York], followed by others, took place in an available office at our General Conference headquarters, in Takoma Park, Washington, D.C. Martin came armed with a formidable list of definitely hostile and slanted questions, most of them drawn from well-known critics of Seventh-day Adventists among them the inevitable Canright, on down to the late defector, E. B. Jones." Op. cit, 479.

The outcome of the Evangelical Conferences and the book which, in agreement with Martin, the Review published radically altered church doctrine for all time to come.

That book, Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine (commonly referred to as Questions on Doctrine), undermined our historic teaching on the atonement, the nature of Christ, and several other points.

"On a [Martin's] second visit [to the General Conference], he was presented with scores of pages of detailed theological answers to his questions. Immediately it was perceived that the Adventists were strenuously denying certain doctrinal positions which had been previously attributed to them.

"He pointed out to them that in their bookstore adjoining the building [The ABC on Carroll Avenue] in which these meetings were taking place, a certain volume published by them and written by one of their ministers categorically stated the contrary to what they were now asserting. The leaders sent for the book, discovered that Mr. Martin was correct, and immediately brought this fact to the attention of the General conference officers, that this situation might be remedied and such publications be corrected.

"This same procedure was repeated regarding the nature of Christ while in the flesh which the majority of the denomination has always held 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. They further explained to Mr. Martin that they had among their number certain members of their 'lunatic fringe' even as there are similar wild-eyed irresponsibles in every field of fundamental Christianity. This action of the Seventh-day Adventists was indicative of similar steps that were taken subsequently." Donald Grey Barnhouse, Are Seventh-day Adventists Christians? A New Look at Seventh-day Adventists, Eternity magazine. September. 1956.

Barnhouse had founded Eternity magazine, which had proven to be a very successful interdenominational publishing venture. His organization had sponsored Martin's talks with the Adventists. In September 1956, this (in their own words) "bombshell article" came off the presses. Fortunately for our leaders, few of our people ever heard about it. Both Barnhouse and Martin wrote articles in it, exposing the Adventist doctrinal sellout, and promising that the Adventists planned to publish a book, which would discuss their new doctrinal positions.

In the above quoted statement, you will note that our leaders used a confusion of terms to get their point across. They told Martin that our people always believed Christ was sinless, which is true. But they said it in such a way that Martin believed they said that Christ had a sinless nature. Martin, who had a powerful mind, was a fast reader, had something of a photographic memory, and had scanned through many of our books, including those by Ellen White.

Our men assured him that statements about a "sinful nature" or "fallen nature" would henceforth not be found in our new publications.

And this was done. In the years since the mid-1950s, "sinful nature" has seldom if ever appeared in our journals and new books. At the same time, terms such as Adam's nature" and "sinless nature" have appeared more frequently.  


As head of the Ministerial Association, R. A. Anderson was editor-in-chief of Ministry magazine, which is published for our ministers and workers, worldwide.

In 1956 and 1957. a series of articles, intended to soften the blow for the changeover, were released. Here are some examples:

"Christ did indeed partake of our nature, our human nature with all its physical limitations, but not of our carnal nature with all its lustful corruptions.

"His was not a corrupt, carnal nature. When He took upon Him sinless human nature, He did not cease to be God, for He was God manifest in the flesh! "Roy A. Anderson, "Human. Not Carnal." Ministry magazine, September 1956.

"He was indeed a man, but withal He was God manifested in the flesh. True, He took our human nature, that is, our physical form, but He did not possess our sinful propensities." R. A. Anderson, "God With Us." Ministry. April, 1957.

"When God became man He partook of the same moral nature that Adam possessed before the fall. Adam was created holy, and so was Christ. for He became the second Adam. "R. A. Anderson. "Human. Not Carnal." ibid.

"When the incarnate God broke into human history and became one with the race. it is our understanding that He possessed the sinlessness of the nature with which Adam was created in Eden. "R. A. Anderson. "God with Us, " ibid,

These quotations, illustrating a comparatively recent emphasis upon the perfection and "sinlessness" of Christ's human nature, present a striking contrast to earlier statements on this subject. For example, the Sabbath School lesson for May 17, 1913, entitled, "God Manifest in the Flesh," quoted a Roman Catholic statement; and, then, stated unequivocally that it was erroneous:

"God the Son. by assuming this perfect human nature, which He took from the blessed virgin. was born in the flesh, "Catholic Belief, 208.

"Thus, by shutting Christ away from the same flesh and blood which we have (compare Heb. 2: 14), modern Babylon really denies the vital truth of Christianity. although pretending to teach it. Such is the mystery of iniquity," International Sabbath School Quarterly, "God Manifested in the Flesh" (Senior Division, No. 72, Second Quarter, Oakland: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1913), 26.

"By its dogma concerning the immaculate conception of the virgin Mary, the Roman Catholic Church gives to the Son of God in the incarnation a 'perfect human nature: and thereby separates Him from those He came to save.

"This denial of the perfect union of Christ with sinful flesh opens the way for a series of subsidiary mediators whose duty it is to bring the sinner into saving touch with Christ." International Sabbath School Quarterly, "The Incarnation and the Priesthood" (Senior Division. No. 71, First Quarter, Oakland: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1913), 14.

The belief that Christ had the "sinless" human nature of Adam before the fall rather than the "sinful" nature of fallen man is clearly expressed in an article in a Ministry magazine article, entitled, "The Immaculate Christ. "

"Before Adam fell, he was pure and clean, without taint of sin. He possessed human nature, undefiled, as God created it. When Jesus, 'the second man: 'the last Adam' (1 Cor. 15:4547), came. in addition to His divine nature. He also possessed human nature. undefiled, as God originally created it." Earnest W. Cox. "The Immaculate Christ," Ministry, December, 1957. 10,

From 1955 to 1958, the present writer attended our Seminary which at that time was next door to the General Conference building. where many of the Evangelical Conferences were held. We were beginning to hear hints of the doctrinal changeover in the classes; and, outside of class, students were quietly discussing the matter.

When the "bombshell" Eternity article came out. as well as the 1956 and 1957 Ministry magazine articles, everyone—students and faculty were quietly sending for copies, The present writer argued many times with Edward Heppenstall in various classes over some of these changes, but to no avail.


Leroy Edwin Froom (18901974) was held in the highest respect at the General Conference. As their in-house theologian and church historian, he had produced the 4-volume Faith of Our Fathers and the 2-volume Conditionalist Faith of Our Fathers. During and following the Evangelical Conferences, which on the Adventist side Froom led out in, Walter Martin also viewed him with the highest respect. especially since it was obvious that Froom, the pivotal Adventist leader in the talks, went out of his way to doctor our teachings so they would be received by the Evangelicals.

As part of the agreement. Martin's forthcoming book, The Truth about Seventh-day Adventists, exonerating us as "Christians," was to be released at the same time as a book published by the Review, titled Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine.

When Questions on Doctrine was released in 1957, Roy Anderson, who was extremely influential, arranged for thousands of free copies to be mailed to every Christian college and seminary in the world. Multiplied thousands of free copies were also mailed to various denominational headquarters, leaders, and local pastors. The cost of all this (Questions on Doctrine was a full-size, cloth-bound book) was immense, "Many thousands of copies have been placed with clergymen and theology teachers not of our faith in a few instances thousands in a single conference. And they have had their wholesome effect. Its total circulation by 1970 had exceeded 138,OOO." L. E. Froom, Movement of Destiny, 489.

Note by Ron: It should be pointed out that Vance Ferrell DOES NOT hold new movement MEMBERS corporately responsible for any of the many abominations he cites. Nor does he hold them corporately responsible for the Trinity Doctrine. Ellen White says that it is IMPOSSIBLE to unite with the corrupt and become pure. Vance DOES NOT concur with Ellen White. End note.

In Questions on Doctrine, Froom (the author of the book) very skillfully explained away the fact that Ellen White used the words, "sinful," "fallen," and "deteriorated" human nature" in referring to Christ:

"It could hardly be construed, however, from the record of either Isaiah or Matthew, that Jesus was diseased or that He experienced frailties to which our fallen human nature is heir. But He did bear all this. Could it not be that He bore this vicariously also, just as He bore the sins of the whole world?

"These weaknesses, frailties, infirmities. failings are things which we, with our sinful, fallen natures, have to bear. To us they are natural, inherent; but when He bore them, He took them not as something innately His, but He bore them as our substitute. He bore them in His perfect, sinless nature. Again, we remark, Christ bore all this vicariously, just as vicariously He bore the iniquities of us all.

