A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE ON
A comprehensive historical analysis of the problem of how to relate to an organization which was once the Church of God but falls into deep apostasy - extends from the time of Christ to the present apostasy of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. A careful reading of this wide-ranging study provides an understanding of the tragic significance of the Seventh-day Adventist Church's fall from her appointed role as the Remnant Church of God. In this last context it provides a summary of the great Sanctuary Doctrine on which the Advent Movement was founded, and establishes the prophetic basis for recognizing that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is very near. Part 5 concludes:
"Fearful is this hour; momentous the issues at stake. But through Jesus we were given the answer in the Jewish Equation."
Excerpted from WWN4-8(87) (Author - Wm. H. Grotheer)
The Jewish Equation -- Part I
It would be well in reading this first article to have your Bible at hand and check carefully each reference as given. (Editor)
Prior to Jesus' final departure from the temple, He declared in the hearing of the Jewish hierarchy, concerning their temple - it "is left unto you desolate." (Matt. 23:38) For how long? Then Jesus uttered those words, which only the unrolling of the prophetic scroll will reveal their true meaning: - "Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (v. 39)
The temple was left desolate at that moment. The sign of its desolation was not given til three days later. (Matt. 27:51) However, within hours, Jesus would tell his disciples about the sign which would warn them of the impending desolation of the city of Jerusalem.
As Jesus departed the once sacred precincts, the amazed disciples called His attention to the structures of the temple. Jesus responded by declaring that not one stone would be left upon another that would not be thrown down. (Matt. 24:1-2) Significantly, Jesus did not end the history nor the prophetic importance of the city of Jerusalem at that point, only the temple. That night on the Mount of Olives, Jesus outlined the future for His disciples reaching to the end of the world. He defined three major signs, two of which would involve Jerusalem. Listed briefly, they are:
1) "The abomination of desolation" standing in "the holy place" which would signal the impending destruction of Jerusalem. (Matt.24:15 & Luke 21:20)
2) Signs in the sun, moon and stars. (Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:24-25; Luke 21:25a)
3) Jerusalem no longer trodden down - the times of the Gentiles fulfilled. (Luke 21:24)
Connected with His prophetic discourse, Jesus called attention to the book of Daniel (Matt. 24:15) There for the careful student is a third revelation involving Jerusalem. (See Dan. 11:45) In connection with this third revelation, is it possible that in a correct understanding of it, we can perceive the significance of Jesus' final utterance as He left the temple? (Matt. 23:39) All of these events which have taken place, and are to take place in the history of Jerusalem coupled with the symbolism of the book of Revelation, constitute the Jewish "equation."
In seeking to solve this "equation," it must be first noted with emphasis, that Jerusalem after 34 A.D was no longer "the holy cityof God,"nor were the Jewish people per se, God's "chosen people." It is true that Matthew, in noting the sign for the Christians to flee the city, described its presence as "in the holy place." (24:15) Mark says "standing where it ought not." (13:14) Luke literalizes it completely - "When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies." (21:20)
Another factor in solving the Jewish "equation" is the question - How shall these references be interpreted? Do we spiritualize these references, saying they have a double meaning, or a double application? Or do we take them literally in their given context clearly noting their fulfillment in history, or in a yet-to-be fulfilled event?
In the development of the prophetic teachings of the Advent Movement, these very same questions confronted our spiritual forefathers. One principle which they emphasized was - "The Bible must be interpreted according to the plain, obvious, and literal import unless a figure is employed." ("Biblical Interpretation in the Advent Movement" in A Symposium on Biblical Hermeneutics, p. 119.) The reason for this emphasis was that they were facing those who were seeking to counteract the message of Revelation 14 with the speculative philosophy of the second century church fathers. These father's concept of Scripture, Mosheim describes as follows:
They all believed the language of Scripture to contain two meanings; the one obvious and corresponding with the direct import of the words; the other recondite and concealed under the words, like the kernel by the shell: the former they neglected as of little value, and bestowed their chief attention on the latter; that is they were more intent on throwing obscurity over the sacred writings by the fictions of their own imaginations, than of searching out their true meaning. (Ecclesiatical History, Cent. II, Chapt. III, par. 5)
There is little difference between the application of these, 2nd Century philosophers, and their emphasis, and those today who use what is termed "double application" of Bible prophecy. For example, the words of Jesus in Matt. 24:15 are clearly recongized as having direct reference to the sign which marked the forthcoming destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and served to alert the Jewish Christians to flee the city. But it is thought there is another meaning to Jesus's words. The "Abomination of Desolattion" is to stand in the Church as a "new" holy place. This fictitious concept is given the key emphasis in interpreting Matt. 24:15.
