Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki

TRUE GOSPEL ALWAYS FACES OPPOSITION

Going through the book of Acts we notice that everywhere Paul proclaimed the gospel, the enemy of God always raised a strong opposition against this most glorious message of the cross and salvation in Christ unceasingly preached by Paul at the constant risk of persecution, suffering and death. And it is also important to notice that the most dangerous opposition which constantly threatened the message of salvation in Christ came not from outside but from within the early Christian Church especially in the form of Judaizers (Jewish Christians) who furiously attacked Paul accusing him of being a self-appointed apostle and constantly trying to corrupt the true gospel by contaminating it with the poison of legalism.

Therefore, since today we continue living in Satan’s territory, we must expect that the spirit of that age is still at work now. And we shouldn’t be surprised if we face opposition within the Church whenever we accept and proclaim the same message of the cross and salvation in Christ revealed in Paul’s epistles. If today we keep on sharing the same gospel even in our own SD Adventist Church for a longer time and never experience any hostility it may mean the message we proclaim is not the same fully restored gospel which was presented by Paul (especially in the book of Romans). We, therefore, must study this book and other related inspired writings with fervent prayers to make sure we properly understand every aspect of this most vital truth.

In this rather long article I am going to deal with the sin of the shameful opposition against the most precious and fully restored truth of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. This Gospel was given to us by God to be carefully and prayerfully studied, wholeheartedly accepted, cherished, and proclaimed all over the world.

From the history of the 1888 message (the Minneapolis General Conference era and the following events) we know that such positive and enthusiastic attitude to this truth will lead to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain and eventually to the second coming of our Lord.

This wonderful and most precious truth was first entrusted to Apostle Paul through many revelations (Gal 1:12), and he presented it in the most clear and systematic way in the book of Romans (especially in chapters 3 to 8). He also warns us to study it very carefully and prayerfully because anyone who distorts it or preaches another gospel, which is not exactly the same, must be accursed (deprived of eternal life): But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” (Gal 1:8-9)

THREE VITAL ASPECTS OF THE FULLY RESTORED GOSPEL

Unfortunately, the enemy of God raised many false teachers and leaders through whom he opposed and distorted the true Gospel, and as a result for almost two thousand years the Church was robbed of the three following most vital aspects of this gospel:

1. The fact that on the cross Lord Jesus experienced the second (eternal) death (the full wages of sin) on our behalf (Gal 3:13);

2. The clear biblical truth according to which the Son of God assumed our representative, corporate sinful human nature (Heb 2:14; 2Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; Rom 8:3), which act qualified Him to become our Representative in the battle against sin and death (Rom 5:18; 1Cor 15:22; 2Cor 5:14; 5:19);

3. The glorious “in Christ motif” which points to the magnificent biblical truth of the corporate oneness or solidarity of the entire sinful human kind with Jesus and our presence in Him (Romans 5:12-21; 2Cor5:14; Romans 6:6-8; 1Corinthians 15:22; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3; Romans 7:4). According to this truth, “as through ONE man’s (Adam’s) offence judgement came to ALL men resulting in condemnation, likewise through ONE man’s (Christ’s) righteous act the free gift (salvation) came to ALL men resulting in justification of life” (Romans 5:18). It means that as we were in Adam and his sin was also our representative sin and therefore we had to bear its consequences in the form of condemnation, likewise  two thousand years ago God already put us all in His Son (the “Second Adam“) and therefore everything Christ accomplished is also ours and we have legal righteousness, sanctification and redemption in Him (1Corinthians 1:30). But, since what we have in the first Adam (sin, condemnation and death) is our inheritance and what we have in the Second Adam (perfect obedience in the flesh, justification, righteousness and eternal life) is a gift, we must also accept it through a genuine faith.

There is no doubt that all three mentioned above truths of the Gospel (1. Saviour’s experience of the second death and God’s curse on the cross; 2. The fact that He took our corporate representative sinful nature; 3.  The universal salvation of the entire sinful human kind in Him) are inseparably linked to each other and necessary for the proper understanding of the fully restored Gospel – the same which was entrusted to Apostle Paul and revealed by him in his epistles.

No wonder all these three most vital aspects of the complete Gospel message have been always attacked by the enemy of God. He is so desperate to keep us away from these three wonderful truths because he knows that if they are carefully studied, properly understood, accepted with genuine faith and proclaimed, it will lead to the great final spiritual revival, outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain and eventually the second coming of Jesus.

For about two thousand years the devil has been successful in depriving Christian Church of these three messages and even the Great 16th-century Protestant Reformation didn’t manage to restore neither of them.

The greatest achievement of the Reformation was the restoration of the truth according to which salvation is a gift from God and can be received by sinners only through faith in Jesus and acceptance of His gift of salvation. Unfortunately, reformers and protestant Churches failed to continue the great work of rediscovering other vital truths hidden in God’s wonderful plan of salvation. And only with the rising of the Advent Movement and the Spirit of Prophecy these three most vital aspects of the Gospel were rediscovered and restored.

However, it is extremely sad and at the same time outrageous and shameful that the devil seems to be very successful in accomplishing his goal of opposing this fully restored Gospel message not only in other Christian denominations but also in the SDA Church.

THE CROSS OF CHRIST

The first most beautiful and glorious aspect of the Gospel according to which “Christ became a curse for us” (Gal 3:13) and experienced the second death on the cross is completely rejected by other denominations. It is so especially due to the heresy of immortality of human soul commonly accepted by both Catholic as well as Protestant Churches. Very early in the history of Christianity Satan introduced to the Church this heresy through Greek philosophers who became Christians. And since it was accepted that human soul was immortal it became impossible for Jesus, who was also human, to experience the second death.

But although in the SDA Church this truth seems to be accepted as the part of God’s plan of salvation yet it is strangely very unpopular and forgotten in our Churches. During my over 30-year long experience as a member of the SDA Church I personally heard only one SDA minister (pastor Jack Sequeira) preaching on this magnificent truth which for Apostle Paul was always the most vital subject of his preaching: “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1Cor 2:2).

CHRIST’S HUMAN NATURE

As far as the second vital aspect of the Gospel (the incarnation of the Son of God) is concerned, in 1950s the enemy of the true Gospel managed to inspire some of the SDA Church leaders to deny the true humanity of Lord Jesus. It happened after a series of discussions with leading protestant theologians who accused the SDA Church of being a sect because at that time we unanimously believed that in order to have the right to legally save sinners Jesus had to take the same sinful nature we are born with. Unfortunately, instead of defending the truth at any cost the leaders who represented the SDA Church during those meetings with protestant theologians decided to deny the truth and accepted the false unbiblical (Roman Catholic) doctrine according to which Jesus somehow inherited from Mary a sinless human nature. Soon after that this heresy was expressed by them in the unfortunate book Questions on Doctrine which flooded the Church all over the world causing endless divisions and animosity.

In the book, Touched With Our Feelings: A Historical Survey of Adventist Thought on the Human Nature of Christ, the late Prof. Jean R. Zurcher, Swiss scholar and church administrator, provided a unique and exhaustive record, from 1844 to 1994, a century and a half of official Adventist church documents and statements on the human nature of Christ. In this book he proved that during 100 years (prior to 1952), Adventists unanimously taught the post-Fall human nature of Jesus Christ as the undisputed official position. In the very interesting tenth chapter of his book Zurcher also revealed how the change took place, and the utter chaos and theological confusion that have crept into the SDA Church from 1952 to the present day through the changed, unbiblical and essentially Roman Catholic teaching.