"It is in this sense that all should understand the writings of Ellen G. White when she refers occasionally to sinful, fallen, and deteriorated human nature." Op. cit.. 59-60..

Froom here puts words in the mouth of Ellen White, trying to make her say that Christ did not take our nature, but that He only took it "vicariously" as our "substitute." The dictionary defines vicarious as "experienced or enjoyed by imaginary sharing in the experience of another."

Anyone acquainted with L. E. Froom's writings knew he was a master of vocabulary. Here is a companion statement in that book:

': 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. Just as bearing vicariously the sins of the whole world did not taint His perfect, sinless soul, neither did bearing the diseases and frailties of our fallen nature taint Him in the slightest degree with the corrupting influences of sin." Op. cit. 61-62.

The following passage from the book clearly teaches the error that Christ took an immaculate nature rather than the nature you and I inherit:

"Although born in the flesh. He was nevertheless God. and was exempt from the inherited passions and pollutions that corrupt the natural descendants of Adam. He was 'without sin,' not only in His outward conduct, but in His very nature. [He was] sinless in His life and in His nature," Op. cit. 383.

Of course, we all believe that Christ never sinned. But, in the above passage, Froom says that Christ inherited none of the negative factors which we inherit.

From the beginning, the two books (Martin's and ours) were to be released simultaneously, and to be sold in each other's bookstores. But this did not happen. After ours was released, extensive revisions were on Martin's book; it was not published until three years later (1960). Because it contained so many attacks on Adventists, our ABCs refused to carry it.  


As Leroy Edwin Froom neared the end of his life, he wrote a book reviewing doctrinal changes in our denomination. In view of the very serious changes which have occurred, the book, Movement of Destiny, could well have been called "Destiny of a Movement."

Published in 1971 (Froom died in 1974, at the age of 84), the book uses the same wordy style found in Questions on Doctrine and his Faith of our Fathers books.

The first chapter of Movement of Destiny is remarkable in the way it hints at so much. Froom was obviously quite pleased with his central role, and he wanted the reader to recognize the pivotal nature of his activities. He said he could not write the book until enough people had died off. The book culminated in a defense of the Evangelical Conferences, the "grand results" they produced.

Froom said he was thankful that all his research resulted in opportunities to lecture before various Protestant and Catholic groups; so they could recognize that we were, indeed, Christians, sharing similar beliefs.

"The church groups included Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Reformed, Congregationist, United Brethren, and even Pentecostal and Unitarian faiths as well as an organization of converted Roman Catholic priests. So I write from personal knowledge, for I spoke to each of these groups.

"Universities such as Marburg (Germany), Rutgers (N.J.), and Pittsburg (Pa.) extended unusual invitations, with gratifying results from the presentation opportunities, with question periods. And following these came various dialogues with Roman Catholic student priests but groups and individual which were highly fruitful and refreshingly frank. In one instance the contact was with thirty-eight student priests-in-training for the Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C. an hour for presentation, and an hour for questions. Out of this, smaller follow-up groups of five to eight. Later, I was privileged to address a class of graduate students at the same 'Catholic .': on the same theme. "L. E. Froom, Movement of Destiny, 466.

Elsewhere in the book, Froom says that Martin initially complained about four heretical notions; and Froom set to work to clarify these: "According to Martin, the four leading charges commonly brought against Adventism, dealt with in his article [in a Protestant journal], were: "( 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 Christ was not a created being, not from all eternity; (4) and that He partook of man's sinful fallen nature at the incarnation.' "Op. cit., 473.

It is true that a few of our 19th century writers advocated Arianism (point 3, above), but the other positions are solid Adventism! Yet Froom set to work to change our historic beliefs on each and every one of them.

He succeeded so well, that Martin later wrote, in an Evangelical journal, as quoted below by Froom in his book:

"Since there is no conceivable doctrinal ground, in the light of verifiable evidence where the fundamental tenets of the historic Gospel are concerned for refusing that outstretched hand, I for one encourage the extension of our hand which will usher in an new era of understanding and spiritual growth among the Church which is Christ's body. "Walter Martin, quoted in L. E. Froom, Movement of Destiny. 475.

Froom's book, Movement of Destiny. gave added respectability to the doctrinal changes. in the eyes of many of our church leaders and pastors. Yet he chopped up and twisted Spirit of Prophecy quotations, in order to support his contention that Ellen White agreed with his version of the human nature of Christ. Here is a sample:

" 'The reader has now observed that the paragraph [in Movement of Destiny] opens with a title line: 'Took Sinless Nature of Adam before Fall. ' This heading is followed by nineteen statements purporting to support its conclusion. Within each statement is a tiny quotation fragment from Ellen White.

" 'But as Ellen White wrote these quotations, not a single one of them says that Christ took the nature of Adam before the fall, and some of them say exactly the opposite!  Three fragments are all taken from the same paragraph in Ellen White's writings.[which] opens with the unequivocal statement that Christ took the fallen nature of man!' "Ralph Larson, Documentary Fraud, FF-26. p. 2.

So much for the scholarship of Dr. Froom.  


When, in the early 1980s, William Johnsson began as editor-in-chief of the Adventist Review, major changeovers began to occur in our denominational paper.

Among other changes, articles began appearing which recommended erroneous doctrines and lowered standards. Photographs and drawings were printed which would never have been seen in the Review in earlier decades.

Among the changes which occurred were articles advocating the pre-fall nature of Christ. One example of this was an article in the June 30, 1983, issue, authored by Norman Gulley.

Gulley stated that "the church has never taken a stand for or against one or the other" of the two positions on the human nature of Christ. You will recall, earlier in this present book, we quoted Morris Venden's statement in Insight. that the fallen nature of Christ concept dovetailed with that of the idea that sin was transgression of the law, and that we can overcome sin in our lives now. Venden said that he believed that sin is only a broken relationship with God.

In his Review article, Gulley took this same position, saying that the definition of sin "is not so much a breaking of the law as it is a broken relationship that leads to lawbreaking."

Note by Ron: A relationship with Christ must involve love and faith (gold tried in the fire). There is a test for love and faith. Christ says: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Those who claim to be in relationship with Christ, WITHOUT HIS TEST, are deceiving themselves! End note.

Thus both men switch cause and effect. The Bible says that sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). That is the cause. The Bible also says that the effect of sin is the broken relationship.

"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.

It is bad enough that doctrinal errors are printed in the pages of "the good old Review." But, to make matters worse, no articles advocating the truth were printed!


 The senior Sabbath School Quarterly for the First Quarter of 1983 was entitled Christ's All-atoning Sacrifice. The lesson-help book which accompanied it bore the name, Christ Our Substitute.

Both were written by Norman R. Gulley, a religion teacher at Southern College (now Southern University), in Collegedale, Tennessee.

In an attempt to placate both sides while insidiously instilling error, Gulley taught that Christ had Adam's pre-fall nature, combined with our post-fall physical infirmities.

"Christ took the spiritual nature of man before the fall, and the physical nature of man after the fall. "N. R. Gulley, Christ Our Substitute, 33.

If that is true, then He did not really take our nature. Repeatedly, the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy said that Christ took our nature, and that it was a "fallen" nature; yet, in that nature, He resisted temptation and sin. When the nature of Christ is referred to in Scripture, it is moral issues which are dwelt upon, not physical flaws.

Then Gulley uses another new theology argument: If Christ had really taken our nature, He would have fallen into sin, since it is impossible for mankind to stop sinning even with God's help!

"He [Christ] had to identify Himself with us as far as His saving mission made it necessary. But He could not go beyond the requirements of His mission or He would have needed a Saviour Himself, and therefore His mission would have been a failure." Op. cit, 38.

The idea here was to "somehow save us," without Himself being caught by Satan.

Of course, the truth is that, if it is impossible to stop sinning, even with God's help, then the law of God cannot be kept and Satan is right in the great controversy after all!

In support of his position, Gulley quotes a long (long!) list of pagans (Ovid, Euripides, Senaeca,  Epictetus, etc.), Catholics (Augustine, Methodius, etc.), and Protestants (Hort, Moule, Barth, Barclay, Schweitzer, etc. (see pages 4851).