A simple solution to the Jewish "equation" would put all events in their proper place and give to the student light as to the last end of "the indignation."
A Brief Overlook at Daniel
In the dream given to Nebuchadnezzar, the fourth kingdom of iron is recognized as Rome. But the iron does not stop at the ankles, but extends down to the very tips of the toes. In the first dream given to Daniel, the "little horn" ever remains a part of the fourth beast, although the interpretation given describes its activities separately. Daniel's next vision (Chapter 8) reveals an "horn" coming out of one of the four winds (West), distinct and separate from the other symbols whose historic fulfillment centered in the Middle East. This "horn" was to be "broken without hand." (8:25) The final prophecy given to Daniel represents this same power which "shall come to his end, and none shall help him." (11:45) In all these dreams and visions, Rome is pictured as one with two phases - pagan and papal.
In the book of Daniel, this two phased power is declared to be "the
abomination of desolation." (8:13; 11:31; 12:11). It comes in contact
with Jerusalem in its pagan form at the time it destroys the city and
the temple. (9:26-27) This is the phase to which Jesus referred in His
Olivet discourse (Matt. 24:15). However, the book of Daniel tells of the
time when the papal phase will likewise come in contact with Jerusalem.
A Look at Revelation
The book of Revelation naturally divides itself into two sections: Chapters 1-11 & 12-22. The final section contains two predominant symbols - two women and two cities - with the other symbols either as war with, or in alliance with these two women or cities.
As the final section of the prophecy opens, the power operating behind the symbols of the book of Daniel is revealed - the dragon, that old serpent, the devil or Satan. However, because of the victory of the Cross, he is pictured as defeated, and a time limit set upon his activities. He is "cast down" (12:10) and he knows he has "but a short time." (12:12)
Satan is also pictured as operating behind a facade. He gives "his power, and his seat, and great authority" to the beast, one of whose heads is "wounded to death." (13:2-3) He has his prophet, "a false Elijah," who though lamb-like speaks as a "dragon." (Com 13:14 with 19:20; note 13:11,13) It is this false prophet who suggests "to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had a wound by a sword and did live." (13:14)
God's response to all "of this behind-the scenes activity of Satan is a message of warning that if- anyone worships .the beast and his image shall suffer the wrath of God which is poured out in the Seven Last Plagues (14: 9-10, 15:1
During the portrayal of the Seven Last Plagues to John, he is shown the second woman - "the great whore that sitteth upon many waters." (17: 1) The woman, Babylon, (17:5,18) had been seen sitting on the River Euphrates which was dried up under the sixth plague (16:12) But when one of the angels of the plagues reveals in symbolic detail this whore, she is riding upon a scarlet colored beast. (17:3)
This beast is defined as one that "was, and is not, and yet is," and though being "the eighth" is "of the seven." (17:8,11) He is the source of the seven heads. In John's day, five had fallen - Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. One was - Rome. Daniel noted it consistently as being in two phases - pagan and papal. One was yet to come - the 2nd beast of Rev. 13, or the false prophet. (See 17:10)
The beast of Rev. 17 carrying the whore is the "yet is" phase of Satan. And it is in this connection that Revelation 17 touches Daniel 11:45.
The Jewish Equation Part 2
The same suggestion as was made for the study of Part One is in order also for Part Two. Follow closely each Bible reference given. (Editor)
An over view of the final chapters of Revelation is in order that we might better evaluate the factors essential in the solution of the Jewish equation.
Following the outline of the Three Angels' Messages, the Seven Last Plagues are introduced. (Rev. 15:1) From this setting all that follows is explained and amplified. Observe carefully the following points:
1) One of the seven angels of the plagues, shows John "the judgment of the great whore." (17:1)
2) One of the same seven angels shows John "the Lamb's wife."( 21:9)
3) Within the delineation of the plagues, the whore of Revelation 17 is first seen by John. (16:12; 17:1)
4) "The battle of the great day of God Almighty" is first mentioned. (16:14)
5) The place where this confrontation occurs is defined as "Har-Magedon". (16:16)
As we analyze these various points, we might ask ourselves some questions. Why should an angel of the seven plagues explain to John both the "whore" and "the Lamb's wife"? Both are noted as a "great city". (17:18; 21:10) Both are symbolized as a "woman". (17:3; Gal. 4:6) There is a conflict over these cities. God brings judgment on "Babylon". (16:19) The final plagues are directed wholly toward "Babylon". (18:8 ) On the other hand, in the battle of "Gog an Magog" the forces of evil from all time are gathered together in an attempt to take "the beloved city". (20:8-9) This period from the plagues to the lake of fire has been rightly defined as "the day of the Lord." (See II Peter 3:8-10)
Further, as the plagues are being explained to John, it is also revealed that powers - "the spirits of devils" - are at work to "gather" the leadership of the "whole world" to battle against God. (16:13-14) More detai1 is given as the beast which carries the "great whore" is shown to John. Here "ten kings" join the "beast" (of Revelation 17) to "make war with the Lamb." (17:12-14) This is amplified in the "war" described in Revelation 19:11-21. And all of this is pictured as centering in one place - "a place which is called in Hebrew Har-Magedon." (16:16 ARV)
[Note: The word, place, in the Greek is topos from which is derived the English words, "topology" and "topography." In the Greek, the word refers to a literal location. For example - "Pilate... sat down in the judgement seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha." (John 19:13) It can also refer to a state of mind. Esau is described as being unable to find a "place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears." (Heb. 12:17, See margin) In Rev. 16:16, both uses of the word add to the meaning of the verse. The leadership of earth is gathered to a specific place, and in so gathering under the influence of the spirits of devils pass an unseen line, thus reaching a point of no return, finding "no place for repentance."]
