Subject: Response to "The Pope's Intent"
Dear Br. Grotheer,
I noticed some things in the WWN XXXVIII-6(05) that don't seem correct. In the section entitled "The Pope's Intent" you say "under John Paul II, the wound has been healed." My understanding is that the wound will not be healed until the Papacy's power to persecute is once again restored. Great Controversy is clear on that on pages 578 and 579.
"The prophecy of Revelation 13 declares that
the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns shall cause "the
earth and them which dwell therein" to worship the papacy --there symbolized by the beast "like
unto a leopard." The beast with two horns is also to say "to them that dwell on the earth, that they
should make an image to the beast;" and, furthermore, it is to command
all, "both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond," to receive
the mark of the beast. Revelation 13:11-16. It has been shown that the United States is the power
represented by the beast with lamblike
horns, and that this prophecy will be fulfilled when the United States shall
enforce Sunday observance, which Rome claims as the special acknowledgment of
her supremacy. But in this homage to the papacy the United States will not be
alone. The influence of Rome in the countries that once acknowledged her
dominion is still far from being
destroyed. And prophecy foretells a restoration of her power. "I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his
deadly wound was healed: and all the
world wondered after the beast." Verse 3. The
infliction of the deadly wound points
to the downfall of the papacy in 1798. After this, says the prophet, "his
deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast." Paul
states plainly that the "man of sin" will continue until the second advent. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8. To the very close of
time he will carry forward the work of deception. And the revelator declares, also referring to the papacy: "All
that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the
book of life." Revelation 13:8. In both the Old and the
Also, in the article "1915-1952" you quote Mary Walsh from "The Wine of Roman Babylon." A wonderful book but not flawless. You quote from page 134 on your page 4: "One has to study only the characters of Abraham and David to learn that they were very human and had a tendency to sin. Thus we see what kind of human nature Christ inherited from His progenitors." A statement like that and the one quoted by Wilcox on page 5, ("with equal tendencies toward evil, in spite of bad blood and inherited meanness,") it leaves the impression that the writer is saying that Jesus had a pull to sin within Himself that he successfully resisted throughout His earthly experience. Evangelicals have held this against us and rightly so. Jesus never had a pull to sin within Him. He was born of the Spirit from birth. He is not our example in overcoming sin, since there was no sin in Him. He is our example in obedience to the Father's will and He is our example in overcoming the onslaughts of temptation. When we receive Christ into our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit we get the will and the power to deal with inherited and cultivated tendencies to sin. We have the mind of Christ. What good would it be if with that mind, I also received the same pull to sin that He had? If Jesus had a pull to sin, then, as Matt 5 tells us, Jesus could not be our saviour, He would need a saviour.
Jesus had the same flesh we have, but without sin. His mind was never infected with the taint of sin. This is simple Bible and SOP truth. This is what various writers have been grappling with for years. In just about the clearest statement on the human nature of Christ we see that when referring to Christ's fallen nature, EGW is referring to His flesh only, His physical nature. When discussing His sinless nature, she is referring to his mind, His spiritual nature. They are two separate and distinct natures. (Actually, the sanctuary teaches that Jesus had four sides to His nature, and Adventists have been arguing about only one for decades which has led to division and has hindered the work of the gospel, but that is another subject.) Notice the statement from Selected Messages Vol.1.
"In taking upon Himself man's nature in its fallen condition, Christ did not in the least participate in its sin. He was subject to the infirmities and weaknesses by which man is encompassed, "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses" (Matt. 8:17). He was touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and was in all points tempted like as we are. And yet He knew no sin. He was the Lamb "without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:19). Could Satan in the least particular have tempted Christ to sin, he would have bruised the Saviour's head. As it was, he could only touch His heel. Had the head of Christ been touched, the hope of the human race would have perished. Divine wrath would have come upon Christ as it came upon Adam. Christ and the church would have been without hope. We should have no misgivings in regard to the perfect sinlessness of the human nature of Christ." (1 SM 256:1, 2)
I hope that clears up some of the confusion on this issue within our church family.
Yours in Christ,
P.O. Box 69
Ozone, AR 72854
Dear Brother [DG],
The first thing I did in coming to the Library this Sabbath morning for reading and study was to reread carefully the two pages in The Great Controversy you suggested which would warrant the conclusion you drew that the "deadly" wound would be healed only when papal power to persecute would be restored to her. I did find the quotation from Scripture which stated "His deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast" (p. 579). The very structure of the sentence with the use of the colon would indicate that "healing" would be connected with the wonderment of the beast, which has indeed now occurred before our very eyes: one current and two past presidents bowing before the dead body of the pope! I still stand by my statement in WWN XXXVIII- 6(05).
I am happy to know that you are following closely the documented record of the Church's teaching in regard to the nature that the Logos took upon Himself in becoming the Son of man. The question is the nature He took, not the Identity that He was. Ellen White clearly wrote in language that cannot be misunderstood -"Think of Christ's humiliation. He took upon Himself [Identity] fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin. ... A divine spirit dwelt in a temple of flesh" (4BC:1147). Unless you have a more current dictionary than I have, the words, "degraded and defiled by sin" speak loud and clear as to the nature the Logos assumed in becoming flesh, and yet He was full of grace and truth." John 1:14).
He is the Lamb before the throne, and will be the Lamb upon the throne throughout eternity. (Rev. 5:6; 22:1, 3) Blessed be His holy name!
H. Grotheer, Editor
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