The Scripture, the Feasts, EGW w/ Notes

First, why Ellen White of all people to write about? The woman certainly had visions, lived in the last two hundred years, and she is has written the most translated book in the world besides the Bible, called Steps to Christ. But there are many questions that need to be asked. And they SHOULD be asked by all who have an interest in the truth. Questions such as: Was she given a gift of prophecy; does it matter? And was there proof of the genuineness of her calling to the prophetic ministry? Was there a purpose if she was so called? Does the Bible teach that the prophetic gift would come after Jesus ascended into heaven? What does the Bible say about prophets and does she pass the test? Can women be prophets? Is she the leader of a cult? Or is she, contrary to those who oppose her, well-respected by those outside of her church? Was she, like so many “prophets”, claiming her writings superior to the Bible? Does her writings replace the Bible? Did she say you need her to be saved? These things will be addressed in a soon upcoming article; if you are in her church, or if you aren’t, the answer might surprise you. So if you are new here, read this to know what is the honest and genuine opinion is of close study by this ministry towards her. As such, this article is geared towards Adventists who claim to believe her writings, in part or in whole, to see the internal consistency of her writings, and see if they speak with the Scripture on this respect or not as we all are told to do in the prophetic test of Isaiah 8:20.

Contrary to popular opinion, Ellen White did not write against feastkeeping, but rather the ceremonies that attended them were done away as the sacrificial systems shadows met their intended object. Originally, all times of worship, daily evening and morning, weekly Sabbath, new moon, and yearly feasts, all were enjoined to sacrifices that pointed to the various facets of Christ’s redemption; Christ being the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, “foreordained before the foundation of the world, but manifested in these last times for you”, the sacrifices attending the times of worship were no longer to be observed, as it is written in the Scripture, Christ “will cause the sacrifice and offering to cease.”

Ellen White says to seek to reinstitute the sacrificial system would be an abomination to God; akin to the sin of Israel when they continued to sacrifice lambs after rejecting Christ; it would be a denial of Christ’s sacrifice and ministry. Yet these sacrifices all pointed to faith in the redemptive work of Christ, as shadowed forth in these sacrifices and the priestly works attending them; when the shadows met the object, they no longer had the sacrifices, yet the same faith and times of worship in which that faith was to be exercised upon unseen and heavenly realities were still in effect; these worship times both contained a shadow of better things, and a reality which contained that perfect heavenly reality. The early Christian church understood this concept, and the manner of their observing the feast days God had given His people were to change forever: “The principles presented by Christ, THE MANNER OF OBSERVING FEASTS, of praying to God, could not be properly united to the forms and ceremonies of Phariseeism. Instead of closing up the breach that had been made by the teachings of John, the teachings of Christ would make the separation between the old system and the new more distinct, and to attempt to unite the two would only result in making the breach wider. ” The Signs of the Times, September 19,1892

The forms and ceremonies was once the manner of observing the feasts, but the change was to come.

The apostle Paul, speaking to the Hebrews about the shadowy sacrifices, admonished the people not to forsake their sacred assemblies, as some were already doing. “The law, having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered make the comers thereunto perfect…for it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins…Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.” (Heb. 10:1,4,24-25)
Just as the writer to the Hebrews encouraged them to continue their sacred assemblies together, Ellen White speaks highly of the festal gatherings commanded by God, and writes under inspiration regarding their value:

Anciently the Lord instructed His people to assemble three times a year for His worship. To these holy convocations the children of Israel came, bringing to the house of God their tithes, their sin offerings, and their offerings of gratitude. They met to recount God’s mercies, to make known His wonderful works, and to offer praise and thanksgiving to His name. And they were to unite in the sacrificial service which pointed to Christ as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Thus they were to be preserved from the corrupting power of worldliness and idolatry. Faith and love and gratitude were to be kept alive in their hearts, and through their association together in this sacred service they were to be bound closer to God and to one another.
In the days of Christ these feasts were attended by vast multitudes of people from all lands; and had they been kept as God intended, in the spirit of true worship, the light of truth might through them have been given to all the nations of the world. With those who lived at a distance from the tabernacle, more than a month of every year must have been occupied in attendance upon these holy convocations. The Lord saw that these gatherings were necessary for the spiritual life of His people. They needed to turn away from their worldly cares, to commune with God, and to contemplate unseen realities.
If the children of Israel needed the benefit of these holy convocations in their time, how much more do we need them in these last days of peril and conflict! And if the people of the world then needed the light which God had committed to His church, how much more do they need it now!” Testimonies to the Church, Vol. 6, pg. 39-40

We’re told by the apostle John that we are to keep ourselves from idols; he said further that “we know that we are of God, and that the world lieth in wickedness”. The holy days of the world are not the holy days of God. When God would assemble His people, it was to fully separate them from the corrupting power of the world and their practices. The holy days of God reveal Christ to us, and in us by Him, the design for the holy times are to find their fulfillment. The corruption that was growing, “the Lord saw that these gatherings were necessary for the spiritual life of His people.” And if He saw that “the children of Israel needed the benefit of these holy convocations in their time, how much more do we need them in these last days…” Ellen White further spoke on these times:
(note: the **# means a note is made at the end of the article regarding that particular point being addressed)

“God gave direction to the Israelites to assemble before Him at set periods, in the place which He should choose, and observe special days wherein no unnecessary work was to be done, but the time was to be devoted to a consideration of the blessings which He had bestowed upon them. At these special seasons they were to bring gifts, freewill offerings, and thank offerings unto the Lord, according as He had blessed them. The manservant and maidservant, the stranger, the fatherless and widow, were directed to rejoice that God had by His own wonderful power brought them from servile bondage to the enjoyment of freedom. And they were commanded not to appear before the Lord empty. They were to bring tokens of their gratitude to God for His continual mercies and blessings bestowed upon them. These offerings were varied according to the estimate which the donors placed upon the blessings they were privileged to enjoy. Thus the characters of the people were plainly developed. Those who placed a high value upon the blessings which God bestowed upon them brought offerings in accordance with their appreciation of these blessings. Those whose moral powers were stupefied and benumbed by selfishness and idolatrous love of the favors received, rather than inspired by fervent love for their bountiful Benefactor, brought meager offerings. Thus their hearts were revealed. Besides these special religious feast days of gladness and rejoicing, the yearly Passover was to be commemorated by the Jewish nation. The Lord covenanted that if they were faithful in the observance of His requirements, He would bless them in all their increase and in all the work of their hands.**1
God requires no less of His people in these last days, in sacrifices and offerings, than He did of the Jewish nation.**2 Those whom He has blessed with a competency, and even the widow and the fatherless, should not be unmindful of His blessings. Especially should those whom God has prospered render to Him the things that are His. They should appear before Him with a spirit of self-sacrifice and bring their offerings in accordance with the blessings which He has bestowed upon them. But many whom God prospers manifest base in gratitude to Him. If His blessings rest upon them, and He increases their substance, they make these bounties as cords to bind them to the love of their possessions; they allow worldly business to take possession of their affections and their entire being, and neglect devotion and religious privileges. They cannot afford to leave their business cares and come before God even once a year. They turn the blessings of God into a curse. They serve their own temporal interests to the neglect of God’s requirements.
Men who possess thousands remain at home year after year, engrossed in their worldly cares and interests, and feeling that they cannot afford to make the small sacrifice of attending the yearly gatherings to worship God. He has blessed them in basket and in store**3, and surrounded them with His benefits on the right hand and on the left, yet they withhold from Him the small offerings He has required of them. They love to serve themselves. Their souls will be like the unrefreshed desert without the dew or rain of heaven.**4 The Lord has brought to them the precious blessing of His grace. He has delivered them from the slavery of sin and the bondage of error, and has opened to their darkened understandings the glorious light of present truth. And shall these evidences of God’s love and mercy call forth no gratitude in return? Will those who profess to believe that the end of all things is at hand be blind to their own spiritual interest and live for this world and this life alone? Do they expect that their eternal interest will take care of itself? Spiritual strength will not come without an effort on their part. **5
Many who profess to be looking for the appearing of our Lord are anxious, burdened seekers for worldly gain. They are blind to their eternal interest. They labor for that which satisfieth not. They spend their money for that which is not bread. **7 They strive to content themselves with the treasures they have laid up on the earth, which must perish. And they neglect the preparation for eternity, which should be the first and only real work of life.
Let all who possibly can, attend these yearly gatherings. All should feel that God requires this of them. If they do not avail themselves of the privileges which He has provided that they may become strong in Him and in the power of His grace, they will grow weaker and weaker, and have less and less desire to consecrate all to God. Come, brethren and sisters, to these sacred convocation meetings, to find Jesus. He will come up to the feast. He will be present, and He will do for you that which you most need to have done. Your farms should not be considered of greater value than the higher interests of the soul.**6 All the treasures which you possess, be they ever so valuable, would not be rich enough to buy you peace and hope, which would be infinite gain, if it cost you all you have and the toils and sufferings of a lifetime. A strong, clear sense of eternal things, and a heart willing to yield all to Christ, are blessings of more value than all the riches and pleasures and glories of this world.
These camp meetings are of importance. They cost something. The servants of God are wearing out their lives to help the people, while many of them appear as if they did not want help. For fear of losing a little of this world’s gain, some let these precious privileges come and go as though they were of but little importance. Let all who profess to believe the truth respect every privilege that God offers them to obtain clearer views of His truth, of His requirements, and of the necessary preparation for His coming.**8 A calm, cheerful, obedient trust in God is what He requires. **9
You need not weary yourselves with busy anxieties and needless cares. Work on for the day, faithfully doing the work which God’s providence assigns you, and He will have a care for you. Jesus will deepen and widen your blessings. You must make efforts if you have salvation at last. Come to these meetings prepared to work. Leave your home cares, and come to find Jesus, and He will be found of you. Come with your offerings as God has blessed you. Show your gratitude to your Creator, the Giver of all your benefits, by a freewill offering. Let none who are able come empty-handed. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” **10

Testimonies for the Church Volume Two, ch. 73, pg. 573-576

End notes:
1) This is a reference to the everlasting covenant made with His people. “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” (Deut. 30:19) In this covenant, “beside the covenant made with the children of Israel in Horeb” [Deut. 29:1] (All that the Lord hath said, we will do…”), there were conditions laid out for the blessings of the people. If they were obedient, as Abraham was, they would inherit and keep the land God would give them. These instructions were a revelation of the order and life He bound up with His people and their blessing. “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
(Deut. 28:1-2) These are called requirements. -Bear this in mind, because it is repeated several times.
2) Here, she is saying that the same things are required of God regarding sacrifices and offerings. Did God require the ceremonial sacrifices and offerings? The Bible says Jesus caused “the sacrifice and offering to cease” (Dan. 9:27). But it also says, “Burnt offering and sin offerings, Thou hast not required.” (Ezekiel 40:6) when foretelling Jesus dying instead of ceremonial sacrifices. So what does the Bible require in sacrifices and offerings? The same spiritual sacrifices it always required. Faith, praise and thanksgiving, communication of God’s will and way, sacrifice for the cause of God in furthering His work as He outlines in the Scripture (Heb. 13:15-16, Psalm 69:30-31, 107:21-22, Php. 4:18, 1 Peter 2:5). The Bible calls these spiritual sacrifices and offerings, and these were always required (Hosea 14:2). So indeed, He requires just as much now in these offerings, as He did then. But to know what that comprehends is vital, such as confession of sin and faith in the Lamb of God which taketh away sin (John 1:29); this is infinitely better  and more pricy than slaying a lamb of your flock, and confessing it over his head before slaying him. It’s the sacrifces of faith that God accepts, and has always accepted (Heb. 11:4).
3) According to the obedience of the covenant, He says “Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.” (Deut. 28:5) But these who God has kept His promise and increased will not so much as  attend one of the yearly feasts to return thanks and praise to God for what He has done, regardless of whether it is a requirement from God. He has said: “But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come: And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.”
(Deut. 12:5-7)
4) The Bible reveals that these feasts were appointed times where God would shower out His blessing of the early and latter rain. “Ask ye the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain… And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem (the heavenly Jerusalem- the church- Heb. 12:22-23) to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.” (Zech. 10:1, 14:17) Even so, was this a promise in His covenant, The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.” (Deut. 28:1) In this manner, it was manifested on the day of Pentecost, when the Spirit came to them as promised, after Christ had confirmed the covenant in His own blood with them. As it is written: “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” (Hosea 6:3)
5) Spiritual strength, as noted above, comes from having the Spirit of Christ in us; who without which, “ye can do nothing” (John 15:5) But “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me,” (Phil. 4:13). Indeed, if Christ comes to you in Spirit on these feasts, as a heavenly guest in the Comforter, His Spirit, then in obedience to the blessing God has given to us, let us meet with Him to return thanks and praise for the blessings He has promised; and Christ has promised He will be at the feast to strengthen us.
6) Here is being quoted a verse regarding the everlasting covenant and the eternal blessings God would give His people: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” (Isa 55:1-3) Christ spoke this very thing on the feast: “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (John 7:37-39)
7) These are called sacred gatherings, and yearly gatherings. They speak of the feasts as year to year: “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.” (Zech. 14:16) The Scripture calls them “holy convocations” (Exo. 12:16-17). Only what God does can make something holy (Gen. 2:1-3, Lev. 23:3, 7, 8, 21); man cannot make a common day holy by his own devisings (Neh. 8:2, 9-12, Lev. 16:1-2, 10:1,2, 8-10).
8) It was customary to examine yourself to prepare for the appointed times of the feasts. Anciently, the priests would read the sacred writies, and the law would be read, with it’s blessings and curses. God’s blessings, His guidance, His purposes, and His promises were thus to be kept in the view of all, lest they should forget. These were times of special repentance, revival, and reformation. This is why they assembled (Num. 10:1,2, 9-10), and we, as the Hebrews were admonished in the epistle, are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but as we see the day of Christ approaching, to see all the more important the necessity of it (Heb. 10:25).
9) Many fear that in keeping these feasts, they would be Judaizers, and offend Jehovah for honoring a law they suppose was abolished. Such think it better to gather at any time they appoint outside of the sanctified times of Scripture, so they are not associated with the ceremonial law. But the ceremonial laws which shadowed Christ was not the body of Christ. The body of Christ was the church, and is to assemble in the manner outlined in the Scripture. The manner of the feasts being observed were different from there ceremonial counterpart; in fact, early Christians regarded the feast of the Passover as a new feast, calling it the Passover in Christ. But perfect love casts out all fear. Calm obedient trust, and not disobedient fearful caviling is the best policy; such a manner as God can bless.
10) To prepare for the coming of Christ, these assemblies shall be called into remembrance by the people through divine interposition. God says He will send men in the spirit of Elijah to call to remembrance His downtrodden law and covenant, declaring “Remember ye the law of Moses, my servant, which I commanded him in Horeb, with it’s statutes and judgments…” (Mal. 4:4-6). The bringing in of the tithes was a special call by the spirit of Elijah to remember the law, and specifically, the tithes that are brought to the sacred feast (Mal. 3:10). Thus the Elijah message does indeed make a call to remember the feasts, observing them in the Spirit, and in truth.