Then Gulley uses still another "proof," that Christ could only save us by not taking our nature; he says that Christ lived 2,000 years before our time, and human nature then would not have been adequate to save us today!

"If Jesus lived four thousand years after Adam, we live two thousand years farther down the line. Surely we have a much harder time than Jesus." Op. cit. 52.

Note by Ron: The is the kind of error that Regeneration of the faithful bride of all ages will refute. End note.

Can you imagine such trite being printed on the presses of the Review & Herald and sold through Adventist bookstores as truth!

Gulley caps his arguments for error, by declaring that we have Original Sin and Christ did not!

"In fact, we do not have to do anything wrong to become sinners. We are born that way. But Jesus was born sinless." Op. cit. 53.

Original Sin is the error invented by the licentious "Saint" Augustine. He was so vile, that, by his own admission, he could not stop living with women he was not married to. So he devised the "Original Sin" teaching, to explain why he could still go to heaven. (Because he taught strict submission to Rome, the Vatican later made him a saint.)  


The book, Questions on Doctrine, went out of print in 1980. In March 1983. Walter Martin gave a lecture at Napa, California. in which he announced that he had written letters to our leaders in Takoma Park, threatening to negatively revise his book, The Truth about Seventh-day Adventists, if we did not reprint Questions on Doctrine or issue a new book, to take its place, which also had the same doctrinal changes. Martin was very blunt and forceful about this. The present writer reprinted sizeable portions of that lecture, and also noted this:

" 'He [Martin] said that if Seventh-day Adventists continued to believe they are 'the remnant church,' that Christ did not have a sinless nature. and that the atonement was not finished at the cross. Tthey will be classed with the cults. "[He said] that Reuben Figuhr and the Holy Spirit had transformed the church. They will have so much to lose if they do not take the correct position. as stated in Questions on Doctrine.

" '[He said,] 'We must fight for our Seventh day Adventist brethren, that the church will take the right position. Questions on Doctrine has been suppressed, and now voices are teaching heresy which the church originally repudiated. This must be remedied. Adventism is answerable to the authority of the Word of God, not to those who would perpetuate heresy.’

" 'He stated that he had submitted a list of questions to the General Conference, to be answered by the hierarchy, and not the 'lunatic fringe,' so that he will know what information to put in his forthcoming book and tapes.

The brethren at world headquarters set to work to please Martin; and, in 1988, a new Adventist doctrinal book. entitled Seventh-day Adventists Believe, rolled off the presses.

It is highly unfortunate that we have had only two official doctrinal books in our history and both were written to please Walter Martin and the evangelicals!

Chapter 4, in this new doctrinal book, dealt with the human nature of Christ. A strong attempt was made to please all sides, but the erroneous view was still stated.

This is understandable, since its primary author was Norman Gulley, who wrote the infamous 1983 Gulley Quarterly and the accompanying book. Christ Our Substitute, By his own admission, he believes in a pre-fall nature of Christ.

"Jesus Christ took upon Himself our nature with all its liabilities, but He was free from hereditary corruption. "Seventh-day Adventists Believe. 49/1:4 (page 49, column 1, paragraph 4).

"He possessed the essential characteristics of human nature," Op. cit., 46/1:3.

"Christ's humanity was not 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," Op. cit., 47/1:4-47/ 2:0.

The above statement cleverly sidesteps the key issue in the nature of Christ controversy. It does this by equating "fallen nature" with actual sinning.

Two pages later, another clever statement is made. which says that Christ took our "fallen" nature but then denies that He did:

  "The Bible portrays Jesus' humanity as sinless. His birth was supernatural He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. As a newborn baby He was described as 'that Holy One,' He took the nature of man in its fallen state [that is. He took our fallen nature], bearing the consequences of sin, not its sinfulness [that is, He did not take our fallen nature]. He was one with the human race, except in sin. "Op. cit., 49/ 1:1-2.

The new theology can be subtle in the extreme. They will not come out and say the truth about the human nature of Christ, but they fear to pronounce the error. They talk about the actions of Jesus as though they were the nature of Jesus.  


The November 5, 1992, issue of Adventist Review contained a 16-page booklet, entitled Issues: The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Certain Private Ministries.

Within a few months, a full-sized purple-cover book, with the same title, was printed and widely sold. (We will here refer to it simply as Issues.)

Having changed our doctrinal beliefs nearly 30 years before, during the Evangelical Conferences, leadership now asked that those pleading for a return to historic beliefs should be tolerant. The reason given was that the denomination has never decided what it believes on those points!

"In other words, be tolerant on those points that the church has left open. "Issues, 16. "Neither has the church ever 'formally' adopted a position on perfection and the precise nature of human obedience." Issues, 47. "One side stresses Jesus' role as our sinless substitute, arguing that His nature was like Adam's before the fall. The other stresses Jesus' role as our example, arguing that He came in the 'likeness of sinful flesh' with a nature like Adam's after the fall.

Note by Ron: This is double speak designed to make the reader feel comfortable in adopting the version of his/her choice. End note.

"But the significant point for the discussion here is: Adventists have never 'formally' adopted a position on the question of just how Jesus' nature compared with Adam's and with ours. Neither has the church ever 'formally' adopted a position on perfection and the precise nature of human obedience," Op. cit., 46-47.

"[The independent group] holds 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.

"There is no way that the SDA Church can work with such an independent group. if it cannot lay aside these positions that they have made so central to their work and mission.

"Over-specificity in the content of faith [ie., consistently adhering to our historic beliefs] and a rigid church structure [i.e.. asking that only beliefs and not errors be presented to our people] reduce the possibility for healthy dissent and for creative innovation." Op. cit.. 45. "[The church should] resist any attempt by one segment of the church to impose its views on the rest." Op. cit.. 50.

Yet, at the same time, only erroneous portrayals of these controverted doctrines are presented in our denominational papers and at camp meetings.

Note by Ron: In other words, it is okay for the leaders to espouse the erroneous view, but not for the Reformers to espouse the correct view! End note.

As to what these disputed teachings might be, the full-size Issues book made very clear. The book reproved Independent Ministries for teaching the truth about the nature of Christ, the continuing atonement, etc. And the book did more; it boldly proclaimed error as orthodox! What have we come to, when our leaders dare to do this?

On pages 114-130 we find the only explanatory in-depth doctrinal studies in the entire book, Issues. It is a reprint form of what our leaders considered to be a landmark series of doctrinal studies printed the year before in the Adventist Review.

Since they consider it important, and since it is the single doctrinal series in Issues, it deserves our careful attention. And when we do so, we find it is almost entirely focused on denying one special doctrine: the great truth that Christ took our nature.

Why is this done? Because they realize that this is the foundation upon which all the others are built: the nature of sin, the nature of man, the nature of the atonement, and the nature of salvation.

This series, consisting of six articles originally printed in the Review between January 18 to February 22, 1990, was reprinted in Issues.

  Part I, entitled "Pressing Together," is an appeal for all sides to unite in one position doctrinally.

"A meeting of minds on this question can bring us together as a church." Norman Gulley, "Pressing Together," Adventist Review, January 18, 1990, 8-10; reprinted in Issues, 114.

  Part 2 is on the nature of sin. It teaches Augustine's Original Sin heresy, and defines the nature of sin as being separation from God, Gulley states our historic position on the nature of man, in regard to sin:

"Early Adventists considered the first death as being a result of Adam's sin, and the second death the result of personal sin. In other words, the first death is merely the consequence of not the penalty for Adam's sin." Norman Gulley, "In Every Way but One, " Review, January 25, 1990, quoted in Issues, 117.

Then Gulley goes on to expound Augustine's horrible theory: that everyone is born an evil criminal, to be condemned to hellfire because of something he did not do:

"Are infants sinners at birth because of their inheritance from Adam?" We are born sinful and subject to death prior to lawbreaking. If a baby dies a few hours or days after birth, it is still subject to the second death the condemnation death even though it has never broken any commandment." Op. cit.. 117-118.

In the above passage, Gulley says that what we inherit at birth will cause us to burn in hellfire. That is not true! It is what we think, speak, and do that results in sin.

"It is the disobedience of Adam that constitutes a person a sinner, and not merely his own acts of sin (disobedience)." Op. cit., 118 [parenthesis his).

But God's Word says it differently:

"Our only definition of sin is that given in the Word of God; it is 'the transgression of the law: "Great Controversy, 493. 

