Bible Study Guides – “That Ye May be Clean From all Your Sins Before the LORD”`

December 16, 2000 – December 22, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil.” Isaiah 1:16.

STUDY HELP: The Great Controversy, 413-422.


“…we have fixed our minds upon the exceeding great and precious reward; and, in order to obtain it, we must have a perfect character. The angels of God are watching the development of character. Angels of God are weighing moral worth; and we are to obtain a fitness here to join the society of sinless angels. Do you expect that when Christ comes He will give you that fitness? Not at all. You must be found of Him without spot, without blemish, or wrinkle, or anything like it. Now is the watching and trying time. Now it is the time to obtain a preparation to abide the day of His coming, and to stand when He appeareth.” Review and Herald, April 19, 1870.

“That Your Sins May be Blotted Out”

  1. What promise do we have that the Lord will blot out our sins? Isaiah 43:25.

NOTE: In the typical service, the forgiveness of sins was offered daily, as the sinner who had transgressed God’s Law confessed and repented of his sins. The blotting out of sins took place only on the Day of Atonement.

“All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life.” The Great Controversy, 483.

  1. When are God’s people to be free of all their sins? Leviticus 16:30.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 485.

  1. When did Peter look forward to as the time of the blotting out of sins? Acts 3:19, 20.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 611, 612.

“As a Thick Cloud”

  1. How does the Lord describe the blotting out of sins? Isaiah 44:22.

NOTE: “Those who have delayed a preparation for the day of God, cannot obtain it in the time of trouble, or at any future period. The righteous will not cease their earnest, agonizing cries for deliverance. They cannot bring to mind any particular sins; but in their whole life they can see little good. Their sins have gone before hand to judgment, and pardon has been written. Their sins have been borne away into the land of forgetfulness, and they can not bring them to remembrance.” Signs of the Times, November 27, 1879.

  1. What work does Peter say is needed on our part if our sins are to be blotted out? Acts 3:19, first part. (Compare Joel 2:12, 13.)

NOTE: “The conditions of obtaining mercy of God are simple and just and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order that we may have the forgiveness of sin. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression; but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy. Repentance includes sorrow for sin, and a turning away from it. We shall not renounce sin unless we see its sinfulness; until we turn away from it in heart, there will be no real change in the life.” The Faith I Live By, 127.

“The Fast that I Have Chosen”

  1. How does Isaiah explain the purpose of the Feast of Trumpets? Isaiah 58:1. (Compare Joel 2:1, 15–17.)

NOTE: “If ministers who preach the gospel would do their duty, and would also be ensamples to the flock of God, their voices would be lifted up like a trumpet to show the people their transgressions and the house of Israel their sins. Ministers who exhort sinners to be converted should distinctly define what sin is and what conversion from sin is. Sin is the transgression of the law. The convicted sinner must exercise repentance toward God for the transgression of His law, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle gives us the true definition of sin. ‘Sin is the transgression of the law.’” Review and Herald, March 4, 1875.

  1. What solemn question is asked of those who will live to see Christ’s coming? Malachi 3:2; Revelation 6:17.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 311.

“He Shall Purify”

  1. How is the work of God’s judgment pictured by Malachi? Malachi 3:3, 5.

NOTE: “Here is the process, the refining, purifying process, to be carried on by the Lord of hosts. The work is most trying to the soul, but it is only through this process that the rubbish and defiling impurities can be removed. Our trials are all necessary to bring us close to our heavenly Father, in obedience to His will, that we may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. God has given each of us capabilities, talents to improve. We need a new and living experience in the divine life, in order to do the will of God. No amount of past experience will suffice for the present, or will strengthen us to overcome the difficulties in our path. We must have new grace and fresh strength daily in order to be victorious.” God’s Amazing Grace, 311.

  1. What does Peter tell us about this work of purification? 1 Peter 1:22.

NOTE: “God has a people upon the earth who in faith and holy hope are tracing down the roll of fast-fulfilling prophecy and are seeking to purify their souls by obeying the truth, that they may not be found without the wedding garment when Christ shall appear.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 307.

“Those who refuse to be hewed by the prophets, and fail to purify their souls in obeying the whole truth, and who are willing to believe that their condition is far better than it really is, will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building. But there will be no time then to do it and no Mediator to plead their cause before the Father. Before this time the awfully solemn declaration has gone forth, ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’” Early Writings, 71.

“Men that Wait for Their Lord”

  1. What counsel does Jesus give to those waiting for His coming? Luke 12:35–38.

NOTE: “It is those who by faith follow Jesus in the great work of the atonement who receive the benefits of His mediation in their behalf, while those who reject the light which brings to view this work of ministration are not benefited thereby.” The Great Controversy, 430. (See also page 427.)

  1. What warning does the Lord give? Matthew 24:44.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 425.

  1. What promises are made to those who will participate in the work of preparing themselves for the coming of Christ? Joel 2:28–32. (Compare Daniel 12:1.)

NOTE: “’There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time Thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.’ Daniel 12:1. From garrets, from hovels, from dungeons, from scaffolds, from mountains and deserts, from the caves of the earth and the caverns of the sea, Christ will gather His children to Himself. On earth they have been destitute, afflicted, and tormented. Millions have gone down to the grave loaded with infamy because they refused to yield to the deceptive claims of Satan. By human tribunals the children of God have been adjudged the vilest criminals. But the day is near when ‘God is judge Himself.’ (Psalm 50:6). Then the decisions of earth shall be reversed. ‘The rebuke of His people shall He take away.’ Isaiah 25:8. White robes will be given to every one of them. (Revelation 6:11.) And ‘they shall call them the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord.’ Isaiah 62:12. Whatever crosses they have been called to bear, whatever losses they have sustained, whatever persecution they have suffered, even to the loss of their temporal life, the children of God are amply recompensed. ‘They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.’ Revelation 22:4.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 179, 180.

Bible Study Guides – “That Your Sins May be Blotted Out”

December 9, 2000 – December 15, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” Isaiah 43:25.

STUDY HELP: The Great Controversy, 419–422.


“In the typical system, which was a shadow of the sacrifice and priesthood of Christ, the cleansing of the sanctuary was the last service performed by the high priest in the yearly round of ministration. It was the closing work of the atonement—a removal or putting away of sin from Israel. It prefigured the closing work in the ministration of our High Priest in heaven, in the removal or blotting out of the sins of His people, which are registered in the heavenly records. This service involves a work of investigation, a work of judgment; and it immediately precedes the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; for when He comes, every case has been decided.” The Great Controversy, 352.

“A Day of Atonement”

  1. What was the purpose of the Day of Atonement? Leviticus 16:30.

NOTE: “As the sins of the people were anciently transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary by the blood of the sin offering, so our sins are, in fact, transferred to the heavenly sanctuary by the blood of Christ. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded.” The Faith I Live By, 206.

  1. What preparation for this solemn day was given? Leviticus 23:24, 25.

“An Atonement for the Holy Place”

  1. For what did the high priest make atonement? Leviticus 16:16, first part.

NOTE: As the sinner confessed and repented his sins, the guilt of those sins was, in the symbols of the flesh and blood of the sacrifice, transferred to the Holy Place. The Day of Atonement was concerned only with those sins, the ones that had been confessed and repented. There was no atonement possible for sins that had not been repented of.

  1. Why did he need to make atonement for the Holy Place? Leviticus 16:16.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 418.

  1. How does Paul speak of Christ fulfilling the Day of Atonement? Hebrews 9:26.

“The Goat upon Which the LORD’s Lot Fell”

  1. What choice was made between the two goats on the Day of Atonement? Leviticus 16:7, 8.

  2. What was done with the Lord’s goat? Leviticus 16:9, 15.

NOTE: “The goat upon which fell the lot for the Lord was to be slain as a sin offering for the people. And the priest was to bring his blood within the veil and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. The blood was also to be sprinkled upon the altar of incense that was before the veil.” The Great Controversy, 419.

“Within the Veil”

  1. What was done with the blood of the Lord’s goat? Leviticus 16:15–19; Hebrews 9:7.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 420.

  1. What was to be the result of the Day of Atonement for the people of God? Leviticus 16:30.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 613, 614.

“The Goat for Azazel”

  1. How is the second goat described? Leviticus 16:8, margin.

NOTE: “Far from involving the recognition of Azazel as a deity, the sending of the goat was . . . a symbolic expression of the idea that the people’s sins and their evil consequences were to be sent back to the spirit of desolation and ruin, the source of all impurity.” Jewish Encyclopaedia, vol. 2, 365.

“…while the sin offering pointed to Christ as a sacrifice, and the high priest represented Christ as a mediator, the scapegoat typified Satan, the author of sin, upon whom the sins of the truly penitent will finally be placed.” The Great Controversy, 422.

  1. What was the fate of the other goat? Leviticus 16:10, 20–22.

NOTE: “When the ministration in the holy of holies had been completed, and the sins of Israel had been removed from the sanctuary by virtue of the blood of the sin offering, then the scapegoat was presented alive before the Lord; and in the presence of the congregation the high priest confessed over him ‘all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat.’ Leviticus 16:21. In like manner when the work of atonement in the heavenly sanctuary has been completed then in the presence of God and heavenly angels and the host of the redeemed the sins of God’s people will be placed upon Satan; he will be declared guilty of all the evil which he has caused them to commit.” Maranatha, 306.

“Ye Shall Afflict Your Souls”

  1. What special commands were given to Israel to be observed on the Day of Atonement? Numbers 29:7; Leviticus 16:29, 30; Leviticus 23:27, 32.

NOTE: “We are now living in the great Day of Atonement…. All who would have their names retained in the book of life should now, in the few remaining days of their probation, afflict their souls before God by sorrow for sin and true repentance. There must be deep, faithful searching of heart.” God’s Amazing Grace, 69.

“…while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14.” The Great Controversy, 425.

  1. What warning is given to those who refuse to afflict their souls in the time of Atonement? Leviticus 23:29.

NOTE: “As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God’s remembrance…. All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life.…” The Faith I Live By, 212.q

Bible Study Guides – “Then Shall the Sanctuary be Cleansed”

December 2, 2000 – December 8, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “And He said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” Daniel 8:14.

STUDY HELP: Great Controversy, 423–431.


“…the beginning of the seventy weeks is fixed beyond question at 457 B.C., and their expiration in A.D. 34. From this data there is no difficulty in finding the termination of the 2300 days. The seventy weeks—490 days—having been cut off from the 2300, there were 1810 days remaining. After the end of 490 days, the 1810 days were still to be fulfilled. From A.D. 34, 1810 years extend to 1844. Consequently the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 terminate in 1844. At the expiration of this great prophetic period, upon the testimony of the angel of God, ‘the sanctuary shall be cleansed.’” The Great Controversy, 328.