The Seven Last Plagues
There is a principle to the interpretation of the revelations given in the Seven Last Plagues chapter which is frequently overlooked. All the plagues, save one, constitutes God's response to what man has done in probationary time. (The one exception is the third plague which is a repeat of, "blood" due to the death decree against the"saints". See comment, Great Controversy, p. 628) This principle of understanding Revelation 16 is easily seen by noting the first plague. (16:2) The "grievous sore" falls on those who "had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image." When was this mark received, and when was this worship begun? Before or after the close of probation? The answer is simple - prior to the close of probation. Using this same principle for the sixth plague, we find the plague itself falls "upon the great river Euphrates." (16:12) Its results carry over into the seventh plague "great Babylon comes into remembrance before God." (16:19) But what causes God to pour out this plague? The answer is that the triumvirate of evil - the dragon, beast (Rev. 13), and the false prophet (2nd beast of Rev.13) - gather the rulers of earth to Har-Magedon.
Lest there be a misunderstanding, let it be clearly understood that all the Seven Last Plagues come after the close of human probtion. However, the explanation as to why the plague is poured out is distinctly separate from the plague itself. This needs to be understood and distinguished in the study of Revelation 16. Thus Revelation 16:13-16 will be fulfilled prior to the close of probation. (See use made of Rev. 16:13-14 in Great Controversy, pp. 561-562)
While the sixth plague is poured out on what is termed "the great river Euphrates," the "spirits of devils" had gathered the leadership of earth with their forces to a place with a Hebrew designation. Herein is a factor of the Jewish equation. God's wrath reveals how He views this development. To Him it is what He has always revealed it to be - Babylon, the epitome of rebellion. Thus the symbolism of "the great river Euphrates," and the fact that the "whore" is carried by the beast that "was, and is not, and yet is" who makes war with the Lamb. (Rev.17:14) But the spirits of devils do not gather their devotees to the river Euphrates, but rather to a place called in the Hebrew, Har-Magedon.
The prophet Jeremiah declared of Babylon -
"It shall no more be inhabited forever; neither shall it be dwelt in
from generation to generation." Jer. 50:39 These words are from a scroll
which Jeremiah sent to Babylon with Seraiah. He told this prince that
having read this scroll in Babylon, he was to "bind a stone to it, and
cast it into the midst of Euphrate." When doing so, he was to say -
"Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will
bring upon her." (Jer. 51:60-64) The word of the Lord is that the
literal city of Babylon after its destruction would never rise again.
Only a "symbolic" Babylon would exist. God's judgment on Jerusalem is in
contrast to this. Although destroyed in 70 A.D., the prophecy of Jesus
indicated that it would be trampled down only "until the times of the
Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21:24) ]
In the Hebrew language - har - means, mountain. This rules out "Megiddo" for it is a valley. (Zech. 12:11) However, there is a mountain named in the Old Testament which meets linguistic requirements. It is called, har-mo'ed - Mount of the Congregation. It is described as being "in the sides of the north" or Mt. Zion "the city of the great King." (See Isa. 14:13; Ps. 48:2) By noting the objectives of Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12-14, it is he who plans to "sit upon the mount of the congregation" - har-mo'ed. To this end, the spirits of devils gather the nations of the earth. Daniel simply states - "He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain." (11:45) To John it revealed that "the spirits of devils" coming from the dragon, beast and false prophet gather the nations to the mount of the congregation. But the prophetic message behind this symbolism is that literal Jerusalem is to be made "an holy city" from man's view-point, while God's view-point the deception is in reality, Babylon the Great. The significance to us is that when this occurs, the prophecy states - "And at that time shall Michael stand up." (Dan. 12:1) "But the true leader of all of this rebellion is Satan clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of God, and deify him. But Omnipotence will interpose, and to the apostate churches that unite in exaltation of Satan, the sentence will go forth, 'Therefore shall her plagues come in one day...'" (TM, p. 62) How near are we to the fulfillment of this Divine edict?
