XXXII - 4(99)
what of the night?”
hour has come, the hour is striking and striking at you,
the hour and the end!" Eze. 7:6 (Moffatt)
A FEARFUL WARNING
What Does It Mean for Us?
This issue is primarily about one topic - Jesus as the Prophet who came in fulfillment of the promise given to Moses, and one prophecy He gave. The challenge for us is to heed the fearful warning that accompanied the promise of His coming. We have on record the history of the nation, to whom He came, which disregarded what He said. The destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 is but a faint shadow of the doom that awaits a world which disregards the truth He proclaimed and the principles of righteousness by which He lived.
At the 1952 Bible Conference, Elder Arthur S. Maxwell introduced one section of his paper on "The Imminence of Christ's Second Coming" with the declaration: "The recent dramatic restoration of Israel has focused the attention of mankind once more on Palestine." Now fifty years later as we approach the Third Millennium, it can be said again with the events taking place in the Near East, and with the interest manifest by the Papacy in Jerusalem, mankind's attention is again focused on Palestine. This time it is the countdown to the end This generation, which has seen the fulfillment of the final sign which Jesus the Prophet gave, will not pass away until all be fulfilled.
Even with the plain admonition which Maxwell gave at the Bible Conference, there are those who are not willing to recognize the significance of the fulfilled prophecy of Luke 21:24. They are continuing to hold out for a continuation of time into the Third Millennium, even until a certain state of readiness is attained by a required number of people. This compounds the problem, for not only is the prophecy of that Prophet disregarded; but also the ministry of that Prophet as High Priest is placed in doubt. What the Messenger of the Lord has written is set aside as of little significance - "Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work." (TM, p 508) It is time that we accepted the fact of our nothingness so that the Holy Spirit can do His work for us and in us.
A Fearful Warning
What Does It Mean for Us?
As Moses reminded the Children of Israel of their request at Mt. Sinai "not to hear again the voice of the Lord," nor to "see this great fire" of Divine Majesty, he informed them of God's promised visitation in flesh. With this promise God attached a fearful warning. The words of God to Moses were:
I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth: and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. (Deut. 18:18-19)
The Hebrew word for "Prophet" is nabi, a calling which involved not only speaking in the name of the Lord to kings and nations, but also predicting future events. The Messiah was to be such a prophet. Jesus, that Messiah, spoke forthrightly to the leadership as well as to the professed people of God, sometimes in very strong language. They did not hear, and that Prophet warned by parable what God would "require" of them: "He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen" (Matt. 21:41). "The king ... sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers and burned up their city" (22:7). Not only by parable, but also by prophecy, Jesus gave warning of the coming judgment.
As Jesus drew near to Jerusalem on His triumphal entry, beholding the city, He wept over it, and prophesied saying:
"If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things that belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee around, and keep thee in on every side. And they shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave one stone upon another; because thou knowest not the time of thy visitation." (Luke 19:42-44)
The results of the decisions that would be made during this last week of the earthly ministry of Jesus would reverberate throughout the rest of time and into eternity. Little do we sense the awesomeness of the events that transpired the seven days that followed this entry into Jerusalem. One week later Jesus would be the Risen Lord walking along the road to Emmaus. During that week, decisions would be made that would seal the fate of the Jewish nation and its holy city, Jerusalem. All could be summarized in one experience - the time of thy visitation," and this involved ignorance - "thou knowest not."
Each major decision maker during this week had his own agenda. Caiaphas expressed his in the reasoning that "It is expedient for us, that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not" (John 11:50). He prefaced his conclusion with the words, "Ye know nothing at all," himself not knowing that "the time of his visitation" was rapidly coming to a close. Why? Because he would not hear that Prophet. Pilate asked, "What is truth?" Before him stood the Truth - his "time of visitation" - who reminded him - "Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice." (John 18:37-38) He asked the question, and in moments turned Jesus over to be crucified because it was the expedient thing to do. Jesus in anguish of spirit cried out - "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall 1 say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour" (John 12:27). His agenda - His cause - becomes for every man and nation the time of their visitation. And the only way we can know, or will know that the final "time of visitation" has been reached is to "hear Him."