“How Long?”

  1. What question marks the culmination of the prophecy of Daniel 8? Daniel 8:13.

NOTE: The early part of the prophecy covers familiar ground. As in the prophecies of Daniel 2 and of Daniel 7, world powers are pictured in conflict. In this late stage of its history, further information about Babylon is not necessary. Medo-Persia and Greece are described and the emergence of the fourth power, Rome, described in its imperial and papal phases. Then comes the question: How long will the sanctuary and the host be trodden underfoot?

  1. Who was the one who answered this question? Daniel 8:13, margin.

  2. What answer was given? Daniel 8:14.

  3. What Bible examples may be given to demonstrate the principle of a day in prophecy representing a year? Ezekiel 4:4–6; Numbers 14:33, 34.

NOTE: “A day in prophecy stands for a year. See Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6. The seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, represent four hundred and ninety years.” Prophets and Kings, 698.

“At the Time of the End”

  1. How was Daniel shown that the fulfillment of this vision would take place in the distant future? Daniel 8:17.

  2. What event was to take place at the end of the 2300 days? Daniel 8:14.

NOTE: Some have suggested that nitsdak, rendered cleansed, should be translated ‘be justified,’ ‘vindicated,’ or ‘restored to its rightful state.’ But a building cannot be justified or vindicated or declared righteous. Only a person can.

“Purged With Blood”

  1. What misunderstanding did Daniel have about the sanctuary to be cleansed? Daniel 9:17.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 417.

  1. How is this cleansing to be done? Hebrews 9:22.

NOTE: “What is the cleansing of the sanctuary? That there was such a service in connection with the earthly sanctuary, is stated in the Old Testament Scriptures. But can there be anything in heaven to be cleansed? In Hebrews 9 the cleansing of both the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary is plainly taught…. The cleansing, both in the typical and in the real service, must be accomplished with blood: in the former, with the blood of animals; in the latter, with the blood of Christ. The cleansing was not a removal of physical impurities, for it was to be accomplished with blood, and therefore must be a cleansing from sin. But how could there be sin connected with the sanctuary, either in heaven or upon the earth? As the sins of the people were anciently transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary by the blood of the sin offering, so our sins are, in fact, transferred to the heavenly sanctuary by the blood of Christ. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. This necessitates an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. Then [in the great day of final award] by virtue of the atoning blood of Christ, the sins of all the truly penitent will be blotted from the books of heaven. He [Christ] asks for His people not only pardon and justification, full and complete, but a share in His glory and a seat upon His throne.” The Faith I Live By, 206.

“Consider the Vision”

  1. Why was Gabriel unable to complete his task of explaining the vision to Daniel? Daniel 8:16, 27.

  2. When Gabriel returned, how did he explain the purpose of his visit? Daniel 9:22-23.

NOTE: “The angel had been sent to Daniel for the express purpose of explaining to him the point which he had failed to understand in the vision of the eighth chapter, the statement relative to time—‘unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’ After bidding Daniel ‘understand the matter, and consider the vision,’ the very first words of the angel are: ‘Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy Holy City.’” The Great Controversy, 326.

“Seventy Weeks are Determined”

  1. What event was to begin the time period covered by this vision? Daniel 9:24, 25, first part.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 326.

  1. In what year does the Bible place this commandment? Ezra 7:8. (The commandment is given in verses 11–26. See also Ezra 6:14.)

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 326, 327.

  1. What events would take place during the first 70 weeks of the prophecy? Daniel 9:25–27.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 327.

Bible Study Guides – “To Enter the Holy Place by the Blood of Jesus”

November 25, 2000 – December 1, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22.

STUDY HELP: Acts of the Apostles, 51, 52.


“…through divine grace, supernatural power is imparted to the man, and works in mind and heart and character. It is through the impartation of the grace of Christ that sin is discerned in its hateful nature, and finally driven from the soul temple. It is through grace that we are brought into fellowship with Christ, to be associated with Him in the work of salvation.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 366.

“I Am the Door”

  1. What are we told about the ‘Way’ whereby sinful man can come into the presence of God? John 14:6. (Compare Hebrews 10:20; Exodus 26:36.)

NOTE: Remember the symbolism of the colors of the veils studied in Lesson 4.

“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’ (Exodus 3:5). We should come to this study with the humility of a learner, with a contrite heart. And the study of the incarnation of Christ is a fruitful field, which will repay the searcher who digs deep for hidden truth.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 244.

  1. What experience is necessary in order to enter the Holy Place? Hebrews 10:22. (Compare Psalms 24:3–5.)

NOTE: “How few realize how solemn a thing it is to approach the throne of God. Angels bow before that throne with veiled faces, yet men who are stained by sin rush heedlessly into the divine presence. Let us remember that the holy angels approach the throne of God in reverence and holy fear. It is because men do not know God or Jesus Christ whom He has sent, that they take improper attitudes and utter improper words in their petitions. Instead of coming in contrition before God, men come without reverence in the family circle and in the congregation of the people. How many come to the season of prayer full of self-importance, and their prayers sound more as if they thought they must give the Lord information, than as if they expected to receive something from His hand. They do not approach God as humble suppliants, realizing that they are dependent upon Him for life and health, for food and clothing, and for every temporal and spiritual blessing. They misinterpret the apostle’s words when he tells us to come boldly to the throne of grace. Many come into the presence of God without reverence or humility, acting more like bold, forward children than like meek and lowly followers of Christ. This is not the manner of boldness that the Scriptures advocate. The boldness that is here pointed out, is that which is born of faith in the word of Christ when He says, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ It is the boldness that comes when you realize that you do not need to dwell upon your own unworthiness and walk in the shadow that Satan would cast between your soul and God. It is proper that you should feel your weakness and soul’s great need, and it is at this very time that you may come to God in full assurance of faith, claiming the promise that the weary and the heavy laden shall find rest unto their souls. The boldness is confidence in God, not self-confidence. But all rashness, all irreverence, is to be far from those who would offer acceptable prayer. Then we may heed the words of One who speaks for God, when He says, ‘And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us.’” Review and Herald, May 28, 1895.

“Of Sin, of Righteousness and of Judgment”

  1. How did Jesus explain the work of the Holy Spirit in the three parts of the sanctuary? John 16:8.

NOTE: The guilt for the sins we have committed is dealt with in the courtyard of the sanctuary. In the Holy Place can be found God-appointed means for our righteousness, while it is in the Most Holy Place that the work of judgment takes place.

“It is the Holy Spirit that convinces of sin, and expels it from the soul by the consent of the human agent. The mind is then brought under a new law, and that law is the royal law of liberty. Jesus came to break the shackles of sin-slavery from the soul, for sin can triumph only when the liberty of the soul is extinguished. Jesus reached to the very depth of human woe and misery, and His love attracts man to Himself. Through the agency of the Holy Spirit, He lifts the mind up from its degradation, and fastens it upon the eternal reality. Through the merits of Christ man may be able to exercise the noblest powers of his being, and expel sin from his soul.” This Day With God, 124.

“Through the agency of the Holy Spirit, the soul is enlightened, and the character is renewed, sanctified, and uplifted.” Review and Herald, January 30, 1894.

See also The Desire of Ages, 490.

  1. What is God’s will for His people? 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 4.

NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 559.

“Thy Word is Truth”

  1. What part is the Word of God to play in our sanctification? John 17:17; Psalm 119:105; Jeremiah 15:16; Matthew 4:4.

NOTE: “If studied and obeyed, the word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us in body, soul, and spirit to His own image. Then God can use us to do His will. The power given us works from within outwardly, leading us to communicate to others the truth that has been communicated to us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 100.

  1. How is the Word of God symbolized in the sanctuary? Leviticus 24:5–9. (Compare John 6:32–35.)

“Ye Shine as Lights in the World”

  1. What does the light symbolize in the Christian’s life? Matthew 5:16; Psalm 119:130. (Compare Job 29:2, 3; Psalm 18:28.)

NOTE: “When the people of God are growing in grace, they will be constantly obtaining a clearer understanding of His word. They will discern new light and beauty in its sacred truths. This has been true in the history of the church in all ages, and thus it will continue to the end. ‘The path of the righteous is as the light of dawn, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.’ Proverbs 4:18, R.V., margin. By faith we may look to the hereafter and grasp the pledge of God for a growth of intellect, the human faculties uniting with the divine, and every power of the soul being brought into direct contact with the Source of light. We may rejoice that all which has perplexed us in the providences of God will then be made plain, things hard to be understood will then find an explanation; and where our finite minds discovered only confusion and broken purposes, we shall see the most perfect and beautiful harmony. ‘Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.’1 Corinthians 13:12.” Steps to Christ, 112, 113.

  1. What blessings come to those who share God’s truth with others? Proverbs 11:24–26.

NOTE: See The Desire of Ages, 142.

“The LORD Will Receive My Prayer”

  1. How is prayer symbolized in the sanctuary? Psalm 141:2; Revelation 8:3, 4.

NOTE: “…pray at home, in your family, night and morning; pray earnestly in your closet; and while engaged in your daily labor, lift up the soul to God in prayer. It was thus that Enoch walked with God. The silent, fervent prayer of the soul will rise like holy incense to the throne of grace and will be as acceptable to God as if offered in the sanctuary. To all who thus seek Him, Christ becomes a present help in time of need. They will be strong in the day of trial.” The Adventist Home, 213.

  1. What blessings come from prayer? Psalm 34:4, 6; 1 John 5:14, 15.

NOTE: “Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him.” Steps to Christ, 93.

“Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. He who numbers the hairs of your head is not indifferent to the wants of His children. ‘The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.’ James 5:11. His heart of love is touched by our sorrows and even by our utterances of them. Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. Nothing is too great for Him to bear, for He holds up worlds, He rules over all the affairs of the universe. Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy cheer, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest. ‘He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.’ Psalm 147:3. The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul upon the earth to share His watchcare, not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son.” Steps to Christ, 100.

He that Covereth His Sins

  1. What warning is given to the one who seeks to cover up his sins? Proverbs 28:13.

  2. Why is the sanctuary still important today? Hebrews 9:24; Hebrews 4:14–16.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 489.

Food For Life – Recipe for Baked Bananas

No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, no fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds. – November!

How true this saying. But we can all have a Happy Thanksgiving. Most of us have a great deal to be thankful for. I am fully aware that this magazine goes all over the world; and that there are many in poverty, distress, hunger and without the comforts we have in America. You must always know that many prayers are going up from all of us for all of you, wherever you are. Let us be grateful to God for what we do have.