Gulley's concept, which is Augustine's Original Sin theory, is cited as the basis for the theory that Christ could not have taken our nature. Instead, Christ is said to have had an alternate type of immaculate conception.

"So if every man is born a sinner (i.e.., a fallen being, separated from God needing salvation) as the result of Adam's sin, how then could Christ enter the race through a human mother and yet be sinless? The immaculate conception of Catholicism sidesteps this question by making Mary unaffected by Adam's sin. Rather than this immaculate conception. it is the miraculous conception:' Op. cit., 119 [italics his].

As do most new theologians, Gulley plays with words in order to confuse. What he is obviously saying, in the above paragraph, is that the Catholic teaching is that Christ's mother had an immaculate conception, whereas Gulley is teaching that Christ had His own immaculate conception. Of course, the end result would be the same: Both Gulley and Rome teach that Christ had an immaculate conception [i.e., He had a sinless nature].

Note by Ron: All who believe that Christ DID NOT come in the likeness of sinful flesh are antichrist. End note.

Both concepts are based on the same error: Christ could not be born with our nature, but had to be different than us. As Gulley explains it:

  "He [Christ] did not have 'sinful flesh.' Thus He neither was a sinner by nature nor a sinner by acts. He was a total Substitute." Ibid.

Thus, by the early 1990s, we find this totally erroneous, Catholic-based article featured in the Adventist Review and, later, in the book, Issues. But, through it all, not one article was printed on denominational presses, advocating the other, the true side that Christ took our very nature; and, in it, He overcame the devil and now gives us power to do the same.

Gulley is quite unashamed that he is teaching Original Sin in this article, for he uses those words several times.  

In Part 3 in the Review series, also reprinted in Issues, Gulley began by reiterating the conclusion of his previous article.

"Thus far we have seen that His unique sinless human nature made it possible for Him to be our substitute. We shall see that the same unique nature qualified Him to be our example." Norman Gulley, ':Jesus Our Example," Review, February 1,1990,19, quoted in Issues, 120.

In this article, Gulley attempts to show that Christ could still be our example, even though He was not like us; that is, did not take our nature. One cannot but wonder how Gulley intends to do that. Here is the strange logic he uses:

"Clearly Jesus did not have a sinful nature; He had no sinful passions or any taint of sin. By contrast, all the rest of us are born into the world with these liabilities. On the surface, at least, this looks like a huge advantage for Christ, and calls into question His ability to be our example. "Ibid.

First, Gulley explains that Christ did not come into this world to overcome in our place, but in unfallen Adam's place! How is that for original thinking!

"Satan had charged God with Adam's sin. The Creator became a created being. Jesus came as the second Adam sinless, to show that Satan's charge was false. Adam need not have sinned. Like Adam, He had nothing sinful within to respond to Satan's temptations, but He could be tempted from an appeal to use His sinless passions and drives in an unlawful way. He withstood the tempter." Op. cit., 120-121.

In other words, Christ did not come to be our "substitute," but unfallen Adam's "substitute"! Such foolish logic is all the more remarkable, in view of the fact that Gulley's key phrase, which in 1983 he used as the title of his book, is "Christ Our Substitute." But, following Gulley's logic, Christ is not our substitute! Christ is only unfallen Adam's substitute.

Even worse is Gulley's effort to twist the charges of Satan against God as only concerning the fall of Adam!

Following this, Gulley declares that the immaculately born Christ, with His pre-fall nature, is our example, because He kept the law. Obviously, his statement is pointless. How would Christ's sinless obedience, wrought out in a nature which supposedly cannot sin, be an example to us in natures which can? And this Gulley admits:

"Because His humanity was sinless, Jesus could not experience the inner sinful urgings of sinful humans. But it was necessary that He, as our example, experience an equivalency in intensity while remaining a sinless human. "Op. cit., 121.

Gulley then claims that Christ reached "the lowest depths" and suffered as we do at one time in His life: during the last part of the 40day fast in the wilderness! According to Gulley, at that one time, and no other, Christ suffered as we do.

But Scripture says it differently: (1) Christ took our nature, the nature of Abraham's descendants; (2) and in our nature was tempted "in all points like as we"; (3) yet without ever yielding to sin; (4) so we can come to Him for help in every time of need (Heb. 2:10-18; 4:15-16).

In these words, Gulley describes the one time Christ suffered "equivalent" to us:

"To be hungry was not a sin; it was a proper desire. But through a 40-day intensification, His gnawing hunger became equivalent to the worst sinful drives ever experienced by humans. "Ibid.

"The human became so emaciated and stressed out, through a nearly six-week fast, that His consuming passion to eat became equivalent to sinful passions of men." Op. cit., 122.

Second, Gulley uses the shop-worn argument History of the Changeover that. throughout His earthly life. the only real temptation He faced was to use His divine power to help Himself! What kind of useful example is that to us? None at all.

"He had received honor in the heavenly courts. and was familiar with absolute power. It was as difficult for Him to keep the level of humanity as it is for men to rise above the low level of their depraved natures. and be partakers of the divine nature." Op. cit.. 122.

"Can we understand His supreme struggle? Never! But we must try to grasp its depths. He had exercised absolute power from eternity! This power He had by nature; it was inherent. If we grumble about our inheritance by nature. think of His. If we say we have habits that bind us, think of His a habit with eternal use back of it! Can you get any greater urge than that? Our habits, measured by His, are but drops of water compared to a shore-less sea. He knows the human struggle in temptations because His were infinitely greater. and precisely because of His unique divine nature rather than from an identical human nature." Ibid.

Gulley summarizes the terrible "weight" that was on Christ:

"What an inexplicable intensification this staggering load brought to the agonizing struggle of the emaciated One! In view of this unparalleled experience, can anyone question the genuineness of His example? No! His temptations were infinitely harder than man's!" Ibid.

  In Part 4 of this Review series, Gulley once again reiterates that Christ had a sinless nature. "Sin. whether in His nature or in act. would have disqualified Him from being our substitute. For He would have needed a substitute Himself." Norman Gulley, "Jesus Our Substitute," Review, February 8. 1990.8; in Issues. 123.

The primary objective of this entire series of articles has been to prove that Christ had a sinless human nature. He recognizes it to be the foundation stone. under-girding the entire plan of salvation.

Yet, shrewdly. Gulley, speaking directly to those who maintain the other (the Scriptural) view, declares that they should not be concerned about what nature Christ had, It really does not matter.

Note by Ron: Ellen White said that the human nature of Christ means everything to us:

“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. This is to be our study. Christ was a real man; He gave proof of His humility in becoming a man. Yet He was God in the flesh. When we approach this subject, we would do well to heed the words spoken by Christ to Moses at the burning bush, "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground" (Ex. 3:5). {1SM 244}

End note by Ron.

"Nowhere do inspired sources make the birth of Christ as prominent as His death. Should not those who are preoccupied with His birth take pause and look beyond to the cross?" Ibid.

  But. having said that, Gulley himself keeps coming back to the nature of Christ.

"Some believe that Jesus had to be exactly like us in fallen nature in order to span the gulf gouged out by sin. Yet even that identity has a qualification for none other comes into the world 'born of God: "Ibid.

Gulley next twists the meaning of Romans 8:3.

"Just as that brazen serpent only looked like a serpent. so the sinless Jesus only took the 'likeness of sinful flesh: "Op. cit., 124 [italics his].

Yet both the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy clearly support the position that Christ took our nature; He did not just make-believe take it. Jesus was not a mirage while in the flesh! He was a real flesh-and-blood man. He became like us, is what God's Word says.

  The final two articles in this doctrinal series mention the error of "the finished work at the cross; but, in general, they are more inspirational than doctrinal.  


  The evidence presented in this study indicates that, from its earliest years until the late 1940s, the Seventh-day Adventist Church: (1) has always upheld the Deity of God in human flesh fully God and fully man, (2) has always been in close agreement in regard to the sinlessness of Christ, and (3) has consistently taught that Christ was in every sense sinless.

Under threats and strong duress from Walter Martin. from 1954 to 1957. our leaders agreed to make definite changes. These changes were printed in the first official doctrinal book in our history.

The 1960s and 1970s constituted a time of adaptation to the changes. The work of retraining our pastors in retreats went on quietly. Our future leaders were being initiated into new teachings in the colleges.

During the 1980s as the apostasy grew, strong pleas for patience and toleration for other views were frequently heard.