Read chapter 10 of Zurchers’s book which says about the HISTORY OF THE CHANGED POSITION ON CHRIST’S HUMANITY IN THE SDA CHURCH >

By  the way, below I also included link to the shocking video interview by Danny Vierra providing evidence that the two Church leaders who were responsible for that apostasy, Leroy Edwin Froom and Roy Allen Anderson, who were also among the authors of the deceptive book Questions On Doctrine that sold Adventism to the Evangelical Apostate Ministers like W.R. Martin, were both Jesuit implants! They were there to destroy the previously widely accepted in the Seventh Day Adventist Church belief according to which Jesus took our sinful human nature.

The video includes information about certain catholic lady who was invited to one of the SDA sanatoriums where she saw the two SDA leaders Leroy Edwin Froom and Roy  Allen  Anderson (who were responsible for the infamous apostasy of altering the truth about Christ’s incarnation) and the catholic lady recognised both of them as former catholic (Jesuit) priests she saw many times celebrating masses in her catholic church!

Link to the video “JESUITS IN THE SDA CHURCH” >

The fact that Jesus took our representative corporate sinful nature, including its key part – the law of sin, which is constantly pooling us toward sin and selfishness, is very closely connected with the truth according to which by taking our sinful nature Christ was qualified to be our representative, He became humanity, we all were in Him, and He actually carried our representative sin in His flesh to the cross where it was condemned by God in Christ’s flesh and destroyed for ever (Romans 8:3).

But when in 1950s Christ’s human nature was degraded in Adventist theology to the sinless one it meant Christ could no longer carry our representative law of sin in His flesh (sinful human nature) and therefore according to that new theology He mysteriously took our sinful  nature only vicariously (substitutionary, imaginary, unrealistically), and died only instead of us and not also as us! We couldn’t die in Him as being deprived of our corporate representative sinful nature He didn’t have right to be our representative. Our sinful nature (including the law of sin and selfishness we have to cope with every day) was never a part of Him. It was outward, not inward. Jesus bore our weaknesses, our temptations and our sinful nature only vicariously. Jesus took them not as something innately His, but somehow He bore them as our substitute. He mysteriously bore our sins and weaknesses in His perfect, sinless nature. Whatever He took was not His intrinsically or innately, all was taken and borne vicariously.

As Prof. Zurcher wrote, in this way the word “vicariously” became a key term of the new Christology to enable Adventists to understand Christ’s sinless human nature. This expression was and still is indeed the magic formula contained inthe new milestone of Adventism.”

According to Prof. Zurcher it is clear that the new position on Christ’s incarnation is very different than the traditional teaching as it claims that:

  1. Christ took Adam’s spiritual nature before the fall; that is to say, a sinless human nature.
  2. Christ inherited only the physical consequences of the sinful human nature; that is to say, His genetic heredity was reduced by 4,000 years of sin.
  3. Christ bore the sins of the world vicariously, not in reality, but only as a substitute for sinful man, without participating in his sinful nature.

Unfortunately, in spite of all the clear and undeniable evidence that the change of our position on the humanity of Lord Jesus was the most dangerous deception, and although it was predicted by Sister White and described as the “omega heresy”, the leaders of the Church still haven’t done anything to correct it. As a result many members, teachers and ministers still have false or distorted understanding of this fundamental aspect of the Gospel and often even believe this subject shouldn’t be studied in our Churches as it is difficult and causes divisions. On the other hand, those who have right understanding of Christ’s human nature often get the impression that they are unwelcome or even not allowed to express their beliefs in the Church.

In the Adventist Review, published on 27 of May 1976, a group of church leaders provided a statement on righteousness by faith and certain related truths, including the humanity of Christ. After explaining both views (pre-Fall and post-Fall), the article stated that the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not have a definite position on the humanity of Christ and that members may therefore hold either view. This was also later confirmed in the Adventist Review. It means that both views on Christ’s humanity should be acceptable within Adventism today. Unfortunately, it is true only in theory, because in practice anyone teaching or preaching the post-Fall view is usually regarded as a heretic.

Between 1992 and 2007 I myself experienced similar unchristlike negative attitude from the SDA Church leaders in Poland while I was peacefully trying to share my understanding on the biblical concept of Christ’s incarnation and our corporate salvation in Him. Fortunately, they were unable to silence me because my first and the second local Church, in which I was holding my membership, were always on my site and couldn’t see any biblical reason to back up the leaders and deprive me of the right to share my views.

I also know about other SD Adventists who experienced similar opposition while trying to share either the message associated with the in Christ motif or His true incarnation. One of them is Pastor Jack Sequeira who by the grace of God has been travelling all over America and world proclaiming the good news of the gospel including its three most vital aspects (the Christ’s experience of second death, His true incarnation and the universal salvation in Him). And during those years the SDA Biblical Research Institute (especially its former director – Angel Manuel Rodriguez) desperately tried to silence him. For example, at one occasion the pastor of the Spencerville SDA Church in Washington DC, who was Sequeira’s predecessor at the Capital Memorial Church (also Washington DC), asked him to be the main speaker at the annual Spencerville’s camp meeting because he wanted “his people to hear the true gospel”. The Spencerville Church, however, is attended by the most of the GC brethren, including A. M. Rodrigues. Therefore, when everything was already arranged and elder Sequeira was supposed to be the main speaker at that camp meeting, Rodriguez, using his position, forced the Spencerville pastor to choose another speaker. When he asked for the reason, Rodriguez only explained he couldn’t allow Sequeira to speak there because he preached federalism. But when pastor Sequeira was told about that humiliating news and asked for a meeting with Rodriguez and the pastor of the Spencerville Church (to witness the conversation) Rodriguez refused to give him the opportunity to defend himself and his teachings.

It is true that we are not to allow heresies and false ideas to undermine the fundamental truths found in the Word of God but no one, including the leaders of the Church, have right to threaten or deprive our pastors or members of the freedom of expressing their beliefs without proving that their ideas can’t be sustained by the Word of God. The Lord never gave leaders, pastors and men like A. M. Rodriguez authority to use their position in order to silence members because the ideas they try to share do not match their own preconceived understanding!

It is about this kind of unchristlike attitude of the leaders that Sister White wrote the following heart-felt words:

With outstretched arms men are seeking to steady the ark, and the anger of the Lord is kindled against them because they think themselves competent to decide what shall be brought before God’s people, and what shall be repressed. The Lord inquires of them, ‘Who has given you the burden of being conscience for My people? By what spirit are you guided and controlled when you seek to restrict their liberty? I have not chosen you as I chose Moses–as men through whom I can communicate divine instruction to My people.’ There is an evil, a great evil, that is to be rooted out of all council meetings and board meetings. Man is led to fear man rather than God! Have not the words of men had too much power? Has not religious freedom been excluded from your assemblies? Have you not censured your fellow men, when you yourselves were standing under the censure of God? Take your hands off your brethren! They are not to be under the control of any man. Men are not to league together to bind their fellow men by rules and restrictions. Men are under God’s control, not under the control of weak, erring human beings. They are to be left free to be guided by the Holy Spirit, not by the fitful, perverse spirit of unsanctified men. Those who do not know God, who refuse to hear His voice or to be ruled by Him, will stand with cord in hand, ready to bind the Lord’s workers and trammel them in their efforts. Let God place restrictions on His workers, but let man beware how he places restrictions where God places none. Let not men take on themselves the responsibility of controlling the words and actions of their fellow men. Let God have opportunity to control. Should the principle obtain sway that in speaking and writing, men are to be under the control of human beings, deadly evils would be the result.” {18MR 223.2 – 225.4}

Link to the entire text: God to Control His Heritage >

Using the authority of his position Angel M. Rodriguez committed the very same sin of the violation of religious freedom Ellen White wrote in the quoted above statement. He dared to deprive thousands of Adventists of the opportunity to hear the most wonderful message of the gospel of freedom that could had been presented to them by the SDA ordained Pastor (Jack Sequeira) who repeatedly risked his life while standing for the truth in Uganda under Idi Amin as well as in countries ruled by communist governments and religious leaders such as Abuna (patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church) who tried to kill pastor Sequeira for not submitting to his demand to refuse holding an evangelistic crusade. As a result of that blessed and protected by God effort, seventy students were baptised and joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Pastor Sequeira’s Christian experience is blessed with numerous extraordinary stories proving God’s inspiration, guidance and protection while with regards to Angel Manuel Rodriguez no such evidence is available.

