XXXVII - 9(04)
what of the night?”
hour has come, the hour is striking and striking at you,
the hour and the end!" Eze. 7:6
ELLEN G. WHITE'S CHOICE OF WORDS
ΤΟ DEFINE FINAL BETRAYAL OF
THE SACRED ΤRUSΤ
“Balances of the
”Another Coming Out
”the Alpha” and “the Omega”
This issue of WWΝ is based solely in the
Writings of Ellen G. White, and reference the Bible only where those Writings
indicate a specific text. Further, Ellen G. White indicated how her writings
were to be studied. We have sought to follow this hermeneutic" rule
meticulously. We accept and recognize her specific position as assigned by heaven
- "a messenger with
a message" for the
people of God. These messages speak
directly to the corporate Seventh-day Adventist Church and to the individual
member in his relationship to that Church.
There are some expressions and vocabulary which
are unique in the Writings as they are applied to the Church. While the words,
"alpha" and "omega" are to be
found in the Scriptures, and are applied to both God and Christ (Rev. 1:8;
22:13), these same words are used in the Writings to denote specific apostasies
that have taken place in the history of the Church.
unique phrases are to be found, such as "the
the sanctuary" and "a coming out" alluding to the parable of the
ten virgins. What is interesting about the reference to the Parable of the ten
virgins is the twο different time frames to
which the parable is assigned in the Writings.
Further, in a reference to the parable there is
found in the Writings a definitive statement which links the parable to the
Church of Laodicea, and makes synonymous, the two
expressions, "vomited out," and "the door was shut." Though
dead, her messages still speak to the Church. These need to be carefully considered
"the Balances of the
Unique terms in the Writings addressed
to those to whom the gift was given.
In the Scriptures certain expressions become a
part of the eschatological language marking the end times. In Daniel as well as
in Revelation the Judgment is introduced: "The Judgment was set"
(Daniel 7:10): "The Hour of the judgment of Him is come." (Rev. 14:6,
Gr.) To this concept is added, the "image to the beast" (Rev. 13:14)
and "the seven last plagues" (Rev. 15:1). The message which brings
this prophetic imagery together - the Three Angels' Messages of Revelation 14 -
was committed in sacred trust to a group of people to whom also was restored
the Gift of Prophecy.
In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in
the world as watchmen and light-bearers. To them has been entrusted the last
warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the Word
of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import, the proclamation
of the first, second, and third angels' messages. There is no other work of so
great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.
The most solemn work ever entrusted to mortals has been
given us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be
our work. The world is to be warned, and God's people are to be true to the
trust committed to them. (9T, ρ.19).
The words, "alpha,"
°omega," "the balances of the sanctuary," and "another
coming out," are all unique to the Gift and are directed to those to whom
the "most sacred work ever entrusted to mortals" was given. Because
of this fact, special attention needs to be given to these words, their context
in the Writings, and what they are saying to us individually, and to the Church
corporately as the instrument to whom God entrusted "a work of the most
This word was first used at the turn of the last
century in connection with a book - The Living Temple. In 1904, a
Special Testimony (Series B, #2) was released which contained "Letters to
Physicians and Ministers." In a letter dated August 7, written to one of
the physicians, Ellen White wrote:
Separate from the influence exerted by the book "Living
Temple;" (sic.) for it contains specious
sentiments. There are in it sentiments that are entirely true, but these are
mingled with error. Scriptures are taken out of their connection, and are used
to uphold erroneous theories (p. 49)...
We must firmly refuse to be drawn away from the platform of
eternal truth, which since 1844 has stood the test. ... In the book
"Living Temple" (sic.) there is presented
the alpha of deadly heresies. (p. 50).
The emphasis in these letters was to stand firmly
"on the platform of eternal truth that has withstood test and trial"
(p. 51). The warning was given that "the track of truth lies close beside
the track of error, and both tracks may seem to be one to minds which are not
worked by the Holy Spirit, and which, therefore, are not quick to discern the
difference between truth and error" (p. 52). After listing the objectives
of the movement envisioned by those promoting the alpha of apostasy, Ellen
White asked the question, "Who has authority to begin such a
movement?" Then she advised: "We have our Bibles. We have our
experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a
truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is
not in harmony with this truth?" (p. 55).