 




What Seventh-Day Adventists Once Believed About A Church Manual

“The first serious attempt at a church manual was made in 1882, when a com­mittee consisting of W. H. Littlejohn, J. O. Corliss, and H. A. St. John was appointed by the General Conference to prepare a church manual, to be printed first serially for discussion and criticism (13 articles came out in the Review and Herald from June 5 to Aug. 28, 1883). It covered such matters as the organizing of churches; the duties of church officers; the admission, transferring, and dropping of members; church trials; and the conducting of quar­terly business meetings and the ordinances. However, the next General Conference, in November, 1883, decided against publish­ing a church manual because it was deemed to be undesirable to take any step that could be construed as leading to a creed or discipline other than the Bible, or toward formalism, G. I. Butler, president of the General Conference, explained the action taken, in an article in the Review and Herald (60:745, Nov. 27, 1883).” (Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, page 264-265, ‘Church manual’)

The concept of a chchurch manualurch manual was rejected by the General Conference for a number of reasons. The matter while at Rome was urged for reconsideration, and a commitee was setup to put a proposed manual together. It was rejected however, because there was a tendency from the previous churches of the reformation to begin a church manual, which developed into a creed. The original objective of forming the Conference was to avoid patterning after other churches, but to present a united people in the third angel’s message, who could have the declaration, “Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev. 14:12).

The decision to reject the church manual was published in the Review and Herald. For all to understand the reasons for rejecting the church manual, here is the reasons.

NO CHURCH MANUAL

By George I. Butler

(Review and Herald, 27th November 1883)

THE writer was requested by the recent General Conference to make a brief statement through the REVIEW of the action taken in reference to the proposed Church Manual. For four or five years past, there has been with some of our brethren a desire to have some manual of directions for the use of young ministers and church officers, etc. It was thought that this would lead to uniformity in all parts of the field, and afford means of instruction to those who were inexperienced, and be very convenient in many respects. Steps were taken several years ago to prepare a manual, but for a time it was left unfinished. Last year, at the Rome Conference, the matter came up for consideration, and three brethren were appointed a committee to prepare a manual, and submit it to the Conference this year for its approval or rejection. During the past summer the matter they have prepared has appeared in the REVIEW, and has doubtless been well considered by its readers.

At the recent Conference a committee of thirteen leading brethren were appointed to consider the whole subject, and report. They did so, and unanimously recommended to the Conference that it was not advisable to have a church manual. Their reasons were briefly given in the report of Conference proceedings given in last week’s REVIEW. The Conference acted upon this recommendation, and quite unanimously decided against having any manual. In doing so, they did not intend any disrespect to the worthy brethren who had labored diligently to prepare such a work. They had presented much excellent matter, and given many valuable directions concerning church ordinances, holding business meetings, and many other important questions, and had done as well, no doubt, as any others would have done in their place. The reasons underlying this action of the Conference were of a broader character. They relate to the desirability of any manual whatever.

The Bible contains our creed and discipline. It thoroughly furnishes the man of God unto all good works. What it has not revealed relative to church organization and management, the duties of officers and ministers, and kindred subjects, should not be strictly defined and drawn out into minute specifications for the sake of uniformity, but rather be left to individual judgment under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Had it been best to have a book of directions of this sort, the Spirit would doubtless have gone further, and left one on record with the stamp of inspiration upon it. Man cannot safely supplement this matter with his weak judgment. All attempts to do it in the past have proved lamentable failures. A variation of circumstances requires variation in action. God requires us to study important principles which he reveals in his word, but the minutiae in carrying them out he leaves to individual judgment, promising heavenly wisdom in times of need. His ministers are constantly placed where they must feel their helplessness, and their need of seeking God for light, rather than to go to any church manual for specific directions, placed therein by other uninspired men. Minute, specific directions tend to weakness, rather than power. They lead to dependence rather than self-reliance. Better make some mistakes and learn profitable lessons thereby, than to have our way all marked out for us by others, and the judgment have but a small field in which to reason and consider.

While brethren who have favored a manual have ever contended that such a work was not to be anything like a creed or a discipline, or to have authority to settle disputed points, but was only to be considered as a book containing hints for the help of those of little experience, yet it must be evident that such a work, issued under the auspices of the General Conference, would at once carry with it much weight of authority, and would be consulted by most of our younger ministers. It would gradually shape and mold the whole body; and those who did not follow it would be considered out of harmony with established principles of church order. And, really, is this not the object of the manual? And what would be the use of one if not to accomplish such a result? But would this result, on the whole, be a benefit? Would our ministers be broader, more original, more self-reliant men? Could they be better depended on in great emergencies? Would their spiritual experiences likely be deeper and their judgment more reliable? We think the tendency all the other way.

The religious movement in which we are engaged has the same influences to meet which all genuine reformations have had to cope with. After, reaching a certain magnitude, they have seen the need of uniformity, and to attain to it they have tried to prepare directions to guide the inexperienced. These have grown in number and authority till, accepted by all, they really become authoritative. There seems to be no logical stopping-place, when once started upon this road, till this result is reached. Their history is before us; we have no desire to follow it. Hence we stop without a church manual before we get started. Our brethren who have favored such a work, we presume never anticipated such a conclusion as we have indicated. Very likely those in other denominations did not at first. The Conference thought best not to give even the appearance of such a thing.

Thus far we have got along well with our simple organization without a manual. Union prevails throughout the body. The difficulties before us, so far as organization is concerned, are far less than those we have had in the past. We have preserved simplicity, and have prospered in so doing. It is best to let well enough alone. For these and other reasons, the church manual was rejected. It is probable it will never be brought forward again. GEO. I. BUTLER.

 




The Image of the Beast- 1861

THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST

ALTHOUGH much has been said on this subject, it may not be out of place for us again to call attention to it.The beast which is to make this image is the two-horned beast of Revelation 13:11-18. The beast to which an image is to be made is the Papal beast, i.e., the Roman Catholic church clothed with civil authority. It is said to make an image to the first beast. The first beast is the one introduced in the preceding portion of the chapter, which receives a deadly wound. And it is after this deadly wound that the two-horned beast makes an image to the first beast. The first beast receives the civil power of the dragon. This dragon, we see by what is said of it, is the civil power which bore rule at the time of Christ’s birth. This was the Pagan Rome power.
In A. D. 538 the Pagan Rome power gave its seat – the seat of empire of Rome, the city of Rome – into the hands of the Catholics, with civil authority to persecute heretics. This power it held for 1260 years, which ended in 1798. In the year 1798 when the French army under General Berthier entered Rome, and deposed the Pope, and established the Papal power, the deadly wound was inflicted on this first beast.
The two-horned beast which makes the image to this first beast is seen coming up at the time this wound is inflicted on the first beast.
It has been clearly shown that the government of the United States has come up in the right time, on the right territory, and in the right manner to fulfill the specifications in regard to this two-horned beast. It comes up out of the earth. Its predecessors came up by the striving of the four winds upon the great sea [Daniel 7], the sea representing nations, etc. Revelation 17. While the powers symbolized by the four beasts of Daniel 7 have successively come up by the overthrow of the government of their predecessors, this two-horned beast “comes up,” not by winds’ striving, not by the justling of nation against nation, not by powers’ being overthrown to establish it; but it plants itself in territory which previously was unoccupied by civil governments.
Our declaration of independence having been made in 1776, in 1798, the time the deadly wound was inflicted on the first beast, this power was a lamb (youthful) power, “coming up.”
The rise of our government since 1798, as expressed by an English Journalist in 1853, has not a parallel in the past history of the human race. It is also found that the government itself answers to the description of this beast. While it is lamb-like in its profession, both in its civil and ecclesiastical departments, it is dragon-like in its action.
While the civil power declares in its declaration of independence that all men are entitled to liberty, by its voice, or laws, it holds about four millions of beings in slavery. The ecclesiastical power of the government, which is Protestant, claims to grant to all, toleration and freedom of faith. Yet at the same time it joins in with the voice of civil authority in enforcing slavery, while the measures by which it does so may gall the consciences of men.
Here also a series of wonders have been performed, and now even miracles are done by the beast. Spiritualism with all its satanic deceptiveness is working upon the people, and the way is being fully prepared for a saying to go forth that an image should be made to the first beast. When this image is made men are to be caused to worship it under severe penalties.
It is true we do not expect the making and execution of the great decrees of the beast until after the third angel’s message of Revelation 14, shall have accomplished its warning against the work of this beast. We understand, however, that steps are now being taken which will result in the making of that image. We do not understand that the making of that image will be a momentary work, but like the rise of the beast itself, will occupy a little space of time in its development.
We would inquire at this time, How far developed is the image of the beast?
It may be said that the making of the image of the beast is yet future, and that there are no means of telling how it will be done. I think the best way to form our theories upon this subject would be to look at the rise of the first beast – to look at the steps which were gradually taken to bring it into action as a persecuting power. Similar steps will probably be taken to make an image to the beast that were taken to make the beast.
Some have said when an image to the beast is made it will enforce Purgatory and all the doctrines of the Papal church. That would not necessarily be the case. A power that should enforce the doctrines of the Papacy would restore Papacy instead of making an image. An image to anything must be something that is in appearance like the thing, yet is not the thing itself. An image to the Papacy we should understand would be some other class of religionists that should take similar steps in enforcing its sentiments to those taken by the Papacy. We think it can be made clear that but five distinct steps were taken by the church before she came into the position marked in prophecy as the “beast with seven heads and ten horns.” We think we can show that four of those steps have been taken by the nominal, creed-making Protestants of this time; and they are already striving to take the fifth step, which will fully constitute them the image to that beast.
The overt steps taken by the church were, First, the making of a creed. For this purpose Conventions were called, Synods and Councils convened, and the result was a great universal creed. The second step was to make that creed a rule of faith and test of fellowship. This was no sooner done than it was decided to try unruly members by the creed instead of the Bible. So for the third step, this creed became the tribunal by which men were judged. The fourth step was to brand all as heretics who did not subscribe to the creed. In the fifth step they obtained the aid of the civil law to enforce penalties on those whom they had branded as heretics. It was for some time after they had formed their creeds, that they could only threaten what they would do to heretics, but they did not punish them because no laws were passed by which they could do it.
As an illustration of this matter we would refer to Theodosius’ edict which was made in the year A. D. 380. This may be found in Gibbon’s Rome, chap 27. After having given an account of Theodosius’ baptism he says: “And, as the emperor ascended from the holy fount, still glowing with the warm feelings of regeneration, he dictated a solemn edict, which proclaimed his own faith, and prescribed the religion of his subjects. It is our pleasure (such is the imperial style) that all the nations which are governed by our clemency and moderation, should steadfastly adhere to the religion which was taught by St. Peter to the Romans, which faithful tradition has preserved, and which is now professed by the pontiff Damasus, and by Peter, bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the discipline of the apostles, and the doctrine of the gospel, let us believe the sole deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; under an equal majesty, and a pious trinity. We authorize the followers of this doctrine to assume the title of catholic Christians; and as we judge that all others are extravagant mad-men, we brand them with the infamous name of heretics and declare that their conventicles shall no longer usurp the respectable appellation of churches. Besides the condemnation of divine justice, they must expect to suffer the severe penalties which our authority, guided by heavenly wisdom, shall think proper to inflict upon them.”It was several years however before severe penalties were inflicted upon them.But it seems from his next statements that even these penalties were not immediately executed. He says: “The theory of persecution was established by Theodosius…. but the practice of it, in the fullest extent, was reserved for his rival and colleague Maximus, the first among the Christian princes, who shed the blood of his Christian subjects on account of their religious opinions.” In these edicts the emperors were beginning a work which finally resulted in the giving of the civil power into the hands of the Papal church.As we have before shown it is by the two-horned-beast power (our own government) that an image is to be made to this first beast. Some regard it perhaps as all fancy that we should suppose any such thing will be done here. We already see four steps have been taken by the Protestant church, and a plea set up that like causes produce like results, we should conclude an “image to the beast” would be the result of taking these steps. But we have the sure word of prophecy declaring that this power will make an image and we look on the taking of these steps as a fulfillment of the prophetic testimony concerning this power. J. N. LOUGHBOROUGH. To be continued.)




The Gospel Call: Ellen White’s Invitation During the Feast

This article was published in the Bible Echo, October 28th, 1895, at the same time the messages of W.W. Prescott were being given in the Armadale Campmeeting in Australia. The messages were reproduced in Australia, but the General Conference in Battle Creek, and the Review & Herald resisted the message of Prescott, particularly when he spoke on what was nailed to the cross; declaring he was holding error. Yet if that message was received, the only solid arguments they held against observing God’s appointed feasts would be quickly dissolved. More interesting was the timing Ellen White wrote the article. When calculating according to the calendar God gave at creation, it was the very time of the Feast of Tabernacles, the “time of the latter rain” (Zechariah 10:1); the latter rain makes effectual the work of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God in the hearts of men; to prepare for the Great heavenly feast, we must first partake of Him fully here in by the rain of the Holy Spirit as the living manna which rains upon the spiritual Israel.

come-to-the-feast-invite“Then said He unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many; and sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it; I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, I go to prove them; I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” Luke 14:16-24.

In this parable there are thoughts of the greatest importance. Christ’s words were simple; His language was plain; but truths were uttered which involved eternal interests.

There is a deep earnestness in the invitation, “Come; for all things are now ready.” How could those bidden make excuses of so trivial a character, and risk losing eternal life? And yet in every age of the world men are fulfilling this parable in refusing the invitation to the gospel feast. One urges as an excuse his temporal concerns; his property demands his attention. Another is hindered by the claims of society. But none of these excuses count with God. The refusal decides the eternal destiny of the soul; for the words of Christ are, “None of those men that were bidden shall taste of my supper.”

Can anyone consider the condescension of God in preparing the gospel feast, and its great cost, and treat the invitation slightingly? No man, nor even the highest angel, can estimate the great cost; it is known only to the Father and the Son. The love of God for sinful man is beyond computation. It is the wonder of all heaven, but none can comprehend it. How could their loved Commander in the heavenly courts be permitted to endure such self-denial, such great sacrifice, to bring to man the gospel privileges? And yet with many these privileges are not considered of as much value as the approbation of their neighbours. 

