W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
FIDELITY AND FELLOWSHIP
A CLARIFICATION AND A CALL
BOLDNESS FOR THE FAITH: CARE FOR THE WORD OF GOD
We at World Wide Web Witness Inc. are exceedingly grateful to God that it seems He has raised up not one but three creation-specialising, scientifically oriented bodies, in Australia or through Australians.
Creation Research, with its desirable stress that it seems to have had on the doctrine of separation, education and field trips, Answers in Genesis with its strong expository style in its field and entrepreneurial flair, especially in the matter of its exhibitions and teaching methods, and Creation Ministries International, with its often very soberly scientific magazines, with a considerable variety of features as well, some also in a less academic vein: these all, in one way or another, have contributed knowledge at the scientific level and/or provided useful facilities.
This is a useful addition for the people of God in combating the devil's obvious and ostentatious desire to use ballyhoo instead of truth in order to make a mythical masterpiece, evolutionism, as if it were an option alternative to creation, though this philosophy has no resemblance to the rigours of scientific method, and every resemblance to logical farce.
This is as foretold (II Timothy 4:3-4, II Peter 3:1-5 cf. SCIENTIFIC METHOD, SATANIC METHOD AND THE MODEL OF SALVATION).
Just as a Prime Minister or President may be able to escape from ridicule at times, when he is propounding various foolish notions from his executive heights, so here, scientists, a good percentage of them at least, have been propounding in this field, wishful hopes without help from the empirical domain, mere artistries of empty thought: this in the name of evolutionism. Some even claim to do it in the name of science!
Like a chanting army, they have been noisily pushing doctrines which are palpably absurd. Thus the mere passing of time is made the equivalent of a creative nursery of life’s brilliance, while in ‘nature’, sub-moronic matter – that is, something without any mind at all – is magically moved to become a genius beyond measure, author of myriads of miles of detailed information, not only imprinted with commands and supplied with executive direction with astounding finesse, but marvellously miniaturised in DNA. Thus the least becomes the most, matter’s a secretary, exhibiting the constraints and code of a mental strength without mentality, while all comes from nothing at once or in steps, cause becomes irrelevant and arrivals are like Peter Pan, flitting in from a paradise of ingenuity, like a breeze blowing from where nothing is.
So here is found sprawling self-contradiction, a very masterpiece of verbal emptiness, where calumny of the Creator comes in sight as a way of anti-empirical life, many dimly or even actively disdaining Him on the one hand, or on the other, wedding Him to the curse which is laid upon sin, as if by this He created! As to the latter, it is nothing but an aggravation of folly, an extrapolation of evil, where sin decides to condemn the Judge for its own whippings (Romans 5:1-17, 8:17ff. cf. Spiritual Food and Spiritual Drink Chs. 1 and 12), while vainly trying to wash its own hands (cf. Beyond the Curse).
THE PRESENT POINT
It is however necessary for us at Word Wide Web Witness Inc., an arm of the Australian Bible Church - continuing in principle on the original and unharassed 1901 basis of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, with its grand composure of biblical elements, to clarify a point in this area. It is this. Although we use the work of such bodies as the above three creation organisations, this is not to be taken to mean that their various positions or methods are always ones we could endorse.
Quite the contrary is the recent case where a difference between two such Christian bodies reportedly became a matter of secular law despite exceedingly clear words in the Bible, at I Corinthians 6:1ff.. Some years ago, one of us did not take legal action against acutely evil action by a particular body calling itself Christian, in view of this scriptural prohibition, and because of a natural desire not to bring the name of the Lord into any disrepute.
In the above creationist case, however, one secular newspaper took the opportunity to lampoon Christian creationism, marvelling that it took these two Christian creationist bodies so long to settle their differences, several years eventually, it declared, before settling out of court: this, when God took only six days to create the universe. Such was their jibe.
They apparently forgot, or chose to forget that God is infinitely wiser and better than we are. Whoever was responsible must answer to God for supervening His word.
Indeed, this lapse from the Bible’s directions cost dear. This is a source of deepest concern. After all, Solomon did exceedingly well, but in the end took the law into his own hands in no small measure! That King slid too close into certain convenient relations with false religions.
Again, the advertised use by CMI of Seventh Day Adventist premises for meetings,
On that sect, the reader may desire to see -
Gift of God's Grace in Christ Jesus Ch. 1 and also,
Christ the Citadel
5 and esp.
Hapless Hitches ... Ch. 1 as marked - in two places,
Open to Him ... Ch. 3 as marked, and the
Sermon Galatians 4-5 as marked.
╬ See also the new Appendix on SDA below.
applies to other sects, such as Romanism (cf. SMR pp.
1032-1088H, The Holocaust or
Morality … Ch. 5), where
these arise for view. It has become necessary to emphasise this.
It is equally intolerable, as has occurred in literature forwarded by a creationist body, to seek to try to make it appear that the Romanist pope during World War II was not supine or fearful, but actively heroic in saving many lives. Whatever the truth of this matter, with behind the scenes concepts imagined or asserted, one thing is clear. Softness on the follies of Rome, instead of facing the issues it involves, is not wise (cf. I Timothy 4:1-6). For reference, it may be noted that this, together with a parallel issue in the same field, is traced for concern in The Holocaust of Morality and the Coming of Christ the King Ch. 5.
The pope did NOT expose the folly, cruelty and horror of Hitler and his rule, which gained initial power in a way much helped by subtle political action directed from Rome, according to report (SMR pp. 968ff.). This aided at the first, his coming to power, something thus aided ever to mount at all, by this very body. In this way, it was even helped into power at the crucial point, by political intervention, through deliberate Romanist action. Once in, the acme of horror at Hitler's hand was not seen to be condemned by the body that so helped him!
Did the pope pillory Nazism for its anti-Jewish tortures and genocide ? Where is this found, for it is missing.
If it is not so, and if the war-time pope did in fact hold forth with eloquent condemnation and arousal of the world to the situation as fast as he knew of it, it is not known to be so!
In view of these atrocious developments, a severance and a disjunction, a condemnation and an exposure was entirely necessary, and appears ENTIRELY LACKING from the papacy when Hitler's power threatened menacingly. If then, this was so in general, it was more so in the Jewish case. You do not, in the kingdom of heaven, twiddle your theological thumbs; and if you presume to speak for Christ (apart from the sanctions which His word imposes on all, cf. Matthew 23:8-10), then to fail to expose what you helped to impose is a course of moral failure, the more so when in the Romanist Inquisition, not only Christians in their thousands but Jews were harangued, harassed and smitten.
