Only Your Friend Will Tell You When Your Mouth Smells

Leave it to West Africans, especially Akans of Ghana and Igbos of Eastern Nigeria, who would rather risk offending delicate sensibilities with word pictures than sparing at the expense of clarity. For them, succinct pithy sayings, which often quickly escalate into full blown proverbs, are the key ingredients of artful dialogue. This is what Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe is getting at by saying that when his forebears are engaged in serious conversation, “proverbs are the palm-oil with which words are eaten.”

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Having lived through GLACIER VIEW with all its shabby shenanigans and shameful shunning of Desmond Ford ( for which I fault Neil Wilson, the then GC president ) it is astonishing that as Quartey points out, the IJ doctrine has died a quiet death.

Now the issue which many pussy foot around and fail to adequately address is the subject of women’s ordination.

Again, it is a Wilson, in this case Ted, who mans the bulwarks against addressing an overdue problem that confronts the church.

Our upwardly socially and educationally mobile American Adventists include thousands of professional women and many of our women pastors hold doctorate degrees. Yet our clergywomen face an invidious and discriminatory glass ceiling.

When we have numerous women US senators / congresswomen / Supreme Court justices and even a female Vice President it is a travesty that our denomination is still mired in miserable medieval misogyny.

The United Methodist Church has been ordaining their clergywomen since 1956. The Episcopal Church was headed by a woman, Bishop Schorri, from 2206 till 2015.

Ted Wilson, I am told, even prohibits women elders in the SDA church where he holds his membership.

Someone needs to tell this guy that his bare backside is showing !


It’s either a “superiority complex” or an “inferiority complex”. Either way … :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


this is inaccurate…at the jerusalem council, peter stood up and put to silence an agitated crowd by reminding everyone that god had given the HS to gentiles as well as jews…he wasn’t supporting circumcision as a rite of passage into christianity…if anything, he was advocating against it…his boldness at the council directly paved the way for the pronouncement by james that gentiles didn’t need to be circumcised in order to be christians…peter wasn’t forgetting his dream at joppa, or the interpretation that dawned on him as a result of his interaction with cornelius…he was acting on it…

even at antioch, which may have been after the council, when he was reproved by paul for yielding to the expectations of the disciples of james, peter wasn’t agitating for circumcision…for all we know, he was merely trying to avoid the fuss that he certainly knew would ensue if he ate with gentiles…it is even conceivable that he understood that jewish laws had become a cultural phenomenon not worthy of stirring up offense over, given that his object was representing the gospel wherever he went…this contrasts with paul, who got all worked up over peter’s course at antioch, but who was hypocritical afterwards when he yielded to jewish ceremonial cleansing requirements connected to vows, after he’d met with james at jerusalem, well after the council…as it turned out, no-one bought paul’s feigned deference to jewish law…as soon as he was recognized, he was seized and beaten, and almost killed, but for the intervention of a roman captain, centurions and soldiers…it was likely this kind of uproar that peter was seeking to avoid at antioch…

the point this article makes - through interesting references to west african culture, not to mention king lear - would have probably been better illustrated through a contrast consideration between paul and james, who apparently steered both peter and paul into a deference for jewish law that they likely wouldn’t have displayed otherwise…it is true that peter’s ministry is referred to as the gospel of the circumcision, in contradistinction to paul’s gospel of the uncircumcision, but this may have simply reflected peter’s dominance among christian jews…if peter authored the two epistles attributed to him, it is interesting that he doesn’t mention circumcision in them…

as for desmond ford comparisons to martin luther, and any meaning this gives to the speaking truth to power adage, let’s just say that ford was no luther…first of all, it’s a bit hubristic to compare adventism to catholicism, given that catholics outnumber adventists 57:1, hold their own vatican state (silver spring is actually best known for NOAA and FDA), and claim existence for over 2,000 yrs…but second of all, luther used the bible to question tradition, whereas ford is best known for his insistence that his particular hermeneutics choices held more weight than the visions of a prophet…