Had not God manifested His great love by providing the gospel feast at an expense that cannot be computed, and then bidden His guests, the sin of refusal would not involve eternal consequences. But those who frame these excuses will never realize the greatness and terribleness of the consequences until they shall personally see the saints of God welcomed into the heaven of bliss, and they themselves left outside. What would they not then give to be received into the mansions Jesus has gone to prepare for His guests?

The preparations are as abundant as if everyone bidden would certainly accept the invitation. God Himself, through the atonement of Christ, has made unlimited provision for all who will come. The Jewish nation, to whom the invitation was first given, were highly favoured and exalted. And when they rejected the call, the Lord declared that none of those who were bidden, and refused the invitation, should taste His supper. Can the human mind really take in this great thought, that to refuse the heavenly solicitation is to be refused of Christ, cast off forever?

When the invitation was rejected, the messengers were sent to call in people whom the Jews despised and regarded as a curse in the earth,—the poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind. The call was to go to the high-ways and by-ways, and to reach the poor and outcast. These are not so filled with self-righteousness that they cannot appreciate the divine favour.

Christ is the light of the world, an ever-present and all-sufficient Saviour. Those who receive His grace are not to look upon themselves as a favoured few, as the only ones who shall be the recipients of His salvation. At the first the light was permitted to shine in clear, distinct rays upon the Jewish nation, giving them the privilege of co-operating with God in lighting the world with His glory. But they did not understand that divine goodness embraces the world; that it was the design of God that every human being should be included in those bidden. Now in Christ every wall of exclusiveness has been broken down, with every caste, every grade, high or low, rich or poor. “Whoso heareth” may partake of the divine blessings designed for the world in the gospel feast, and is commissioned to repeat the invitation, “Come.”

Ellen White wrote another article, published only 7 days later on the feast. See part 2 here.




The Gospel Invitation: Ellen White’s Call During the Feast Pt. 2

In the Review and Herald, only 8 days later, another article regarding the call inviting them to keep the feast was written. This was concerning the series of meetings endorsed by Ellen White at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles. Of the meeting, she said:
“We are at this time in our camp-meeting having a feast of precious things. The word is presented in a most powerful manner. The Holy Spirit has been poured out upon Brother Prescott in a great measure…. Brother Prescott has been bearing the burning words of truth such as I have heard from some in 1844. The inspiration of the Spirit of God has been upon him. Unbelievers say, “These are the words of God. I never heard such things before.” We have had the truth presented in clear lines. Bro. Prescott has never had such power in preaching the truth as he has had since coming to this meeting. The unbelievers sit with their eyes riveted on him in amazement, as the truth comes forth from his lips, vitalized by the Spirit of God. When I consider the responsibility resting upon all who hear this heaven sent message, I tremble at the word of the Lord. Who will receive the message sent to them?” November 6, 1895 (Letter 25, 1895 to S. N. Haskell, unreleased)

The first part, given on October 28th can be read here. The November 5th article of the Review and Herald, 1895, is as follows:

“A man who had been invited to the feast with Christ in the house of one of the chief Pharisees, and who heard Christ declare what was the duty of those who had God’s bounties, had exclaimed in self-satisfied complacency, “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” He had designed to draw away the minds of those at the feast from the subject of their practical duty; but instead of this he furnished an occasion for the utterance of a parable that had still deeper significance, and that more plainly opened before the company the character and value of their present privileges.

Jesus said: “A certain man made a great supper, and bade many; and sent his servant at supper-time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it; I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them; I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” Christ had sent out an invitation to a feast that he had provided at great cost. He had sent the Holy Spirit to move upon the minds of prophets and holy men of old to invite his chosen people to the rich feast of the gospel. The man who had sought to turn the attention from the practical duties that Christ presented, thought to carry the minds past the present life to the remote time of the resurrection of the just; but the Lord Jesus unveiled the deceptive utterance, and by means of the parable of the supper he showed that they had a part to act in that very time if they should ever have a part in the blessedness which should come in the future. They were despising the present invitation to the gospel feast. Christ had been invited as a guest to the house of the Pharisee, and he did not excuse himself. He respectfully responded to the invitation, knowing it would furnish him an opportunity to enlighten the minds of the people. The man who had sought to divert the attention of the company, spoke with great assurance, as though he thought he would certainly eat bread in the kingdom of God. But Jesus warned him and all present against the danger of rejecting the present invitation to the gospel feast. Those who refuse the invitation will never taste of the marriage supper.

He gave them the result of refusing the first invitation. He said, “So that servant came, and showed his Lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” The servant had shown him that those to whom he had sent his invitation had rejected his message. The manner of excuses they offered, showed the selfish nature of their refusals. The Lord’s messengers in every age have given the gospel invitation. The Lord had brought Israel as a favored nation out of Egypt, he had manifested great love and compassion, and had freed them from a life of servitude to become a holy and happy people. Of them it could have been said, “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” The Lord had first sent his invitation to his chosen people, but they had slighted and rejected his messenger. How vain, how needless, were the excuses they offered; but are the excuses that men give in this age any more sensible than those offered in the time of Christ?

Some who are invited exclaim, “I beg thee have me excused. If I should come, my neighbors would jest at and ridicule me, and I cannot bear their scorn. I have lived among them a long time, and I do not want to displease my neighbors. If they would all come, I would be very thankful to accept this invitation; but because they refuse the message of God, I beg thee have me excused.” Others are desirous of paying for their lands and of building up their temporal interests, and the powers of mind and soul and body are absorbed in their earthly affairs. They are deceived in the same manner as was Eve, who was allured to do the very thing that the Lord told her not to do. Satan suggested to her that the Lord was keeping her from great and high enjoyments by unnecessary prohibitions; but the higher good could only be received by a course of disobedience to God by which she would lose the blessedness of the favor of God, and forfeit her beautiful Eden home. When the Lord speaks, will men act as did Adam and Eve, and follow their example of disobedience? Which voice shall we heed, the voice of God, or the suggestions of the great destroyer? When God commands, it is for our present and eternal good to obey. When he presents our dangers, it is safe to reverence every injunction. Voices will sound in every direction, bidding us to turn from the plain commandments of God. The pleasure-loving, the unbelieving, the disobedient, the traitorous, will present pleasing, fictitious promises of permanent exaltation that they will claim as sure to us if we will follow the course that God has forbidden. With flattering lips they will present peace and safety when destruction is at hand. Deceived themselves, they will view things of eternal interest in a false light, and will cry peace to those who choose their own way and follow their own imaginations in daring to transgress God’s holy requirements. The invitation to the gospel supper will have no charm for them, though the message is, “Come; for all things are now ready.

Shall we venture to turn from God’s word? Every excuse that is offered is a falsehood of Satan, a seduction by which he would draw the human mind from God. But the Lord, who holds our eternal destiny in hand, will not always be mocked. The loving and compassionate Jesus declares that there is a greater sin than that for which Sodom was overthrown. It is the sin of those who, after hearing the gospel invitation to come to the marriage supper of the Lamb, turn away, and refuse to respond to the heavenly invitation. The invitation to the gospel feast is often rejected with apologies; but those who do this show themselves to be the very actors whom the Lord saw, and presented in his message while at the house of the Pharisee.

O what senseless excuses are made for refusing to accept the conditions upon which salvation is promised! The excuses are varied that men offer to God for refusing his invitation, but they have no weight with God. The Lord has provided the feast at infinite expense, at a cost beyond all human computation. Who can comprehend the fact that God humbled himself to bear the transgressions of a fallen world? We despise Esau for selling his birthright for a mess of pottage; what about your own case? Has not your reason been convinced that you should accept the gospel invitation? Has not the Holy Spirit done its office work upon your heart and convinced you of sin, and you have thought you would repent and be ready when the messengers came to bid you to the wedding? The invitation has come to you, but when the final message reached your ears, and you heard the voice saying, “Come; for all things are now ready,” were you ready to respond? When Esau sold his birthright, he thought he could easily win it back; but he found no place for repentance. Take heed lest you too long slight the heavenly invitation.

The servant who first presented the invitation, represents those who proclaimed to the Jews the advent of the Son of God, and who pointed to Christ as the Lamb of God who had come to take away the sins of the world. The priests, rulers, and religious teachers, who should have been the first to receive Jesus, ignored the message and hated the messenger. They not only refused to go to the feast themselves, but as far as possible hindered all others by misrepresenting and misinterpreting the word of God, while teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. They had slain the prophets, and at last thought they were doing God service by taking the life of his Son.

The rejection of light leaves men in darkness, so that they know not at what they stumble. The invitation which the Jews refused, was sent to the poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind. The terrible denunciation was pronounced that none of those who had refused the invitation should taste of the marriage supper. They had listened to the suggestions of Satan, and had made excuses, and under his leadership they would be left in the darkness of unbelief. They intrenched themselves as did Pharaoh in stubborn resistance against the Lord Jesus and his disciples; they chose Barabbas instead of Christ.

The precious message has come to us in these last days. Warnings and entreaties have sounded. The invitation has been given, “Come; for all things are now ready.” While it is called today, harden not your hearts. Shall men and women whom God has blessed with great light, permit themselves to be led astray by the flattering lies of the enemy of their souls? Shall they seek for distinction, for worldly honor and prosperity, when it involves disobedience to the commands of God? Will they yield their eternal interests and sell their birthright for a mess of pottage? Shall we not arouse, and shake off the dangerous lethargy of the world, which is lulling us to sleep in the cradle of carnal security? Will you who are intimidated with the jeers of those who trample upon God’s commandments yield to the temptation to be cowards, and to forfeit the favor of God rather than to endure the reproaches of your neighbors who laugh at your singular faith? God’s Spirit will not always strive with man. Those that slight the invitation, scorn the last message of mercy that God sends for their salvation, and they cannot taste of the blessed supper. Jesus, the compassionate Saviour, has sent to our world the general invitation, “Come; for all things are now ready.” Will you imitate the Jews, who refused the invitation? To us the invitation is given, and the Lord would have you fear and tremble at his word, that he may kindle in your heart hope and faith and holy trust. He commands you to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and promises that all necessary things shall be added unto you. He unfolds before you the glories of paradise, and the question is, Will you accept his invitation?

The angels hastened Lot out of Sodom; but the same warnings that came to Lot are now sounding to a world that is heedless and impenitent. To each of us the message is given: “Haste! escape for thy life!” Better opportunities will never come. No earthly interest is worth a moment’s consideration where eternal interests are involved.

Christ sends his messages of love, and directs the attention of men to the nobler world which they have lost from their vision. He seeks to uplift the mind of him who is absorbed in worldly enterprises, and bids him to look within the gates ajar, from which the glory of God is streaming to earth. With eternity in view, he asks the soul, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” The Lord Jesus made the world and its inhabitants; but he would lift the mind from the slavery which the love of the world enforces. Christ has pledged his own life for the redemption of his people, and he would have them consider their higher, eternal claims. The duties of this life must be placed in harmonious relation to their eternal interests, or else the affections will be absorbed in earthly things, and the mind will be utterly incapacitated for the great things of the heavenly world. The perceptions will be obscured by the little worrying, perplexing things of this life; the thoughts will be engrossed by the things of earth; and the moral, mental, and physical capabilities which God claims for his service, will be dwarfed and weakened by serving self and the world. Christ assigns to the world its place, and subjects men to the will and mind of God. He would separate them from the vanities of life, and have them co-operate with God in blessing the needy, in lifting up those who are bowed down, and in inheriting the blessing which God has promised to those who are laborers together with him.”




An Open Document Addressed to the General Conference of SDA: The Omega of Deadly Heresies

CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH: THE OMEGA HERESY IS AMONG US
1st QUARTER 2017 “THE HOLY SPIRIT AND SPIRITUALITY”

Note: The following document was written expressly for the consideration of the General Conference of Seventh day Adventists. It was written as a reproof to them, and a warning to those who would yield their minds to following men without thorough and intelligent study of the Bible. This address was specifically to the elders of the churches in the New Brunswick conference; and also to Pastor Ricky Schwarz and Maritimes General Conference president Paul Llewelyn, who gave a clear ultimatum to: (1) Submit to the conference in respect to the Trinity doctrine (with no clear consensus as to what we are to submit to in regards to what constitutes a Biblical Trinity)  or (2) Renounce the name Seventh-day Adventist under certain legal ramifications for us and this ministry. In this document however, we cannot submit to either. For to submit to the first would be to accept what is clearly defined in this document as the omega of deadly heresies, and to have no clear defineable position upon which to rest my faith- thus it would be a denial of Christ; to submit to the second would be amiss, seeing as this message was given expressly for Seventh-day Adventists, of which I am, and not another people; the warning given to Seventh-day Adventists regarding the Omega of deadly heresies must also be given to this people, even though it’s an unsavory message to a people who have at times felt “in need of nothing”, I give it from the Christ who I love to the people who I love who profess faith in the third angel’s message. To such as would ask me to go elsewhere with the message I’ve been given as the conference president Paul Llewelyn has, the word of Amos to Amaziah the priest of Bethel is sufficient: “Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court. Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. Now therefore hear thou the word of the LORD: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.” (Amos 7:12-17) To put it plainly, there is nowhere else in the world that this message applies but to those who profess Seventh-day Adventism.
I’ve used conference-accepted material to weightily define this position and conclusion that the present Trinity doctrine within the conference is the very omega of deadly heresies prophesied by the prophetess who warned the conference that these things should come, and that the people should be aware. This is among the chiefest of the warnings to come from the True Witness to the Laodicean church. He says to the church “repent” or the warning of captivity is certain. “Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants…(For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.”(Lev. 18:24-28)
With several attempts to communicate to the leadership regarding this, and with only threatenings and mostly silence, not even so much as a word being answered, with confused and divided positions amongst those who profess to be leaders of the people, I have chosen to make this document visible and open for all, and desiring that if there is clear evidences regarding a difference of opinion regarding the omega, that it is other than what I’ve published, please come and reason together with me in honesty and transparency of heart. I am willing to be corrected, but only by the reasonable weight of evidences. The author gives permission for this document to be printed freely and shared with the leaders of the various conferences throughout the world. May the true God hear and bless the readers of this piece.~ Administrator of the Loud Cry of the Third Angel

 

“The religion of Jesus is endangered. It is being mingled with worldliness. Worldly policy is taking the place of the true piety and wisdom that comes from above, and God will remove His prospering hand from the conference. Shall the Ark of the Covenant be removed from this people? Shall idols be smuggled in? Shall false principles and false precepts be brought into the sanctuary? Shall antichrist be respected? Shall the true doctrines and principles given us by God, which have made us what we are, be ignored? …This is directly where the enemy, through blinded, unconsecrated men, is leading us.” (MANUSCRIPT RELEASES, VOL. 21 [NOS. 1501-1598], PAGE 448)