Hitler's action was the coping stone of the arch of persecution in Europe, over the centuries; it by no means began it. The rigorous condemnation of that heartless inhumanity by one who spoke about humanity in the name of Christ at all, and assumed a universal position, was like omitting a report on a cancer tumour, in a health review.
It saves trouble if you do not speak, and perhaps your neck; but if you roundly condemn, then you reject, expose, impugn, raise a human voice against inhuman barbarity, set a tone in the realms of celestial speech, and of course, in this case, differentiate yourself from the tortures that Romanism so freely conferred on Jewish people in the past, setting the record straight, even though nothing can remove what was done, in direct violation of Christ's command (John 18:36, Matthew 26:52ff.).
Universal condemnation was needed to inform human beings of inhumanity on a gross, selective and vile scale, to arouse moral integrity to action in a war against the man who contrived such follies, assist awareness of the point of the conflict and its perils if lost, engender an attitude of pain and grief for Jews that would stir vast energies of heart, just as the fear of the atomic bomb did, leading to new initiatives by Europeans, some of the most expert of which went to America, to help overthrow such horrors.
Truth is not a thing to be ignored, but propounded; and the mind of man is not to be squashed into ignorance, instead of opened to reality, so that the immoral gates might be pounded with fresh energy and initiative, from greater depths of revulsion, and awareness of the importance of time.
It was decisively needed that people should expose with special knowledge when they had it, what would fortify opposition, remove misplaced romanticism even if it exposed those who so spoke, themselves to peril DURING the war, and possible death after it! What had helped to establish Hitler would need speedily to expose the folly, heartlessness and grotesqueries of the madman, intoxicated with power and philosophy, like rum and whiskey in harness.
An exposure at heart to the heart, this was needed.
With the papacy, THIS, it did not happen.
The pope did not find it necessary in stark courage and total honour for the Lord, to speak openly and persuasively on behalf of those so treated, to expose the treatment and its source, as one valiant for the truth; nor did he exercise the denunciation which might have eroded earlier and more fully some of the panache of Hitler. This might have shown that there were those who at whatever cost, do not cower or plot or consign themselves to secrecy, but with the valour of fidelity and the sweep of spiritual zeal use every way available to testify in truth concerning whatever things demand it for moral integrity.
Thus in comparative silence on this holocaust, there was less danger to pope and to his regime, whoever won the war; and the initial use of Hitler as of so many others in their day (SMR pp. 968ff.), did not become a thing decisively cast off, or treated with due abhorrence with all the moral force available. This left alliance able to continue with EITHER the Allies or Hitler, after the war. In fact, Romanism was quite used to deploying princes and Emperors, as in the long day, the dreary centuries of the Holy Roman Empire, with its cunning contrivances and brazen power, political and religious, in disharmonious but fearful assault on humanity.
Truth needs to be spoken (Isaiah 59:14); and when the enemy comes in like a flood: the Spirit of the Lord lifts up a banner against him (Isaiah 59:19). Deception, delusion, profusion of distortion, propaganda, it all rushes in and reality needs its attestation in whatever climate. Man is not a twiddle patch, but made in the image of God, must be shown the truth, allowed to discern and decide in the light of it, not treated like children by those who manage levers, themselves escaping the vast perils, instead of instituting vast impetus to overcome the now revealed evil. Whatever was done, this was NOT done.
Much the same, only worse, has happened in the field of evolution, where report is now to hand of celebration of the Darwinian anniversary in pontifical places. There can be no excuse for the developing papal endorsement of the type of thing Darwin has envisaged, or for hiding it, as if the pontiff did not claim utter and universal power to teach in God's name, whatever doctrine he has in mind concerning things moral, spiritual and especially biblical. It is stated at papal coronation, that the pope is "the Father of princes and Kings, Ruler of the World, the Vicar of our Saviour, Jesus Christ." In the New York Catechism, he is deemed the "father and teacher of all Christians, " and further, "the infallible ruler, the founder of dogmas, the author and judge of councils; the universal ruler of truth, the arbiter of the world, the supreme judge of heaven and earth ... God himself on earth."
Indeed, in the Bull, Unam Sanctam, the pope claims this, "If, therefore, the earthly power err, it shall be judged by a greater," which is then identified as that claimed by Rome; and he adds the 'spiritual sword' to his hand, at divinely authorised to himself, who being human yet has this authority divine as a person in a line.
Those who would wish it different, even in Rome, as one article featured in the work of one creationist body suffered to appear, do not alter the grand and pompous pretensions of the papacy concerning their power to interpret the Bible or impose their own doctrines, at will, whatever they may deem its source concerning man before God, and God over man. Nor is doctrine ALL that is claimed for him! Power over princes is added! Responsibilities are therefore morally proportionate: or should truth bow, judgment be kept silent, and this divine representative omit judgment when what he has forwarded explodes into horror all but unimaginable!
In the realm of creation and evolutionism, the doctrine of the papacy has declined in decisive steps into these most abominable lairs of cruelty, implying acceptance of evil as if a productive resource, whereas creation was most differently brought to be, and all the types of evil espoused by evolutionary imaginations as productive and creative, are by God consigned to vanity because of sin (Romans 8:17ff.). The curse and subjection to a vanity which is neither its virtue nor method of creation, is no place to find the blessing of the Maker! God did not create by punishment, nor institute by curse, nor did He violate His own nature, which is love, but its exhibition in bringing forth the heavens and the earth. Nothing could be viler in its imputations than this.
In fact, divine discipline as in Romans 8 and 5, and Genesis 3, is not at all the method of creation (cf. Beyond the Curse), either empirically or logically. The theistic evolution papally so progressively embraced is a horror story of defilement of the very name of God, using His curse as if it were His creation (cf. SMR Ch. 10, and in particular, pp. 30ff., 85, 88ff., 121, 126-127, 135-151, 149-159, 179-194, 195-197, S8, S19, 303-311, 316C, 482-498, 615, 999-1000 ).