I am deeply impressed, at this time of year especially, to focus on SUGAR. Do you realize that this, too, is addictive? Oh how I wish I could tell you what a hold it had on me at one time in my life! It was so intense that I could not go a day without my chocolate-covered ice cream bar, until one day, when I finished the LAST one to ever pass my lips, I threw myself across the bed and sobbed out my despair to God. I begged Him to help me. I knew I was eternally lost if I could not conquer this one addiction in my life. True to His Word, help came. But make no mistake, I had to resolve first, that I was ready to overcome before the real help came. This is the TRUE answer to all of our dilemmas. We have to feel our deep need of God and His power in our lives before He will come to our assistance.

It was not an easy decision. But once I “purposed in my heart” to do right, the Lord came through as He has promised, and took the desire from me. Praise His holy name!

Sugar is so addictive, that even the law enforcement agencies recognize it. In a former Land Marks I referenced the case of Dr. Bernard Mason from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, who headed the Nutrition and Behavior group. He testified, “as little sugar as possible for the imprisoned.” He stated that many bizarre behavioral attitudes, even homicidal and suicidal, came from sugar overdose.

We know from Counsels on Diets and Foods what the Lord has warned about this addictive substance, “Sugar clogs the system, it hinders the work of the living machine.” So why should we ever put sugar in our stomachs? Would we ever smoke a cigarette? Of course not! So why would we tempt our bodies by putting in a substance as addictive as sugar? As you are probably aware, all cane products are sucrose, not fruit sugars. What falls under this category? Anything that is made from the sugar cane family; all forms of sugar such as white refined, brown sugar, raw sugar, and even molasses. The most unrefined products have more food value, but they are still sucrose. So beware! Read your food labels, and remember that the first item is the most prevalent in that particular food product.

“True temperance teaches us to dispense entirely with everything hurtful, and to use judiciously that which is healthful.” Temperance, 138. May the God of heaven impress you as to what you are doing that may keep you from heaven. “Life with Christ is an endless hope; without Him it is a hopeless end.”

Recipe – Baked Bananas

6-8 ripe bananas or plantains

Juice of 2 lemons

½ cup date sugar

Ground nuts (your choice)

Peel bananas, slice in half and place in rows in an oblong baking dish. Pour the lemon juice over the bananas and sprinkle date sugar and nuts over the top. Bake at 325˚ until a delicate brown. (30-45 minutes.)

Children’s Story – Sin and the Large Oak Tree

I grew up in the beautiful hill country of Wisconsin, where the winters are cold and long. Nature provides an over abundance of snow that falls upon the hills during those winter months, and when winter sets in, it stays until May.

My brothers had worked very hard shoveling snow to make a long sledding trail down the hill behind our house. It ran under the barb-wire fence, twisting and curving down the hill until it finally took a big turn at the bottom, where a tall oak tree stood, and opened up out in the pasture beyond. Then they poured water down the trail, turning that winding, little path into ice, with steep banks of snow on either side.

The hard work paid off. Soon they were zipping down that sledding trail with many shouts of laughter and excitement. I was seven years old, and oh, how I begged my parents to let me try it out, but the answer was always, “No.”

In the afternoon Mom and Dad came out to watch the festivities. The older children yelled and screamed with delight as they zoomed down the trail; the snow sparkled and danced in the sunlight, casting a thousand diamonds across the hillside.

Finally, Mother went in to begin supper, for the sun was beginning to get lower and lower in the western sky. Still the fun on the hillside continued until Mother, at last, called everyone in for supper. With much protestation, the sleds were hung in the shed, and everyone trooped into the house. Everyone, that is, except me.

In the chatter and bustle of everyone getting inside, taking off snow-covered coats, boots, and gloves, I was not missed. Quickly I pushed open the door to the shed and lifted one of the sleds down from the hook. I trudged up that steep hill, settled myself on the sled and took off. Wheeeee! I was flying! I had never gone this fast on a sled before…I flew over every little knoll, cold wind reddening my cheeks, laughter bubbling up from deep inside. This was just as wonderful as I thought it would be—until I came to the curve at the bottom of the hill and the big oak tree!

My sled and I flew up over the embankment and smacked right into that tree! I was thrown into the snow and lay, flat on my back. Pink, green, yellow, and blue stars floated before my eyes. I do not know how long I lay there, but when I came to, I picked myself up, took the sled to the shed and hung it up. I quietly made my way into the house, hung up my coat, hat and gloves, and slid into my seat at the supper table, a very subdued little girl. Because I did not want to be punished for disobeying, I never told my parents what I had done until I was a grown up lady.

My sled ride is just like sin. Sin seems like a lot of fun for awhile as we’re zooming down the hill; until we meet the tree and come crashing to a halt, broken and bruised.

Do you think Mother and Daddy knew that I was too young to handle the sled on that dangerous trail? Yes, of course, they did. Did they tell me, “No” because they did not want me to have any fun? No, they did not. They loved me and did not want me to get hurt. That is just how it is with Jesus. He loves us, and He does not want us to get hurt either—and sometimes He has to tell us “No,” not because He does not want us to have any fun, but because He wants to keep us from getting hurt. He knows what is best for us, and if we always trust and obey Him our lives will be filled with happiness.

Won’t you decide to always obey Him right now? I know it will make the angels in heaven burst into song, and it will make Jesus very happy, too.

The General Conference Inquisition

Inasmuch as we believe the General Conference has launched an Inquisition, which may result in the separation from the church of several thousand believers, it will be necessary for our response to be couched in unvarnished terms and expressed with unmistakable clarity. We would prefer to not do this, but the circumstances make it necessary.

The Apostasy Begins

Let us take a moment to explain the background and to establish the context of the present situation. Several years ago certain of us, who were Seventh-day Adventist ministers with many years of experience in the work of the church and in proclaiming the truths of the Bible, became aware that some utterly false Calvinistic doctrines were being brought into our church’s theology. We endeavored to alert our church leaders regarding the problem, in full confidence that appropriate corrective measures would promptly be taken. To our surprise and dismay, our warnings were ignored, and we were dealt with as “troublemakers” who were disturbing the peace of the church.

We eventually began to warn church members ourselves, by whatever means we could. This gave rise to a number of ministries, programs, publications (both books and magazines), schools, etc. But administrative resistance to our work increased and hardened into bitter hostility. A book called Issues was published by the leaders of the North American Division, which, along with other absurdities, alleged that we were trying to “force” our own peculiar ideas on the church. It described us as a “cancer” on the body of Christ, which needed to be cut out. This, remember, was because we were warning church members about the invasion of false doctrines into our church and were defending the historic Seventh-day Adventist faith in its purity.

Now the General Conference leadership has decided that the time for that surgery has come. Hence the Inquisition. An Inquisitorial Committee was set up, which did its work and published a report in the Adventist Review and in Ministry magazine. It is this report that is the subject of this response.

The Inquisitorial Committee

This group is represented as being most august, qualified and competent, but this cannot be taken seriously. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” (See Matthew 7:20.) The committee has testified to its own incompetence and unfairness by the report that it has produced and is now spreading around the world by every possible means. The report is filled with accusations against historic Adventists, which range from the utterly false to the outrageously false. There is absolutely no way that a competent, fair and factual investigation could have produced such a report as this.

The Inquisitorial Procedure

The procedure consists of three parts: an “investigation” (see above), some meetings, and the issuance of an ultimatum. According to the ultimatum, the accused historic Adventist leaders are being given twelve months in which to “repent” and bow to the authority of the Inquisitors or suffer the consequences. There is no hint that there will be any fair trial in which the accused might be given an opportunity to defend themselves. They must simply accept the judgment of the Inquisitors as infallible—all of which reminds us of the Catholic Inquisition in Spain.

A word about the “meetings” referred to above. They may be represented as “fair hearings,” but they were nothing of the kind. They were only occasions in which the historic Adventist leaders had to spend time responding to barrages of false accusations. Their concerns about apostasy in the church were never considered. Nothing remotely resembling a fair and factual hearing has ever occurred.

The Inquisitorial Falsehoods

Inquisitions work with falsehoods and misrepresentations. This is their stock in trade. Unfortunately, the General Conference Inquisition is no exception to this rule. The process begins with a seemingly innocuous statement in the introduction:

…they affirmed agreement on many of the major elements of the

Seventh-day Adventist faith. Adventist Review, August 2000 (Emphasis supplied.)

A totally truthful statement would have said all, not many. Using the word many prepares the reader’s mind for the assertion to come later, that the historic Adventists are holding and promoting some theological ideas that are simply their own private and peculiar opinions. This is absolutely and unconditionally false. We have originated no part of our teachings. We are not promoting our own opinions. We are defending the faith that we were taught when we joined the church, that we were taught again in Adventist schools, that we read in Adventist publications until the 1950s, and that are now set forth in the official statement of faith, Seventh-day Adventists Believe. And the accusations get worse.

The Inquisitorial Ultimatum

In the Inquisitorial Ultimatum it is alleged that we have added a “new fundamental belief” to the doctrines of the church that:

“Such change illustrates an independence from the church in doctrinal matters, as they constitute their own particular views into tests of faith, independent from the remainder of the church. Adventist Review, August 2000.

The alleged new doctrine is that Christ “took upon Himself our fallen nature.” The claim is set forth that this is only our own particular view and that such a statement has never been part of the Seventh-day Adventist Baptismal Vow or of official statements of fundamental beliefs.

Note that the allegation has two parts. First, the idea that Christ took upon Himself our fallen nature is simply our own particular view. This is not only false; it is outrageously false. It is an insult to the reader’s intelligence.

Research Proves Us Right

While serving as chairman of a department in the Far Eastern Theological Seminary, I engaged in research on this subject. I found in the historical literature of the church a total of 1200 written statements that Christ took upon His divine nature our fallen nature, yet without sin. These statements were published between the years 1852 and 1952 in the church’s journals and books. The testimony of the church to the world was clear, consistent and wholly uniform during this time. But in 1957 the infamous book Questions on Doctrine was published. This book totally repudiated the long standing position of the church concerning the nature of Christ and used utterly disgraceful methods to introduce a new view, that Christ took upon Himself the unfallen nature of Adam. A recent volume, Touched With Our Feelings, by Dr. J. R. Zurcher, a noted Adventist scholar of Switzerland, details how and by whom this was done.

Who were the authors of these 1200 published statements that Christ took upon His divine nature our fallen nature? Eight hundred of them were written by Adventism’s first line of leadership. The list includes General Conference presidents, vice-presidents, and secretaries; union and local conference presidents; college presidents and professors; Signs of the Times, Review and Herald and other magazine editors; and other ministers and writers. See my book, The Word Was Made Flesh, for a chronological listing of them all.

What of the other 400 of the 1200 statements? They were written and published by Ellen White, God’s chosen messenger to the remnant church.