[Note: One might be perplexed about Revelation 16:16. Should the text read - "And he gathered them together" (KJV) or should it read - "And they gathered them together" (ARV) ? The Greek verb, sunago, as used in this verse is in the 2nd aorist (past) singular form. Ordinarily, this would indicate - "he gathered" - however, a Greek neuter plural noun can take a singular verb. The word, spirits, is such a noun in the Greek, allowing the translation - "they gathered." The context requires - "they gathered" - as indicated in verse 14, where the infinitive form of sunago is used: - "to gather them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty."]
The Jewish Equation Part 3
Some Historical Background -- Prior to the giving of the Message of Righteousness by Faith in 1888, Ellen G. White had indicated repeatedly the nearness of the end. Note the following references:
1) 1878 - "We are now upon the very borders, of the eternal world." (4T:306)
2) 1881 - "The end of all things is hand." (5T:16) "We are standing on the threshold of the eternal world.." (5T:18)
3) 1885 - "We are standing, as it were, on the borders of the eternal world." (5T:382)
4) Circa 1886 - "We are standing on the very verge of the eternal world." (5T:460)
There can be no doubt as to .the message these statements intended to convey. Further, at the same time, the church was warned that a "threefold religious union" - Spiritualism, Protestantism, and "the Roman power" .- would be instrumental in influencing the establishment of "the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God." This would be a sign whereby God's people would "know that the time had come for the marvelous working of Satan, and that the end is near." (5T:451)
Again in emphasizing that "the curtain is about to be lifted" upon the final scenes, Ellen G..White wrote that "in the decree enforcing the papal sabbath" would be seen the sign "to leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains." (5T 464-465) This has become known as the sign of the National Sunday Law and is used prominently in last day projections at the present time among various dissident groups.
In 1901, Ellen G. White negated the messages given between 1878 and 1886 as to the nearness of the end. She wrote to P. T. Magan in a letter dated Dec. 7, 1901, - "We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel" because of their insubordination at Kadesh-barnea. And we have!
Certain questions now follow: Has our own insubordination altered the nature of the end-time signs and the events connected with them? In ancient Israel's experience, their insubordination at Kadesh-barnea caused them to enter Canaan by a different way, and under different leadership. God said they would know "the altering of [His] promise." (Num. 14:34 margin)
It is of the utmost importance that we recognize a parallel between our history and the experience of Israel at Kadesh-barnea. In the very year that Ellen G. White negated the messages of the impending end 1901 - she wrote:
In the twenty-first chapter of Luke, Christ foretold what was to come upon Jerusalem, and with it He connected the scenes which are to take place just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Letter 20, 1901, Counsels to Writers and Editors, pp. 23-24)
In this letter, Ellen G. White specifically designates Luke 21, in contrast
to Matthew 24, or Mark 13, which are parallel chapters.
In 1898, James Edson White published a book - The Coming King - in which he commented on Luke 21:24. He wrote:
We also read that "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Luke 21:24. Jerusalem has never again come into possession of the Jews, and will not until "the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." This will be when the work of the gospel is finished. (p. 98)
There is a clear association between the concept of "the times of the Gentiles fulfilled" and "the work of the gospel finished." The sign which would mark this point in time is to be an event in the history of Jerusalem; namely, Jerusalem would no longer be trodden down of the Gentiles, but be restored to Jewish authority and control. This brings ,us to.current history.
Events in Our Time
In 1948 Israel once again became a nation
The ministry of the Church was put on notice concerning this event, and the significance to be attached to it. The late Arthur S. Maxwell in a presentation at the 1952 Bible Conference noted among "Areas of Unfulfilled Prophecy," developments taking place in Palestine. He said:
The recent dramatic restoration of the nation of Israel has focused the attention of mankind once more upon Palestine. ...
There is one prophecy concerning Palestine that we should all be watching with special care. Said Jesus, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Luke 21:24.
For nineteen centuries Jerusalem has been trodden down of the Gentiles. It is still trodden down  of the Gentiles. Despite the amazing prowess of the Israeli troops, the ancient city of Jerusalem is still in Arab hands. ... Victorious as were the forces of Israel in every other part of Palestine, they failed to take the most dazzling objective of all. Mysteriously they were held back from achieving this most cherished goal, this culminating triumph, as by an unseen hand.