It is not
just morally evil even to consider such a thing; it is factually contrary to
investigation (cf. The gods of naturalism have no
From all such things, their methods, means and fellowship, the godly must separate. Lot was nearly swallowed with the lot of them, a near escape being managed (Genesis 19); while the Lord's detestation of toleration of evil spiritual words and ways is all too clear in Jeremiah 23, Deuteronomy 13 and Ezekiel 14. Methods change as the nature of society is theocratic or democratic; but the ATTITUDE OF GOD to false premises, the gods that man acquires apart from the One who made him and told Him His way of doing it, this remains clear at all times.
The Lord abhors involvement with them or their provocateurs, with these mockers and mockeries, these religious pastiches. Stooping to share in any way with those who REPRESENT such evils, violates as if by ravishment, the purity the Lord requires (Romans 16:17 and see below). What names such names as these is self-excluded from fellowship with those who adhere to the words of the Lord, and His words ABOUT what does NOT so adhere!
In the long run, failure to honour these aspects of the word of God, to separate from all such teaching and teachers, and accordingly to honour the very nature of God, will be bound to lead to pathological consequences of an indeterminate but awesome character; and what one says in love, is nevertheless a matter for acute pondering and watchful application!
On separation from what does not adhere to all and only the Bible,
We who are freely redeemed by Jesus Christ for ever by His own blood and follow His own word of grace, mercy and authority (Ephesians 1:11, John 8:31, 6:46, Acts 5:32) need to be deep in obedience in these challenging days, avoiding all compromise, fellowship and aid to the ideas of anti-scriptural 'Christianity' as it moves on its fateful way (II Peter 2:1ff.). We need longing for carefulness according to the word of God, each helping the other, in meeting every challenge, none taking advantage of specialisation, whether church, the body of Christ as in Romans 12 and Ephesians 2,4, or tributary body. It is important that none depart from generic rules applicable to all, for specialised purposes. NO ONE who is a Christian has ANY authority EVER to change the rules of consorting and fellowship, for ANY purpose.
As all this is now public - law, meetings and the rest - it continues so here. There are biblical limits to the ways in which one may relate to others, in particular to those involved in contra-scriptural 'Christianity', in fact a contradiction in terms, whatever one's calling. It is like a Hospital: however much you may like patients, fellowship with germs on a cordial basis is more than insensitive: it is blindness.
It must be stressed that nothing should be allowed to minimise the biblical prohibitions concerning fellowship and co-ordination of activities in spiritual frame, with what has moved categorically from the word of God, and the biblical testimony of Christ. Love obeys (John 14:21-23) and so far from being a ground for outage from what God declares, it is spur to desire to know His word and to do it (I Corinthians 13:6).
This is perhaps a good time to encourage Christians to become aware of some of the recent movements and of old stabilities in this Adventist sect as in these last phases of Romanism; and to recognise the enduring default from biblical Christianity multiply present within both. While these things do not prevent our using such materials, such as come from any creation body which should fail in this area - indeed we could use material from any source so long as it did not per se involve any form of fellowship or co-operation - it does put a pall over our joy in such matters, and it draws the deepest concern when such prohibitions and injunctions are not followed.
This is by no means all; but it indicates something of the current direction of our concerns. This is not to condemn a creation body, but a type of action; and this not for any joy it gives, but in the fear of God and the knowledge of where such things can lead. Spiritual gifts, in fact, are not self-sufficient, but are connected to graces and the call for obedience in one and in all, under the Head and His rules for all. We are all imperfect; but it is not wise to let peril pass, or through silence to allow others to be misled because something excellent in many ways, appears to be beginning to sway here and there, mainly outside its special field.
According to the measure of the gift, let it be used; and according to the command of the Head, let there be restraint. As in cricket, there are many methods of bowling with an eventual aim, but they should not be off the pitch. That is for some other game!
We therefore cannot allow our own use of technical materials to mislead anyone into any false direction, by giving no warning, when any specialised service body, even if creationist, an excellent thing in itself, takes liberties in bowling.
For us, Christ will always be our special field, and all that pertains to Him, whether in a specialised field or not. This is our policy, and our earnest desire is to follow Him in all things, according to His word, however imperfect, at any point or time, we ourselves may be, in this or that result. For the overall impact of what we are directed to do, and the moulding of ourselves who are commissioned to do it, we trust in Him, to whom our way is committed, seeking to be governed by His word as enabled within it, by His Spirit.
Part of our need here, then, is to prevent misconception from our usage of materials often in themselves, both excellent in their domain and useful.
May the Lord Jesus Christ be glorified and His people blessed. Alas, to carry one's cross is not at all an easy thing, and convenience is far from it. Lively fellowship with the people of the Lord has its challenges, and its purifications, and the fear of God must always, as Peter advises, be kept in mind. Indeed, it is not a craven fear for love casts out that trembling which has no faith; but it is a clean fear as in Psalm 19, and it endures forever, just as the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.
Let then our hearts rejoice, for self-discipline is always fit for one who bears a cross, and joy is always active where He is obeyed (cf. Acts 5:32).
TWELVE P0INTS CONCERNING
ANTI-CHRISTIAN ELEMENTS OF THE SEVENTH DAY MOVEMENT
It is recommended that the already cited works on this topic be read first, so that this is seen as in their context. We now feature aspects of the SDA teaching, and consider each one as to its error.
1) It degrades the day of the Lord's power and consummation of salvation, Sunday, worship day.
This was the first day, for obvious reasons; for in it Christ DEMONSTRATED His deity designation, by the resurrection of the body, sent as sacrifice, and murdered by man; and in it, women disciples are stated to have worshipped Him. How otherwise ? God had completed His debut in the flesh, the blood shedding to buy ransom, pay for justice, in love to accept judgment, in power to complete plans sent millenia before, and articulated with ever greater predictive force. As in the CREATION, He said it, and then did it. Nothing can stop God; this was and it is His day. On it, His triumph marched home, His love found its result and mankind was given the true God to worship in the flesh, death capitulating to His power.
Of course it was the LORD's DAY. On it, He exhibited His record, His unique record, His use of the hatred of man, who crucified, to redeem from judgment, those who escaped wrath in His mercy. What a day!