False Reasoning and Misrepresentations

So what of the allegation that this is only our own particular view? Do you see now why I wrote (above) that this allegation is not only false, but it is outrageously false? It ignores the testimony of Adventism’s first line of leadership in 1200 published statements, of which a full 400 were from the inspired pen of Ellen White, and it advances the ludicrously false accusation that the idea that Christ took upon His divine nature our fallen nature is only our own particular view. Can misrepresentation be greater than this?

I pause here to point out that this kind of misrepresentation has been a consistent characteristic of the Calvinistic apostasy from its very beginning. When the book Questions on Doctrine was published in 1957 it led the way with a grossly false statement about the nature of Christ. From then until now that example has been unscrupulously followed by the teachers of false Calvinistic doctrines among us. Their writings abound in self-contradiction, false reasoning, and outright misrepresentations. I have written elsewhere about these matters, and so will not restate them here.

This leads us to the other Inquisitorial allegation, that the statement that Christ took upon His divine nature the fallen nature of man has never appeared in any official statement of our faith.

Continuing and Authoritative Source of Truth

If you will secure a copy of the 1980 statement of our faith, which is called “Seventh-day Adventists Believe—27 Doctrines,” (SDAs Believe), and which was made official at the General Conference of that year, and turn to page 216, this is what you will find:

Seventh-day Adventists Believe…One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White. As the Lord’s messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Emphasis supplied.)

If Ellen White’s writings are thus officially described in our statement of faith as a continuing and authoritative source of truth, and she wrote 400 times that Christ came to this earth in the human nature of fallen man, how can it be said that this has never been a part of any statement of faith?

And the more meaningful question is this: In view of the fact that our doctrine of the nature of Christ had been testified to in our publications 1200 times by Adventism’s first line of leadership, including 400 statements by Ellen White, why was this not included in the statement of faith? It certainly should have been.

A statement of faith is a report. It is supposed to tell us what a group believes. The only certain way of getting this information is to examine what the group members have written. This provides evidence that cannot be challenged. To add to it something that the church has not believed would be most improper. To leave out of it something that the church has believed would be equally improper. That would make it a false report. In view of the enormous body of written evidence that our church believed that Christ took upon His divine nature the human nature of fallen man, to leave that out of the statement of faith was in itself a misrepresentation. And we continue.

(Do not misunderstand or misapply the reference to the Bible as “the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested.” Ellen White’s writings pass this test with flying colors.)

Turning the Accusation back on the Inquisitors

One of the more significant of the Inquisitorial accusations against the historic Adventists is that we use the writings of Ellen White “selectively,” quoting passages that seem to support our views and ignoring other passages. We are going to have to turn this false accusation very firmly and very forcefully back on the Inquisitors. There is an abundance of evidence.

What did the church leaders do with the 400 Ellen White statements that Christ took upon Himself the human nature of fallen man, that I researched out and sent to them? They simply ignored them.

What did they do with her more than 2000 statements that, by the power of God, man can stop sinning (which Calvinism denies), that I researched out and sent to them? They simply ignored them.

What are they doing right now with her clear and Scriptural testimony against law suits between church members? They are simply ignoring them, while they continue to launch more and more lawsuits against members. (They try to cover up by having the members expelled from the church before the suits, so that they can claim that they are not suing members.) This technical charge may serve to mislead church members, but will it mislead the God of truth and righteousness? What do you think?

What are they doing right now with her writings against a false unity that is based on false doctrines? They are simply ignoring them, while they continue to publish her appeals for unity. Look carefully at these quotations:

Christ Calls for Unity Based upon Truth

I urge our brethren to unify upon a true, Scriptural basis. 17 Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, 306.

“We have a testing message to give, and I am instructed to say to our people, ‘Unify, unify.’ But we are not to unify with those who are departing from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 412.

“Christ calls for unity. But He does not call for us to unify on wrong practices. The God of heaven draws a sharp contrast between pure, elevating, ennobling truth and false, misleading doctrines. He calls sin and impenitence by the right name. He does not gloss over wrongdoing with a coat of untempered mortar. I urge our brethren to unify upon a true, Scriptural basis.” Notebook Leaflets, vol. 2, 164.

“We are all to unify on the proper basis of unity.” Testimonies for the Church Containing Messages and Warning and Instruction to Seventh-day Adventists, 55.

“…harmony and co-operation must be maintained without compromising one principle of truth.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 79.

The Ostrich with its Head in the Sand

Thus there can be no unity between Adventism and Calvinism. Several vitally important principles of truth are being grievously compromised at many levels of the Seventh-day Adventist Church today, and we who have pointed this out have been called troublemakers. We are now being told that if we do not stop sounding the alarm, we will suffer the consequences. Consider this comparison: A ship is traveling through the ocean, and a crewman discovers a dangerous leak in the hold. He rushes to notify the captain and is met with a stern rebuke. “Keep quiet,” the captain says, “you are disturbing the peace of the passengers.” The crewman persists, and so the captain orders him thrown overboard. Will this save the ship? What do you think?

“Duly Constituted Church Authority”

Another Inquisitorial accusation against us is that the historic Adventists refuse to submit to “duly constituted church authority,” unless it agrees with “their own particular views.” This is wholly false. We believe in “duly constituted church authority” as firmly as anyone does. But we do not put church authority over Bible authority. No true Seventh-day Adventist does. And we emphatically do not advance our own particular views as to the meaning of the Scriptures. We accept the statement of faith in SDAs Believe. But if we are forced to choose between Scripture and the authority of men unsupported by Scripture, we will without hesitation take our stand upon the Scripture. No true Seventh-day Adventist would do otherwise. We reject as unconditionally false the following Inquisitorial accusation:

Hope International and associates appear to have taken the position that their interpretation of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy is the final arbiter over the Church… Adventist Review, August 2000 (Emphasis supplied.)

We say again, in response to this recurring allegation, that we are doing no such thing. We are defending the faith of our fathers, not our own interpretations. Every point of our faith is on record in the book SDAs Believe. To call this our own interpretation is emphatically to bear false witness against us. We protest against this misrepresentation and call upon all fair-minded persons to protest with us.

You Be the Judge

There is only one of the main Inquisitorial accusations against us that is partially true. Most of us have testified that there is apostasy in the church. Some others have become so appalled and disheartened by the kind of thing that we are examining here, and other similar things, that they have gone further and said the church is in apostasy. Who has it right? I submit that there is room for honest and reasonable men to disagree on this point. When we look at the false Calvinistic doctrines being preached in so many of our churches, being taught by so many teachers in our colleges and seminaries, being published in so many of the magazines and books coming from our presses, it is hard to avoid a sense of profound discouragement about the church. Yet we are warned by God’s messenger that there will be a great apostasy in the church in the last days. In Testimonies, vol. 8, 41, we read of a great last day interchange, when “companies” will leave us and “tribes” will take their place.

How does it all fit together? When our concerns seem to overwhelm us, we may benefit by looking at this statement:

“God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matthew 18:20). Where Christ is even among the humble few, this is Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church.” The Upward Look, 315.

We Can’t Do it with Theology

By this time there must surely be some large questions forming in your mind. Why all of this shadow boxing? Why are the historic Adventists continually being accused of doing so many things that they are not doing? In order to help you understand, let me tell you about a personal experience of mine.

I was standing at the door of a room where all of the Union presidents of the North American Division were in council. I had an appointment with them, and I was waiting for my proper time to step into the room. As I stood and waited, I heard one of the presidents say to the others:

We have to find some way to stop Ron Spear, but we can’t do it with theology, because there is nothing wrong with his theology.

Please read those words again, slowly and thoughtfully. Say them out loud. Do it several times. When you have these words firmly fixed in your mind, you are prepared to understand the strange things that are happening in the increasing tension between the church organization and the historic Adventist people and their ministries. Let us ask some questions:

Why are the historic ministry leaders being accused of being rebels?

We have to stop them, but we can’t do it with theology.

Why are they being accused of refusing to submit to church authority?

We have to stop them, but we can’t do it with theology.

Why are they being called troublemakers?

We have to stop them, but we can’t do it with theology.

Why are they being accused of being critical?

We have to stop them, but we can’t do it with theology.

Why are they being accused of starting another church?

We have to stop them, but we can’t do it with theology.

Why are they being faulted for doing things that other groups are not faulted for, such as

printing, publishing, meeting separately, etc.?

We have to stop them, but we can’t do it with theology.

Why can’t you stop them with theology?

Because there is nothing wrong with their theology.

If there is nothing wrong with their theology, why do they need to be stopped?

Because they are rebels, critics, and troublemakers, who refuse to submit to our authority.

So the dog chases its tail, around and around and around. More could be added, but perhaps this is enough to give you the picture. Obviously there is something strangely wrong here. What is it? Bear in mind, dear reader, that it is all about theology. The questions that the historic Adventist people and their ministries are raising are theological questions. Their concerns about the false doctrines being preached in our churches and taught in our schools are theological concerns. Many of the historic Adventists recognize these false doctrines as the very ones they left behind when they came out of Babylonish churches to join the Adventist church.

Dust in the Air

Theological questions require theological answers. Exercises of church authority will not do. Evasive answers will not do. They are simply throwing dust in the air. They are applications of the ancient principle that “those who have evidence will present their evidence, while those who do not have evidence will attack the man.” The historic Adventist ministry leaders are not evil men. They are not rebels, critics, and troublemakers. They are dedicated and sincere men who have given their lives to the service of the church. They have brought thousands of people into the church, and they have a right to be concerned when they see those people being fed the soul destroying poison of false doctrines.

And they are entirely correct in their position that teachers of false doctrines have no authority. They believe in “duly constituted church authority” as firmly as anyone else does. But God has never authorized and will never authorize anyone to teach false doctrines. No teacher of false doctrines could possibly have “duly constituted church authority.” And neither could any church administrator, who supports and protects a teacher of false doctrines, have “duly constituted church authority.” How much authority did the high priest Caiaphas have over Christ? Absolutely none. How much authority did the Sanhedrin have over Stephen and Paul? Absolutely none. How much authority do teachers of false doctrine have over us today? Absolutely none. Consider this quotation: “We see here that the men in authority are not always to be obeyed, even though they may profess to be teachers of Bible doctrine.” Testimonies to Ministers, 69.

You Cannot “Balance” Truth with Error

A General Conference vice-president wrote to me that my messages should be more “balanced.” I answered that I could understand how two truths, such as law and grace, can be kept in balance, but I saw no way that truth could be balanced with falsehood. I do not think we would like to hear a man say, “I have been telling the truth all morning. This afternoon I must tell some lies in order to stay in balance.” In similar vein, another high ranking church official alleged that when a church member stops giving his financial support to the church, he is violating his baptismal vow. This overlooks the fact that the baptismal vow, like the marriage vow, is a reciprocal vow, not an individual vow. The church vows to tell the truth about God. The member vows to give financial support to that truth-telling. If the church breaks its vow, and starts telling untruths about God, it no longer has any right to claim the member’s financial support.

