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Issue No. 1

Issue No. 1 The Vo ice of Truth in Per ilous T imes Marshall Grosboll Robert
Issue No. 1 The Vo ice of Truth in Per ilous T imes Marshall Grosboll Robert

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Issue No. 1 The Vo ice of Truth in Per ilous T imes Marshall Grosboll Robert
Issue No. 1 The Vo ice of Truth in Per ilous T imes Marshall Grosboll Robert

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Issue No. 1 The Vo ice of Truth in Per ilous T imes Marshall Grosboll Robert

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Issue No. 1 The Vo ice of Truth in Per ilous T imes Marshall Grosboll Robert
Issue No. 1 The Vo ice of Truth in Per ilous T imes Marshall Grosboll Robert

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Issue No. 1 The Vo ice of Truth in Per ilous T imes Marshall Grosboll Robert
Issue No. 1 The Vo ice of Truth in Per ilous T imes Marshall Grosboll Robert

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Issue No. 1 The Vo ice of Truth in Per ilous T imes Marshall Grosboll Robert

Marshall Grosboll

1 The Vo ice of Truth in Per ilous T imes Marshall Grosboll Robert Pierson Ralph

Robert Pierson

Truth in Per ilous T imes Marshall Grosboll Robert Pierson Ralph Larson Russell Standish This Premier

Ralph Larson

ilous T imes Marshall Grosboll Robert Pierson Ralph Larson Russell Standish This Premier Issue commemorates Five

Russell Standish

This Premier Issue

commemorates

Five Warriors

“Willing to be Made Willing”

Ellen G. White
Ellen G. White

Immutable Law of God

Righteousness by Faith

Seventh-day Sabbath

Victory over Sin

Sanctuary Types and Antitypes

Three Angels’ Messages

Health Reform

Christ’s Fallen Human Nature

Non-Immortality of the Soul

Ellen White - Gift of Prophecy

Table of Contents

SECOND ADVENT — H E r A l D — www.SecondAdventHerald.org office@SecondAdventHerald.org Board of Directors
SECOND ADVENT
H E r A l D
www.SecondAdventHerald.org
office@SecondAdventHerald.org
Board of Directors
Ron Spear, Jean Handwerk, Paul Williams
Magazine Staff
Executive Editor: Ron Spear
ron@secondadventherald.org
Managing Editor: Jean Handwerk
editor@secondadventherald.org
Secretary: Joyce Brown
Layout/Design: Paul Williams
Newsletter: Corla Rankin
SECONDADVENT Herald features present-
truth articles concerning historic Seventh-
day Adventist prophetic understandings and
doctrinal beliefs, current issues and events of
consequence to Adventism, religious liberty
issues, Seventh-day Adventist history, and
health. Our website has more information,
and soon will have additional articles that
are too long for the magazine, but will be of
interest to many.
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SAH Issue No. 1 – In this issue:

Willing to be Made Willing

6

Ellen G. White If we are willing, God will accomplish a work in and through us.

The Spirit of the Antichrist

8

Marshall Grosboll As the Son of man, Christ inherited the only human nature possible at that time: the fallen one.

The Seal of the Living God:

The Theme of Scripture

14

Russell Standish The Seal of God is repeatedly offered to us, but we have to make an effort to receive it.

Keep Holy the Sabbath

Ellen G. White God calls for a reform in Sabbath observance.

Ahimaaz Runs Again

19

23

Ralph Larson When the Scriptures are faithfully and fearlessly taught, churches grow.

The Omega of Apostasy

28

Robert H. Pierson Specific warnings have been given us. Eternal vigilance is imperative now.

GMOs: Genetically Modified Food

Jean Handwerk Harmful foods are on market shelves, and the safety of our food supply is in jeopardy.

29

Dedication

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Cover & Page 3 – Photo Copyright: iStockPhoto.com

T his inaugural issue of SECOND ADVENT Herald is

a special issue dedicated to five fallen warriors: Dr.

Russell Standish, Dr. Ralph Larson, Dr. Marshall

Grosboll, Elder Robert Pierson, and, of course, Ellen

White. Their loss to God’s work cannot be measured. They were truly warriors for the Lord Jesus Christ in this final generation. Russell Standish was a medical doctor of the highest honor England can offer in medicine. He spent over twenty years in mission service in the Far East before he returned to Australia to start his ministries Remnant Herald and Highwood Missionary College and Health Center. He coauthored over sixty books with his twin brother Colin, and several of his own. Robert Pierson and I met in Africa back in the 50s. He spent a great portion of his life in the mission field – in Jamaica and India, as well as in Africa. He also served in America as president of the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference and then as president of the General Conference. He was the most godly of all our presidents since the turn of the century, and a very dear friend of mine until his untimely death. Ralph Larson was a theologian on the right side of the doctrines and issues of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. His books—The Word Was Made Flesh, Tell of His Power, and Preach the Word—and his many articles for lay and leadership publications stirred the hearts of every reader. He was a gifted writer and evangelist and pastor.

Marshall Grosboll came into my life in 1986 and became a close associate with me in travel and preaching around the world. After pastoring for many years, he began the ministry Steps to Life. His tragic death with his family in July 1991 was a tremendous loss to the cause of God. Most readers will be very familiar with Ellen G. White and the inspired writings from her prolific pen that have guided God’s remnant church through the mounting challenges of these last days. These men were in harmony with what Ellen White wrote and with whatever God spoke through his messengers in His Word. We were very closely allied to each other in our ministries. We prayed together, preached together, and walked many miles together. I remember them as men with great discipline, wonderful minds, and strong dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the finishing of His work. Soon the resurrection will renew great friendships. “In the face radiant with the light shining from the face of Jesus, we shall recognize the lineaments of those we love.” DA 804. Finally, I must give full credit to our Creator for the initiation of this magazine, which has led to these pages full of present truth.

Ron Spear

Executive Editor

Editorial

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A Letter to the Remnant

D ear F riends,

As this magazine comes into your homes for the first time, we pray you’ll give it careful and prayerful consid- eration. In fact, it may mean the difference between your eternal life and your eternal death. God has helped us de- sign Second Advent Herald to aid the saints in making the preparation that is so necessary for this final crisis. Let us remember that the only thing we take out of this world is our character. The only way that God can be 100% sure that we will never start another revolution is that we have the sweet spirit of Jesus in our hearts and minds. With the Holy Spirit’s help we will be perfect overcomers, with a glorious eternity before us. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Rev 3:21. “Jesus died to make a way of escape for us, that we might overcome every evil temper, every sin, every temp- tation, and sit down at last with Him.” 1T 144. This maga- zine invites you to be a perfect overcomer by the power of the Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus. Friends, this magazine has been established to uplift the wonderful story of salvation, and to impress upon us all the requirements that God demands of us if we would have eternal life. Faithfulness to our mission also demands that when certain events occur or actions are taken, we exam- ine them in the light of eternity. Thus we’re compelled to ask: Could it be that our church has done exactly what the apostate Jewish church did? Both the Spirit of Prophecy and Scripture contain a lot of evidence that supports that question. Let’s turn to some of those inspired statements:

In Testimonies to the Church, volume 5, we read thirteen times that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is following in the very footsteps of the Jewish church. You can look very carefully at pages 75-6, 94, 160 and 217. Along with that, let us observe a very strong statement given by our prophet Ellen White: “I saw that many who profess to be- lieve the truth for these last days think it strange that the children of Israel murmured as they journeyed; that after the wonderful dealings of God with them, they should be so ungrateful as to forget what He had done for them. Said the angel: ‘Ye have done worse than they.’ I saw that God has given His servants the truth so clear, so plain, that it cannot be resisted…. This great blessing has not been prized, or even realized….” 1T 128-9.

Ron Spear

We would do well to review some of the Scriptures that refer to the apostasy of the Old Testament Jewish church. Please study Isaiah 1:1-9 and 30:9-11. In Micah 9-12 are yet more verses describing Israel’s rebellion. We turn to the New Testament to find to our dismay the horrible reality of apostasy existing in the church in the times of Christ--to the extent that Jesus said to the “scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites,” that “generation of vipers,” “Your house is left unto you desolate.” Mat 23:13-38. So if we have followed in the path of the Jewish church and are told we have done even worse, how do we compare the Jewish church to the Seventh-day Adven- tist church? Let us remember that the Jews crucified the Lord Jesus. Could it be, dear ones, that we also are guilty of that crucifixion? In this first issue, I pray the article by Elder Robert Pierson on the omega of apostasy will be carefully, carefully examined. And then the question arises, “What are the require- ments for the salvation of God’s faithful people?” Could it be that we have been preaching the wrong gospel to our people? Saved while sinning? When Jesus came to this world, according to Matthew 1:21, He came to save us from sin, not in sin. If he came to save us in sin, the great con- troversy would never end. But He made a provision so that we could overcome all sin— so that sin would never have dominion over us again. How can God be absolutely sure of this? Only by our characters. I refer back to some of the statements God has given to our prophet Ellen White, in order that we might be alarmed at our lethargy and indifference—at our Laodicean condi- tion which is made very clear in Revelation 3:14-21. How can God’s people be wretched, miserable, blind, poor, and naked—and not know it? It’s because of our spiritual blind- ness! If we aren’t even aware of this terrible blindness that is destroying the Seventh-day Adventist message, how can we cure it? We are told to buy of Jesus gold tried in the fire. That refers not only to the faith of Jesus, but the love of Jesus. How do we get such love? And how do we understand such faith? By study in the Word. 2 Tim 2:15. There’s only one way to heaven, dear friends, and that’s total surrender of every thought, word and action to Christ, who died to save the human family. “Even one wrong trait of character, one sinful desire, persistently cherished, will

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eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel.” SC 34. As you peruse these pages of Second Advent Herald, there’s one thing we want you to remember: Christ died to save you from sin, not in sin. You can be perfect overcomers. “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is prof- itable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruc- tion in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Tim 3:16-17. Let no one say we can’t overcome, that we can’t have victory over every temptation. It’s by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can be perfect overcomers in Christ Jesus. Remember when Jesus said, “Many are called but few are chosen”? Mat 22:14. How will Christ choose those Seventh-day Adventists who will be members of the

eternal world? By our characters. In Christ’s Object Lessons, 332, a statement reads: “A character formed according to the divine likeness is the only treasure that we can take from this world to the next…. How important, then, is the development of char- acter in this life. “The heavenly intelligences will work with the human agent who seeks with determined faith that perfection of character which will reach out to perfection in action. To everyone engaged in this work Christ says, I am at your right hand to help you. “As the will of man cooperates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His com- mand may be accomplished in His strength. All His bid- dings are enablings.” And then there’s Christ’s Object Lessons, 331: “Remem- ber that you will never reach a higher standard than you yourself set. Then set your mark high, and step by step, even though it be by painful effort, by self-denial and sac- rifice, ascend the whole length of the ladder of progress. Let nothing hinder you….” We want to thank you for reading this material. We pray that it may inspire your minds and hearts to make Je- sus your close companion. Remember this inspired state- ment from Ministry of Healing, 492: “…By beholding Jesus, talking of His love and perfection of character, we become changed into His image. By contemplating the lofty ideal He has placed before us, we shall be uplifted into a pure and holy atmosphere, even the presence of God. When we abide here, there goes forth from us a light that irradiates all who are connected with us.”

us a light that irradiates all who are connected with us.” Despite physical limitations, Elder Spear

Despite physical limitations, Elder Spear continues to be active in the Lord’s cause as

preacher, editor and author. As executive editor

of this magazine, he has associated himself with

a small staff that have to carry the burden to

warn our people that probation is going to close suddenly. Elder Spear has been in the ministry for 55 years and is known world-wide for his preaching and writing. For many of us, he’s known as the founder of Our Firm Foundation and Hope International ministry, which had only a property caretaker when he arrived to begin the magazine. He’s held positions from the local conference level to the union level and on to the general conference as field representative for the Review. He served several years in Africa as administrator

of two different missions. He and his wife Carmen reside in Washington state. [www.RonSpear.org]

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Willing

Willing to be Made Willing

to be

Willing to be Made Willing

Made

Willing

Ellen G. White

“Strive to enter in at the strait

.” Luke 13:24

T he belated traveler, hurrying to reach the city gate by the going down of the sun, could not turn aside for any attractions by the way. His whole mind was bent on the one purpose of entering the gate. The

same intensity of purpose, said Jesus, is required in the Christian life. I have opened to you the glory of character, which is the true glory of My kingdom. It offers you no promise of earthly dominion; yet it is worthy of your su- preme desire and effort. I do not call you to battle for the supremacy of the world’s great empire, but do not there- fore conclude that there is no battle to be fought nor vic- tories to be won. I bid you strive, agonize, to enter into My spiritual kingdom. The Christian life is a battle and a march. But the vic-

tory to be gained is not won by human power. The field of conflict is the domain of the heart. The battle which we have to fight--the greatest battle that was ever fought by man--is the surrender of self to the will of God, the yielding of the heart to the sovereignty of love. The old nature, born of blood and of the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up.