During this final week, the Prophet would speak again, not about the "time of visitation" for the city of Jerusalem, but about the judgment upon it. He told His disciples - "When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh." While Jerusalem did not know the time (καιροζ) of its visitation, the disciples of the Prophet were to know the hour of its judgment. In the period of time, a little less than forty years, events transpired which serve as a lesson for another close of time the τα εθυη of the Gentiles." Jesus linked the "signals" for the two events together with the history of the same city, Jerusalem. After instructing His disciples what course they were to follow when the first "signal" would be given, Jesus then pictured the "days of vengeance" upon the inhabitants of the city - slaughtered "by the edge of the sword" - and those escaping the sword would "be led away captive into all nations (τα εθυη)." But this was not the end of the words of the Prophet. Another event would "signal" the end of the final καιροζ. Jesus continued "And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles (εθυη) until the times (καιροι) of the Gentiles (εθυη) be fulfilled." (Luke 21:20-24)
Both of these "signals" were given by the same Prophet. The very lives of those living in AD 66 in Jerusalem, when the first "signal" was given, depended on obeying His words. Is it to be any different when the second "signal" is given?
First, what lessons does New Testament history teach us? Except for the writings of John, the New Testament closes in the shadows of what befell Jerusalem from AD 66 to AD 70. The events of this forty year period reveal a series of closings of probation on those who knew not the time of their visitation.
During the final week of Christ's ministry, the first judgment fell upon the Temple. After pronouncing the woes upon the scribes and Pharisees" calling them
"hypocrites," "blind guides," "serpents," and "generation of vipers," the Prophet told them - "Your house is left unto you desolate" (Matt. 23:38). The Temple which they venerated is removed from further consideration; only events connected with the history of the city would remain as "signals." As the final week closed, the "once-for-all" Sacrifice would be made, and in a few weeks, the Heavenly Temple would be anointed; all within the time allotted for the "people" of Daniel. (See Dan. 9:24)
The next decisive event in "the time of visitation" occurred in the palace of the high priest. When the false witnesses failed to agree, and the trial faltered, Caiaphas arose and secured the desired judgment. The record reads:
And the high priest arose, and said unto Him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held His peace. And the high priest answered and said unto Him, I adjure Thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus said unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you; Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard His blasphemy. What think ye? They answered, He is guilty of death. (Matt. 26:62-66)
In that act, in that moment, the unseen line was crossed, and probation closed for the religious leadership of Israel. This is attested by a careful reading of the history of events which took place on and following the Day of Pentecost. On the Day of Pentecost, Peter offered repentance to the Jews of Jerusalem and to those from the Diaspora (Acts 2:5) who came together to see what had taken place under the ministration of the Spirit and stayed to hear what Peter had to say. To their question -"Men and brethren what shall we do?" - Peter responded, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ" (2:37- 38).
The third chapter of Acts records the experience of Peter and John who went to the Temple at the hour of prayer to witness. A lame man was healed in the name of Jesus Christ. A concourse of people gathered, and to them Peter again offered repentance (v. 19). In so offering, Peter quoted the very words of Moses regarding the Prophet that was to come and now had come. The reaction of the Jewish hierarchy was swift. Peter and John were arrested and confined to prison till the next day. In response to their questioning, Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, accused them forthrightly of crucifying Jesus Christ, but made no call for them to repent (4:8-12). Listed among the Jewish hierarchy were Caiaphas, Annas and others of the clique who controlled the Sanhedrin (4:6).