The "alpha" did not
succeed, but the danger did not end. Coupled with the warning concerning the
"alpha" was the prophecy of an "omega" of apostasy to come.
Ellen White in the same letters warned: "I knew that the omega would
follow in a little while; and I trembled for our
(p. 53). Why the trembling? "The omega will follow, and will be received
..." (p. 50; emphasis supplied).
In this series of letters
(Series B, #2), Ellen White listed what would have taken place had the alpha
succeeded. These objectives need to be carefully considered for the enemy's
objective does not change toward truth, whether in the time of the alpha or in
the time of the omega. The conflict only intensifies as the end approaches
(Rev. 12:12). In 1905, she would warn that "the great apostasy" which
was "developing and increasing and waxing stronger," would
"continue to do so" until the second coming of Christ. And because
this would be, "we are to hold fast the first principles of our
denominated faith and go forward from strength to increased faith" (Series
B, #7. pp. 56-57).
In the time of the "alpha" the enemy of
truth sought to promote "the supposition that a great reformation was to
take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would
consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our
faith." Then the question is asked: "Were this reformation to take
place, what would result?" To this, the answer is given:
The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to
the remnant church would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The
fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would
be accounted as error. Α new organization would be established. Books of a
new order would be written (Series B, #2, p. 54).
The "alpha" did not succeed. Only one
book was written - The Living Temple - but it contained "deadly
heresies" mingled with much physiological truth. As I write, I have before
me a copy of the book. The preface declares that the intent of the author, J.
H. Kellogg, M.D., was not to write a "theological treatise, but simply to
study man from a physiological standpoint; hence, in the use of the word
"temple," as it appears upon the title-page and in numerous places in
the work, the physiological, or literal, sense is to be understood." For
most of the 568 pages this holds true. The first 60 pages, however, develop
psychological and theological concepts which turn the bodily functions into
evidence of the presence of a Divine Being. Kellogg would write:
There is a clear, complete, satisfactory explanation of the
most subtle, the most marvelous phenomena of nature, - namely, an infinite
Intelligence working out its purposes. God is the explanation of nature, not a
God outside of nature, but in nature, manifesting himself through and in all
the objects, movements, and varied phenomena of the universe (p. 28).
Interesting also is the fact that Kellogg closes
his preface with a notation of acknowledgement of his indebtedness to both
Α. T. Jones and Dr. Ε. J. Waggoner, who in 1903, when the book was
published, were still held in high esteem by the laity of the Church.
While the "alpha" did not succeed, the
"omega" would be received. This means simply that among other things,
"books (plural) of a new order" would be written which would seek to
set aside "the doctrines which stand as the pillars of
discarding "the principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to
the remnant church." In summary language, "Our religion would be
changed" (Series Β #2, p. 54).
Books of a "new order" have been
written. "Principles of truths that God in His wisdom" gave "to
the remnant church" have been "discarded" (ibid.). The
publication of Questions on Doctrine in 1957 did just this. Now some
forty-five years later it has been reprinted as the second book in a series by
the Andrews University Press to be known as the "Adventist Classic
Library." Devoid of shame, its 1957 publication is proclaimed to
"easily" qualify as "the most divisive book in Seventh-day Adventist
history" (Annotated Edition, p. xiii).
This is not the only book. There were to be
"books." Others would follow.
LeRoy Froom, whose
"facile pen" was actively involved in composing the written
distillation of the Adventist-Evangelical conferences, in 1955-56 (The
Adventist Heritage, Vol.4, #2, 1977. p. 381
himself write a book, - Movement of Destiny - which reiterated the same
positions as taken in 1957. Froom claimed to write this book under a mandate
from Arthur G. Daniells (p. 17), long time president of the General Conference.
The book published in 1971 carried the "imprimatur" and "nihil
obstat" of Robert H. Pierson, then president of the General Conference and
Neal C. Wilson, vice-president of the North American Division.
Other books which might be listed are The
Sanctuary Doctrine by Roy Adams in 1981 as the first volume in the Doctoral
Dissertation series published by Andrews University Seminary, and Christ Our
Substitute in 1982 by Dr. Norman R. Gulley, my immediate predecessor as head of
the Bible Department at old Madison College.