Carnal Nature Will Fight Us

He who determines to enter the spiritual kingdom will

find that all the powers and passions of an unregenerate nature, backed by the forces of the kingdom of darkness, are arrayed against him. Selfishness and pride will make

a stand against anything that would show them to be sin-

ful. We cannot, of ourselves, conquer the evil desires and habits that strive for the mastery. We cannot overcome the mighty foe who holds us in his thrall. God alone can give us the victory. He desires us to have the mastery over ourselves, our own will and ways. But He cannot work in us without our consent and co-operation. The divine Spirit works through the faculties and powers given to man. Our energies are required to co-operate with God. The victory is not won without much earnest prayer, without the humbling of self at every step. Our will is not to be forced into co-operation with divine agencies, but it must be voluntarily submitted. Were it possible to force upon you with a hundredfold greater intensity the influ-

ence of the Spirit of God, it would not make you a Christian,

a fit subject for heaven. The stronghold of Satan would not be broken. The will must be placed on the side of God’s

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will. You are not able, of yourself, to bring your purposes and desires and inclinations into submission to the will of God; but if you are “willing to be made willing,” God will accomplish the work for you, even “casting down imagi- nations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5. Then you will “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12, 13.

Gate Too Strait for Some

But many are attracted by the beauty of Christ and the glory of heaven, who yet shrink from the conditions by which alone these can become their own. There are many in the broad way who are not fully satisfied with the path in which they walk. They long to break from the slavery of sin, and in their own strength they seek to make a stand against their sinful practices. They look toward the nar- row way and the strait gate; but selfish pleasure, love of the world, pride, unsanctified ambition, place a barrier between them and the Saviour. To renounce their own will, their chosen objects of affection or pursuit, requires a sacrifice at which they hesitate and falter and turn back. Many “will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” Luke 13:24. They desire the good, they make some effort to ob- tain it; but they do not choose it; they have not a settled purpose to secure it at the cost of all things. The only hope for us if we would overcome is to unite our will to God’s will and work in co-operation with Him, hour by hour and day by day. We cannot retain self and yet enter the kingdom of God. If we ever attain unto ho- liness, it will be through the renunciation of self and the reception of the mind of Christ. Pride and self-sufficiency must be crucified. Are we willing to pay the price required of us? Are we willing to have our will brought into perfect conformity to the will of God? Until we are willing, the transforming grace of God cannot be manifest upon us. The warfare which we are to wage is the “good fight of faith.” “I also labor,” said the apostle Paul, “striving ac- cording to His working, which worketh in me mightily.” Colossians 1:29.

The Example of Jacob

Jacob, in the great crisis of his life, turned aside to pray. He was filled with one overmastering pur- pose--to seek for transformation of character. But while he was pleading with God, an enemy, as he supposed, placed his hand upon him, and all night he wrestled for his life. But the purpose of his soul was not changed by peril of life itself. When his strength was nearly spent, the Angel put forth His divine power, and at His touch Jacob knew Him with whom he had been contending. Wounded and helpless, he fell upon the Saviour’s breast, pleading for a blessing. He would not be turned aside nor cease his

intercession, and Christ granted the petition of this help- less, penitent soul, according to His promise, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” Isaiah 27:5. Jacob pleaded with determined spirit, “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.” Genesis 32:26. This spirit of persistence was in- spired by Him who wrestled with the patriarch. It was He who gave him the victory, and He changed his name from Jacob to Israel, saying, “As a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Genesis 32:28. That for which Jacob had vainly wrestled in his own strength was won through self-surrender and stead- fast faith. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4.

Mount of Blessing, p. 141–144.

Ellen Gould White (1827-1915). The Seventh-day Adventist Church believes that when the tests of a true prophet are applied to Ellen G. White, they confirm beyond doubt that God bestowed upon her the promised gift of prophecy. That gift is one of two prominent characteristics of His church in the last days (Rev. 12:17; Rev. 19:10), and indeed, her prophetic gift was instrumental in the formation of Seventh-day Adventism. Her inspired writings continue to clarify and uplift the Word of God.

of Seventh-day Adventism. Her inspired writings continue to clarify and uplift the Word of God. SAH
of Seventh-day Adventism. Her inspired writings continue to clarify and uplift the Word of God. SAH

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The Spirit of

Antichrist

Marshall Grosboll

If it were unnecessary for Christ to become one of “us,” who have inherited a fallen, sinful nature, it was unnecessary for Him to become a human being at all.

W hile there are those who are looking for the antichrist to come in the future after the saints have been supposedly raptured to heaven, John the Revelator, who clearly

understood the character and danger of the coming anti- christ power on earth, warned that the spirit of the an- tichrist was already in the world in his day. That spirit has continued to grow in strength and prominence, and sadly, had gained ascendancy even within the Adventist church. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is the remnant church of Bible prophecy. Thus Satan, who is the real an- tichrist, has made the church his special target and has sought to bring his spirit and his teachings within the confines of this movement. Ellen White says that “many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled form the hellish torch of Satan.” Testimonies to Ministers, 409-410. Is this not being fulfilled in the teaching of the anti- christ within many of our churches and in nearly all of our schools of higher education? The Bible describes the spirit of the antichrist as the “spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh” 1 John 4:3. (All Bible texts are from the New King James Version.) By this definition, isn’t it apparent that the spirit of antichrist has become the prevailing teaching within the Adventist ministry and education system today? It was not

found anywhere in our early church teachings. Where did

it come from? Many believe it has come as a result of four theologians’ attendance in non-Adventist institutions where they were taught this concept of the antichrist, and then it was brought into our own schools, churches, and periodicals.

The Gospel of Antichrist

Satan became jealous of Christ in heaven and tried to assume the prerogatives and position that belonged to Him alone. He envied Christ’s authority, and refused to recognize His command—His commandments or laws. This constituted sin. Ellen White is clear that this, and this alone, consti- tutes the definition of sin: “Our only definition of sin is that given in the Word of God; it is ‘the transgression of the law.’” Great Controversy, 493, emphasis supplied in all quotations. In nineteen different places she reaffirmed the fundamental principle that this is the one and only definition of sin. In not one place in all of her writings did she give a different understanding. By breaking God’s command and thereby sinning, Sa- tan became a rebel. His very nature changed in accordance with his sin. He then succeeded in drawing this world into his rebellion by causing our first parents to break the ex- press law of God. As in the case of Satan, their inherited nature changed so that it became impossible to obey God

without a miraculous change. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” Romans 8:7

A Compassionate God

Man needed a power outside of and above himself to be united with his weak, fallen nature. This necessary power God promised to provide by sending His own Son to be the Son of fallen mankind. “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Im- manuel, which is translated, God with us” Matthew 1:23.

But man had not had the light or opportunities to which Satan and the angels in heaven had been privileged. Adam and Eve had not set out to rebel, but had been tempt- ed and deceived into their act of transgression. Although they were fully accountable for their actions, for the Lord had given them an express command with its associated punishment, yet their case was not hopeless and irrevers- ible as was that of the angels who had rebelled in the very presence of God. “It would not have been safe to suffer any who united with Satan in his rebellion to continue to oc- cupy Heaven. They had learned the lesson of genuine re- bellion against the unchangeable law of God; and this is incurable.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 21. God devised the one and only plan whereby man could be redeemed from his fall. Because of his transgression, man’s nature had been brought into harmony with the na- ture of Satan. “Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath.” Ephesians 2:3. God’s first promise to mankind was that He would break this bond of unity between the nature of Satan and the nature of man. In addressing Satan, He said: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:15 Thus God promised to break the power of Satan over man, so that man would not be held under the dominion of sin, and that He would send a “Seed of the woman” who would crush the head of the serpent. For four thousand years mankind waited for the Seed of the woman to be born. Through the hope of this com- ing Redeemer, many God-fearing men and women such as Enoch, Moses, and Elijah were able to break the power of sin in their lives, and some were taken to heaven as a token of the redeemed of all the ages who would

also gain the victory over Satan and his hosts of evil angels.

Nevertheless, all these men, even the best and most upright, fell short of the glory of God and left the blot of transgression upon their heavenly record. They were

forgiven, transformed and saved by faith in the coming Redeemer. During this time the devil boasted that as he had con- quered all men, when the “Seed of the woman” should come down, he would triumph over Him also. “He told his angels that when Jesus should take fallen man’s nature, he could overpower Him.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 48.

God With Us

Jesus did not propose to humble Himself simply to take on human nature, as Adam had before he fell. Even that would have been an infinite humiliation, but He proposed to humble Himself still further, and to become the Son of fallen humanity. “Christ is the ladder that Jacob saw, the base resting on the earth, and the topmost round reaching to the gate of heaven, to the very threshold of glory. If that ladder had failed by a single step of reaching the earth, we should have been lost. But Christ reaches us where we are. He took our nature and overcame, that we through taking His na- ture might overcome. Made ‘in the likeness of sinful flesh’ (Romans 8:3), He lived a sinless life. Now by His divinity He lays hold upon the throne of heaven, while by His hu- manity He reaches us.” The Desire of Ages, 311. “In stooping to take upon Himself humanity, Christ re- vealed a character the opposite of the character of Satan. But He stepped still lower in the path of humiliation.” “It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man’s nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted hu- manity when the race had been weakened by four thou- sand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life. God permitted His Son to come, a helpless Babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life’s peril in common with every human soul,

It was within my nature that Jesus developed a perfect character as an example for me to follow.

to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss.” Ibid., 25, 49. Christ was not a new created being, simply made like unto the human race, and yet not actually becoming a member of this fallen race. But He was in fact and in reality the Son of mankind. There was only one bloodline in the human race of which He could become the son, and that was the bloodline of fallen Adam. Adam had no unfallen children. For Christ to become the son of man necessitated

His becoming the Son of fallen man, for there was no other mankind for Him to inherit. Moreover, it was fallen man who needed salvation. If it were unnecessary for Christ to become one of “us,” who have inherited a fallen, sinful nature, it was unnecessary for Him to become a human being at all. He had to become one with those He sought to save. It was fallen humanity with which He must unite the power of Divinity. He was the ladder that stretched all the way from the throne of God to the helpless despair of fallen humanity. “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through suf- ferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are

being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not

ashamed to call them

give aid to angels [who are unfallen] but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Him- self has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:10–18.

righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21. Some would have Jesus living a sinless life, not because He combined divinity with fallen humanity, and thereby overcame by crucifying the lusts of the flesh and living ac- cording to the dictates of the Spirit, but because He never had anything to overcome in the first place. Many would make Jesus essentially different from us in His very hu- manity, so that we might have no example to follow. They say He was born with the nature of Adam before He fell, and that He thus had no intrinsic tendencies to sin even within His unsurrendered nature. But this kind of victory would mean nothing to us, nor do us any good. It is I, not Adam before he fell, who needs a Savior.

Crucifying the Flesh

It was within my nature that Jesus developed a perfect character as an example for me to follow. That was an ex- ample that I can follow. Christ did not leave an unreachable ideal. Jesus said: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24. “All His biddings are enablings.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 333. Jesus lived a perfect life by daily crucifying the lusts of the flesh. When something is crucified, it is dead, and yet, in the case of the fallen human nature, it has to be cruci- fied every day, moment by moment. The New Testament called the fallen, sinful nature of Adam’s descendants “flesh.” “The works of the flesh are evident, which are:

adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idola- try, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, mur- ders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like.” Galatians 5:19- 21. All the works of the flesh are bad. There is not one good thing mentioned. It was because of the flesh that Paul could not keep the law. He said: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh)

nothing good

according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in

For I delight in the law of God

my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:18-24.