Again, the next Sunday, the second in the new phase of life, of redeemed life paid for, was the first in which a male disciple is stated to have worshipped Him. Thomas insisted on physical proof, and got it. What a day! It was not only the FIRST day in which the triumphant Christ could as such be worshipped, the case with the women who did so, it was the NEXT same day of the week, where a man is on record as doing so, importantly announcing: "My Lord and my God!" as he did so. No less significantly, Christ at this, announced that Thomas had seen and believed, but in principle it was a vast new thing: "Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed." This was the fare of the Second Lord's Day. Here was a principle for all time, of faith, vested in Christ, stretching though history to come, instituted on HIS day. The fabric of the Church was being instituted and installed, exhibited and tested on THIS, His day!
Thus, it was on the direct, required testimony of the corporeal nature of Christ's resurrection that Thomas DID worship Christ. This then was made a criterion of faith. What a day! His own... The pivot of history had been found, the crux for the meaning of the universe (as in Colossians 1:19ff., Revelation 1:19, Galatians 6:14). The resurrection is the obverse side of the cross, the potency for impotence, the power of God for salvation, attested in the Gospel, invested in TIME... which ? the Lord's day, that one.
It was also the first designated day in which crowds of people from many countries were preached the Gospel, that of Pentecost. On this same day, the power of the Holy Spirit, earnestly awaited as the birthday of the Church of Gospel-preaching power took off into the air of swift movement, moved so amazingly in the disciples. Now, no longer scared, psychically scared, they arose as one, and preaching of rare quality, amazing pith and simple force, based on exact scriptures (since Christ had indeed educated them with fresh impetus after the resurrection!) was enabled to overcome linguistic barriers.
This was and is the day on which the amazing transforming, informing, regenerative power of God through the Gospel met the ears of multitudes who spoke different languages. On this day, it was as if in the UN (so VERY different in faith), with its modes of translating into various languages, were there, but without the carpets, the critics, the microphones and the systems. God did direct, as He did in the bodily resurrection itself, what needed to be done: His Spirit did the translation into the minds of the people. There is nothing too remarkable about that, compared with the resurrection of a non-decayed body!
It is however the LORD's day on which this occurred. The strictures, structures and functions of the Church are all being assembled on this, His day.
It was naturally the day set apart by the Apostle Paul for collection of offerings (I Corinthians 16:2), and to imagine that some other day would do, when this was not congregation day, is mere triviality; the fact that this was specified for the purpose without further ado, speaks for itself.
Accordingly, from the volume, Heresies and Cults, from J. Oswald Sanders, we find other indications of the taken-for-granted and institutive nature of the First Day of the Week, the Lord's Day (as obviously it was, as when a famous athlete wins at a World Championship Meet - it is HIS day!).
As to be expected, with such rational, revelatory and practical grounds, the celebration of the greatest work of God which dwarfed the works of the 6 days of Genesis 1, there are attestations of early Church action, where breaking away from the practice of centuries, because of the accomplishment in the predicted way of the predicted Messiah, the Church arose to worship Him who came, and hence His work, the redemption work which is the necessity of a fallen creation, and the deliverance to new meaning of the entirety of a cursed creation. It is hope now, and certainty to faith, and not judgment which lingers. Let us consider the practice and principles therefore as shown by historically significant early Christians.
Thus Sanders cites Clement (A.D. 194):
"The old sabbath day has become no more than a working day."
The famed Irenaeus, master Christian apologist, declared, around 178 A.D.:
"The mystery of the Lord's resurrection may not be celebrated on any other day than the Lord's day."
Justin Martyr, going further back towards the day of the Lord, in its first dawning, had this (around 138 A.D.):
"On the day called Sunday there is a gathering in one place ... and the memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are studied."
Ignatius (around A.D. 110), stated:
"If then those who walked in the ancient practices, no longer observing sabbaths, but fashioning their lives after the Lord's day on which our life also rose through Him ..."
Barnabus (around A.D, 74), declared:
"Wherefore we keep the Lord's day with joyfulness,
Finally, The Didache or Teaching of the Apostles ( 70-75 A.D.) has this:
"On the Lord's own day, gather yourselves together and break bread and give thanks."
We notice that not only is this worship on the Lord's day, a practice. It is also an advised one, a rationally based one, the ground being revelation and action by the Lord in His soul-confirming action, His mighty act. Such is their joint testimony.
The SDA reversion to Saturday, the pre-resurrection day, not merely degrades the BASIS of the rest in the Lord - this, that He DID it, He MADE it, HE prevailed over death to the very BODY on that day, and did it, not at someone's call on earth, but from God's call from heaven, the Trinity overpowering the hell what awaited man, thus fulfilling all preliminary portrayals of the necessary sacrifice (as Hebrews 7-10 is at pains to show). It falls even further; for with this, it degrades also the significance which this day has.
This is the NEXT and greatest work of God after the magnificent work of creating heavens and earth as in Genesis 1. How so ? In this, not only is brilliance, wisdom, power, innovation and glory shown, as in the 6 earlier works of God, to make the universe and man in it (Isaiah 44:24ff., 45:18); but here also, God Himself as stressed so greatly in both Ezekiel 34 and Hosea 13:14, personally involved Himself in the midst of the work in view, so that He endured not only in patience, but in incarnate anguish as sin-bearer, the sin to be overthrown (Isaiah 44:22, 53:4-6, 45:22 with 40:10), broke its power, met its case, and personally, again, transcended death for man, where anyone is penitent and receptive.
On this day, having delivered, He delivered proof, infallible, discernible, empirical of His word and actions. It was like an vastly expanded case of the miracle of the paralysed man being raised to take up his bed and walk. Which, Christ had then asked, is easier, to say 'your sins are forgiven' or to have him take up his bed, paralytic now with power, and WALK!
Which is easier, on the new vast scale of action, to SAY 'I will rise after three days, when mocked and killed!' or to DO IT! From death, therefore, He came with new, delivered and illustrated LIFE, past all poetry and philosophy, musings, hopes and theories, showing the way with His incarnate body.
To leave this OUT, when the Church and Christ put it IN, both in practice and in principle, and when its nature requires it, since the old Sabbaths pass away (Hebrews 8:13, Colossians 2:16) - not their point and purpose, but their programs and peculiarities, set in symbols with multiple feast involvement and the like, and the grandeur of the divine action, central for all history and mankind, came to predicted glory: it is like leaving out a swimming championship performance, and being satisfied with noting the name of the city where it occurred, with bald omission of the feat and its day and ground of celebration!