What could be the reason? Only that the times of the Gentiles are not yet fulfilled.
Centuries ago Israel was not permitted to enter Palestine for a certain time because "the iniquity of the Amorites" was "not yet full" (Gen. 15:16); that is, not until the probationary time allotted to the Amorites had run out.
It may well be that the same principle applies today, on a wider scale. If so, then Jerusalem is to remain trodden down by Gentiles till the probationary time of all Gentiles has run out. If this be correct, how much hinges upon the fate of this ancient city and the power that occupies it! (Our Firm Foundation, Vol. 2, pp. 230-231)
One doesn't have to be a genius to understand that the Jews who for 19 centuries ended their Passover and Yom Kippur services with the incantation in Hebrew - "Next year in Jerusalem" - would [not] rest satisfied with the city under Arab control. In 1948 there was given to the world, and to Adventists in particular, a solemn warning that the end of all things was at hand.
Not only were we warned by an event in history, but at the 1952 Bible Conference, the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was alerted to what had taken place, and put on notice concerning the significance of this prophecy Jesus had given.
The, tragic events in the Church's history which followed the 1952 Bible Conference did not alter the impending fulfillment of Luke 21:24. In 1967, the Jews in a "lightning victory" took possession of the Old City, the subject of Jesus' prophecy. In 1980, the Jewish Knesset proclaimed "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel." The city became the seat of the President of the State, the Knesset, the Government and the Supreme Court.
Since 1980, we have been living on borrowed time. We are living between the fulfillment of Luke 21:24, and Daniel 11:45, to be followed by Daniel 12:1 - "And at that time shall Michael stand up."
The Jewish Equation Part 4
The events of history testify to the fact that in 1967, the prophecy of Jesus as found in Luke 21:24 began to be fulfilled, and that in 1980, it was completed. Published Adventist literature concurs in noting the significance of 1967 in relationship to Luke 21:24. (See 20th Century Bible Course, Lesson 5; and Christ of the Revelation, pp. 71-72)
The question now comes - What does the fulfillment of this prophecy of Jesus mean in terms of a response? As Lesson 5 of the 20th Century Bible Course empasized in regard to the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem - "They [the Christians] watched for the sign that Christ had given and obeyed His instructions" - just so, there must be an obedient response to the fulfillment of this phase of the prophecy. Simply stated, we must ask ourselves - What is being said in the fulfillment of this prophecy? - and - What must I now do?
The most obvious significance of the fulfillment of Luke 21:24 is that the nations are no longer under the restraining influence of God. Their time is up. A concrete example of this can be found in our own recent history. At mid-century when President Harry S. Truman appointed General Mark Clark as the American ambassador to the Vatican, a storm of protest brought about the withdrawal of the nomination. Not so in 1984! Even though, protest was mounted against the appointment by President Reagan of an ambassador to the Vatican, the opposition was run over roughshod. The restraining power of God was missing. What is this saying? The nations of earth have been turned over to "the spirits of devils" to accomplish the fulfillment of Revelation 16:13-14 in gathering the nations of earth to the battle of the great day of God Almighty.
The realization that we have reached the end-times of all human history should evoke from us and in us a deep consecration, a devotion to the things of the Spirit which marked the Advent believers who expected to see their Lord on October, 22, 1844. What heart searching, what agonizing before God should mark our religious experience now.
A careful study of Luke 21:24 in the context of the whole chapter tells us more. As we noted in Part One (XX-4), Jesus gave three major signs which were to take place between His two advents: 1) The compassing of Jerusalem with armies; 2) Signs in the sun, moon and stars; and 3) Jerusalem no longer trodden down of the Gentiles. In all three accounts of this Olivet discourse, the parable of the "fig tree" is recorded with a lesson drawn - "This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled." And Jesus affirmed this statement with the word - "Heaven and earth shall pass, away: but my words shall nat pass away." (Luke 21:29-33) While it is true that He connected the "generation" concept with the advent of "the kingdom of God," we dare not lose sight of the fact that Jesus was answering questions which in the minds of His questioners were only one question. To them, at that point in their understanding, the destruction of Jerusalem was the end of the world. And the generation that saw the sign which marked the coming destruction of Jerusalem did not pass away until the event occurred. Further, the generation that saw the signs in the sun, moon and stars did not pass away till it was understood what those signs heralded - the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven to the Ancient of days. (Daniel 7:13) Likewise, this generation which has witnessed the fulfillment of Luke 21:24 will not pass away till these final times be fulfilled. Again, the point is emphasized - the end of all things is upon us.