It was because of the flesh that Paul could not do good when He had been convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit. Even though he was convicted, he found it impos- sible to follow his convictions. Yet, he did not rejoice, as many do today, and say: Since I cannot do the will of God, God will excuse me and save me even within my sin. No! He exclaims, with unutterable woe, “0 wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” He recognized that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and that whoever continued to sin could in no wise inherit

For indeed He does not

Combined Nature Offered Us

Yet, in taking man’s fallen nature, Christ did not for a moment participate in his sin. Rather, He emancipated man from sin. In Him were united the offending nature of the sinner with the omnipotent nature of Divinity, and thereby sin was conquered. “The nature of God, whose law had been transgressed, and the nature of Adam, the trans- gressor, meet in Jesus.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 926. Today, God offers us His divine nature to combine with our sinful nature, that we too can live a victorious life over our cultivated and inherited ten- dencies to sin. Though Christ was born with a union of divine and fall- en human nature, and we do not receive this union until

What a wonderful promise! We can overcome just as Jesus overcame. In fact, we must overcome just as Jesus overcame.

conversion, nevertheless Jesus had to maintain that union of the two natures in the very same way every converted child of Adam must maintain it. “He came as a helpless Babe, bearing the humanity we bear.” “He overcame in hu- man nature, relying upon God for power.” Ibid., 925, 924. Not only did He take our nature, but He took upon Himself our sins and guilt. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the

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eternal life and enter heaven, for “there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” Revelation 21:27.

Paul Grasped Hope

So what was Paul to do? Would he come up with some new, man-made theology that would allow him to con- tinue to sin and yet vainly hope that he could also enter heaven? No! He rather found the only hope of salvation:

the man Christ Jesus. “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh [because of my sinful, fallen nature], God did by sending His own Son in the like- ness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might

be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but

according to the

flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:3–13. What a wonderful promise! The alcoholic does not have to remain an alcoholic! The homosexual does not have to continue to practice his sin! The glutton can find perfect victory over his appetite! The impatient can become pa- tient! The desponding, discouraged soul can gain perfect

faith and peace and joy! No longer do we need to remain under the bondage of sin. “For sin shall not have domin- ion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14. We may have inherited fallen, weakened na- tures with the effects of generations of sin resting within, but through Jesus Christ we can develop characters with- out a single sinful propensity, just as Jesus did.

For if you live according to the

Overcoming Brings Peace

“We must learn of Christ. We must know what He is to those He has ransomed. We must realize that through be-

lief in Him it is our privilege to be partakers of the divine nature, and so escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. Then we are cleansed from all sin, all defects

of character. We need not retain one sinful

we partake of the divine nature, hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong are cut away from the character, and we are made a living power for good. Ever learning of the divine teacher, daily partaking of His nature, we co- operate with God in overcoming Satan’s temptations. God works, and man works, that man may be one with Christ as Christ is one with God. Then we sit together with Christ in heavenly places. The mind rests with peace and assur- ance in Jesus.” Review and Herald, vol. 4, 175. What a wonderful promise! We can overcome just as Jesus overcame. In fact, we must overcome just as Jesus overcame. “Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:3. Jesus was pure, not just in the books of heaven, but in His very thoughts, mo- tives, and character. This is the way we too are to become

As

and character. This is the way we too are to become As pure. “To him who

pure. “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:2l. We must overcome in the same way Jesus did.

Characters Change, Not Natures

It should be noticed that it is in our characters—not in our natures—that we will retain no propensities for sin. There is a fanaticism, called the holy flesh movement, which teaches that we will not retain any temptation to sin in our inherited natures. But this is a false teaching. Our fallen natures will never be changed until we receive im- mortality. Even Jesus was tempted to sin. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weak- nesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet with- out sin.” Hebrews 4:15. Ellen White says, “He realized the strength of indulged appetite and unholy passion which controlled the world.” Confrontation, 36. “Sorely as He was tried on the point of hasty and angry speech, He never once sinned with His lips.” The Seventh- day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 936. He developed a character that turned to His Father for strength in ev- ery time of need, and with the twofold union of divine power combined with human effort, He recoiled from sin and temptation. Not even by a thought did He yield to the power of sin. And thus it can be with us.

What He Had, We May Have

Many have made much out of the statement of Ellen White in a private letter to an Elder Baker that Christ had no propensities for sin. This, in context, was referring to

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Photo Copyright: iStockPhoto.com His character. Within the very statement she explains that He had no propensities

His character. Within the very statement she explains that He had no propensities for sin because He never yielded to temptation. This is the same purity that we can have. Ellen White gives the same assurance to us. We, too, “need not retain one sinful propensity,” as noted in the statement above. Christ’s human heredity was like ours, but His character was pure and perfect. As He was, so we can become. “Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was.” The Desire of Ages, 664. What hope! What wonderful hope! Through Jesus Christ we can be victorious over the wiles of the devil and the tendencies of the flesh. Yet this is the truth that Satan hates, for it makes him a conquered foe. Satan was embarrassed by Jesus’ victory. He had boast- ed to his angels that “when Jesus should take fallen man’s nature, he could overpower him.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 48. He had failed. Still he refused to admit his failure. Like a proud and spoiled child upon the playing field when he is defeated, he shouted: “He cheated! That’s the reason I lost! God is a cheater. If He had played fair, I would have conquered Him. He had an unfair advantage. He did not really come down in man’s nature. He took Adam’s un- fallen nature. But mankind is still under my dominion! I will not let them go!”

Jesus’ Fallen Humanity

Satan refused to admit that Jesus really did come in the flesh (meaning in Adam’s fallen nature) and overcame. He will never admit it. Not a single evil angel will admit it. Yet

every heavenly being boasts of the very opposite. That is why the Bible says: “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.” 1 John 4:2. There are many, many false spirits who confess that Jesus Christ has come in a human physical body. This is a cardinal doc- trine of the Catholic Church and of the Eastern Orthodox Church and of the Evangelicals and of false prophets and religions of every hue and description.

I presented these thoughts to an Adventist theology

department some years ago, and the head of the depart- ment assured me that, indeed, Paul did use flesh to mean fallen, human nature, but he asserted that the text quoted

above was not corroborating Paul’s writings. He assured me that John, in 1 John 4:2, was talking simply about skin and bones, not fallen nature as Paul in his writings used the term to mean. He assured me that Paul is the only Bible writer who used the term “flesh” to mean fallen nature.

I found this astounding and unbelievable! In the first

place, the Bible writers read each other’s letters and spoke and wrote in harmony with each other. Furthermore, is it not evident that there are thousands of false prophets who profess that Jesus came in literal skin and bones? And finally, it flies in the face of reality, because in fact all the Bible authors in the New Testament use flesh to mean fall- en human nature:

Consider 1 Peter 4:1-2, which is an obvious text written by Peter telling us we are not to live in the flesh. Would anyone be so naive as to interpret Peter to say we are not to live within our skin? Or consider First John itself: “For all that is in the world—the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16. It is not our fingernails, hair follicles and ear

lobes that lust, but our sinful nature that we inherit. This is not only Paul’s understanding of flesh, but Peter’s and John’s. They all spoke the same language.

Antichrist’s Teaching

John then says that this is the teaching of the anti- christ. And indeed it is. The bulwark of the doctrine is the Immaculate Conception which teaches that Jesus, or even Mary, did not come in our nature, but in the nature of Adam before he fell. Satan has developed, fostered, and fortified this teaching by many associated philosophies, such as the doctrine of original sin, or original guilt; a belief that we are guilty of sin at birth. This led to infant baptism, a nec- essary rite in order to wash away this blot of guilt. Jesus, it was said, could not be born like us, or He would necessarily be a guilty sinner too, simply by the fact that He was born. And thus, through the teaching of Augustine and others who fostered this false doctrine, today’s popular teaching of the antichrist came to predominate over the true gospel. But God has raised up His remnant church to give again to the world the true gospel. This true gospel is able to save fallen man from all sin and prepare a pure and holy people to be ready for Jesus to come. It is through faith in the Son of Man that we can find redemption. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:14-15. Satan knows that we have no power in ourselves to break our slavery of sin. It is only by a power outside of ourselves that we can be transformed, and this power comes only by faith in Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man. But if we do not believe that Jesus provided this way of escape, we are hopelessly lost. The teaching that Je- sus came in Adam’s unfallen nature is always associated with one of two heresies: either that we too must receive unfallen nature (the holy flesh doctrine), or that we can never overcome, and therefore must be saved in our sins (a fatal delusion).

Falsehood vs. Truth

Today, the most terrible thing has happened. The doc- trine of the antichrist has been accepted into our church by many of our ministers, teachers, editors, and leaders. This state of affairs was expressed by the president of one of our conferences recently in a letter to Hartland. The conference president stated that this false doctrine is the accepted teaching in our church today. Could anything be more alarming? Let the truth be told. It is time to “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” Isaiah 58:1. As Ellen White said: “Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan.” Testimonies to Ministers, 409–410. Listen to what Satan teaches, and compare it to what is

being taught today: “Satan represents God’s law of love as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts [a teaching of the New Jesus was to unveil this deception. As one of us He was to give an example of obedience. For this He took upon Him- self our nature and passed through our experiences. ‘In all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren.’ Hebrews 2:17. If we had to bear anything which Jesus did not endure, then upon this point Satan would represent the power of God as insufficient for us. “Therefore Jesus was ‘in all points tempted like as we are.’ Hebrews 4:15. He endured every trial to which we are subject. And He exercised in His own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us. As man, He met temptation, and

overcame in the strength given Him from

testifies that it is possible for us also to obey the law of God.” The Desire of Ages, 24. This is the gospel, without which no man can be saved. Let us not, with fancy footwork, twisted statements, and

smooth reasoning overthrow the very plan of salvation. Let us search for this precious truth with all humility, tak- ing off our shoes, and with all diligence, search for the hid- den treasures of God as for the Pearl of great price. There is no other plan of salvation. “The great work of redemption could be carried out only by our Redeemer’s taking the place of fallen Adam. With the sins of the world laid upon Him, He would go over the ground where Adam stumbled. He would bear a test infi- nitely more severe than that which Adam failed to endure.

He would overcome on man’s account

obedience,

His righteousness might be imputed to man,

that, through His name, man might overcome the foe on his own account. What love! What amazing condescen- sion! The King of glory purposed to humble Himself to fallen humanity! He would place His feet in Adam’s steps. He would take man’s fallen nature.” Confrontation, 17–18. As Jesus put His feet in the footsteps of fallen Adam, may we put our feet in the footsteps of the One who was altogether victorious over sin and Satan within our nature, and thus, by faith in that all-sufficient sacrifice and the power of the Holy Spirit, may we too be more than con- querors through the name of Jesus Christ.

His life

that, through His

Dr. Marshall Grosboll (1947–1991) graduated from Union College. After a further degree in Health Sciences from Loma Linda, he pastored in several of our churches from 1975 to 1987. During those years he wrote Steps to Life Bible Studies, which the Review and Herald printed and disseminated widely, and went to Andrews for advanced studies and degree. He also traveled around the world as an associate speaker with Ron Spear. In late 1987, he left denominational work to devote full-time energies to founding his ministry Steps to Life. He has left a legacy of worldwide Bible study correspondence schools and a host of insightful, spiritual writings.

legacy of worldwide Bible study correspondence schools and a host of insightful, spiritual writings. SAH Issue

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Photo Copyright: iStockPhoto.com S eventh-day Adventists have long understood that no man will enter the kingdom
Photo Copyright: iStockPhoto.com S eventh-day Adventists have long understood that no man will enter the kingdom

S eventh-day Adventists have long understood that no man will enter the kingdom of heaven unless he has the seal of the living God in his forehead. Presently, God is holding back the terrible winds of

strife until every man and woman has the opportunity to accept this seal:

“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, hav- ing the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” Revelation 7:2-3. Scripture testifies to the fact that those sealed at the end of time are designated as the 144,000:

“And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes or the children of Israel,” Revelation 7:4. The seal of the living God represents the name of the Father written in their foreheads:

“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.” Revelation 14: 1. God’s name is His character. 1 Those who receive the seal of God will constitute those who possess the character of Christ. This is evident from the testimony of Scripture:

“And in their mouth was found no guile: for they were without fault before the throne of God.” Revelation 14:5. They have accepted Christ as their example:

“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also

Russell Standish

suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should fol- low his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” I Peter 2:21-22. They are also termed the remnant:

“The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies: neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.” Zephaniah 3:13. Those who receive the seal of the Jiving God will be virgins:

‘’These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.” Revelation 14:4. The term virgin is used to indicate purity of life and purity of doctrine. Paul desired such purity for the Corinthian believers:

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2. He contrasts chaste virgins with those who are be- guiled by false doctrines:

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 2 Corinthians 11:3-4.