Several references have been made in this article to the false doctrines of Calvinism that have invaded our church. How has this been done? By skullduggery.

When the book Questions on Doctrine was published in 1957 its secret authors put in it a statement of the false Calvinistic doctrine that Christ came to this earth in the human nature of the unfallen Adam, rather than in fallen human nature, as believed and taught by Seventh-day Adventists. A ludicrous attempt was made to show that even Ellen White believed the false Calvinistic doctrine, in spite of her 400 published statements to the contrary. This is how they misused one of her statements in order to accomplish their purpose:

On pages 650-651 of Questions on Doctrine the secret authors presented a passage on the nature of Christ over which they placed this heading:


On pages 497-499 of the book Movement of Destiny, which was published four years later as a follow-up to Questions on Doctrine, L. E. Froom presents a similar statement over which he places this heading:


Both headings are followed by a series of brief quotations from Ellen White, including this line: “He did not in the least participate in sin.”

If you look at those three lines for a moment, you will surely have some questions. What sin was there in the sinless nature of Adam before his fall in which Christ might have participated? None whatever. There was no sin of any kind in Adam before his fall. Why, then, did Ellen White write such a senseless statement? What was the matter with Ellen White? Deeply perplexed, we go to the source, and discover that as Ellen White wrote it, the statement actually looked like this: “In taking upon Himself man’s nature in its fallen condition, Christ did not in the least participate in its sin.” Selected Messages, vol.1, 256. (Emphasis supplied.)

Secret Writers Violate Context

The secret writers of Questions on Doctrine cut her sentence in half, laid the first half aside and put in the last half beneath their own contrary headings. We gaze at this in disbelief. This is the ultimate violation of context. The writer has been represented as having said the exact opposite of what she actually did say. This was done by a scholar with a Doctor of Philosophy degree, a seminary professor. And this is not an isolated example. It is typical. In my book, The Word Was Made Flesh, I devote 33 pages to exposing, point by point, the wrongful manipulations of evidence in the paragraph presented by Dr. Froom. I also present conclusive evidence that the statement given to Walter Martin that our church had never believed that Christ came to earth in the human nature of fallen man was a methodological monstrosity and a historical fraud. How could it happen? In common parlance this is called skullduggery (underhanded or unscrupulous behavior.) That is how the false doctrines of Calvinism were brought into our church, and that is how they have been maintained and promoted ever since.

What has been the result of this gigantic fraud being perpetrated upon the Adventist people? Confusion, dissension, strife, and plummeting church standards. Our colleges and university Bible departments are in a free fall. The falsities of higher criticism are being taught, and the teaching of evolution is being urged. A videotape has been sent out from the headquarters of the North American Division of the General Conference, giving ministers detailed instructions as to how to convert all of their churches into centers for celebration worship (read Satan worship).

The teaching of a false doctrine about the nature of Christ has made an enormous difference. If Christ came to earth in the unfallen human nature of Adam, He could not have been tempted as we are tempted, and it would be altogether unfair for us to be called upon to live like He lived. That would be impossible. He could not be our example, but only our substitute. Thus this false doctrine of Calvinism leads directly to the second false doctrine of Calvinism, that Christians can never stop sinning, even through the power of God.

Amazing New “Doctrine” Appears

The two false doctrines are inseparably linked together. Where one goes, the other goes. Within a remarkably short time, as theological trends go, Adventist congregations all over the country were listening in astonishment to sermons affirming as truth the false Calvinistic doctrine that Christians cannot stop sinning, even through the power of God. A very highly placed theologian at the theological seminary at Andrews University became so enamored with this false doctrine that he actually began to teach that Christians sin because God wants them to sin. Here are his exact words: “It is by the wisdom, not by the impotence of God that no believer is ever perfect here below. The Lord so conducts the saints in this life that there should always remain something to give them freely when they ask, or to pardon them mercifully when they confess to Him.—From notes that he wrote and passed out to a class of ministers. (Emphasis supplied.)

The Inquisitors allege that the historic ministries are supporting “dissidents” in other countries of the world. We have no way of investigating this claim, and we are hindered by a credibility problem. If we cannot believe what the Inquisitors write about this country, why should we believe what they write about other countries?

Love for the Pure, Unvarnished Truth

The lowest point in the list of Inquisitorial false accusations is reached in the statement that it is criticism of the church that keeps the historic ministries going. This unchristian slur is entirely unjustifiable. It is grossly false. Nothing could be further from the truth. What keeps the historic ministries going is the love and devotion of the historic Adventist people to the pristine purity of the true Seventh-day Adventist faith and their desire to preserve that faith undefiled by the false doctrines of Calvinism and Liberalism. It is the steadfast and stubborn refusal of church leaders to recognize this that is a large part of the problem.

This is why we are confronted today with the appalling spectacle of a large group of high ranking church leaders sitting down together to concoct a list of totally false accusations against church members, whose only crime is that they will not accept the apostasy that is sweeping through the church. Thus the leaders align themselves with the apostasy. The grossly false accusations that the Inquisitors have prepared and published would compare favorably with the work of the Catholic Inquisitors in Spain.

Do I expect that this rebuttal will cause the Inquisitors to turn back from their folly? Not really. Once men have rebelled against truth in its purity and embarked on a course that can only be maintained by monstrous misrepresentations, it is unlikely that evidence of any kind will dissuade them. Ellen White wrote in Selected Messages, Book 2, 393: “I question whether genuine rebellion is ever curable.

I have written this rebuttal for the church members. Many of them have been so deceived by the false accusations, along with the firm refusal to recognize that the present problem is a theological problem, that they are bewildered and confused. I trust that this article will help clarify the situation in their minds.

“Reform,” is Our Cry

One of the most frequently repeated false accusations against us is that we are wanting to start a separate church. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are trying to reform the church that we have loved and served all of our adult lives. But it is sobering to compare our situation with that of the Reformers. Neither Luther, nor Calvin, nor Wesley wanted to start a separate church. They all wanted to reform their own churches. But the stubborn resistance and opposition of authoritarian church leaders made reformation within the churches utterly impossible.

“When the Reformers preached the Word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church; but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light, and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth.” The Desire of Ages, 232. (Emphasis supplied.)

It has been said that those who cannot learn from history are condemned to repeat history. We had hoped and we had prayed that this would not prove to be true in our church. We had shared the hope expressed by Ellen White in these words: “We hoped that there would not be the necessity for another coming out.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 357. (Emphasis supplied.)

Spiritual Suicide

But with the General Conference Inquisition moving in on us, what shall we do? Should we tremble in fear and agree to accept the false authority and the false doctrines if they will just let us stay in the church?

God forbid! That would be spiritual suicide. We will stand firmly on this truth:

“God has a church. It is not the great cathedral, neither is it the national establishment, neither is it the various denominations; it is the people who love God and keep His commandments. ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them’ (Matthew 18:20). Where Christ is even among the humble few, that is Christ’s church, for the presence of the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity can alone constitute a church.” The Upward Look, 315.

The Lord who inspired those words is watching over us and saying: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake: Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven. …” Matthew 5:11, 12.

Life Only in Christ

“A wide-open door for spiritualism is afforded by the teaching that man has life in himself—immortality by nature; and that death is not really death, but another form of life.

“The Scriptures close this door of false hope, teaching us that man is mortal, that death is really death, and that immortality is the gift of God through Christ by the resurrection from the dead.

“Clearly and definitely the Bible teaches that God only has immortality, styling Him the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality. 1 Timothy 6:15, 16.

“This Scripture disposes of every idea that man is immortal by nature, and opens the way for a consideration of the Scripture teaching concerning man’s nature, his state in death, and the promise of life and immortality in Christ.

Man by Nature Mortal

“The word mortal, as used in that ancient question by Eliphaz, describes man’s nature:

“Shall mortal man be more just than God? Job 4:17.

“In the creation, life was conditional upon the creature’s relation to Christ the Creator, in whom all things consist:

“All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life.” John 1:3, 4.

“He was, and is, as the psalmist says, ‘the fountain of life.’ Cut off from vital connection with Him, there could be no continuance of life. The Lord warned Adam that his life was conditional upon obedience. ‘In the day that thou eatest thereof,’ He said of the forbidden tree, ‘thou shalt surely die.’ Genesis 2:17. It was a declaration that man was not immortal, but was dependent upon God for life.

“When by unbelief and sin man rejected God, the sentence—death eternal—must have been executed had not the plan of salvation intervened. But as the stroke of divine justice was falling upon the sinner, the Son of God interposed Himself and received the blow. ‘He was bruised for our iniquities.’ In the divine plan, the great sacrifice for man was as sure then as when, later, it was actually made on Calvary. Christ was ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’

“And there Adam, the sinner, now with a fallen human nature, which would be perpetuated in his descendants in all subsequent time, was granted an extension of life, every moment of which, whether for him or for his posterity, was the purchase of Christ by His own death, in order that in this time of probation man might find forgiveness of sin and assurance of life to come. Adam was not created immortal, but was placed on probation, and had he continued faithful, the gift of immortality must have been given him at some later time, after he had passed the test. As the original plan is carried out through Christ, “the second Adam.,” the gift of immortality is bestowed finally upon all who pass the test of the judgment and are found in Christ, in whom alone is life.

“Having fallen, Adam, now possessed of a sinful nature, must die. ‘The wages of sin is death.’ Romans 6:23. It was impossible that sin or sinners should be immortalized in God’s universe. So, inasmuch as the tree of life in Eden had been made the channel of continuance of life to man, the Lord said:

‘Now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden.’ Genesis 3:22, 23.

“This negatives the idea that there could ever be an immortal sinner, who should mar God’s creation forever. Sin works out nothing but death. ‘Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.’ James 1:15. Fallen himself, Adam could bequeath to his posterity only a fallen, mortal nature. So began the sad history summed up in the text:

“’Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.’” Romans 5:12.

Mortality Universal

“Mortality is written upon all creation. Ages ago the wise man wrote, ‘There is one event unto all:…they go to the dead.’ Ecclesiastes 9:3. Human hearts everywhere and in all time have cried out against the remorselessness of the great enemy. ‘Do people die with you?’ was the question met by Livingstone in the untraveled wilds of Africa. ‘Have you no charm against death?’ The Greek as well as the barbarian confessed to the helplessness of man before the great enemy. Centuries before Christ, Sophocles the Athenian wrote:

‘Wonders are many! and none is there greater than man, who
Steers his ship over the sea, driven on by the south wind,
Cleaving the threatening swell of the waters around him.
‘He captures the gay-hearted birds; he entangles adroitly
Creatures that live on the land and the brood of the ocean,
Spreading his well-woven nets. Man full of devices!
‘Speech and swift thought free as wind, the building of cities;
Shelters to ward off the arrows of rain, and to temper
Sharp-biting frost—all these hath he taught himself.
Surely stratagem hath he for all that comes! Never the future
Finds him resourceless! Deftly he combats grievous diseases,
Oft from their grip doth he free himself. Death alone vainly—
Vainly he seeks to escape; ‘gainst death he is helpless.”