As a result of further witnessing, the twelve were arrested and placed in prison (5:17-18). Miraculously freed, the next morning they witnessed in the temple precincts, and were again arrested. Testifying before the assembled council, accusing them of the murder of Jesus, they noted the purpose of the exalted Lord "to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins;" but they did not offer it to them! (vs. 29-32)
The days of the final week of the seventy prophetic weeks which had been determined upon the nation of Israel were rapidly drawing to a close. As this time ended, it was Stephen who was speaking to the Jewish council. He reiterated the charge of murder against them, but extends to them no call to repentance, only condemnation (Acts 7:51-53). With his stoning, "the times of the Jewish nation" ended, and "the times of the Gentiles (nations)" began. Thirty-six more years were to pass before the words of the Prophet would be fulfilled upon the city of Jerusalem itself. While probation closed for the nation of Israel as the chosen people of God, it did not close for the individual Israelite. The book of Acts covers the history of that period when the Jews of Jerusalem and the Diaspora would be given opportunity to repent.
What is involved in the lingering time of mercy needs to be carefully noted. Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed Himself to be the Son of man, and the promised Messiah of Israel, the Son of God. The religious hierarchy of Israel condemned Him as an impostor, and forced His death at the hands of Pilate. This was done at Jerusalem, the very heart of Judaism. In the missionary labors of Paul, he first went to the Jewish synagogues of the Diaspora, and gave them the opportunity to make a decision before turning to the Gentiles with the Gospel of repentance. What was that decision? This is the critical point that should be carefully considered. Every Jew in the Diaspora had to decide whether the decision of their religious leadership in regard to Jesus was correct, or whether He was as He claimed to be, the promised Messiah. The issue was Jesus - what think ye of Christ?
Jesus stood for something. He declared, "I am the truth." God had said, "I ... will put my words into His mouth," and "whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him." And God did! But the destruction of Jerusalem has a wider message. It stands as a representation of the devastation that awaits a world who rejects His word. Further, Jesus is not present in Person to speak to earth's final generation, but He is present in Truth by the Spirit of truth. This applies to the Church as well as to the world.
The prophetic utterances of that Prophet not only included the "signal" by which that generation would know that the devastation of Jerusalem was near, but He also gave a "signal" connected with another event to occur in the history of that same city. Jerusalem would "be trodden down of the nations, until the times of the nations be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24). The control of the city of Jerusalem would return to the control of the government of a Jewish State.
That event would mark the beginning of the final generation as "the times of the nations" had run its course. To the prophet Daniel, Gabriel revealed the time allotted by Heaven for the Jewish people as a nation of God's choosing - "the seventy weeks." Now the Prophet sets an event to mark the end of the "kairos" time allotted to the nations. The importance and meaning of this fulfilled "signal" is just as significant to us as the "signal" given in AD 66 was to the Christians in Jerusalem. To ignore it, God "will require it" of us. There is one difference. The first "signal" heralded the prophesied devastation of Jerusalem, the second "signal" marked the close of probationary time for the nations as the close of "seventy weeks" did for the Jewish nation in AD 34. The "now" time can be compared with the time between events of the 70th week and AD 70. Individual decisions must be made before Michael "stands up" and all human probation closes, just as individual decisions had to be made by the Jews of that generation prior to AD 66.
The question is, how have we viewed this prophecy of the Prophet that came into the world to speak for God?
History of the Interpretation of Luke 21:24 in Adventism
In 1898 James Edson White published, The Coming King, which focused on events that would herald the return of Jesus the second time. In regard to Luke 21:24, White wrote:
We also read that "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." 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)
This book went through several printings. It was published in Australia by the Echo Publishing Company in 1904. In that edition, White's comments on Luke 21:24 were edited in contrast to the 1906 edition by the Review and Herald Publishing Association which retained the 1898 conclusion - "This will be when the work of the gospel is finished" (p. 109).
