2Do We Still Believe?“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:” Revelation 14:7-10
3If you Do? If you do, THEN you are at odds with quite a group of men! 1. SDA pastor2. Dr. Leroy Froom3. Former GC President Neal Wilson4. Dr. Bert B. Beach5. Dr. Raoul Dederen, Andrews University6. SDA Tele Evangelist George Vandemann7. Associate editor, Adventist Review Roy Adams8. Associate editor, Adventist Review Myron Widmer9. Editor, Adventist Review William Johnson10. Andrews University professor,
4AbominationA recent article appeared in Adventist Today Magazine in which an SDA pastor, Loren Seibold, in good and regular standing as a conference minister, attempted to explain all the reasons why we shouldn’t teach that the papacy is the antichrist anymore. Many were alarmed by the article, but one person’s response was fascinating to me. It read, “Oh, that is a liberal magazine and doesn’t represent what the church believes at all.” Oh, really? Has anyone been watching the trend over the last 50 years? Are we so asleep?
5The Article Adventist Today Magazine January 04, 2010 Letting Roman Catholics Off the HookPosted January 4th, 2010 by Loren SeiboldEditor's Note: This is a preview article that appears on page 22 of our brand-new winter 2010 print issue being delivered to our subscribers this month.By Loren Seibold For over a century, even before the publication of The Great Controversy, we Adventists have regarded the Roman Catholic Church leadership, typified in the first beast of Revelation 13, as our arch-nemesis, our bête noire, the enemy that takes the evil part in the apocalyptic scenario against God's remnant.Here are seven reasons why it may be time to question them in that role.1. More than a hundred years have passed since our prophet approved these prophetic applications. Ellen White expected Jesus to return long before this.1 We're not sure why that hasn't happened. But isn't it possible that some details of the apocalyptic scenario set out in the 1890s may have changed by the 2010s? It happened to Israel. Not all of the original Old Testament prophecies about them and their role came to pass. We call it "conditional prophecy."2. Principles might be more diagnostic than players. That we oppose those who would legislate matters that should be left to an individual's conscience is a principle I value, and I'm proud of Seventh-day Adventist efforts to protect religious liberty. But if it should happen that someone other than the Roman Catholic Church begins to act like the beast of Revelation 13, we will be more ready to respond if we are watching for a violation of the principle than if waiting for one specific group to offend.
6continued3. Ellen White fingered Catholicism in a very different world. Historians have shown that 19th-century American anti-Catholicism grew out of a general anti-immigrant nativism.2 In an era when we have had and could again have a liberty-loving Roman Catholic president, when Catholic immigrants have become our young work force, why can't we preach the gospel without identifying Roman Catholicism as Satan's exclusive tool?4. The Roman Catholic Church of today is a much different institution than it was during Ellen White's time. The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican ( ) radically altered that denomination's theology and practices. Vatican II declared the gospel central to church theology, made worship accessible, denied that Roman Catholics only can be saved, encouraged lay Bible study, and affirmed religious liberty. While not quite a Protestant Reformation, today's Catholic Church is not the same Catholic Church referenced in our 19th-century eschatological studies. Among other things, the Second Ecumenical Council weakened Vatican authority over world Catholics-as evidenced by the 78 percent of American Catholics who oppose their church's ban on contraception.3
7Cont.5. By focusing on Roman Catholicism, we may miss more dangerous anti-Christian opponents. Far more Christians have been killed, persecuted, or denied their religious liberty by Communism, military Fascism, and Islamist extremism in the past century than by Roman Catholics; we've let these pass with minimal comment (in the case of Naziism, even offering some pusillanimous cooperation) as we continued to warn against the pope. Today religious liberty still has more dangerous enemies than Catholicism–in the United States, perhaps even some of our fellow conservative Protestants.6. God has given us time to become a world church, and that changes the cast of characters in our eschatology. The "antichrists"-opposers of Christ–to many of today's world Christians are radical imams or cruel dictators. One site of Christian persecution right now is northern Nigeria, where Muslims burn churches and kill Christians.4 An eschatology that expects only Roman Catholics to initiate religious oppression, only in the United States, and only around the Sabbath question, may fail to speak prophetically should apocalyptic markers appear elsewhere.