The evidence leaves us with the cold reality that
our religion has been changed. The Bible studies which the retired
"credentialed" Bible worker gave my mother and me in 1932 did not
reflect "contemporary Adventism." Then, either the Adventism that we
were taught was wrong, or the present course of contemporary Adventism is askew
with truth. The same comparison applies to my ministry which began ten years
later. Either the "truths" which I proclaimed during the years of my
evangelistic ministry were wrong, or the current positions being promoted in
"the books of a new order" are open to serious question.
There is a more pervasive
question that needs to be answered. Can one continue to bathe his mind in
error, and truly grow up in Christ who is the Truth? What merit is there in the
adoption of a new statement of belief calling for growth in Christ if the "contemporary
Adventism" growing out of the "omega of apostasy" is reflected
in any of the other 27 statements?
As we study carefully the
other unique phrases found in the Writings our course of action can become
crystal clear, or the counsel given can have a negative effect, depending upon
the stubbornness of our hearts.
"IN THE BALANCES
The 1903 General Conference
Session was held in San Francisco. During the session, in San Francisco two
reports from the Committee on Plans and Constitution (a majority, and a
minority report) were presented to the session. The Minority report signed by
E. J. Waggoner, David Paulson and Percy T. Magan read:
The minority of your Committee
on Plans and Constitution beg leave to submit to you that the Constitution
proposed by the majority of the Committee appears to us to be so subversive of
the principles of organization given to us at the General Conferences of 1897
and 1901 that we cannot possibly subscribe to it.
The proposed new Constitution
reverses the reformatory steps that were taken and the principles which were
given and adopted as the principles of organization in the General Conferences
of 1897 and 1901 and embodied in the present Constitution; and this before that
Constitution or the organization according to it, has ever had an adequate
We therefore recommend that the
Constitution of 1901 be given a fair trial before it is annihilated (1903 GC Bulletin, pp 146-147).
One of the signers of this
Minority Report, Dr. Percy T. Magan, told the delegates –
It may be stated there is nothing in this new Constitution
which is nοt abundantly safeguarded by the
provisions of it; but I want to say to you that any man who has ever read
"Neander's History of the Christian Church" (sic.), Mosheim's, or any
of the other great church historians, — any man who has ever read those
histories can come to no other conclusion but that principles which are to be
brought in through this proposed constitution, and in the way in which they are
brought in, are the same principles, and introduced in precisely the same way,
as they were hundreds of years ago when the Papacy was made (ibid., p.150).
13, a motion of adjournment brought the 1903 session in San Francisco to a
close to be reconvened in the Battle Creek Tabernacle on April 22. Between
these two dates, on the day just before the convening in Battle Creek, Ellen
would ask, "Shall We Be Found Wanting?" In answer to her question,
she would write:
In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist
Church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages
she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages
that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred
have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced
the sentence, "Found wanting." By the light bestowed, the
opportunities given, will she be judged (Testimonies,
Vol.8, p. 247)
corporate language. It must be measured against the backdrop of the work and
responsibility given to the Church as described in Testimonies, Vol. 9, p. 19 (See p. 2, col. 1). It is not a
"perhaps statement." The Church is to be weighed" - the Church
to which was given "the most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals.” God
has declared that He will weigh the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the
balances of the Heavenly Sanctuary. It becomes incumbent upon the individual
member to determine if He has, and the decision rendered. Then he has a
decision to make.
to be kept in mind that this same testimony written from St. Helena,
California, of April 21 quotes the Divine Instructor as asking, "How has
the faithful city become an harlot?" and stating that it has become
"a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed" (p.
been counselled that in the study of the Writings "the testimonies
themselves will be the key that will explain the messages given, as scripture
is explained by scripture" (SM,
book one, p. 42). This is simply the teaching method used by the Holy Spirit -
"comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (I Cor. 2:13). The concept of
"the departure of the divine presence and glory from Israel" was used
two decades earlier and placed in an end-time setting in connection with the
sealing of God's people as described in Ezekiel 9. See Testimonies, Vol. 5, pp. 207‑216. Three groups of people are
designated: the "few," the "many," and the
"some." The “few" are also called "the little company"
whose prayers and concern "arise in behalf of the church, because its
members are doing after the manner of the world" (pp. 209-210). These
concerned ones "had been holding forth the words of life; they had
reproved, counselled, and entreated" (p. 210). This earnest work caused a
separation between the "some" and the "many." "Some,
who had been dishonoring God, repented and humbled their hearts before Him. But
the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel; although many still continued the forms of religion, His power and presence
were lacking." (ibid.).