A closer look at the immediate context in which Luke places this prophecy of Jesus provides for us further insight of the times to which we have come. The signs in the heavens are noted, then "upon earth distress of nations." (Luke 21:25) The versification and translation as found in the KJV blocks a connection with Luke 21:24. Removing these barriers, we read:
Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the nations, until the times of the nations be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon earth distress of [those] nations, with perplexity.
We have understood the fulfillment of the signs in the sun, moon and stars, but when would the distress of nations begin? Answer: When the times of the nations are fulfilled. Even as the signs in the heavens pointed to the beginning of celestial events connected with the final times of human history, just so, Christ gave a sign which would mark the beginning on earth of the final events.
The import of this can be better understood when we perceive the meaning of the words chosen to describe the distress of nations. The word, distress - sunoche - means "imprisoned, in the narrows, or straits." The added phrase - "with perplexity" (en aporia) - conveys the picture of nations unable to meet the demands placed upon them financially, and lacking the ability to solve the stress. (See The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament by Moulton and Milligan) A "well known Canadian financial expert" - wote in 1975 -
From all that I have observed of international [monetary] conferences since 1967 I do not believe any conference is going to come up with any workable answer. It seems the situation will just continue to deteriorate. ...
All brains are stunned. They see no answer - so now they begin to think no answer is necessary. Or at least they have decided there is no use thinking about it at all. Therefore I can only see as the end product, as I have said repeatedly in these letters - and especially after attending the big world meetings of the IMF - the answer is a total collapse.
Either the countries will have to go back to a system which will stabilize the money, such as gold - or the social order, not only of the United States, but all of the industrial world, will disintegrate, and from this enormous confusion new governments will arise after much suffering and bloodshed, starvation and horror. These governments would be dictatorships.
Recently D'Estaing observed: "The world is unhappy. It is unhappy because it doesn't know where it is going, and because it senses that if it knew, it would discover that it was heading for disaster. ... The crisis the world knows today will be a long one. It is not a passing difficulty. It is actually the recognition of permanent change." (Myers' Finance & Energy, March 11, 1975, pp. 1-2)
In 1967, by an action of the U.S. Congress, the silver certificates - our paper money - were no longer redeemable in neither silver nor gold. In fact, the base upon which the Consumer Price Index is figured by the U.S Department of Labor is 1967=100. "Since 1967 the value of the dollar has declined 47.6 percent." (Newsweek, June 19, 1978, p. 21) And that was ten years ago! The economic distess today is worldwide. Since prophecy indicates that economics will be a factor in the final scenes (Rev. 13:16-17), the fulfillment of Luke 21:24 in relationship to the "distress of nations, with perplexity" only adds to the weight of evidence that we are in the final end-time of all human history. What manner of persons ought we then to be?
There is another significant factor in this context of Luke 21:24-25. Here is revealed in the prophetic transition that from events in the Heavens above, the action will move to earth. Even as the signs in the sun, moon and stars signaled the beginning of the pre-Advent judgment before the Ancient of days, just so, the beginning of the "distress of nations" signals the commencement of final events on earth in harmony with the divine objectives. A careful study of the typical Day of Atonement reveals this divine plan.
The Jewish Equation Part 5
This study may well be the most important treatise you will read this year in the Thought Paper. Be sure to have your Bible open before you, and carefully read each text given.
The Hebrew sanctuary ritual as performed on the Day of Atonement, and the prophetic pre-Advent scene of the Judgment before the Ancient of days gives significant meaning to the prophecy of Jesus in Luke 21:24.
In Daniel 7, we are told that when the judgment convened before the Ancient of days - "the books [were] opened." (7:9-10) These books contain the complete life's record of every daughter and son of Adam. When the final sentencing is given from "the great white throne," the unsaved are to be "judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." (Rev. 20:11-12) Both the decision in the pre-Advent judgment and the sentencing from the great white throne are done in the heavenly places.
The Hebrew sanctuary services cover but one phase of the judgment. God gave these typical services to reveal the provision He made for man to escape the condemnation of the judgment on sin. This fact is important in understanding the relationship between the prophecy given to Daniel and the typical services set up at Sinai under Moses. During the year, each believer in Jehovah God of Israel and Israel itself was provided a way whereby sins could be transfered either to a common priest, or to the sanctuary via the High Priest. This should be kept clearly in mind. We shall herewith outline this Divine plan in type by way of review:
1) If "the priest that, is anointed" (the High Priest) should lead the congregation of Israel into sin, or if the whole congregation were involved in guilt, the blood of the atoning sacrifice was brought into the holy place and finger printed on the Altar of Incense with the remaining blood poured at the base of the Altar in the court. (Lev. 4:3-7, 13-18) The result to the whole congregation was that they were forgiven. (Lev. 4:20). 2) on the other hand, when a ruler or a common person sinned and sought forgiveness, his sacrifice was mediated by the common priest, and the blood was not brought into the sanctuary, but finger printed on the horns of the Altar in the court, and the balance was poured again at the base of the Altar. (Lev. 4:22, 24-25, 27, 29-30). 3) However, in the atonement of forgiveness for the ruler and the common person, the officiating priest - not the High Priest - ate of the sacrifical victim. (Note: Lev. 6:25-26; 10:16-18)
[It must also be kept in mind that the category of "ruler" included the priests as individuals. Compare Numbers 3:32 with Leviticus 4:22. In the Hebrew, the same word is used for both "chief" and "ruler."]