Elements of a Seal

We, as a people, have also recognized that the term “seal” refers to the ancient seals used by the secular rulers in the days when Scripture was written. These seals con- tained three elements: the ruler’s name, his title or author- ity, and his area of jurisdiction. Thus, Emperor Augustus’ seal stated: Caesar Augustus (name) Emperor (title) Ro- man Empire (dominion). The seal of Pilate, used to seal Christ’s tomb in a pathetic effort to prevent Christ’s res- urrection, stated: Pontius Pilate (name), governor (title) Judea (area of jurisdiction). Isaiah provides the clue as to where the seal of God may be found:

“Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.” Isaiah 8:16. An examination of the law of God demonstrates that not one of the last five commandments contain a single element of the seal. The second, third, and fifth command- ments do contain God’s name, but the other two elements are absent. The first commandment likewise contains God’s name alone in the pronoun “me.” Only the fourth commandment of all the ten contains all of the mandatory three elements of the seal: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [name] in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is

within thy gates: for in six days the LORD [name] made [title] heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is [do- minion], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11. Thus those who receive the seal of the living God will be those who manifest Christ’s character by keeping the fourth commandment. Many Seventh-day Adventists to- day dispute the fact that the seal of the living God is en- shrined in the fourth commandment, advancing further to doubt that the Sabbath will be the chief point of issue at the end of time.

Such are on the road to peril. The seal of the living God and the Sabbath are inextricably united. They have ever been the points at issue in the great controversy. The

fourth commandment is placed cen- trally in the law of God for a good rea- son. It is the central issue in the law. The key to this central- ity is found in the first eight words of the commandment:

“Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” (All em- phasis added unless otherwise noted).

The Sabbath Seal

Many emphasize the need to prepare our Sabbath food, clothing, and toiletries on the preparation day. In this they do well, for such preparation is mandated in the Scriptures and in the Spirit of Prophecy. However, an even greater

preparation is also required on the sixth day of the week:

the preparation of our hearts in holiness to the Lord. “In order to keep the Sabbath holy, men must themselves be holy.” The Desire of Ages, 283. Our opening of Sabbath worships should contain mo- ments of reflection. If unconfessed and unforsaken sins remain in our lives, these must be brought to the Lord in true repentance of heart. If we enter the Sabbath hours with breaches of any one of the other nine command- ments unconfessed and unforsaken, we are not keeping the fourth. We may lustily sing the hymns of Zion; we may pray; we may teach the Sabbath school class, collect the offerings or even preach the divine service, but we are not keeping the Sabbath. We are mere Saturday keepers—not Sabbathkeepers. Thus true Sabbathkeeping in holiness of heart involves the keeping of the entire law of God. Truly this does rep- resent His seal. Since the law of God is a transcript of His character, this is the explicit reason why only those who reflect Christ’s character will receive the seal of the living God. It is Satan’s studied aim that none will receive this seal. The great controversy has been over the character of our God. Satan has made the vile accusation that the Biblical claim that “God is love” (I John 4:8) is false. He even con- vinced one-third of the angels of this diabolical falsehood.

Obeying God’s Law

It was because of this accusation that Jesus spent thirty-three years on this earth in order to demonstrate the fact that God could save only those who keep His law—those who received the seal of the living God. Christ demonstrated the falsity of Satan’s claim that God was un- just in requiring perfect obedience to His law from beings with fallen natures. The archdeceiver could hardly claim that beings with unfallen natures could not keep the law.

However, an even greater preparation is also required on the sixth day of the week: the preparation of our hearts in holiness to the Lord. “In order to keep the Sabbath holy, men must themselves be holy.

The holy angels and created beings on other planets have amply demonstrated that fact. But fallen man, Satan con- tended, could never obey God’s law. Thus he indicated that no man could keep the law of God. “The world’s Re- deemer passed over the ground where Adam fell because of his disobeying the expressed law of Jehovah; and the only begotten Son of God came to our world as a man, to reveal to the world that men could keep the law of God. Satan, the fallen angel, had declared that no man could keep the law of God after the disobedience of Adam.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 112; vol. 6, 334.

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Photo Copyright: iStockPhoto.com Few have recognized in the first angel’s message God’s plaintive plea that mankind

Few have recognized in the first angel’s message God’s plaintive plea that mankind receive His greatest gift of love, His seal:

“Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, [name] and give glo- ry to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and wor-

ship him that made [title] heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. [dominion]” Revelation 14:7. Indeed, God’s creatorship is His ultimate title to be acknowledged as the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Ruler of the entire universe. See Deuteronomy 4:32. As we recognize the fact that the first angel’s message in summary is an urgent call for man- kind to receive the Lord’s greatest

gift—the seal of the living God, His character as enshrined in the law of God—and the law of nature, and the law of health (“Give glory to Him,” Revelation 14:7; compare with 1 Cor-

inthians 6:19-20; 10:31), the mag- nificent symmetry of the three angels’ messages becomes evident. The first angel’s message offers freely the seal of the liv- ing God. The third angel’s message, by contrast, is God’s last desperate warning to those who have eschewed the re- ception of the seal, setting out in graphic terms the terror and torment of mind and body awaiting those who would rather accept the mark of the beast. See Revelation 14:9- 11. Both messages demonstrate the dictum that “God is love.”

The Second Angel’s Message Still Relevant

But why has the fall of Babylon and the warning against the drinking of the wine of the wrath of her fornication been placed centrally in this last message? First, we must determine the meaning of this apparently curious second angel’s message. After all, what relevance does an event which occurred two and one-half millennia ago have to the final generation of this earth? Surely the fall of Babylon under the military thrust of Medo-Persia is ancient his- tory, rather than present truth.

A key word in the above statement is the one emphasized: “after.” If Jesus had entered this world with the nature of Adam before the fall, He could never have si- lenced Satan’s claim that fallen human beings, when filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, could not obey the law of God after the disobedience of Adam. Thus no man would receive the seal of the living God. Had it not been necessary for Christ in His earthly life to challenge this despicable satanic lie, He could have simply arrived on this earth on the Thursday prior to the crucifixion and fulfilled the sacrificial atonement. How- ever, it was a crucial part of the plan of salvation that from childhood to mature manhood Christ could prove that a man with a fallen nature, when empowered with the Holy Spirit, could keep the law of God and live a life of Christian character perfection. In this demonstration, there was no less an assurance than that we may receive the vital seal of the living God. Jesus kept the fourth commandment perfectly, the shameful accusations of the Jewish church leaders not- withstanding, and in doing so, He kept all of the other nine commandments. This is the specific reason why the Sabbath is a sign of sanctification, which means holiness:

“Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Ver- ily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.” Exodus 31: 13.

It was a crucial part of the plan of salvation that from childhood to mature manhood Christ could prove that a man with a fallen nature, when empowered with the Holy Spirit, could keep the law of God.

Again, it is emphasized that the entire controversy be- tween Christ and Satan centers around the law of God, of which the Sabbath is the central feature and the seal of the living God. Thus, we should not be surprised to discover that the very first verse of Scripture contains the seal of the living God and that in the very last message of love to the world is also enshrined the seal of the living God. This is no mat- ter of chance. It is in the design of the Author of Scripture, for the entire Scripture is provided that we might receive the bestowal of our God’s greatest gift: the seal of the liv- ing God. Thus, that seal is presented from the very incep- tion of Holy Writ in a sentence of a mere ten words: “In the beginning God [name] created [title] the heaven and the earth [dominion].” Genesis 1:1. This is His first offer of the seal of the living God.

The First Angel’s Call

Today it is our privilege and our obligation to pres- ent God’s last and greatest message of love to the world.

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No! Never was this message more relevant than it is

today, for the religion of Babylon has spread worldwide. It

is the largest religion in this old world. Babylon’s religion is

alive and well, and God declares it to be fallen. In order to understand the meaning of the fall of spiri- tual Babylon, we must understand the events surrounding the fall of literal Babylon, for the same words were uttered prophetically concerning literal Babylon’s fall as were pro- claimed concerning the fall of spiritual Babylon. Thus Isa- iah declared, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen.” Isaiah 21:9. Jer- emiah proclaimed the wine of the wrath of the fornication of Babylon’s fall:

“Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.” Jeremiah 51:7. Fortunately, a detailed history of the fall of literal Bab- ylon is found in Scripture. On the last evening of the Baby- lonian Empire: “Belshazzar the king made a great feast to

a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thou-

sand.” Daniel 5: 1. That wine was the wine of the wrath of Babylon’s fornication! This blasphemous King Belshazzar, who well knew all of God’s mercy extended to his grandfather, King Ne- buchadnezzar (see Daniel 5:22), deigned to insult the God of heaven:

“Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebu- chadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Je- rusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.” Daniel 5:2. Those holy vessels had been dedicated for the service of God alone. In the temple services they had been desig- nated as receptacles for the symbols of the pure and holy blood which the Son of God was to shed for our sins. They were never crafted in order that alcohol, a symbol of sin, should be placed in them. The unfermented grape juice of the drink offerings and the blood of animals without spot or blemish alone were to enter those vessels. But Belshazzar, in an act of fearful defiance of the God of heaven, contrived to desecrate those holy vessels. He mixed the sacred and the profane, truth with error, the pure and holy religion of Christ with pagan worship. This fact is documented by his subsequent worship of idols using these sacred vessels while engaged in a drunken orgy:

“’Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusa- lem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his con- cubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.” Daniel 5:3-4. Manifestly, the wine of the wrath of Babylon’s fornica-

tion was the mixing of the undefiled religion of God with pagan worship. This admixture of the sacred and profane, God would not tolerate. Just as sexual immorality was aptly used to illustrate Judah’s apostasy, so too with Baby- lon when Judah turned to the mixture of God’s religion

with idol worship. See Ezekiel 8. God declared, “thou hast played the harlot with many lovers” (Jeremiah 3: 1); “thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness” (Jeremiah 3:2); “thou hadst a whore’s fore- head, thou refusedst to be ashamed” (Jeremiah 3:3); thou “hath played the harlot” (Jeremiah 3:6). Today God declares that the vast majority of Christians are guilty of the very same spiritual fornication. Both Ca- tholicism and apostate Protestantism have unified our God’s pure and holy faith with numerous pagan doctrines, festivals, and practices. God declares such religion to be fallen. His last urgent call is for the true in heart to “come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4. Thus, the second angel’s message is centrally placed in God’s last message to the world, for whether we receive the seal of the living God or the mark of the beast is dependent upon our response to the religion of Babylon. If we accept the religion of Babylon, we shall receive the fearful mark of the beast. If we eschew that religion, we shall receive the seal of the living God. God has left this decision of all decisions to us. This is not an easy decision, for the religion of Babylon will be forced upon the world both by universal economic boycotts and death decrees:

“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13: 15-17.

beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13: 15-17. Many, in order to escape these

Many, in order to escape these dire penalties, will wor- ship in this manner while being fully aware of the falsity of the Babylonian religion. They will receive the mark of the beast by pretense—in their hands. Others will have chosen to accept the false faith, eschewing evidence from Scripture, and they have followed this false faith by con- viction. They receive the mark of the beast in their fore- heads. The seal of the living God is never received in the

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hand (see Revelation 7:3; 14: 1), for that seal can never be received by pretense—only by conviction of heart.

New Doctrines in our Midst

Today the religion of Babylon is knocking persistently on the door of Seventh-day Adventism. Many, tragically, are welcoming its entrance into our midst. The sacred and profane are united in new doctrines entering our be- loved church from Babylon—including profane “Sabbath keeping,” disobedience to the Decalogue, dismissal of the high priestly ministry of Christ, disregard of the counsels of the Spirit of Prophecy, questioning of the imminence

ters, call for a reformation so sorely needed in our midst. All these and much more are our sins, while a tender, loving God, His scarred hands outstretched, warns us of the catastrophic results of accepting these Babylonian ways which, if unrepented of, will lead to our reception of the mark of the beast. In contrast, in these last few, dwin- dling days of probation, He offers us Heaven’s greatest gift:

the seal of the living God. How can we any longer disdain such love?