During the 1990s, those advocating the errors about sin, the nature of Christ, the atonement. and salvation were solidly in control; and there is intolerance for those pleading for a return to historic beliefs.

Only God can change the situation, and He will do it when it becomes illegal to be a Sabbath keeper. Then the faithful, gathered in little companies here and there, will go out and preach the identifying truth of Revelation 14:6-12 (the Third Angel's Message) everywhere. May we be faithful to the end. Obedience by faith, in Christ, to the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy is what we need today. May we not forsake our post of duty. In His strength, we can remain true to the end.

End of Article

Below is a recent article from Ministry magazine, an SDA publication, on the human nature of Christ.Was Christ Truly Human?

Ralph Blodgett

Ralph Blodgett, Assistant Pastor, Niles, Michigan




The word "incarnation" derives from the two Latin words, in carnis, which mean "in flesh" or "in the flesh." As a theological term, it denotes "the taking on of the human form and nature by Jesus, conceived of as the Son of God." In this sense John uses the word when he says, "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God." 1 John 4:2,3. This makes belief in the incarnation a test of discipleship, though doubtless more is meant than a mere belief in the historical appearance of Christ.

The coming into the world of a new life-the birth of a babe--is in itself a miracle. Infinitely more so must be the incarnation of the very Son of God. It will ever remain a mystery beyond human comprehension. All man can do is accept it as a part of the plan of redemption which has been gradually revealed since the fall of man in the garden.

For reasons which we cannot fully fathom, God permitted sin. In doing so, however, He also provided a remedy. This remedy comprises the plan of redemption and is bound up with the incarnation, the death, and the resurrection of the Son of God. It cannot be conceived that God did not know what creation would cost Him; and the 'council of peace' which decided the matter, must have included provisions for every foreseen contingency. Paul calls this plan "God's wisdom in a mystery, even the wisdom that hath been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds unto our glory." 1 Corinthians 2:7.

The phrase "before the-worlds" means before there was creation of any kind. Thus the plan of salvation was not an afterthought. It was "foreordained." Even when Lucifer sinned, the plan was not fully revealed, but was "kept in silence through times eternal." Romans 18:25 A. R. V. For this God gives no reason. Paul informs us "that by revelation He (God) made known unto me the mystery.. the mystery of Christ which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit." Ephesians 3:3-5.


There are two words in the epistle to the Hebrews which are of interest in this connection. They are "became" in verse ten of chapter two, and "behoved" in verse seventeen of the same chapter.

The Greek word for became is prepo, and is defined as "suitable, proper, fit, right, comely." Paul, whom we believe to be the author of Hebrews, is very bold when he thus presumes to attribute motive to God and declares that it is fit and right for God to make Christ "perfect through suffering." Hebrews 2:10. He considers it "comely" of God to do this; that is, He approves of it. In judging God, he emulates Abraham who was even bolder than Paul. Misunderstanding what God intended to do, Abraham counseled God not to do it. Said he, "Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

That be far from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked.. That be far from Thee. Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?" Genesis 18:23,25.

Moses also essayed to admonish God and instruct Him. When Israel danced about the golden calf, God said to Moses, "Let Me alone that My wrath may wax hot against them and that I may consume them." Exodus 32:10. Moses attempted to pacify God and said, "Lord, why doth Thy wrath wax hot against Thy people?.. Turn from Thy fierce wrath and repent of this evil against Thy people." Exodus 32:11,12. "And the Lord repented of the evil which He thought to do unto His people." Verse 14.

We readily see that in this interesting episode God was merely testing Abraham, and giving him an opportunity to plead for the people. But we also note that this illustrates God's willingness to talk over matters with His saints; yes, and with those who are not saints. His invitation to mankind is, "Come now, and let us reason together." Isaiah 1:18. God is anxious to communicate with His people. Neither Abraham nor Moses was rebuked for his boldness.


The other word to which we would call attention is "behoved." Speaking of Christ, Paul says, "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. While "became" in verse 10 is a mild word, "behoved" in-verse 17 (ophilo in Greek) is a strong word, and is defined "under obligation," "ought," "must," "should," "bound," "indebted," "duty," "owe." If Christ is to be a merciful and faithful High Priest, Paul says it behoves Him "in all things" to be like His brethren. This is obligatory. It is a duty He owes and must not avoid. He cannot make reconciliation for men unless He takes His place with them and in all things becomes like them. It is not a question of choice. He should, He must, He ought to, He is under obligation to, He owes it. Unless He has to struggle with the same temptations men do, He cannot sympathize with them. One who has never been hungry, who has never been weak and sick, who has never struggled with temptations, is unable fully to sympathize with those who are thus afflicted.

For this reason it is necessary for Christ in all things, to become like His brethren. If He is to be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, He must Himself be "compassed with infirmity." Hebrews 4:15; 5:2. Therefore, if men are afflicted, He also must be afflicted "in all their affliction." Isaiah 83:9. Christ Himself testifies: "I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not My face from shame and spitting." Isaiah 50:5,6.

He "Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." Matthew 8:17. In nothing Christ spared Himself. He did not ask to be exempt from any trial or suffering of man; and God did not exempt Him.

These experiences were all necessary if Christ was to be a merciful High Priest. Now, He can sympathize with every child of humanity; for He knows hunger by actual experience and sickness and weakness and temptation and sorrow and affliction and pain, and feeling forsaken of God and man. He has been "tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:15. It is Christ's partaking of men's afflictions and weaknesses which enables Him to be the sympathizing Saviour that He is.

June 6, 2018

Was Christ Exempt?

With these reflections in mind, we read with astonishment and perplexity, mingled with sorrow, the false statement in Questions on Doctrine, p. 383, that Christ was "exempt from the inherited passions and pollutions that corrupt the natural descendants of Adam." To appreciate the import of this assertion, we need to define "exempt" and "passions."

The College Standard Dictionary defines "exempt": "To free or excuse from some burdensome obligation; free, clear or excuse from some restriction or burden." Webster's New World Dictionary, College Edition defines exempt: "to take out, deliver, set free as from a rule which others must observe; excuse, release.. freed from a rule, obligation, etc., which binds others; excused, released.. exemption implies a release from some obligation or legal requirement, especially when others are not so released."

"Passion" is defined: "originally suffering or agony.. any of the emotions as hate, grief, love, fear, joy; the agony and sufferings of Jesus during the crucifixion or during the period following the Last Supper. Passion usually implies a strong emotion that has an overpowering or compelling effect." Passion is an inclusive word. While originally it has reference to sorrow, suffering, agony, it is not confined to these meanings nor to passions of the flesh only, but includes all man's emotions as mentioned above, as well as anger, sorrow, hanger, pity; it includes, in fact, all temptations that incite men to action. To take these emotions away from a man, to exempt him from all temptation, results in a creature less than a man, a kind of no-man, a shadow man, a non-entity, which Markham calls a "brother to the ox." Temptations are the character building ingredients of life for good or ill, as man reacts to them.

If Christ was exempt from the passions of mankind, He was different from other men, none of whom is so exempt. Such teaching is tragic, and completely contrary to what Seventh-day Adventists have always taught and believed. Christ came as a man among men, asking no favors and receiving no special consideration. According to the terms of the covenant He was not to receive any help from God not available to any other man. This was a necessary condition if His demonstration was to be of any value and His work acceptable. The least deviation from this rule would invalidate the experiment, nullify the agreement, void the covenant, and effectively destroy all hope for man.

Satan's contention has always been that God is unjust in requiring men to keep the law, and doubly unjust in punishing them for not doing what cannot be done, and what no one has ever done. His claim is that God ought at least to make a demonstration to show that it can be done, and done under the same conditions to which men are subject. Noah, Job, Abraham, David--all were good men, but all failed to come up to God's high standard. "All men have sinned," says Paul. Romans 3:23.

God was not moved by Satan's challenge; for long before, even from eternity, God had decided upon His course of action. Accordingly, when the time came, God sent "His own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, and condemned sin in the flesh." Romans 8:3. Christ did not condone sin in the flesh; He condemned it, and in so doing upheld the power and authority of the law. By dying on the cross He further enforced the law by paying the penalty required for its transgression, and upheld the infliction of its penalty by paying its demand, He was now in position to forgive without being accused of ignoring the law or setting it aside.