When Apostle Paul was accused by false brothers (legalistic Judeo-Christians) of being self-appointed apostle and proclaiming heresies, to prove he was called and guided by God Paul often denied those accusations by telling Christians how miraculously God protected him whenever he risked his life proclaiming the gospel. The same is true with regards to elder Sequeira who also risked his life while proclaiming the fully recovered everlasting gospel and was always protected by God.

Unfortunately, as two thousand years ago some Judaizers attacked Paul and the gospel he preached also today pastor Sequeira and the gospel he proclaims is opposed by some Adventists (modern Judaizers) such as Angel M. Rodriguez,  Larry J. Kane, or Colin and Russell Standish.

Although A. M. Rodriguez would like to be seen as a guardian of our doctrines and theology it is very interesting that there are some articles and videos available online accusing him of promoting Catholicism in the SDA Church by attempting to alter our well-established biblical interpretations which disclose the truth about papal Rome. Because of that some authors even suggest Angel M. Rodriguez might be another Jesuit implant in the SDA Church. This thought-provoking assumption comes from that fact that the obvious ambition of Vatican is to take religious control over all protestant churches and eventually religious and political supremacy over the entire world. This hostile to God and His Church heretic system is hoping to achieve this goal by gaining our sympathy through ecumenism and by infiltrating the General Conference of the SDA Church in order to eliminate or at least gradually undermine certain doctrines and believes that separate us from the Catholic Church. This effort is extremely important for the Vatican because without distinct theological and doctrinal differences it is possible for them to promote ecumenism and finally unite all churches under their supervision and control. In this way Vatican is hoping to achieve the final goal in the form of gaining global spiritual and even political leadership and authority.

The best proof, which reveals the true intentions of papacy, is the following quote from the still valid and binding today Jesuit oath which enslaves them to obey the following orders: “…Among the reformers, to be a reformer; among other protestants, to be a protestant, and obtaining their confidence, to seek even to preach from their pulpits, and to denounce with all the vehemence in your nature our Holy Religion and the Pope… You have been taught to insidiously plant the seeds of jealousy and hatred between communities that were at peace, to create revolutions and civil wars in countries that were independent and prosperous… You have been taught your duty as a spy, to gather all facts and information from every source; to ingratiate yourself into the confidence of the family circle of Protestants and heretics, as well as that of the banker, the lawyer, among the schools and universities, in parliaments, for the Pope’s sake, whose servants we are unto death… I promise that I will, when opportunity presents, make and wage relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, and protestants, to exterminate them from the face of the whole earth; and that I will spare neither age, sex or condition… When the same cannot be done openly, I will secretly use the poisoned cup, the strangulating cord, the leaden bullet, regardless of the honor, rank, dignity, or authority of the person, as I at any time may be directed so to do by any agent of the Pope or Superior of the Brotherhood of the Holy Faith, of the Society of Jesus.” (>)

The best example of practical implementation of this devious papal strategy is what the Catholic-Adventist trio called “Freda” (Froom, Anderson and Reed) accomplished for Vatican in 1950s. As mentioned before, at least two of them being Jesuit priests became Adventists, studied in our schools, got promoted and somehow became the most influential leaders in the SDA Church. And as soon as they found a good excuse they altered the truth of Christ’s incarnation in favour of Roman Catholicism thus promoting the Catholic doctrine of immaculate conception of Mary.

But that was only the first step as there are other truths that must be changed by new Jesuit implants in order to make possible our ecumenical union with the Catholic Church. Since we seem to be the only truly protestant denomination left now, we may be certain the enemy is doing his best to make us deny the Adventist and protestant credo and follow the example of other denominations who were seduced by Catholic ecumenism. But since Vatican couldn’t achieve more through “Freda” so obviously they must attempt to continue its efforts to “catholicize” the SDA Church using other clever and high rank messengers who are expected to alter or gradually modify other Adventist doctrines and interpretations of the popular Biblical truths in favour of Catholicism, thus leading to complete apostasy and union.

And here is a very good reason why Angel M. Rodriguez has been suggested as the one who perfectly fits this model. He has been suspected to be another Vatican’s tool used to achieve its supreme goal, because apart from  keeping Adventists away from studying and accepting the most important aspects of the fully recovered Gospel, Angel M. Rodriguez has been trying to change or modify certain Adventist doctrines and teachings in favour of  Roman Catholicism. The best example is his attempt to change the true meaning of the symbolic number 666 from pointing to papacy to a general meaning indicating the sinfulness of human kind! >

The following written by Dr. Alberto R. Treiyer passages from the review  of the book “Reflections on the Number 666” (link >) explain how Rodriquez together with some other well-known Adventist theologians attempt to stop identifying the prophetic number 666 with the papal Rome:

“For as long as I can remember, Seventh-day Adventist evangelists have applied the number 666 to one of the Latin titles of the Pope, namely, Vicarius Filii Dei. They have claimed that this title (which means ‘Vicar of the Son of God’) is one of the official titles which have traditionally been used by the popes. Some of our evangelists have also affirmed that the title is (or has been) inscribed on the papal tiara or on his miter…

Recently, however, several of our ablest scholars have decided to oppose this very strongly established in Adventist theology interpretation. A new view has appeared on the horizon with defenders of the calibre of Dr. William G. Johnsson, Dr. Beatrice Neall, Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, Dr. Jon Paulien, Dr. Ranko Stefanovic and Dr. Angel M. Rodriguez. These theologians have challenged the traditional view and have proposed a new one. The traditional view is very specific. It applies the name and number of the beast directly to a succession of Roman Catholic popes. The new view has removed this specific meaning from the Roman Catholic papacy and has applied it in general terms to an end-time alienation of man from God!

This new rather philosophical, conjectural, if not speculative definition of the number six has been picked up and simplified also by Dr. Angel M. Rodriguez: “The Greek phrase translated ‘It is a man’s number’ (Revelation 13:18) could be also rendered ‘it is the number of humanity.’ In that case, it is not referring to a particular person (papacy) but to a characteristic of humanity separated from God. Since God created humans during the sixth day, it could stand as a symbol of humanity, but a humanity not yet at rest with God and without the joy of a harmonious relationship with God during the seventh day. The number reveals the rebellious nature of the enemies of God and His remnant. That seems to be the best available interpretation.” (Angel M. Rodriguez, Future Glory, p. 122.)

This change has upset some in the church who feel like the traditional view is more than adequate to explain the mystery of the number 666. Many feel that the new view has taken what is definite and clear and has made it indefinite and fuzzy. Others have gone so far as to believe that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been infiltrated by Jesuits who have the hidden agenda of destroying our distinctive prophetic roots with a view to ultimately destroy the Seventh-day Adventist Church itself… The conspiracy flames have been further fanned when a medal was given to the pope by the religious liberty department of the General Conference and also when the flag of the Holy See was paraded on stage at the 2005 General Conference session in St. Louis during the March of Nations.

