Wednesday April 18, 2012

Continuing with the 1919 Bible Conference comments, final portion.

CONCLUSION p. 58, Para. 1, [1919BIBL].

The drum of compromise is loud and long, beat in these next few lines, but don’t you believe it! “I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.” Romans 11:4

  F. M. Wilcox enunciated a relevant truth in 1915. That truth had perhaps an even greater pertinence in 1928 when he again expressed it: p. 58, Para. 2, [1919BIBL].  

     Some in the church of God, today as in every age, are inclined to be too fast. Others are inclined to be too slow. God in his providence links the impulsive Peter with those who are more staid and conservative. In the providence of God there are found in the Seventh-day Adventist Church today these varying natures and elements…. God permits these various temperaments to be associated in order that each may learn from the other, that the lack of one may be supplied by the abundance of the other. [112] p. 58, Para. 3, [1919BIBL].

     W. W. Prescott, whom many placed in the “too fast” category, observed at the Bible Conference: p. 58, Para. 4, [1919BIBL].  

     Truth and error lie right close, side by side,

He stated a truth. But like the counterfeit, truth comes first; it is the rejection of truth that takes us into error. Present Truth, pure and clean, from the throne of God, was a wall of light surrounding God’s true church in the beginning of this faith. It is the rejection of that truth that caused the light of the Midnight Cry to go dark, the darkness of error.

    and the reason why error comes up so near is to make us afraid of the truth. Now when error makes us afraid of the truth we back off from the truth and lose it. Now if we can have wisdom enough to have the full benefit of the truth and not swing off over into the error, we are in advance of our position. [113] p. 58, Para. 5, [1919BIBL].  

Man’s only hope is in cherishing the truth, the faith once delivered to the saints. It is the faith of the church of Philadelphia, not Laodicea, that will see us through; for Laodicea never opens the door.

     The consequences of individuals searching for truth relative to the inspiration of the spirit of prophecy without the benefit of the perspectives of the denominational community might be seen in the cases of A. T. Jones, J. H. Kellogg, E. J. Waggoner, A. F. Ballenger, L. R. Conradi, W. A. Colcord, and others. It is tragically relevant that all those mentioned answered the basic question posed by C. L. Benson at the Bible Conference by deciding that the spirit of prophecy could be divided into “inspired” and “uninspired” portions. It seems relevant that, in most cases, those who began to make such determinations eventually lost confidence in the spirit of prophecy. It also seems relevant that the apostasies sprang from both viewpoints relative to the inspiration of the spirit of prophecy. p. 58, Para. 6, [1919BIBL].  

Bert is here pleading the case of the church being the only one in the light of truth, but this is not right. There can only be one truth, one way to Heaven, one Lord, one Master. In spite of the fact that these men lived through and saw the beginning of the counterfeit, they had a duty to defend the original when deviation from it, raised it’s ugly head. And only those who did defend the original as being what it was, God’s communications to man, were in the right; no matter who or how many were on the many different sides.

     Is it not possible that a fruitful dialogue between the two major positions could have answered the Benson question differently than did Jones and Conradi? The “pioneer position” urged that the writings could not be divided into “inspired” and “uninspired” sections, but seemed to have no real means of dealing with apparent discrepancies.

From our vantage point of the then distant future, it seems Ellen should have been called to a public meeting, the discrepancies presented for her personal answer. But, let us remember, No. 20, pages 42-49, God was clearly in the process of removing the original Testimonies from the GCSDA church; because they had rejected them.

    The “new view” position, with its emphasis upon context, offered a means of explaining those apparent discrepancies. Each side seemed to have additional concepts that could have been useful to the other. Sufficient opportunity for a dialogue seemed to be present. Such a dialogue might have refuted the dire prophecy made by J. S. Washburn in 1931: p. 58, Para. 7, [1919BIBL].  

     “I do not think the old guard will die now and I am sure it will never surrender, never cease to stand where it has stood for years in this message…. They may seem to be in the minority. They may seem to lack the official standing of those modernists who do not dare to go as far as L. R. Conradi — that is openly and apparently — and may even sign his condemnation papers, but in heart are far down the same road, and agree with his fundamentals, and are heading fast to his ultimate theological destination. Nevertheless the truth must win an eternal victory. Let the issue come, and the sooner the better. There is no compromise or modification or any possibility of fusion of these elements. Between them is an ever widening distance.” [114] p. 59, Para. 1, [1919BIBL].

And how wide that distance is today. With each passing year, fewer and fewer are the voices willing to raise the alarm. We see the Shaking, documented in this paper. Every word of the 1858 Great Controversy, in the chapter titled “The Shaking,” has, is and will be fulfilled to the very letter, for God is the author. It’s view now spans 162 years and three months, and no part of it has fallen to the ground.

God’s word lives. It is timeless. The 1885 Great Controversy is not an addition to the Bible; no, it points us to the correct understanding of the Bible, and an embracing of it’s light causes us to become rooted and grounded in the faith once delivered to the saints. God be praised.

God Bless your study

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