When it became evident that God intended to send His Son and in Him demonstrate that man can keep the law, Satan knew that this would constitute the crisis, and that he must overcome Christ or perish. One thing greatly concerned him; would Christ come to this earth as a man with the limitations, weaknesses and infirmities which men had brought upon themselves because of excesses? if so, Satan believed he might overcome Him. If God should exempt Him from the passions that corrupt the natural descendants of Adam, he could claim that God played favorites, and the test was invalid. In the following quotations we have God's answer:

"God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life's perils in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss." -Desire of Ages, p. 49.

"Many claim that it was impossible for Christ to be overcome by temptation. Then He could not have been placed in Adam's position..Our Saviour took humanity with all its liabilities. He took the nature of man with the possibility of yielding to temptation." --Ibid., p. 117.

"The temptations to which Christ was subject were a terrible reality. As a free agent He was placed on probation with liberty to yield to Satan's temptations and work at cross purposes with God. If this were not so, if it had not been possible for Him to fall, He could not have been tempted in all points as the human family is tempted." -Youth's Instructor, Oct. 28, 1899.

"When Adam was assailed by the tempter, none of the effects of sin were upon him. He stood in the strength of perfect manhood, possessing the full vigor of mind and body.. It was not thus with Jesus when He entered the wilderness to cope with Satan. 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 depth of his degradation."--Desire of Ages, p. 117.

Christ "vanquished Satan in the same nature over which Satan obtained the victory. The enemy was overcome by Christ in His human nature. The power of the Saviour's Godhead was hidden. He overcame in human nature relying upon God for power. This is the privilege of all."-Youths Instructor, April 25, 1901.

"Letters have been coming in to me, affirming that Christ could not have had the same nature as man, for if He had, He would have fallen under similar temptations. If He did not have man's nature, He could not be our example. If He was not a partaker of our nature, He could not have been tempted as man has been. If it were not possible for Him to yield to temptations, He could not be our helper. It was a solemn reality that Christ came to fight the battle as man, in man's behalf. His temptation and victory tell us that humanity must copy the Pattern; men must become a partaker of the divine nature."-Review and Herald, Feb. 18, 1890.

"Christ bore the sins and infirmities of the race as they existed when He came to the earth to help man.He took human nature, and bore the infirmities of the degenerate race."--The Temptations of Christ, pp. 30,31.

If Christ had been exempt from passions, He would have been unable to understand or help mankind. It, therefore, behoved Him "in all things to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest.. for in that He Himself hath suffered, being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted." Hebrews 2:17,18. A Saviour who has never been tempted, never has had to battle with passions, who has never "offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him who was able to save Him from death," who "though He were a son" never learned obedience by the things He suffered, but was "exempt" from the very things that a true Savior must experience: such a savior is what this new theology offers us. It is not the kind of Savior I need, nor the world. One who has never struggled with passions can have no understanding of their power, nor has he ever had the joy of overcoming them. If God extended special favors and exemptions to Christ, in that very act He disqualified Him for His work. There can be no heresy more harmful than that here discussed. It taken away the Savior I have known and substitutes for Him a weak personality, not considered by God capable of resisting and conquering the passions which He asks men to overcome.

It is, of course, patent to all, that no one can claim to believe the Testimonies and also believe in the new theology that Christ was exempt from human passions. It is one thing or the other. The denomination is now called upon to decide. To accept the teaching of Questions on Doctrine necessitates giving up faith in the Gift God has given this people.

Some History

It may interest the reader to know how these new doctrines came to be accepted by the leaders, and how they came to be included in Questions on Doctrine, and thus receive official standing.

The question of the nature of Christ while in the flesh is one of the foundation pillars of Christianity. On this doctrine hangs the salvation of man. The apostle John makes it a deciding factor by saying, "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God." 1 John 4:2,3.

In what kind of flesh did Jesus come to this earth? We repeat a quotation which we have given above: "Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity. Only thus could he rescue man from the lowest depth of his degradation." Desire of Ages, p. 117.

Only as Christ placed Himself on the level of the humanity He had come to save, could He demonstrate to men how to overcome their infirmities and passions. If the men with whom He associated had understood that He was exempt from the passions with which they had to battle, His influence would immediately have been destroyed and He would be reckoned a deceiver. His pronouncement, "I have overcome the world" (John 16:33), would be accepted as a dishonest boast; for without passions He had nothing to overcome. His promise that "to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father in His throne" (Revelation 3:21), would be met by the claim that if God would exempt them from passions, they also could do what Christ had done.

That God exempted Christ from the passions that corrupt men, is the acme of all heresy. It is destruction of all true religion and completely nullifies the plan of redemption, and makes God a deceiver and Christ His accomplice. Great responsibility rests upon those who teach such false doctrine to the destruction of souls. The truth, of course, is that God "spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us" (Romans 8:32); rather because His nature was sensitive to the least slight or disrespect or contempt, His tests were harder and His temptations stronger than any we have to endure. He resisted "even unto blood." No, God did not spare or exempt Him. In His agony He "offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared." Hebrews 5:7. "'

He were a son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered." Verse 8.

In view of all this, we repeat the question, how did this God-dishonoring doctrine find its way into this denomination? Was it the result of close and prayerful study by competent men over a series of years, and were the final conclusions submitted to the denomination in public representative meetings, advertised beforehand in the Review giving the details of what changes were contemplated, as the denomination has voted as the proper procedure? None of these things were done. An anonymous book appeared, and men were judged and the brakes tightened on any one who objected.

Here is the story of how these new doctrines found their way into the denomination as reported by Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse, editor of the religious journal, Eternity, in the September, 1956, issue of his magazine, later issued as a copyrighted article entitled "Are Seventh-day Adventists Christians?" With permission we quote from this article. We may inject that Dr. Barnhouse advises us that the entire content of the article was submitted to the Adventist brethren for approval before publication. The fact that this report has been in print for nearly three years and no correction or protest has been forthcoming from our leaders would strongly argue that they accept the truthfulness of the account.

Dr. Barnhouse reports that "a little less than two years ago it was decided that Mr. Martin should undertake research in connection with Seventh-day Adventism." Mr. Walter R. Martin was at that time a candidate for degree of Doctor of Philosophy in New York University and also connected with the editorial staff of Eternity. Wishing to get firsthand and reliable information, Mr. Martin went to Washington to the Adventist headquarters where he got in touch with some of the leaders. "The response was immediate and enthusiastic."

Mr. Martin "immediately.. perceived that the Adventists were strenuously denying certain doctrinal positions which had been previously attributed to them." Chief among these were the question of the mark of the beast, and the nature of Christ while in the flesh. Mr. Martin "pointed out to them that in their bookstore adjoining the building in which these meetings were taking place, a certain volume published by them and written by one of their ministers categorically stated the contrary to what they were now asserting. The leaders sent for the book, discovered that Mr. Martin was correct, and immediately brought this fact to the attention of the General Conference officers, that the situation might be remedied and such publications be corrected."

This concerned particularly the doctrine of the mark of the beast, one of the fundamental doctrines of the Adventist church held from near its beginning. When the leaders discovered that Mr. Martin was correct, they suggested to the officers that the situation be "remedied and such publications be corrected." This was done. We are not informed which publications were so "remedied and corrected," nor if the authors were notified before the changes were made; nor if the duly appointed book committee was consulted; nor if the book editors or the publishing house were agreeable to the changes. We do know, however, that in the Sabbath school lessons for the second quarter of 1958, which dealt with the book of Revelation, chapter by chapter, the thirteenth chapter which discusses the mark of the beast was entirely omitted. Chapter 12 was there, so was chapter 14, but there was no chapter 13. The Sabbath school lessons had evidently been "remedied and corrected."

It is certainly anomalous when a minister of another denomination has enough influence with our leaders to have them correct our theology, effect a change in the teaching of the denomination on a most vital doctrine of the church, and even invade the Sabbath schools of the world and withhold from them the important lessons of Revelation 13. For our leaders to accept this is tantamount to an abdication of their leadership.

The Same Procedure

But this is not all. Dr. Barnhouse reports that the same procedure was repeated regarding the nature of Christ while in the flesh, the subject with which we have been here dealing. Our leaders assured Mr. Martin that "the majority of the denomination has always held (the nature of Christ while in the flesh) 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."

