Altering Quotations…Endorsing A Belief

Posted Jun 24, 2012 by Bana Puru in Adventist History Hits: 2,906

There is much to say in regards to endorsing a belief, especially if it appears to be sound.  However, when we come to a rock solid belief in something that we do not fully understand, it must be weighed, measured and balanced, else it has no bearing. 

 

It is written …

 

“A FALSE balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight”  Proverbs 11:1

 

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” 2 Tim 2:15

 

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for repoof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”  2 Tim 3:16-17

 

The portion of Scriptures given above shows the direction and purpose in which we are to study God's Word.  When we come to the Father, by His Son, with His holy Spirit, we can begin to understand the hidden truths in the Word of God.  A humble and contrite heart longing to seek his maker may be assured that he will find the wisdom which is divine.

 

There is only so much that in our finite state that we can know and grasp on to, but if we seek the Lord with all our hearts, as a son in search for his Dad, he will surely be found.

 

It is the Arch-deciever's intention and plan that the search for our Father is redirected through misguidance and errors.  A technique that Satan uses in his deceptions is by Manipulating and Altering Quotations.  He attempts to Omit a text from an original reference, adding other texts to the script, and slanting the text in a way that wasn’t intended for the original quotation.

 

This technique was one of the tactics that Satan used in his attempt to tempt Jesus, trying to get him to prove whether he was truly God’s only one born Son.  

 

The following records…

 

“Then the devil taketh up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple.  And saith unto him (Jesus), if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.”   Matthew 4:5-6

 

Carefully notice what Satan had done in quoting Scripture.  Satan made an indirect quote from the book of Psalms, Psalm 91.  The original quotation reads…

 

“For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone”  Ps 91:11-12

 

What we see here is that Satan uses Ps 91:11-12 as an instrument, tempting Jesus to prove to him (Satan) that he (Jesus) was surely the Son of God, for he said “If thou art the Son of God…” then do such. 

 

Satan’s technique was that he omitted the part where it said “…to keep thee in all thy ways…” (Verse 11) and altered the latter part of verse 12 saying “…lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone” rather than using the original quote “…lest thou dash thy foot against a stone” Ps 91:12.  Satan demonstrates here that he mingles truth and error to devise his own cunning plans.

 

Why did Satan do this? Well it’s quite simple, He tried to tempt Jesus to prove his identity, causing him to doubt who he was.  But Christ showed in his example and response, that his foundation, his hope and identity rested soley on the Fathers spoken Word “Thou art my beloved Son, in thee am I well pleased” Mark 1:11.  That Word spoken from heaven alone was sufficient for Jesus to withstand every temptation, including the one that Satan had met him with. 

 

Jesus did not parlay with the Devil, but responded to the Devil on the same Grounds of Using Scripture “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” Matt 4:7.

 

What was shown in this battle was the foundation of the great Controversy, the battle between Good and Evil, the battle between Truth verse truth mingled with error.  Here we see the contest of Light and Darkness, a contrast between trickery and honesty, the battle between the Slanderer and the Son of the Most High God.  This controversy sets forth the true conflict relating to the true Christian identity, the identity of being a Son.

 

In regards to the conflict, the Lord has layed out to his children the plans of the enemy.  If Satan knew that by the way he tempted Jesus would be a revelation to how he would work in the future to mislead and misguide God’s children, he would have left Jesus alone!  But in the Mercy of our Father and his beloved Son, God allowed this to happen to show us how we are to respond and that we may be acquainted with Satans devising plans, keeping us from the Snares of the Devil.