Thus in the ministration of forgiveness to the individual the blood was not carried into the sanctuary, but the individual's hope of pardon on the Day of Atonement was carried by another.
In review and summary it must be clearly understood that the blood recording confession and bestowing forgiveness was to be found in only two places - on the horns of the Altar in the court, and on the horns of the Altar of Incense in the Holy Place. Only on the Day of Atonement was blood of a sin offering brought into the Most Holy Place. The High Priest offered a bullock which was "for himself" although the atonement covered his whole house. However, "for himself" is twice emphasized. (Lev. 16:11) This "sin offering" for the High Priest was in addition to the "sin offering" represented in the Lord's goat which was "for the people." (Lev. 16:9, 15) Interestingly, there is no record in Leviticus 16, where confession was made over either the bullock, or the Lord's goat, yet both are called "sin offerings." (Lev. 16:3, 9) However, hands were laid on the scape goat in transference, but this "live goat" is not referred to as a "sin offering." (Lev. 16:21-22) These facts of the type have been given little attention, or study.
The atonement of cleansing for Israel on the tenth day of the seventh month was three-phased: 1) In the Most Holy Place; 2) In the Holy Place; and 3) In the court at the Altar there. Not until the three phases were completed was the "live goat" brought into the picture. (Lev. 16:20-21)
[Note: As you read Leviticus 16 in the KJV, the "holy place" ("place" is a supplied word) refers to the second apartment of the sanctuary, or Most Holy Place. The "tabernacle of the congregation" is the terminology designating the Holy Place. The "altar" stands for the Altar of the Court, or the Altar of Burnt Offering.]
Let us now take a careful look at the three phases. First, the atonement of cleansing was begun in the Most Holy Place. But during the year no record of forgiven sins was ever recorded there, yet the "uncleaness of the children of Israel" extended to there. In passing, but without comment, it should be noted that the atonement of cleansing began where sin began - in the presence of God enthroned between the cherubim as far as the type is concerned. There is a reconciliation involving "things in heaven." (Col. 1:20)
The second phase was the atonement for the Holy Place. (Lev. 16:16b) But here was to be found only the record of confessed corporate guilt of either the nation of Israel or Israel as "the church in the wilderness." Sadly, through the history of Israel either as a nation or a church, there was very little confession of guilt. Likewise the nations and churches of all time!
The last phase of the cleansing had to do with the confessed and forgiven sins at the Altar in the court. (Lev. 16:18) This concerned all individuals - whether a ruler or a common person. When did the cleansing reach the individual living on any particular Day of Atonement? Answer: Only after all corporate confession had been taken care of in the Holy Place! Thus the prophecy of Jesus in Luke 21:24 which signaled the times of the nations - corporate bodies - as fulfilled, tells us when the judgment of the living commenced. We have reached that hour! The Jewish Equation rightly solved supplies the answer. Further, when the "abomination of desolation" (papal phase) "shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain," then we may know the judgment of all living has been determined, and the time has come for Michael to "stand up." (Dan. 11:45; 12:1)
How then should one understand this hour - "the judgment of the living"?
Primarily for Seventh-day Adventists, it means that the prophecy given
through Ellen G. White in
We must ask, do we have any guidelines for this hour of "the judgment of the living"? Yes. The experience of the Jewish Church as a corporate body contains lessons for us today. They rejected the living Truth committed to their trust. They rejected the final warning given to them in the appeal of Stephen. (Acts 7:51-58a) The probation of Israel as a corporate body was up - she had fulfilled her times, the 490 years of Daniel 9:24. But the individual was to have an extended opportunity, - until "the abomination of desolation "(pagan phase) would stand in the once "holy place."
Why was this? The individual member of the Jewish Church had no voice in either the murder of Jesus Christ, nor in the stoning of Stephen - the ultimate outworking of the hierarchy against those who "speak out" for truth against the system. All was the decision of the General Conference of the Jewish Church. Thus the individual member of the Jewish Church would be given an opportunity between 34 A.D. and 66 A.D. to choose between Jesus the crucified, and the leaders who crucified Him. And this was the message starting with the Day of Pentecost.