Professor de Kock’s volume of 874 pages had its origin in the shock he received when he read in the Sabbath School lesson quarterly for 8 June 2002, prepared by Dr. Angel M. Rodríguez, the negation of what our church has been teaching for a century and a half. When he started gathering materials to refute A. M. Rodríguez, former director of BRI, he discovered that many pastors and doctors of theology were also disgusted by the changes which Rodríguez had introduced.

Angel M. Rodríguez

Rodríguez took these changes, consciously or unconsciously, from Catholics, spiritualists, and Protestants who had tried to oppose the historicist interpretation adopted by the Adventist Church or who simply had lost the prophetic faith of earlier Protestants.

In the Sabbath School quarterly for 7 and 8 June 2002, Angel Manuel Rodríguez summarized the problems which he encountered in maintaining that which our church, through Uriah Smith, took from Protestantism in 1865 (p. 456). A. M. Rodríguez adopted the method which was used in Alexandria to resolve difficulties in the Word of God, i.e., allegory. Instead of a concrete name associated with the number 666, he decided that it would be better to spiritualize that term.

Before Angel Manuel Rodríguez a certain controversy had arisen in our church concerning the title Vicarius Filii Dei, due to Catholic criticism especially, but also due to other symbolic interpretations, both spiritualist and Protestant, which were being introduced. The conflict between liberals and conservatives began in our church long ago, and the liberal wing gained ground with the publication which the Biblical Research Institute of our church prepared on the subject at the end of the decade of the 80’s. But the main thing for Angel Manuel Rodríguez, who in general is considered a conservative, is that he was the first who set forth all those liberal arguments that had come from outside, in a Sabbath School quarterly which goes throughout the world. Although the, Seventh-day Adventist Church does not consider itself infallible (only God and His Word are infallible), when the Sabbath School quarterly goes through a special committee appointed to review it, and it is published, people interpret that as the official voice of the church!

The result was that, from then on, ministers and laymen all over the world drew on that testimony to stop identifying the Roman papacy by its most specific blasphemous name. It is appropriate, therefore, that this discussion should receive further attention in our church, from its origins, to note the result of not having published a well-documented official response which it gave at its moment, due to the dogmatic and close-minded attitude of the liberal wing.

At the beginning of XX century, Adventists were practically the only ones who continued identifying the Roman papacy by the name Vicarius Filii Dei, in fulfilment of the prophecy of Rev 13:18. Consequently, the attack now turned against them.

The Catholic author who most strongly attacked the interpretation of our church concerning Rev 13:18 was a Jew who had converted to Catholicism. He was named David Goldstein. His attacks on Judaism were especially strong after his conversion, and later he took a turn at our church. His aversion to the Adventist Church manifested itself especially after receiving police authorization to visit an inmate in a Texas prison, a convicted murderer who was awaiting the death penalty. To his surprise, Goldstein learned that Adventists had gathered him to their party, and that the prisoner had been approached by Adventists and that he had been converted to our faith. He saw there various pamphlets of our church with the papal title mentioned above, and drawings that our brother had been making of the papal crown with the inscription Vicarius Filii Dei. In vain our imprisoned brother tried to convince the Judeo-Catholic of that interpretation, who left the prison greatly annoyed. After that he dedicated himself to attacking the Adventist Church in articles and books, and even had an imprimatur from the archbishop of Boston for doing so.”

If you wish to read this entire very interesting review here is the LINK >

My suspicion of Angel M. Rodriguez started growing many years ago after reading his articles opposing the truth about our corporate salvation in Christ but only recently I decided to express my concerns as for some reason this idea was constantly coming back to my mind.

I was trying to find a detailed information about his background and education that would disclose some catholic connotations but there is no detailed biography of Rodriguez available online to find out whether he was attending any catholic schools before studying theology at Andrews. We only know he was Born in Puerto Rico (85% Catholic), and that he had served as president of Antillian College and academic vice president of Southwestern Adventist University.

There are, however, some articles and videos available online which suggest he might be another Jesuit implant in the SDA Church. So it seems I am not the only person who was inspired with the distrustful thoughts about him.

For instance, it is thought-provoking that Rodriguez is a member of the American Society of Biblical Literature of which president is Fernando F. Segovia: a former president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians in the United States. >

Rodriguez is also a member of the American Academy of Religion established by Ismar J. Peritz: author of A New American Catholic Translation of the New Testament.

Angel Manuel Rodriguez was also invited to Vatican to participate in the ecumenical conversations between Adventists and Catholics! Read more >

But apart from the pro-ecumenical tendencies and the fact that he seems to be one of the Vatican’s favourite Adventist theologians there is another possible reason to assume Rodrigues has a potential to follow the example of Froom and Anderson. It is the fact that no other Adventist theologian opposes the most vital truth of the fully restored gospel as strongly as he does. Unfortunately, since most of our pastors and Church members today are effectively kept in darkness and are not acquainted with the most important aspects of the fully restored gospel, such as universal legal justification, they aren’t also able to recognise Rodriguez as the enemy of the Gospel. And few pastors who know the truth and accept it as biblical usually avoid preaching on it out of fear of getting into conflict with the leadership while members keep quiet as they are afraid of being regarded as troublemakers.

Unfortunately, Like Froom and Anderson, who were Jesuit implants used by papal Rome, also Rodriguez seems to be very successful in his efforts of making sure the most important biblical truths which were unique to the SDA Church are still being kept overboard. That is the reason why he so eagerly opposes the truth of legal justification of sinful human kind in Jesus, which is the very foundation of the Everlasting Gospel.

At the same time he uses very clever ways of keeping other most vital truths such as Christ’s humanity at bay. Although it is obvious he agrees with Froom’s and Anderson’s deceptive view He doesn’t seem to openly attack the post-Fall position because he knows that the Bible, Spirit of Prophecy and statements of Adventist theologians prior to the change which took place in 1950’s is so strong that it would be foolish to deny them. For this reason in his articles he attempts to discourage Adventists to study or discuss this most vital for the Gospel and our salvation truth of Christ’s incarnation by using taken out of context statements by Ellen White and presenting this issue as a mystery we will never be able to grasp. In this way he implies that any member or minister who tries to preach on this subject or discuss it in the Church might be considered unwise, fanatical, arrogant, disrespectful or presumptuous.

By his efforts to discourage Christ’s followers from increasing their knowledge about His human nature, however, he proves he must have been inspired by a different spirit than the one who prompted Sister White to encourage us to study the very same truth as deeply, prayerfully and carefully as we can:

“The humanity of the Son of God is everything to us. It is the golden chain that binds our souls to Christ, and through Christ to God. This is to be our study… We should come to this study with the humility of a learner, with a contrite heart. And the study of the incarnation of Christ is a fruitful field, which will repay the searcher who digs deep for hidden truth.” (Selected Messages Book 1, Page 244)

Well, these are the arguments against Angel M. Rodriguez I have discovered in only about one day of searching and analysing. I therefore believe it would be probably possible to find additional data if I sacrificed more time. But I think that although we still can’t proof he actually is another Adventist Jesuit yet the evidence presented above is sufficient to assume that like Froom and Anderson in 1950s also Angel Manuel Rodriguez has been trying for a long time to keep Adventists away from studying and accepting the most important aspects of the fully recovered Gospel and he also attempts to change or modify certain Adventist doctrines and teachings in favour of papal Rome.