Now, the rest that had been required on the sabbath, that attesting the structure of man after the image of His Creator and so not changeable in sequence (ONE in seven), found a new site in the rest the resurrection pays for, grants, achieves and exhibits to all mankind. HERE is the rest, and THIS is why, and this is WHEN! The rest required from CREATION (Exodus 20) now had a new motif added: and to omit this ? What is it ?
it is to derogate the action, the work, the sequence of works in its very climax, of God, the 6 days giving way to the last, the most poignant, loving, caressing day that shouts, Now no more is man justly to end as carrion, for now on this day, God has demonstrated His deliverance for the doomed. Now He exhibits His provision for the lost wrought in personal intimacy, unexampled, infinite, that shown by Christ Himself, past poetry and installed in functionality, practicality, payment for redemption completed in ONE act on ONE day with ONE day for the demonstration of this fact.
To fail to have this as the day of rest ? It is to be delusive about the source of rest, the Saviour in His attainment of that rest, and to pass in this way, the glory of the greatest work of God, performed BY God, in the Person of Christ. It is an omission deplorable, a subsidence unthinkable.
The case however is, if possible, even worse. The addition of Old Testament ideas about the mode of the Sabbath, as found in SDA teaching, is a holiday from Hebrews indeed, but also from the Jerusalem council of Acts 15: for little of the law was bound in practical requirement (on a par with circumcision, the issue on the agenda), and certainly not such a command from the past symbolism, as this.
As we see alike in this action of Acts 15 and Hebrews, the new converts have no payment to pageantry to make; for the feasts and ceremonies were fulfilled in Christ, to whose intended glory, the Old Testament Sabbath ministered, pending His coming. ALL will be FULFILLED, He said, nothing passing, and what IS fulfilled is the whole symbolic structure. Rest, however, it is no symbol; yet its day is! It is a thing of the past as to type, not the future as in Colossians 2:9, and so cannot be annulled. You do not stop God having made man and the universe in 6 days and choosing to have this inbuilt into His image-bearer's life; but you can and DO stop the historical folly of using terms fit for one phase of history, in defining and dealing with another!
While, therefore, the timing of the day of rest had to change for now new was the day of the acme in Christ's work, yet its point remained in the nature of the case, the design specifications as in Exodus 20. Accordingly, to be judged on Sabbaths is specifically excluded by Paul in Colossians 2:16-17, for how COULD you be judged on a thing fulfilled and past, when to fail to change meant blindness to the new leader, prophet and action-accomplisher, Jesus Christ! It would be ludicrous. It would mean attacking the champion for the new glory invested in the day he did it; and the implications would be vile and horrible, a virtual divestment of His deed.
While, in terms of Colossians 2:9, it is in terms of things to come, their "shadows", where these were involved, the sabbaths and like Old Testament ceremonial foci then in view, that the exclusion is given by the apostle, yet the past is not for sale. It is recognised constitutionally in man's very being, while the new DAY for this recognition, still of course one in seven days, this is instituted by the new SPIRITUAL constitution for the race, without which, they perish, as Deuteronomy 18 had made clear would be the case.
What then ? It is found that the new worship-rest day had to be made to exhibit the great work of creation in 6 days, but now though in sequence the same, its placement was particular. Thus it COULD not continue to be regarded, simply as it had been in the past, when His greatest work was just done. Therefore, while not altering the creation sequence, the new fact of divine invention in history DID mean that completion day for the works of God. Just as the symbolic modes of the Sabbath were removed, in their attestation of rest in the light of creation, so in this fulfilment, there was enablement, for the day of rest requisite and apt to the new impact of God, was moved, in Christ, from law of the Lord, to the Lord Himself directly.
NOTHING is lost, all is gained, and what God has given is thus recognised, first in the burst of creation, 6 out of 7, and last in the most important day, the worst of redemption buried in Christ's resurrection, man from the dead, history delivered from mere consumption in His incorruption.
effort (p. 243, Van Baalen's The Chaos of the Cults) to make
the death for picking up of sticks provision for the Sabbath, to be limited to
the wilderness is mere addition to what is written, and gross presumption. ALL
of that was past. A new way was there; but the necessity for it was not removed.
Failing in these ways, moreover, to recognise Hebrews 8 in its rendering of the shadow, provisional nature of the law's requirements, when these were to be fulfilled as in Christ, is a perilous pastime. Not only must no one JUDGE concerning these things of the sabbaths (and this is PRECISELY what Mrs White did and her followers and fellow travellers do), but this is deemed to be in the domain of the obsolete (Hebrews 8:13). To be sure, the word of the Lord remains for ever, but as part of it is its provision for the coming greater prophet, the King, Jesus Christ, the Saviour (Deuteronomy 18), its symbols gain fulfilment, and its preliminaries receive due and predicted reality. Thus, any failure to realise this aspect, and overlooking of Hebrews 8, as well as the nature of the case, is profound enough for any error. It rises to the uttermost into the domain of spiritual smog, obscuring even the sky itself with its glory.
Even this, however, is not all, for to condemn those who do not make this mistake, who DO give the Lord His own glory, day and attestation: this is considerably worse. Moreover, to designate those who are obedient, consistent in testimony to the truth of Jesus Christ in this scriptural way, as deluded, as even judgeable, this is a monstrous impertinence. What then must be said when they are deemed to be allied with antichrist, or a spirit of departure! Even though SDA doctrine, unlike that of God, seems to have changed, and Sunday worship as a sign of being a follower of the beast or some such atrocity, is now deemed limited to those in the end-time rigours, nevertheless, to make the normal of Church worship on Sunday at ANY time to be an index to the workers with the Satan is such a mixture of calling good evil and evil good, like making a bank robbery the only way to avoid condemnation, that if is better not to characterise it further. One can see for oneself ...
Thus we have here an assault on the body of Christ, a new type of execution of its Head, who is made less than Head, just as it is made a reversion to the prelude covenant, and so demeaning to His dignity, place and consummative position.
In this way, SDA becomes an anti-Christian movement, even calling obedience a testimony of the demonic, whether or not this be, now one thing, now another, to be limited to a particular period.
2) It degrades the way.
Just as what Christ accomplished is by this movement derogated, so the strength of its application is so no less.