I want to be clear before beginning that I have been concerned about the state of our churches. For some time there has seemed to be a deepening worldly manner that has come about in amongst professed Adventists, and we ought to ask the question “Where is our God?” but instead, week unto week, we just continue to drift. We have no real burden for souls, nor for searching the Scriptures. We do not study out the Scripture for ourselves to know what we believe, and can’t defend what we believe from them. We have relied on teachers so fully, that they have become our Scriptures. We’ve fed on the words of pastors and books of people who may have, to more or less degree, studied the Bible for themselves, yet the Scripture’s hidden treasure lay uncovered because it takes effort, even deep digging, to seek it out. This is the general condition existing today amongst God’s professed people.
I ask you all to study for yourselves what is Bible truth. Do not let the pastor or someone else do your studying for you, saying with the foolish virgins, “Give me of your oil” to those who are wise. Neither think that what I write here is true just because I say it and quote quotes. You must study with an honest heart for the truth yourself. Here is some counsel:

“Those who allow prejudice to bar the mind against the reception of truth cannot receive the divine enlightenment. Yet, when a view of Scripture is presented, many do not ask,

Is it true–in harmony with God’s word? but, By whom is it advocated? and unless it comes through the very channel that pleases them, they do not accept it. So thoroughly satisfied are they with their own ideas that they will not examine the Scripture evidence with a desire to learn, but refuse to be interested, merely because of their prejudices.
The Lord often works where we least expect Him; He surprises us by revealing His power through instruments of His own choice, while He passes by the men to whom we have looked as those through whom light should come. God desires us to receive the truth upon its own merits–because it is truth.
The Bible must not be interpreted to suit the ideas of men, however long they may have held these ideas to be true. We are not to accept the opinion of commentators as the voice of God; they were erring mortals like ourselves. God has given reasoning powers to us as well as to them. We should make the Bible its own expositor.
All should be careful about presenting new views of Scripture before they have given these points thorough study, and are fully prepared to sustain them from the Bible. Introduce nothing that will cause dissension, without clear evidence that in it God is giving a special message for this time. But beware of rejecting that which is truth. The great danger with our people has been that of depending upon men and making flesh their arm
. Those who have not been in the habit of searching the Bible for themselves, or weighing evidence, have confidence in the leading men and accept the decisions they make; and thus many will reject the very messages God sends to His people, if these leading brethren do not accept them.” (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 105)

What I will present here, I fully believe, is a special message for this time. I pray all will be tolerant to investigate what is here said, and take the above counsel to heart instead of closing their minds off. Be willing to investigate the matter more deeply is my request to the reader of this article. Please, DO YOUR RESEARCH, even when you are convicted that a matter is true, and embrace the “weight of evidence” as sister White admonishes!

“Those who desire to doubt will have plenty of room. God does not propose to remove all occasion for unbelief. He gives evidence, which must be carefully investigated with a humble mind and a teachable spirit, and all should decide from the weight of evidence. God gives sufficient evidence for the candid mind to believe; but he who turns from the weight of evidence because there are a few things which he cannot make plain to his finite understanding will be left in the cold, chilling atmosphere of unbelief and questioning doubts, and will make shipwreck of faith.”

(5 Testimonies for the Church, p. 675, 676)

Do not accept it because this one says it, or that one says it, or the pastor says it, or whether it be Stephen Bohr, or Walter Veith, or Doug Batchelor. Know for yourself what is truth; and be personally acquainted with the God of the Scriptures. Prayerfully ask our heavenly Father what is truth. May He guide all of His honest children to see the light as it is in Jesus. Let no one say “I am of Paul” or “I am of Apollos”, but rather, let us all be of Christ, and true sons of the pioneers in searching the Scriptures earnestly as they did. The only problems in the churches that have ever arisen is because the children of the reformation churches are seldom actuated by the same Spirit as their fathers, but settle on the light they have received; thus spiritual decline and backsliding inevitably results. If ever they are actuated by such a nobility of spirit, the churches that have settled will have a tendency to crucify the light they set forth from the Bible.
As you read this, I am going to address my very real concerns here. I do this to address those concerns, but NOT to replace your mind or your Bibles. I love this church, and I love Seventh-day Adventism. Most of my quotes here shall be Ellen White quotes, including warnings she gave to our church about the danger she foresaw coming into it. Furthermore, I humbly resign myself to these quotes as a basis for this study, and say that what has been written here was long enough already, and is by no means exhaustive. I ask that you will also give those quotes prayerful consideration, and anaylze their context. It is the wholehearted conviction of the writer that the danger sister White spoke about
has come to fruition already, and is alive in the churches today. While I hesitate to share this document with you all, knowing it may be cause for a strong antagonism against me, I must be true to duty, as we all are accountable to God for the light committed to us. I know if this be truth, then any antagonism that is manifested is not verily toward me, but toward Christ who strengthens me. I love you all and pray the mighty agency of the third person of the Godhead, the Spirit of Christ, to guide you into all truth by Christ’s sustaining presence, in accordance with the will of the Almighty Father of lights. Amen.

 

OUT ADVENTIST HERITAGE IS BEING DENIED IN THE MOST SUBTLE WAY: The quarterly for beginning of 2017 is on the subject of the Holy Spirit. We are zealous for our history as Adventists, and believe that the truths God has committed to His church in the third angel’s message are to be second to none. This prophetic platform of the first, second, and third angel’s messages were messages that gave our people a divine directive to warn the world. What underhanded influences would come into our church since Ellen White’s death which would do things to undermine those messages? There have been many that things that have gone unnoticed, but not unwarned.

In the words of George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” As Adventists, we believe prophecy will be repeated again. What was before, comes again; for the principles of history, once repeated, result in the same consequences. The Papal beast that was in the dark ages is being resurrected, and her children are partaking of her intolerant spirit, and Donald Trump is giving them a voice in the nation, and promising the Protestants power under his presidency. These moments should cause us to solemnly reflect on history, and understand that those who forget the lessons of the past will go over the same ground again. Likewise it is in Adventism; we would do well to be informed fully regarding the past so that we can rightly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. Here is our admonition and opportunity: “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and

His teaching in our past history.” (Life Sketches, pg. 196)

In the days of early Adventism, John Harvey Kellogg wrote a book called “The Living Temple”. Ellen White was very concerned with this book, as it expressed pantheistic ideas regarding God’s person and His presence, which was denying our teachings regarding God:

“In the book ‘ Living Temple ‘ there is presented

the alpha of deadly heresies….Living Temple contains the alpha of these theories. I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people. I knew that I must warn our brethren and sisters not to enter into controversy over the presence and personality of God. The statements made in ‘ Living Temple’ in regard to this point are incorrect. The Scripture used to substantiate the doctrine there set forth, is Scripture misapplied.” (1 Selected Messages, pg. 200-203)

Notice what her concern was over. It was called a “deadly heresy” regarding “the presence and personality of God.” She said regarding Kellogg’s conclusions that Scripture was being “misapplied”. Ellen White wrote over the fact that many could not discern the dangers that Kellogg had come to believe regarding this heresy. Indeed, there were many believing it was the great light which was to unfold before the people of God; even believing (wrongly) sister White sustained the same ideas in her own writings:

“I am compelled to speak in denial of the claim that the teachings in ‘ Living Temple ‘ can be sustained by statements from my writings. There may be in this book expressions and sentiments that are in harmony with my writings. And there may be in my writings many statements which, taken from their connection, and interpreted according to the mind of the writer of ‘ Living Temple ‘, would seem to be in harmony with the teachings of this book. This may give apparent support to the assertion that thesentiments in ‘ Living Temple ‘ are in harmony with my writings. But God forbid that this sentiment should prevail.” (1 Selected Messages pg. 203)

She also warned that the omega of deadly heresies would follow; that it would be of the same nature, distorting the truth regarding the personality and presence of God. Saying:

“Be not deceived; many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We have now before us the alpha of this danger.” (Special Testimonies, Series B, no. 2, pg. 16) “The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given.” “I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people.” (Series B, no. 2, pp. 50, 53)

She clearly declared this would be a departure from the faith once delivered to the saints, “giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils”. She plainly stated this doctrinal heresy would be the voice of another spirit, rather than the Voice of God’s Spirit, while many would believe it was thus. If the controversy was thought of as being sustained by her writings in the Alpha, how much more would it be thought in the omega that her writings sustained the same sentiments? Ellen White gave counsel of what would aid in keeping us grounded in the truth regarding this dangerous alpha heresy: “We need to study the words that Christ uttered in the prayer that He offered just before His trial and crucifixion. “…And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, 12-17)

Ellen White spoke at her final address to the General Conference, giving one final message of warning to our people to know the testimonies she gave in this respect; that we might know that the same ground Kellogg went over WOULD BE REPEATED and nothing would stop it:

“I am charged to tell our people, that do not realize, that the devil has device after device, and he carries them out in ways that they do not expect. Satan’s agencies will invent ways to make sinners out of saints. I tell you now, that when I am laid to rest

GREAT CHANGES will take place. I do not know when I shall be taken; and I desire to warn all against the devices of the devil. I want the people to know that I warned them fully before my death.” Manuscript 1, February 24, 1915

Notice she said that the way the devil brings his devices to pass are SUBTLE; the people do not realize nor expect the devices to be brought about; we seldom think we could ever be in this class, which is what would make the deception all the greater. She said great changes would take place amongst the people, but that those changes could hardly be noticed seems inconceivable. Yet notice what she says would come: “The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist

in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but GOD BEING REMOVED, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.

Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles, we have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth? (1 Selected Messages, 204, 205)

Notice very clearly what is being said here. Through internal reformation and reorganization, “a new organization would be established.” This would result in God being removed, and that it would be fleshly strength, apart from the divine presence, which would be in operation. A startling visualization comes in of the Laodicean church that is depicted in Revelation chapter 3. Christ is standing outside of the door of the church, knocking and calling to repentance a church that has shut Him out, yet thinking she has done no such thing and in no need of repentance- thus in her blindness, she rejects the voice of her Master, unless she carefully takes heed.

Before understanding what Kellogg came to believe, so we might understand how today Adventism has gone over the same ground again, we must understand the condition of the church in the last days, when this “new organization” is fully formed. We are told “Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way” of them removing the true pillars of our Adventist faith all in the name of Seventh-day Adventism. This is a terrible tragedy, but it must happen. We see Laodicea without the presence of God, because He is standing outside. Likewise, “God being removed” because of this dangerous heresy that takes hold of the church, the leadership will largely prevent the message from being proclaimed and will disfellowship any who declare it. Christ’s voice is crucified in His servants the prophets, even as with Israel of old. We are given a startling warning from sister White of what happens because of Laodicean blindness that blinds the eyes of the people:

“The religion of Jesus is endangered. It is being mingled with worldliness. Worldly policy is taking the place of the true piety and wisdom that comes from above, and God will remove His prospering hand from the conference. Shall the Ark of the Covenant be removed from this people? Shall idols be smuggled in? Shall false principles and false precepts be brought into the sanctuary? Shall antichrist be respected? Shall the true doctrines and principles given us by God, which have made us what we are, be ignored? Shall God’s instrumentality, the publishing house, become a mere political, worldly institution? This is directly where the enemy, through blinded, unconsecrated men, is leading us.” (MANUSCRIPT RELEASES, VOL. 21 [NOS. 1501-1598], PAGE 448)

Likewise, in Ezekiel 8 and 9, we are told in symbolic vision of the temple, how the church will be in the last days. True doctrine and principles give by God are counted as error, and the Ark of the covenant is removed because idols are carefully brought into the church in a more subtle manner than J.H. Kellogg. The leaders are represented as being enjoined to those who have rejected the truth and as cherishing false concepts of God, even women weeping for Tammuz (part of the triad of Babylonian deities- Nimrod [the sun father], Tammuz [the reincarnated Nimrod- his son], and Semiramis [the queen of heaven who gives birth to the children of the sun father]. This is depicted in Ezekiel 8. God declares for those who have eyes to see and are not blindly being lead along into error: “Son of man, see you what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary?” “God being removed” from the sanctuary is the greatest heartache- and Laodicea is victim to this condition of things, and thinking that no such condition of things exists- thus showing she herself is victim to her own deceivings. Then in Ezekiel 9, there is a class of people revealing God’s character for sin. They are mourning the terrible condition and blindness of the people, and crying out for their repentance. These are sealed on their foreheads, “And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.”

“Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those ‘that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done’ in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying.” (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266-267)

Ellen White prophesies about this experience, and saying that the leaders will prevent the warning from being clearly given at this time:

“In the very courts of the temple, scenes will be enacted that few realize. God’s people will be proved and tested, that He may discern ‘between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.’ Vengeance will be executed against those who sit in the gate, deciding what the people should have and what they should not have. These take away the key of knowledge. They refuse to enter in themselves, and those who would enter in they hinder. These bear not the seal of the living God. All who now occupy responsible positions should be solemnly and terribly afraid lest in this time they shall be found as unfaithful stewards.” (Manuscript 15, 1886, Paulson Collection, p. 55)

These take away the key of knowledge. And what knowledge is it? It is knowledge that is key to God’s presence being in our midst. It is this key that is taken away, so that the ark of the covenant is removed from the temple because of it’s abominations. Historically, the ark of the covenant was removed before the Babylonian captivity. In the apocryphal account, we are told that faithful priest and messenger Jeremiah took the ark before the Babylon took the city captive for it’s iniquities, because they had set up the worship of the gods of Babylon in the temple. Likewise, the priesthood duties that were given to the Levites was originally to be given to all of the tribes of Israel, but because of golden calf worship, all but the Levites, who would not bow to worship the gods of the land they came out from, that privilege was taken away from them, that they should be no priests. God would permit only the Levites to bear the ark of the covenant.

When this key of knowledge in the Scripture is taken away, the qualifications of the priesthood are renounced as these abominations begin to bear full sway in the churches: “Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the landMy people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (Hosea 4:1,6)

We may see something of why Ellen White saw that nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the omega, which would come in amongst our people after she died. We may even further understand why she said “I tremble for my people.”