 

From inspiration we are told…

 

“There is nothing that the great deceiver fears so much as that we shall become acquainted with his devises” GC 516.4

 

As we have discussed and seen, one of Satan's devices is by using Scripture, misquoting, manipulating and altering the text from its intentional thought and context.  To bring Light on this concept Inspiration tells us the following…

 

“In order to sustain  erroneous doctrines or unchristian practices, some will seize upon passages of Scripture separated from the context, perhaps quoting half of a single verse as proving their point, when the remaining portion would show the meaning to be quite the opposite..  With the cunning of the serpent, they entrench themselves behind disconnected utterances construed to suit their carnal desires.  Thus do many willfully pervert the Word of God.  Others, who have an active imagination, seize upon the figures and symbols of Holy Writ, interpret to suit their fancy, with little regard to the testimony of Scripture as its own interpreter, and then they present their vagaries as the teaching of the Bible.” The Great Controversy p520-521.

 

So here we are told the snare that Satan uses to mislead Gods people.  As Satan attempts to mis-quote the Word of God, he also attempts to do so with the Testimonies that the Lord has blessed his Remnant Church with, the Spirit of Prophecy and the writings of Sister White.

 

Ellen White knew that her writings would be altered and misrepresented, for she said thus concerning her own writings…

 

“There are some, who upon erroneous theories, strive to establish them by collecting from my writings statements of truth, which they use, separated from their proper connection and perverted by association with error”  Letter 136, April 27, 1906, to Brethren Butler, Daniels and Irwin (E G White 1906, This sday with God, p126)

 

From the past in EG White's dealings with Gods people, this quotation was directed at J H Kellogg, who formed views of Pantheism and then later converted to Trinitarianism.  However what we do see is that this principle of manipulation and alteration, which was seen in Christ's day, not only happened in the time Sr White lived, but in our own time.  One of the books that proves this truth is the compilation “Evangelism” edited by Leroy E Froom.

 

The section that proves this claim is the area concerning the Godhead and the person of the Holy Spirit.  As an example, let us look at the following quotation found in Evangelism p 616 stating:

 

“We need to realize that the Holy Spirit who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds” Ev-616

 

When I was first shown this passage at the time I was searching for truth it didn’t stand out as clear to me as it does today, and I solely believe it was because I was blinded by what I was reading and what I wasn’t seeing.  It is easy to look at this quote and make an assumption that “Yep, there it is, the Holy Spirit is definitely his own being separate from the Father and the Son” and that is exactly what the editors would intend the reader to believe…until you read the original manuscript:

 

Extract from discourse given by Mrs. E. G. White in the Avondale Church, March 25, 1899

 

“I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”

 

“The Lord says this because he knows it is for our good.  He would build a wall around us, to keep us from transgression, so that his blessing and love may be bestowed on us in rich measure.  This is the reason we have established a school here.  The Lord instructed us that this was the place in which we should locate, and we have every reason to think that we are in the right place.  We have been brought together as a school, and we need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds, unseen by human eyes, that the Lord God is our keeper, and helper.  He hears every word we utter and knows every thought of the mind (Manuscript 66- Extract from discourse given by Mrs. E. G. White in the Avondale Church, March 25, 1899. [ with Ellen Whites annotations (unseen by human eyes)]))

 

If we look at the quote in Evangelism 616 the word “We” is capitalized, introducing the start of a new sentence and a period (full stop) is placed after the word “grounds” emphasizing that the statement was a complete sentence (NB: This is only one example pulled from the Book "Evangelism". There still remains a few others within the Section of Godhead). 

 

But what we find with the original quotation was that instead of a period used after the word “…grounds…” it was a comma, which shows that the sentence was incomplete allowing elaboration to the quote itself.  In a nutshell, it was cut short, creating another idea that wasn’t intended in the original text. 

 

If the original quote had been set forth in its rightful order, we would have seen that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, who is walking through these grounds, “…unseen by human eyes, that the Lord God is our keeper, and helper.  He hears every word we utter and knows every thought of the mind (MR 66, 1899)."  This quote is intending that just as God is a person, his presence here on earth is as much as a person as he is, not to say that it is a separate individual personage.

 

So why was this alteration done?  How is it that Leroy Froom placed an unfinished quotation from the Spirit of Prophecy in a book called “Evangelism”?  By cutting the quotation short of itself, what was his intention?