During the decades which followed, the Church moved to the position that there would never again be a State of Israel. Two paperbacks were published in the 1940s: 1) Palestine in Prophecy, in 1944 was used as a book of the month by the Voice of Prophecy. Written by J. C. Stevens, the last sentence of the book read:
Palestine and Jerusalem do not have a bright future in this present world, and those who are holding the hope of national restoration for the Jews are following a theological will-o'-wisp. (p. 95)
2) In 1947, the Pacific Press released a book by Roy F. Cottrell captioned - The Jews and Palestine. On page 61, Cottrell wrote:
The God of heaven who overthrew the city and nation, and who because of their apostasy dispersed the inhabitants to the ends of the earth, forever settles the question of a complete return and restitution in old Canaan by asserting that it "cannot be."
Yet one year later, the State of Israel came into existence, however, the city of Jerusalem remained in alien hands. It is obvious that in departing from our earlier published position, our reputation as students of Bible prophecy was tarnished. In 1952, the Church attempted to recover the lost ground. For the Bible Conference held in the Sligo Park Church the first two weeks of September of that year, Arthur S. Maxwell was assigned the topic, "Imminence of Christ's Second Coming." In this presentation, Maxwell noted three areas of unfulfilled prophecy, one of which he designated as, "Developments in Palestine" (Our Firm Foundation, II, p. 230). Forthrightly, he stated - "The recent dramatic restoration of the nation of Israel has focused the attention of mankind once more upon Palestine." He clearly indicated that this event did not and would not restore Israel to a favored nation status with God. "However," he said, "there is one prophecy concerning Palestine that we should all be watching with special care." Then he quoted the words of Jesus in Luke 21:24 and noted:
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.
Maxwell asked - "What could be the reason?" - and gave the answer, "Only that the times of the Gentiles are not yet fulfilled." (emphasis supplied)
When in 1967, Jerusalem was once again under Jewish control, how did the Church view the event? in the 20th Century Bible Course, Lesson 5 is very appropriately captioned, "Time Running Out." Question #2 asks - "What sign did Jesus give that would indicate when the destruction of the city [of Jerusalem] was at hand?" Luke 21:20 is cited as the answer. A note follows which reads in part:
The city of Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman armies in AD 66. After a period of time the army withdrew and the Christians, recognizing the sign given by Christ fled the city and did not return. In AD 69 the Romans returned, and destroyed the city in AD 70. Nearly a million people died or were sold into slavery at that time, but not a single Christian died. They watched for the sign Christ had given and obeyed His instructions. (Emphasis theirs)
Question #3 asks - "How long did Christ say that Jerusalem would be trodden down?" The student is referred to “verse 24" for the answer with this note following:
Old Jerusalem and the temple site has (sic) been occupied largely by the Gentile nations until 1967 when the Jews took possession of it in a "lightning victory." This portion of Christ's prophecy was fulfilled in our day!
In 1980, the subject of the second quarter's Sabbath School Adult lessons was "The Witness of Jesus" authored by Dr. Jean Zurcher. His book, Christ of the Revelation, was translated into English from the French and recommended as a "Helps" for the quarter's lessons. In this book, Dr. Zurcher comments on the prophecy of Jesus as found in the Synoptic Gospels. He writes:
Few today would deny the precision of this prophecy. The destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies in AD 70 is a historical fact commemorated on the triumphal arch of Titus in Rome. The dispersion of the Jews among all nations is still a reality. As for Jerusalem, nineteen centuries of history should provide adequate proof that it has been "trodden down of the Gentiles" - first by the Romans, then by the Arabs, next by Christian nations during the Crusades, fourth by the Turks up to the end of the first world war, then by the British, and finally by the Jordanians until the Six-Day War in June, 1967.