—Chorus from Antigone

“What unspeakable pathos in the cry of humanity’s helplessness before death, the great enemy! But when Adam went out of Eden, it was with the assurance of life from the dead through the promised Seed, if faithful. It is the message of the one gospel for all time—everlasting life in Christ.

“’God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16.

“As there is none other name under heaven by which men can be saved, so there is no other way of everlasting life or immortality, save in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When Immortality is Bestowed

“Christ said, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.’ John 11:25.

“He has turned death, that would have been eternal, into a little time of sleep, from which He will awaken the believer. In the resurrection of the last day immortality is bestowed, ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.’ 1 Corinthians 15:52–54.…

“Not until the resurrection, ‘at the last trump,’ is immortality conferred upon the redeemed. Note that it is not something immortal putting on immortality; but this ‘mortal’ puts on immortality. Mark this: there is no life after death, save by the resurrection. ‘If there be no resurrection of the dead, …then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.’ 1 Corinthians 15:13–18.

“This resurrection, as stated by the apostle Paul, is not at death, but in the last day, when Christ shall come, and all His children that are in their graves shall hear His voice. Jesus says: ‘This is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.’ John 6:40.

“That is why the coming of Christ has been the ‘blessed hope’ of all the ages.

Man’s State in Death

“Between death and the resurrection, the dead sleep. Jesus declares that death is a sleep. Lazarus was dead, but Jesus said, ‘Our friend Lazarus sleepeth.’ John 11:11. It is the language of Inspiration throughout. The patriarch Job said:

“‘Man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: so man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more [the heavens will be rolled back as a scroll at Christ’s coming], they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.’ Job 14:10–12.

“This hope of the resurrection at the last day was no indistinct hope to the believer in God’s promises. The patriarch continued:

“’If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: Thou wilt have a desire to the work of Thine hands.’ Verses 14, 15.

“Job tells us of the place of his waiting for the Life-giver’s call: ‘If I wait, the grave is mine house.’ Job 17:13. It is thence that Christ will call His own when He comes. ‘The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth.’ John 5:28, 29.

“Death is an unconscious sleep. It must of necessity be so; for death is the opposite of life. Therefore there is no consciousness of the passing of time to those who sleep in the grave. It is as if the eyes closed in death one instant, and the next instant, to the believer’s consciousness, he awakens to hear the animating voice of Jesus calling him to glad immortality, and to see the angels catching up his loved ones to meet Jesus in the air.

“These Scriptures, out of many, will suffice to show that man is not conscious in death:

“‘His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.’ Psalms 146:4.

“’The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything. …Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.’ Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6.

“Death is a sleep, which will continue until the resurrection. Then the Lord will bring forth from the dust the same person who was laid away in death.

“Some have said that this Bible doctrine of the sleep of the dead until the resurrection is a gloomy one. Popular tradition thinks of the blessed dead as going at once to heaven, which, say some, is a beautiful thought. But they forget that the same teaching consigns their unbelieving friends to immediate torment—and that, too, while awaiting the judgment of the last day.

“No, the Bible teaching is the cheering doctrine, the ‘blessed hope.’ All the faithful of all the ages are going into the kingdom together. This blessed truth appeals to the spirit that loves to wait and share joys and good things with loved ones. Of the faithful of past ages the apostle says:

“’These all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.’ Hebrews 11:39, 40.

“They are waiting, that all together the saved may enter in. And the time of waiting is but an instant to those who ‘sleep in Jesus.’

“David was a man of God, but the apostle Peter, speaking by the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, declared to the people of the city of David: ‘He is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. …For David is not ascended into the heavens.’ Acts 2:29–34. They without us have not been made perfect. They are all awaiting that glad day toward which the apostle Paul turned the last look of his mortal vision:

“’I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.’ 2 Timothy 4:7, 8.

“What joy in that day to march in through the gates into the eternal city, with Adam, and Abel, and Noah, and Abraham, and Paul and all the faithful, and the loved ones of our own home circles, and dear comrades in service, every one clothed with immortality, the gift of God in Christ Jesus our Redeemer! Horatius Bonar’s hymn sings the joyful hope as the loved are laid away to ‘sleep in Jesus:’

‘Softly within that peaceful resting place
We lay their wearied limbs, and bid the clay
Press lightly on them till the night be past,
And the far east give note of coming day.
‘The shout is heard, the Archangel’s voice goes forth;
The trumpet sounds, the dead awake and sing;
The living put on glory; one glad band,
They hasten up to meet their coming King.’

“In a word, the Scripture teaches that God alone has immortality, that man is mortal, that death is a sleep, that life after death comes only by the resurrection of the last day, that the righteous are then given immortality. Further, the Scripture teaches that later there will be a resurrection of the unjust, not unto life, but unto death, the second death, from which there is no release.

“Every doctrine of Scripture and of the gospel is in accord with this Bible teaching as to man’s nature and his state in death. But the traditional view of the natural immortality of the soul and of life in death, nullifies the Bible doctrines of life only in Christ, and the resurrection, and the judgment, and the giving of rewards at Christ’s coming, and the final judgment upon the wicked and its execution.

A Few Questions Briefly Considered

“1. The “Living Soul”

“Says one; ‘Did not the Lord put into man an immortal soul?’

“No; the Scripture says: “’The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7.

“The soul was not put into the man, but when the life-giving breath was breathed into his nostrils, the man himself became a living soul, a living being. The ordinary version (King James) gives ‘a living soul’ in the margin of Genesis 1:30, showing that the same expression is used of all the animal creation in the Hebrew text. The famous Methodist commentator, Dr. Adam Clarke, says on this phrase, ‘living soul:’

‘A general term to express all creatures endued with animal life, in any of its infinitely varied gradations.’

“2. Are ‘Soul’ and ‘Spirit’ Deathless?

“’Are the soul and spirit said to be deathless?’ questions another.

“No. One writer says of the Scriptural use of the words ‘soul’ and ‘spirit:’

“’The Hebrew and Greek words from which they are translated, occur in the Bible, as we have seen, seventeen hundred times. Surely, once at least in that long list we shall be told that the soul is immortal, if this is its high prerogative. Seventeen hundred times we inquire if the soul is once said to be immortal, or the spirit deathless. And the invariable and overwhelming response we meet is, Not once!’—Here and Hereafter by U. Smith, p. 65.

“On the contrary, the Lord declares, ‘The soul that sinneth, it shall die.’ Ezekiel 18:20. It means that the person who sins shall die; for the words ‘soul,’ ‘mind,’ ‘heart,’ and ‘spirit’ are used to express life or the seat of the affections or of the intellect. One may commend his soul to God, or his spirit to God (really his life into the keeping of God), until the great day of the resurrection. The word ‘soul’ is used of all animal life in New Testament usage, as well as in the Old; as, ‘Every living soul died in the sea.’ Revelation 16:3.

“3. The Thief on the Cross

“’Did not Christ promise the thief on the cross that he would be with Him that day in Paradise?’

“No; for Paradise is where God’s throne is, and the tree of life, and the city of God, the capital of Christ’s kingdom; and three days later Christ had not yet ascended to the Father. ‘Touch me not,’ He said to Mary after His resurrection; ‘for I am not yet ascended to My Father.’ John 20:17. The dying thief, therefore, was not with Him in Paradise three days before.

“Nor did the thief’s question suggest such a thought. His faith grasped Christ’s resurrection, the resurrection of His children, and the coming kingdom; and that day on the cross, in the moment of the deepest humiliation of the Son of God, the repentant sinner cried, ‘Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.’ And the Saviour replied, ‘Verily I say unto thee today’—this day, when the world scoffs and the darkness presses upon Me, this day I say it—‘shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.’ Luke 23:42, 43.

“The punctuation that makes it read, ‘Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise,’ is not a part of the sacred text, and puts the Saviour’s promise in contradiction with the facts of the whole narrative and the teaching of the Scripture.

“4. The Rich Man and Lazarus

“’Then there is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus,’ one says, ‘where Lazarus and Dives are talking, though dead—Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom and the rich man in torment.’

“But that is a parable; and no one can set the figures of a parable against the facts of positive Scripture. In parables, lessons are often taught by figurative language and imaginary scenes which could never be real, though the lesson is emphasized the more forcefully.

“In the parable of Judges 9, the trees are represented as holding a council and talking with one another. No one mistakes the lesson of the parable, or supposes that the trees actually talked. So in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the lesson is taught that uprightness in this life, even though under deepest poverty, will be rewarded in the future life; while uncharitable selfishness will surely bring one to ruin and destruction.

“In the face of the Bible teaching, no one can turn this parable into actual narrative, representing that the saved in glory are now looking over the battlements of heaven and talking with the lost, writhing before their eyes in agony amid the flames of unending torment. This is not the picture that the Scriptures give us of heaven, nor of the state of the dead, nor of the time and circumstances of the final rewards or punishments.”

Our Day in the Light of Prophecy, 275–285

The Sacred Duty of Disobedience

Most converts to the Seventh-day Adventist faith are required to sort out their thoughts about authority and obedience quite early in their experience. When the challenge came to me, I was a teenager working on Friday nights. I had learned about the Sabbath truth and was feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit. But I was under the authority of the owner of the plywood factory where I worked, and friends warned me that I would be fired if I did not work on Friday nights. On the other hand, God had commanded Sabbath observance. What should I do? I had to think it through carefully. I finally came to the conclusion that I had a sacred duty to disobey the factory owner and to obey God.

Choose Ye this Day

Thousands of other converts to our faith have had similar experiences. They have been brought to the realization that, strange as it may seem, under certain circumstances disobedience can be a duty, even a sacred duty. For many, the challenge came, as it did to me, at the very beginning of their Christian life. And for many the experience has been repeated quite frequently as they have made their way through life. Soldiers have had to disobey their officers; students have had to disobey their principals and teachers; citizens have had to disobey government officials, and members of some churches have had to disobey their church leaders in order to obey God. This has led to the formulation of clear concepts of authority in the minds of most Seventh-day Adventists. When forced to make a choice between obeying God or man, they unhesitatingly choose to obey God. They consider that, under such circumstances, they have a sacred duty of disobedience to man.