8Cont.7. Religious liberty has arguably improved in countries where Catholicism has influence. During my lifetime, the papacy has frequently been a force for peace and freedom. Pope John Paul II opened the first breach in the Iron Curtain, and Catholics have been more forthright in speaking against violence and oppression than many of our fellow conservative Protestants. Consider the irony that our evangelists are employing anti-Catholic teachings for soul winning in countries where the papacy helped win them that freedom! (And the even greater irony that some of us still think that calling the Pope the Antichrist is necessary to win souls to Christ.)Of course, we don't give the Roman Catholic church a free pass; we subject it to the same Biblical scrutiny we would any other influential world power. (And while we're at it, we'd do well always to scrutinize ourselves by the same metrics we use on others–which is Jesus' advice, not mine.5)But perhaps we needn't single out Roman Catholicism any longer. Ellen White, who was often more flexible than her followers, wrote: "God wants us all to have common sense, and He wants us to reason from common sense. Circumstances alter conditions. Circumstances change the relation of things."6Roman Catholicism has served us well as an enemy: provocative enough to keep us energized, yet doing minimal actual damage to us. Such an important enemy made us feel significant, "in the know," and in control, while not really disturbing our lives.Opposing current enemies might thrust us into prophetic roles that take more commitment and action. My friend Bert B. Beach, speaking of Adventist eschatology, once said to me: "I'm suspicious when people are constantly focused on what's going to happen in the future. I think they're trying to avoid dealing with what's going on right now."I think Bert is on to something. Could we become as enthusiastic in taking on the religious persecution that's happening to Christians right now, in places like Nigeria, as we've been in accusing Roman Catholicism of planning to someday persecute us here? -Adventist today magazine Jan. 04, 2010
9Let’s Go Back--------Evangelical Conferences in the 1950’s "Till this day we do not know, and are not supposed to know, who carried on the conferences with the evangelicals. We do not know, and are not supposed to know, who wrote Questions on Doctrine. Diligent inquiry produced no result. We do not know, and are not supposed to know, just what changes were made, and in what books, concerning the mark of the beast and the nature of Christ while in the flesh. We do not know who authorized the omission of the thirteenth chapter of Revelation in our Sabbath school lessons for the second quarter of 1958, which deals with the mark of the beast. Dr. Barnhouse reports that to "avoid charges brought against them by the evangelicals," the Adventists "worked out arrangements" that concerned the Voice of Prophecy, and the Signs of the Times.“ Andreasen
10Neal Wilson"Although it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint...that attitude on the church's part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative Protestant denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been consigned to the historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned." (Neal C. Wilson, past president of the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference, Court Transcript of United States vs the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission vs the Pacific Press Publishing Association and the General Conference, Reply Brief for Defendants, p 4, Civil Case # CBR, presided over by Judge Charles B. Renfrew, U.S. District Court, San Francisco, California, )
11BeachThe Orthodox churches of the world will send 11 patriarchs to Assisi, led by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople. But no representative of the Moscow patriarchate is expected. About 50 Islamic leaders will attend, coming from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, the Philippines, and Jordan. And Jewish rabbis will come from Jerusalem, France, and the United States-- along with Elio Toaff, the former chief rabbi of Rome. Protestant bodies will be represented by Konrad Kaiser, the secretary-general of the World council of Churches; Anglican Bishop Richard Garrard of Rome; Setri Nyomi of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches; George Freeman of the World Methodist Council; Cecil Robeck of the Pentecostal church; Alvin Jackson of the Disciples of Christ; Theodor Angelou of the European Baptist Federation; and Bert Beach of the Seventh-Day Adventists.The following news report names Dr. Bert Beach a SDA representative to the Catholic Conference January 17, 2002, at the invitation of the Vatican. Dr. Beach also visited Rome May 18, 1977 when he gave a gold metal to the Pope on behalf of the SDA Church. See the newspaper article and picture of the metal below.
13Lima, Peru January, 1982In January of 1982, a theological representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church signed what today has become know as the BEM document, sometimes also referred to as the Lima Text, with which readers will probably be unfamiliar. BEM stands for Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry. This document of the World Council of Churches is the centerpiece of their determination to bring in a one-world religion around the planet.The synopsis of the purposes of the document are these:1. Baptism: To encourage all churches to make no issue of the mode of or the age at baptism. If adult consent and decision baptism is practiced by immersion, that is acceptable, as equally is infant sprinkling.No authentic Seventh-day Adventist could accept such a proposition. In past ages myriads of God’s faithful people died because they believed in adult believers’ baptism by complete immersion, and because they held infant baptism to be wholly unscriptural.
14The Eucharist2. Eucharist: To encourage all to accept equally the various concepts, whether they be trans-substantiation, con-substantiation, or the fact that the bread and wine are symbols of the broken body and spilled blood of Jesus Christ.(The term Eucharist is certainly not a Protestant term, yet at least in one church in Auckland, New Zealand, and one church in Sydney, Australia, the communion has been referred to in their church bulletin as the Eucharist. This Catholicizing of the Adventist Church is not by accident. It is a deliberate effort to bring us under the banner of the Papacy controlled by Satan. When we recognize the absolutely blasphemous claims of the Roman Catholic Church, which claims that the priest is the creator of his Creator, that in the wafer he creates Christ in reality; when one considers the claims that the priest can move Christ here and there, backward and forward, once again no earnest Seventh-day Adventist could ever accept such an abominable compromise. Also myriads of God’s people in the past lost their lives because they refused to accept such blasphemous claims of the Papacy.)