Instead of a predestinative security, attested by faith as in II Timothy 1:8ff., you have for the sect 'believer' in this case, a work together with Christ, inventing in this, for such persons, a situation of co-Saviour in function. Now we find in this doctrine, the sinner who must not fall away, who has merely a potential to draw on if he or she will, thus derogating Christ's institution of security and safety in Himself, past all works of this or that kind, of exultation or denudation. It does not depend on the will of man at the first (John 1:12), or to the last (Romans 9:16, 89:29ff.). It is a matter incorporating regeneration (I John 3:9, Titus 3:3-7), with the divine appointment of each coming from before time (II Timothy 2:8ff.). Thus His promise is to keep His sheep (John 10:9,27-28), even those who entered Him as the door (and not some watered down 'christ as in II Corinthians 11).
This now makes a triad of anti-testimony and derogation of Christ's function, nature and salvation: the sovereign totality of His redeeming work, its total recognition in the Day of the Lord and the condemnation of what is right, and mis-attribution, in part or in whole, of this to the work of the devil. .
Just as He is reduced in the first regard, so is it in the second one, and so is His body afflicted, that of which He is the Head, in the third.
Thus in fact, in Ephesians 1:4, we find that believers are chosen in Christ before the commencement of the world; as in II Timothy 1, we learn further matters. First, the people to whom Paul writes, this fellowship of Christians, have already been 'saved', having been indeed called with a holy calling. This is such that firstly, the salvation in view is not according to works. Since leaving Christ or staying is undoubtedly a work, if non-leaving were not assured as it is scripturally, this therefore at once is contradicted by this alien movement.
Indeed, by your very institution as regenerate (Romans 8:17,29ff.), you are equipped for glory as in John 4:14, 5:24ff.. Yet in the SDA teaching, then, your coming contributions to your salvation are not yet finished. There is a saving work to be done, of which you come in as partner. This is of course true in sanctification, but not in salvation. Polish is a practical variability, and so is moulding; but as to WHAT IS TO BE MOULDED, that is secured by the word of God.
Actually, it is a thing of great interest as well as peace. Thus we find in this same II Timothy 1, that it is not only a matter of how you are NOT called (NOT to be saved by works), but of how you ARE called. The calling is according to God's own purpose and grace, and such is the case for these Christians to whom Paul speaks.
What is said of this GRACE ? This: it was "given to us in Christ Jesus before time began." What was so given ? this holy calling. By what was it so given ? It was by His own purpose and grace. What is received therefore ? Salvation. What is its dimension ? It is worked out, accorded, given before time was. How then could time remove it ? Do not make one guffaw ? God has a purpose and gives it and grace to a person who is saved, and this is a holy calling and yet God is to be mocked, His purpose annulled, His grace ineffectual ? Though it is FINISHED before time, time will have the effrontery and God the slovenliness to let it fail! Time will rule Him, ruin His gift, remove His calling, overcome what was done before its antics and opportunities so much as existed ?
The author of the book gets lost in the pages! BUT God works all things after the counsel of His own will (Ephesians 1:11), so any imagination that Isaiah 43:14 must join with the other scriptures in being sold out is merely vain. This, it is not interpretation but multiple repudiation both systematically and episodically of the continual teaching of God concerning this blazing trail of triumph, made by Christ, accorded to man, the gift of grace in holy calling to those purposed for it from eternity, and THERE chosen in Christ (Ephesians 1:4).
Thus not during your time, but before you even hit the tarmac of time, you have already been assigned, consigned, rendered certain, seen to have received a salvation, even in THAT eternal view and everlasting setting. THIS calling, this specific one, IS according to the divine purpose and grace. It is NOT of works (so you CANNOT interfere with the outcome), but is IS according to His purpose and grace given before time, so you CANNOT interfere with the income, which as I John 3:9 points out, means that the practice of sinning cannot now possess you.
Sinner still ? But of course (I John 1:7ff.), what folly to imagine otherwise; child, eternal, wrought by God's regeneration however ? Equally obvious. The Christian is one both having a pre-temporal donation authorised through the gift of grace (as in Romans 5:17ff.), and one chosen in Christ before the world was founded. The choice ? it is His and such that the believer will by grace and through redemption, having received the very righteousness of God (Romans 5:17), be "without blame before Him in love."
Let us be clear. WHOSE choice was this ? It was not our own (John 1:12-13 makes this clear, both simply and majestically). It was the CHOICE of GOD, who with this purpose in eternity gave to each designated soul such GRACE, correlative to salvation. It is a fait accompli.
It is failure to receive what God says about the love of God as in Colossians 1:19ff., which leads to the confusion which some then have; but what God there says so emphatically, dramatically and clearly, leaves no excuse for squirming. What God sought in love, was ALL mankind (as also in I Timothy 2); and what is covered is what He has found in love's own way. The results are determinate, inviolable, but the method is such that in the very knowledge of God, what may be found BY love, is so found, and will endue, and the thing is wrought in plan and format, before time began, for each one so chosen. "WHOM He foreknew, THOSE He predestined ..."
He knew, He foreknew. Foreknowing is something done one way or another; and in this case, it is done by a love which seeks all, settles on some, acknowledges what in the end in His own all-knowing holiness, are those who prefer darkness, and this as before time so much as enters: for it is all without our own works! It is only refusal to allow God to be and to act AS HE SAYS which makes some to turn from this part or any other of His word, and making their own doctrine, gallop off to the derogation of His work, His salvation, His information, His regeneration or His love.
What then ? That erratic feature or SDA teaching involves not only a failure to find the biblical texture and foundation certainty of the WAY of God in salvation, but to set it in a context, a perspective where your works are decidedly not relevant, a thing Wesley himself explicitly affirmed (cf. Anguish, Ecstasy and the Mystery of the Messiah Ch. 8). What makes the position of the SDA here even worse, is their approach to sin-removal. To this, we now attend.
4) It degrades Christ's coverage of sin.
Thus, Satan is specifically cited by Mrs White, to be symbolised in the scape-goat, that animal on which sin was laid, and which scampered off with it into the wilderness. To be sure, the SDA declare this is NOT part of the atonement, but without doubt Mrs White declared that Satan is to bear sin, a convenient removalist, he being said to be: "the author of sin, upon whom the sins of the penitent will finally be placed" (The Great Controversy, pp. 419ff.). Finally expatriates from the kingdom will be burned up, removed, deleted with Satan. It is all too, too convenient, for those whose worm does not die, and whose flame is not quenched (Mark 9). Life is deeper than that, and the image of God is not for mere annulment, but rather if need be, defilement.