WHAT DID KELLOGG BELIEVE- THE ALPHA

To understand the omega of deadly heresies, we must understand what Kellogg came to believe regarding the personality and presence of God. In Ellen White’s own words, we read: “I saw what was coming in, and I saw that our brethren were blind. They did not realize the danger. Our young people, especially, were in danger. They delighted in the beautiful representation–God in the flower, God in the leaf, God in the tree. But if God be in these things, why not worship them?” (1 Sermons and Talks, p. 344)

Ellen White warned that Kellogg was suggesting that the personal presence of the God we worship was in the objects our Creator upholds and sustains life in. In a letter directly to him, she declared: “You are not definitely clear on the personality of God, which is everything to us as a people. You have virtually destroyed the Lord God Himself.” (Ellen G. White to John Harvey Kellogg, Letter 300, March 16th 1903)

Ellen White said that he was virtually destroying the Lord God Himself by his views, and was leading the blind brethren in a path to destruction. It was so bad, that many were believing Ellen White was sustaining the same views as Kellogg. This statement, for example, could be easily misconstrued to be teaching the very same thing as “God in the flower, God in the leaf, God in the tree” today in our churches because of the widespread confusion about the personality of God: The Lord puts His own Spirit into the seed, causing it to spring into life. Under His care the germ breaks through the case enclosing it and springs up to develop and bear fruit.” (8 Testimonies, p. 326)

Yet Ellen White said God forbid that such sentiments should prevail; she was not saying the same thing as Kellogg. There is a distinct difference between saying God is in the seed, and the Spirit of God is in the seed. God’s person and presence was being distorted by Kellogg, who came to believe in a species of pantheism called panentheism, which teaches that while God is not everything, He is in everything. At a fundamental level, it came down to the belief of the God that we worship and where His presence was.

“I have been instructed by the heavenly messenger that some of the reasoning in the book Living Temple is unsound, and that this reasoning would lead astray the minds of those who are not thoroughly established on the foundation principles of present truth. It introduces that which is nought but speculation in regard to the personality of God and where His presence is. No one on this earth has a right to speculate on this question. The more fanciful theories are discussed, the less men will know of God and of the truth that sanctifies the soul…One and another come to me, asking me to explain the positions taken in Living Temple. I reply, ‘They are unexplainable.’ The sentiments expressed do not give a true knowledge of God. All through the book are passages of Scripture. These scriptures are brought in, in such a way that error is made to appear as truth. Erroneous theories are presented in so pleasing a wav that unless care is taken, many will be misled…The track of truth lies close beside the track of error, and both tracks may seem to be one to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit, and which, therefore, are not quick to discern the difference between truth and error.”

Notice Ellen White declares that what she was saying and what Kellogg advocated in his teaching might have seemed similar, but that they were dangerously far apart. Likewise, the things that will be mentioned addressing the problems in this quarter reveal that there is the very same denying of the pillars of our faith, the foundational principles of Adventism that made us what we were. Make no mistake. There is as much a difference as heaven and earth between the views of Adventism and what is advocated in the quarterly & Kellogg, and they will be contrasted. Not many have discerned the dangers coming in amongst us, and therefore, when these things have been presented by me to them, they do not see the dangers. Unless they have their eyes anointed with the eyesalve offered by our merciful High Priest, they might continue in darkness, believing Ellen White’s statements to say one thing when in fact they are speaking something entirely different from what they have conceived in their minds.
A.G. Daniells admonished Kellogg regarding his views:

“Now look here, Doctor, that book must not contain a single argument of this new theory you are teaching, because there are a lot of people all over the States who do not accept it. I know from what they say, and if it has any of what they consider pantheism they will never touch it.” (‘The Early Elmshaven Years’ Vol. 5 chapter 21 page 288)

Pantheistic concepts, called panentheism (the God who is worshipped is in the things He created) was being taught by Kellogg. Daniells clearly said to not advocate this “new theory” regarding God’s personality and presence that he was teaching in his book. Nevertheless, he did. W.A. Spicer, secretary of the General Conference at this time had encouraged the writing of the book, since the Sanitarium had burned down just prior to it’s writing in order to gain means of rebuilding it.

Spicer had visited Kellogg after his disassociation with Adventism because of his views. It gave more clarity on his doctrine and how it denied our past teaching. Spicer begins his account by quoting a primitive vision of Ellen White that she had after the doctrine of the Trinity was renounced by our Seventh-day Adventist pioneers after a closer study of Christ and His priesthood in the sanctuary:

“I saw a throne, and on it sat the Father and the Son. I gazed on Jesus’ countenance and admired His lovely person. The Father’s person I could not behold, for a cloud of glorious light covered Him. I asked Jesus if His Father had a form like Himself. He said he had, but I could not behold it, for, said He, if you should once behold the glory of His person, you would cease to exist.”Early Writings p. 45. (W. A. Spicer, How the Spirit of Prophecy Met a Crisis: Memories and Notes of the “Living Temple” Controversy’, 1938)

Note the above. In the vision the Father and the Son are seen upon the throne, both having a form. In the vision, she saw the people of God praying for the Father’s Spirit, and the Father gave the Spirit to Jesus, and Jesus placed it upon His people. In Revelation 22:1, we are given the same view of things, and the Spirit is shown as proceeding forth as living waters from the throne, and going forth outside of the sanctuary.

However, there was another being in the sanctuary that she saw being worshipped who should not have been worshipped; a third who sat upon a throne. He was an intruder, sitting enthroned in the channel where the river was to flow interjecting himself between them and Christ. It was Satan. When another class who had lost view of Jesus prayed to God, asking for the Spirit, Satan “breathed upon them an unholy influence”. Thus, the statement was fulfilled by Ellen White, demonstrating that “there are two spirits in the world,—the Spirit of God and the spirit of Satan.” (Signs of the Times, November 24, 1887)

This is important to understand, because it has much to do with why Kellogg became deceived. Returning to Spicer’s thought regarding God the Father having a form like Jesus. He stated: “This view is in harmony with Bible descriptions. Strike this view from us, and substitute the idea the all-pervasive personality called God by the pantheistic philosophy and we are at once involved in the mazes of the spiritualistic deception. Then Heaven and the throne are wherever God is, and He is everywhere, in tree and plant and creature.”

Did you catch it? If God is everywhere, Spicer concluded that He is taken out of the Sanctuary, where His actual presence resides. The Sanctuary teaches that the courtyard is alienation from the throne of God; it is far from His presence. Jesus the high priest, became the sacrifice in the courtyard, and opens a fountain of living water from that throne, which brings the spiritual presence of God. It is that stream of the divine presence that leads us back to His throne at last, as the Great Source of the Spirit; hence the Spirit is called the Spirit of God. However, to make God the Father everywhere present He must necessarily be taken out of the Sanctuary. Ellen White said, “The spiritualistic theories regarding the personality of God, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian economy.” (1 Selected Messages, p. 204) This point is critical. The idea of the God we worship being outside of the Sanctuary is foreign from the message of truth. If He was out of the Sanctuary, then reconciliation has already taken place; and thus there is no need for the atonement any longer. Ellen White said as much: “The foundation of our faith, which was established by so much prayer, such earnest searching of the Scriptures, was being taken down, pillar by pillar. Our faith was to have nothing to rest upon– the sanctuary was gone, the atonement was gone. Any idea that should add such sentiments which would misplace the worship of God and Christ in exchange for an everywhere present God would be as Satan interjecting his own throne between you, who stands in the courtyard, and the God whose dwellingplace is in the Holy of holies, where your faith ought to be fastened. We must understand that where the presence of the God we worship is will determine our belief regarding the Sanctuary, and the atonement (the reconciliation back into His actual presence)

Ellen White said that the omega, like the alpha, would overthrow the pillars of our faith, and account the past teaching of our people as error, all in supposed reformation that reorganizes Adventism from the inside-out. She spoke about the Laodicean blindness that was prevailing at this time. hose who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary or concerning the personality of God or of Christ, are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift without an anchor.” (Manuscript Release No.760, p. 9, 1905)

This is what Kellogg was doing, and Spicer recognized it very well. He recounts the initial pantheistic sentiments of Kellogg when the Living Temple was first brought forward: “In the first interview I had with the author [Kellogg] over the book prepared for us he illustrated his idea that it was idolatry to conceive of God as having form…” Explaining the truth in contrast with Kellogg’s description, he said: “The form was there on the throne, as real as the form of Jesus on the throne beside the Father. But a cloud of glory veiled the Father’s person. The reverent mind does not seek to penetrate that veil between. Strike out [remove] this view of Bible truth and substitute for it the pantheistic conception that makes of Deity a personality present everywhere the same as He is anywhere, and there is no place in the universe for the sinner to come before God…”

It removed the place where God resides in the universe, specifically, in the Most Holy place. That was Kellogg’s initial belief. A formless God the Father who was everywhere present. Kellogg did not take into account how this affected the question of pure worship of God, just as it is not being regarded by nearly all today.

THE REVISION

The Living Temple being published, a series of testimonies which Ellen White gave warning about it at a council in 1903 commenced:

“When the messages were read at the Council in Washington, Dr. Kellogg responded favorably, saying that he accepted the testimony and that he would modify the wording in the Living Temple dealing with theological matters. But his statements were rather erratic and changeable. His attitude alternated, and it finally turned out that the doctor never really changed.” (A. L. White, ‘The Early Elmshaven Years’ chapter 22, page 302 ‘Meet it’)

Notice that Kellogg now wanted to now “modify the wording in the Living Temple dealing with theological matters”. Regarding this revision, much was spoken of. Ellen White personally addressed Kellogg, informing him that he was still in danger:

“The book Living Temple is not to be patched up, a few changes made in it, and then advertised and praised as a valuable production. […] When you wrote that book you were not under the inspiration of God. There was by your side the one who inspired Adam to look at God in a false light. […] My brother, I must tell you that you have little realization of whither your feet have been tending. The facts have been opened to me. You have been binding yourself up with those who belong to the army of the great apostate. Your mind has been as dark as Egypt.” (Letter 253, p. 1, 12-14. To J. H. Kellogg, Nov. 20, 1903)

She compared the mind of Kellogg as being as dark as Egypt, the land where the Israelites had come out from- much like the Israelites who worshipped the golden calf, the god of Egypt. She also said he was binding himself up with those who belong to the army of Satan- Babylon. It is interesting to note that Kellogg was married to a dedicated Seventh-day Baptist, and his concepts of God were reportedly influenced by the minister of her faith that did not subscribe to the pillars of our faith as Adventists. He began going to churches outside of the first, second, and third angel’s messages for light- going to Babylon for doctrine.

How did Kellogg come to this point where he believed in a venerated God who was everywhere present? It began with his views beginning to change into what he conceived was “great light” with his first encounter with a Seventh-day Baptist minister.

“This subject has been kept before me for the past twenty years, yea, for more than twenty years. Before my husband’s death (1881), Dr. Kellogg came to my room to tell me that he had great light….He sat down and told me what it was. It was similar to some of the views that he has presented in Living Temple. I said, “Those theories are wrong. I have met them before. I had to meet them when I first began to travel.”…Ministers and people were deceived by these sophistries. They lead to making God a nonentity and Christ a nonentity. We are to rebuke these theories in the name of the Lord.”

This time when James White died was in 1881. Before this time, Kellogg had contact with Rev. N. Wardner of the Seventh-day Baptists. John Harvey Kellogg on behalf of Seventh-day Adventists was in dialogue setting forth their fundamental differences between the two classes. One fundamental and crucial issue that came up was the Trinity doctrine. Kellogg wrote for regarding Adventists position: “The only grounds upon which our reviewer could be justified in making such a statement would be the supposition on his part that we believe in the doctrine of the trinity; but he very well knows, from positions taken and arguments used in previous articles, that we do not agree with him on this subject any better than on that of the nature of the soul. We believe in but one Deity, God, who is a unity [one], not a compound being [three-in-one]…We repel the charge of “trinitarianism” without the slightest hesitation. We do not believe in a triune God, as before remarked. And we will not, as did our reviewer in a, former article, leave the reader in doubt as to our position on this point. We are utterly at a loss to comprehend how our reviewer could have blundered so strangely as to suppose us to share in so gross an error as we believe the orthodox doctrine of the trinity to be.” (J. H. Kellogg, Review and Herald, November 25th 1880, ‘Reply to Eld. Wardner’s rejoinder’)

It was at this time, that Kellogg’s mind became unsettled, and he came to sister White claiming he had great light from God- thus influenced by the Trinitarian understanding of God, while not wholly yielding himself to that belief. Ellen White had to set him straight, but he would again be thus influenced again by a prominent Seventh-day Baptist, A.H. Lewis.

“Fifteen years later (1895) a Dr. A. H. Lewis, editor of the Sabbath Recorder, prominent among Seventh Day Baptists, and steeped in pantheism, visited Battle Creek and was entertained in the Kellogg home (Mrs. Kellogg was a Seventh Day Baptist). Lewis talked his pantheistic views, which did not fall on deaf ears. Kellogg first introduced pantheism publicly in 1897 in a series of talks at the ministerial institute that preceded the General Conference session held in the College View church at Lincoln, Nebraska.” (Arthur White; The Early Elmshaven Years 1900-1905, p. 282)

In this introduction at the General Conference session, Kellogg spoke of this universal presence as “nothing else than God Himself”: “We have here the evidence of a universal presence, an intelligent presence, an all-wise presence, an all-powerful presence, a presence by the aid of which every atom of the universe is kept in touch with every other atom. This force that holds all things together, that is everywhere present, that thrills throughout the whole universe, that acts instantaneously through boundless space, can be nothing else than God Himself. What a wonderful thought that this same God is in us and in everything.”

The attributing of the Holy Spirit’s work of upholding life is the mighty power of the God of heaven to hold things together throughout the uttermost regions of the universe. However, it was the Seventh-day Baptist view that the Holy Spirit was God Himself, and to be worshipped as such; howbeit a little different from Kellogg’s view, who upheld a mystical, unexplainably everywhere present God the Father, the Seventh-day Baptists were, and still are, Trinitarian.

It is important to note that the founders of Adventism studied out the Trinity, and rejected it, as confirmed by the Ellen White vision brought out by Spicer, which lead Ellen White to exclaim, ““Let the brightest example the world has yet seen be your example, rather than the greatest and most learned men of the age, who know not God, nor Jesus Christ whom he has sent. The Father and the Son alone are to be exalted.” (The Youth’s Instructor, July 7, 1898)

Adventist Historian George Knight wrote: “Most of the founders of Seventh-day Adventism would not be able to join the church today if they had to subscribe to the denomination’s Fundamental Beliefs. More specifically, most would not be able to agree to belief number 2, which deals with the doctrine of the trinity.” (Ministry, Oct., 1993, p. 10)

William G. Johnson, assistant to the President of Interfaith Relations department in the General Conference, gave second witness, saying “the Trinitarian understanding of God, now part of our fundamental beliefs, was not generally held by the early Adventists. Even today a few do not subscribe to it.” (William G. Johnsson in the Adventist Review, Jan. 6, 1994 p.10)

Kellogg, in dialogue with the Seventh-day Baptist minister had at first defended the true position of Adventism, but came to some unusual conclusions regarding where God’s presence was. These revived after the meeting with Abram H. Lewish. However, he claimed that his views of pantheistic magnitude had changed after the testimonies given in Washington, but Ellen White said no.