If our leaders told Mr. Martin this, they told the greatest untruth ever. For the denomination has never held any other view than that expressed by Mrs. White in the quotations used in this article. We challenge our leaders, or anybody, to produce proof of their assertion. How grossly untrue is the statement that certain writers got into print with views "completely repugnant to the church at-large." Mrs. White was one of those writers who "got into print." Hear also what our standard book, Bible Readings for the Home Circle, sold to the public by the millions, has to say on the subject. I have before me two copies, one printed by the Pacific Press in 1916, the other by the Southern Publishing house in 1944. They both read alike. Here is the accepted teaching by the denomination:

"In His humanity Christ partook of our sinful, fallen nature. If not, then, He was not made 'like unto His brethren,' was not 'in all points tempted like as we are,' did not overcome as we have to overcome, and is not, therefore, the complete and perfect Savior man needs and must have to be saved. The idea that Christ was born of an immaculate or sinless mother (Protestants do not claim this for the virgin Mary), inherited no tendencies to sin, and for this reason did not sin, removes Him from the realm of a fallen world, and from the very place where help is needed. On His human side, Christ inherited just what every child of Adam inherits--a sinful, fallen nature. On the divine side, from His very conception He was begotten and born of the Spirit. And this was done to place mankind on vantage-ground, and to demonstrate that in the same way every one who is 'born of the Spirit' may gain like victories over sin in his own sinful flesh. Thus each one is to overcome as Christ overcame (Revelation 3:21). Without this birth there can be no victory over temptation, and no salvation from sin (John 3: 3-7)." Page 21.

In explanation of how these writers "got into print" with their views, our leaders told Mr. Martin that "they had among their number certain members of their 'lunatic fringe,' even as there are similar wild-eyed irresponsibles in every field of fundamental Christianity." I think this is going too far. Mrs. White did not belong to the "lunatic fringe" who got into print, nor did the authors of Bible Readings. Our leaders should make a most humble apology to the denomination for such a slur upon their members. It is almost unbelievable that they should ever have made such statements. But the accusation has been in print nearly three years, and there has been no protest of any kind. I am humiliated that such accusations should have been made, and even more so that our leaders are completely callous in their attitude toward them.

That the reader may see for himself the original report of Dr. Barnhouse, I herewith reproduce portions of the reprint, "Are Seventh-day Adventists Christians?" This is not the report in full, but only that part which relates to the questions here discussed. Later I shall present other extracts.

"A little less than two years ago it was decided that Mr. Martin should undertake research in connection with Seventh-day Adventism. We got into touch with the Adventists saying that we wished to treat them fairly and would appreciate the opportunity of interviewing some of their leaders. The response was immediate and enthusiastic.

"Mr. Martin went to Takoma Park, Washington, D. C., the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist movement. At first the two groups looked upon each other with great suspicion. Mr. Martin had read a vast quantity of Adventist literature and presented them with a series of approximately forty questions concerning their theological position. On a second visit he was presented with scores of pages of detailed theological answers to his questions. Immediately it was perceived that the Adventists were strenuously denying certain doctrinal positions which have been previously attributed to them.

"As Mr. Martin read their answers he came, for example, upon a statement that they repudiated absolutely the thought that seventh-day Sabbath keeping was a basis for salvation and a denial of any teaching that the keeping of the first day of the week is as yet considered to be the receiving of the anti-christian 'mark of the beast.' He pointed out to them that in their book store adjoining the building in which these meetings were taking place a certain volume published by them and written by one of their ministers categorically stated the contrary to what they were now asserting. The leaders sent for the book, discovered that Mr. Martin was correct, and immediately brought this fact to the attention of the General Conference officers, that this situation might be remedied and such publications be corrected. This same procedure was repeated regarding the nature of Christ while in the flesh which the majority of the denomination has always held 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. They further explained to Mr. Martin that they had among their number certain members of their 'lunatic fringe' even as there are similar wild-eyed irresponsibles in every field of fundamental Christianity. This action of the Seventh-day Adventists was indicative of similar steps that were taken subsequently.

"Mr. Martin's book on Seventh-day Adventism will appear in print within a few months. It will carry a foreword by responsible leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist church to the effect that they have not been misquoted in the volume and that the areas of agreement and disagreement as set forth by Mr. Martin are accurate from their point of view as well as from our evangelical point of view. All of Mr. Martin's references to a new Adventist volume on their doctrines will be from the page proof of their book, which will appear in print simultaneously with his work.

Henceforth any fair criticism of the Adventist movement must refer to these simultaneous publications.

"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.

"To avoid charges that have been brought against them by evangelicals, Adventists have already worked out arrangements that the Voice of Prophecy radio program and the Signs of the Times, their largest paper, be identified as presentations of the Seventh-day Adventist church." In closing this paper, I wish to re-emphasize certain salient facts:

1.    Questions on Doctrine, page 383, states that Christ was exempt. The Spirit of Prophecy makes clear that Christ was not exempt, from the temptations and passions that afflict men. Whoever accepts the new theology must reject the Testimonies. There is no other choice.


2. Mr. Martin was instrumental in having our teaching on the mark of the beast and the nature of Christ in the flesh changed. Similar changes were made in other books, but we are not informed what those changes are.

3.   Our leaders have promised not to proselytize. This effectively will stop our work for the world. And we have promised to report to Mr. Martin those who transgress.

4.  We have been threatened to have the brakes applied to such as fail to believe and follow the leaders. Such are characterized as "wild-eyed irresponsibles" and are said to constitute the "lunatic fringe."

5.  We are appalled to learn that in some way these evangelical clergymen have had enough influence with our leaders to cause the Voice of Prophecy and the Signs of the Times to trim their sails to "avoid charges that have been brought against them by evangelicals." This is terrifying news. These organs are instruments of God, and it is unbelievable that the leaders should permit any outside influence to affect them. In this a great sin against the denomination has been committed that can be blotted out only by deep repentance of the guilty parties, or in lieu of this, that the men concerned quietly resign from holy office.

Our members are largely unaware of the conditions existing, and every effort is being made to keep them in ignorance. Orders have been issued to keep everything secret, and it will be noted that even at the late General Conference session (1958) no report was given of our leaders' trafficking with the evangelicals and making alliances with them. Our officials are playing with fire, and the resulting conflagration will fulfill the prediction that the coming Omega "will be of a most startling nature."

Seven times I have asked for a hearing, and I have been promised one, but only on the condition that I meet privately with certain men, and that no record be given me of the proceedings. I have asked for a public hearing, or if it is to be a private one, that a tape recording be made, and that I be given a copy. This has been denied me. As I cannot have such a hearing, I am writing these messages which contain, and will contain, what I would have said at such a hearing. Can the reader surmise the reason why the officers do not want the hearing I ask?

I am a Seventh-day Adventist, and I love this message that I have preached for so long. I grieve deeply as I see the foundation pillars being destroyed, the blessed truths that have made us what we are abandoned.

I am thankful to be in good health and wish that the blessing of the Lord may be with each reader. We have come to strenuous times, and it behooves each to keep close to God in these perilous times. The Lord be with you.

End of Article

Continuing in the book by Fred T. Wright, Behold Your God. Fred Wright’s objective was to demonstrate God’s character of love and that God does not destroy even though the Bible uses language that makes it appear otherwise to the surface reader.

Chapter Six

Behold Your God

Approaching the Study of God

Character is revealed by the way in which one acts, for the very simple reason that we do what we do because of what we are. Allowance must be made for the work of deception which sinful human beings practise, for some are very adept at making themselves appear to be what they are not. Nevertheless, the time comes when the masquerade is rent and the real person is seen for what he is.

With God there is no deception for He is the truth. Therefore, what He does, when rightly understood, is a true and accurate revelation of what He is.

The doings of God may be divided into two general parts. Firstly, there was the revelation of God by what He did during the eternity of the past when there was no sin problem, and secondly, there is the revelation of His character by what He did in response to the appearance of sin.

In the natural way of things, it follows that the greater of these two revelations must be the one forthcoming during the great rebellion, for it is under the pressure of great testing and difficulty that the otherwise hidden depths of one's nature and capabilities are revealed.

Therefore, the fullest and clearest revelation of God's character is afforded us because of the entrance of sin. This being so, there are some who have wickedly charged God with deliberately introducing sin so that He would be provided with the theatre in which to display such depths of Himself as would otherwise be impossible.