it isn’t as though adventist churches were obsessing over IJ before glacier view, but quietly moved into less troubling pastures afterwards…i grew up in adventism, and can say i’ve never heard a sermon on 1844 before or since glacier view…and what i saw firsthand as fall out from the 1979 forum that led to glacier view had nothing to do with anyone’s understanding of our sanctuary doctrine, which no-one understood, much less cared about…the thing that caused the uproar at PUC, for weeks and even months afterward, at least in the circles i frequented (full disclosure: the SS i attended was an egw specialty class) was ford’s attack on our prophet…whatever neal wilson fired ford for, he can’t have been oblivious to this widespread outrage amongst rank and file members…

wherever neal wilson’s combination of decisiveness and political savvy take TW in the WO situation still very much alive in our church, the power centre of the GC needn’t have anything to do with it - no-one needs to speak truth to power over this matter anymore…if PUC quietly selects sandra roberts as its next president, and if NAD selects roberts as its president down the road - and especially if other unions and divisions follow suit - we won’t have an issue…WO will be the de facto reality whatever delegates from africa or s. america decide in future GC sessions…first of all, let’s understand that africa has had its share of powerful warrior queens, certainly the Ashanti Kingdom in Ghana’s Queen Mother Yaa Asantewa; the city state Zazzau in Nigeria’s Queen Amina; and the Zulu Kingdom in South Africa’s Queen Nandi, among others…africa and everybody else will come around if PUC does the right thing…there’s no need for confrontation in this instance…


It’s fascinating to me how the SDA experience varies from area to area. I don’t remember Glacier View, but I’ve heard more than my share of sermons about the Sanctuary and 1844.

I was in the Georgia-Cumberland ABC recently. I was looking for a book addressing LGT, and didn’t find a single one. Meanwhile, there was a whole section of books about the sanctuary doctrine. And yeah, in the back of my mind, I was wondering “Can anyone without a doctorate actually explain that? Because I can’t.”

(Not doubting you at all, BTW. I just wonder what causes the difference, because it’s like our two church experiences are from different planets.)


here in calgary, and in fact alberta, i’m pretty sure most people would see a sermon on 1844 as a bit out of place…this is because the churches here do daniel and revelation seminars each year, as part of their evangelism drives, and cover 1844, the 2300 days, the little horn, and the sanctuary quite thoroughly there…this isn’t to say that 1844 wouldn’t be covered in a SS class, or that it isn’t something you’d see at an ABC here…

in my previous comment, i was really reflecting on my experience in adventism in s. africa in the 60’s; the andrews area in the 60’s and 70’s; the AUC, PUC, and andrews areas in the 70’s and 80’s; and the calgary area since the 90’s (i was out of the church for most of the 80’s and part of the 90’s)…this article is implying that our sanctuary doctrine was presented in sermons before glacier view, but that it hasn’t been since then, and that this is evidence that desmond ford has had a martin luther impact on our church…what i’m saying is that i’ve never heard sermons on 1844, either before or after glacier view…i’m saying that ford hasn’t had a luther impact on our church…

to be honest, i would love to listen to a sermon that presented 1844 in terms of its anti-typical significance, how this relates to IJ and the book of life, and how all of it relates to the latter rain and other events we’re expecting…but my experience is that sermons aren’t about learning anything new, or being confronted with anything challenging…i think most pastors see sermons as an opportunity to address a tithe paying community in a way that won’t illicit controversy, questions, or confusion…

i can’t see something as comprehensive as our sanctuary doctrine being presented in a 30 minute sermon to a general audience, and in a way that the average person would find interesting or relevant…


Well, not comprehensive enough to explain why a priest FOREVER OF THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEC would don the vestments of the order of Aaron and then imitate earthly rituals of that priesthood.

*Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.


harry, it may seem logical to you, but you can’t use this use of melchisedec, whom we know next to nothing about, and which the author of Hebrews is inserting solely to indicate an aspect of jesus’ priestly pedigree that supports his point that jesus’ priesthood in heaven is superior to the aaronic priesthood, namely its immortality, to overcome a plain teaching of Hebrews, which is that the OC sanctuary and its priesthood is modeled after the heavenly, in which jesus is certainly ministering as we speak…if aspects of jesus’ priesthood resembles the aaronic priesthood because the aaronic priesthood was modeled after what jesus would eventually do, do you really imagine that you’re seeing some kind of discrepancy…what and if paul, who is almost certainly the author of Hebrews, had pointed out a similarity between jesus’ priestly ministery and the aaronic priesthood, namely it’s exclusive selection and non-transferability to anyone else, which he certainly could have, without altering his argument in Hebrews 7…

your basic problem is that you’re seeking to latch onto anything that allows you, in your mind, to throw out the reality that the OT sanctuary is our verified indication of what is happening in heaven since christ’s resurrection, and that something is in fact happening with respect to christ’s priesthood in a sanctuary in heaven…do you imagine that Hebrews is saying, after pointing out jesus’ high priestly ministry in heaven, that while there was an aaronic priesthood ministering in the OT sanctuary, that nothing of the kind, and in fact something entirely dissimilar, is happening in heaven, so dissimilar that there’s no need for us to consider it…

as you know, this is essentially what non-adventist evangelical theory stipulates: christ’s priesthood, verified in the bible in more than one place, is essentially relegated not only to irrelevance, but to non-existence…is there a mainstream evangelical church that you can think of that gives any credence to Hebrews’ clear teaching that jesus is now our high priest in a heavenly sanctuary…the answer to this question is no…

the reality is that adventism is the only denomination that takes jesus’ high priestly ministry in a heavenly sanctuary seriously…in fact adventism is the only denomination that posits a credible explanation for why christ has not returned to earth after he said almost 2,000 yrs ago that he was coming back to earth quickly…that explanation, of course, is that jesus’ role as high priest in the heavenly sanctuary has not been completed yet…as you know, adventism goes further by explaining that jesus could not have returned to earth in the apostles’ lifetime, given Daniel’s 2300 day prophecy, and what that teaches us about jesus’ high priestly ministry in heaven after 1844…

typical non-adventist denominations portray christ at the right hand of god from the time of his resurrection - let’s add some contour: jesus has been sitting on his father’s right pinky for 2,000 yrs - and have nothing to add beyond this…even worse, they feel no need to add beyond this, despite clear biblical passages that depict and emphatically state christ’s high priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary…of course the unthinking masses see nothing wrong with this…it doesn’t occur to them that there’s something wrong to see…

in my view, what non-adventism has done to the high priestly ministy of christ is unforgivable…even without the biblical basis of the sabbath, not to mention the signature spiritual gift of prophecy that we see in egw, this differential treatment of jesus’ priesthood in heaven, a clear bibical teaching, should cause all to leave non-adventism in their minds forever…it’s impossible to see how a thinking person can tolerate anything that goes on outside of adventism…


Is the point of Hebrews to highlight the details of Jesus’s ministry as high priest in heaven? It says that he offers the sacrifice of himself once for all, for all who come to God by him. It says that he has made a new and living way into God’s presence based on better promises than that of the former covenant. It equates his body with the curtain that veiled God’s presence in the Jewish temple, indicating that it is through Jesus himself, the crucified and risen messiah, that we come into the presence of God. It illustrates his priesthood by that of Melchizedek, in order to show the superiority and eternal nature of Jesus’s mediation, as opposed to the Aaronic priesthood.

None of this describes any detail of what Jesus is doing. It simply describes the purpose, nature, and superiority of his mediation between God and humans, when compared to the present system in the Judaism of the day. The reason for this focus is that the recipients of the letter were in danger of deserting Jesus, and going back to their former way of life and worship in Judaism, and particularly in the Jerusalem temple, it seems.

The writer, who most scholars do not think was Paul, presents this multi faceted argument to exhort them not to turn back. To follow Jesus in faith, outside the walls of the city, to the company of angels and the spirits of just people made perfect, to the heavenly Zion, as opposed to the present Temple Mount.

None of this has anything to do with the 2,300 days of Adventism, the IJ, or proving the literal details of what Jesus is doing and how it literally correlates to the sanctuary service and Jewish or Aaronic priesthood. Jesus’s mediation, by virtue of who he is and what he has done, is superior in every way. That’s the point. Don’t turn away from him to a religious system that can’t do what he does, and that has been replaced by him, as a shadow fades when the reality arrives.