1 Moses asked God, who appeared to him at the burning bush, “Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you:

and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?” Note that God’s answer to Moses clearly emphasizes His

nature—what He is—or His character. “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM:

and he said. Thus shalt thou say unto the

Today the religion of Babylon is knocking persistently on the door of Seventh-day Adventism. Many, tragically,

are welcoming its entrance into our midst.

children of Israel.” Exodus 3: 13-14. Please note also that, when the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, he told him that Mary would bring forth a Son, and that they should call Him Jesus, which means saviour, because He would “save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21.

of Christ’s return, unfaithful stewardship and numerous other breaches of our pure and holy faith. Our worship services today have introduced pagan charismatic elements, believing that a pure and holy God will accept such an insult to His holiness and majesty. We have adopted pagan standards of entertainment, dress and morality, and often flaunt these before our God pre- sumptively, believing that His great love and mercy will stay us from the wrath of the last days. We have united in ecumenical contacts, services, and programs, disdaining God’s call that we be “a chosen generation, a royal priest- hood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9), forgetting that He “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14. Many are now fully espousing pagan festivals such as Easter with its sun-worshiping sunrise services. We follow the pagan practice of religious intolerance, persecuting those who, in love for their Lord and His brothers and sis-

those who, in love for their Lord and His brothers and sis- Dr. Russell Standish (1933–2008)

Dr. Russell Standish (1933–2008) began his service for the Lord as a teacher in denominational schools. After earning degrees in psychology and medicine, he practiced in Australia and England, and then entered the mission field in Thailand and Singapore before returning to Australia. Perhaps his greatest and best-known experience occurred during his next missionary role as president of Bangkok Adventist Hospital, whose dire economic plight reversed exceedingly when the Sabbath was honored there, and many were converted. That story was repeated at Penang Adventist Hospital. His soul-winning efforts were such that he was ordained to the gospel ministry. In his 40s, he and his brother accepted the plea of some “concerned brethren” to warn God’s church about theological errors creeping into it. That led to the Bangkok tapes and to the first of 64 books he coauthored with his twin brother Colin: Adventism Vindicated. Russell ultimately settled in Australia where he began Highwood College, along with a health center and the Remnant Herald. His wife Glenice and devoted others carry on his work.

Photo Copyright: Paul Williams

Photo Copyright: Paul Williams F ar more sacredness is attached to the Sabbath than is given

F ar more sacredness is attached to the Sabbath than is given it by many professed Sabbathkeepers. The Lord has been greatly dishonored by those who have not kept

the Sabbath according to the commandment, either in the letter or in the spirit. He calls for a reform in the observance of the Sabbath. Counsels for the Church, 263.

Heed the First Word of the Fourth Commandment

“Remember” is placed at the very first of the Fourth Commandment. Parents, you need to remember the Sab-

bath day yourselves to keep it holy. And if you do this, you are giving the proper instruction to your children; they

will reverence God’s holy

is needed in your homes. All through the week keep the Lord’s holy Sabbath in view, for that day is to be devoted to the service of God. It is a day when the hands are to rest from worldly employment, when the soul’s needs are to re- ceive especial attention. When the Sabbath is thus remembered, the temporal will not be allowed to encroach upon the spiritual. No duty pertaining to the six working days will be left for the Sabbath. During the week our energies will not be so ex-

hausted in temporal labor that on the day when the Lord rested and was refreshed, we shall be too weary to engage in His service.

Christian education

Preparation Day

On Friday let the preparation for the Sabbath be com- pleted. See that all the clothing is in readiness, and that

Ellen G. White

all the cooking is done. Let the boots be blacked, and the baths be taken. It is possible to do this. If you make it a rule, you can do it. The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments, to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking, or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun, let all secular work be laid aside, and all secular papers be put out of sight. Parents, explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them share in your preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment. In many families [on Sabbath] boots and shoes are blacked and brushed, and stitches are taken, all because these little odds and ends were not done on Friday. They did not “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” On Friday the clothing of the children is to be looked after. During the week they should be all laid out by their own hands under the direction of the mother, so that they can dress quietly, without any confusion or rushing about and hasty speeches. There is another work that should receive attention on the preparation day. On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church, should be put away.

The Sabbath Opens With the Family at Worship

Before the setting of the sun, let the members of the family assemble to read God’s Word, to sing and pray. There is need of reform here, for many have been remiss. We need to confess to God and to one another. We should begin anew to make special arrangements that every

member of the family may be prepared to honor the day which God has blessed and sanctified.

Attend Public Worship With Children

Sabbath Hours Not Ours but God’s

God has given us the whole of six days in which to do our work, and has reserved only one to Himself. This should be a day of blessing to us--a day when we should lay aside all our secular matters and center our thoughts upon God and heaven. When the Sabbath commences, we should place a guard upon ourselves, upon our acts and our words, lest we rob God by appropriating to our own use that time which is strictly the Lord’s. We should not do ourselves, nor suf- fer our children to do, any manner of our own work for a livelihood or anything which could have been done on the six working days. Friday is the day of preparation. Time can then be devoted to making the necessary preparation for the Sabbath and to thinking and conversing about it. Nothing which will in the sight of Heaven be regarded as a violation of the holy Sabbath should be left unsaid or un- done, to be said or done upon the Sabbath. God requires not only that we refrain from physical labor upon the Sab- bath, but that the mind be disciplined to dwell upon sacred themes. The Fourth Commandment is virtually trans- gressed by conversing upon worldly things or by engaging in light and trifling conversation. Talking upon anything or everything which may come into the mind is speaking our own words. Every deviation from right brings us into bondage and condemnation.

Fathers and mothers should make it a rule that their children attend public worship on the Sabbath, and should enforce the rule by their own example. It is our duty to command our children and our household after us, as did Abraham. By example as well as precept we should impress upon them the importance of religious teaching. All who have taken the baptismal vow have solemnly consecrated themselves to the service of God; they are under covenant obligation to place themselves and their children where they may obtain all possible incentives and encourage- ment in the Christian life. But while we worship God, we are not to consider this a drudgery. The Sabbath of the Lord is to be made a blessing to us and to our children. They are to look upon the Sab- bath as a day of delight, a day which God has sanctified; and they will so consider it if they are properly instructed.

Wear Comely Garments for the House of Worship

Many need instruction as to how they should appear in the assembly for worship on the Sabbath. They are not to enter the presence of God in the common clothing worn during the week. All should have a special Sabbath suit, to be worn when attending service in God’s house. While we should not conform to worldly fashions, we are not to be indifferent in regard to our outward appearance. We are to be neat and trim, though without adornment. The chil- dren of God should be pure within and without.

Sabbath Time Too Precious to Sleep Away

None should permit themselves, through the week, to become so absorbed in their temporal interests, and so ex- hausted by their efforts for worldly gain, that on the Sab- bath they have no strength or energy to give to the service of God. We are robbing the Lord when we unfit ourselves

Explain Sabbath Sermon to the Children

Ministers are engaged in a sacred, solemn work, but upon those who hear rests just as sacred a responsibility. They are to hear with a determination to follow the in-

struction that all must practice who gain eternal life. Each hearer should strive to understand each presentation of Bible truth as

He who from the heart obeys the fourth

commandment will obey the whole law. He is

sanctified through obedience. CC, 261.

to worship Him upon His holy day. And we are robbing our- selves as well; for we need the warmth and glow of associa- tion, as well as the strength to be gained from the wisdom and experience of other Christians. Let not the precious hours of the Sabbath be wasted in bed. On Sabbath morning the family should be astir early. If they rise late, there is confusion and bustle in preparing for breakfast and Sabbath school. There is hurrying, jos- tling, and impatience. Thus unholy feelings come into the home. The Sabbath, thus desecrated, becomes a weariness, and its coming is dreaded rather than loved.

God’s message to him, to be received by faith and put into practice in the

daily life. Parents should explain to their children the words spoken from the pulpit, that they also may understand and have that knowledge which if put into practice brings abundant grace and peace.

Provide Special Treat for Mealtime

We should not provide for the Sabbath a more liberal supply or a greater variety of food than for other days. Instead of this the food should be more simple, and less should be eaten, in order that the mind may be clear and vigorous to comprehend spiritual things. Overeating be- fogs the brain. The most precious words may be heard and not appreciated, because the mind is confused by an im-

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all
all

proper diet. By overeating on the Sabbath, many have done more than they think to dishonor God. While cooking upon the Sabbath should be avoided, it is not necessary to eat cold food. In cold weather let the food prepared the day before be heated. And let the meals, though simple, be palatable and attractive. Provide some- thing that will be regarded as a treat, something the fam- ily do not have every day.

children upon the Sabbath. Do not suffer them to violate God’s holy day by playing in the house or out-of-doors. You may just as well break the Sabbath yourselves as to let your children do it, and when you suffer your children to wan- der about and suffer them to play upon the Sabbath, God looks upon you as Sabbathbreakers.

Out-of-doors With the Children

The parents may take their children outdoors to view God in nature. They can be pointed to the blooming flowers and the opening buds, the lofty trees

and beautiful spires of grass, and taught that God made

these in six days and rested on the seventh day and

hallowed it. Thus the parents may bind up their lessons of instruction to their children, so that when these children look upon the things of nature, they will call to mind the great Creator of them all. Their thoughts will be carried up to nature’s God--back to the creation of our world, when the foundation of the Sabbath was laid, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. Such are the lessons to be impressed on the minds of our children. We are not to teach our children that they must not be happy on the Sabbath, that it is wrong to walk out-of- doors. Oh, no. Christ led His disciples out by the lakeside on the Sabbath day and taught them. His sermons on the Sabbath were not always preached within enclosed walls.

The Rest of the Day Is Precious

The Sabbath school and the meeting for worship oc- cupy only a part of the Sabbath. The portion remaining to the family may be made the most sacred and precious season of all the Sabbath hours. Much of this time parents should spend with their children.

Plan Suitable Reading and Conversation

The Sabbath--oh!--make it the sweetest, the most

blessed day of the

tention to their children, reading to them the most attrac- tive portions of Bible history, educating them to reverence the Sabbath day, keeping it according to the command- ment. This cannot be done if the parents feel no burden to interest their children. But they can make the Sabbath a delight if they will take the proper course. The children can be interested in good reading or in conversation about the salvation of their souls. But they will have to be edu- cated and trained. The natural heart does not love to think of God, of heaven, or of heavenly things. There must be a continual pressing back of the current of worldliness and inclination to evil and a letting in of heavenly light.

Parents can and should give at-

Not Indifferent to Children’s Activities

I have found that on the Sabbath day many are indif- ferent and do not know where their children are or what they are doing. Parents, above everything take care of your

Other Lessons From Nature—Object Lessons

Teach the children to see Christ in nature. Take them out into the open air, under the noble trees, into the gar- den; and in all the wonderful works of creation teach them to see an expression of His love. Teach them that He made the laws which govern all living things, that He has made laws for us, and that these laws are for our happiness and joy. Do not weary them with long prayers and tedious ex- hortations, but through nature’s object lessons teach them obedience to the law of God.

Give True Concept of God’s Character

How can children receive a more correct knowledge of God, and their minds be better impressed, than in spend- ing a portion of their time out-of-doors, not in play, but in company with their parents? Let their young minds be associated with God in the beautiful scenery of nature; let their attention be called to the tokens of His love to man in His created works, and they will be attracted and interested. They will not be in danger of associating the character of God with everything that is stern and severe; but as they view the beautiful things which He has cre- ated for the happiness of man, they will be led to regard Him as a tender, loving Father They will see that His pro- hibitions and injunctions are not made merely to show His power and authority, but that He has the happiness of His children in view.

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As the character of God puts on the aspect of love, be- nevolence, beauty, and attraction, they are drawn to love Him. You can direct their minds to the lovely birds mak- ing the air musical with their happy songs, to the spires of grass and the gloriously tinted flowers in their perfection perfuming the air. All these proclaim the love and skill of the heavenly Artist and show forth the glory of God. Parents, why not make use of the precious lessons

in the groves and in the bright sunshine, and give their restless minds something to feed upon by conversing with them upon the works of God, and can inspire them with

love and reverence by calling their attention to the beauti- ful objects in nature. The Sabbath should be made so interesting to our families that its weekly return will be hailed with joy. In no better way can parents exalt and honor the Sabbath than by devising means to impart proper instruction to their families

and interesting them in spiritual things, giving them correct views of the character of God and what He re- quires of us in order to perfect Chris-

tian characters and attain to eternal life. Parents, make the Sabbath a de- light, that your children may look forward to it and have a welcome in their hearts for it.

It means eternal salvation to keep the Sabbath holy unto the Lord. God says: “Them that honor Me I will honor.” 1 Samuel 2:30. CCh 264.

which God has given us in the book of nature, to give our children a correct idea of His character? Those who sacri- fice simplicity to fashion and shut themselves away from the beauties of nature cannot be spiritually minded. They cannot understand the skill and power of God as revealed in His created works; therefore their hearts do not quicken and throb with new love and interest, and they are not filled with awe and reverence as they see God in nature.

A Day to Live the Life of Eden

The value of the Sabbath as a means of education is be- yond estimate. Whatever of ours God claims from us, He re- turns again, enriched, transfigured, with His own The Sabbath and the family were alike instituted in Eden, and in God’s purpose they are indissolubly linked together. On this day more than on any other, it is pos- sible for us to live the life of Eden. It was God’s plan for the members of the family to be associated in work and study, in worship and recreation, the father as priest of his household, and both father and mother as teachers and companions of their children. But the results of sin, hav- ing changed the conditions of life, to a great degree prevent this association. Often the father hardly sees the faces of his children throughout the week. He is almost wholly de- prived of opportunity for companionship or instruction. But God’s love has set a limit to the demands of toil. Over the Sabbath He places His merciful hand. In His own day He preserves for the family opportunity for communion with Him, with nature, and with one another.