The enemy of God and man is the originator of these charges which the true child of God will treat with the utter disdain they deserve. Albeit, there are still the two situations in which the behaviour of God is the revelation of His character. The conditions prevailing in these two eras are as different as they can be, but God remains unchanged through it all. Sin's appearance, problem, and pressure made far-reaching changes in angels, men, and nature, but it made absolutely no change in God. He is "the same yesterday. and to day, and forever." Hebrews 13.8. While this Scripture directly relates to Jesus Christ, it is equally true of the Father for, what can be said of the One, is equally true of the Other.

God is unchanged and unchangeable. He declares, "I am the Lord, I change not. Malachi 3:6. He is ". . . the Father of lights, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1 17. He is "the incorruptible God." Romans 1:23.

These evidences confirm that God did not follow a certain line of behaviour before the entrance of sin and then, when sin appeared, engage in activities utterly unknown before the uprising of evil. Rather, the [49] emergency of sin brought forth from God only more of the same things He had always done.

Because there was no occasion to punish, none have any difficulty in seeing that, before the fall, God never did such a thing. Subsequent to that sad day, however, an entirely different set of conditions demanded of God as the responsible Ruler of all, a satisfactory and permanent solution. Because most men understand only the use of force as such a solution, they cannot see God doing other than bearing down with terrible punishments on the guilty. This is the only way they know, resulting in their quickly interpreting all the reported actions of God in the Old Testament as being of this character. To such, the declaration that God did absolutely nothing after the fall that He did not do before, with all the implications thereof, will certainly be a startling statement, hard to accept.

But it has to be true nonetheless. Otherwise we are compelled to accept the thought that sin did make changes in God, forcing Him, after its appearance, to do things He had never done before. This cannot be and yet God remain as the unchangeable, incorruptible God.

Some may counter that this argument breaks down when it is considered that God did do something different in giving His Son as a sacrifice for the lost.

But, when Christ's role in the eternity of the past is rightly understood, it will be seen that God had given His only-begotten Son to the created world for their blessing long before sin ever entered the universe. The incarnation of Christ into the human family was not something new for Him. It was a wonderful extension of the role He had eternally occupied and of the work which He had everlastingly done. From the eternity of the past, Christ has ever been God's gift to His creatures even unto the death, for their salvation. Of this, more will be revealed as the study progresses.

As surely as this is true, then so surely has God done nothing new in the period when sin emerged to establish its pernicious corruption. Therefore, by studying what God did in the unmarred ages, we will study those revelations of His character which find confirmation in the greater display of those same things in the vastly more difficult era which has followed.

The study of what God did in the sunny days of universal innocence and harmony is the investigation of the constitution of the kingdom which He formed in such wondrous perfection. How God organized that government, how He related Himself to His subjects, what He provided for them and how He ruled them is a very clear and wonderful revelation of His character. He is a perfect God, has been and will be eternally so, and therefore the government which He formed is likewise as perfect. It is the only perfect rulership ever to exist. It is the pattern for all governments to copy and they can have perfect government only as they form theirs after the divine similitude.

Before we begin the study of that government, a necessary note of warning must be given. This is necessary because of the universal human [50] tendency to form concepts of God's government after the measure of human leadership. We are very familiar with the latter, from personal acquaintanceship. It is all that we really know, and so we tend to think of God and His kingdom as being the same.

But the Word of God warns of this danger and directs us to approach this study from a different standpoint. God states very clearly, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord.

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8, 9.

In His efforts to reveal to men the principles of God's kingdom, Christ was forever faced with the problem that there was nothing in this earth with which to compare it. Everything with which man was familiar served to give a wrong, instead of correct, concept of it. So Christ said: "Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?" Mark 4:30.

"The government of the kingdom of Christ is like no earthly government. It is a representation of the characters of those who compose the kingdom. 'Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God?' Christ asked, 'or with what comparison shall we liken it?' He could find nothing on earth that would serve as a perfect comparison. His court is one where holy love presides, and whose offices and appointments are graced by the exercise of charity. He charges His servants to bring pity and loving-kindness, His own attributes, into all their office work, and to find their happiness and satisfaction in reflecting the love and tender compassion of the divine nature on all with whom they associate." The Review and Herald, March 19, 1908.

" 'Whereunto,' asked Christ, 'shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?' He could not employ the kingdoms of the world as a similitude. In society He found nothing with which to compare it. Earthly kingdoms rule by the ascendency of physical power; but from Christ's kingdom every carnal weapon, every instrument of coercion, is banished. This kingdom is to uplift and ennoble humanity. God's church is the court of holy life, filled with varied gifts, and endowed with the Holy Spirit. The members are to find their happiness in the happiness of those whom they help and bless." The Acts of the Apostles, 12.

There was always the danger that the apostles might lose sight of the principles of the kingdom of righteousness. Jesus sought to teach them the great differences between that kingdom and the kingdom of men, as it is written:

"Lest the disciples should lose sight of the principles of the gospel, Christ related to them a parable illustrating the manner in which God deals with His servants, and the spirit in which He desires them to labor for Him.

" 'The kingdom of heaven,' He said, 'is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his [51] vineyard.' It was the custom for men seeking employment to wait in the market places, and thither the employers went to find servants. The man in the parable is represented as going out at different hours to engage workmen. Those who are hired at the earliest hours agree to work for a stated sum; those hired later leave their wages to the discretion of the householder.

" 'So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.'

"The householder's dealing with the workers in his vineyard represents God's dealing with the human family. It is contrary to the customs that prevail among men. In worldly business, compensation is given according to the work accomplished. The laborer expects to be paid only that which he earns. But in the parable, Christ was illustrating the principles of His kingdom—a kingdom not of this world. He is not controlled by any human standard. The Lord says, 'My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. . . . For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.' Isaiah 55:8, 9." Christ's Object Lessons, 396, 397.

Thus, in His Word, the Lord has warned us not to think of the kingdom of God in terms of earthly kingdoms. It is impossible to learn of the heavenly from the earthly. It cannot be done. Anyone who attempts to do so either consciously or unconsciously, will certainly be led into incorrect understandings on the nature of God's kingdom.

Few, if any, consciously set out to learn of God's government in this way. The student does not even question this approach because, throughout the lifetime, no other than earthly kingdoms have been known. He comes to the study of the heavenly with definite ideas already established in his mind of what a kingdom has to be. The Scriptures are read in the light of these understandings and the result is a view of God, which is opposite from reality.

Christ's disciples took a long time to overcome this problem. From their earliest days they had heard their elders talk of the Messianic kingdom. No question was ever raised as to the constitution of that kingdom. It was taken for granted that it would be just like the kingdoms round about them, and as the Old Testament was read, every verse describing that kingdom was misread in the light of those misconceptions.

When the disciples joined the company of Christ, this misunderstanding of the true nature of the kingdom and therefore of God's character, proved to be the greatest hindrance to their drawing into full intimacy with Christ in His divine mission. It caused Christ many unnecessary burdens, [52] added sorrow and terrible heartache. Despite His continual effort on their behalf, they were not delivered from this false position until after the resurrection.

No lesson from the past should be learned with greater care than the one from the experience of these men. We are to fear greatly lest we, too, come to the study of God's kingdom with the same pre-conceived ideas and notions in our minds. If we do, then we will certainly emerge with an erroneous view. This in turn will make it impossible to endure the trial which is before us, for of that last successful people it is written, “In order to endure the trial before them, they must understand the will of God as revealed in His Word; they can honour Him only as they have a right conception of His character, government, and purposes, and act in accordance with them." The Great Controversy, 593.

Therefore, the very beginning of the study of the constitution of God's government is conversion to the realization that the kingdom of God is different. It is unique. There is nothing in this world that can be likened to it. Once this conviction is gained so that the tendency to refer to earthly conditions as a guideline to understanding the heavenly has been destroyed, we can approach the study with minds fresh and clean to receive the correct understanding of God's character as revealed in the constitution of His kingdom.

Earthly kingdoms do have a reference value in the sense that they tell us what the kingdom of God is not. In other words, wherever we find ourselves seeing the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of men to be the same in any respect, we can know that we have strayed from a true knowledge of God's realm.

So with minds fresh and clear, let the approach to the study of God and His wonderful works begin. Let us not be among that class who "fail of a satisfactory understanding of the great problem of evil, from the fact that tradition and misinterpretation have obscured the teaching of the Bible concerning the character of God, the nature of His government, and the principles of His dealing with sin." The Great Controversy, 492.


End of Chapter