This prophecy of Jesus was a sign to the Christians of the Apostolic Church, who lived at the beginning of the times of the Gentiles, and it remains a sign for us who live at the end of the times of the Gentiles. Again we must know how to discern its meaning. (p. 71)
Dr. Zurcher suggests that three questions need to be answered so as to better understand the meaning of Jesus' prophecy: 1) "What exactly does the expression 'times of the Gentiles' mean?" To this question, he answered "The times of the Gentiles is the period set aside by God for the evangelization of the heathen nations." 2) "What should be understood by the fulfilment of the times of the Gentiles?" His answer - "Jerusalem here constitutes the last sign of the times by which the Lord shows us that the history of this world is coming to its climax and that the restoration of all things is at hand." 3) "What connection is there between the retaking of Jerusalem by the Jews and the fulfilment of the times of the Gentiles?" He stated in answer - "The fact that since 1967 Gentiles no longer have [controlled] Jerusalem means, therefore, that we are now living at the end of 'the times of the Gentiles."' (p. 72)
One question he asks in his discussion of this prophecy of Jesus is worth pondering. He wrote -"If we cannot see that Jerusalem is an exceptional sign of the times, then might we not be placing ourselves in the same position as the religious leaders who knew how to 'discern the face of the sky' but could not discern the obvious 'signs of the times."' (pp. 71-72)
All discussion of Jesus' prophecy of Luke 21:24 during the time from the 1952 Bible Conference to Zurcher's book in 1980, has not been consistent. In 1974, a series of Bible Conferences were held in the North American Division. During these conferences, Dr. Herbert E. Douglass presented a paper on "The Unique Contribution of Adventist Eschatology." In his presentation, Douglass asserted "Adventists do not see theological importance in the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 or in the annexation of Old Jerusalem in 1967." (p. 6) He reiterated this same concept in his book, The End, published in 1979; but he changed the concept from "theological importance" to "prophetic importance." (p. 48) While it is true that no prophecy was fulfilled in the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948, it cannot be denied prophetic significance as "coming events cast their shadows before" (Desire of Ages, p. 636). However, to deny prophetic fulfilment to the fact that the State of Israel gained control of Jerusalem in 1967 is to disregard the words of that Prophet who came into the world to speak the words of God. This is to walk on extremely dangerous ground.
Douglass sets forth a counter principle in interpreting last day prophecies which he terms "conditional prophecy." He stated at the conference - "The principle of conditional prophecy recognizes that the promises and threatenings of God are alike conditional". (p. iv) Luke 21:24 is neither a promise nor a threat, but a prediction of an event which has taken place, even as the declaration that the government of the papacy was ended in 1798, marked the close of the 1260 prophetic days. The event of 1967 marks the hour when the "times of the nations" were closing. However, to this principle of conditional prophecy, Douglass adds a corollary which he terms "the principle of the harvest." This states "that God will wait for the maturing of Christian character in a significant number of people as the chief condition determining the time of the advent." (ibid.)
This flies directly into the face of the Biblical revelation of God in salvation history. To Noah, God declared - "My spirit shall not always strive with man" (Gen. 6:3) He limited his days to 120 years. He did not extend the time even though in those 120 years, only "eight souls" were prepared to enter the ark that He designed for their "salvation." Upon instruction to explain the vision of the 2300 days given to Daniel, Gabriel declared - "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people." When that time period was fulfilled, probation closed for Israel as the nation under God. The "times of the Goyim (Gentiles) began." Jesus, as the Prophet of God, gave the "signal" when their time as corporate bodies was closing. We stand within shadows of the final closing of all human probation. And again another event in the history of Jerusalem will herald that event. (See Daniel 11:45)
It should be clearly understood that even if "the chief condition" for determining the second advent were a "perfect" development of character as Douglass holds, ages would lie ahead in the history of mankind as is, because such a possibility is unattainable by man of himself.
It will require a divine intervention such as is typified by the final atonement. (See Zechariah 3) By God permitting the fulfilment of Jesus's prophecy of Luke 21:24, He is telling us that we have come to that hour. In the words of the Lord to Ezekiel - "Evil on evil, says the Lord Eternal -- it is coming, the hour has come, the hour is striking, and striking at you, the hour and the end" (7:5-6, Moffatt) God has had enough. As in the days of Noah, the Spirit of God will soon cease to strive with man.