A Fitting Climax in Prayer and Song

As the sun goes down, let the voice of prayer and the hymn of praise mark the close of the sacred hours, and in- vite God’s presence through the cares of the week of labor. Thus parents can make the Sabbath, as it should be, the most joyful day of the week. They can lead their chil- dren to regard it as a delight, the day of days, the holy of the Lord, honorable.

Child Guidance, p. 527–537.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church believes that the when the tests of a true prophet are applied to Ellen G. White, they confirm beyond doubt that God bestowed upon her the promised gift of prophecy. That gift is one of two prominent characteristics of His church in the last days (Rev. 12:17; Rev. 19:10), and indeed, her prophetic gift was instrumental in the formation of Seventh- day Adventism. Her inspired writings continue to clarify and uplift the Word of God.

writings continue to clarify and uplift the Word of God. Make the Sabbath a Delight All

Make the Sabbath a Delight

All who love God should do what they can to make the Sabbath a delight, holy and honorable. They cannot do this by seeking their own pleasure in sinful, forbidden amusements. Yet they can do much to exalt the Sabbath in their families and make it the most interesting day of the week. We should devote time to interesting our children. A change will have a happy influence upon them. We can walk out with them in the open air; we can sit with them

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Ahimaaz

Runs Again

Runs Again

Ralph Larson

H istory reveals that when the Scriptures are taught, conversions follow. When preachers fail to give the trumpet a certain sound, the church declines.

“We are the church that is taking to the world the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14.” These words were spoken by a missionary of another faith to a Seventh-day Adventist minister, who heard them in astonishment. He had never before heard a representative of any faith other than Seventh-day Adventist make such a reference to these messages. Recovering from his surprise, the Adventist minister asked: “What are you telling the world about the mark of the beast in the third angel’s message? What is the mark of the beast?” “Oh, we do not know what that is,” was the reply. “And the second angel’s message, about the fall of Babylon?” “We do not know yet,” was again the answer. “And the first angel’s message, about the judgment hour?” “We do not know yet.” They were taking the three angels’ messages to the world, but they did not know what they meant. We are forcibly reminded of the story of Ahimaaz, an aide to King David’s general Joab, who was defending the king against a rebellion led by David’s own son Absalom. See 2 Samuel 18. Absalom’s rebel army had been defeated, and Absalom himself had been killed. Joab had dispatched another aide, Cushi, who had been a close observer of the events, to carry the news of victory to David. Ahimaaz begged for the privilege of also running to the king. Joab felt that Ahimaaz, although he could run well, had no accurate knowledge of the situation, but he yielded to his appeal. So the fleet-footed Ahimaaz overtook the slower Cushi and arrived in the presence of the king ahead of him. But to David’s anxious question, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” Ahimaaz could only answer, “1 saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was.” From then until now this biblical experience has been the classic illustration of the problem of the messenger without a message.

When the Christian Church Grew

How unlikely seems the strange situation, but how often in the history of Christianity has the experience been repeated! When we look back at the history of preaching

in the church at large, we see neither a steadily ascending

graph line nor a steadily descending graph line, but rather

a series of highs and lows, of contrasting hills and valleys.

Hugh Thompson Kerr counts four periods of elevation in the preaching of the Christian church, and between them three periods of decline, times in which the messengers lost their message, and Ahimaaz ran again. 1 The high points, as he sees them, are (1) The preaching of the apostles in the first century; (2) The ministries of Ambrose, Augustine, Basil, Chrysostom, and the two Gregories in the fourth and fifth centuries; (3) The Reformation period in the sixteenth century; and (4) The evangelical preaching of John and Charles Wesley, Whitefield, and their contemporaries in the eighteenth century. It will be worth our time to pause and consider the characteristics of the preaching in the times when it was most successful. The New Testament reports five sermons preached by Peter, one by Stephen, and several by Paul. Though much condensed, these sermons provide an interesting view of the apostolic style. It was authoritative, invoking the authority of Scripture, and with particular emphasis, the prophetic portions of scripture. It was uncompromising. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4: 12. It was confrontational. “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.” Acts 5:30, all emphasis supplied. It was ethically demanding. Nothing less than a holy life, lived through His power, would meet the demands of the gospel. The past life will be covered by His forgiveness, but there must be no intention of continuing in sin. It was simple, practical, and direct. To have clothed such

a message in ornate rhetorical forms would have been obviously inappropriate. Clarity was important; elegance was not. It included appeals for personal repentance. These were never omitted. The guilt of the hearers was seen to be enormous, involving the rejection of the Son of God. But their cases were not hopeless. Forgiveness was offered upon the condition of repentance, an option available to everyone, so none need despair. These were the characteristics of the highly successful

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apostolic preaching, and indeed of the preaching in all of the four periods of effective and successful preaching noted by Kerr.

When the Christian Church Declined

What then of the three periods of less than successful preaching? They were clearly times when Ahimaaz ran again, as the messengers lost their message. We look first at the period of decline, between the apostolic preaching and the more effective preaching of the fourth and fifth centuries:

“After the death of the apostles and their fellow workers there is a decline.” 2 “We must wait for three or more centuries after the apostolic preaching for the eloquence of Chrysostom and the Gregories, Ambrose and Augustine.” 3 Much of the blame for this decline in the quality of preaching was due to the allegorizing of Origen, which was imitated by many others, and, as Martin Luther later

put a nose of wax on the Scriptures, which could

be turned in any direction.” We submit a sample, from Origen’s homily on Rebekah at the well, from the volumes of The Church Fathers:

“Rebekah going daily to the well represents daily devotions. The well is the Scriptures. Abraham’s servant is the prophetic word. His camels are irrational and perverse people. Putting down the water jar from her shoulder is the rejecting of Greek pride and eloquence. Going with Abraham’s servant to meet Isaac is the church following the prophetic word. Dismounting from her camel is departing from all vices. The jewelry in her ears and on her hands is golden words and golden deeds. Her marriage to Isaac is the union of the soul with God.” With such ludicrous distortions of the meaning of

Scripture as this example, it is readily apparent that the vocation of preaching suffered a great decline. It could be accurately stated that the messengers had lost their message, and Ahimaaz was running again.

Preachers Didn’t Preach…

said,

The influence of Origen, who was counted one of the great church fathers, carried past the era of the great preachers of the fourth and fifth centuries, which Kerr sees as one of the “highs” in preaching, into the dark and gloomy Middle Ages. There was actually little preaching done, for the celebration of the mass came to be the accepted form of worship, and such preaching as was done tended to be in Latin and in the style of Origen. “In general, the clergy did not preach.” 4 “Over wide districts, and through long years at a time, there would be almost no preaching. When men assembled in churches it was only to witness ceremonies and hear chanting and intoning. If sermons were given, it was in many countries still the custom to preach only in Latin,

which the people did not understand.” 5 With ceremonies displacing sermons, and allegorizing displacing the proper use of Scripture, the long period from the fifth century to the sixteenth century was tragically a time in which the messengers had no message, and Ahimaaz ran again. And just as the fourth and the fifth centuries brought a

“high” in preaching which was followed by a sharp decline, even so the Reformation of the sixteenth century brought

a “high” which was in its tum followed by a sharp decline.

The eighteenth century materialism of France, the deism of England and the illuminism of Germany produced a change in sermon style and content. (Deism is the belief that God created the world and then left it largely to its own devices while He gave His attention to other matters. Illuminism is a term describing the belief of those who profess to have special knowledge that lesser persons do not have.) “After the Reformation there was a sharp decline in

preaching in the Protestant churches.” 6

…Or Else They Taught Man’s Doctrines

Laboring to make the Bible more “rational,” preachers

substituted references to man’s will for references to the Holy Spirit, putting references to a gradual improvement of manners and character in the place of references to the new birth called for by the Scriptures:

“Some preachers, unable to find in the Bible as they read

it topics of sufficient interest, gave lectures on economical

or social subjects, such as agriculture, vaccination, and the making of wills--or upon subjects taken from the natural sciences, such as the structure of fishes and birds.” 7

The lawyer Blackstone, after visiting from church to church and hearing every noted clergyman in London, said:

“He did not hear a single discourse that had more Christianity in it than the writings of Cicero, and that it would have been impossible for him to discover, from what he heard, whether the preacher was a follower of Confucius, or Mahomet or Christ.” 8

Revival through the Scriptures

Thus the messengers had no message, and Ahimaaz ran again. But the prodigious activity of John Wesley, with his 42,000 sermons, and of Whitefield with his 18,000 sermons, brought preaching to a new period of success. “The Evangelical Revival may be compared in its influence to the Reformation.” 9 The influence of this preaching was felt on both sides of the Atlantic, with results that lasted for years. Again we note the high authority of Scripture, and the call for repentance and surrender of the will to God which characterized their preaching, as it had that of the great preachers before them. “While Bolingbroke assailed Revelation, and Chesterfield

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politely sneered at everything unselfish and good, and Christian Apologists vainly strove to convince the intellect of the upper classes, Whitefield and Wesley began to preach to the consciences of men, and thus felt no need of confining their discourses to the cultivated and refined.” 10

Scriptural Preaching, Plentiful Harvest

We find, then, that in the four periods of successful, influential preaching in the history of the Christian church there are certain similarities. In all of these four periods preaching tended to be literally historical and maintained a high concept of scriptural authority. It was uncompromising in the central positions of its theology. It made high ethical demands upon the people, setting them in conflict with their own cultures. It stressed the judgmental call to repentance. Its expression tended to be simple, practical, and direct. The messengers had a message, and the message transformed lives. Against this background we wish to consider the experience of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is obviously a church that has been built by preaching. The first Seventh-day Adventists were persons who had responded to the preaching of William Miller and his associates. In the Bible conferences that followed the great disappointment of 1844, a “platform of truth” was studied out which was to be central in all subsequent Adventist preaching. Those who believed that the “platform of truth” was sound and substantial began to travel among the scattered Adventists to proclaim it. Joseph Bates, James and Ellen White, Gurney, Pierce, Nichol, and others led out in this work. Groups of “Seventh-day Adventists” began to rally around them, and eventually they became a body of unified believers. By 1863 the church was formally organized with 3,500 members. Unity of effort then made possible a new period of camp meeting preaching, reminiscent of the era of the Millerite movement. By 1870 the membership had grown to 5,440, and by 1880 to 15,570. By this time more preachers were being trained in the new educational institutions, and they scattered over wide areas, especially in the growing West. They shifted from the two- or three-week camp meetings to preaching programs that lasted many months at a time, and frequently resulted in the establishment

at a time, and frequently resulted in the establishment of new churches. By 1901 the membership

of new churches. By 1901 the membership had reached 75,000. A ninety- four-year-old retired Seventh-day Adventist minister, who communicated with me as I was writing this paper, reflected that during his lifetime the membership has grown from 75,000 to approximately eight million. This result must be recognized as one of the most highly successfulpreachingprogramsinthehistoryofChristianity. The close similarity between this manner of preaching and the preaching of the Apostolic Age, the fourth and fifth centuries, the Reformation, and the Wesleyan revival, is self-evident. As in these four high periods in the success of preaching, the preaching of Seventh-day Adventist ministers affirmed the unquestionable authority of the Scriptures, with special emphasis on the great historical prophecies. It was uncompromising, insisting on the uniqueness of its message, and admitting of no “comity” (harmonious) arrangements with other churches, whereby it would stay out of areas that they considered their own. It was confrontational, pointing to the broken law of God and the dishonoring of the sacred Sabbath day. It was ethically demanding, calling for Christians to abide by the biblical principles regarding diet, dress, entertainment, and stewardship, which placed them at odds with their own cultures. It was simple, practical, and direct. It always contained earnest appeals for personal repentance and surrender of the entire life to the will of God. And as such preaching has always done, it transformed lives. The careless became earnest; sinners became saints; and the profligate became pure. The messengers had a message— a powerful, convicting and converting message. There was no Ahimaaz here.