“It will be said that Living Temple has been revised. But the Lord has shown me that the writer has not changed, and that there can be no unity between him and the ministers of the gospel while he continues to cherish his present sentiments. I am bidden to lift my voice in warning to our people, saying, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked” (Gal.6:7).” (Selected Messages Book 1, p. 199, 1904)

What was it that Kellogg thought he had changed regarding his views that seemed to change but had “not changed”? A.G. Daniells, who warned Kellogg of not expressing his “new theory” regarding God in the book he was writing, now wrote to W.C. White, Ellen White’s son, regarding “the change” he was making:

““Ever since the council closed I have felt that I should write you confidentially regarding Dr Kellogg’s plans for revising and republishing ‘The Living Temple’…. He (Kellogg) said that some days before coming to the council, he had been thinking the matter over, and began to see that he had made a slight mistake in expressing his views. He said that all the way along he had been troubled to know how to state the character of God and his relation to his creation works… He then stated that his former views regarding the trinity had stood in his way of making a clear and absolutely correct statement; but that within a short time he had come to believe in the trinity and could now see pretty clearly where all the difficulty was, and believed that he could clear the matter up satisfactorily.”

Notice that his former views of the Trinity (his rejection of the doctrine) had now developed into a full-fledged belief in the Trinity- which was said to be the exact same doctrinal implications he had formerly espoused. Daniells continued:

“He told me that he now believed in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; and his view was that it was God the Holy Ghost, and not God the Father, that filled all space, and every living thing. He said if he had believed this before writing the book, he could have expressed his views without giving the wrong impression the book now gives. I placed before him the objections I found in the teaching, and tried to show him that the teaching was so utterly contrary to the gospel that I did not see how it could be revised by changing a few expressions. We argued the matter at some length in a friendly way; but I felt sure that when we parted, the doctor did not understand himself, nor the character of his teaching.” (Letter: A. G. Daniells to W. C. White. October 29, 1903. p. 1, 2)

Kellogg now came to the full fruition of the alpha of deadly heresies. It was the doctrine of the Trinity. Kellogg plainly confessed in a meeting with the leading brethren after he left Adventism visited him that the issue was, indeed, regarding the Trinity doctrine: “Now, I thought I had cut out entirely the theological side of questions of the trinity and all that sort of things. I didn’t mean to put it in at all, and I took pains to state in the preface that I did not. I never dreamed of such a thing as any theological question being brought into it. I only wanted to show that the heart does not beat of its own motion but that it is the power of God that keeps it going” (Interview, J. H. Kellogg, G. W. Amadon and A. C. Bourdeau October 7th 1907 held at Kellogg’s residence)

Now, based on this, let us read the statements side-by-side:

Ellen White’s testimony on Kellogg’s deception that had not changed (the Trinity): “I saw that our brethren were blind. They did not realize the danger. Our young people, especially, were in danger. They delighted in the beautiful representation–God in the flower, God in the leaf, God in the tree. But if God be in these things, why not worship them?” (1 Sermons and Talks, p. 344)

Ellen White’s testimony: “The Lord puts His own Spirit into the seed, causing it to spring into life. Under His care the germ breaks through the case enclosing it and springs up to develop and bear fruit.” (8 Testimonies, p. 326)

Many today are saying that it is God in the seed, and God in the man because they ignorantly blend these two concepts as Kellogg did with the Holy Spirit. Kellogg summed the matter up himself in a letter to G.I. Butler, president of the Southern Union Conference:

“As far as I can fathom, the difficulty which is found in the Living Temple, the whole thing may be simmered down to this question: is the Holy Ghost a person? You say no.” “I had supposed the Bible said this for the reason that the personal pronoun he is used in speaking of the Holy Ghost. Sister White uses the pronoun he and has said in as many words that the Holy Ghost is the third person of the Godhead.” “How the Holy Ghost can be the third person and not be a person at all is difficult for me to see.” (Letter, Kellogg to G. I. Butler, October 28, 1903)

Kellogg’s new view had not changed. From God the Father to the Trinitarian God the Holy Spirit, it was still an everywhere present God that you worship. The implications were entirely the same. He even addressed his confusion regarding sister White’s writings with the very same interpretation many are interpretting her writings to say today: that the Holy Ghost is a person in the sense of being truly a separate divine being to be honored and worshipped. But Butler’s position was revealed by Kellogg’s question and answer: “is the Holy Ghost a person? You say no.” Many are having a difficult time seeing how the Holy Ghost can be the third person, and not a person in the sense of being today. Yet Ellen White explains herself clearly regarding who the Spirit is clear when harmonized:

here is no comforter like Christ, so tender and so true. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. His Spirit speaks to the heart… The influence of the Holy Spirit is the life of Christ in the soul.�(Review & Herald, October 26, 1897)

in could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power… Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.�(Desire of Ages, p. 671)

here is no power in you apart from Christ, but it is your privilege to have Christ abiding in your heart by faith, and He can overcome sin in you, when you cooperate with His efforts.�(Our High Calling, p. 76)

he Holy Spirit is a free, working, independent agency. The God of heaven uses His Spirit as it pleases Him…�Signs of the Times, March 10th, 191

Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by HIS HOLY SPIRIT, as the Omnipresent.�(Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, pages 23, 24; written February 18 and 19, 1895)

It is the spiritual life of Christ in the soul; the spiritual presence of God and Christ in the third person; their omnipresence that comes forth from the Sanctuary; the person of the Spirit is the spiritual manifestation of God and Christ that proceeds forth from their throne.

It was six months later that Butler would reply to Kellogg’s letter, explaining in the best language he could gather:
“God dwells in us by His Holy Spirit, as a Comforter, as a Reprover, especially the former. When we come to Him, we partake of Him in that sense, because the Spirit comes forth from him; it comes forth from the Father and the Son” “It is not a person walking around on foot, or flying, as a literal being, in any such sense as Christ and the Father are–at least, if it is, it is utterly beyond my comprehension or the meaning of language or words.” (G. I Butler, letter to J. H. Kellogg April 5th 1904)

Apart from sister White’s writings and warnings, we have the threefold warning of A.G. Daniells, W.A. Spicer, recounting Kellogg’s own testimony recollected on the matter, and G.I. Butler, with Kellogg’s summary of the controversy itself.

If the God you worship is the everywhere present Holy Spirit, herein lies the subtlety: you’ve been taken into the controversy. Hence, why we are addressing this quarterly, because the conclusions and arguments are in defense of that very concept that our people once rejected.

Ellen White said after she was laid to rest, great changes would take place. And indeed they would. The last of the pioneers died in the mid-1920’s, and in 1932, an unofficial General Conference publication, a church manual, came out stating the following:

“2. That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of the Eternal Father, a personal, spiritual Being, omnipotent, omnipresent [everywhere present]…”

Above shows that it was God the Father who was everywhere present. This was the same concept that Kellogg was teaching, yet nowhere quite as advanced as the philosophy Kellogg was advocating. Furthermore, we ought to contend for unity as much as possible, even striving for it as the apostle Paul says. For this cause, we may honestly read the above statement in another interpetation, which could suggest that the Father is everywhere present by His Spirit, but not that the God we worship Himself is everywhere present. However, even this, in the 1980 statement becomes difficult to contend for:

“2. Trinity: There is one God:

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation.”

The Holy Spirit is among the three “forever worthy of worship…by the whole creation”; thus the cherubim would worship three upon the throne, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, when in fact it is the Father and Son alone that are to be exalted according to sister White; and are the only two seated upon the throne.

Now, I want to be clear. The fundamental beliefs are framed with much truth, but the details are such as will perpetuate the understanding of an everywhere present God who is worshipped in the seed, worshipped in the tree, worshipped in man, etc.

Ellen White said it would, if received, that it would effect the receiver’s belief regarding God and Christ: “The book Living Temple is an illustration of this work, the writer of which declared in its support that its teachings were the same as those found in the writings of Mrs. White. Again and again we shall be called to meet the influence of men who are studying sciences of satanic origin, through which Satan is working to make a nonentity of God and of Christ.”

Our pioneers said the Trinity did this very thing. J.N. Andrews, who established Andrews University, said it destroys the personality of God, just as Ellen White said Kellogg had practically destroyed the Lord God Himself:

“The doctrine of the Trinity which was established in the church by the council of Nice, A. D. 325. This doctrine destroys the personality of God, and his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. The infamous, measures by which it was forced upon the church which appear upon the pages of ecclesiastical history might well cause every believer in that doctrine to blush.” (J. N. Andrews, March 6, 1855, Review & Herald, vol. 6, no. 24, page 185)

James White also spoke very plainly regarding the Trinity doctrine making a nonentity of God and Christ: “…“for there are certain men,” or a certain class who deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.… The way spiritualizers have disposed of or denied the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ is first using the old unscriptural Trinitarian creed…” (James White, The Day Star, January 24, 1846)

We cite James White last, because Ellen White gave special mention of her husbands mind and writings: ““He(Jame White) received a commendation that few others have attained. God has permitted the precious light of truth to shine upon His word and illuminate the mind of my husband. He may reflect the rays of light from the presence of Jesus upon others by his preaching and writing.” (Testimonies for the Church Volume 3, p. 502)

He said spiritualizers denied the only Lord God, and the Lord Jesus Christ through the Trinity. Ellen White said the very same would be the danger found in the church in the last days.

“Modern spiritualism, resting upon the same foundation, is but a revival in a new form of the witchcraft and demon worship that God condemned and prohibited of old.… Peter, describing the dangers to which the church was to be exposed in the last days, says that as there were false prophets who led Israel into sin, so there will be false teachers, “who privily shallbring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them.… And many shall follow their pernicious ways.” 2 Peter 2:1, 2. Here the apostle has pointed out one of the marked characteristics of spiritualist teachers. They refuse to acknowledge Christ as the Son of God. Concerning such teachers the beloved John declares: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” 1 John 2:22, 23. Spiritualism, by denying Christ, denies both the Father and the Son, and the Bible pronounces it the manifestation of antichrist.” (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 686)

Notice that the church would be exposed to damnable heresies, even the alpha and omega of deadly heresies. The doctrine of antichrist is a denial of the Father and Son, which the pioneers saw in the Trinity doctrine- which also Kellogg believed and bound himself to the doctrine of the god of Babylon [Roman Catholicism], even as Israel who came out of Egypt began to worship it’s gods in the golden calf controversy. But nothing is allowed to stop the omega from bearing full sway to test and try the honest children of God at this time to see who is on the Lord’s side. God is removed by this doctrine, and those who contend for the faith are silenced; and who will lift up their voice in protest?

“Here we might mention the Trinity, which does away the personality of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ, and of sprinkling or pouring instead of being “buried with Christ in baptism,” …but we pass from these fables to notice one that is held sacred by nearly all professed Christians, both Catholic and Protestant. It is, The change of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment from the seventh to the first day of the week.” (James White, December 11, 1855,Review & Herald, vol. 7, no. 11, page 85, par. 16)

James White said very clearly that Ellen White (though there seem to be statements people think are Trinitarian much like many who were blind to Kellogg’s concepts of God), is by no means a Trinitarian:

“We invite all to compare the testimonies of the Holy Spirit through Mrs. W., with the word of God. And in this we do not invite you to compare them with your creed. That is quite another thing. The trinitarian may compare them with his creed, and because they do not agree with it, condemn them. The observer of Sunday, or the man who holds eternal torment an important truth, and the minister that sprinkles infants, may each condemn the testimonies’ of Mrs. W. because they do not agree with their peculiar views. And a hundred more, each holding different views, may come to the same conclusion. But their genuineness can never be tested in this way.” { James White, Review & Herald, June 13, 1871}

Ellen White saw it coming. The present day Adventist movement declares it is “rich and increased with goods, and in need of nothing”, and “knows not that you are poor, blind, miserable, wretched, and naked”. It claims to have advanced into more light than our pioneers had, and thus, have come to embrace the Trinity doctrine again, although the entering of it into the church was not without resistance from zealous leaders of the church.

“In a vision of the night I was shown distinctly that these sentiments have been looked upon by some as the grand truths that are to be brought in and made prominent at the present time. I was shown a platform, braced by solid timbers the truths of the Word of God. Some one high in responsibility in the medical work was directing this man and that man to loosen the timbers supporting this platform. Then I heard a voice saying, ‘Where are the watchmen that ought to be standing on the. walls of Zion? Are they asleep? This foundation was built by the Master Worker, and will stand storm and tempest. Will they permit this man to present doctrines that deny the past experience of the people of God? The time has come to take decided action…Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husband, Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, Elder [Hiram] Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, were among those who, after the passing of time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure.” (Special Testimonies, Series B, No 2, p. 51-59)

In Conclusion, a textbook of Andrews University that speaks of worship and prayer to the Holy Spirit by Jerry Moon, Woodrow Whidden, and John Reeve. The very first council of Constantine, the council of Nice, that J.N. Andrews condemned in the statement above as destroying the personality of God and Christ His Son, was the council they quoted, and show how from this Roman Catholic saints began to implement the worship of the Holy Spirit as one of the Christian justifications for it. “The Cappadocians extended the shared nature of the Father and the Son to include the Holy Spirit, clarifying the vagueness of the Nicene Creed [from the council of Nice which began the acceptance of the Trinity]. In his work On the Holy Spirit, Basil argued for a recognition of the relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as of one substance and of equal rank, and therefore as worthy of worship. It was in the context of worship that Basil made his most effective arguments…” (The Trinity: Understanding God’s Love, His Plan of Salvation, and Christian relationships, p. 148)

“To whom should we direct our petitions and adoration in personal devotions and corporate worship?…But what about direct prayer to the Holy Spirit? While we have no clear example of or direct command to pray to the Spirit in Scripture, doing so does have, in principle, some implicit biblical support. If the Spirit is indeed divine and personal and He interacts in all sorts of direct personal ways…it only seems logical that God’s people can pray directly to and worship the Holy Spirit.” (p. 272-273)

There is no clear example or command in Scripture (although there is a command to pray to the Father in the Son’s name), but let’s do it anyway. Direct prayer to the Holy Spirit, thus the incence of the priesthood does not rise to the Holy of holies to reach the throne of God, but remains in the courtyard, where the sacrifice of Christ was slain- the earth.