It would be well if such choices were forced upon us only outside of the church, but the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy make it clear that it can happen within the church. In Acts 5:17–20 we find the record of a situation in which church leaders commanded the apostles to not preach any more about Christ and imprisoned them, but an angel opened the prison doors and ordered them to go back to the temple and continue preaching. Thus, they had a sacred duty of disobedience to church leaders.

Ellen White’s inspired comments on this situation are most instructive. She writes: “’The angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.’ We see here that the men in authority are not always to be obeyed, even though they may profess to be teachers of Bible doctrine.…Because those who were once the depositaries of truth became unfaithful to their sacred trust, the Lord chose others who would receive the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and would advocate truths that were not in accordance with the ideas of the religious leaders.” Testimonies to Ministers, 69, 70.

An even more startling passage is found on page 81: “But unless the truth is enthroned in the heart, and a thorough transition takes place from darkness to light, those who handle sacred responsibilities are ministers of darkness, blind leaders of the blind.” Ibid.

A Horrifying Situation

This is appalling. We can hardly imagine such a horrifying situation. What could be the cause of such a condition? Look again at the first quotation above. A careful reading of this entire chapter in Testimonies to Ministers will reveal that the issue is truth, sacred truth. The word “truth” is used over and over in the chapter. Church leaders have an obligation to the truth of the Bible. This is a sacred trust. If they become unfaithful to this sacred trust by ignoring or rejecting the truth of the Bible, they become ministers of darkness in their handling of sacred responsibilities. What then of those who nevertheless obey them? On page 91 where there are three usages of the word “truth” we find this warning: “I call upon God’s people to open their eyes. When you sanction or carry out the decisions of men who, as you know, are not in harmony with truth and righteousness, you weaken your own faith and lose your relish for communion with God.” Ibid.

There is, then, such a thing as a sacred duty of disobedience even within the church. This grim reality forces us to look at our leaders, as our prophet admonishes us to do, with open eyes. The history of Israel places a tragic example before us: “The Jews perished as a nation because they were drawn from the truth of the Bible by their rulers, priests, and elders. Had they heeded the lessons of Jesus, and searched the Scriptures for themselves, they would not have perished.” Ibid., 109.

Ministers of Darkness

They were drawn from the truths of the Bible by their church leaders. Obviously there is nothing about high position that guarantees spiritual authority. Church authority is grounded in Scripture and is limited by Scripture. In order for the church and its leaders to speak with “duly constituted church authority,” they must say about sin what God says about it in His Holy Word. “She [the church] must say about sin what God says about it.” The Desire of Ages, 84.

If church leaders reject the Scriptural definitions of sin and advance their own human opinions as “duly constituted church authority,” they betray their sacred trust, they blaspheme God, and they become ministers of darkness. We then have a sacred duty to disobey them.

The Sin of Christians Suing Christians

No sin that is mentioned in the Bible is defined more clearly, or denounced more emphatically, than the sin of Christians suing Christians in worldly courts. “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you. because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?” 1 Corinthians 6:1–8.

To this unmistakably clear admonition from the Apostle Paul must be added the equally clear and emphatic warning from Ellen White: “Those who justify their course of action in going to law, and that with their brethren in the church, are acting out the spirit that developed the rebellion in heaven.” A Message to our Physicians, 5. We must understand this to be the spirit of Satan.

“Lawsuits between brethren are a reproach to the cause of truth. Christians who go to law with one another expose the church to the ridicule of her enemies and cause the powers of darkness to triumph. They are wounding Christ afresh and putting Him to open shame.” Acts of the Apostles, 306.

“I have written largely in regard to Christians who believe the truth placing their cases in courts of law to obtain redress. In doing this, they are biting and devouring one another in every sense of the world. ‘to be consumed one of another.’ They cast aside the inspired counsel God has given, and in the face of the message He gives they do the very thing He has told them not to do. Such men may as well stop praying to God, for He will not hear their prayers. They insult Jehovah, and He will leave them to become the subjects of Satan until they shall see their folly and seek the Lord by confession of their sins.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 302.

Read that paragraph again, and then prepare yourself for a shock. “Why,” you are probably asking, “are these grim warnings being published to our readers?”

Because, dear reader, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is now launching a series of lawsuits against Seventh-day Adventists.

Duly Constituted Church Authority

Why are these Seventh-day Adventists being sued? For the “crime” of correctly identifying themselves as Seventh-day Adventists. The first successful suit was against Pastor John Marik and his congregation in Hawaii. Now they have succeeded again with Pastor Rafael Perez and his congregation in Florida. Though the case was won by the General Conference in a Federal court, it is now being appealed, and the final outcome is uncertain. Meanwhile, many other suits are in preparation, in a demonstration of total contempt for both the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy.

The procedure, with some variations, is as follows:

A group of true Seventh-day Adventists is found whose members are worshipping separately, in a home or some suitable place in an effort to protect themselves from the false doctrines that are being taught in many Seventh-day Adventist churches today.

The group is ordered to stop using the name “Seventh-day Adventist.”

If they do not obey this order, they are disfellowshipped on the charge of failing to obey “duly constituted church authority.”

Then it is announced that a group of non-Adventists has been found using our church name. It is claimed that it is all right to sue them, since they are “non-Adventists.”

But are they really non-Adventists? Most emphatically not! They are believing, teaching, and practicing the true Seventh-day Adventist faith, with no corruptions from Liberalism, Calvinism or Modernism. This fact is carefully obscured by the misrepresentations that they are troublemakers and rebels who are “refusing to submit to duly constituted church authority.” Their appeals to church leaders to consider the theological problems with which they are concerned are ignored.

Therefore, when confronted with a choice between submitting to the threat of a lawsuit conducted in total contempt of both the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy, they consider it their sacred duty to disobey men in order that they may obey God. They hold that authority, which is exercised in contempt of Scripture, cannot be “duly constituted.” Under these circumstances they believe that there is a sacred duty of disobedience to man and obedience to God.

One Day Closer to “Home”

Distressing as these apostate prosecutions (persecutions) may be, they should not discourage us. We have been clearly forewarned. God’s special messenger, Ellen White, has written that in the last days our worst enemies will be those who once shared our faith.

“As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the Third Angel’s Message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position, and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren.” The Faith I Live By, 336.

How comforting it is to know that our heavenly Father is not surprised or shaken by all of this, as we may be. He knew all about it and gave us an abundance of advance information to bolster our courage. When we see these things happening, we need not panic nor be discouraged. We can remind ourselves that the prophecies must be fulfilled, and say with Jesus: “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28.

Keeping Pace with the Light

“…the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18. Notice, this verse does not say the room of the just, but the path of the just. As you walk that path, if you stay on it, the light is going to become brighter and brighter. But it is also true, friend, that if you do not keep walking on the path, the light is going to become darkness, because the light is moving.

What is Present Truth?

The Bible talks about present truth. (See 2 Peter 1:12.) There are some truths that are timeless, but there is some truth that is present truth, and what is present truth today, is not exactly the same as present truth was a hundred years ago.

I believe that very soon God’s servants are going to have to preach things that they never thought they would have to preach. We are in a situation very similar to the Jews in the time of Christ. The devil had manipulated them into a situation, through what they had been taught, so that they were ready to reject the truth. They had developed a series of criteria which they believed Jesus would meet if He was the Messiah. Interestingly enough, they based these expectations on the Old Testament. Jesus did not, however, meet their criteria. It is interesting to note, in the study of history, that almost every time prophecy is fulfilled, it is not fulfilled in the way that was expected.

Seventh-day Adventists have wondered what Ellen White meant when she said, “I was shown the startling fact that but a small portion of those who now profess the truth will be sanctified by it and be saved.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 608. Very soon we are going to find out what she meant.

Refusing to Follow the Light

This concept that spiritual light is moving and the person who does not keep walking in the light finds himself in the dark, explains many spiritual phenomena that are happening all around us that otherwise would be very confusing. A few years ago, two Seventh-day Adventist ministers came to question me. One of them said something like this: “Do you believe that the Seventh-day Adventist Church organization was ordained by God? Well, do you or do you not?” Let me ask you some questions: Do you believe that the Jewish church organization was ordained by God or that He had a hand in setting it up? Yes, He did. Was there a time that the Jews were in the light? Yes, there was. The Jews had been called by God and chosen as His special people. They had been in the light. They had the same spirit of prophecy. They had all of the Old Testament, that is the spirit of prophecy. But, when the light moved, they did not move with it. God had more light for them, but they would not accept it. They stayed put, and as a result, they were left in the dark.

Jesus is the light of the world. I want you to notice Revelation 14:4 and what it says about the 144,000. “…These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” When the Light (Jesus) moves, the 144,000 follow. The problem today is that when the Light moves there are so many people who do not follow it; they stay put. They are left in the dark and are then spiritually blind. There was a time when they were in the Light; but the Light moved, and they did not move with it. “As the Light and Life of men was rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities in the days of Christ, so it has been rejected in every succeeding generation.” The Desire of Ages, 232.

Did you notice that she said this has taken place in every succeeding generation? Again and again the history of Christ’s withdrawal from Judea has been repeated.” When the Reformers preached the Word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church; but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light.…” Ibid.

What happened? The religious leaders refused to walk in the light. “…and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth.” Ibid. Everyone who does not love the truth is going to be deceived and lost.

“Few are listening for the voice of God, and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented. Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, in order to declare the plain teaching of the Word of God.” Ibid.

Did you know that there are many people who no longer believe that this statement can apply today? Have you ever heard people say, “Well, the cycles have to stop somewhere, and they stopped in 1863 because that is when we incorporated”? The trouble with that statement is that the book where Mrs. White gives this warning, The Desire of Ages, was not even written until l898.

Disfellowshipped and Persecuted

We are living in a time that a few years ago no one expected to see. We believed that when persecution came, it would come from outside of the church. We failed to understand what Ellen White meant when she said that we have far more to fear from within than from without. (See Selected Messages. Book 1, 122.) Who would have thought that, in Adventism, the apostasy would become so great that in many places it would become spiritually dangerous to even attend the local Seventh-day Adventist Church because error was being “forced home to the people.” (See Early Writings, 125.) We were not expecting the true and faithful Seventh-day Adventists to be disfellowshipped and persecuted by their former brethren all over the world, as is taking place today. But when we go to the inspired writings, we see all of this prophesied—we just did not understand it!

People have come to believe that these things would not happen until after the national Sunday law. Friends, that is a dangerous deception, as we are beginning to see. The national Sunday law does not initiate the shaking; it brings the shaking to a climax! Those who are waiting until the Sunday law test comes to take a bold, unyielding stand for the truth are simply preparing to receive the mark of the beast.