Compromise—and a Decline

But then something changed. The tragic story has been told so often that we need only sketch it here. Some of our leading brethren engaged in a dialogue with Calvinistic theologians who offered to stop calling us a “cult” if we would only surrender certain points of our faith. Incredibly, our brethren capitulated. The terms of their surrender were published in a book called Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine, now more commonly designated by the simpler form, Questions on Doctrine. In this book our concept of the present atoning work of Christ was carefully muted, and the direct question, “Does not Mrs. White state that Christ is now making atonement for us in the heavenly sanctuary?” was not directly answered. (She does. See The Great Controversy, 422, 428, 430, 433, et al.) In addition, our brethren gave to the Calvinists and to the world a statement concerning our belief about the human nature of Christ that has now been proved to be a methodological monstrosity and a historical fraud. Careful and thorough research has brought to light 1,200 published statements of our historic belief that our Lord came to earth in the human nature of fallen man, four

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hundred of these statements by Ellen White. (See The Word Was Made Flesh, by Ralph Larson. See also the note at the end.) In spite of this mass of evidence, our brethren gave to the Calvinistic theologians a statement that we had never believed that doctrine, but rather that we had always believed, as they did, that Jesus came to earth in the human nature of the unfallen Adam. See Questions on Doctrine, 650. This admission may have seemed to them to be unimportant, but it has actually ravaged the church. There is a grim and inescapable logic connected with it. If Christ came to earth in the unfallen nature of Adam, then He had no hereditary weaknesses, and could not possibly have been tempted as we are tempted, and it is unreasonable and unfair to expect us to live as He lived, without sin. The putting away of sin, which is the very heart of the sanctuary service, is impossible, and the entire doctrine of the sanctuary becomes meaningless. The Spirit of Prophecy, which testifies repeatedly that our doctrine of the sanctuary is meaningful and true, has to be discarded. And if it is impossible for men to keep God’s holy law, why bother about the Sabbath, much less about the mark of the beast?

Missing, Confusing or False Messages

This brings us back to the point with which we started, the phenomenon of a church claiming to be taking the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 to the world, but not knowing the meaning of those messages. The first angel’s message, “Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come,” has no meaning at all if it is separated from the doctrine of the sanctuary. It is the sanctuary doctrine that makes clear both the time and the nature of the judgment. But an ever-increasing number of Seventh-day Adventist ministers are now rejecting the doctrine of the sanctuary, thus rendering themselves incapable of preaching the first angel’s message. Thus Ahimaaz, the messenger without a message, runs again. More and more Seventh-day Adventist ministers are deciding that it is in poor taste to feel that we have something better than what other churches have, and so the second angel’s message, “Babylon is fallen” (verse 8), has become distasteful to them. But the greatest havoc is wrought with the third angel’s message about the mark of the beast. Our historic position, well substantiated by the Spirit of Prophecy, has been that the beast is Catholicism, that its mark is the substitution of a false holy day for the true holy day of God’s sacred law, and that those who willfully reject the law of God and accept the law of the apostate church will eventually receive the mark of the beast. The false Calvinistic doctrine that it is impossible for any Christian to obey God’s law does away with this entire message with a single stroke. Those who have become infatuated with this false Calvinistic doctrine are unmoved by the fact that there are

fifty verses in the New Testament that call for obedience to God’s law. They are equally unmoved by the fact that there are in the Spirit of Prophecy no fewer than 4,500 passages calling for obedience to God’s holy law. They manifest no concern over such Spirit of Prophecy statements as these:

“In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of God could not be obeyed.” The Desire of Ages, 761, all emphasis supplied. “On this earth Satan sought to carry forward the work that he began in heaven. He declared that man could not obey the law of God.” Signs of the Times, July 23, 1902. “Satan represents God’s law of love as a law of selfishness. He declares that it is impossible for us to obey its precepts.” The Desire of Ages,24. Ellen White placed thirty-five warnings of this nature before the church in the period between the eventful year 1888 and her death in 1915. Undoubtedly the most awesome of them all is the following:

Satan declared that it was impossible for the sons and daughters of Adam to keep the law of God, and thus

charged upon God a lack of wisdom and

who are under the control of Satan repeat these accusations against God, in asserting that men can not keep the law of God.” Signs of the Times, January 16, 1896. When we consider how much literature is now coming forth from Seventh-day Adventist presses affirming Satan’s lie to be the truth, and how many ministers are now standing in Seventh-day Adventist pulpits making the same assertion, the above statement is sobering indeed. It is immediately apparent that such men could not possibly be used by God to bring the three angels’ messages to the world. They would be messengers without a message, the modern counterparts of Ahimaaz.

The Lord Will Work in this Last Work

Men

So how may we expect God to deal with this problem? We need not wonder. When the Jewish church lost its message, the Lord raised up the Christians. When the Catholic Church lost its message, the Lord raised up the Protestants. When the Protestants lost their message, the Lord raised up the Wesleys and their fellow workers. When the Wesleyans lost their message, the Lord raised up the Seventh-day Adventists. And now that some Seventh-day Adventists are losing their message, and becoming modern counterparts of Ahimaaz, the Lord is raising up groups of faithful members all over the world who are known by various names: concerned brethren, historic Adventists, independent ministries, and so on. They are also known for their adherence to the pure gospel and their firm rejection of the false doctrines of Calvinism. The three angels’ messages will be delivered to the world. The will of God cannot be successfully resisted by man. Men who disqualify themselves to act as God’s messengers by their unbelief will simply be bypassed. A church that disqualifies itself by its unbelief will simply be bypassed:

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“Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning. There will be those among us who will always want to control the work of God, to dictate even what movements shall be made when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world. “God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness.” Testimonies to Ministers, 300. See also Testimonies, vol. 5, 207-216.

Questions on Doctrine Linked to Decline

I once listened in astonishment to Walter Martin, the Calvinistic theologian who led out in the discussions with our brethren, state that a General Conference officer of our church had told him that the publication of the book Questions on Doctrine had resulted in a great increase in our membership. If this actually happened, the General Conference officer was grossly misinformed. The precise opposite is true. In those areas of the world field where the book Questions on Doctrine has been widely distributed— the North American Division, Western Europe, and Australia—soul winning has practically come to a standstill. Such soul winning as is actually occurring in those fields is mostly among the minority ethnic groups. Afro-Europeans in England, Afro-Americans and Hispanics in America and Canada, and the races who inhabit the Pacific Islands are providing most of the baptisms in these areas. These are groups who have had little or no influence from the book Questions on Doctrine. They just have not read it. The strong membership growth that has swelled our numbers toward the eight million mark has occurred, and is still occurring, in the Third World countries. These again are areas where the book Questions on Doctrine has had very little influence, and those who do soul-winning work are still preaching our message in its historic form, in the context of the three angels’ messages. Change is beginning to come, however, as more of the ministers from these countries are receiving higher education in Seventh-day Adventist seminaries, where Calvinism is a prevailing influence. Make no mistake about it, dear reader. Calvinism is the kiss of death to our grand and glorious message, and turns its adherents into modern counterparts of Ahimaaz, the messenger without a message. This fact should cause us deep concern, but neither fear nor despair. God is still in control, and none of these developments have taken Him by surprise. There are grim events ahead of us, as evidenced by such passages in the Spirit of Prophecy as these:

“God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating

the chaff from the wheat.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 707. “Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan.” Testimonies to Ministers, 409-410. Nevertheless:

“Not one cloud has fallen upon the church that God has not prepared for.” Selected Messages. book 2, 108. “To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few—this will be our test. At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 136. May God bless you.

1 Hugh Thompson Kerr, Preaching in the Early Church (New York: 1962).

2 Edwin Charles Dargan, A History of Preaching, vol. 1 (New York: 1905), 26.

3 Kerr, Preaching in the Early Church, op. cit., 54.

4 John A. Broadus, Lectures on the History of Preaching (New York: 1907), 113.

5 Broadus, op. cit., 94.

6 Alfred Ernest Garvie, The Preachers of the Church (London: 1926), 247.

7 John Kerr, Lectures on the History of Preaching (New York: 1889), 247.

8 Dargan, History of Preaching, vol. 2, 292.

9 Garvie, 105.

10 Broadus, op. cit. 222.

Note:

From 1852 onward for 100 years, Adventist pioneer leaders not once wavered in their belief that Christ assumed man’s fallen nature, as evidence in 1,200 published statements, one third of which came from Ellen White. Only thus could He secure the redemption of mankind. The General Conference’s assertion to Dr. Martin that only an “uninformed minority” believed during that time period that He had man’s fallen nature has no veracity whatsoever. (See Ralph Larson’s The Word Was Made Flesh.) This false claim and the subsequent promulgation of the teaching of Christ’s “unfallen” human nature are responsible for the development of two separate groups within Adventism:

those who believe victory over sin is possible, with God’s grace, and those who believe Jesus must save us in our sins. jh, ed.

those who believe Jesus must save us in our sins. jh, ed. Elder Ralph Larson (1920–2007)

Elder Ralph Larson (1920–2007) served our church in roles from pastor and evangelist, beginning in 1946, to head of the theology department at Atlantic Union College, among other posts, and finally to chairman of the Church and Ministry Department of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Far East. He officially retired from denominational employ in 1985, at 65 years of age, with two decades more of service ahead of him. He then worked with self-supporting ministries whose mission was and is to preserve and preach Biblical Adventism. An ardent defender of the faith, Elder Larson authored many articles and three books: Preach the Word, The Word Was Made Flesh, and Tell of His Power.

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The
The
Photo Copyright: iStockPhoto.com The of Apostasy Robert H. Pierson D uring the first decade of this
Photo Copyright: iStockPhoto.com The of Apostasy Robert H. Pierson D uring the first decade of this
of
of

Apostasy

Robert H. Pierson

D uring the first decade of this century, the Seventh-

day Adventist Church experienced the Kellogg

apostasy. It was described by Ellen White as “the

alpha of deadly heresies.” (1SM 200) Assessing not only the damage wrought by this subtle insurrection, but also an even more devastating one yet to come, the servant of the Lord wrote: “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. The omega will be of a most startling nature.” 1SM 197. In the August issue of The Ministry, we restated some of the identifying marks of the alpha with its “deadly heresies.” It perhaps was somewhat of a prototype of what we may expect will threaten the unity of the church again in the not too distant future. It would be well for every Seventh- day Adventist leader to prayerfully study the subtle plans of the apostate “angel of light” as he seeks to thwart the triumph of the Advent Movement. Get out your Bibles and

the Spirit of Prophecy (especially 1SM 193–200). On your knees consider these startling facts faithfully chronicled by the Lord’s servant. By following the warnings of the Spirit of Prophecy, the church was saved some seven decades ago. Following the same inspired counsel may well save the church again before the work is finished. Note well what Ellen White warns could mark the work of the Omega:

1 “The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded.” 1SM 204.

2 “The truth will be criticized, scorned, and derided.” Ibid., 201.

3 It will “make of no effect the truth of heavenly origin.” Ibid., 204.

4 “Our

religion

would

be

changed.”

Ibid.,

204.

5 “The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it.” Ibid., 205.

6 “The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error.” Ibid., 204.

7

There would be a “supposition that a great reformation

was

to

take

place

among

Seventh-day

Adventists,

and that this reformation would consist of giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith.” Ibid., 204.

8 “A

system

of

intellectual

introduced.” Ibid., 204.

philosophy

would

be

9 The new philosophy would “rob the people of God

of their past experience, giving them instead a false

science.” Ibid., 204.

10 It would seek to weaken the preaching of the Second Advent (and the final events just before

it) by teaching “that the scenes just before us are not of

sufficient importance to be given special attention.” Ibid.,

204.

11 “Books of a new order would be written.” Ibid., 204.

12 “A new organization would be established.” Ibid.,

204.

13 “Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement.” Ibid., 205.

Now go back over those thirteen points. Study them carefully and prayerfully. You may have to meet them sooner than you expect. The seeds of such apostasy are in the churches of Christendom all around us. Before Jesus returns, the Seventh-day Adventist Church may well be confronted with a crisis that will exceed in magnitude the Kellogg Alpha Apostasy. It “will be of a most startling nature.” 1SM 197. Knowing what is ahead for the people of God should keep us, as leaders, on our knees and alert for every subtle move of the evil one. This is God’s church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, but God’s leaders must be eternally vigilant.

against it, but God’s leaders must be eternally vigilant. president. Elder Robert H. Pierson was president

president.