And so, Jerry Moon, the author of the Andrews University textbook, and the one leading the march for Trinitarianism from Andrews University to every pulpit in the conference, has rightly concluded this final thing, and we should all take careful heed to it:

“That most of the leading SDA pioneers were non-Trinitarian in their theology has become accepted Adventist history, … More recently, a further question has arisen with increasing urgency: was the pioneers’ belief about the Godhead right or wrong? As one line of reasoning goes, either the pioneers were wrong and the present church is right, or the pioneers were right and the present Seventh-day Adventist Church has apostatized from biblical truth.” (Jerry Moon, The Trinity, Chapter, Trinity and antitrinitarianism in Seventh-day Adventist history, p. 190)

“The spiritualistic theories regarding the personality of God, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian economy… They make of no effect the truth of heavenly origin, and rob the people of God of their past experience, giving them instead a false science…
The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.
Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth?
I hesitated and delayed about the sending out of that which the Spirit of the Lord impelled me to write. I did not want to be compelled to present the misleading influence of these sophistries. But in the providence of God, the errors that have been coming in must be met.” (Selected Messages 1, p. 204-205)




The Doctrine of Balaam

There is something in the Scripture called “the doctrine of Balaam”. This doctrine is a poisonous article that will convert the church into Babylon. We will look at what this doctrine is, how it is a snare to the people of God, and how God leads His people out of this doctrine, and promises (even delights to confer) His blessing upon them.

SEPARATION FROM BABYLON

The pioneers of Adventism, having prided themselves on the heritage of the Protestant reformation, understood what it meant to separate from Babylon, which is understood to be first and foremost the “mother of harlots”, the mother apostate church, the church of Rome.
jameswhite
“As fundamental errors, we might class with this counterfeit sabbath other errors which Protestants have brought away from the Catholic church, such as sprinkling for baptism, the trinity, the consciousness of the dead and eternal life in misery. The mass who have held these fundamental errors, have doubtless done it ignorantly; but can it be supposed that the church of Christ will carry along with her these errors till the judgment scenes burst upon the world? We think not… And as the true light shines out upon these subjects, and is rejected by the mass, then condemnation will come upon them. … Solemn dreadful, swiftly-approaching hour!” (J. S. White, Review & Herald, September 12, 1854)

Merritt E. Cornell“Protestants and Catholics are so nearly united in sentiment, that it is not difficult to conceive how Protestants may make an image to the Beast. The mass of Protestants believe with Catholics in the Trinity, immortality of the soul, consciousness of the dead, rewards and punishments at death, the endless torture of the wicked, inheritance of the saints beyond the skies, sprinkling for baptism, and the pagan Sunday for the Sabbath; all of which is contrary to the spirit and letter of the new testament. Surely there is between the mother and daughters, a striking family resemblance.” (1858 Merritt E. cornell, FT 76.1)

“The cause of the fall of Babylon is thus stated: “she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her j.n. andrewsfornication.” Her fornication was her unlawful union with the kings of the earth. The wine of this, is that with which the church has intoxicated the nations of the earth. There is but one thing that this can refer to, viz., false doctrine. This harlot, in consequence of her unlawful union with the powers of earth, has corrupted the pure truths of the Bible, and with the wine of her false doctrine, has intoxicated the nations. A few instances of her corruption of the truths of the Bible must suffice…The doctrine of the Trinity which was established in the church by the council of Nice, a. d. 325. This doctrine destroys the personality of God, and his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. The infamous measures by which it was forced upon the church, which appear upon the pages of ecclesiastical history might well cause every believer in that doctrine to blush.- (1855, TAR J.N. Andrews)

200px-Roswell_F._Cottrell“But to hold the doctrine of the Trinity is not so much an evidence of evil intention as of intoxication from that wine of which all the nations have drunk. The fact that this was one of the leading doctrines, if not the very chief, upon which the bishop of Rome was exalted to popedom, does not say much in its favor…” (R. F. Cottrell, July 6, 1869, Review & Herald)

“The “mystery of iniquity” began to work in the church in Paul’s day. It finally crowded out the simplicity of the gospel, and corrupted the doctrine of Christ, and the church went into the wilderness. Martin Luther, and other reformers, arose in the strength of God, and with the Word and Spirit, made mighty strides in the Reformation. The greatest fault we can find in the Reformation is, the Reformers stopped reforming. Had they gone on, and onward, till they had left the last vestige of Papacy behind, such as natural immortality, sprinkling, the trinity, and Sunday-keeping, the church would now be free from her unscriptural errors.” (Feb. 7, 1856 JWe, ARSH 148.22)

It’s evident that the pioneers were unanimous on many points regarding that mother of harlots, but they were chiefly unanimous on this point: the trinity was of Babylonian origin. What do they mean by these things? They mean exactly what the great harlot has taught: “The mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic Faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the church” Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p. 11

And why is she the great harlot? Jeremian 3:1 “…thou hast played the harlot with many lovers;… thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness… thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.

It is for this cause (that is the worship of another god), that she has the very name “Mystery” upon her forehead. This fornication was doubtless the chief sin of the church. For by it, the Christians which were to be a blessed people, from the same “God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” (Eph. 1:3), would turn away the blessing of God. To better explain this and why it is important, we are going to examine the blessing God bestows upon His faithful people, and also how the ¨doctrine of Balaam¨undermines that special blessing He longs to give us.

THE BLESSING & THE DOCTRINE OF BALAAM

The blessing upon the Christians was the blessing of Abraham’s seed. Therefore, the blessing conferred upon ancient Israel was the very same blessing. The experiences of the former are written for us:
(1Cor. 10:11) “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”

All things that happened were examples, especially for those in the last days. We ought to understand the examples that Scripture outlines for us to understand, that we might take heed to the admonition spoken of in them, and to at least briefly understand the blessing God gave to them.

It is evident that you cannot curse what God has blessed, for even so, did the prophet Balaam teach Balak, who sought for Balaam to curse Israel.

Numbers 22:12 “And God said unto Balaam…thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.

Now that blessing was dependent upon obedience: “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” (Gen. 22:12)

Numbers 23:19-20 “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.

This testifies of the faithfulness of God to keep His Word. This fact we are called to remember, and for good cause. Micah 6:5 “O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD.

We are told to remember this point, that we may know the righteousness of God. And what is the righteousness of God?

Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith…”

So what is this righteousness of God? It is the gospel of Christ! So it was with the blessing of Israel.

THE BLESSING OF ABIDING IN HIS LOVE

Deuteronomy 23:5 “Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.

Why did God turn the blessing into a curse? Because he loved Israel, the people He had blessed with the gospel. ItOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth! But not all the Israelites believed. The Scriptures declare:

Hebrews 4:2 “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

It says the ancient Israelites did not believe the gospel, and His righteousness. Therefore they did not have the power of God. They did not believe in the message of God’s blessing, and therefore did not comprehend His love toward them. Therefore they turned aside in their unbelief from the blessing. Why did God declare His power to bless them in His love? He says it is because He loved them, and this is true. Yet, the Word declares that this special manifestation of His love can be reversed. We will look at what it means when the Scripture declares His love to you, and how the Israelites turned aside in unbelief, that we might heed the admonition.

John 15:10 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”

John 14:21-23 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him….If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

Abiding in the love of God is to abide in His blessing through obedience to His Word. It is to receive streams of continual blessing, so much so that curses God will turn to blessing to the child that loves Him with their whole heart. But Balaam, in showing that the blessing of God rested upon Israel, “taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” How did Israel stumble because of Balaam’s teaching Balac? The ancient Israelites stumbled by being seduced into the worship of false gods with the Moabite women, and were defiled with their abominations. They ceased to abide in the love of the true God, and cursing and the plague broke out upon them.

THE ADMONITION OF THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH

This same scenario happened in the early Christian church because the admonition of the doctrine of Balaam, which is turning aside from God and His love for the worship of false gods, was given but not heeded:

Revelation 2:14 “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”

This was the sad record left upon the pages of history in the early Christian church when apostasy came in. The church of this era in the prophetic history was converted into Babylon. The pioneers recognized this fornication of the Babylonian harlot, and would not give credence to the Trinity for a moment, understanding the great blessing that was removed from the Christians as a result. Now, as it was then, even so it is now.

CONVERTING THE CHURCH INTO BABYLON

Abiding in the love is to abide in the blessing of God. This can only be done through obedience to the will of God, and through the keeping of His Word. There is no other way. The pioneers were clear of that great sin of the Babylonish harlot. In 1936, a letter from B.G. Wilkinson read:

“Replying to your letter of October 13 regarding the doctrine of the Trinity, I will say that Seventh-day Adventists do not and never have accepted the dark, mysterious Catholic doctrine of the Trinity.” (B.G. Wilkinson, letter to T. S. Teters, November 3rd 1936)

We were admonished by sister White regarding these points of tearing down the landmarks, which included the understanding of God, placing it on equality with the doctrine of the heavenly Sanctuary and those things regarding that:

pillars-of-our-faith-640x360“Let not any man enter upon the work of tearing down the foundations of the truth that have made us what we are..Those who seek to remove the old landmarks are not holding fast; they are not remembering how they have received and heard. Those who try to bring in theories that would remove the pillars of our faith concerning the sanctuary or concerning the personality of God or of Christ, are working as blind men. They are seeking to bring in uncertainties and to set the people of God adrift without an anchor.” (Ellen G. White to the delegates at the 1905 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Takoma Park, Washington D. C., May 24th 1905, “A Warning against False Theories,” MR 760)

She said plainly that to remove the pillars of our faith, “that have made us what we are”, concerning the personality of God or of Christ are working as blind men.The-blind-leader-300x190-charcoal-on-canvas

What truths have made us what we are? Those that brought about a great separation from the sins and errors of Babylon.

“Seventh-day Adventists have been chosen by God as a peculiar people, separate from the world. By the great cleaver of truth He has cut them out from the quarry of the world and brought them into connection with Himself. He has made them His representatives and has called them to be ambassadors for Him in the last work of salvation. The greatest wealth of truth ever entrusted to mortals, the most solemn and fearful warnings ever sent by God to man, have been committed to them to be given to the world; and in the accomplishment of this work our publishing houses are among the most effective agencies.” (Testimonies for the Church Vol. 7, P. 138)

That great cleaver of truth separated us from the Babylonian trinity, declaring a great pillar of our faith to be the personality of God and Christ. “The way spiritualizers have disposed of or denied the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ is first using the old unscriptural Trinitarian creed…” (James White, January 24, 1846, The Day Star)

He was quoting Jude: (Jude 1:4) “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

What was Jude’s remedy for this? It was “to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.”

Now, if inducing to trinity worship is “the doctrine of Balaam” to turn the blessing of God into a curse, then Seventh day Adventists were right in contending for the faith delivered to them from God on this point, which was what some men God raised up would do. However, after a great struggle for many years on both sides regarding the matter, it was declared by the conference president in 1980 that the General Conference officially embraced the doctrine of the Trinity, which was a complete departure from the understanding of the pioneers. It was nothing less than backsliding, and apostasy: a denial of God and Christ.

Now seeing that to deny that faith would be a denial of God, and of Christ, let us see what this denial is termed as. (1 John 2:22-23) “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” A denial of this would be antichrist. A denial of this is Babylon.

“The winbabylon-revelatione of Babylon is the exalting of the false and spurious sabbath above the Sabbath … also the immortality of the soul. These KINDRED HERESIES, and the REJECTION OF THE TRUTH, CONVERT THE CHURCH INTO BABYLON….” (2Selected Messages p. 68}

“We are not to think that the chosen ones of God who are trying to walk in the light compose Babylon. The fallen denominational churches are Babylon. Babylon has been fostering poisonous doctrines, the wine of error. This wine of error is made up of false doctrines, such as the natural immortality of the soul, the eternal torment of the wicked, the denial of the pre-existence of Christ (the Son of the living God- which the Trinity does) prior to His birth in Bethlehem, and advocating and exalting the first day of the week above God’s holy and sanctified day. These and kindred errors are presented to the world by the various churches, and thus the Scriptures are fulfilled that say, ‘For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” (Testimonies to Ministers pg. 61-62)

J.S. Washburn, in 1939, writing regarding the growing agitation on the Trinity matter, spoke forthright against the matter in a letter sent to all the conferences:

Seventh-day Adventists claim to take the word of God as supreme authority and to have “come out of Babylon”, to have renounced forever the vain traditions of Rome. If we should go back to the immortality of the soul, purgatory, eternal torment and the Sunday Sabbath, would that be anything less than apostasy? If, however, we leap over all these minor, secondary doctrines and accept and teach the very central root, doctrine of Romanism, the Trinity…is this anything else or anything less than apostasy, and the very Omega of apostasy?…’ J.S. Washburn letter, 1939

Then if this is the case, then the General Conference is in apostasy. To drink from the very cup of intoxication, to worship the god of Babylon “the very central root, doctrine of Romanism”, would be to fall into the same sin as the doctrine of Balaam brought about. The mother of harlots and her daughters have induced this apostasy, as the Moabite women of old. Balaam, who held a high spiritual trust, was the one who was foremost the agitator in this apostasy with the Moabite women. Even so, by the General Conference leaders, Christ is shut out from the view of the people, and is denied entrance. Those who have denied Him are “working as blind men“, as sister White said. What is the result? The blessing is turned into a curse. Even so it is described in the Laodicean church:

Revelation 3:15-20 “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: …As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

God loves those who keep His word, and His blessing is especially with them. Therefore those who keep His Word will see the evidence of this apostasy, because He will reveal it to them that they may take their stand with Christ, and making their confession of Him in the sight of men. Thus shall they return to the faith once delivered to the saints, who abide in the blessing of the love of God.

Here is the promise given to those that keep His way of blessing:

Rev 3:8-9 “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews (Adventists- see the following quote), and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

“You think, that those who worship before the saints’ feet (Revelation 3:9), will at last be saved. Here I must differ with you; for God shew me that this class were professed Adventists (“say they are Jews, and are not”), who had fallen away, and “crucified to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” And in the “hour of temptation,” which is yet to come, to show out every one’s true character, they will know that they are forever lost; and overwhelmed with anguish of spirit, they will bow at the saints’ feet.” (EGW, Letter 2, 1847, p. 2)

It is clear that one class does not deny the name of Christ but kept the Word of God abiding in the love of God. Yet the other class deny Christ, and are liars (they “do lie”). Yet both classes profess to be Adventist.

“I saw that God has honest children among the nominal (name-only/professed) Adventists and the fallen churches, and before the plagues shall be poured out, ministers and people will be called out from these churches and will gladly receive the truth. Satan knows this; and before the loud cry of the third angel is given, he raises an excitement in these religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth may think that God is with them. He hopes to deceive the honest and lead them to think that God is still working for the churches. But the light will shine, and all who are honest will leave the fallen churches, and take their stand with the remnant.” (Early Writings, p. 261).