Therefore, if this is true, the next simple conclusion is that we are not supposed to keep quiet about this fact but I am sure the Lord Himself expects from us to stand for the truth by sharing this as well as other articles from this website with as many Sisters and Brothers as possible, praying at the same time and asking the Lord to bless our efforts and stop the enemies from distorting His Truth and wounding His own Church.

In order to understand why Angel M. Rodriguez so strongly opposes the truth about the in Christ motif and the universal legal justification please read the rest of this article.

Coming back to the subject of the changed doctrine about Christ’s incarnation, as a result of the efforts made in the past by Froom and Anderson and currently by Rodriguez and others, such negative or even hostile attitude toward those who believe that the Lord took our sinful human nature, this most precious truth about Christ’s humanity continues to be very unpopular and unwanted in our churches subject, although we are instructed to study it as thoroughly as we can because it is “a golden chain which binds our souls to Jesus” and because it is “everything to us”.

The negative attitude toward those who try to share their belief in the post-Fall position is also caused by the fact that this view is taught by most of the major inde­pendent ministries such as Hartland (“Our Firm Foundation”) and by some conservative Adventists, who use it to promote a subtle form of legalism as they promote the example theory suggesting that because Jesus had our fallen nature and overcame sin then we also can and must do the same.

It is true the victory over sin is possible through faith and the indwelling power of Holy Spirit, and there is no doubt it is also very important to follow Christ’s example. The problem, however, is that Hartland (Standish brothers) and some other independent ministries use the truth according to which Jesus took our fallen nature to stress the importance of Christ as our example in gaining victory over sin before Jesus becomes our Saviour. And since they emphasise Jesus as our example before He is our Saviour they prove that in this way they promote legalism as Jesus can never become our true example before He is first our Saviour.

In order to have better understanding of the wonderful truth about Christ’s humanity the best books I could recommand for you to study is The Saviour of the World> by Jack Sequeira, which I also translated into Polish >

UNIVERSAL LEGAL JUSTIFICATION AND THE “IN CHRIST” MOTIF

Finally, and as expected, also the third most crucial and magnificent component of the holy Gospel truth, the “in Christ motif”, is not only forgotten in our Churches but even attacked, especially by some independent ministries such as Hartland represented by Colin and Russell Standish. Below I included the link to their short and very poorly reasoned article opposing the biblical truth of the corporate salvation of all of us in Christ. They try to deny this message, originally presented by inspired Apostle Paul, and at the present time promoted in our Church especially by Pastor Jack Sequeira >, using a few primitive arguments which are based on taken out of context Bible verses: >

Much more deceptive, however, and complex arguments against the truth of corporate salvation of sinful humanity in Jesus are presented in articles written by, mentioned before, Angel Manuel Rodriguez and available on the website of the Biblical Research Institute (BRI) of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Church. >

I was astonished when years ago after reading these articles I discovered they are in open opposition to the most beautiful and holy truth according to which on the cross in Jesus God reconciled the world to Himself” (2Cor 5:19) and that when Jesus died on the cross then “all died” (2Cor 5:14).

A few years ago I wrote to Angel Manuel Rodriguez proving his arguments didn’t have biblical ground and demanding from him to remove his full of misleading errors articles from the BRI website, but unfortunately, and as expected, he refused using arguments which couldn’t be sustained by the Word of God. So finally I had to direct him to the most beautiful but unknown in our Churches sermon “The Word Became Flesh” which was presented in 1895, in the presence of Ellen White, by the leading Adventist  theologian – Professor William Warren Prescott.

According to the concept of the gospel presented by him, Jesus didn’t take human sinless nature, He didn’t take the holy nature Adam had before he sinned, but He took the same sinful nature we all possess. And this act gave Him the right to become us, to be our representative. Then, in our flesh, as us and as our great representative Jesus perfectly obeyed God’s law, and finally He took this our representative flesh of sin to the cross, where it was condemned by God and destroyed for ever in Him (in the flesh He took) (Romans 8:3).

According to the clear teaching presented by Professor Prescott, we were in Jesus when He perfectly obeyed the law as us, and we also were in Him when He died experiencing the second death. Thus we actually were obedient in Him and were punished (with the second death) in Him! And that, by the way, is the only way God was able to save us legally (according to the demands of His holy and changeless law). When we accept this true gospel message, then also  Romans 3:26, according to which God remains righteous while justifying sinners, is not deprived of its meaning any more because this way of salvation, unlike the vicarious one, vindicates the law (Romans 3:26). It uplifts the law because instead changing it or bypassing its demands God saved us respecting all of them in spite of the fact that it involved unimaginable sufferings of His beloved Son.

This most beautiful sermon was delivered by Professor Prescott in 1895 in Armadale (Australia). According to Ellen White, who listened to the sermon, it was inspired by Holy Spirit. The following quote from that most beautiful message, which was later published in the Bible Echo, proves Professor Prescott accepted and preached the very same glories truth of the everlasting Gospel which has been now rejected and attacked by M Rodriguez and the BRI:

“Jesus Christ had exactly the same flesh that we bear, — flesh of sin, flesh in which we sin, flesh, however, in which He did not sin… We were all in Jesus Christ… He was our representative; He became flesh; He became weAll humanity was brought together in Jesus Christ. He suffered on the cross, then, it was the whole family in Jesus Christ that was crucified“.

Below I included the link which will give you opportunity to read the entire most beautiful and inspired message presented by Professor Prescott including some extremely enthusiastic follow up comments by Sister White:

THE WORD BECAME FLESH >

Unfortunately, Rodriguez didn’t get the message and responded that Professor Prescott in his sermon didn’t mean that the entire world was included in Jesus but only believers.

First of all, it was a very hypocritical answer because in his articles Rodriguez never promotes the truth according to which believers were in Jesus but gives strong impression that nobody was in Him, neither unbelievers nor believers. If he agrees believers were in Christ why then he does not clearly vindicate this great truth it in his articles in which he opposed the universal legal justification?

Secondly, the claim made by him that Professor Prescott in his sermon didn’t mean that the entire world was included in Jesus but only believers is false and the above quote from Prescott’s sermon proves it as he said, “All humanity was brought together in Jesus Christ. He suffered on the cross, then, it was the whole family in Jesus Christ that was crucified”. Also in another passage taken from the same sermon Professor Prescott wrote that Jesus, “gathered all humanity unto Himself, embraced it in His own infinite mind, and stood as the representative of the whole human family.”

Like Apostle Paul, Prescott sometimes suggests in his sermon that the entire world was included in Christ and sometimes he states that only believers were present in Him simply because although it is true all sinners (including unbelievers) were in Christ when He lived a holy life and died on the cross yet in reality only those who accept this gift can enjoy it and will be actually saved.

Following Paul’s inspired example, Prescott interchangeably places all sinners or only believers in Christ because although all sinners were included in the holy life and death of Christ and were saved by Him yet in reality only believers can enjoy the gift because the historic fact of the salvation of the world in Christ requires acceptance through faith: “What we want in our experience” says Professor Prescott, “is to enter into the fact that we did die in Him. But while it is true that Jesus Christ paid the whole price, bore every grief, was humanity itself, yet it is also true that no man receives benefit from that except he receives Christ, except he is born again.”

Let me repeat it again, the Bible makes it clear that the salvation of the entire world (including all sinners past, present and future) was already accomplished once and for all on the cross over two thousand years ago! (2Cor 5:19) This salvation of the sinful world is complete, perfect and finished and nothing can be added to it! But it is also true that this already accomplished redemption also needs to be activated” and it is made active and real in our lives only when we truly accept it through a genuine faith.