Elder Robert H. Pierson was president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (1966-1979) when he wrote this article, which first appeared in The Ministry magazine in October 1977. Previously, he served as division president in the Southern Asian Division for several years, then became president of the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference, and in 1958 he went to Africa as the Trans-Africa Division

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Photo Copyright: iStockPhoto.com GMOs Jean Handwerk Genetically Modified Food S ince genetically modified/engineered

GMOs

Jean Handwerk

Genetically

Modified

Food

S ince genetically modified/engineered foods (GM, GE, GMOs) are pervasive in our food supply, it is wisdom to ask: What are they? Are they essentially the same as non-GM foods? And since humanity

faces a global economic and food-supply crisis, do geneti- cally modified crops live up to claims of safety, productiv- ity, and profitability? Natural, or traditional, breeding processes allow modi- fications within same species. A horse, for example, bred with a donkey, makes a mule. In genetic modification, though, a gene with desired characteristics from a differ- ent species (i.e., a transgene) is physically inserted into the genetic sequence of plant or animal DNA. Perhaps the best-known example is that of specific genetic material from a soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) inserted into corn or cotton, resulting in Bt corn or Bt cotton, each of which manufactures its own pesticide. Unfortunately, after GM insertion, up to 5% of other

genes in the same DNA genetic sequence mutate in ways that can’t be predicted, prevented or controlled. In appear- ance and flavor, GM crops/foods may resemble non-GM equivalents, but scientists and watchdog organizations worldwide report GM’s harmful effects on human and ani- mal health and reproduction. They fear side effects such as new toxins, new diseases, and health-compromising diges- tive problems.

True Source of This Problem

“Christ never planted the seeds of death in the system. Satan planted these seeds when he tempted Adam to eat of the tree of knowledge which meant disobedience to God. Not one noxious plant was placed in the Lord’s great garden, but after Adam and Eve sinned, poisonous herbs sprang up. In the parable of the sower the question was asked the master, ‘Didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?’ The master an- swered, ‘An enemy hath done this’ (Matthew 13:27, 28). All tares are sown by the evil one. Every noxious herb is of his sowing, and by his ingenious methods of amalgamation he has corrupted the earth with tares.” 2SM 288.2

The Evidence

Animal feeding studies reveal higher death rates, organ

damage, reproductive failures, sterility, damaged immune systems, abnormal cell growth in digestive tracts, lower infant birth weight and higher infant mortality. Farmers report thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock. Toxic and allergic properties of GM foods have been widely documented. In one experiment, rats refused to eat a GM tomato; some of the forcefed rats developed stomach lesions or died within 2 weeks. The tomato was approved for market. Bt toxin survived digestion in mice and caused damage to the small intestines. GM-impaired digestion may increase allergies or digestive maladies. GM peas pro- ducing life-threatening inflammatory responses weren’t marketed only because a non-mandatory mice study hap- pened to be used for the first time. Soy allergies in the UK increased 50% soon after GM soy was introduced. Rats, similar to humans in reactivity, developed problems simi- lar to humans’ multiple chemical sensitivity. In one excellent UK study done by highly respected gene researcher Dr. Arpad Pusztai, rats fed GM potatoes had marked changes in their development. The most alarming was offspring with smaller livers and heart sizes, weaker immune systems and, worst of all, smaller brain sizes. Pusztai reported some of these findings in an ap- proved public TV interview (omitting the findings about smaller brains, for fear of panicking the public), and said, “I find it very, very unfair to use our fellow citizens as guin- ea pigs….” Despite initial commendation, he was shortly fired from his job at the government-supported lab, his research confiscated and discredited, his team dispersed, and a gag order imposed on him. Protests from the inter- national scientific community were unavailing. 1 One scientist serving on an international Independent

Science Panel on GM plants in 2003, stated,

process is not at all precise. It is uncontrollable and unreli- able, and typically ends up damaging and scrambling the host genome, with entirely unpredictable consequences.” 2

At least two studies with rats fed GM potatoes revealed an unusual increase in cell growth in the small and large intestines. Several scientists have said the situation may lead to cancer. 3 Additionally, in one small human study, researchers found GM soy transgenes released during digestion had transferred from the food into gut bacteria and continued to function, with unknown consequences. One of many concerns is that because many GM crops are engineered to

The [GM]

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be antibiotic resistant (as an identifying tag), it is feared the antibiotic resistance will be transferred to the human or animal. In fact, antibiotic-resistant infections are re- portedly on the rise in children. 4 Consider, too, the supplement L-tryptophan imported back in the 1980s. Of six brands, one was GM. About 100 Americans died and thousands were sickened or disabled after ingesting it. If symptoms hadn’t been new, unique, and acute—arising so quickly that medical help was sought—the connection to GM L-tryptophan might never have been made. However, if symptoms develop more slowly or with common symptoms, how can the cause be reliably determined? Are GM foods behind the increase of food-related illness- es and allergies, asthma, migraines, ADD, and diabetes? See www.seedsofdeception.com. What if human symptoms are related to something the animal ate—like GM corn? No safety studies have been done on the effects of consuming GM-fed animal products, yet studies indicate some GM DNA appears in meat, eggs, and dairy.

Farming Issues

So far, GM safety claims have proven false. Economic and environmental issues have also emerged. Promises of increased crop yields to alleviate world hunger and pov- erty haven’t materialized. Wind spreads GM pollen onto non-GM fields, making them also GM. GM-free honey cannot be guaranteed, as bees gather nectar from GM and non-GM flowers. After Bt cotton picking, Indian shepherds grazed their flocks on the plants. Within a week, one-fourth of the sheep died. Filipino villagers near Bt corn fields developed serious health problems during pollination. Some animals died after eating the corn. Weeds growing amid GM herbicide-resistant crops become herbicide-tolerant, so farmers must spray more or use more toxic herbicides. This increases farmers’ ex- penses, because not only are GM farmers forbidden to save seeds to use the next year, but must purchase more seeds each year, these plants are designed to be herbicide-resis- tant to only one particular herbicide, which farmers must, of course, purchase. Not only that, GM soy has higher her- bicide residues, which may trigger allergies. Effects are compounded, permanent, and global. Farmers have other concerns, too. Despite FDA claims of “substantial equivalence,” nutritional equivalency studies are lacking. Back in 1992, one FDA official warned, “…[GM] field corn supplies 50 to 75% of the diet of most domestic animals, so small changes in nutrient levels from genetic engineering can have large effects on animal

health.” The same applies to humans; because the health consequences of eating GM-fed animals and fish are not known.

Fears for the Future

GM-fed animals and fish are not known. Fears for the Future Presently, clinical trials for GM-

Presently, clinical trials for GM- based vaccines and drugs are un- derway, and for a food-based spermicide (corn with human transgenes) for possible use against overpopulation. A Greenpeace spokesperson was concerned that the spermicide gene would get into non-GM corn and “end up in someone’s corn flakes.” The GM company claims almost no chance for accidental cross-pol- lination. However, there’s simply no way to pre- vent genetic material from being spread by wind, pollen, insects, seed matter, animal feces and/or birds. Contami- nation by GM crops has already occurred rather extensive- ly, which jeopardizes the integrity of our entire biosystem. Independent observers report that years of GMO re- sults indicate no overall increased yields but, instead, in- creased pesticide use, harmful effects on wildlife from honeybees to aquatic creatures to mammals; herbicide-re- sistant superweeds and pesticide-resistant bugs, a suicide epidemic in India as GM cotton farmers face financial ruin, and animals and humans falling ill or dying after GM ex- posure. Genetic modification may well be the greatest health and environmental threat ever on our planet. The official FDA policy is that GM foods have “substan- tial equivalence” to non-GM foods. Therefore, no safety testing or labeling for consumers is required. What follows, then, are some guidelines to protect health.

What to Do?

First, read labels. Conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables have a 4-digit code on their stickers. Organical- ly-grown produce has 5 digits starting with 9. GM produce also has 5, beginning with 8. Secondly, memorize the risky ingredients and read the lists of ingredients. Most U.S. corn (including oil, syrup, flour), canola (canola oil), cotton (cottonseed oil), soy, and sugar beets (as opposed to sugar cane) are GM (3 c’s, 2 s’s). Hawaiian papaya usually is. There’s no way to know the source of sugar in a bag of sugar off the grocery shelf. Fast or snack foods are usually fried in canola or cotton- seed oil—sometimes corn oil. High fructose corn syrup is found in thousands of canned, boxed, frozen and baked products, as are corn and sugar. Soy appears as dried or fresh beans, tofu, soy flour, soy protein concentrates, soy oil, and soy milk; it often is the source of lecithin. The oil in gel capsules may be soy, canola, or corn. Regarding kids’ meals, watch the free DVD “Hidden Dangers in Kids’

Meals” at www.seedsofdeception.com.

Third, buying organic is an option. If packaging labels read “100% organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic

then by law no GM products can be in the product.

,”

However, if “organic” is only in the list of ingredients and nowhere else on the packaging, then only that particular ingredient is organic and the rest may be GMOs. Some companies put “non-GMO” or “Made without GMOs” on their products. Some limit the “non-GM” sta- tus to one common GM ingredient. Consumers should be relatively safe if the other four main GM crops aren’t listed. Field corn is used for grain products like chips, tortillas, polenta, corn meal and oil. Unless otherwise labeled, it is likely to be genetically modified, although blue and white corn varieties are usually non-GM. GM sweet corn is gain- ing popularity; the most common varieties are the Attri- bute varieties. If organic is not financially feasible, conventional fruits

and veggies must do. Pesticide load can be reduced almost 90% simply by buying organic the twelve heaviest-sprayed. Google the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” to learn what they are. Consider growing your own veg- etables and small fruits.

Meat and Dairy Affected

Meats, dairy products, farmed fish and eggs are usually from GM-fed animals. One can buy organic wild-caught, or 100% grass-fed. Economize with smaller portions—or learn to do without, as vegetarians and vegans do. The dan- gers of drinking milk from cows injected with GM bovine growth hormone (up to 25% of American herds are) can be learned at www.yourmilkondrugs.com. Plant sources of calcium are actually assimilated better than cow’s milk, anyway. Furthermore, casein, a protein found in cow’s milk, has been indisputably been linked to tumor growth. 5 Many food additives, enzymes, flavorings and process- ing agents are produced by GM bacteria, yeast, or fungi. Again, buy organic or stick to unprocessed foods. The sweetener aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal), found in many thousands of products, is also GM. Anything “sugar-free” should be suspect; read the labels.

Ideal Diet

You will likely find your favorite foods will not with- stand GM scrutiny. The biotech industry has necessi- tated some significant lifestyle changes for health-con- scious individuals, but much can be said for a simpler diet, anyway. The more unprocessed or minimally-pro- cessed and fresh foods we eat, the more likely we will see significant improvement in our health, concentra- tion, sleep and energy. Better diets improve children’s behavior, sleep, and learning. Additionally, by following a simpler, whole-foods diet, not only will we reduce our excitotoxin exposure (addictive and weight-gaining— another important topic), but our food expenses may ac-

tually decrease. A diet based on fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts/seeds is truly the healthiest for all ages.

Protect Your Family

Success of the GM food industry is tied to consumer ignorance. Just a small percentage of people switching to non-GMO brands and/or writing to food companies de- manding they discontinue usage of GM ingredients will force food companies to replace GM ingredients with non- GM ingredients. In Europe in 1999, that “tipping point” was reached within ten weeks after Dr. Pusztai’s research was publicly revealed. Over 750 articles written on genetic modification pushed the issue front-and-center. Within a single week, almost all major food companies committed publicly to remove GMOs from their product lines. A GM moratorium was then imposed in Europe, but the U.S., Canada and Argentina charged lack of scientific basis for the unfair trade barriers hurting their farmers. The World Trade Organization ruled the EU must open its markets to GM foods. Thankfully, labeling is still required there. EU countries still may ban GM crops, but the rul- ing EU Commission strongly supports biotechnology. Asia and Africa are biotech’s newest markets; expect expand- ing uses for GM technology worldwide, too. The FDA now plans to release unlabeled genetically engineered animals into America’s food supply. If there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol.1, 69. What saith God’s Word? “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward

unto thy servants

destroy the earth.” Rev 11:18. Our safest course is to read labels, eat simply, grow our own food, heed inspired health counsel, and especially--

and shouldest destroy them which

insist on GMO labeling!

1 William Engdahl, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, 22-23. Pusztai’s findings were published in the British scientific journal The Lancet (Stanley Ewen and Arad Pusztai, “Effects of Diets Containing Genetically Modified Potatoes Expressing Galanthus Nivalis Lectin on Rat Small Intestine,” October 16, 1999).

2 Engdahl, 30.

3 Jeffrey Smith, Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Modified Foods You’re Eating, 37. See www.seedsofdeception.com. Smith is director of the web- accessible Institute for Responsible Technology.

4 Archives of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, January 2009.

5 T. Colin Campbell, The China Study.

January 2009. 5 T. Colin Campbell, The China Study . Jean Handwerk, formerly a teacher, writes

Jean Handwerk, formerly a teacher, writes and edits from Delaware. She lectures locally on natural health topics and is turning her lawn into an organic garden and orchard.

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