After "the Hour of Visitation" for the Nations
Ellen White wrote - "After the truth has been proclaimed as a witness to all nations, every conceivable power of evil will be set in operation ... (R&H, Dec. 13, 1892). Observe closely that "after" the witness to "all nations" has been given, time continues dominated by "every conceivable power of evil." This "witness" factor in relationship to "the times of the Gentiles" is one of the points that Dr. Zurcher emphasized in his analysis of Luke 21:24. He wrote in defining the meaning of the expression, "times of the Gentiles" - "As I understand Biblical language, the times of the Gentiles is the period set aside by God for the evangelization of the heathen nations. It is not the time needed for them to be converted to Christianity, as some think, but for them to hear the gospel. It is in this sense that Jesus said: 'This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."' (Zurcher, op. cit.) The "end" as used by Jesus is not a point of time, but rather a period of time. While χρουοζ (time) continues, καιροζ (the word used from "time" in Luke 21:24) ended for the nations. That was in 1967.
Think carefully over the past three decades, and consider the words chosen by the Messenger of the Lord to describe this time revealed to her - the breaking forth of "every conceivable power of evil." The "days of Lot" (Gen. 19:5), and the "days of Noe" (Gen. 6:2, 5) were even as our "days" now are. (Luke 17:26-30) Homosexuality, and promiscuous sex dominate the morality of the past three decades.
Other evidences of a religious nature, which mark their beginning date as 1967, indicate the unleashing of Satanic forces to accomplish the objective indicated in prophecy.
"Pentecost Sunday, 1975, will live in church history as the day when the charismatic movement in the Catholic Church arrived in St. Peter's with full force. During the pontifical mass presided over by Pope Paul VI on May 18, the sound of tongues and charismatic singing filled the massive nave of the ancient mother church of Roman Catholicism." (Christianity Today, June 6, 1975, p. 45) This same journal describing the Pentecostal Movement in Romanism stated - "On the surface, the big story is still the movement's phenomenal growth. From its beginnings among a handful of mostly young persons at a retreat in 1967 on Duquesne University campus in Pittsburgh, it now encircles the earth." (ibid., June 22, 1973, p. 37)
The prophet Isaiah marks as a sign of the last days, a people forsaken by God because "they be replenished from the east" and are involved in Spiritism. (Isa. 2:6) The World Book Encyclopedia in its 1968 Year Book, under the topic, "Eastern Influence" summarized:
Finally, news of non-Western religion came to the West in 1967 through the efforts of individuals and groups that might be described as commuters between value systems. The "hippie" phenomenon, which reached a peak in mid-summer, was an example. Hippies turned to Zen Buddhism, the Vedas, the writings of Rabbi Hillel, and the teachings of Jesus, implying that these could provide meaning for a non-violent generation. The Beatles were the best known of the celebrities who turned to Eastern Religion as they sought "transcendental meditation" through contact with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, their chosen spiritual leader. Timothy Leary advocated a religion based not only on mind-expanding drugs like LSD, but also on literary resources of Eastern religion. (p. 476)
Another event marked 1967, a mix between religious elements and the toy industry. John Godwin in his book, Occult America, observes:
The year 1967 was a historic milestone for the United States toy industry. In that year Americans ditched their longest-standing favorite among board games, and elevated Ouija boards to its place. (p. 271)
Commenting on this "current dizzying surge" in the sale of Ouija boards, Godwin observed (at the time of his writing) that "the usual wives, mothers, and sweethearts of servicemen were joined by millions of teenagers, right down to the thirteen-year-old level." Then he comments - "While the involvement of servicemen's relatives has obvious reasons, the sudden enthusiasm of the teenagers remains a mystery." (p. 272)
Add to all of this data, the beliefs held by the core group of the New Age Movement - Findhorn. Those involved in the Findhorn Community progressed from Western mystical concepts into Eastern Pantheism aided by their "spirit guides." Through their various experiences beginning in 1953, they became "convinced that the New Age would begin at the end of 1967." (Secrets of the New Age, p. 25) In 1970, a David Spangler and his soul mate, Myrtle Glines came to Findhorn for a visit and stayed three years. During this time Spangler received messages from a spirit which identified itself as Limitless Love and Truth. This spirit had sent messages earlier to other people in England, and the combined revelations "formed the basis for their belief that the New Age began at the end of 1967." (ibid, p. 27)
One thing is evident that in 1967, the spirit world of demonic forces was unleashed with new life and vigour.