 

To answer these questions, we may hear it from Leroy Froom himself.  In 1928 he wrote a book called “The Coming of the Comforter”.  In his writings, he shows his ideas regarding the Trinity.  To understand where Froom gathered his information, we must look at what he latter wrote after publishing “The Coming of the Comforter”, this is what he said…

“May I here make a frank personal confession? When, back between 1926 and 1928, I was asked by our leaders to give a series of studies on the Holy Spirit, covering the North American union ministerial institutes of 1928, I found that, aside from priceless leads found in the Spirit of Prophecy, there was practically nothing in our literature setting forth a sound Biblical exposition in this tremendous field of study. There were no previous pathfinding books on the question in our literature.

I was compelled to search out a score of valuable books written by men outside our faith-those previously noted-for initial clues and suggestions, and to open up beckoning vistas to intensive personal study. Having these, I went on from there. But they were decided early helps. And scores, if not hundreds, could confirm the same sobering conviction that some of these other men frequently had a deeper insight into the spiritual things of God than many of our own men then had on the Holy Spirit and the triumphant life. It was still a largely obscure theme. (Movement of Destiny, p. 322)

What this statement shows is Froom's foundation where he got his ideas on writing about the Comforter, The Holy Ghost.  What I find remarkable is found in this next letter written by Froom to Dr O. H. Christenson:

“May I state that my book, The Coming of the Comforter was the result of a series of studies that I gave in 1927-1928 to ministerial institutes throughout North America. You cannot imagine how I was pummeled by some of the old timers because I pressed on the personality of the Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Godhead. Some men denied that - still deny it. But the book has come to be generally accepted as standard.” (Letter of LeRoy Froom to Dr. Otto H. Christenson, October 27, 1960)

Here is a Quote from Leroy’s Book the Coming of the Comforter…

"If He [the Holy Spirit] is a divine person, and we think of Him as an impersonal influence, we are robbing a divine person of the deference, honor, and love that is His due. Again, if the Holy Spirit is a mere influence or power, we shall try to get hold of and use it. But if we recognize Him as a person, we shall study how to yield to Him, that He may use us." The Coming of the Comforter, p40

What we see here is almost a parallel of Dr J H Kellogg's words when He wrote to G.I. Butler saying…

“As far as I can fathom, the difficulty which is found in The Living Temple, the whole thing may be simmered down to the question: Is the Holy Ghost a person? You say no. I had supposed the Bible said this for the reason that the personal pronoun "he" is used in speaking of the Holy Ghost. Sister White uses the pronoun "he" and has said in so many words that the Holy Ghost is the third person of the Godhead. How the Holy Ghost can be the third person and not be a person at all is difficult for me to see." (Letter from J. H. Kellogg to G. I. Butler, October 28, 1903)

What did Sr White have to say in regards to Kellogg, the Personality of God and the sentiments used thereof…

“Be not deceived; many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We have now before us the alpha of this danger. The omega will be of a most startling nature.” (Special Testimonies, Series B, no. 2, p. 16)

“I am instructed to speak plainly. "Meet it," is the word spoken to me. "Meet it firmly, and without delay." But it is not to be met by our taking our working forces from the field to investigate doctrines and points of difference. We have no such investigation to make. In the book "Living Temple" there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies. The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given.” (Special Testimonies, Series B., p. 50)

“I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people. I knew that I must warn our brethren and sisters not to enter into controversy over the presence and personality of God. The statements made in "Living Temple" in regard to this point are incorrect. The scripture used to substantiate the doctrine there set forth, is scripture misapplied.” (Special Testimonies, Series B p. 53)

Going back on what Froom said in regards to how he “…was pummeled by some of the old timers because…” He was “…pressed on the personality of the Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Godhead. Some men denied that - still deny it.” What we have here is that Froom went against the foundation that was laid by the pioneers, through the miraculous workings of the Holy Spirit.  Here’s what Sr White had to say in regards to the foundation laid…