15Continue3. Ministry: To encourage all churches to work for the unchurched, but never to proselytize from other churches.(The acceptance of this agreement would lead to a total capitulation from the final message which we are commissioned by our God to give to the world—the loud cry of Revelation 18:4, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” They are to be called out because of God’s great love for them. They must be called out so that they will not continue in the sins of Babylon, and so that they will be protected from the plagues that will come after the close of probation. Yet today we are hearing voices in the Adventist Church, ministers calling for the same ministry as these ecumenical forces in our world. “Let us work for the unchurched.”)While we cannot, of course, ignore the unchurched—we must work for them—such statements deny the critical call to work for those who have been trapped in the churches of Catholicism and fallen Protestantism. The back of the BEM document reveals a most startling statement:
16Continue“The statement published here marks a major advance in the ecumenical journey. The result of a fifty-year process of study and consultation, this text on Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry represents a theological convergence that has been achieved thorough decades of dialogue, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. “Over 100 theologians met in Lima, Peru in January 1982, and recommended unanimously to transmit this agreed statement—the Lima Text—for the common study and official response of the churches. They represented virtually all the major church traditions: Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Reformed, Methodist, United, Disciples, Baptists, Adventists, and Pentecostal. “The churches’ response to this agreed statement will be a vital step of the ecumenical process of “reception.” (Lima Test, emphasis ours).Dr. Raoul Dederen, professor at the Seminary at Andrews University, was the Seventh-day Adventist representative at this meeting.
17AdamsMay 2, 1991: No wonder in this issue of the Adventist Review, Roy Adams could declare: “And we could go on if space permitted – to mention the WCC’s… accentuation of the Holy Spirit and the Eucharist. All of these emphases fit into the ambit of the three angels’ messages.”(The Third Angel’s Message warns that if anyone worships the beast, he will receive the wrath of God poured out without mixture in the seven last plagues. What is the center piece of Catholic worship?–it is the Eucharist. The Eucharist doctrine declares that Christ’s actual body and blood are in the round wafer and fermented wine. Roy Adams must have been drunk on Babylonian wine to make the statement he did.)
18VandemannGeorge Vandeman “These were dark ages for the church. How could Christians be so intolerant of their brothers and sisters in Christ? Jesus had predicted that those who killed His followers would sincerely think they were serving God…It is not for us to question our medieval ancestors…Nor must we overlook the good done by the church. Throughout the world, monasteries provided care for orphans, widows, and the sick. And all of us owe appreciation to the church of the Middle Ages for preserving the Scriptures.” Vandeman, The Rise and Fall of Christ, pages 54,55
19WidmerAssociate Editor of the Review, Myron Widmer “I was surprised and delighted to learn that the Bible is the sole textbook during the pope’s visit and the World Youth Day activities. What a wonderful opportunity fro so many young people to hear the gospel message straight from God’s Word…Or might a better understanding be that God is working through this pope to open doors for Catholics to the great truths of Scripture concerning salvation by faith in Christ?”…I can only wonder if in these last days He is using some very unexpected sources to encourage many individuals (especially Catholics) in search for truth.” Review and Herald, September 9,23,and 30, 1993
20JohnsonWilliam Johnson-Editor-Adventist Review-1994,1995 ‘Saints Victory in the End-time’ “To interpret the sea monster of Revelation 13 as the papacy seems somewhat out of keeping with the spirit of the times. In an age when Christianity in general faces the onslaughts of secularism and when among Christians ecumenism has become popular, the interpretation smacks of narrowness and bigotry.” Shocking………………………………………
21Bacchiochi“In the light of this symbolic interpretation of the three and half year as the time of the domination and persecution of the Antichrist during which God's people will be protected, this identifying mark of the Little Horn applies equally well to the Papacy and Islam. Both powers have attempted to wear out the saints of the Most High, but during the times of persecution many believers have been empowered and protected by God.The preceding analysis of the identifying marks of the prophetic Antichrist, represented in Daniel 7 by the imagery of the Little Horn and in Revelation 13 by the symbol of a Beast, has shown that both the Papacy and Islam fulfill the qualifying marks of this prophetic power.” End time Issues, #86 Disgusting!
22Andrews ProfessorRanko Stefanovic, professor, Andrews University, writes a book entitled ‘Revelation of Jesus Christ’. It is over 600 pages. It is endorsed by Andrews and Notre Dame Universities. When commenting on the beast who comes up from the sea, he gets tongue tied, never once mentioning the papacy. Shocking!