What does this mean and what is the objective? At the close of four chapters on the working of evil spirits in the great controversy between Christ and Satan is found a very important paragraph. It reads in part:
Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world ... Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of Spiritualism. He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time. Says the prophet: (Rev. 16:13,14 is quoted. Pick up your Bible and read these verses) Except those who are kept by the power of God, through faith in His word, the whole world will be swept into the ranks of this delusion. The people are fast being lulled to a fatal security, to be awakened only by the outpouring of the wrath of God." (GC, pp. 561-562)
No doubt your first reaction will be: "Those verses in Revelation are referring to the sixth plague. That is after the close of probation." True the sixth plague is, but the cause for God's judgment is not. Each plague with the exception of the third is God's response to what man has done in probationary time. For example, the first plague is upon those who "had the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image." (16:2) Did they receive the mark before or after the close of probation? The answer is obvious. Likewise the sixth plague is against a world leadership which responded to the workings of the "spirits of devils." When did they respond? In the "last remnant of time" because they knew not the hour of their visitation. When did God reveal that "the times of the nations" was fulfilled? By an event in the history of Jerusalem in 1967.
How can we be kept from the overwhelming deception? "Through faith in His word." Jesus that "Prophet" spoke, and God has warned that failure to hear what He said will be required of each of us. Are we being lulled into a fatal security, looking for a "signal" of end times when one has already be given? Or are we being deceived by the perception that God is going to wait endlessly on His professed people to alter course? Whichever it is, we cannot escape the fact that Jesus prophesied, and God has spoken by permitting events to transpire which fulfil what Jesus prophesied.
In the beginning of this article, we traced the reaction and the timing of events which culminated in the fulfilment of the first part of Jesus' prophecy as it related to "the time of visitation" for the Jewish hierarchy and nation. There is also a parallel which speaks to spiritual Israel today in the "trust" committed to them. Even as Gabriel told Daniel - "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people" (9:24) just as pointedly the Lord warned this people to whom He committed the "trust" that they likewise face an hour of judgment. This will be covered in another issue of WWN.
Whenever Luke 21:24 is discussed, there are those who seek to associate Jesus' literal message concerning events in the history of Jerusalem with Revelation 11:2 which is framed in highly symbolic language. Is there, or is there not, a relationship between these two verses? This too will be covered in a future issue of WWN. Other questions also remain to be addressed as one considers the objective of Satan in "the last remnant of time" as it relates to Revelation 16:13-14 and verse 16!
To the Pope at St. Louis
President Clinton in his welcoming address to Pope John Paul II at St. Louis said:
"Holy Father, we are moved by your desire to mark the new millennium with a journey to Jerusalem to bring mercy and reconciliation to all those who believe in one God in the holy place where all our faiths began." (Origins, Vol. 28, #34, p. 596)
Origins, a CNS documentary service, lifted this paragraph only from the full verbatim text of Clinton's address and placed it in enlarged type in a special box. Clinton in his private talk with the Pope "expressed appreciation for the positive role of the Holy See in international affairs." A question - Is there behind the scenes activity now over Jerusalem, even as Reagan had with the pope over Russia?
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