Once again, the nature of time at that point is to be discovered; but what is REJECTED outright by the Bible is any idea that those finally lost, that is, not won, are mere memories that pass. Everlasting contempt is their lot, everlasting destruction. In the mercy and wisdom of God, the mode of this is left to be found; but the gravity of rejected grace in the love of the wonderful God who on that First Day of the week, arose from bearing the shame for those who so receive Him, cannot be over-estimated.
Satan as a suit-case, vehicle, repository for sin to take it away, whatever such an imaginary process be called, it is an unbiblical one, making Satan a component of sin-removal. That in turn relates to the concept that sin sticks around, continues unmet in this, that Christ is allegedly in some temple imagined by SDA, where He has yet to stamp out some of the sin-registrations in the books. That, together with the holding back for destruction of the energies and dynamics of sin to a final shove into Satan's bosom, of those of the penitent, makes of course the milieu of sin to continue. In fact, however, Christ has in ONE sacrifice put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. It is God who has acted, enacted and removed it; and its future history is out of His wrath and truth, for judgment is according to truth, and not in terms of any pseudo-vicarious satan.
Just as, says Hebrews 9, men die once and after this the judgment, SO Christ died ONCE, was "offered ONCE to bear the sins of many." As to these, He has already perfected by ONE offering those who are being sanctified" (Hebrews 10:14). NO MORE suffering, NO MORE sacrifice, for the ONCE and ONE ONLY sacrificial system has now shown Christ to have BORNE the sin, and PUT IT AWAY in that ONE sacrifice, covering those known from eternity.
In denying this, the SDA founding prophetess or leader, not only contradicts basic doctrine concerning the scope and finality of Christ's offering, and hence Christ Himself who did all of this, making a very different being, but allows sin in its muddle and situation to remain around. Some people have yet to have their sins blotted out in the books; Satan has yet to get the crunch of the sins of others, to bear it away in the final judgment, even if this be deemed not an atonement; people are not given a sure ground of assurance but are merely exhorted to try to be perfect, useless since unattainable by the word of God (I John 1:7ff.), in this world; and the whole edifice, BY false system, is made a sort of supra-Arminianism in this, that it has a false system on which to extend the error.
5) It degrades Christ's Second Coming.
This is the third degradation of the Person and work of Christ.
By having Christ 'come' in a select, secret, invisible, undiscernible way, instead of like lightning from East to West, while the tribes of the earth mourn (Matthew 24, Revelation 1), the teaching has derogated Christ's glorious Second Coming.
There is no such 'coming' to be found anywhere in the Bible. There is His coming FOR His saints, like lightning as described in Matthew 24, and His coming with them (as seen in Revelation 19, Zechariah 14); but there is nothing secret. The latter of these, is in flaming fire (II Thessalonians 1), just as the former is a physical resurrection, a thing ... which would be noticed! (I Corinthians 15:57ff.). Moreover, there would then be no Christians left on this earth, which would also ... be noticed!
Instead of a dazzling dynamic across the heavens, we find this invention of a secret arrival to some imagined 'temple', to attend to books leading to ideas about those actually to be saved, the stamping scenario, whereas all is known, foreknown and wrought in the mind of God before it so much as happens as we have seen written. This unscriptural innovation, this diminuendo second coming, adds to what Christ has yet to do, although all is accomplished already, even everlasting redemption (Hebrews 9:12); it makes ridiculous His apparent lack of knowledge about those ALREADY CHOSEN, with HOLY CALLING, and given their place by grace, according to God's settled purpose (II Tim. 1, Romans 8:29ff.); and it does no less to His apparent failure to remember these sins no more (Hebrews 8), the very stuff of the Covenant. As Hebrews 8:7ff. shows, this is current, not futuristic, and likewise is the law of God written on their hearts
6) It degrades Christ's Eternal Redemption, in making Him still to have much work to do, taking a long time about it!
Thus not only is the work of the Cross reduced, but the work of its application is distanced, and in these regards, this is degradation both of Christ and of His soul-saving labour, His work of eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12).
God knows already the end from the beginning, and says so, having nothing to find out (Isaiah 44:9-10), and indeed, He can even DECLARE it, and asks us to consider this fact, before becoming idolatrous with gods that are not the true one (Isaiah 41, 43, 48). This power is His by a unique distinctive and He announces this fact with both emphasis and irony, challenging any to meet such a standard!
In these ways, the actual God is made less than that God in the SDA teaching, by implication; for God has neither need nor creed concerning any such thing as these limitations and innovations indicate. As in Christ is the fulness of the Godhead in bodily form (Colossians 2:9), therefore this is also to degrade Christ.
7) In so doing, this teaching degrades truth into fiction, and since Christ IS the truth, and this relates to Him, it is degrading of Himself.
In this way, God is made a learner, and the atonement beggared, so that what is noble and majestic and unique and glorious, becomes muddied and muddled with human time-series, servitudes and service-modes, even by SDA notion, imposed on the Second Person of the Trinity, in whom are "all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3)!
Indeed, truth is here twisted, scientific method is severed, reality is aborted,
since the appearance of Christ at the stated or accepted time of the prophetess,
did not occur.
Verification is both a biblical and a scientific norm, and failure to have a clear-cut prophecy about the return of Christ fulfilled, in 1844, is only made worse by inventing a nostrum which is emphatically impossible to derive from the Bible, with which He is purported exercising Himself since His invisible, made out of nothing pseudo-arrival on this earth.
Thus, to false prediction is added a false doctrine. On the prediction in the Bible, to which reference is made (Daniel 8:14), see Highway of Holiness Ch. 2. The action involved in what is applied to Christ, precedes the Empire in which Christ came, and is thus centuries out in its application, a massive anachronism. It concerns Antiochus Epiphanes and a temple on earth, not a celestial vision or imagination, and has been fulfilled to the uttermost, long before Christ came, as prelude indeed to the very end. As shown in Highway of Holiness Ch. 8, involved here are the following profound errors. The action proposed by Mrs White, as if to relate it to Christ, as there demonstrated simply, involves the
· WRONG PERIOD or DURATION
· WRONG EMPIRE
· WRONG EPOCH
Moreover, it is the
It would be difficult to make a more profound error concerning any biblical text.