frame is also defined as the time when "Jesus is about to leave the
mercy-seat of the heavenly sanctuary" (p. 207, 208). The use of the
"balances of the sanctuary" is completed. There is interjected an
illustration of God's dealing with a nation of the past, the Amorites. Their
cup of iniquity was not yet full, and mercy tarried. It is cited as
representative of how God's dealings will be with all nations as the final hour
of mercy approaches. It reads:
With unerring accuracy, the Infinite One still keeps an
account with all nations. While His mercy is tendered, with calls to
repentance, this account will remain open; but when the figures reach a certain
amount which God has fixed, the ministry of His wrath commences. The account is
closed. Divine patience ceases. There is no more pleading of mercy in their
behalf (p. 208).
paragraph is followed by this sentence - "The prophet (Ezekiel), looking
down the ages, had this time presented before his vision." But nowhere in
Ezekiel 9 to which this testimony is alluding is to be found a prophetic time
element noted. Quickly passing from "the nations of this age" Ellen
White moves to the Church when its "time" of "danger, and depression
are greatest." Then is revealed the "few," the "many"
and the "some."
paragraphs follow the clear delineation of these three groups. They dare not be
overlooked, except at peril to our own souls, for every one of us is in one of
these three categories. They read: (Note carefully the high lighted sentences).
In the time when His wrath shall go forth in judgment, these
humble, devoted followers of Christ [the "few"] will be distinguished
from the rest of the world by their soul-anguish, which is expressed in
lamentation and weeping, reproofs and warnings. While others try to throw a
cloak over the existing evil and excuse the great wickedness every where
prevalent, those who have a zeal for God's honor and a love for souls, will not
hold their peace to obtain favor of any. Their righteous souls are vexed day by
day with the unholy works and conversation of the unrighteous. They are powerless to stop the rushing
torrent of iniquity, and hence they are ruled with grief and alarm. They
mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have
had great light. They lament and afflict
their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every
kind are in the church. The Spirit of God, which prompts to reproof, is
trampled under foot, while the servants of Satan triumph. God is dishonored,
the truth made of none effect.
The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual
declension, nor mourn over the sins of others will be left without the seal of
God. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in
their hands: (Eze. 9:5-6 quoted)
Here we see that the
church - the lord's sanctuary - was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath
this sentence again. It tells you what the findings were when the Seventh-day
Adventist Church was "weighed in the balances of the sanctuary." Ask
yourself the question, if on "9/11" those who were employed in the
New York Trade Center had known that they would be the target of the terrorist
attack that day, would they have reported to work? Here we are told plainly
where the first strokes of God's wrath will fall. How are we relating to this
The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light,
and who stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had
taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked
manifestation of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they
say, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do
evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus peace and safety
is the cry from men who will never again lift their voices like a trumpet to
show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs, that would not bark, are
the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and
little children, all perish together (ibid.,
"Α SECOND COMING OUT"
year following the crisis at Minneapolis in 1888, Ellen White wrote:
I was confirmed in all that I stated in Minneapolis, that a
reformation must go through the churches. Reforms must be made, for spiritual
weakness and blindness were upon the people who had
been blessed with great light and precious opportunities and privileges. As
reformers they had come out of the denominational churches, but they now act a
part similar to that which the churches acted. We hoped that there would not be
the necessity for another coming out. While we will endeavour to keep the
"unity of the Spirit" in the bonds of peace, we will not with pen and
voice cease to protest against bigotry (Ms. Rel.
