The Biblical Research Institute
On return at the end of September, 2010, I sent our finalized appeal letter with an attached introduction to the original Fundamental Principles by overnight FedEx envelope to Ted Wilson at the General Conference.Weeks went by and no response. Autumn Counsel was coming up and I asked one of the attendees that I knew to inquire if possible about the letter while there. In a few days I received a phone call saying that Gerhardt Pfandl agreed to meet with me in his office at the BRI inside the GC headquarters. So, I called him and made an appointment, flew up, and spent an afternoon telling my story and comparing our common experience in visiting many Adventist institutions around the world.
He found my mention of the Greek word exelthon of particular interest and compared several reference books from his shelves. The word occurs over two dozen times in the New Testament and is translated "come out of". Most of them appear in texts about coming out of a house or out of a city, but several described coming out of a person. Most of those deal with evil spirits coming out of people possessed by them. But four apply to Jesus coming out of his Father: John 8:42 "I proceeded forth and came from God"John 16:27 "I came out from God"John 16:28 "I came forth from the Father"John 17:8 "They surely believe that I came out from Thee"Brother Pfandl was very kind and said he would have to study this further and get back with me.
This was a rewarding experience and I was hopeful that Gerhardt would confirm what E.J Waggoner wrote in 1890 (His book Christ and His Righteousness) what he presented at the 1888 GC pre-session meetings:
"All things proceed ultimately from God, the Father; even Christ Himself proceeded and came forth from the Father; but it has pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell, and that He should be the direct, immediate Agent in every act of creation." page 19.
"There was a time when Christ proceeded forth and came from God, from the bosom of the Father (John 8:42; 1:18), but that time was so far back in the days of eternity that to finite comprehension it is practically without beginning. But the point is that Christ is a begotten Son, and not a created subject." page 22.
"Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. He was begotten, not created. He is of the substance of the Father, so that in His very nature He is God" Present Truth UK Dec 18, 1890 p. 409.6