To focus on the nature of heavenly architecture and service, and how it matches up to the Mosaic sanctuary, or vice versa, is to get side tracked in literal detail from the main, conceptual point of the letter, and its call for faith in and ultimate allegiance to Jesus. The main point of the entire NT.



the bottom line is that the biblical book of Hebrews certainly teaches us that the OC sanctuary, in terms of its architecture, services and priesthood, was modeled after a heavenly prototype…Hebrews also certainly teaches us that jesus is literally ministering in and through that heavenly prototype now…what the world saw under moses and aaron isn’t therefore something that we can say was idiomatic to them, or to judaism, and that it has no bearing on NC christianity today…in retrospect, we can see that the inclusion of large swaths of the pentateuch into the canon was justified, even if thoroughly unwitting, because an understanding of the OC sanctuary and priesthood is how we understand jesus’ NC priesthood transpiring in the heavenly sanctuary now…

the argument that Hebrews is teaching a heavenly sanctuary and NC priesthood for christ that supercedes the OC sanctuary and priesthood to such an extent that it is unconnected to that OC sanctuary and prieshood, and that to consider parallels between the OC sanctuary and priesthood and the heavenly sanctuary and jesus’ NC priesthood is getting side tracked, is exactly what Hebrews is not teaching…Hebrews is in fact teaching us that an understanding of the OC sanctuary and priesthood is how we understand the heavenly sanctuary and jesus’ NC priesthood…this means that ditching the OC sanctuary and priesthood in order to focus on christ is doing what Hebrews is telling us not to do…focusing on christ and his ministry outside of the OC context that is in fact built on his anticipated NC ministry, and given for the express purpose of understanding that NC ministry, amounts to idolatry: it’s constructing a christ out of our own ideas, undisciplined and unshaped by the guides and guardrails given in inspiration…

the more this subject of the sanctuary is considered and studied, and especially the more it’s understood, the more it becomes evident that adventism is the one denomination that is getting it right…if we had nothing else going for us, our signature sanctuary doctrine - seamless, and thoroughly logical - identifies us as the only denomination that is built on the foundation for NC understanding that is clearly laid out in the biblical book of Hebrews…

1 Like

I would say that you have it reversed. Hebrews is teaching that the Jewish temple system can only be seen for what it was by seeing Jesus, “…fixing our eyes upon Jesus…” it said to the letter’s recipients. The temple found its fulfillment, and was totally eclipsed by who Jesus is and what he has done and was doing.

Hebrews was written to Jewish believers in messiah who were in danger of deserting him and returning to their former religious allegiance. The letter unpacks the temple service in terms of how Jesus surpassed it, providing what it could never fully give and do, and made it obsolete. A shadow that has met its reality.

It was not written to focus the readers on heavenly furniture, nor to prove Adventism’s understanding of Christ beyond all denominations. In fact, Hebrews even used imagery and language that indicates a fulfillment of Yom Kippur, in the first century… not 1844.

Adventism stays stuck in the shadows, as if Christ can only be fully understood by those shadows. The letter was trying to teach the opposite, to people who already knew the temple service. A slain lamb could never, in and of itself, give a three dimensional picture of Calvary. It was a kindergarten shadow, that could only be understood in light of Jesus’s giving of himself… the reality, and experiencing that reality.

One was to grasp and be grasped by the beauty and power of the reality of Calvary and the risen Christ, without participating in the temple service. That’s Hebrews point. The reality far surpasses the shadow. Don’t go backwards. Exhorting the Hebrews to maintain their faith in Christ by following him outside the gates of the city, outside of the familiar religious experience and practices of the temple, and into the world, is the whole aim of the letter.

It was not to simply give a lesson on one to one correlation of earthly and heavenly structures. That’s at best a side point. Making it the main point to prove Adventist theology is reading your own issues into the letter, and not seeing the forest for the trees.



and that’s because the jewish temple was built according to a pattern that anticipated jesus and his NC ministry…

the OC sanctuary and its priesthood and the heavenly sanctuary and jesus’ NC priesthood are intertwined…they cannot be legitimately separated…the one was given to teach and illustrate the other…


And, you’re still missing the whole practical point of the letter. It wasn’t to give a lesson on how the priesthood of Jesus is intertwined with that of the OT or Judaism. It was to show how Jesus surpassed it all… and not to go back!