#1216, pp. 5-6).
statement suggests a key concept. There had been an original coming out. But if
the Adventist church came to reflect the same spirit of the denominational
churches which had resulted in the original coming out, it would necessitate
"another coming out." While it is true that there is no further use
of this expression again, other statements reflect the thought. In reporting
the first camp meeting to be held in Tasmania, Ellen White broke into the
continuity of her report, and stated:
My mind was carried to the future, when the signal will be
given, "Behold the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him" (R&H, Feb. 11, 1896).
first use of this verse - Matt. 25:6 - she ascribed it to the summer of 1844 (Great Controversy, p. 398). In 1896, she
indicated it to be still future, and connected it with a "signal" to
be given. It should be obvious to even a casual reader that the expression,
"another coming out" was connected in Ellen White's mind with the
parable of the Ten Virgins. In 1890, she linked this parable with the
"Laodicean state." She wrote that "the state of the Church
represented by the foolish virgins, is also spoken of as the Laodicean
state," and then quoted Rev. 3:15-21
(R&H, August 19, 1890). The cry at
midnight not only separated the Ten Virgins, but marked "another coming
THE TEN VIRGIN PARABLE
brief review of the parable Jesus gave as recorded in Matthew 25 is in order.
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins
which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom" (verse 1).
the first "coming out." The Ten Virgins were united. The verb,
"went forth" is in the Greek past tense
(εξηλθον). At midnight a change occurred.
While the bridegroom tarried they all slumbered and slept.
And at midnight, there was a cry made, Behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye out
to meet him (verses 5 & 6).
call is placed in the present tense
(εξeρχεσθε) - "be going out to a
meeting of him" - to coincide with the call at midnight. Only the five who
responded went into the marriage; on the other five, "the door was
shut" (verse 10).
be observed that the cry at midnight was given by a voice outside of the
sleeping Ten Virgins. The "oil" provided by the vendors came too
We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve
For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into
the Sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.
Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with
His own blood, suffered without the gate.
Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing
For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to
Summit on Ellen G. White Writings
White continues to evoke hostile attack, intense study, and spirited support in
the South Pacific Division. A lively tradition of discussion about the
prophetess has thus evolved; this tradition entered a vibrant new phase during
International Prophetic Guidance Workshop of 1982, held in Washington D.C., may
be the most important event of its kind relating to Ellen White in Seventh-day
Adventist history. The workshop generated 941 pages of materials that its
attendees immediately carried worldwide. These included data and
interpretations more comprehensive and influential than those of similar
conferences, such as the ones held in 1919, 1978 and 2002.
the South Pacific Division (SPD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church developed
a five-page [guideline] -- "A Strategy Document for a
Better Appreciation of the Ministry and
Writings of Ellen G. White; -- and recently held a summit on Ellen White.
summit convened February 2 to 5, 2004, on the campus of Avondale College,
drawing 104 participants from the Division's vast territories. Guest presenters
from the United States were historian Gary Land from Andrews University; New
Testament specialist Jon Paulien from the SDA Theological Seminary at Andrews University;
and James Nix, director of the White Estate at the General Conference
headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.
presenters included a range of specialists in biblical studies, theology,
history, medicine and church leadership. A series of narrations by a woman and
several men under the title, "My Personal Journey with Ellen White,"
was a heart-warming feature of the three evening programs. The Church intends
to augment these testimonies with those of others and publish them as a book.
topics included a consideration of theories of inspiration, fundamentalism, and
its impact on Adventism; biblical perspectives on prophets and prophecy; and
the responsibility of a community of faith to test claims of individuals who
have the gift of prophecy.
focused on why Ellen White's writings are not in the biblical canon, whereas a
book like Esther, which does not even mention the name of God, is included; the
variety of ways Ellen White used Scripture; 19th century visionary experiences
in North America; Ellen White as a health pioneer; and the Dammon affair, in
which Millerite preacher Israel Dammon was arrested while leading a noisy
meeting soon after the Greet Disappointment of 1844.
addition, Don McMahon, a medical specialist from Melbourne, reported on his
comparison between lifestyle principles found in Ellen Whites writings and
those of other 19th century health reformers. McMahon's analysis offered a
fresh way to assess Ellen White's health writings.
morning of the summit addressed the theme "Ellen White Today and
Tomorrow," with James Nix, Arthur Patrick and Laurie Evans presenting,
plus a panel that involved overseas guests and others.
summit built solidly on the foundation of the 1982 workshop, demonstrating the
value of biblical studies, systematic theology, and historical studies of those
who would well understand and faithfully apply Ellen White's writings.
From Adventist Today, Vol. 12, #2, p.11