By the way, some Adventists accuse the truth of universal legal justification of denying our unique message of Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, because if our salvation was finished and perfect on the cross then there is no reason for Jesus to continue His service for us sinners in heaven. But do we contradict the truth about Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary by saying that salvation on the cross was complete and finished? No, because at the cross only the first aspect of salvation from sin was dealt with and finished once and for all. Two thousand years ago through His holy life in our flesh and through His death Jesus did not solved all three aspects of the sin problem. On the cross He saved us from the condemnation and punishment of sin but the problem of our slavery to sin wasn’t solved there yet. This is why Lord Jesus is ministering for us in heaven now, and what He already accomplished for us through the gospel gave Him right to dwell in us now (together with Holy Spirit) to to continue the process of giving us the victory over sin in our daily Christian walk.

The cross also didn’t deal with another important issue which is to be solved at the end of Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary – it is the problem of the responsibility for introducing sin in the perfect universe, deceiving Adam and Eve and contaminating them and us with the law of sin and selfishness. This responsibility will be finally placed on the head of the scapegoat (Satan), the true culprit, and thus the sanctuary will be cleansed from that sin.

And any cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary from the accumulated there sins of the believers must be based on the fact that here on earth they are already justified, constantly free from the condemnation of the law and cleansed and were already included in the finished and perfect salvation which took place on the cross two thousand years ago.

We also must keep in mind that the investigative judgement, which is closely linked to Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, is never to demonstrate we are good enough to be saved (legalism), but only to prove we truly accepted the finished work of our salvation in Christ through a genuine faith and that we maintain this faith until the end, and as a proof we are truly saved Jesus demonstrates before the Father and the unfallen universe our sanctified life (which we experience also by faith and by indwelling power of Holy Spirit).

So, coming back to the problem of universal legal justification being confused with universalism we could compare the dependency between historic fact of our salvation in Jesus and acceptance of it through faith to the situation of some slaves in America after the official document proclaiming freedom from slavery was issued by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Although all slaves heard about it many of them remained slaves because they didn’t believe it was true.

And it can be exactly the same in our case. The Bible says we are all slaves of sin and eternal death, but it also states that two thousand years ago through His holy life in our flesh and through the second death Jesus experienced on the cursed cross as our representative He set all of us free from sin, condemnation, and eternal death. However, like those slaves who had to believe in the historic fact of legal declaration of their freedom in order to enjoy it, we also must accept the declaration of our freedom from condemnation, sin and death in Jesus which was already “issued” over two thousand years ago. Therefore the universal legal justification doesn’t have anything to do with the heresy of universalism which teaches that all sinners, including those who were not willing to accept God’s saving grace, will be eventually saved.

Is it so difficult to understand this truth? No, it is not! But somehow our theologians from BRI still keep the articles opposing the great truth of universal legal salvation in Christ accusing those who try to share this great message of universalism or federalism, although to be honest, almost nobody seems to know what this federalism is all about. Elder Sequeira was accused of preaching this idea of federalism so often that he finally decided to write an article on it. >

So, it is clear professor Prescott, following inspired Apostle Paul, meant all sinner were in Christ and were redeemed in Him but they also must accept it to receive the benefit of the fact. That is also why Apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy 4:10 that Jesus is the “Savior of all people”, and then he immediately adds, “especially of those who believe.” All sinful human beings were in Jesus when He lived a perfectly holy life and when he died on the cross which means He saved all but because it is a supreme gift of God it must be also accepted by faith in order for this salvation to become effective.

I think elder Sequeira was right suggesting that another prove that also unbelievers were redeemed in Christ is the fact that, like believers, they also will resurrect (in the second resurrection), but since they didn’t accept that gift by faith to make their salvation effective they will resurrect only to eternal death instead eternal life. Without being included in Christ’s death they would never resurrect after their own death.

It is also important to emphasise the fact that apart from Professor Prescott, who was probably the first theologian through whom God restored to us the glorious truth about corporate salvation of the entire sinful human race in Christ, there have been many modern theologians and popular preachers whose writings proof they also accepted and proclaimed this truth.

For instance, Adventist prominent theologian – Francis Nichol, the co-author of The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, in the following beautiful and clear way expressed his belief in the corporate redemption of the entire world in Christ:

“In taking Adam’s place Christ became the head of the human race, and died on the cross as its representative. Thus, in a sense, when He died the entire race died with Him. As He represented all men, so His death stood for the death of all. In Him all men died. This does not, however, mean universal salvation, for each individual sinner must accept the atonement provided by the Saviour in order to make it effective” (Francis Nichol, The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, comment to 2Cor 5. 14).

In this statement we can almost sense the presence and inspiration of the same Spirit of Truth which unfortunately can’t be found in the articles by BRI dealing with the same subject.

The renowned Swedish theologian Anders Nygren (1890-1978), author of the popular book “Eros and Agape”, in his excellent commentary to the book of Romans (5:12-21) expressed exactly the same understanding of the Paul’s “in Christ motif” as it was previously expressed in the sermon by Professor Prescott:

“If we would understand the benefaction which God, through Christ, has spread abroad to all mankind, we do well, according to Paul, to take note of the condemnation which has passed from Adam to all men. That comparison helps us to see the universal scope of the work of Christ. But we cannot grasp Paul’s thought unless we observe that his view of man is quite different from the present individualistic concept. Paul does not think of humanity as a gathering of individuals. He sees mankind as an organic unity, a single body under a single head (Christ).”

Also famous German martyr and very talented theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who at the age of 39 was hanged by Hitler just before the end of the World War Two, seemed to have the same understanding, which can be proved by the following quote from his book Life Together:

“When God calls you, he calls you to die… God’s Son took on our nature, ourselves. Now we are in him. Where he is, there we are too, in the incarnation, on the Cross, and in His resurrection. We belong to him because we are in him. That is why the Scriptures call us the Body of Christ.”

The same amazing truth about our corporate union with Christ and our death in Him is also found in the writings by famous Chinese preacher and martyr – Watchman Nee, who because of his faith in Jesus was kept by the communists in prison for 20 years, where he finally died in 1972. In the book Dying With the Lord he wrote:

“Christ died in my stead, but He bore me with Him to the Cross, so that when He died I died. Let me tell you, you have died! You are done with! You are ruled out! The self you loathe was on the Cross in Christ! And ‘he that is dead is freed from sin’ (Romans 6:7). This is the Gospel for Christians.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899 – 1981) – a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctor who for almost 30 years was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London. He was famous for his expository preaching, and his Bible studies drew crowds of several thousand, attracting many students from universities and colleges in London. I have transcribed the following quote from his sermon on Romans 5:18-18, which is also included in audio form at the end of this article:

“The way to get the assurance of salvation is not through feelings but through grasping this truth. See yourself in Adam; though you had done nothing you are declared a sinner. See yourself in Christ; though you had done nothing you are declared righteous. That is the parallel. So, we get rid of all our actions. There is no boasting. We do nothing at all. It is all the obedience of One… We must get hold of this idea that our salvation is entirely in Christ and what saves us is that we were put into Him. We must not think that God is dealing with us one by one in this matter, and that there is a separate act of salvation of each one. Not at all. It was all done there once and for ever. And if I was put into Christ I was crucified with Him, I died with Him, I am raised with Him, and now I am in the heavenly places in Him! I am in Christ. And as we look at it in this way our assurance will never be shaken.”