And who are the remnant? If the nominal and fallen churches are those that have rejected the truth, and must receive the truth, it is evident that they must receive the truth. Therefore, the remnant are they who have not denied the name of Christ, and have kept the Word of God: the Israelites who have the blessing upon them.

Revelation 18:1-4 “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

Come out of her my people

“Come out of her My people.”




EGW Endorsement of the 1895 Armadale Latter Rain Message

Ellen White Descriptions
A. October 19, 1895 (Letter w-82, 1895 to son Edson, unreleased)
“In the evening Prof. Prescott gave a most powerful discourse, instruction precious as gold. The tent was full, and many were standing outside. All seemed to be fascinated with the Word of God as the speaker presented the truth in new lines, separating the truth from the companionship of error, and by the divine influence of the Spirit of God making it to shine like precious jewels….
God has given brother Prescott a special message for the people. The truth comes forth from human lips in the demonstration of the Spirit and power…. We are hoping and praying for an outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the people. We think that the best class of people are attending the meetings. The interest awakened exceeds anything we have yet had here in camp-meetings. The great object of the speakers is to sweep away the refuge of lies, by exalting Jesus higher and yet higher. We are doing our best to lead the people to look upon the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world….
Seldom can I give myself the pleasure of listening to discourses from our ministering brethren, but Sabbath forenoon I attended the meeting and heard Prof. Prescott preach. I know that since coming to this place he has had the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, his lips have been touched with a coal from off the altar. We know and can distinguish the voice of the shepherd. The truth has been poured forth from the lips of the servant of God as the people had never heard it before; unbelievers turn pale and say, “that man is inspired.” The people do not stroll about the grounds, but go immediately into the tent and listen as if spellbound.

B. October 22, 1895 (Letter 84, 1895 to son Edson, unreleased)
“The Lord has given Brother Prescott a message for the people, which is highly appreciated. His mind is fruitful in the truth, and the power and the grace of God are upon him. We feel that we are highly favored in having his services at this camp meeting. I long to attend every meeting.”

C. November 6, 1895 (Letter 25, 1895 to S. N. Haskell, unreleased)
“We are at this time in our camp-meeting having a feast of precious things. The word is presented in a most powerful manner. The Holy Spirit has been poured out upon Brother Prescott in a great measure…. Brother Prescott has been bearing the burning words of truth such as I have heard from some in 1844. The inspiration of the Spirit of God has been upon him. Unbelievers say, “These are the words of God. I never heard such things before.”
We have had the truth presented in clear lines. Bro. Prescott has never had such power in preaching the truth as he has had since coming to this meeting. The unbelievers sit with their eyes riveted on him in amazement, as the truth comes forth from his lips, vitalized by the Spirit of God. When I consider the responsibility resting upon all who hear this heaven sent message, I tremble at the word of the Lord. Who will receive the message sent to them?”

D. November 6, 1895 (MS 19, 1895, unreleased, emphasis supplied)
“I have just been listening to a discourse given by Professor Prescott. It was a most powerful appeal to the people. Those not of our faith seemed deeply interested. They say, “there is no life in our churches, everything is so cold and dry; we are starving for the bread of life.” The people are of the very best class of society, of all ages; noble looking men of white hair, sit and listen as for their life. Some men who are superintendents of Sunday Schools, are as eager to get the discourses as they see our reporters taking notes in shorthand. They say, “I do not want to lose one idea.” All the words, they say, are precious…. All say, “never did we have the privilege of hearing the Bible made so plain and brought to that simplicity in explanation, that we can not help but understand it ….”
Maggie Hare is reporting Professor Prescott’s discourses and my talks, for publication. Professor Prescott’s sermons will never seem the same, I fear, as when given by the living preacher:  for the words are spoken in the demonstration of the Spirit, and with power, his face all aglow with the sunshine of heaven…. I think I may safely say I have never in my experience seen so large a number attending meetings not of our faith who are so hungry for the truth.”

E. November 7, 1895 (Letter 51, 1895 to Bro McCullagh, unreleased)
“In the evening Elder Prescott preached. The tent was full, and scores, it is reported, could not get under the canvas and went away…. We have seen the power of God in human vessels as they have presented the truth at these meetings … the Lord is in our midst.”

F. November 17, 1895 (Letter 113, 1895 to J. H. Kellogg)
“I have been privileged to witness the past five weeks that which has given me much joy to see a people eager, hungry, and earnest to hear the Word of God presented in clear and new light. The Word of God has been presented in demonstration of the Spirit and with power. The Lord has sent Professor Prescott to us not an empty vessel, but a vessel full of heavenly treasure that he can give to every man his portion of meat in due season. This the people of God everywhere want….
As they see Maggie Hare taking the precious truths in shorthand, they act like a flock of half-starved sheep, and they beg for a copy. They want to read and study every point presented. Souls are being taught of God. Brother Prescott has presented truth in clear and simple style, yet rich in nourishment….
We have heard many in different localities where our camp meetings have been held, express themselves as very much surprised that we do believe in Jesus Christ, that we believe in His divinity. They say, “I have been told that this people do not preach Christ, but I have never attended meetings where Christ was more manifestly taught and exalted than in the sermons and in every line of work at these meetings.” How can Seventh-day Adventists preach any other doctrine?”

G. November 18, 1895 (Letter 83, 1895 to Edson White, emphasis supplied)
“The Lord has visited Brother Prescott in a most remarkable manner and given to him the Holy Spirit to give to this people…. Those who are not in the truth say, “That man speaks from the inspiration of the Spirit of God.” We are sure that the Lord has endowed him with His Holy Spirit and the truth is being poured forth from his lips in rich currents. The truth has been listened to by preachers and by people not of our faith. After the meeting they beg of Brother Prescott to give them a copy of these discourses….
Brother Prescott has spoken many times and those not of our faith have felt deeply and expressed themselves that he was speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit of God.
The people in the suburbs of Melbourne are calling, “Set up your tents in our locality and let the people hear the things that you have preached in Armadale. We all need the words that you have spoken to us here.”…
Abundant evidence has been given that the Holy Spirit of God has spoken to men through human agencies…. Large numbers testify that they have never heard the Word administered with such power and in the manifest demonstration of the Spirit as at this meeting. God has said in the heavenly courts to His heavenly intelligences, “Let there be spiritual light to shine amid the moral darkness of accumulated error and fables, and reveal truth.” The Messenger of the covenant has come, as the Sun of Righteousness to arise and shine forth upon the eager listeners. His preexistence, His coming the second time in glory and power, His personal dignity, His holy law uplifted, are the themes that have been dwelt upon with simplicity and power.”

H. November 21, 1895 (RH 01-07-1896 article “The Australian Camp-Meeting”)
“Our third Australian camp-meeting was held in Armadale, a populous suburb of Melbourne, about three miles southeast from the center of the city. During the early part of the year our brethren had planned for the meeting to be held in Ballarat, a city of thirty thousand people, about ninety miles north from Melbourne. There is a faithful little church there that needed strengthening, and as the Australian Conference is in debt, it seemed desirable to hold the meeting where it would be less expensive than in Melbourne.
But the Lord has been giving me light about the work to be done in our large cities. The people in the cities are to be warned, and the message should go to them now. The time will come when we cannot work so freely in the large cities; but now, the people will listen to the message, and this is our time to work most earnestly for the people in the centers of population. Many will hear and obey, and carry the message to others.
The interest which began to be awakened by the camp-meeting held two years ago in Brighton, should be carried forward by a camp-meeting in some part of Melbourne each year. When our brethren took these things into consideration, they decided that the meeting should be held in Melbourne, and in their search for a ground were led to locate in Armadale. The first plan was to locate the meeting at Northcote, where it would be convenient for our brethren and sisters. But the Lord hedged up the way at Northcote, and led them to a locality convenient to densely populated suburbs where the message had never been given.
During the meeting we have had abundant evidence that the Lord has been guiding both in the location and in the work of the meeting. A new field has been opened, and an encouraging field it appears to be. The people did not swarm upon the ground from curiosity, as at our first meeting in Brighton, and as at Ashfield last year. The majority came straight to the large meeting tent, where they listened intently to the word; and when meeting was over, they quietly returned to their homes, or gathered in groups to ask questions or discuss what they had heard.
The interest steadily increased from the beginning of the meeting. The evening discourses, given by Elders Prescott, Corliss, and Daniells, all presented the truth as it is in Jesus Christ. Hardly a discourse was given during the whole meeting that could be called a doctrinal sermon. In every sermon Christ was preached, and as the great and mysterious truths regarding his presence and work in the hearts of men were made clear and plain, the truths regarding his second coming, his relation to the Sabbath, his work as Creator, and his relation to man as the source of life, appeared in a glorious and convincing light that sent conviction to many hearts. With solemnity the people said, “We have listened to truth tonight.”
A Bible study was usually given at three o’clock each afternoon. These studies followed the same lines as the evening discourses, and they were regularly attended by scores besides those living on the camp-ground. The forenoons were mostly occupied by meetings of the Australian and Union Conferences, the tract society, the Sabbath-school association, and the publishing and school interests.
The early morning hour, before breakfast, was set apart and generally observed as a silent hour for individual study and prayer. Occasionally, a general meeting was held at this hour. We have found blessing in setting apart a season when every soul could feel that there was time to pray and to study the word of God without interruption. The half-past eight morning hour was devoted alternately to district prayer-meetings and general social meetings. Although quite feeble during most of the meeting, the Lord has strengthened me to bear my testimony here. During the three weeks of the meeting I have usually spoken Sabbath, Sunday, and Wednesday afternoons, besides short talks in the morning meetings.
Sabbath morning, Oct. 19, Elder Corliss gave valuable instruction to our people. In the afternoon, I spoke from the fourth chapter of John, dwelling upon the conversation of Christ with the woman of Samaria, in which he said, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” A testimony meeting followed, in which praise and glory were given to God for his unspeakable goodness and matchless love to fallen man in giving Jesus, his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. All seemed to have a desire to lift up Jesus higher and still higher. Some outsiders took part, one minister testifying that the blessing of God was in the meeting, and that it was good to be there. We felt much pleased to see so large an attendance, and were impressed with the fact that more than half were persons we had never met in general meeting before.
Sunday morning, Elder Wilson, from New Zealand, gave a most profitable, although plain and simple, discourse. It was beautiful in its simplicity. The simpler the teaching, the more the under shepherd represents the Chief Shepherd. In the afternoon the tent was full to overflowing. Quite a number stood on the outside, and all listened with deep interest, and the Lord strengthened me as I bore a plain testimony to the people, dwelling especially upon our obligation to acknowledge God in all our ways, and to seek more and more to obtain a knowledge of God, as presented in Christ’s prayer in the seventeenth chapter of John.
In the evening Professor Prescott gave a most valuable lesson, precious as gold. The tent was full, and many stood outside. All seemed to be fascinated with the word, as he presented the truth in lines so new to those not of our faith. Truth was separated from error, and made, by the divine Spirit, to shine like precious jewels. It was shown that perfect obedience to all the commandments of God is essential for the salvation of souls. Obedience to the laws of God’s kingdom reveals the divine in the human, sanctifying the character.
In visiting the people with the Echoes, and inviting them to the meetings, one of the workers met a woman who had been keeping the Sabbath for about twelve months. She had never heard the living preacher, but in studying the Bible she was convicted that she was keeping the wrong day, that the seventh day was the true Bible Sabbath. She is now attending the meetings, and feasting upon the truth. There are many interesting cases developing, that are just on the point of taking their stand.
The Lord is working in power through his servants who are proclaiming the truth, and he has given brother Prescott a special message for the people. The truth comes from human lips in demonstration of the Spirit and power of God.
The meetings have been well attended by the people of Armadale and Malvern, both afternoons and evenings, and on Sundays and Wednesdays large numbers have come from the distant suburbs. The people say: “You cannot appreciate the change of feeling about your meeting and work. It has been commonly reported that you do not believe in Christ. But we have never heard Christ preached as at these meetings.” “There is no life in our churches. Everything is cold and dry. We are starving for the Bread of Life. We come to this camp-meeting because there is food here.” As they see our stenographers reporting the discourses, they plead that they be printed soon, and placed within their reach. One who is a Sunday-school teacher, took copious notes of Elder Prescott’s discourse on “God and Caesar,” and then made copies for two ministers who were interested in the subject.
On every side we hear discussion of the subjects presented at the campmeeting. One day as Elder Corliss stepped out of a train, the guard [conductor] stopped him with the request that he explain Col. 2:16. They stopped, and as the crowd rushed by, the explanation was given, and from Lev. 23:37, 38 it was shown that there were sabbaths besides the Sabbath of the Lord. Earnest requests have been sent in that some of the addresses be given in the Melbourne town hall. [Note: This was asked because Prescott declared what was nailed to the cross is our sins as declared in Colossians 2:14, which the early church also affirms]
As two gentlemen were coming to a Sabbath afternoon service, one remarked to the other, “These are a strange people. All we shall hear will be Moses and Sinai. After the meeting, he came to Elder Daniells, and expressed very great surprise at what he had heard. He told him what they had said, and added that he could hardly believe his ears. He had heard nothing but the plain gospel. Another man who had been considerably opposed to the work was prevailed upon to attend one of the meetings, and has since told a friend that it will be a distinct loss to the spiritual interests of the community when the Adventists go away; for Christ has been indeed exalted in these meetings.
A former Wesleyan local preacher’s family are all interested, and thoroughly convinced of the truth. Even the children ask why they should “keep the pope’s Sunday when they know it is not the true Sabbath.” A lady who lives some distance away has been reading the Echo, and came here expressly to attend some of the meetings. In the very first one she attended, Professor Prescott made a call for those who would follow the Lord to stand. She arose, and has since been baptized. A widow who has been attending most of the meetings has now kept three Sabbaths. One lady who was much prejudiced finally came to the meeting to satisfy her children, but just as soon as the service was over, she rushed out of the tent, not wishing to speak to any one. However, she came again, and it happened that the subject was “Sunday in the New Testament;” the choir followed with, “I Will Follow Thee, My Saviour,” and she says she could not get that song out of her mind; it rang in her ears continually. She is now earnestly seeking for truth.
Camp-meetings are a success in arresting the attention of the people. Many who attended the Brighton meeting two years ago have been present at the Armadale meeting. They went through that meeting without deciding to obey the truth, but are manifesting a greater interest here, and some have taken their position now in obedience to the truth. Twenty were baptized, Sunday, Nov. 10. Melbourne, Nov. 21