The "devout" Jews were charged by Peter, speaking - filled with the Holy Spirit - on the Day of Pentecost with the murder of Jesus because of their corporate involvement in the Jewish Church. (Acts 2:5, 36) When Paul went forth on his missionary tours, he began in the synagogues with a message to the "man in the pew" for a decision between Jesus the Messiah, and what the Jewish hierarchy had done to Him. (See Acts 13:27-28, 38-41;18:4-8; 19:8-9)
We today face similar questions. Did the individual member of the Adventist Church have a voice in the compromises of the SDA-Evangelical Conferences? Did the individual member of the Church have a voice when the doctrine of the final atonement was denied in the adoption of the new Statement of Beliefs voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980? The answer is clearly - NO! But corporately every member of the church was involved before God. God has now rendered His decision on the corporate body. The decision rendered on the individual, "the atonement at the Altar" in the court (on earth), will be determined as to whether he can say "Amen" to God's decision on the church corporately, or whether he will continue to consent to the betrayal of truth by the hierarchy.
Basically, this is the righteousness by faith issue. Abraham is called the father of the faithful. (Rom. 4:16) His seed includes all the faithful of the Jewish Church as well as those who be Christ's. (Gal. 3:29) The faith of Abraham is simply defined: He "believed God, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness." (Gen. 15:6) The word, believe, in the Hebrew, is amin, from which our word, "Amen" is transliterated. We concur in God's decisions, and in Christ pass the judgment.
Fearful is this hour; momentous the issues at stake. But through Jesus we were given the answer in the Jewish Equation.
"People generally think that to believe is nothing more than to nod assent. But believing the Lord is much more than this. It is to count that word as the surest thing in the universe, since it is that which upholds the universe, and to rest the whole soul, and all the hopes upon it, even though everything appears contrary to it. It is to walk where there seems to be nothing, provided the word of the Lord is there, knowing that it is a firm foundation. The poet Whittier has thus expressed it:
"Nothing before, nothing behind:
The steps of faith fall on the seeming void, and find
The rock beneath."
From: Voice of the Reformer [email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2012 4:58 AM
To: World Remnant Church
Subject: Organization is not Necessary
(1) There are many great works organized in this world without an organization. (2) Again many simple works became unorganized because of an organization. The acts of the Disciples were a good example of the first statement; and the acts of the recent SDA organization is a good example of the second statement. What 12 disciples did without an organization, 12 million Adventists cannot do through an organization.
What was the organization that sent Philip to meet the eunuch of the queen Candace of the Ethiopians? (Acts 8:27) What was the organization that appointed the same eunuch to witness Christ in Africa? What was the organization that paid Thomas to witness Christ in Asia? What was the organization that appointed Paul to preach to the Roman Emperors? What was the organization that established the Assemblies of Ephesians, Corinthians, Hebrews, and Philippians? – The answer of all these questions is “No organization.”
How much money the SDA organization has spent for these 150 years? How many countries she entered before received a call? How many people she reached through her paid works? How many believers she able to keep in the church? Compare these answers with the answers of the disciples to the same questions. Now tell: Who are really organized for the Great Commission? Who have the power of God? Who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit? Who are really successful? – Disciples or the SDA organization?
Organization is not the Solution. Devotion, God dependency, Faithfulness, Zeal, and Following the life & teaching of Christ is the solution for the Great Commission. Organized in faith & moved by the Holy Spirit is the key to witness Christ to the end of the world.
Many people quote the event of Acts 6:1-6 as the introduction of an organization. This is not true. It was an event to organize work, not starting an organization. “Organizing work” and “Organization” is not same. First one is a verb, and second one is a noun. In order to organize works, an organization is not necessary. Peoples & groups, all over the world doing many great jobs without registering an organization.
Even though, if some people still wants to compare the “organized work” of the disciples with recent SDA organization; I am comparing the characteristics of both acts, for them.
(a). Disciples & believers were all volunteers to the church. 7 elders were appointed to do some voluntary works, not for a paid job. But recent SDA organizational workers are all paid.
(b). 7 elders were appointed to fairly distribute food among the widows & poor. But recent SDA organization workers are appointed to consume the food of the widows & poor.
(c). 7 elders were chosen because of their good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom (verse 3). But recent SDA officers are chosen because of their scholarship, flattery & business+political intelligence.
I surprise, how the “organizing work” of the disciples can encourage such an unscriptural organization like the “SDA organization”?
Let us organized in Spirit, not in Organization