To refer to the Old Testament, and to gain from some of its historical figures, famed even before the Maccabees, a mission to match to Christ, a procedure to which the prophetess seems to have adhered strangely, hence erring, is a most serious fault. It is not just that the derivation was flawed, being anachronistic to a huge degree, but that for failed prophecies of this type, these things being evidenced, the death penalty was applied in Old Testament terms (Deuteronomy 13). However, that theocratic juxtaposition of civil and ecclesiastical law is long past. It is no more applicable. For all that, it DOES show the seriousness of the situation, when such blunders occur. When one blunders in one's own name, that is mere sin; but when one blunders in the name of the Lord, this is presumption; yet again, when one dares to predict in His name, without biblical warrant and certainly without attestation of the prediction able to be shown, the plight of the guilty is not to be envied. The FEAR of the Lord is always a good antidote to such excursions...
9) In effect, therefore, this acts as if to degrade the credentials of truth (as Christ IS the truth, John 14:6), at the very level of God's own operations. It makes what is, in biblical terms, a failed prophecy, into an addition to the word of God and a subtraction from the glory of Christ (Revelation 2:9) whose works are both total in bearing sin and in dealing categorically with its results whether on earth, or in the judgment (Acts 17:31). It is death IN sin or else salvation FROM sin, and all to be done to sin in principle and power, is done already. The rest is not procedurally sequential, but judgmentally conclusive. God does not need to peer; He is without peer...
10) It degrades the testimony of righteousness, by allowing a failed-test of a forbidden doctrine (Acts 1) to become ostensibly 'rescued' by anti-scriptural distortion. It is results that are here in view, not motives; for God knows the latter, but we find empirically the exhibition of the former.
11) It degrades the rule that women do not lead in doctrine, to teach it in the council of the Church, which does not exclude dissertation but does exclude such authority as Mrs White held and administered in what is deemed a Church. In II Timothy 2:11-12 we see this (cf. Assault on Timothy). To be sure, women may counsel, may expound the word of God in some settings, and their talents are profound. However the Bible on stated grounds has forbidden that they exercise a teaching AUTHORITY in the Church, as seen in the text given; and if there was ever authority in teaching, it is in the material presented, amended and instilled by Mrs White. It is not only original in kind, unscriptural in position, innovative beyond the Bible, but set up as a standard for acceptance in terms of vision. Nothing more contrary to the scriptural prohibition in the doctrinal-authority area could be imagined.
12) It degrades the scriptural requirements in that the false teachings of the leader have not been denounced.
As with Romanism, until the time comes when the addition and contradiction here made concerning the Bible is condemned, nothing to be said is really at all relevant. Exclusion is total (Romans 16:17, Titus 3:10). If it be papacy that is in view (wrong by Matthew 23:8-10 and see SMR pp. 911ff., 1032 -1088H), then this unrighteousness must be repented of and recanted, You see that with Peter when he tried to tell Christ what NOT to do (the Cross!) as in Matthew 16. GET BEHIND ME SATAN! came the rebuke. In II Timothy 4:2, the young man is told to "convince, rebuke, exhort": without rebuke, what continues remains a defiling agency. In Titus 3:10, a heretic on the second admonition is rejected; he is not allowed to remain on the thousandth admonition.
Thus SDA degrades the purity of truth by failing to denounce the heretical structure of Mrs White as those of a false prophetess, while it seeks to distance itself from some of her teaching, as concerning Satan. (For all that: scripturally, nowhere does Satan have either intermediary or final office to bear sin anywhere, in whatever way - a new teaching, for the removal of any atoning power in the scape-goat case, does not remove the error. In fact, not only does the scape goat in fact symbolise very clearly the removal of sin, a major feature of the atoning work of Christ, but it THEREFORE has nothing to do whatever with Satan, whose bluster is forever ignoring it, deriding it, enticing to it, not removing it. Putting away sin is by the sacrifice of ONE offering of ONE incarnate Person, on ONE redemption payment, for ALL time, as Hebrews consistently insists.
As with Romanism, divisions caused by departure from the received doctrine of those to whom the Bible came, that is, the apostles and their close intimates, mark out a certain section of people. It is these whom Christians are COMMANDED to be avoid (Romans 16:17), and this by apostolic command (cf. I Corinthians 14:37). By SUCH forbidden association, where there is a continued regard for a non-denounced Mrs White, the code of conduct and purity of faith as required, is violated. Continued association without rebuke, or even rebuke without completion, forms a bridge that God has destroyed.
To erect it anew, on the part of any body with any intention, is merely to make oneself wiser than God. Unwise is he who so presumes, or that body, society or ministry. It is time to realise in this as in all, that either you follow the Lord and His word, or not. If the Lord be God, said Elijah (I Kings 18:20ff.), as did Peter Marshall in one of his sermons, FOLLOW HIM. If Baal (a convenient substitute), said Elijah, then follow him. Prevarication, procrastination is no answer. If not ? then ... the gentle Washington preacher brought forth damnation into view. The point here is not just an action; it is an attitude. Either one learns to obey, or is in danger of perpetual rebellion, which, as Samuel noted, is in a category with witchcraft (cf. I Samuel 15:23).
In such cases, eventually, truth is not merely demeaned, but disregarded, with a super-apostolic peremptoriness, and is as if transcended! In the end, such anti-apostolic liberties attack the foundation of the Church, who is Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:20), who is thereby degraded.
There is not only a need for clarity, but for warning and exhortation as seen when you read in II Timothy 4:1-6, for example, where some specifics of one type in the broad spectrum of such invasions of Christianity in its own name are predicted to occur, just as it is yet more generally revealed in II Peter 2.
Is it then spiritual to be supine about this ? Not at all, and quite to the contrary, scripturally. Love that does not heed the need to warn is like a mother who smiles when her child tells here he has found a new way of safely crossing the road without opening his eyes.
"Now the Spirit speaks expressly,
that in the latter times
some will depart from the faith,
giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
speaking lies in hypocrisy ...'
Verse 6 concludes of this type of things:
"If you put the brethren in remembrance of these things,
you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ,
nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, to which you have attained."