“Many of our people do not realize how firmly the foundation of our faith has been laid. My husband, Elder Joseph Bates, Father Pierce, Elder [Hiram] Edson, and others who were keen, noble, and true, were among those who, after the passing of the time in 1844, searched for the truth as for hidden treasure. I met with them, and we studied and prayed earnestly. Often we remained together until late at night, and sometimes through the entire night, praying for light and studying the Word. Again and again these brethren came together to study the Bible, in order that they might know its meaning, and be prepared to teach it with power. When they came to the point in their study where they said, "We can do nothing more," the Spirit of the Lord would come upon me, I would be taken off in vision, and a clear explanation of the passages we had been studying would be given me, with instruction as to how we were to labor and teach effectively. Thus light was given that helped us to understand the scriptures in regard to Christ, His mission, and His priesthood. A line of truth extending from that time to the time when we shall enter the city of God, was made plain to me, and I gave to others the instruction that the Lord had given me.” {1SM 206.4} (Emphasis added)

(NB: To see what our pionneers believed in "...the foundation of our faith..." Please feel free to see my article "You Must Come In Harmony with Your Brethren ".)

Was Sr White aware of what was to enter the SDA church?  Here’s what she prophesied…

The enemy of souls has sought to bring in 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, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? 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. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.

Who has authority to begin such a movement? 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? (Special Testimonies, Series B, no. 2, pp. 54, 55).

So going back on the previous question relating to Evangelism “…why was this alteration done?  How is it that Leroy Froom placed an unfinished quotation from Spirit of Prophecy in a book called “Evangelism”?  By cutting the quotation short of itself, what was his intentions?” We can see that there was a hidden belief that was endorsed to steer the mind of the read into something that was the Omega of the Alpha of Heresies as mentioned before by Sr White. What we see is that there is a power who is creating the ice-berg.  There is a Devil out there who is trying to block the children of God from setting foot on the King's High-way. 

 

This is best described in a message Ellen White left for God's People…

“Shortly before I sent out the testimonies regarding the efforts of the enemy to undermine the foundation of our faith through the dissemination of seductive theories, I had read an incident about a ship in a fog meeting an iceberg. For several nights I slept but little. I seemed to be bowed down as a cart beneath sheaves. One night a scene was clearly presented before me. A vessel was upon the waters, in a heavy fog. Suddenly the lookout cried, "Iceberg just ahead!" There, towering high above the ship, was a gigantic iceberg. An authoritative voice cried out, "Meet it!" There was not a moment's hesitation. It was a time for instant action. The engineer put on full steam, and the man at the wheel steered the ship straight into the iceberg. With a crash she struck the ice. There was a fearful shock, and the iceberg broke into many pieces, falling with a noise like thunder to the deck. The passengers were violently shaken by the force of the collision, but no lives were lost. The vessel was injured, but not beyond repair. She rebounded from the contact, trembling from stem to stern, like a living creature. Then she moved forward on her way.

Well I knew the meaning of this representation. I had my orders. I had heard the words, like a voice from our Captain, "Meet it!" I knew what my duty was, and that there was not a moment to lose. The time for decided action had come. I must without delay obey the command, "Meet it!" (Series B, no. 2, pp. 55, 56)

We must hold to the old paths and lift up the old altars.  The light that was given to the pioneers before us is the same light that Lord would have us bear to the Glory of His name.  We must continue to cry for the abominations that have been brought into Israel.  The sealing Angel will soon have finished his mission in sealing God’s servants in their foreheads, we must not hesitate.

Coming back on the misguided quotations, lets look at the material that Elder Leroy Froom failed to acknowledge…

Christ was the spirit of truth. The world would not listen to His pleadings.  They would not accept Him as their guide.  They could not discern unseen things; spiritual things were unknown to them.  But Hs disciples see in him the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  And they shall have his abiding presence.”  The southern Review October 25, 1898.2 (Emphasis added)

"Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth.” “The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent.” (Ellen G. White, Manuscript No. 1084, February 18, 19th, 1895, page 21) (Emphasis Added)

"But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you." O how precious are these words to every bereaved soul! Christ is our Guide and Comforter, who comforts us in all our tribulations.{E. G. White, S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 6, pp. 1076, 1077} 1894