This is one of the reasons that the example of Melchizedek is used and compared to Jesus. There is no full correlation between Melchizedek and the Aaronic priesthood and the temple. Aaron even paid tithe to Melchizedek, while he was in Abraham’s loins, it says, the point being that the reality of Jesus is far above the Levitical system.

Tasting Jesus and his spirit was tasting the power of the age to come. One wasn’t to go back to the shadows of this present age to find him. In fact, they were in danger of losing him in such.


1 Like

what you’re missing, or one of the things you’re missing, is the audience that Hebrews was being written to…given its title, not to mention its relatively technical content, paul was likely writing to a group of priests in jerusalem who were facing persecution…the allusions to the OC are a way of touching base, but also to build faith in the fact that the ministry of jesus, although unseen, was not unfamiliar, and that what he was accomplishing was worth dying for…

by way of contrast, a modern audience, unfamiliar with the trappings of the OC, certainly needs to go back and study the books of moses, not to turn to and adopt the OC that has given way to the new, but to gain an appreciation for the NC that isn’t founded on post-modern, critical scholarly fantasy or arbitrary personal predilection…we must understand the context that the sanctuary is being taught in, in the book of Hebrews, and note that that sanctuary teaching we find there, while new and unfamiliar to us, is the vehicle that jesus and his NC priesthood is being presented in…we don’t get to choose our own vehicle or context, or dismiss what we find…to say that getting the point of jesus means we can deliver ourselves from the context in which he is being taught and presented, to the point where we are willing to not only discount but contradict that context, is doing a serious disservice to what paul wrote…worse yet, it is giving us a false concept of what is being taught, which we then feel free to superimpose on to other portions of scripture…

Hebrews is not teaching christ and his NC priesthood outside of the context of the OC…this is an indisputable fact…turning to the context of the OC for insight into christ and his NC priesthood, far from going backwards to a point we have no reason to be familiar with, is actually using this highly didactic biblical book in the way it was intended…we are learning lessons of the unseen from lessons we master from the seen…there is no other way…without an understanding of the OC sanctuary and priestly services, we can have no legitimate way of understanding christ as our high priest in the heavenly sanctuary…we become liable to dismissing the reality of christ’s priesthood, as well as the heavenly sanctuary itself…out of sight, out of mind becomes our unavoidable fate when we abuse the teachings of Hebrews in this fashion, which is just what much of non-adventism has done…



There’s no reason for you, me, or anyone else to assume that you’ve got the “right take” on this or any other matter given that the bottom line is that Paul’s letters, like absolutely everything else one finds in the Bible, is out of its context; removed from its initial intent, carried miles from its homeland, transposed from the original language and 2,000 years out of synch with the author’s era.

For example, Paul addressed this letter to Hebrews, not people on a continent of which he was unaware.

Further and try as we might, we can no more mentally, physically or verbally reconstruct any historical setting, nor the overall zeitgeist of that time, than all the kings horsemen were able to restore Humpty Dumpty to his pre-fall condition. That is, the ages-old Zen kuon which insists that one can never step in the same river twice is irrefutable. Ultimately then, there is not only no way to get inside Paul’s head and know that we know what he was trying to say nor, even having done that, would we be able to verify that what he was saying was actually correct.

Instead, one can only ever believe that he understands what any of the other Bible authors meant and can only hope that what they said really came from the mind of an omniscient god. However, given finite intellectual capacity and a limited set of facts, no human can ever prove this to anything approaching a bottom line certainty. If science teaches us anything, or has shown itself to be superior to religion in any way, it is that in order to be considered “true” science, it must remain perpetually willing to reconsider and even discard its previous conclusions, as new facts and evidence come in.

We need not fret or argue over this essential inability to conclusively demonstrate that what we know is true, however, nor double down on any truth claim by resorting to logical fallacies or fantastic attempts at fear mongering because the REAL bottom line on everything is that the mind of god combined the laws of nature and given an infinite span of time, will either confirm our conclusions or refute “what we know that ain’t so”!


This topic was automatically closed after 7 days. New replies are no longer allowed.