There are reasons to believe the most able and zealous advocate of the truth about the cross of Christ and our corporate salvation in Him in the SDA Church has been the pastor and popular preacher E. H. “Jack” Sequeira. I believe that the main purpose God sent me from Poland to America in 1989 was to participate in a Bible seminar during which for 7 days I could  enjoy listening to the heart-felt exposition of the Book of Romans presented twice a day by Pastor Sequeira. While listening I was impressed by Holy Spirit so much that I could understand what John Wesley meant when he wrote “my heart felt strangely worm” when he himself was  listening to the commentary to the book of Romans written by Martin Luther.

In the book Beyond Belief Jack Sequeira explains why God had to include all of us in the cross of Christ:

“We have to remember that although our sinful acts may be forgiven and blotted out through the blood of Christ, but sinfulness (sinful nature) cannot be forgiven, it must die. God, for example, is able to forgive us our selfish acts; but He cannot forgive selfishness. It must be crucified, and this is why God included you and me in the cross of Christ. And just as we cannot obtain forgiveness from our sins unless we see Christ bearing all our sins on the cross, so likewise we cannot know deliverance from the power of sin unless we see Christ bearing us on the cross” (E. H. “Jack” Sequeira, Beyond Belief).

There are many articles by elder Sequeira in which he deals with the biblical concept of our corporate salvation in Jesus Christ. You can read them using the following link >

Popular SD Adventist revivalists James Rafferty & Ty Gibson (The Light Bearers) seem to have the same understanding of our corporate salvation in Christ. To prove it let me quote the statement I found in their Epistle to the Hebrews, Study Outlines 08 – Once For All, Salvation In Christ:

“What this means, in the context of the gospel, is that we have appropriated to us everything that Jesus did… And, just like Levi, all that Jesus has done is accounted to us as though we actually did it ourselves. The biblical truth that Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek in Abraham directs us to an even greater truth that humanity paid the wages of sin and lived the life of obedience in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14; 1 Corinthians 1:29-30). There is no biblical truth that needs to be repeated more frequently, dwelt upon more earnestly, or established more firmly in our minds than this. Everything Christ accomplished in His life, death and resurrection is accounted to us in Him. It is only ‘in Him‘ that the entire world exists (Acts 17:28; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3). As we accept our position in Him, we are assured that His death and life of obedience are ours. Our obedience springs forth as the fruit of His life and reveals that we abide in Him. Our salvation is not in the fruit; our salvation is entirely in Jesus Christ. If there is no fruit, then there is no faith in Christ. However, we are not saved by the fruit, but rather by accepting our position in Christ. Since this one truth is so vital for our understanding, we will repeat the matter again from the beginning—What Christ did as head of this new family, we do in Him. He is our representative; He became flesh; He became us. He did not become simply a man, He became flesh, and everyone that should be born into His family was represented in Jesus Christ when He lived here in that flesh. Because of this, everything Christ did we are given credit for just as if we did it ourselves.”

The substantial portion of the the quoted above article by Light Bearers contains passages taken or copied from previously mentioned sermon by W.W. Prescott. It is therefore very strange that Gibson and Rafferty were able to recognise and vindicate this adorned by Sister White truth of our corporate oneness with Jesus while A. M. Rodriguez, Colin and Russell Standish not only seem to be unable to see this great truth but even dare even to oppose it!

In 2Corinthians 5:21 Apostle Paul wrote that God “made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

And here is what the popular „Jamieson, Faussett and Brown Commentary”  says what inspired Paul really meant in this famous and glories verse:

“Christ was made ‘sin‘, that is, the representative Sin-bearer of the aggregate sin of all men past, present, and future. The sin of the world is one, therefore the singular, not the plural, is used.”

 

Well, as you can see, it is very clear in the writings of many popular Adventist and none-adventist theologians and preachers such as William Warren Prescott, Anders Nygren, Martyn Lloyd Jones, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Francis Nichol, Watchman Nee, Jack Sequeira or James Rafferty and Ty Gibson, who accepted the same idea of universal legal justification in Christ, that it has nothing to do with the heresy of universalism.

Unfortunately, and strangely, BRI, Rodriguez, Hartland (Standish brothers) and some other Adventist writers pretend to not see it and they constantly keep on creating false impression that Jack Sequeira and other proponents of this great biblical truth are promoting heresy of universalism! In order to confuse the minds of SD Adventists even more they sometimes call it federalism although it is not the same as universalism.

Here is, for example, what Colin and Russell Standish (Our Firm Foundation) wrote in the article “The Dilemma of the In Christ Motif”: “To imply that we were in Christ mystically when He died so that in that sense we paid the penalty for our own sins is surely an abomination and blasphemy.”

 Colin Standish

Colin  D  Standish

When I read that statement I couldn’t understand how someone who must had noticed the very frequently present in Paul’s epistles “in Christ universal motif” and who must be acquainted with the previously mentioned and adorned by Ellen White sermon by Professor Prescott, could write that the idea according to which we were in Christ and were saved in Him is a blasphemy!

This very hostile attitude toward this truth is an unexplainable mystery to me all the more since there is no reason to oppose it, unless this enmity is inspired by the most dogged enemy of Jesus and His Gospel. This opposition expressed by BRI and Hartland is unexplainable and unjustified because it is very clear in the inspired Paul’s writings that we all were in Christ, and that we were punished and died in Him (Rom 6:6,8; Rom 7:4; 2Cor 5:14: Gal 2:20).

The “in Christ motif” plays the most important role in Paul’s writings. According to Michael Parsons, “Any thoughtful reader of the Pauline epistles will be struck by a dominant idea which runs through the apostle’s teaching: the recurrent theme of the believer’s close and indissoluble union with the Lord Jesus Christ. For Paul, union with Christ is summed up in the short phrase ‘in Christ’ and its various equivalents. It is supposed by many to be original with Paul, and the idea appears in different ways about two hundred and sixteen times in his writing!

For the inspired Apostle Paul this idea is so important for proper understanding of the Gospel that in Romans 5: 12-19 he repeats the very same great truth of universality of condemnation in Adam and universality of salvation in Christ (Last Adam) over and over again at least six times! Never in the entire Bible can we find another important principle or idea repeated so many times in one chapter. It means that this “in Christ motif” must had been regarded by the Apostle as the foundation of the Gospel and our salvation.

But since I know there are Adventists who perversely say the Bible can be interpreted in many different ways I decided to add the previously quoted and praised by Ellen White sermon by Professor Prescott.

In addition, Sister White herself believed in our corporate oneness with Jesus as she wrote about Christ that, “By His obedience to all the commandments of God, Christ wrought out a redemption for man. This was not done by going out of Himself to another, but by taking humanity into Himself. Thus Christ gave to humanity an existence out of Himself. To bring humanity into Christ, to bring the fallen race into oneness with divinity, is the work of redemption. Christ took human nature that men might be one with Him as He is one with the Father, that God may love man as He loves His only-begotten Son, that men may be partakers of the divine nature, and be complete in Him” (The Review and Herald, April 5, 1906).

It is true that although Ellen White doesn’t say a lot about this subject yet when she heard Professor Prescott saying, “We were all in Jesus Christ… He was our representative; He became flesh; He became we… All humanity was brought together in Jesus Christ; He suffered on the cross, then, it was the whole family in Jesus Christ that was crucified“, she was very excited and repeatedly stated in her letters it was Jesus who was speaking through Professor Prescott.

But there is also a strong evidence that before Ellen White heard Prescott preaching on this subject she already understood it in the very same way as she applied the “in Christ motif” to Lord’s baptism, about which she wrote the following words:

“How often we have read over the description of Christ’s baptism with no thought that there was any particular significance in it for us. But it means everything to us” (ST June 17, 1889, par. 11).