Christ comes as a Comforter to all who believe. He invites your confidence. He says, "Abide in me." Surely we may trust in our loving Saviour. You can say, "Yes, my Saviour, in Thee I can and will trust. I will abide in Thee." Then how trustfully you can work in His presence. Your works will be but the fruit of Christ working in you. You may rest in what Christ can do for you. And the energies of your soul will be awakened to cooperate with Him. He will work in you to do His good pleasure. May the blessing of the Lord abide with you, is the prayer of your sister.--Letter 103, 1898, pp. 4, 5. (To Sister Peck (Sarah Peck's mother), November 21, 1898.) {8MR 58.1}

"The Holy Spirit is the breath of spiritual life in the soul. The impartation of the Spirit is the impartation of the life of Christ. It imbues the receiver with the attributes of Christ. Only those who are thus taught of God, those who possess the inward working of the Spirit, and in whose life the Christ-life is manifested, are to stand as representative men, to minister in behalf of the church.--The Desire of Ages, p. 805

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Christ is not here referring to his doctrine, but to his person, the divinity of his character.{E. G. White, Review and Herald, April 5, 1906 par. 12}

The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate--a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God." John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father--one in nature, in character, in purpose--the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. Proverbs 8:22-30. {PP 34.1}

Before the entrance of evil there was peace and joy throughout the universe. All was in perfect harmony with the Creator's will. Love for God was supreme, love for one another impartial. Christ the Word, the Only Begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father,--one in nature, in character, and in purpose,--the only being in all the universe that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. {GC 493.1}

The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son and show the relation He sustained to all created beings. The Son of God shared the Father's throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. About the throne gathered the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng--"ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands" (Revelation 5:11.), the most exalted angels, as ministers and subjects, rejoicing in the light that fell upon them from the presence of the Deity. Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father's will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God's plan, but would exalt the Father's glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love. {PP 36.2}

In the beginning the Father and the Son had rested upon the Sabbath after Their work of creation. When "the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them" (Genesis 2:1), the Creator and all heavenly beings rejoiced in contemplation of the glorious scene. {DA 769.2}

After the earth was created, and the beasts upon it, the Father and Son carried out their purpose, which was designed before the fall of Satan, to make man in their own image. They had wrought together in the creation of the earth and every living thing upon it. And now God says to his Son, “Let us make man in our image.” (SOP Vol 1, p24-25)

“Rather than the greatest and most learned men of the age, who know not God, nor Jesus Christ whom He has sent. The Father and the Son alone are to be exalted”. YI July 7 1898 para 2

The reason why the churches are weak and sickly and ready to die, is that the enemy has brought influences of a discouraging nature to bear upon trembling souls. He (SATAN) has sought to shut Jesus from their view as the Comforter, as one who reproves, who warns, who admonishes them, saying, "This is the way, walk ye in it."” {RH, August 26, 1890 par. 10} (Emphasis added)

God is going to work in such a manner that no glory will go to man! The message of Revelation 14:7 to give glory to God will be accomplished, "not by might, nor by power," but by the Spirit of God and all glory will be His. What should be our relationship to this apostasy? "We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith, and go forward from strength to increased faith. Ever we are to keep the faith that has been substantiated by the Holy Spirit of God from the earlier events of our experience until the present time." (Series B, no. 7, p. 52)

With what we have mlearned in this article, we see that it is Satan, the master-craftsman of deception, using his manipulative, misguided logic and reasoning to bend the minds of God’s remnant church into thinking the Holy Spirit is something that Scripture and Spirit of Prophecy never intended.

Let us therefore hold fast to the truth that was once delivered unto the saints, and continue to pray and watch, so that our souls are delivered from the Master enemy. May we heed to the Master's Plan, and stay ourselves on a “Thus Saith the Lord” or “It is written”.  By doing this we may have the sure confidence that we may meet the Iceberg head on by the hand of the Lord, so that our Saviour may Soon Appear.