You see, when anyone rejects the light of truth that God has given to this people, he has turned his back on the light and goes out into darkness. He may still call himself a Seventh-day Adventist, but if he does not believe the First Angel’s Message and the truth of the Investigative Judgment beginning in 1844, he has gone into darkness. You cannot, with safety, go to his church and listen to him preach. When a person rejects the truth of the great day of atonement that began in 1844 and says that instead of afflicting the soul (see Leviticus 16:29, 30) it is time to celebrate, he has gone out into darkness.

If a preacher says that you will sin until Jesus comes, he has accepted Satan’s fatal sophistry (see The Great Controversy, 489), and you dare not go and listen to him preach lest you be deceived and lose your own soul.

Finally, if you are not hearing the historic doctrines of Adventism preached in your church, if you are hearing the same kinds of sermons that you could hear in any other church, then you are endangering your soul if you do not do one of two things. Either find a historic Seventh-day Adventist congregation or start a home church where you can teach the truth, at least to your own family.

Our opportunities for learning and knowing God’s last message to a perishing world and being prepared for what is coming on the world, are very limited at best. We dare not allow ourselves and our families to be exposed to either heretical preaching or “peace and safety” messages that come just before destruction.

Ring-leaders in Apostasy

“I saw that we have no time to throw away in listening to fables. Our minds should not be thus diverted, but should be occupied with the present truth, and seeking wisdom that we may obtain a more thorough knowledge of our position, that with meekness we may be able to give a reason of our hope from the Scriptures. While false doctrines and dangerous errors are pressed upon the mind, it cannot be dwelling upon the truth which is to fit and prepare the house of Israel to stand in the day of the Lord.” Early Writings, 125.

Every Sabbath, after church, you should be more fitted to stand in the day of the Lord than you were before you entered the church that morning. But the prophet wrote sadly, “Those who have been regarded as worthy and righteous prove to be ring-leaders in apostasy and examples in indifference and in the abuse of God’s mercies. Their wicked course He will tolerate no longer, and in His wrath He deals with them without mercy.

“It is with reluctance that the Lord withdraws His presence from those who have been blessed with great light and who have felt the power of the word in ministering to others. They were once His faithful servants, favored with His presence and guidance; but they departed from Him and led others into error, and therefore are brought under the divine displeasure.…

“Not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be sealed. There are many, even among those who teach the truth to others, who will not receive the seal of God in their foreheads. They had the light of the truth, they knew their Master’s will, they understood every point of our faith, but they had not corresponding works. These who were so familiar with prophecy and the treasures of divine wisdom should have acted their faith. They should have commanded their households after them, that by a well-ordered family they might present to the world the influence of the truth upon the human heart.

“By their lack of devotion and piety, and their failure to reach a high religious standard, they make other souls contented with their position. Men of finite judgment cannot see that in patterning after these men who have so often opened to them the treasures of God’s Word, they will surely endanger their souls. Jesus is the only true pattern. Everyone must now search the Bible for himself upon his knees before God, with the humble, teachable heart of a child, if he would know what the Lord requires of him. However high any minister may have stood in the favor of God, if he neglects to follow out the light given him of God, if he refuses to be taught as a little child, he will go into darkness and satanic delusions and will lead others in the same path.…

“What are you doing, brethren, in the great work of preparation? Those who are uniting with the world are receiving the worldly mold and preparing for the mark of the beast.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 212–216.

Friends, it is a dangerous thing to fail to advance in the opening providence of God. The Light is moving. Are you moving with it, or are you in the dark?

The Narrow Path

Early in her experience, Ellen White saw a vision about this light. You can read this vision in Early Writings, 15-20. In other places in her writings, she speaks about the light that was set up at the beginning of the path that the Advent Company was traveling that shone all of the way up to the Holy City. This path is narrow; and if you do not have light on the path, you are going to stumble and fall off.

What was that light that was set up at the beginning? Sister White says that it was the Midnight Cry. The Midnight Cry was based on the Bible prophecies of Daniel 8 and 9 and Revelation 14:6, 7—the message of the 2300 days, the sanctuary and the investigative judgment. The devil knows that if we reject these truths, we will stumble and fall off of the path. It is amazing how successful the devil has been in leading us to reject them.

We have been told that, “When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth. No after suppositions contrary to the light God has given are to be entertained.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 161. Yet, there are Adventist teachers and ministers today who no longer believe these truths.

Friend, if you are in the situation where you listen to this error, you are in the dark; you are going to lose your way. The Lord is not going to work a miracle to save you; you have turned your back on the light. This idea that you can have a spirit of free inquiry and ask any question you want to is not according to the Scriptures. Jesus rebuked people for their doubt. If these truths are not being upheld in your church, your church is in the dark.

The Christian’s Journey

Ellen White describes a very impressive dream. “…I dreamed of being with a large body of people. A portion of this assembly started out prepared to journey. We had heavily loaded wagons. As we journeyed, the road seemed to ascend. On one side of this road was a deep precipice; on the other was a high, smooth, white wall, like the hard finish upon plastered rooms. As we journeyed on, the road grew narrower and steeper. In some places it seemed so very narrow that we concluded that we could no longer travel with the loaded wagons. We then loosed them from the horses, took a portion of the luggage from the wagons and placed it upon the horses, and journeyed on horseback. As we progressed, the path still continued to grow narrow. We were obliged to press close to the wall, to save ourselves from falling off the narrow road down the steep precipice. As we did this, the luggage on the horses pressed against the wall and caused us to sway toward the precipice. We feared that we should fall and be dashed in pieces on the rocks. We then cut the luggage from the horses, and it fell over the precipice. We continued on horseback, greatly fearing, as we came to the narrower places in the road, that we should lose our balance and fall. At such times a hand seemed to take the bridle and guide us over the perilous way. As the path grew more narrow, we decided that we could no longer go with safety on horseback, and we left the horses and went on foot, in single file, one following in the footsteps of another. At this point small cords were let down from the top of the pure white wall; these we eagerly grasped, to aid us in keeping our balance upon the path. As we traveled, the cord moved along with us. The path finally became so narrow that we concluded that we could travel more safely without our shoes, so we slipped them from our feet and went on some distance without them. Soon it was decided that we could travel more safely without our stockings; these were removed, and we journeyed on with bare feet.

[One of the most interesting points of this dream is that several changes were made. They began with heavily loaded wagons, then changed to horses with a portion of the luggage, to horses with no luggage, to single file on foot, to removing their shoes, and finally to removing their stockings.]

The Cords of Faith

“We then thought of those who had not accustomed themselves to privations and hardships. Where were such now? They were not in the company. At every change some were left behind, and those only remained who had accustomed themselves to endure hardships. The privations of the way only made these more eager to press on to the end. Our danger of falling from the pathway increased. We pressed close to the white wall, yet could not place our feet fully upon the path, for it was too narrow. We then suspended nearly our whole weight upon the cords, exclaiming: ‘We have hold from above! We have hold from above!’ The same words were uttered by all the company in the narrow pathway. As we heard the sounds of mirth and revelry that seemed to come from the abyss below, we shuddered. We heard the profane oath, the vulgar jest, and low, vile songs. We heard the war song and the dance song. We heard instrumental music and loud laughter, mingled with cursing and cries of anguish and bitter wailing, and were more anxious than ever to keep upon the narrow, difficult pathway. Much of the time we were compelled to suspend our whole weight upon the cords, which increased in size as we progressed.

“I noticed that the beautiful white wall was stained with blood. It caused a feeling of regret to see the wall thus stained. This feeling, however, lasted but for a moment, as I soon thought that it was all as it should be. Those who are following after will know that others have passed the narrow, difficult way before them, and will conclude that if others were able to pursue their onward course, they can do the same. And as the blood shall be pressed from their aching feet, they will not faint with discouragement; but, seeing the blood upon the wall, they will know that others have endured the same pain.

Trusting Wholly Upon God

“At length we came to a large chasm, at which our path ended. There was nothing now to guide the feet, nothing upon which to rest them. Our whole reliance must be upon the cords, which had increased in size until they were as large as our bodies. Here we were for a time thrown into perplexity and distress. We inquired in fearful whispers: ‘To what is the cord attached?’ My husband was just before me. Large drops of sweat were falling from his brow, the veins in his neck and temples were increased to double their usual size, and suppressed, agonizing groans came from his lips. The sweat was dropping from my face, and I felt such anguish as I had never felt before. A fearful struggle was before us. Should we fail here, all the difficulties of our journey had been experienced for nought.

“Before us, on the other side of the chasm, was a beautiful field of green grass, about six inches high. I could not see the sun; but bright, soft beams of light, resembling fine gold and silver, were resting upon this field. Nothing I had seen upon earth could compare in beauty and glory with this field. But could we succeed in reaching it? was the anxious inquiry. Should the cord break, we must perish. Again, in whispered anguish the words were breathed: ‘What holds the cord?’ For a moment we hesitated to venture. Then we exclaimed: ‘Our only hope is to trust wholly to the cord. It has been our dependence all the difficult way. It will not fail us now.’ Still we were hesitating and distressed. The words were then spoken: ‘God holds the cord. We need not fear.’ These words were then repeated by those behind us, accompanied with: ‘He will not fail us now. He has brought us thus far in safety.’

“My husband then swung himself over the fearful abyss into the beautiful field beyond. I immediately followed. And, oh, what a sense of relief and gratitude to God we felt! I heard voices raised in triumphant praise to God. I was happy, perfectly happy.

“I awoke and found that from the anxiety I had experienced in passing over the difficult route, every nerve in my body seemed to be in a tremor. This dream needs no comment. It made such an impression upon my mind that probably every item in it will be vivid before me while my memory shall continue.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 594–597.

The light, friends, is moving. Are you keeping up with the providence of God? Are you aware that the road we are traveling is getting narrower? Have you noticed it? How are you going to stay on the path and keep up with the providence of God? The only way is to have faith. Those cords represent faith.

A few years ago a good friend of mine told me that he was sorry that I had worked so many years for the Adventist denomination and now had to give up all of my retirement benefits. Let me tell you, if you stay on the road all the way to the end, you are going to give up much more than your retirement benefits, but what is that compared with what you will gain?

Oh friends of mine, how much time are you spending in prayer? If you are energetic enough to get up and pray, God will hear and answer.

“Where there is no active labor for others, love wanes, and faith grows dim.” The Desire of Ages, 825. You must not only study your Bible and pray you must be actively involved in missionary work. If you are not, ask the Lord to show you what to do to become involved in some type of outreach program spreading the Third Angel’s Message.

When you come to this place in your experience, will you have a faith that will hold you? Do you want the Lord to let down a cord of faith today so that you can get a hold from above? If so, make a commitment that from this day forward, you will faithfully walk in the light as God sheds it upon your pathway.