We know Christ’s incarnation and death are everything to us but why she wrote also His baptism is so important? The following statement from her book Desire of Ages proves that in her understanding Christ’s baptism is everything to us because we were actually baptized with and in Jesus, we were accepted by God and cleansed in Christ when we were baptized in Him. And according to her also God’s words, “This is my beloved Son” embraced the entire sinful world because we all were already in Christ when He was baptized:

„John shrank from granting the request of Jesus. How could he, a sinner, baptize the Sinless One? And why should He who needed no repentance submit to a rite that was a confession of guilt to be washed away? Jesus did not receive baptism as a confession of guilt on His own account. He identified Himself with sinners. He must bear the burden of our guilt and woe. The Sinless One must feel the shame of sin.  Never before have the angels listened to such a prayer. They are eager to bear to their loved Commander a message of assurance and comfort. But no; the Father Himself will answer the petition of His Son. Direct from the throne issue the beams of His glory. The heavens are opened, and upon the Saviour’s head descends a dovelike form of purest light. From the open heavens a voice was heard saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’. The word that was spoken to Jesus at the Jordan, This is My beloved Son, embraces humanity. God spoke to Jesus as our representative… The Saviour’s glance seems to penetrate heaven as He pours out His soul in prayer. He asks for the witness that God accepts humanity in the person of His Son. With all our sins and weaknesses, we are not cast aside as worthless. He hath made us accepted in the Beloved (Eph 1:6). Notwithstanding that the sins of a guilty world were laid upon Christ, notwithstanding the humiliation of taking upon Himself our fallen nature, the voice from heaven declared Him to be the Son of the Eternal” (DA. 110-113).

In this passage she also gives evidence that Jesus could represent all of us – all sinners, because He took not our sinless human nature but our representative sinful human nature.

But apart from the fact that Christ’s baptism points to the truth about our presence in Him the Bible makes it clear that also the meaning of our baptism is closely linked to the very same great idea. In many places Apostle Paul wrote that when Christ died we also died in and with Him (Rom 6:6, 8; Rom 7: 4; 2Cor 5: 14: Gal 2: 20) and theologians make it clear that he didn’t have in mind our daily dying to sin (sanctification) but he was dealing with the history of our salvation in Jesus:

“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Rom 6:3-4)

The conclusion, therefore, is obvious and can be only one: Through our baptism we demonstrate that we accepted the historic truth according to which when Christ died (two thousand years ago) on the cross then we died with Him as well:

“Knowing this, that our old man (self) was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.” (Romans 6:6-8)

And if someone dies the next step is always the funeral and this is exactly what baptism represents. It is the funeral of our old sinful and condemned life that was crucified in Christ in the form of the representative corporate sinful human nature (including our law of sin and self we are born with) Christ assumed at His incarnation. And for this very reason we are also no longer under the condemnation of the law (Rom 7:6).

Unfortunately, since our leaders and pastors do not seem to understand and accept this great truth or some even dare to openly oppose it, our members are spiritually buried alive as they are baptized without the knowledge and acceptance of the truth according to which they already died in Jesus when He was dying on the cross. And since burying people who are still physically alive is a great crime likewise burying Christians who didn’t accept their death in Christ is also a horrible (spiritual) crime!

Well, taking into consideration all the above facts the simple conclusion then is that anyone who opposes this fundamental truth of the Gospel (like Standish brothers and BRI, still represented by M Rodriguez, although retired) can’t be led by Holy Spirit but must be rather inspired by the enemy of Christ’s Gospel of which the biblical “in Christ motif” is the most vital part.

Manuel Angel Rodriguez

But let me give you an example to prove articles by A. M. Rodriguez contain false and confusing arguments as he often accuses the biblical truth about corporate salvation of human kind in Christ of certain assumptions that actually don’t even exist in this concept!

For instance, in his article “Some Problems with Legal Universal Justification” Rodriguez claims that, “Legal universal justification separates God’s justifying act from the reception of the gift of the Spirit, or the new birth.”

This assertion is a complete nonsense and only someone who either doesn’t know this truth or is dishonest and intentionally wants to discredit it could write something like that.

According to the Word of God it is true this legal universal justification, as some call it, means Jesus on the cross actually and legally saved the entire sinful human kind (2Cor 5:19; Rom 5:18; Rom 8:1-3; 2Cor 5:14). However, since God is love this historic fact of legal salvation of all sinners in Christ is not imposed on any sinner but it is offered by God in the form of a supreme free gift. And as it is with any gift, in order to enjoy this gift of already accomplished salvation it must be also accepted. It means that the salvation of a sinner, although already accomplished by our Lord two thousand years ago, is not a compulsory or an automatic process. In order to make this salvation effective sinners must accept this gift of salvation in Christ with a genuine faith. And if this reception of the gift of salvation in Christ is truly accepted through a sincere faith the immediate result is always the new birth!

Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is therefore not I who lives but Christ lives in me.” According to Paul the entire sinful human kind was in Christ and we all were crucified with or in Him and if we only accept this wonderful good news by faith we always experience the new birth, which means now Holy Spirit and Lord Jesus start dwelling in us enabling us to live a truly sanctified life.

Therefore, the gospel message popularised by mentioned above theologians and in the SDA Church especially by Pastor Jack Sequeira (attacked by M Rodriguez) does notseparate God’s justifying act from the reception of the gift of the Spirit, or the new birth!

FINAL APPEAL

Since articles by Angel M. Rodriguez and other authors, opposing the biblical “in Christ motif” and corporate salvation of the sinful world in Christ (known also as the “Universal Legal Justification”), are full of false accusations and a lies, they should be removed from the BIR website as it represents the Seventh Day Adventist Church which was brought into existence by God, and God’s Church is not supposed to promote lies but pure truth!

In order to achieve this goal please read this article again, study the subject, pray over it and if you are convinced do  not keep quiet but inspire others to do the same, as God expects from us to remove this sin from His Church.

We may not have much influence on Hartland as they are kind of separated from the Church (that is why they are a part of the ”independent miniseries”) but if we are true followers of Jesus and if we love His Truth and His wounded Church it should be our solemn duty to impose on GC and BRI, to finally acknowledge this obvious and glorious biblical fact of the corporate salvation of all sinners in Christ (as presented in the writings of Apostle Paul and mentioned above prominent theologians and preachers) and remove the misguiding, confusing and deceptive articles by Angel M. Rodriguez and others from BRI website, as they prevent honest believers from accepting the most beautiful and fully restored truth of the Gospel and thus delay the worldwide spiritual revival, outpouring of Holy Spirit in the letter rain and the return of our Lord.

In order to express your will please share the above article in your local churches, through Facebook, WhatsApp, and other mediums, send repeated messages to the GC, BRI, Ellen White Estate, Ministry Magazine, your local Ministers, as well as other Church institutions demanding, prayers, investigation, and urgent right action.

In addition, please leave your comment below, stating you agree with the content of this article and request to remove articles by M Rodriguez and other authors opposing the Gospel from BRI website. Include also your name (or at least initials) and the name of the SDA local Church of which you are a member please.

The more of us study this most holy truth, understand its value, share with others, and fervently and continuously pray asking the Lord to convince the leaders about the most vital importance of these three glories aspects of the Gospel the sooner they will make right decisions and the closer our Church will be to the finial fulfilment of its mission.

Light will come to God’s people, and those who have sought to close the door will either repent or be removed out of the way.” (The Signs of the Times 05-26-90)

Kind Christian regards,

Swavak Gromadzki (04/03/2017)

www.salvation1.com

www.fullhealthsecrets.com

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